Mid Year All Ready...

It is now mid July.

Where did all those months go???

Firstly, the snow didn't really happen, Easter eggs came and went and then we had 'the summer'.

Remember those days....?

whilst it has made fleeting teasing returns for a day or so and the temps have gone through the roof when it has it really hasn't settled into a rhythm.

Anyway, enough moaning.

I spent two days last week running a workshop for father and son Michael and Tim Hornung.

It was a real pleasure to meet them both. Especially nice to see them helping each other too.

Tim wore his British lions shirt on the first day and I knew we would get on. Whilst his father lives in Grange, Tim now lives and works in New Zealand as a Cardiologist. Really nice people to spend time with.

 Tim at Rannerdale. He is over 6'3" so you can gauge the bracken

Tim at Rannerdale. He is over 6'3" so you can gauge the bracken

I like people to experience a variety of locations to enjoy and usually add a trip over to Buttermere, Crummock and Rannerdale.

Talking of Rannerdale I haven't been there 'out of season' so to speak and the bracken? Now so dense and high that the landscape was literally adorned in the 'green gown of summer'.

No one there to speak of which is strange as it is normally rammed but Buttermere just up the road? Well that was the usual honeypot and I had to park way up the Newlands.

I recall walking through Rannerdale this year as a vast array of Bluebells greeted me as I took friends there who were seeing them for the first time. Whilst a visit for them it was work for me Great to see them enthralled by the views and for me it was also a productive working day.

Seems like a week or so ago yet it was over two months back!

I returned last week and it was all but deserted except for four nice young ladies who stopped to chat, then they asked me to take their picture. Always happy to oblige.

The first day of the workshop with Tim and Mike was by Wast Water and whilst not the clearest of mornings the sun soon appeared to light all up before us.

Whilst I do teach people how to use a tripod, I know how restrictive that can be. If your out walking with friends that or rather YOU can become the pain, so I like to mix the days up with hand held 'snaps' too. Generally on day two as it is easier to teach 'on the legs' when I can see exactly what you are looking at and move around the camera with you.

 Wast Water. Glorious!

Wast Water. Glorious!

On the second day I took them over to Ennerdale and as Tim had never seen that side of the lakes before it was doubly pleasureable to also act as a guide. Something I have done for many overseas visitors.

 Mike at Ennerdale and my favourite spot.

Mike at Ennerdale and my favourite spot.

I took a snap there many years ago at a fav spot of mine and as it was repeatedly published I like to revisit that location. Happy memories.

Later on we drove over to the aforementioned Rannerdale before arriving at Buttermere. Of course we ended up by 'that tree' but why not. It always delivers.

 Father and son concentrating at Buttermere.

Father and son concentrating at Buttermere.

It was a lovely day and the throngs came out. You can't preach to people but if you are going to come up to the lakes respect other road users. Consequently the lanes were full of people who do not know how to drive on them and persist in hogging the crown of the road. It is very dangerous.

I now notice the schools will finish this week too.....

Anyway, it has been a cracking time with lots of workshops, several pieces delivered for Fuji and I am very proud to be one of the judges for the TRAIL magazine mountain photo of the year. I have delivered several articles for them already and there will be seven in total.

 My Tips page in TRAIL

My Tips page in TRAIL

I had a rare day out on the fells last week just shooting for me and was joined by Vicki Proctor for an amble around Birker and over to the crags above Eskdale.

Now you might think that as a pro I go out shooting all the time. It doesn't happen that way but when it does I have to take the opportunities that arise.

Always glad to keep my hand in.

The weather did us proud and it was a lovely afternoons snapping. I realise that whilst I can cycle my road bike over 50 miles a go I am far from hill fit.

We trolled around 6 miles or so across open moor and then crag. I was goosed and spent and made good use of the time.

 The X Pro 2 on Hartley Crag above Eskdale. Lovely!

The X Pro 2 on Hartley Crag above Eskdale. Lovely!

As for my hill fitness, I have to rectify that. My recovery rate is very good but chugging up the fells with a bag on your back soon takes its toll. With no hurry and pleasant company it worked.

I must get fitter though.

Bow Fell is always a favourite of mine and it never ceases to delight me. Whatever the weather.

Currently I am bouncing back and forth between Cheshire and the lakes literally till the end of the year.

As I look outside it is glorious. Two days on the trot.

Can we make it three please......