Rheged Wandering

Cumbria – Lake District

Many things to be said, there again not much to talk about; there was a trip, some mountains, some hiking, a little photography. There are many thoughts also, but there again so little to think about, or maybe it’s that I didn’t really want to think; some lakes, a movie, bad weather, good weather…

in other words, a sort of miscellaneous meandering.

The northern Lake-District in NW England was the place; a trip away. I suppose I hoped the trip would be more photography-ish than it actually ended up being. I am not sad about that, quite the contrary in fact; our passions in life can be over-bearing at times, it was nice just to be in a place, a place that wasn’t here, a place that wasn’t home, to be in the moment and think little, although I took a few shots when the moment felt right; I think I can see that in the images…

they don’t look like photographs to me.

What do I mean by that? I am not entirely sure, maybe it is because sometimes you take photographs just so that you can remember the time, you think little about composition and such; this is how it felt during the weekend. Looking at the images now they don’t seem like real photographs, as in being visually pre-planned, but more like things that I have seen with my eyes and that are now simple records of a past-present. Maybe that is all that is needed to make images that please us; for instance I don’t think it is possible to say that you just have to – do A,B and C, and then you have a good photograph, I actually find that my favourite shots come about when I have thought the least; in other words the lesser the time between seeing something and pressing the shutter works best, or maybe that is just me?

02

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A wind blown crag, a precipitous gill-decent, ceaseless rain; somehow photography seemed less important in such conditions, simply making it back down in one-piece was the priority. Views to photograph are scant in weather such as this anyway. I chanced exposing my camera to the constant wet-weather only rarely. In every direction the mountains were barely visible at all, just mounds of grey, like rough vaguely pyramidal shapes enveloped in the swirling mass of a ominous nebula-cloud.

04

The following day things improved a little weather-wise; a low-level route was chosen around a different more isolated lake. On arrival myself and Kes encountered an interesting scene (see pic-1). Two swimmers (dressed in wet-suits), one further out, one closer to the shore, were engaged in what seemed to be some kind of training session; swimming regular lengths across the lake, a seated guy on the shingle shore calling out instructions in an American accent. Due to the remote location this whole scenario seemed slightly surreal to me; Kes walked down to the shore, the closer swimmer stopped her session for a moment and stood up in the shallows, hands on hips, looking almost as if she was walking-on-water, I clicked the shutter, we moved on.

05

Further around the lake we were confronted with an obstacle; a length of tunnel hewn out of the very rock-face which lacked any lights to guide the way. A couple in front of us were navigating the path with slow deliberate steps. Looking now at the photograph I took I find it reminds me of the opening credits for a James Bond movie (the famous gun-barrel sequence), the one featuring Bond walking, turning, and shooting at the camera; not a shot I would have expected to have got in a place like the Lake-District.

Coincidently, there was a poster for the very first Bond film (Dr No) in the toilet of the small single-screen movie theatre (first opened in 1913) that we visited to watch the movie entitled – Yesterday. Oddly, when we bought the tickets earlier in the day we had to ask for tickets for Yesterday for today? It reminded me of the time I went to see a film called  – The Day After Tomorrow, many years ago. On that particular occasion we did actually want tickets for two days later; everyday life can be somewhat comically unreal at times it seems.

06

The weekend passed slowly; I thought little, eat, drank a little, slept, hiked, observed, dreamt some, pondered, wandered and photographed. More than anything it was a break from tough times, a reset to begin again; in times such as these I believe that the only two things that I require as a remedy isn’t things such as alcohol or drugs, it is simply travel and photography…

to me, it’s a kind of non-destructive, healthy escapism.