Early last year I had the pleasure of hosting Practical Photography magazine in the Lake District. The deputy editor of Practical Photography, Tim, and videographer, Jake, joined me for a spot of wild camping and landscape photography. The aim was to produce a short interview style video in which Tim and myself would discuss landscape photography and how I’d go about planning a trip that involved wild camping. We’d arranged the trip a few weeks prior in the assumption there would be plenty of wintry conditions around. Unfortunately we were having a very mild and wet mid winter which wasn’t ideal. As the day approached the temperature began to drop and low and behold, a blanket of snow fell over the hills just in time for the trip.

Ullswater reflecting the pink glow of sunset
Ullswater reflecting the pink glow of sunset

We met at a small cafe in Threlkeld and began filming almost immediately. Having had no prior experience in front of a camera, let alone being interviewed it was quite a daunting process! However, after a few minutes chatting I forgot the camera was there at all. Credit to Tim’s experience there! Based on the conditions and overnight forecast I decided that a mid level camp on Gowbarrow Fell would be our best bet, easy enough to hike up and well sheltered from the worst of the conditions. We arrived at the car park in heavy snow and made our way up to our intended spot. Unfortunately the wind was causing us a few issues, namely being able to speak in front of the camera, even with small lapel mics it was nearly impossible to record anything but we found a sheltered spot and a wonky pitch for the tent.

A plethora of filming equipment, not easy in these conditions!
A plethora of filming equipment, not easy in these conditions!

With thick cloud overhead the prospect of sunset was slim but just as we thought about giving up a warm glow appeared on the clouds to the south west. Catching us off guard too which you can see in the video. After a little running around we both got some images we were pleased with.

Landscape photography blog
Tim trying not to look too cold

Now, here’s the bit you don’t see… Our intention was to film an overnight camp but due to the low temperatures and windchill it would have hampered filming the rest of the interview the following morning. Batteries were draining and Jake needed to check the footage shot so far too. So using some creative license we left the tent pitched on the fell and made our way back to the warmth of the local pub and bunkhouse but would proceed to make it look we’d spend a night in a cold tent… I was woken up several times during the night by the wind shaking the bunkhouse so we were pretty glad we weren’t still out on the hill!

Our well sheltered pitch above Ullswater
Our well sheltered pitch above Ullswater before sunrise

It was an early start the following morning to make sure we got the tent before sunrise (luckily, it was still standing!) We were greeted with some fantastic light at sunrise and made the most of it whilst filming little sequences. A couple of clips later and the filming was complete. It was a great experience for myself and the final footage wasn’t as cringeworthy as I thought!

A panorama from Gowbarrow Fell at sunrise
A panorama from Gowbarrow Fell at sunrise

Check out the video here –

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