Last weekend saw us heading for the Lake District to take part in an event devised by Mark Littlejohn and Doug Chinnery to raise money towards the fund to help the victims of the recent devastating floods in Cumbria.
Rather than head directly across the A66 to Penrith, we used the opportunity to travel via the A59 and drop in to see the Three Peaks Gallery in Settle, now the gallery has moved to new premises. Heavy rain persisted throughout the day and served as a reminder of why we were in the area, so rather that do a recce, we detoured to the Rheged centre in Penrith to see Ian Lawson’s “From the Land Comes the Cloth” exhibition. Ian takes some wonderful images and it was great to see them printed large like this, so we spent a happy couple of hours browsing. We can highly recommend this exhibition and it’s on until 15th May.
We haven’t been to the Lake District for many years and never been to Ullswater, so this was always going to be a voyage of discovery for us. We checked in at the Inn on the Lake, then went exploring. It was amazing to see the remains of the devastation left by the floods and brings it home to you just how much power the waters have.
The following morning, I got up early and out for dawn on what proved to be a drizzly, overcast morning, but still offered some interesting photo opportunities. I know it’s not original, but I couldn’t resist taking the Ullswater jetty shot, then went exploring around the lake side. I have to say with 70-80 other photographers in the area, I was very surprised I didn’t see another soul while I was wandering around the lake.
There had been some doubt as to whether the walks would be on, but after a leisurely breakfast, I checked with Mark Littlejohn and he confirm that we were on. After all, we couldn’t come to a floods appeal and be put off by a little rain could we?
We all met up on the pier in moderate rain and wind and took a steamer ride to Aire Force, where Joe Cornish’s party headed up the valley to Aire Force, whilst those of us in the Lizzie Shepherd, Doug Chinnery, Valda Bailey party headed along a lake side path. I headed off with Lizzie’s so called “serious” photographers party, while Janet joined Doug for the “ICM” photographers group. Those of you who are familiar with our work will know that any more than 3 well separated trees and an indistinct background and we’re flummoxed, so part of my rationale was go and try to understand how other photographers view more complex woodlands.
The rain meant keeping the lens dry was an issue, but it did prove to be an interesting and very social morning.
We all headed back to the café for around 12 o’clock for a coffee and a warm up and I was delighted to see that Janet had enjoyed herself so much she was positively glowing, having introduced Doug to the delights of infra-red photography and discovered IRCM. Infra-red camera motion!
Once back at the hotel, we all headed straight to the buffet, then gathered for the picture auction, where we were treated to the spectacle of some lovely images fetching some very reasonable prices. Several images stood out for me. I particularly liked Lizzie’s “Zig zag” and loved Paul Mitchell’s pin hole image, but the star of the show for me was Mark Littlejohn’s Ullswater image which made over £500.
After the auction we had a raffle with some excellent prizes being generously donated by several companies and individuals. This was followed by fascinating and diverse talks by Mark Littlejohn, Paul Mitchell and Joe Cornish, then all too soon it was all over.
All in all, a really good event and a very worthy cause. Huge credit must go to Mark and Doug for organising it and big thanks to the many other individuals who contributed which all made it possible. With a grand total of over £20k raised it certainly was a great