Photography News / Blog

Why do we enter Photography Competitions? Landscape Photography of the Yeat time again!
28th July 2017 - 0 comments
A blog post considering the Landscape Photographer of the year competion and photography competitions in general
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The Lake District in Autumn - A unique photography break
23rd July 2017 - 0 comments
The Lake District in Autumn - A unique photography break
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The Cumbria Photography and Video Show 2017
10th May 2017 - 0 comments
Once again, I'm thrilled to be involved in delivering The Cumbria Photography and Video Show 2017 at the Rheged centre, Cumbria this coming weekend (13th&14th May)

Last year was the first time that we looked to put on such an event and we had a fantastic response. Buoyed by this, we've put in lots of hard work this year to bring a fantastic programme of speakers, exhibitors and photographers.

On a personal level, I'm really excited about the event and can't wait to catch up with the photography community from across Cumbria, the North of England and the South of Scotland.

See you this weekend!


Photography beyond the Lake District - A Snowdonian odessy!
21st March 2017 - 0 comments
Taking a quick break from Photography workshops and tours in the Lake District is always a double edged sword. I get nervous once outside the boundaries of Cumbria into the big unknown! This trip to Snowdonia was a little different though as I'd spent four years there during my early twenties when I went to University in Bangor.

A rude introduction to mountains came when a friend led me on a walk up Tryfan - the first mountain I'd ever walked up, and what a mountain! Reflecting back, that was a pivotal day in my life and influenced many decisions I've since made, ultimately leading to me living where I live and doing what I do to this day.

The weather for the week was mixed and I had a few locations I wanted to explore again, but I was keen to go back to the quarries and industrial landscapes I'd paid scant attention to all those years ago. Now, with my photographers observational awareness heightened, going back with a camera and the sole purpose of taking photos would be an interesting exploration.

As always, I feel like I barely had chance to scratch the surface of the location I visited - so many subjects to indulge in, so little time. However, I've already edited a number of my favourite shots from the trip and have made a commitment to memory to return quickly - another trip in autumn might be on the cards!

Anyway, here's a few edits from the trip - I hope you find them interesting . Do let me know what you think!

cheers, Rod

Pop-Up Photography Exhibition, Glenridding, Ullswater
13th February 2017 - 0 comments
Ok, most of you will know that Glenridding, Ullswater has had a really tough time of it over the past year! The community and businesses there have shown amazing resilience in the face of some incredibly difficult circumstances.

That said, we'd hate for people to forget just what an inspirational special little corner of the lake district this can be. So, I'm putting on a two day 'pop-up photography exhibition' this weekend, 18th & 19th February at Glenridding Village Hall. It's completely free to enter and refreshments will be available. If you're around, pop in and say hi and enjoy some landscape photography images - we'd love to chat with you!

all the best,

Never give up on trip to Scotland!
30th January 2017 - 0 comments
Taking a break from delivering photography courses and landscape workshops generally means me heading off for a trip somewhere, even if it's winter. This can sometimes be pretty tough going being cold, dark or wet. When it's all three of those things together, things get dispiriting to put it mildly. When it's like that for the nearly two weeks and your living in a camper van, it can just be plain miserable!

Knowing that there were 17 hours of darkness each day, combined with a pretty stinking weather forecast wasn't enough to put me and my better half off our planned trip up to the north of Scotland over Christmas and New Year. With a very loose plan, off we drove off on Christmas eve, stopping off around Edinburgh for a couple of days before making our way up to Sutherland.

When we pencilled the trip in the diary, we were picturing snow, ice, maybe even some nice clear skies for those northern lights - basically, everything a landscape photographer could want from a trip. Unfortunately, the weather forecasts were pretty much spot on and what we got was cloud, rain and gale force winds!

We persevered though and were lucky enough to get a few tantalising glimpses of Scotland putting on a spectacular show for us. Inverpolly and Assynt gave us about one hour of decent light over about 6 days - but for the brief time when it was present, it was perfectly packaged. On the journey back south, we had a lovely evening in Torridon and a cracking day in the Snow above loch Maree.

So next time you're in despair, give it a fair crack of the whip and you never know, that little bit of magic might be waiting just around the corner for you.

06th December 2016 - 0 comments
Last month's special prize draw was a One Day Photography Workshop in the Lake District for two people! Many congratulations to the winner, Gemma Woodcock of Kent.

Fear not everyone else who didn't win, this months prize is a signed Landscape photographic print of Ullswater in the Lake District. This shot was taken as I was driving home from a day on the fells one autumn. I pulled the car up sharpish as I saw this serene vision in front of me.

To enter the competion, just pop along to our facebook site here

Good luck!

Photography article published in "Cumbria" magazine
01st December 2016 - 0 comments
As well as running photography courses in Cumbria and the Lake District, I can now lay claim to officially being a published author! John Manning at the 'Cumbria' magazine kindly asked me if I fancied writing an article on aurora hunting in Cumbria.

It's a while since I've sat down and really thought about writing something properly so it was a bit of a challenge. However, with a dictionary at my side and spell checker switched on, it all went quite smoothly! No doubt my old English teacher will be in complete shock at this turn of events!!!

The article is out in the December edition of "Cumbria" - Lakelands favourite magazine if you fancy a read.

all the best, Rod

Photography Exhibition - Lake District National Park Brockhole centre, Windermere
28th November 2016 - 0 comments
Photography Exhibition at the Lake District National Park Brockhole centre, Windermere.

As well as running photography workshops and courses in the Lake District, it is nice to occasionally get my own work up on display somewhere. So, it was lovely that the Lake District National Park asked me if I'd put on a pop-up exhibition at their visitor centre at Brockhole on Windermere. This rather grand old property has a cracking space in the restaurant annexe for displaying images (photographs, paintings etc).

Working with Fiona, Simon and Cat from the national park, I've managed to get 18 rather nice images (if I do say so myself!) on display. These are all images of the lake district, with half of them being from the recent 'lake district by night' project I undertook with fellow photographer, Jonny Marchant.

So, if you're nearby it's worth dropping in for a look and a bite to eat. The exhibition will be on until early in the New Year.

all the best, Rod

A favourite Lake district photography location!
21st November 2016 - 0 comments
A great thing about the Lake District is the many different photography locations available. Some areas are 'overdone' (queues of photographers lining up!) yet many others are beautifully peaceful.

Recently during some fantastic autumn weather, I decided to visit Martindale, a favourite nearby spot. Travelling along the quieter road on the south side of Ullswater, you reach Howtown with its steamer pier and the close by, 'Waternook' which is situated at the foot of Hallin fell ( - if you're after a special holiday retreat this place is stunning!).

I stopped at the top of the hause (pass) and made my way up the fell as I knew there was a temperature inversion that I'd climb above. I was treated to this rather fantastic scene which will stay in my minds eye for a good while to come.

Later, I moved further into the valley and had a walk into lonely Bannerdale to watch and listen to the red deer rut. The reward? Another 'keeper'! I suppose the 'moral' of the tale is don't just visit the honey pots, but try to explore other areas too!

take care, Rod
Gift Vouchers - Great Christmas Presents! 10% discount
10th November 2016 - 0 comments
Photography Gift Vouchers - Make great presents and we're giving you 10% extra free for a limited time!

If you're not sure about a present for a loved one, have you thought about a Photography gift voucher? Vouchers can be redeemed against:

*Workshops and Courses
*Photographic prints and cards
*Location Portraiture

Available from just £10 and available for specific courses.

All vouchers purchased by 30th November will get 10% extra for free or a 10% discount off the cost of a course.

Contact us now for more details details.

Autumn photography tour in the Lake District
18th October 2016 - 0 comments
If you're in the Lake District / Cumbria for photography courses, workshops, tours or just out for the day, there's always something to see during autumn. It's definately one of the highlightes of the year for photorgaphers.

If out with a client just requiring photography guiding or a tour then I get the opportunity to take some shots myself (If I'm providing photography tuition, then I'm too busy!)

I was lucky this week in spending a couple of days out with a young photographer from London called Jethro. He just wanted guiding around some great locations (despite only starting photography seriously a year ago he's already very accomplished!).

We visited:
• Holme fell
• Hodge close quarry
• Calppersgate bridge
• Latterbarrow
• Rydal Water
• Derwentwater
• Surprise view, Ashness
• Honister pass
• Buttermere
• Latrigg above Keswick

Here's a few shots from the two days!

Happy autumn,


New timelapse video - Above Eden Valley at Night
10th October 2016 - 0 comments
When I was out recently capturing images of the aurora (or trying to!), I took a spare camera out with me to capture some timelapse sequences. As nothing was happening on the aurora front at the time, I decided to point my camera across the Eden Valley in Cumbria from high up on the pennines at Hartside.

Here's the little sequence that I got. cheers,Rod

Great start to the Aurora season in the UK!
05th October 2016 - 0 comments
We've had a flying start to the elusive pursuit of aurora hunting in the UK this season. Just into October and we've already had several consecutive days of aurora being visible. Obviously the further north you are, the better your chances of seeing a display.

I'm based in the Lake District and we get to see a reasonable share up here each year. During the recent storms I've been out for four nights and managed to see the lights twice. 50% is a pretty good hit rate for me!

Luckily, I was over at Bamburgh in Northumberland the other day and was in the right place at the right time to see a lovely short display which peaked for no more than 10 minutes. Ok, it's not Iceland or Norway but seeing the northern lights in England is still a fantastic experience.

Here's a short time-lapse from the trip - note the fantastic lighthouse and it's distinctive 'surprised' look!

If you're interested in learning about Low Light and Night Photography, check out our workshops here
Photographers hide away - it's getting dark!
21st September 2016 - 0 comments

Tomorrow marks the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (and I don't just mean north of the Watford gap!)

So what? Well, it means that very soon our nightime will be longer than daytime and cuddling up on the sofa watching the telly will be the order of the day. Photographers across our half of the globe are collectively saying - "Oh no, it's time to put the camera away until spring!"

If you're not quite ready for that then why not extend your photography season and learn how to take pictures at night? I've been doing this a long time and it's great fun. Admittedly, it's trickier than daytime but with a bit of tuition you'll be up and running in no time and night images can be absolutely out of this world!

If you fancy learning it for yourself, check out the details here Low Light/Night Photography Workshop At only £65, it's definately not a shot in the dark! Cheers,


Ullswater Outdoor Festival - Guided Photo Walks
13th September 2016 - 0 comments
Ullswater Outdoor Festival We're pleased to announce that as part of the Ullswater Outdoor Festival, we'll be offering guided photography walks. Set amongst world class scenery, with views of mountains, waterfalls and lakes. You'll see some great locations and have a professional photography guide on hand to provide lots of hints and tips along the way!

Dates: 27th, 29th September. 1st, 2nd October. 9.30am-12.00pm
Meeting Point: Aira Force car park, Ullswater
Suitability: Moderate walking involved.Max 6 participants per session.
Tickets: £35 per person.

Contact us here to book
Free - Guide to Autumn Photography!
12th September 2016 - 0 comments

It's a great time of year in the Lake District for photography with the dream season fast approaching. With a couple of days off from running Courses and Tours I thought I'd spend some time getting my thoughts down on the subject of doing photography during the autumn.

There's no escaping the fact that the colour palette on offer at this time of year is the most expansive of any season. This makes it a visual treat, particularly where subjects such as woodland come into play.

If you'd like a copy of the free guide just pop over to our Resources Page for your copy. It look at things such as where to go, what to see, best times and what kit you need.

If you're interested in some photography tuition, or a guided photography tour in the Lake District this autumn, you can find some more information on our Courses Page.

Happy Autumn!

Landscape Photography - Free Prize Draw!
09th September 2016 - 0 comments
As well as running photography courses, workshops and tours in the Lake District, I also get some time to actually take some pictures!

So, I've decided that each month there'll be a free prize draw to win a stunning Landscape photo print worth £39! These will be signed by myself and posted out to the winner each month in a sturdy cardboard tube, ready to get framed up.

If you'd like the chance to win this months image "Reflection, Blea Tarn", simply head on over to Facebook and 'like' the Rod Ireland Photography Page to enter.

Eenter the draw here

We'll be announcing the winner at the end of the month. Good luck!

Free exhibition - we did it!
02nd September 2016 - 0 comments
With my fellow photographer Jonny Marchant, we successfully held a FREE exhibition at the moot hall in Keswick, 24th-29th August 2016. The response was fantastic and 1,232 visitors came along to see the Lake District in a completely different light. The opening night was lots of fun - we turned off all the lights and guests viewed the exhibition by head torch!

To see the images from the project, see our gallery pages here

Our aim was to put on a great exhibition in the heart of the Lake District in order to share a familiar and much loved landscape, re-imagined at night. For me, the Lake District takes on a magical quality at night and I'd increasingly become fascinated by and drawn towards the different experience as the familiar becomes unfamiliar. To venture out at night, watching the stars appear and to wear the cloak of solitude that comes with being alone in the dark is to discover another Lake District.

(Film maker, Terry Abraham, Mountaineer, Alan Hinkes and Tim & Sue from The Field Studies Council)

The exhibition amongst other things, helped increase understanding about the landscape and the natural environment. We believe it's also inspired people to get out and access the landscape which is at the heart of the images produced during the project.

Now the main exhibition has concluded, I'm looking to develop a programme of pop-up exhibitions around Cumbria and the Lake District. In particular, I'd like to visit those communities that have been affected by the flooding.

It would also be great to provide activities that help reconnect adults, children and families with something that is increasingly receding in our society - the experience of night time. Spending time outside, experiencing the sights and sounds of night time in the Lake District.

If you're interested in becoming involved or hosting an event, please drop me a message through the contact page.

The Lake District by Night Exhibition was kindly supported by Allerdale Borough Council, Friends of the Lake District, Natural England and the Keswick Brewing Company. We are very grateful to them for helping us deliver this project.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported us with our 'Kick-starter' project. We wouldn't have got where we have without your invaluable contribution. Here's a list of all our backers:

Abigail Link, Acorn Bank, Ali Wilson, Amanda Strong, Andrew Leaney, Andrew Rouse, Andrew Shepherd, Angelo Borrillo, Anja Phoenix, Brenda, Brian Thompson, Bryce Kirby, Charles & Kimmie Paxton, Charlotte Dossing, Chris Davies, Christine Jackson, Christine Cox, Claire Pillar, Dan Bloomer, David Watson, Ed & Pipa Tallis, Ed Birch, Edward Wray, Edwin, Emily Macaulay, Fiona Ferguson, Folake Abass, Francesca Scott, Gareth Wheeler, Gill, Ginny Murphy, Heather Griffin, Helen and John Croxford, Helen Bennett, Helen Boyd, James Green, Jane Carlisle Bellerby, Jen Heath, Joe Cann/Helen Dunham, John Dawson, Jonny's Mum, Karen Mitchell, Karen O'Connor, Karen Watson, Kate Hannon, Kate Hurr, Kate Wilson, Lee & Anna Salmon, Liam Hoad, Lisa Elwen, Liz Newport, Liza Marchant, Louise Lightfoot, Mark Littlejohn, Matt Ward, Melanie Reynard, Nick Powley, Mike & Nicky Johnson, Neil Davidson, Nick Pearson, Oli Blomfield, Paul Stafford, Pauline Ireland, Peter Whelpdale, Phil Davidson, Polly Bridges, Robin May, Rod's Mum and Dad, Sally Seed, Sara Renwick, Scott Davenport, Stephanie Flanigan, Stephanie Wheeler, Steve Clews, Stuart Cherry, Tim Marchant, Tomasz Kapel, Tony O'Hare, Valerie Evans, Valerie Wilson, Vicky Ward.

Thank you all!!!
Chance to Host a "Lake District by Night" image!
10th August 2016 - 0 comments

As the 'Lake District by Night' exhibition draws closer (Moot Hall, Keswick from the 25th August) things are really starting to get exciting!

We've already had great support from Allerdale BC, Friends of the Lake District and Keswick brewery and plenty of media coverage courtesy of Elsworth Communications.

But we want as many businesses and venues in and around Keswick to benefit so we're inviting a limited number to play host to one of our project images.

You'll become part of a large Lake District by Night 'picture hunt' encouraging visitors to our main exhibition to explore the area and visit you.
Deadline to join is August 15th so don't delay.

If you're interested in hosting an image, please drop us an email or give us a call. tel 07982 421699