News - Everything else!

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

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 (www.waternookonullswater.com - 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
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,

Rod

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,

Rod

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!

Rod.
Action for Nepal - Catbells festival of light
24th April 2016 - 0 comments
What a great night last night!


Well done to all involved in raising money for those affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Here's some pics I managed to get from Castlehead just outside Keswick.

The view is looking across Derwentwater towards Catbells.


Must be a shot here to include in the "Lake District by Night" exhibition at Moot Hall, Keswick this summer?
Late photography nights and a full moon!
02nd March 2016 - 0 comments
As you might know, we've had a lot of rain in the Lake District and Cumbria in the past few months. This hasn't been ideal for photography!

With the full moon and clear weather for a few nights last week, it was a chance to try and get back on schedule with some of the images for my Lake District by Night project which is leading up to an exhibition in Keswick in August.

Managed to visit Derwentwater, Thirlmere, Wasdale, Rydal Water/Grasmere and Tewet tarn beneath Blencathra - not bad going but messed up my sleeping pattern.


The two questions people ask most about the night photography is - how do you get around the mountains in the dark and how do you see what you're photographing?

Luckily I've been a qualified mountain leader for 10 years and part of that training involved getting around the mountains in the dark - very handy! With the right preparation and skills it's not too bad. Without that though, I wouldn't recommend you just 'give it a go'!

In terms of seeing what you're photographing, the simple answer is it's pretty tricky. Often looking through the viewfinder/live view just won't let you frame your composition. So, the way I get around it is to boost the ISO to something daft (e.g. 12800) open up the aperture (e.g. 2.8) and then take a 'test' shot. Whilst the image i've just taken is still in the review screen I make adjustments to composition, using the image as a guide. I might do this up to half a dozen times until I know the camera is positioned to give the composition I want. I then change all the settings to give me the quality I need and retake the shot. Easy! Well, actually quite a faff but it works for me.

I'll be adding more of my night shots as they come. You can keep an eye out for them here: http://www.rodireland.co.uk/latest-images

Cheers, Rod
Spring 2015 Newsletter - Rod Ireland Photography
14th May 2015 - 0 comments
Hi there,

As well as details of our photography courses and workshops in the Lake District, there's LOTS of free tips and guidance in this edition about photo composition.

There's also a teeny weeny bit to bore you about what we've been up to over the winter!

Just click on the link - happy reading.

Rod

Spring Newsletter Rod Ireland Photography
Aurora hunting in the English Lake District!
01st April 2015 - 0 comments
I spent last night / early this morning hunting the elusive aurora in the English Lake District. This is a shot taken during a previous aurora storm close to where I live. Before you go hunting yourself, there's a few things you need to know as it's actually quite a tricky business!


Here's a little time lapse video I made - first I've done of an aurora - some room for improvement!


Is an Aurora likely?
Well, there are forecasts available on websites and phone apps but we're generally talking a few hours notice, rather than days. Even with a strong KP index (instensity) there's no guarantee of a strong display. Other science 'things' come into play of which I have no real understanding!

Are you far North enough to see the display?
The further north the better, but with a very strong display, the aurora is visible across the length of the UK.

Can you get somewhere dark enough to see the display?The darker the better - city lights will block out the light from the aurora so you need to get as far away from them as possible. Rural Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland are your best bet.

What's the weather doing?
Even if all of the above points are addressed, you'll still be at the mercy of the British weather. Cloud is not unheard of in the UK and if it happens to be cloudy when the wonder display is going on overhead, I'm afraid you'll miss the party! So, if you can, get yourself to somewhere forecast to have the clearest sky.

Hopefully, if you're lucky, there'll be an occasion when all the above comes together and you get the chance to spot the aurora for yourself in the UK. I have to admit to getting quite emotional when I first saw a proper display - it's definately one of those life affirming experiences!

Last night was a bit of cat and mouse trying to find cloud free sky. I started near Whinlatter, a couple of miles outside of Keswick. Cloudy! I drove further west to Lorton and Crummock water where the forecast was for the cloud to clear.


It WAS clearer and I managed to get my first few shots.

I then drove over Honister and along the road beneatch Cat bells. I imaginged a shot with Derwentwater beneath me and Blencathra in the background but I couldn't see any sign of the aurora by this time. Move on.


I drove back to where I started near Whinlatter and got a shot looking over Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw.

To the naked eye, the aurora was quite faint, but the sensitivity of the camera picks out more of the colour. It was then onto Castlerigg stone circle. Someone had beaten me to it (Hi Tom and Beth?) and we were shortly followed by at least another 6 photographers all looking to get the same shots.


It's funny meeting people for the first time in near total darkness and trying to have a conversation whilst photographing the aurora!


It was time to leave the crowds behind and head off to a spot by Thirlmere that I'd pinpointed on the map. Sadly, the show was nearing it's end so it was time to head off home and get to bed - 3.30am yawn!
Buttermere Landscape Photography & Video
16th July 2014 - 0 comments
Here's a little video from our shoot Landscape photography shoot in the Lake District (Buttermere).

Enjoy!
Landscape Photography & Video from Helvellyn
16th July 2014 - 0 comments
Was doing some Landscape photography in the Lake District last month and I've just uploaded a new video taken from some timelapse clips and stills. Enjoy!

Rod