• Daniel Wretham

Landscape Photography Blog, February 2021

With the prospect of another month in full lockdown it was looking pretty bleak to be fair.

I hadn't been out in January and it had really started to get to me quite a lot, I needed my fix of landscape photography but at the same time I didn't want to break the rules so it kept weighing heavily on my mind and creating more turmoil than was healthy.

I had seen plenty of other landscape photographers were going out and the general feeling was if you were local on foot you weren't breaking any rules at all and it was all ok, then there was the flexible rules that said you could drive to somewhere very local for landscape photography, then there was the optimistic rules, of yes you can go out you're on your own !

All of them sounded appealing but not within the spirit of the rules to be fair so again I struggled with should I go or not.

Towards the middle of February I was at my lowest point and knew I needed to get out, I had a location which was less than five minutes drive from me and decided that I could do a sunrise there midweek and would hopefully not see another soul there.

Now I agonised over the legality and morality for days on this trip, and while I felt it was all within the rules and spirit of the lockdown it still didn't sit too well with me, I just wasn't sure if it was 100% allowed or not ?

In reality I knew many people were travelling huge 40-50 mile distances to do there's and a large majority were doing journeys within 30 minutes so there was an element of "if their doing it then I can too" but equally I was nervous about it.

As a professional photographer who earns money from it I didn't see that I was breaking any rules as after all I can't take landscape pictures from home could I ?

I had already lost a fortune from not being able to give workshops for a year and print sales were pretty much all I had left so I essentially talked myself round into going.

It was a strange feeling on the day, I looked out of the window and it looked good, there was a gap and I was out in a flash heading to Lake Pier.

The drive there was early quiet, hardly another car on the road (Other than the main roads) and as I got there no one was there which made me feel better in one way but worse in another so it was a really mixed emotions morning.

I tried my best to put thoughts behind me and throw myself into the shoot as it looked like it was going to be a reasonable sunrise.

A nice gap was on the horizon where the sun was due to come up and some decent heavier cloud behind me so I felt I couldn't go wrong, if the sky in front of me didn't light up then there was a really good chance the cloud behind me would.

I started shooting the early colours of sunrise and they got progressively better and better and just kept going, the sky was dancing with red and magenta clouds and I was in my element.

As the sun started to come up the scene got a little too bright so I turned my attention to the scene behind me and as predicted the clouds were starting to catch so I quickly did a 180 degree spin and started shooting the other side of the jetty and the clouds just kept getting more colour ! It was fantastic and I was walking on cloud 9, the jetty lit up and gave me a really nice shot that I was so pleased with but the morning wasn't done with me yet.

A small bit of rain started out of nowhere and usually that would signal the end of it and time to go but I hing in there as I just had a feeling something might happen and then it did...

A huge rainbow streaked across the sky and I couldn't get the long lens on fast enough !

There was a single boat out in the harbour and the rainbow was right next to it and at 400 mm it looked huge ! it was like someone had asked me what the perfect morning consisted of and then given it to me gift wrapped !

To say I was ecstatic after this was an understatement, I was absolutely buzzing and couldn't stop grinning.

It was at this point I realised just how important landscape photography was to me and just what a positive effect it has on my mental health.

Going out for this had done me the world of good and if anyone frowns on it then just watch the video below to see the change in me from start to finish, I think it can be firmly justified.

I took the rainbow as a big beaming light of hope and it brought me not only joy but comfort and strength as well and a sense of everything was going to be ok.