I never expected for the Wastdale valley to be as isolated as it was. After a 2 hour drive along steep craggy trails, I was truly affected by the landscape of Wastwater. The severe screes tearing down the east side of the lake, the ominous presence of Scafell towering in the distance, over the deepest lake in the country. It really is a beautifully profound landscape.
As with the first real tourists that braved the Lake District in the 18th century, I could sympathize with their genuine fear and awe of the sublime sight of the menacing protrusions of undulating earth and rock. Daniel Defoe, in the early 1700’s described the region as “the wildest, most barren and frightful of any that I have passed over in England”.
And it was those equal measures of fear and awe that remained with me throughout the day, inspiring my approach. The examination of the sublime as explored by Edmund Burke, Wordsworth and the Romantic school of literature, fascinated me while I was at university, and is something I am now keen to explore visually.
Although I was no stranger to the Lake District, it had been a number of months since my last visit, and after many threats, this was my first to Wastwater. Being as isolated as it is, Wast Water is a stark contrast to the bustling Bowness. It was an almost exclusive visit for me, with only the odd tractor or Land Rover for company. This desolation is what makes this landscape so special, and I was able to work with focus and conviction.
Apart from a 30 minute downpour, I was rather fortunate with the weather and I was reasonably happy with the shots I had captured in the rather brief two and a half hours I spent there. But with my photography very much in its infancy, and this being one of my first real attempts at approaching such a landscape, excitingly, there remains myriads of areas left for me to improve and explore.
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