4 – Die Hard Landscaper

Sleep Deprivation

Up well before the lark, usually 2 hours before the sun rises, so they can drive an hour and walk 40 minutes to be in “that” position for the sunrise they’ve planned for the last 4 years.

They say a prayer before bed – “Please god, let the light be good this year” – then in a leap of faith, they gamble a night’s sleep for an unlikely lovely nuclear sunrise.

There better had be a great sunset – the last 50 times they’ve been there it’s never been right… they are persistent, they never give up till they get THAT shot.


reflection in road_MG_7194 _MG_7210 pool reflection ovenden_01 _MG_9289 _MG_9376

They have been to the every UK location 10 times before, so have set their own “high bar” to beat.

They go in summer, they go in winter – they know the location intimately and know where they best vantage points are.

They know the composition which works best.

They just have to go back over and over again on the off chance that they light will be a little different…

Meticulous planning…

At one with sunrise charts and tide times – meticulous planning goes into each of their trips. The best die hards love walking up hills and mountains, getting to places others never see; it gives them a unique advantage.

“A Wainwright’s” pictorial guides to the Lake District are commonly used – though most will have memorised these in advance.

Good Light or Nowt

20 minutes after sunrise the camera goes away – “bad light… can’t do anything till sunset now”.

In fact – if the sunset ir rubbish, they won’t trouble their camera – only pressing the shutter if the light is perfect.

Big Stoppa Lovers

Progressives may get out their Big Stoppa filter in the daytime… entering a brave new world of daylight long exposures, with their whooshing clouds and infinitely soft water.

Yes – the brave few will let full daylight hit their cameras, usually in the presence of a waterfall or burbelling stream in a gorge – where the light will be dappled by overhead trees

Tree Lovers

And finally – they LOVE trees… trees are gods focal points.

They’ll go back to the same tree over and over again. The high up hills you go, the smaller they get – but you can still use them, in fact, you MUST use them at an cost.

If you have gone past the tree line, where no trees grow, you then have to find a suitable rock instead. These ideally need to have good light and shadows – warm amber colours on one side, and dark, rich shadows on the other.

The dream scenario is a wonderful rock formation AND a tree – and this is where Malham comes in. A tiny Yorkshire Dales village with a tree about 3 miles above – this tree has perfect rocks which not only get “good light” at sunset AND sunrise, but their long cracks actually point at the tree….

Here is a little game to end on…

In the comment box below – please name the location of the following trees… if you get more than 2, you are a Die Hard God!








6the leaning tree





11buttermere velvia




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