Recently we embarked on a walking holiday back over to the stunning Lake District in England. We centred our focus on the mountains along Derwentwater and the Newlands Valley. We did the traditional Catbells walk and the views from the top, across the lake are something to behold even on one of the hottest days of the summer.

In the evening it was about relaxation, a walk around Keswick and the short walk out to Friar’s Crag to enjoy the sunset. Over the course of a few days I captured a number of Derwentwater long exposure images, one of the advantages of shooting across the lake from Friar’s Crag is the fact the sun is actually setting behind the camera and so it creates a stunning golden hue across the water and mountains on the other side of the lake.

Derwentwater photography
The golden hue of the sunset gets richer as the sun goes down and I was really quite taken just how long the process took to reach total darkness. Normally I am scrambling to capture my long exposure images in the last of the light as I am used to the light disappearing suddenly whereas on Derwentwater the light fought to remain and reflected beautifully off surrounding the mountains. You can see the tip for Catbells across the lake in both these images. If you haven’t walked Catbells I really do recommend it, the views are stunning in every single direction and it isn’t an overly difficult walk (depending on your level of fitness).

catbells across derwentwater

Swallows and Amazons

During our stay a film crew were working alongside the lake on the next instalment of the brilliant Swallows and Amazons series. It was possible to catch soak up the 1920’s atmosphere in the late evening when filming had ended, this Derwentwater long exposure of the filmset was shot heading back towards Keswick. I was using my trusty Lee filters together with my Fujifilm X100T camera, as well as using the ‘Little Stopper’ I doubled up with an ND6 hard graduated in an attempt to tone down the bright sky.

Swallows and Amazons Keswick

One aspect of the lakes the photos don’t actually capture is the suffering I endured to capture these images. Fair skins seems to be a feasting ground to the midges that swarmed on the surface of the lake in the late evening heat. I tried a number of insect repellent with little success so my arms are a map of scars as I sat still to capture these 30 second long exposure images of Derwentwater; but it was worth it every night!

long exposure images of derwentwater

We enjoyed four days of stunning weather but I do wonder if great weather creates the best landscape photography as I think you lose a bit of drama from the sky when it is almost cloudless, I think the only way to really know is to revisit the area again in the winter!

How to Capture Long Exposure Images


Capturing long exposure images is one of the most relaxing photography processes, it forces you to slow down and really take in the view.

As most of my long exposure captures are long for 30 seconds so there is time to really look around for opportunities, whether it be interesting foreground content to just the mountain range in the distance.

If you want are interested in learning how to capture this type of long exposure image then check out ‘The Long Exposure Book‘.

This 33 page guide takes you step by step through using your camera in manual mode, using ND filters and how to time your long exposure captures for optimum exposure.

The book also comes with a series of tips and tricks to enhance your Long exposure images in Adobe Lightroom as well as a number of dedicated presets.

Once you know how to capture long exposure images it is a relaxing way to spend the late evening while the family paddle at the edge of the lake.

The trip back over to the Lake District was inspired by the ‘Freedom Through Photography‘ Project with Millican and Fujifilm a number of years ago. A whistle-stop landscape photography trip over a weekend had me hooked and longing to get back to Barrowdale and Buttermere. Expect a post about my Newlands valley experience in the upcoming weeks.


Freedom Through Photography
The X100T Review
The Long Exposure eBook