You’d be forgiven for thinking this site has recently become fixated with the Lake District in general and Blea Tarn in particular. You would be right, as I have felt rather that way since the two weeks I spent up there in November and especially since the morning when I had the place entirely to myself.
That day it all came together – after an hour’s drive I was there for dawn, rolling mists and autumn colours reflected in the tarn’s still surface – and apart from a single dog walker it was all mine, mine, and not another photographer in sight. Funnily enough, once the fog eventually lifted and the breeze picked up, I moved on to nearby Slater’s Bridge and did immediately walk into a pack of 10 photographers with LPS’s John Gravett. John had first introduced me to the tarn’s photographic potential and often takes his guests there, so that morning I’d been a lot luckier than I’d thought. Much as I can be sociable, and know I can remove other photographers afterwards by pretending they’re dust spots, I am more of a lone hunter and it was a rare privilege to have the place all to myself.
Since then I’ve been itching to get back. Each time I go to the tarn I explore two or perhaps three angles, move on after two or three hours, feeling the shot’s in the bag – and then kick myself for not having spent the whole day there. Next time I’ll take sandwiches and try not to heed the Drunken Duck’s siren call calling me for a lunchtime pint.
For a small area, it’s got so many alternative viewpoints and I was struck by Colin S Bell‘s one here – not least that before sunrise he managed to resist the temptation to set up his tripod down by the tarn’s edges. Lots more on his site and Flickr page.