I started writing this post after I got up yesterday morning, settling in to my second mug of coffee, with the intention of doing a shoot with a lovely model from Manchester. Then as the evening progressed I decided to start over.
The weather reports over the last few days hadn’t been looking great, so both the model and I knew well in advance that there was a chance that the game could be called on account of rain. That’s pretty much what happened. Even as late as 9:30 the morning of the shoot, the weather reports said the heavens would open up at around 11am and not stop pouring until about 5 or 6pm. So, we called it off to reschedule it for another day. This turned out to be a mistake, as you’ll see later.
As I’d already arranged an assistant for the day, the two of us decided to still go out anyway and just do some location scouting. Even if it’s raining, shooting with my iPhone isn’t a big deal (I use my iPhone when location scouting so I get GPS tagged photos that I can map out when I get back home).
We decided to head up near Coniston Water, as I’d seen a couple of spots there last weekend that I wanted to explore further. On the way up we drove through some rain, literally – we could see it raining ahead of us, we hit it, and 30 seconds later we could see it still falling in the rear view mirror.
Once we arrived near Coniston, we accidentally took a wrong turn, which turned out to be a good one, as I noticed a little stream off to the side of the road shortly after we’d realised our mistake (this is why I scout with the iPhone, it’s easy to get lost on some of these country roads). Not really expecting it to turn out to be much, we parked up and checked it out anyway. It went on for about half a mile, containing some of the clearest water I’ve seen around here, with little waterfalls varying from about 18″ to 6ft every 50ft or so along the half mile-ish stretch (and I do like my waterfalls).
The sky was still somewhat great, but it was bright enough to get some decent shots showing the general area – all shot on the iPhone 4s.
10 minutes later we were off. Couple of little spots of wet hitting the face hinting at a downpour. We waited, nope, nothing. The rain continued to hold off.
Back in the car we go, turn around and head back in our original direction, and we make it down to the lake. Despite the distinct lack of rain, it was still rather dull and boring, and there were quite a few die-hards getting ready to send their various boats and kayaks into the water, so I grabbed one shot (GPS tagging!), with the intention of returning on a better day, and left.
Upon heading back to the car park and preparing to leave, we confronted with the image you see above right. Decision made (we do that), that was going to be our next spot to check out (we saw what we thought was a stream of water flowing down, and I wanted to know where it was coming from – it didn’t look THAT high).
After driving up to it, and around it, trying to find a way to get close-ish, we turned the corner, saw another mountain, and decided to head for that one instead. And boy, am I glad we did!
After finding a spot to park, we had a little wander around, found another stream, took a few shots of that, then got to the base of a mountain – which had a very handy set of stone steps leading up the initial tricky climb, and leading to a path, of sorts.
Turns out this mountain was an old slate quarry, no longer in use. Was pretty cool to make our way inside there, with walls at least 50ft high, we were fairly sheltered from the wind, and barely felt a mild breeze.
I’ve saved this until the end, but on our way in, we ran across a path, which led to something I’ve been seeking for a long time. A cave! Well, sort of, it only goes back about 20ft into the rock, but the light falls off so rapidly, it looks like it could go on forever. Absolutely perfect for an idea that’s been floating around in my head for a couple of years.
After this, it was time to head home, just as the sun was really starting to shine.
The moral of the story? Well, there’s two.
1) If you have to cancel a shoot, don’t waste the day. Get out there and do something useful and productive, even if it’s just driving around and scouting out new areas to determine if there’s any locations worth shooting at. You may be surprised by what you find!
2) Try not to cancel unless you absolutely, really, positively have to. The weather guys in this country seem to get it wrong more often than not these days. What was supposed to be a thundery, rainy, storm-packed day turned out to be rather lovely and could’ve made for some fantastic photographs.