176 Not Out

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I’ve recently completed my 176th Wainwright fell with only 38 left to complete. This photo was taken in February 2018 on my way up to High Raise and Sergeant Man from Stonethwaite. The Solway Firth, Bassenthwaite Lake, Skiddaw and Keswick can be seen in the distance.

I had a successful winter walking from both Stonethwaite and Seathwaite which are great jumping-off points for a number of superb fells. Only had one mishap when falling off the side of Glaramara during a steep decent in wet weather. Luckily I did not fall far but had a sore back for a few days.

All going well, I should complete the Wainwrights this year. I’m then hoping to trek in the foothills of the Himalaya. The trek that really appeals to me is a two week hike which includes spectacular views of Everest in the distance along with visits and accommodation at a number of the monasteries. The tranquility and photographic opportunities will be incredible.

I’ve been thinking about taking a medium format film camera with me but I’m now considering taking a digital SLR. I just hope I can find a socket for the battery charger!!

© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

Milecastle 39 & Sycamore Gap

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More photos from Hadrian’s Wall in winter. Milecastle 39 and Sycamore Gap are visited by large numbers of people but on this particular day there was only a handful of us out walking. Hadrian’s Wall has an abundance of incredible locations that are well worth visiting. The landscape it occupies never fails to take my breath away.

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© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

LS Lowry

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Visited a number of LS Lowry locations recently. Some are very close to home as Lowry frequently visited the Lakes with his good friend Sheila Fell, a local artist. These two photos are from the Manchester area. He made several paintings and drawings of St Augustine’s Church, Pendlebury. One of the paintings can be seen here: St Augustine’s Church

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In 1942 Lowry was appointed a war artist. He produced a painting of Mather and Platt Park Works, part of which was laid out as a gun factory during the Second World War. A fascinating place to explore, a security guard kept a close eye on me while I was having a look round. Fortunately I wasn’t asked to move on. The painting can be seen here: Going to Work

Information regarding Lowry locations in the Manchester area can be found in the excellent book ‘Lowry’s City’ (Judith Sandling and Mike Leber – Lowry Press). One of my favourite books, a used copy costs only a few pounds. More information can be found here: Lowry’s City

© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

BRRR! Winter Trees at Walltown Crags

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Last week I visited a number of sites along Hadrian’s Wall, Walltown Crags being a particular favourite. Pretty much had the place to myself, meeting only one other person out in the landscape.

Looking very much like Ents from Lord of the Rings, the trees in the photo below have a fluidity and motion about them, in my mind they almost seem to be dancing with one another.

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The last two photographs are located on the drive out from Carlisle. There’s a lay-by opposite with a short walk up to the copse. Surprisingly, no one had paid these trees a visit, my footprints being the only ones left in the snow.

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© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

Caroline and Toby

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In recent months I’ve begun to collect photographs from the Great War. One subject I’m concentrating on is portraits of soldiers with their horses. Above is Corporal Winder with Toby and below Gunner Griffiths with Caroline.

Many of these photographs do not come with information about the soldier or horse so I particularly like these two. Corporal Winder served with the 17th Lancers on the Western Front and Gunner Griffiths served with the Royal Artillery.

These portraits fascinate me. I find it remarkable they’re still with us, truly indicating how precious a photograph is and its lasting impact on successive generations.

More than 1 million horses and mules served with the British Army during the Great War. Mainly used as cavalry in the initial stages of the war horses became increasingly required for artillery and logistical support. To keep up with demand, horses were sourced from Australia, Argentina, America and Canada as well as being bought from British citizens. As a result of quarantine restrictions only one Australian horse named Sandy ever returned home.

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© 2018

Panoramic Carlisle

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Panoramic photos from Carlisle made with a Fujifilm GX617 medium format film camera and Ilford Delta 100/Ilford FP4 roll film. This new project will be shot entirely in panoramic format, hopefully followed with an exhibition in Carlisle at some point.

Superb examples of panoramic photography can be found in Josef Sudek’s book Praha Panoramatická. First published in 1959 it has page after page of incredibly beautiful images of Prague. It is one of my favourite photo books. A short video (from Christies) regarding Josef Sudek and his work can be found here: Josef Sudek

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© Simon Howlett 2017. All rights reserved

Skiddaw & Blencathra Reflections

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The fells Skiddaw and Blencathra reflected in Derwent Water from Manesty in the first photo and Tewet Tarn in the second. I’ve visited these locations many times over the years in all sorts of weather conditions. On these two dawn visits it was a pleasure to experience the tranquil surroundings, the only sound at Manesty being geese in flight over the lake. The cow coming to the tarn for water on the right of the photo below was a real bonus – serendipity and choreography combined for a few fleeting minutes!

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© Simon Howlett 2017. All rights reserved