Somehow Sunday mornings never give us a lie in – body clocks are strange things and with 5.30am starts the rest of the week we are both wide awake and ready to go very, very early! We’ve taken to rising and breakfasting early and then taking the cameras out to catch sunrises, misty mornings and peace and quiet at usually busy spots. As we move towards summer (this sounds so wrong when the weather is still so cold!) the sun is rising just a little bit too early for us - so where to go?
This week we had some new camera kit to try including a Fujinon XF 10-24mm‘ landscape’ lens. What would be a perfect spot to try the landscape lens – somewhere high up? That’s what we thought!
So time to take a 20 minute drive up to a landmark which is visible from most of Greater Manchester and provides much of the area with television and radio signals and now includes mobile phone masts – the Winter Hill transmitting station. Lancashire constabulary was one of the first to use the site for a base station and it is rumoured that they even built the road! It is a very narrow road but still has a white line separating it into two lanes! We both found it hard to believe you could actually fit two cars on it!
First mistake of the morning was looking at the weather, but not actually looking what the forecast was! Glorious sunshine, beautiful blue skies, but an icy chilly wind which cut right through you - especially anyone stupid enough to have left their hats and gloves at home (didn’t someone say it was Spring now?!). Second mistake was blindly following the SATNAV to try a new parking place – as is the case with SATNAV’s off we went on the ‘quickest’ route up a tiny single track road which appeared at one point to go through someones drive!
We finally made it to the ‘summit’ just after 8am and what a view! It was mostly clear skies with just small pockets of hazy mist, with views from Southport to Wigan to Liverpool to Manchester to Bolton plus everywhere in between. You could see the wind farm at Formby, Fiddlers Ferry cooling towers, the Irish Sea, Blackpool Tower, the DW Stadium in Wigan and the Macron Stadium in Bolton plus shrouded in hazy mist the ‘city’ skyline of Manchester.
Two hours later, when we could barely move our fingers they were so cold, we had memory cards full of new images, and had done our exercise for the day and all before 10am! The route we chose was a steep climb up but we were passed by many a runner and cyclist making their way to the summit and some very enthusiastic dogs!
The landscape lens took some getting used to but we did both improve. It offers a very strange view – it is almost like what you see with your eyes expands through the lens, we seem to have mastered finding the water bottle left behind by someone in the grass and even our own shadows but we did take some photos that really love and were treated to spectacular views.
Life and other