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Climbing to Darden Lough

Heather clad slopes of the hills near Darden Lough, the Northumberland National Park

Each season has its own rewards and challenges. The benefits of winter are late-morning starts (a luxury for a landscape photographer!), the excitement of snow and ice, and the thought of returning home to a hot bath, a bowl of soup and the satisfaction of a job well done. The drawback is a world with a subdued colour palette of blues and browns. Apart from people dressed in winter woollens there are very few vibrant reds or purples in a typical winter landscape.

The exact opposite is true of summer. The downside is the potential for a very early start to catch the sunrise, but this is more than compensated for by countryside resplendent in a coat of many colours.

In summer the northern end of the Northumberland National Park is astonishingly attractive, particularly when the heather is in full bloom and there is purple as far as the eye can see. This shot of moorland near Darden Lough is a favourite of mine, partly because it was created at sunset, so I wasn’t too grouchy from getting out of bed early, but mainly because it is so vibrant and colourful. Even the rocks in the foreground are glowing in the warm light of late evening, the golden yellows harmonising with the purple and green of the surrounding vegetation.

It was a good night to be out with a camera, and despite getting wet minutes later in a sudden rain shower, I walked back to the car whistling a happy tune. I also began to idly wonder what this scene would look like in the snow and what kind of soup it would be good to get home to.