Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

Blue Lake

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 27 February 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

A long exposure night photo of Grasmere in the English Lake District.

I've decided to have another go at the 'Cool Photoblogs' annual competition this year so I'd appreciate a vote from any of you who like my blog and who feel up to going through the registration process:

NIKON D40 30 seconds F/8.0 ISO 200 24 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

How about that blue -- pow! Hits you right in the soul. Beautiful.

27 Feb 2009 6:43am

@GJC: Thanks was a lovely surprise when I saw this appear on the camera's LCD screen and the only post processing i needed to do was to straighten and center the horizon.

Ryo from BSB, Brunei Darussalam

Amazing photo...

27 Feb 2009 6:59am

@Ryo: Thanks Ryo!

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

It almost looks like a painting. Centralising the mirror image would have gone against my better judgement had I have been composing the photo but it clearly works. Another exemplary shot.

27 Feb 2009 7:42am

@Mike: Thanks Mike!....I wanted to emphasise the mirror like reflection in the water.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Stunning, like Heavenly Blue :)

27 Feb 2009 8:22am

@Lorraine: Thanks Lorraine....this photo is largely unprocessed - it's amazing sometimes the colours that cameras produce at night. I would never have dared to go this blue if I'd been doing it in photoshop yet it works doesn't it.

jkjond from Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom

There's no denying the lure of the inky blue. I find it interesting how the saturation looks totally OTT at small thumbnail size, but at full res it draws you in.

27 Feb 2009 8:38am

@jkjond: Hi John - yes, I know just what you mean about the thumbnail version being OTT yet it works as a larger version. I do also like that more subtle version that you took of this scene with your D300: I guess your version must have been taken a little earlier as there are fewer spots of artificial lighting showing.

Stu from Kyoto, Japan

The symmetry and color are so perfect it's almost like an abstract. The mist and mirror-smooth lake add to the ambiance. Stellar work from you on a daily basis Ian.

27 Feb 2009 9:00am

@Stu: Thanks Stu....I was on a bit of a roll with this series of photos from the Lake District. It's something that is easy to forget but you can't beat a great location and interesting light when you are out with your camera.

Marie LC from France, France

Symphony in blue ! *****

27 Feb 2009 9:02am

@Marie LC: Thanks Marie!

Frida from Sweden

I can only agree with Marie, it's a symphony of blues with small golden lights from the houses nearby.

27 Feb 2009 9:48am

@Frida: Thanks very much Frida!

kaneli from palma, Spain

Hi Ian!it's been a long time since last visit...
This is a perfectly executed calming scene. cheers Tomeu.
Good Luck!

27 Feb 2009 10:33am

@kaneli: Thanks for the visit Tomeu!

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

WOW - amazing colours - just amazing!

27 Feb 2009 10:51am

@Scene by Sharon Photography: Hi Sharon....thanks very much!

paulski from Muncie, IN, United States

beautiful shot, ian; the tones are stunning...

27 Feb 2009 11:37am

@paulski: Thanks for that Paulski!

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Wow, Ian. You are definitely showing off again. This is a really great study in blue.

27 Feb 2009 1:20pm

@Viewfinder: Thanks very much Glenn!....I'm pleased to report that in this case it's the camera that did well as I had little involvement in processing apart from straightening the horizon a touch and trimming it so was symmetrical top to bottom. I was frankly amazed at the blue that Nikon's auto white balance decided on here but I'm not about to complain :-)

IanSmith from London, United Kingdom

Beautiful Ian! Simply beautiful.

27 Feb 2009 1:28pm

@IanSmith: Thanks very much Ian...I'm very pleased with this one!

Betsy Barron from Chester Springs, PA, United States

I love the mood here - ethereal

27 Feb 2009 1:29pm

@Betsy Barron: Thanks Betsy.....this part of England is extremely beautiful.

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

5 stars from me!

27 Feb 2009 2:09pm

@Eleftheria: Thanks very much Eletheria....that's very kind of you!

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

like a dream in blue ! wonderful ! especially without post-processing !

27 Feb 2009 2:37pm

@Anna.C: Thanks Anna....yes, sometimes even I get lucky that way :-)

Paolo from Udine, Italy

Given that it was taken at the end of the day, I hope it's not the last of the series to be posted ;-) really beautiful

27 Feb 2009 3:12pm

@Paolo: Thanks, I took lots of photos during the day that I spent photographing in the Lake District with John Leech ( ) and there's still quite a few I want to share yet.

Rui from Leiria, Portugal

I'm a little bit suspicious, 'cause I love night shots... but this one is truly fantastic. A phenomenal palette of blues. What amazes me is the exposure time... just 30 seconds? At what time did you take it? Dis you have any lights in the background (besides those orange lights), that could "pull" the luminosity? Did you have any moon light? There are some basic rules for night shots (exposure time and aperture) but none of them seem to apply here, at least with this Exif information.
Sorry for all these questions, but I'm also exploring the night exposure techniques, and it's always good to learn with someone that knows!
Thanks Ian.

27 Feb 2009 3:27pm

@Rui: Hi Rui!....I suspect suspicious may not be the word you were looking for - how about puzzled?

I'm not too sure if you are puzzled that the exposure seems too short or too long? As for myself I've been experimenting with night photography for about a year now and I was a liitle surprised that it took as long as 30 seconds as it was taken at dusk or perhaps just a little later.

I was photographing this scene with another photographer called John Leech who took his own version of this a few minutes earlier than me. You can see his photo here: He used a Nikon D300 with Sigma 10-20 lens. Mine was with a Nikon D40 and Nikon 16-85VR lens.

You can tell it's just a little earlier than my shot as there are fewer articial lights on in the village on the other side of the lake. His exposure was 4 seconds at F10 and iso 200 whereas mine was 30 seconds at f8 and iso 200.

This photo here that I posted a few days ago was taken 50 minutes later when it was full night and I needed a much longer exposure of 10 minutes at f8 and iso 200

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Ian, this is simply amazing... Such tone, mirror like reflection and serenity, who won't be moved to feel and dream?! Compared with the one you posted earlier, love this even more for its purity and simplicity!

27 Feb 2009 3:33pm

@hugo poon: Thanks very much Hugo! was one of those nice lucky breaks we all get from time to time if we keep pressing the shutter button in enough beautiful places like this one.

Hoshisato from Ealing, United Kingdom

Beautiful colours and reflections!

27 Feb 2009 4:14pm

@Hoshisato: Thanks very much Hoshisato!

Cheryl from Texas, United States

nice reflections and colour! makes me feel a bit "blue"!!

27 Feb 2009 4:18pm

@Cheryl: Thanks Cheryl....I was waiting for someone to come out with that one :-)

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Wow...I am sure Dulux would like to get that in a tin!

27 Feb 2009 5:05pm

@Ted: Thanks Ted!....amazing colour isn't it!

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Exquisite. Can't explain why but this reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe.

27 Feb 2009 8:25pm

@Suzanne: Thanks's been a long time since I looked at Georgia O'Keefe's photos so I'll have a look at it again to see if I get what you mean.

Edit....I've had a look and I do see what you mean now. Although it's not really what I had in mind when I took my photo it did occur to me that it had similarities to the Rorschach test ink blots that used to be used for pyschological testing.....even after that though I did'nt see in mine what is obvious to any adult in some of O'Keefes photo.....there's one of hers I saw in Google's image search which was in a very similar shade of blue but oriented 90 degrees differently to this:

Jen from Alpharetta, United States

Beautiful Beautiful blues...calm and tranquil!

27 Feb 2009 9:02pm

@Jen: Thanks Jen!

613photo from Dallas, United States

Gorgeous scene. Really, really good work here.

28 Feb 2009 1:45am

Free ads from Toronto, Canada

I really like the blue color degrade, wel done.

28 Feb 2009 3:42am

John Leech from Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom

Weehee, my workround worked! I can comment as me on here using Safari.

My camera is about 20 seconds slow GMT. The shot I took at this location was taken at 2009:02:14 17:25:59 - it would be interesting to know the time correction on your version to see how much later it was. I'd bet it was within 5 mins. Mine was taken during that bit of rain.

28 Feb 2009 6:23pm

@John Leech: John, I've checked the timing and, allowing for the fact that the clock on my camera was 5 minutes out, my photo was taken about 20 minutes after your version.

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

oh i love the smoothness, emptiness, simplicity, enchanting blue tone and the symmetry that you have conveyed here - brilliant work!

1 Mar 2009 3:58am

Olivier Jules from Lanciano, Italy

amazing shot!

1 Mar 2009 1:53pm

Daryl from Amagasaki, Japan

A near-abstract shot, great blue tones / forms.

1 Mar 2009 2:38pm

c o n f l a g r a t i o from Valencia, Spain

blue lake and sky, and mountains and reflections... a blue universe. Deep. Surreal. Great!

1 Mar 2009 7:37pm

Magda from Canada


3 Mar 2009 4:08am

amy from Nanaimo, BC, Canada


3 Mar 2009 4:36am

Dave Carrington from Blackpool, United Kingdom

Superb tonal recession in this shot, Ian. I've just spent a while trawling through your archive & very impressive it is too! ;-D

3 Mar 2009 2:48pm

dabbler from Minneapolis, United States

stunning - very calming

6 Oct 2009 12:23am

30 seconds
ISO 200
24 mm (35mm equiv.)