Blea Tarn

During my recent visit to The Lake District I visited Blea Tarn nestled between Great Langdale and Little Langdale roughly 6 miles north west of Ambleside.

Blea Tarn has a dramatic Langdale pikes as a backdrop, it is one of the most popular spots to photograph. This is partly due to its ease of access as it is a short walk from its own convenient car park and also due to its location as views look like they were taken from high up in the Cumbrian mountains.  Although it is a popular spot it offered many different photo opportunities. The Tarn is best visited before sunrise or sunset as that’s when the best light reaches the valley.


  • Nikon D600
  • Nikon 16 x 35mm wide angle lens
  • Manfrotto tripod
  • Lee filters, Lee Circular Polariser
  • Remote release cable

The Shot:
Initially I opted for a less photographed view and explored the wooded west bank of the Tarn,  unfortunately it was late on in the evening and  the light was quickly fading as the surrounding mountains started to cast shadows over this area. Luckily the small fence jutting into the water was still lit well and offered a great lead in line towards Langdale Pikes still catching the evening glow nicely. I quickly re positioned myself and worked the area. Eventually I found myself knee high in the water attempting to cut out most of the fence and also use it as a lead in line towards the mountains ahead. I opted to use the Lee circular polariser to cut down the glare off the water and also the Lee little Stopper as I was hoping to capture a long exposure. Although the shot had great light and colour I felt that the new fence was too bright as the support poles were bright red and distracting to the eye. I’m sure you will agree that the shot suited a mono conversion and becomes much more dramatic along with toning down the unsightly red support poles.