Ashness Jetty, Derwentwater


After a long Christmas break and the dark days of winter, cabin fever soon sets in! A road trip to the Lake District was in order with Stephen Tierney. The weather forecast looked promising but the grey misty skies of home said otherwise. Driving over the top of the Pennines, the sun was soon out and the day awaited.

We started out at Ashness Jetty on the shores of Derwentwater at Barrow Bay. This is a very famous scene and one that has been photographed many times over but why let that spoil the fun.

As it was mid-afternoon I opted to go for a long exposure to smooth out the lake. Most of the interesting horizon was off to the edges of the view so I captured a three-shot panorama with the sun streaking in from the left.

The Shots

Ashness Jetty, DerwentwaterAshness Jetty, Derwentwater


From Ashness Jetty, a road runs inland into the hills, taking this road there’s another well photographed landmark, Ashness Bridge.

Winter at Ashness Bridge, Derwentwater in the Lake District.
Winter at Ashness Bridge, Derwentwater in the Lake District.

Continuing up the road there’s also Surprise View which has a great vantage point across Derwentwater and Catbells in the distance. The road up is somewhat narrow with ancient trees and boulders lining the way. The road lazily zigzags around them before finally ending at the little hamlet of Watendlath nestled between Borrowdale and Thirlmere valleys. There is a small tarn that feeds into Lodore Falls down below.

The Technique

I setup my tripod and centered it on the jetty. For panorama shots I always shoot in portrait. I focused my shot using Live View and then switched the focus to manual. I then attached a LEE Big Stopper followed by a 0.9 ND Hard Grad. Switching the camera into Bulb mode I then aligned the hard grad filter with the horizon using Live View. I then proceeded to take three 1 minute 20 exposures, the first capturing the left-side of the scene, the second the centre and the third the right whilst ensuring plenty of overlap between each photo. The overlap is essential to ensure the panorama will stitch together nicely.


The images were then stitched together in Photoshop using the Photomerge function, cropped and processed as usual.

A full guide on creating Panoramas can be found here


The Location

Keswick, CA12 5UN

Parking is a mix of free and pay and display but the majority is pay and display so take some change!

Ashness Jetty is marked as ‘Near Pier’ on the map at the start of the road to Ashness Bridge.

5 thoughts to “Derwentwater”

  1. Super shots Steve i am new to photography two years,i love the fact that you share how you took them,where you took them even the postcodes,this is so helpful for someone like me, you give me something to aim for.

  2. Steven
    Thanks for the technique info. Had already viewed the jetty panoramic on Flickr and love it.
    Do have a couple of questions. As it’s a long exposure with big stopper how do you align your shots to ensure overlap as I image you can’t see the scene once the big stopper is in place.
    Also I’m assuming once you have focused and switched to manual you leave that focus set even when recompiling for the three shots.
    Appreciate any advice as I’m a bit unclear.

    1. Hi Mick,
      Thanks for the kind comments, if you put your camera in Bulb mode and Live view the viewfinder should still give you something visible but it’s mainly just a case of looking at the camera angle, guess work and double checking the capture afterwards in all honesty!

      Yes, with the focus I set it once at 1/3 in to the shot and then locked it to manual but with a panorama I do sometimes refocus for each of the individual shots as you can sometimes get a better result by re-focusing as distances vary across the scene and also the points of interest may be different on the edges from that in the centre. This photo was an example of a panorama where I re-focused as I moved across the image (keeping the bridge in hopefully sharp focus)

      Still hoping we can get together for some photography sometime!


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