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I noticed the thunderclouds starting to gather earlier in the morning and wondered which nearby location to photograph with dramatic clouds as a backdrop. I have often photographed this part of Hadrian’s Wall because of the snaking wall leading to the trees above Housestead’s Fort. A short drive of less than twenty miles followed by a pleasant walk up a short stretch of the Pennine Way got me into place but the sun was shining brightly not my hoped for brooding storm clouds. Getting in place I took a few images before deciding that a panorama would produce a better image so vertical placement and 5 images at 36mm with lots of overlap.
After a couple of sunny images I noticed that the atmosphere was changing and rumblings of thunder told me of the approaching storm. I had to shelter beside the Roman wall as torrential rain lashed down but a large umbrella and Gore-tex kept me dry. I tried to photograph during one of the downpours but the images were spoiled by excessive raindrops that are difficult to eradicate. I waited for over an hour for the light to satisfy me. This image was taken during a hailstorm with me standing under an umbrella trying to keep the front element free of marks and wondering how sensible it was to be standing on a hill holding a carbon fibre umbrella above my head. Careful viewing will show you the streaks of hail which has softened the image. I stayed and watched more storms pass by before finishing photography here and walking along the wall to Sycamore gap for some exercise.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor