Pic of the week – Cathedral Quarry, Lake District

Cathedral Quarry in Little Langdale is a stunning manmade cave. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Lake District. We went here on my last walk before I was given the news that I had to stop hiking to save my sore foot. I really hope I can go back one day.

The tough thing about this cavern is doing it justice in a photo. It’s very dark, but the openings are large and very bright. It’s too far from the car park for me to carry a tripod so I don’t think I would attempt an HDR shot. At times like this I feel it’s probably worth abandoning technical perfection. Instead just try to capture the feeling of the place. There’s no denying that the feeling of the place was of light shining into darkness.

I’m going to edit this photo a few different ways in a forthcoming blog post, to show what happens in Lightroom when you try to achieve the same thing in different ways. Subscribe to this blog by email (in the sidebar) so you don’t miss it!

Pic of the week - Cathedral Quarry in the Lake District. This manmade cave is vast and impressive. It's also hard to photograph the high contrast light and shadow.

If you are looking at this on a decent size screen you will see it is a bit soft. It’s actually mostly NOT motion blur from being handheld in the dark. In fact most of the apparent softness has been introduced through hard and excessive processing. I did shoot RAW but with the smaller camera I take hiking the sensor just is very small. That means the RAW file isn’t big and doesn’t give as much information to work with as I would get with my DSLR. I think the solution is probably to stick with the smaller camera (which is fab), get help to carry my tripod and use a very low ISO and slow shutter speed. If I’m choosing between handheld DSLR or the Sony RX100M3 on a tripod, I would take the Sony and tripod.

On the other hand, if – like most people – you are looking at this image on a phone, it will look fine! It will give you a good idea of the impressive size of this cavern. I would love to get a better photo of Cathedral Quarry. A good shot would be nice to enlarge and hang on the wall.

Have you ever visited this part of the Lake District?



  1. 19th November 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Wow! This cave seems s picturesque and breathtaking, Janet. Is this area good for hiking and when’s the best time of the year to explore it?

  2. 13th November 2017 / 2:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing, will stop by the caves when we are there next

  3. 12th November 2017 / 9:58 pm

    Looks pretty good to me on a big screen. I don’t think I could be bothered with the tripod. I never take mine even out on the farm but then regret it when I’m balancing a camera on my knee, a fence or tree!

    • 13th November 2017 / 11:45 pm

      I do that a lot too. I often have a chunk of fence post in the foreground!

  4. 12th November 2017 / 9:03 pm

    We’ve not been to this cave, after realising the scale of the cave, would love to visit, thanks for sharing the location.

    • 13th November 2017 / 11:44 pm

      Did you see the tiny person in shot? It really is impressive.

  5. 12th November 2017 / 8:02 pm

    We visited some caves in the Peak District this year, and I had similar pictures at the end of it! Looks like a great cave! 🙂 #sundayphoto

    • 13th November 2017 / 11:43 pm

      I’ve never been in a cave in the Peaks, but I’d like to as long as it didn’t feel claustrophobic.

  6. 12th November 2017 / 3:26 pm

    We’re off to the Lake District next year so will try to find this

    Thank you for linking up

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