Mistakes at Sycamore Gap – Hadrian’s Wall

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Saturday  we went to view the Iconic Sycamore Tree as seen in many movies and TV documentaries. The tree is best known for appearing in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner. I had wanted to see it for years, but it had always been to far away, since our move to the borders it’s now just an hour down the road.

I must confess in making 2 stupid mistakes on this trip, first I just glanced at the map without grasping the type of landscape I would be walking on. Secondly I put all my faith in the Google Phone to be able to take the picture I had long wanted to take then I got to the tree. I had read the Sycamore was just a 15 minute walk from the ‘Once Brewed’ car park which sounded easy, until I got there and realised the path went up and down steep hills. The path which has been created brilliantly using large stones (no doubt to counter erosion from all the visitors) were wet and smooth, so T* and I needed to stay very focused on the walk, otherwise I new one of us was going to end up on our arse.

When I finally got to the tree, for the first time in my life I must confessed to feeling my age, while I may still think I’m 25, my body knows differently. Sadly my wife who has Sarcoidosis was not able to get to see the tree, but did make it half the way and enjoyed the views and peace from there.

Not taking one of my ‘proper’ cameras to the tree was foolish, as the google phone simply failed to get me the image I wanted. I’m sure not having a tripod didn’t help but the panoramas taken by the phone were very poor, as were the normal images. They were still great by phone standards, I expected to much in poor weather and was duly let down. Hence why the image for this post is black and white as it helps to mask some of the inconsistencies.

Lesson learned
My conclusion from the trip is we have not reached the time yet where the phone can truly replace a camera in all situations, this may seem a obvious statement to most photographers, but over the years I made many leaps of faith with technology and met with success. I dumped all my film cameras and brought into digital when all my colleagues were still adamant digital would never catch on. I guess it was wishful thinking to believe the time was here yet where I could always leave my bulky digital SLR cameras at home, I won’t make that mistake again.