Must Lake District Photos be in Colour?

by David Murray on 26 February 2009

in Lakes, Northern England, Photographs

I’m old enough to remember when colour photographs, either Lake District photos or any others, were rare. Nearly all of us had black and white film in our cameras, and such colour photos as there were tended to have very poor colour quality.

Then along came affordable good quality colour film. Like many others I moved over from prints to 35mm slides. It saved printing cost and you could project them onto a screen or wall to show to family and friends. Only much later did I revert to printed photos, but somehow I never felt that my colour prints had quite the same character as the old black and white.

Recently I’ve been examining the Francis Frith archive and have been delighted to find some excellent photos. These are not only the street scenes of towns and villages for which the archive is possibly best known, but also lake and mountain views.

The above photograph of Ullswater, taken in 1888, is one example of the wealth of photographic Lake District beauty available on the Frith site. The Crummock Water scene below is another. I’m currently collecting a set of my favourites for display on a new lake district photos site. Meanwhile I’ve created a few pages of vintage photos at

I think it will be clear by now that my own answer to the question in the title, “Must Lake District Photos be in Colour?” is a resounding “No!”

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