Imitation……the follow up.

A recap.

Readers of this blog may recall a post that I made back in May regarding the Wainwright Society’s Challenge this year “Imitation, the highest form of flattery” which generated a deal of conversation (and support) on social media and via emails and I thank all of you who got in touch. My blog obviously “touched a nerve” with some and I am not petty enough to air their excuses on here but needless to say I stand by my original statements. 

The Wainwrights in Colour project where I spent ten hard years locating every single one of the 1500+ viewpoints that AW featured in the seven Pictorial Guides, taking a photograph from the exact same spot and then producing a watercolour sketch has been received with great acclaim and awards. This is down to the uniqueness and dedication of the whole idea. If anyone would like to follow in my footsteps, fine, but at least have the decency to give me some credit. 

Anyway, an update……

Over the weekend into my posession came a copy of the book of the WS Challenge “Fellwalking with a camera at 30”

Wainwright Society Challenge Book

Every year the WS produces a very limited number of these books which are made available to members. Of course I already knew of the content even though it was nothing to do with the Fellwalking with a Camera book by Wainwright. The photos within were to be taken by members of the society of locations visited by AW when writing the Pictorial Guides, the “challenge” was to stand at approx 80 locations and take the equivalent photograph (sounds familar?). Of course, I was going to look through the book with an eagle eye, and I have done so. It would be easy to be hyper-critical but I won’t, after all these are just fellow fellwalkers setting out on a challenge set by the WS. As it stands I am actually very pleased. The pleasure comes from the fact that only about 30% of the images are of an accuracy to have passed for inclusion in my Wainwrights in Colour project, many are close but not sufficiently close enough to act as direct comparisons. One or two in fact are not even from the correct fell. Hopefully this will have given participants and readers of the book a better appreciation of just how demanding it was for me to get all 1500 photographs and why it took the ten years of walking the Lakeland Fells, getting frustrated by the weather and light to mean that many locations took several visits before I obtained a decent quality image. 

Perhaps I should be grateful to the WS for trying to emulate what I have done and highlighting just how difficult the whole project was. Some acknowledgement though would have gone a long way.

If you would like to get more of an insight into just how difficult the real “challenge” was why not come along to one of my talks in 2019? I will shortly be updating the events page where details will be posted.

In the meantime, copies are still available of The Wainwrights in Colour here





  1. Andy – leave it be. No-one cares how hard it was.

    You come across as someone who thinks they have a divine right to a particular way of doing things – you don’t.

    Move on.


    PS – you cannot spell acclaim – just a small point.

    • Hi Bert,
      Many thanks for not only taking time to read the blog, commenting and correcting me on my grammatical error, I have now amended the offending spelling mistake.
      Judging by the reviews and comments (and awards) that I have had there are plenty of folk out there who actually are interested in how difficult it was to achieve this task over ten years.
      As for coming “across as someone who thinks they have a divine right to a particular way of doing things”, I suppose it depends on how you have interpreted the message of my posts, I came up with a unique idea which has not been done before and is unlikley to be done again. I respect your opinion and I doubt if I will not even try to change it, whoever you are 😉

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