We kicked off the day with tea and coffee (and biscuits) in the comfort of the Fox and Hounds at West Burton and had a chat about landscape photography in general and the day ahead. Everyone was delighted with the weather, as it was a mild and sunny autumnal day which was perfect for the walk across the fields towards Aysgarth Falls. At the top of the hill Aysgarth church looked particularly fine in the morning light so we stopped to photograph it and get everyone familiar with working with depth of field and using the histogram on the back of the camera to check exposure.
We headed to Lower Aysgarth Falls first and out on the rocky riverbed to get some close-up studies of the multiple cascades of the River Ure tumbling along Wensleydale. The bright sunlight made wider views of the falls difficult to expose well, but some areas of open shade provided a lovely soft even light which was great for photographing abstract details of the waterfall and experimenting with shutter speeds to get the desired effect, with some members of the group preferring lengthy shutter speeds to get maximum blur and others wanting to maximise detail in the water with a medium shutter speed but still capturing some movement.
Up at Upper Aysgarth Falls we had a well-earned lunch stop followed by photography of the Upper Falls. Again, the bright sun caused some problems but a well placed hat made a great lens shade to avoid that nasty lens flare! The Upper Falls looked lovely in the shade, and upstream there were reflections in the stiller water of the first tinges of autumn colour in the trees along the riverbank. From here we made our way along the river, stopping for a quick look at some rapids further downstream below the Lower Falls and headed back across fields toward West Burton, stopping on the way to photograph barns, backlit trees and thistles and the odd piece of old farm machinery.
We arrived back at West Burton Falls with a good three-quarters of an hour before sunset and the shady area around the falls and along Walden Beck provided a multitude of subjects to inspire the group. The fading light provided the opportunity to work with some very long exposures. As the sun set and the temperature dropped it was time to retire to the warmth of the Fox and Hounds for a quick drink and discussion of the days photography. It was certainly a successful day, judging by some the the excellent results we were able to work with in the post-processing session the following afternoon!