It was with the greatest regret that we had to cancel the very first workshop of 2013 to Aysgarth due to what could only be described as a huge amount of snow. It was the end of March and could not have been predicted, however we were able to reschedule for the weekend just gone (13th April) and it started very well, in fact it seemed spring was truly in the air.
The group met at the Fox and Hounds pub in West burton for the kick starting teas and coffees over a general chat about photography and the day ahead before setting out towards Aysgarth. The first photography stop was at the church to learn a bit about depth of field and tri pod work. With the cloudy sky you had to wait for the light to change and be ready for when it did.
We left the church and made our way down to lower Aysgarth Falls. The river was still fairly full but not as raging as I have seen many times before, so this made for a very nice subject. This was a good place to get used to movement in a subject and seeing how much time is needed to record the rushing water. Again the sun kept coming out from behind the clouds, which caused blinding reflections, so we had to wait for the nice flat light to then capture the waterfalls.
As we were fast approaching lunch we headed for the Upper Aysgarth Falls and the picnic spot before getting back to the job at hand. The clouds were starting to really build up so this was perfect for the wide falls and nice diffused light. The foliage on the opposite bank was very dark with little color in it so the group found interesting patterns made by the falling water and focused in.
Making our way down the River Ure we noticed that the snow on the far hills made for a nice subject and we found a lovely barn just beyond a red gate, making for a good composition and perhaps some black and white images. A bit of a detour but well worth a look.
After a last look at the river and the rapids below the Lower Falls we made our back across the fields towards West Burton stopping at the filed barns. The light was very flat here and the forecast rains were beginning a little earlier than expected. However inside the doors of one of the barns is some machinery, which makes for an interesting subject in itself and the moss and lichen on the stonewalls again made for some interesting detailed shots.
As the rain wasn’t looking like it was going to stop we headed back to West Burton to finish at one of the days highlights, Cauldron Force. This is an excellent waterfall to photograph and use all the skills learnt from the day, as there is so much more than just the waterfall. The bridge at the far end is really interesting and the we found that the water was at such a level that it produced some amazing ripples over the rocks, some that I had not seen before. The falls itself was quite full and with the low light we were able to achieve some long exposures to really capture the moving water.
The rain was getting a little heavy, so it was time to head for the pub to discuss the day’s events over a well earnt pint of the local brew.