Workshop Report: Bolton Abbey, November 2013

Taking a look at the fast moving waters of the Strid.
Taking a look at the fast moving waters of the Strid.

Well what an end to our 2013 workshop season! Throughout the year we seem to have been very lucky with the weather and today was no exception. The forecast thankfully wasn’t totally right and we had a fabulous overcast day for our woodland and moving water shots. Our morning meeting was at the fantastic Tea Cottage, and thanks again to Steve and team for making us welcome. We went over some of the basic camera settings and a discussion into the five elements that make a great landscape photograph, before heading out for the day.

Our first stop was at the Abbey itself, and because of the overcast morning, the light wasn’t the best for the Abbey shots, however the bridge and surrounding trees had some really nice colour in them and made for a great subject. For the first stop, we are able to go through a few of the basic settings, ISO, White balance and using aperture priority and shutter speeds.

From the Abbey we made our way up to Strid Wood, where the colours were looking good, especially down by the river there were lots of fallen leaves swirling around so long exposures gave some lovely effects. There was a brief shower, but with the umbrellas gave us no problems and the patterns on the water, just added to the effects.

A little further up, we had a nice stop where the river slightly bends and the trees on either side frames the scene perfectly, and then onto the Strid itself. After a quick lunch we got started on creating some abstract effects using the fast flowing water (being very careful not to get too close!!)

Picking out the subject in a big landscape
Picking out the subject in a big landscape

After lunch we continued up river, crossed Barden Bridge and made our way back down the other side. On route we found a stunning tree with backlit yellow leaves, which made a perfect subject to silhouette the branches against the stunning autumn colour.

Stunning colour in the back lit trees
Stunning colour in the back lit trees

Further down, we came to our regular stop of Harrison’s Ford Seat which gives us a great view down to the river, surrounded by colourful trees.

The view out from Harrison's Ford Seat
The view out from Harrison’s Ford Seat

Our last stop before returning to the Abbey is a bit of fun, where the cameras come of the tri pod and we use the movement of the camera to record the colours in the trees. We may look slightly mad to passers by, but the effects are fantastic, and its great to see how much colour there is in the natural landscape that we just sometimes don’t see with our eyes.

The great effects of playing with camera movement
The great effects of playing with camera movement, by Mark Sunderland Photography

Back at the Abbey the rain began to fall, and quite heavily, so we decided to call it a day and return to the cars. Good job we did as the heavens opened up and the wind grew to be quite wild!!! We had perfect light for the woods during the day, so we were lucky to avoid the storms.

The next day was all about the processing using Lightroom and Photoshop, and we were really pleased to see some fantastic images! the colours were just fantastic in the trees and the moving water shots came out perfectly.

It was the perfect end to a great 2013 of workshops! now we cant wait to get going again in 2014!



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