Workshop Report: Bolton Abbey April 2014

Natural Light Bolton Abbey Workshop April 2014 Yorkshire Dales E

Upon arriving at the Tea Cottage at Bolton Abbey, the weather was as forecast, grey and wet. We began as usual with warming teas and coffees over a discussion about the five elements that make a great landscape photograph, accompanied by a slideshow of images for inspiration.

By the time we had finished the rain had passed and we made our way down to the Abbey to get the cameras set up, find our White balance, ISO speeds and set the camera on Aperture Priority for the first shots of the day.

With the overcast conditions we thought it would be best to make our way into Strid Wood and see how the Bluebells were coming along. The garlic was looking very green, but no flowers as yet, however the Bluebells were certainly in full flourish.


We began down by the River Wharfe and made our way up to the Strid for lunch. There was plenty of water rushing down, which made for some excellent moving water shots. A bit of blue sky would occasionally reflect off the water surface to add to the peaty colours.

After lunch we made our way further along to what’s known as “Dusty Bluebells” which by some curiosity had very few Bluebells, so we carried on over Barden Bridge and back into the woods. Our next location was the view form Harrisons Ford Seat overlooking the river surrounded by the woodlands. With the sun popping through the clouds, it cast shadows and lit up areas of the landscape, which made for some fantastic images.


Further along we made, what was a real highlight, a huge expanse of bluebells, which covered the woodland floor and continued right up the bank behind. The overcast light made it perfect conditions. This part of the woods also has some nice birch trees, which make great subjects to take the cameras off the tripod and use camera movement to record colour and light. To passers by, seeing a group of people waving their cameras about at trees might arouse suspicion, but using slightly longer exposures can produce some fantastic results.



As we were reaching the end of the day, it was time to get back to the abbey to enjoy what was a nice spring evening. The view from the Tea Cottage which was just perfect, with the surrounding hills, made for a great finish to a very varied day.

Natural Light Bolton Abbey Workshop April 2014 Yorkshire Dales E

The following Sunday was the processing session in Harrogate, where we were able to take a look at the images and use Photoshop and Lightroom to produce some stunning results. The images looked fantastic, especially the bluebells and the view from Harrisons Ford Seat were particular highlights.

If you would like to join us for a workshop to Bolton Abbey, click here to read more.

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