The weekend saw us embark on a brand new photography workshop to the Natural Light schedule. A few years ago we ran a course at Ribblehead which also took in Twisleton Scar and Thornton Force, however this involved the group having to drive a short distance between locations which we didn’t think was ideal. The Viaduct and the Three Peaks are such an iconic part of the Yorkshire Dales and amazing to photograph, so Mark and I went back to study the maps to figure out a walking route that would suit a day’s course. After a couple of recces we worked out a suitable walking route with many stops and varied subjects to photograph.
We met the group nice and early at The Station Inn pub, and over morning coffees discussed the 5 elements which make a great landscape photograph. Setting out to our first stop and what a grand one at that, up the hill slightly so that we can place the Ribblehead Viaduct into the landscape with Ingleborough as the backdrop. The weather perhaps a little flat to begin with, however there was some nice texture in the clouds and on fleeting occasions the light broke through and lit up the famous arches. From our viewpoint we could also see the hundreds of people embarking on the Three Peaks Challenge for the British Heart Foundation (still looking relatively fresh at this point).
Moving on from this amazing first viewpoint we continued on along the base of Whernside for a view of some Field Barns and dry stone walls. Rather amusingly whilst capturing the stunning scenery a cow and bull were getting rather amorous not 30 feet away!! From here we moved onto to our lunch spot at a lone tree in the Limestone pavement. We have a nice view here and can use the tree to frame in the Viaduct in the distance.
Not far from the tree we are treated to a large stretch of limestone pavement with 360 degree views. The weather started out quite flat, so we could concentrate on the patterns in the rock. Then the clouds began to part and threw lovely light across Whernside and the Viaduct in the distance. Walking on the light was changing all the time with the breaking clouds, we took a brief stop to photograph Pen-y-Ghent in the distance before walking into a small valley which has a small beck running through and an old battered footbridge. From this location there is also a field barn on the side of the hill with Pen-y-Ghent in the distance and when the sun broke through give superb side lighting.
The evening light was drawing in, so we made our way back towards the Viaduct. We had another stop, just because the light and view back towards Pen-y-Ghent was just too good no to. Our last stop for the day was at the limestone pavement, where we could see all the Three Peaks and the Viaduct bathed in the evening light. The low sun and clear skies was just superb and fantastic end to a superb day! We very much look forward to next year to run the workshop again.