We had been planning to do our second recce for the new Stainforth Waterfalls and Peaks workshop a couple of weeks ago, but decided to postpone it due to a forecast for heavy rain – not particularly because we couldn’t have got some good shots (particularly of the great waterfalls on this workshop) in bad weather – but rather because we’d had a wet day with poor visibility of our initial recce of the route and wanted to try it in different conditions to check out the other subjects available in different light.
So, along we went on a day last week with a forecast for a cloudy morning but sunshine later on and into the afternoon. Goat Scar Lane on the walk up from the village looked great with a dramatic sky and I think will be a great first stop on the workshop for getting used to settings etc. before heading off the the spectacular Catrigg Force which, though very dramatic, is a trickier subject to photograph.
So it proved on this occasion, with the sun breaking through creating a very contrasty scene – but there are still shady spots to exploit making in a good bet in most conditions.
After lunch we headed up onto the moorland with great views across to Ingleborough and back to Pen Y Ghent. This is what we were after on this visit – Sam had to take my word for it that you could see two of Yorkshire’s three peaks from this route on our first recce, as they were both lost in the winter gloom!
Walking across to Winskill Stones we were spoilt for choice of viewpoint toward the peaks with fine areas of limestone in the foreground, before arriving at the main bit of limestone pavement with a lovely lone tree and the shape of Smearsett Scar on the horizon beyond. There was even a tiny patch of heather in bloom!
The descent from Winskill has more views across the valley and above the village, worthy of a quick stop on the workshop to break up the walk back to the finale of the workshop, the spectacular Stainforth Force on the River Ribble. Here we had bright sunshine – nice enough for the lovely old National Trust packhorse bridge over the river just above the falls, but not great for moving water photography, especially if you’re after some long exposures. However, gratuitous use of a ten stop ND filter produced some quite interesting images. (If you’re interested in the gear, Sam has the Big Stopper from Lee Filters, I have a round glass 10 stop filter by B+W, which is a little warm, but that doesn’t seem to matter too much with peaty water subjects!)
So, now we know what aspects of this workshop work best in all kinds of light we’re ready for our first outing this weekend – there are still a few spaces available if you’d like to join us!