So here we go, the first outing on our new workshop location for 2017!! Mark and I had done two recces of the route this year in completely different weather conditions and the workshop itself was compleatly different again. Just goes to show that in the seven years we’ve been running the Natural Light Workshops, no two have ever been the same and thats perfect from a photographers perspective, imagine how boring it would be if each landscape was the same every time.
A special mention must go out to Malcom who has now been on every one of our locations and celebrated his fifth workshop with us!! Great to catch up with him again and here about his worldly travels since his last workshop with us.
True to Yorkshire form this workshop would turn out to be a wet one. Thankfully the wind was very low so for most locations the light was just right! We met at the Craven Heifer at Stainforth who kindly gave us a room all to ourselves and superb filtered coffees to get the engines warmed up whilst we went through the 5 elements that make for a great landscape photograph and what to look out for out in the field.
Setting out begins with a short climb out of the village on the Pennine Bridleway and out first stop looking back down the path with high drystone walls on either side and a field barn that makes a pleasing composition. On a clear day you can ordinarily see Ingleborough from this point, but not today. However we are able to capture some rather eerie images of the path and barn leading away to the dense clouds. Also great for black and white images.
Moving on to our second stop just a short stroll is Catrigg Force, a beautiful double waterfall enclosed with steep sided rock formations and surrounded by green and vibrant vegetation. The overcast conditions are just perfect for waterfall photography, and because its quite enclosed the exposure times were getting into the multiple seconds. This is where the low wind was very useful. On our last recce the wind was very high, so long exposures gave mass movement in the trees. With the great conditions we had a good long stop here before tucking into some lunch.
The timing could have perhaps been a little better as from Catrigg Force we headed up to the tops, just as the rain started to get heavier. It was however quite amazing to watch as the low cloud rushed past and parts of the landscape came into view and then disappeared again! Unfortunately we couldn’t see Pen-Y-Ghent in the distance today, nor Ingelborough but our next stop at Winskill Stones was an interesting one. With great lead in lines provided by the Limestone Pavement we were able to capture some quite bleak images, plus capture the hardy ferns and flowers growing in the Grykes.
Beginning our decent back into Stainforth Village we had a quick stop with the occasional amazing view up the valley. I say occasional as when the cloud passed you could see it! it did look very mystical as the clouds made their way up the valley, something out of Game of Thrones. It did mean that you had to be ready to capture the image at the right time.
Back in the village and onto our last stop of the day at the beautiful Stainforth Waterfalls and historic Packhorse Bridge. Of all the stops today, this turned out to be pure perfection! great overcast conditions, not a breath of wind, perfect water level in the falls, and not a drop of rain!!! We spent a good length of time here to capture the falls in all their splendour!
What a day!! We got back to the Craven Heifer for a well earned pint before heading home for the evening. The Sunday processing session saw some great images and was a good testament that a bad weather day is often great for landscape photography. The waterfalls looked superb and a few black and white conversions of the barn and lone tree looked great.
We need to introduce a new workshop for 2018 to get Malcolm back for a sixth time!!
If you would like to join us on a workshop to Stainforth, click here to see our upcoming dates