With a forecast for sunny intervals all day for the Malham area we were hoping for the first dry workshop in a while, but set out in the morning armed with a full stock of umbrellas just in case! We met as usual in the comfort of the snug at the Lister Arms for an introductory talk over coffee before setting out across the meadows towards the woodland at Janet’s Foss. As the sun was popping in and out from behind the clouds, we had out first stop at the barn before entering the woods to make the most of the light and get used to tripods and camera settings.
In the woodland the sun came and went but the cloud thickened up nicely for a time to give us some good diffused light for photographing the falls and moving water details around the rocks in Gordale Beck. This is a popular spot and was quite busy but we spent plenty of time to get opportunities to shoot all the subjects that we wanted.
From Janet’s Foss we made our way over the lane and up into Gordale Scar. The wind whipped round the top of the scar making tripod work a little tricky but with careful positioning it was still possible to get moving water shots of the various waterfalls in open shade before the sun moved round and started to light the waterfalls indicating that it was time for lunch.
We sat in the sunshine by the beck and had lunch admiring the view back into the scar before setting about photographing it from both branches of the beck weaving their way down the valley. The blustery conditions meant that the light came and went and the cloud shapes above Gordale Scar were always changing, creating some great photographic opportunities.
With lunch settled we set about climbing the hill to the viewpoint high above the scar with fantastic views in all directions – into the scar, across the valley and into the light along Malhamdale.
As ever, this stop did not disappoint with the backlighting creating an intense green in the lush meadows below. The bright sky above Pendle Hill in the distance also made this a great opportunity to try out shooting multiple exposures for exposure blending.
Dragging ourselves away from the viewpoint we made our way across the moorland to the lone tree. Again, the fast moving clouds provided some interest behind the tree both for colour and black and white shots – including a few long exposure shots taken using a big stopper filter.
The walk down the lane provided a welcome respite from the wind before heading across the meadows to the top of Malham Cove for the penultimate stop of the day to photograph the limestone pavement and sheer limestone cliffs of the cove along with views from the top to Malhamdale below.
Descending the steps we had a final stop below the cove with the late afternoon/early evening sidelighting picking out trees by the beck against the grey backdrop of the shaded limestone cliffs. As the sun popped behind clouds giving diffused light we also had opportunities to photograph more moving water patterns in the beck, rounding off the day nicely before the short walk back to the Lister Arms for a welcome drink before the drive home.
We were treated to some great images the following day at the post-processing session, which was made particularly interesting as we were joined by a participant from the May workshop at Malham, so we were also able to compare different lighting situations and seasonal changes in the landscape. All in all a very satisfying weekend – particularly as those umbrellas weren’t needed!
We’ve got a few spaces left on the September visit to Malham if you’d like to join us.