Workshop Report – Ribblehead September 2017

Photographing Ribblehead Viaduct and Ingleborough

Whilst stood looking at the Ribblehead Viaduct with Ingleborough in the background, Whernside to the right and Pen-Y-Ghent in the distance on the left, the sun breaking through the clouds and lighting up the surrounding moorland, you’ve just got to think to yourself, Yorkshire is one heck of a spectacular place!!!

Anyway, back to the weekend happenings. We only run the Ribblehead workshop once a year, so its a special weekend all round. It does fill me with dread however during the run up and constantly refreshing the BBC Weather page every hour to see whats happening. Its a pretty wide open space up there, should it take a turn for the worst! Right up to the Saturday it was telling us we were going to get wet at some point in the afternoon but kept changing its mind as to how long.

Photographing Ribblehead Viaduct and Ingleborough

Our sold out weekend began at the Station Inn with teas, coffees and a discussion on what makes a great landscape photograph. Armed with umbrellas, raincoats and a few thermal layers we set out for the first stop. This is the viewpoint mentioned at the beginning of this report, and what a first stop it is!! I always thought our Malham workshop boasts big open views but this is just magnificent. As first stops go however it was quite a tricky lighting situation with the sun popping in and out over Ingleborough. Its quite a useful point also to show the days route as we can see the whole circuit from here which is also our final stop for the day.

Photographing Ribblehead Viaduct and Ingleborough

Moving on, we take the lower road in the direction of Ingleborough to our second stop which is a field barn with Wherenside behind. It is a great viewpoint, and as we arrived the light happened to be perfect with some light shining through and lighting up the barn in the foreground and dramatic skies behind. However once the cameras all came out the bags and tripods were set up, the light disappeared from us and made for some rather difficult histograms. We waited in vain and tried some angles to try as black and whites, but the sun wasn’t playing ball, so we moved on to our lunch spot.

All photographers in a line

After lunch we got cracking with our new scene. A lone tree on limestone pavement with the Viaduct in the distant background. Now the light was playing fair with us. The tree was lit perfectly with looming black clouds above, perfect and a superb example to see how the histograms were working.

At the Lone Tree and Limestone Pavement with Ribblehead in the Distance

From the tree, we have a short stroll to the larger area of limestone pavement and 360 degree views. We start to get a bit of rainfall but nothing too bad. This is a great stop as there are superb views all around and all lit completely differently, be it side lit, front or back lit!! plus not only the huge views, the vegetation growing amongst the limestone pavement make for some great smaller subjects. Speaking of smaller subjects, whilst photographing a Stoat pooped its little head up to take a look at what we were doing, but unfortunately we weren’t quick enough for wildlife photography.

Capturing the 360 views from the Limestone Pavement
Photographing Details in the Limestone

Now… at this stage Mark and I have to have a sneaky look at the time and get a bit of a move on as we knew there was a Steam Engine due this afternoon and we wanted to get to a bridge crossing we know about on time. The group were unaware (just incase we missed it, or it was running very late) but we got to the bridge just in time!!! Excellent!! We all shot handheld, and sacrificed a bit of ISO to speed up or shutter speeds a bit as the train was the Tornado and can go some. All set up we could here it approaching and then it appeared from around the corner. Click, click, click, and it was under the bridge. Darting to the other side we were hit by the plumbs of smoke, fantastic!! what a treat!!!

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tornado steam engine from the railway bridge
An Added Bonus – Tornado from the Railway Bridge!

Anyway, back to the landscapes and our last leg home. Just before we get back to the viaduct we have a stop in a valley with views up to Pen-Y-Ghent, plus a bridge and field barn as lead in subjects.

Photographing Pen Y Ghent at the Footbridge

Back at the Viaduct and our last stop. It looks totally different to the mornings blue sky and scattered cloud, we now have a low setting sun and dark brooding clouds! What a great last stop and we managed to get some images before the rain began to fall again and we made our way back to the warmth of the Station Inn!!

Last Stop of the Day to Photograph Ingleborough from the Limestone at Ribblehead

Looking forward to the Sunday processing session and the images didn’t disappoint, quite a range of subjects and lighting situations made for some superb images!!! What a place Ribblehead is!!! I look forward to next year to see that view again (although I may have to pop back with my own camera before then)


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