The weather forecast had been changing quite a bit for the few days leading up to our annual trip to Ribblehead but by the time the morning came it looked like being a cloudy but fine day with some chance of sunny intervals in the late afternoon, which sounded pretty good for our day’s photography…

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Photographing a field barn below a cloud-covered Whernside

The group met up in the welcoming Station Inn for our introductory talk over tea and coffee, covering an overview of exposure techniques and a look at a slideshow of images demonstrating examples of subject, light and composition.  We set out towards the famous viaduct under a cloudy sky and set up on the bank for our first stop to photograph the impressive arches striding across the valley with the flat-topped  Ingleborough hill in the distance.  The low cloud lurking over Ingleborough added a bit of drama to the scene.  Eventually we tore ourselves away from the view and wandered under the arches and across the valley with Whernside shrouded in the clouds beyond lush green meadows, dry stone walls and the odd barn – which proved great subjects in the diffused light.

Photographing the windswept lone tree with Ribblehead Viaduct beyond
Photographing the windswept lone tree with Ribblehead Viaduct beyond

From the barn we made our way up the lane to the striking lone tree on an area of limestone pavement, where we stopped for a spot of lunch – and donned waterproofs as a shower moved over – before setting about photographing the tree with the viaduct in the distance.  The gloomy sky proved rather good for creating some moody black and white images (which we enjoyed experimeting with at the post-processing session the following day).

Looking for detail images amongst the limestone
Looking for detail images amongst the limestone

It was just a short walk from the windswept tree to a much larger area of limestone which provided lots of interesting subjects – another tree, boulders and various shapes and sizes and ferns in the grykes – which looked great in the overcast light, glistening after the recent rainfall.

Harts Tongue Fern in Limestone Pavement
Hart’s Tongue Fern in Limestone Pavement

In fact, for a while the clouds seemed to be getting even lower, so detail images of ferns were the best option – Ingleborough seemed to have disappeared completely!

Looking for Ingleborough!
Looking for Ingleborough!

From the limestone we carried on across the moorland and dropped down to the valley bottom where there were fine views towards Pen-Y-Ghent, completing the set of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks.

Waiting for the light at the barn...
Waiting for the light at the barn…

There is also a fine barn here and, as the cloud had lifted a bit and it looked like the sun might even break through, we waited for some time to see what would happen…

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…sidelight at the barn!

After a while our patience was rewarded with some lovely, if fleeting, sidelight illuminating the barn with interesting cloud formations moving over Pen-Y-Ghent in the distance.

Ingleborough from the limestone pavement
Ingleborough from the limestone pavement

After the barn it had looked like the sky was going to clear a bit and give us some nice light towards sunset, but this proved to be a false alarm as more dark clouds rolled in as we got into position on the limestone pavement for the famous view down to Ingleborough.  However, it was still worth a few shots with the idea of producing more black and white conversions.

Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside shrouded in cloud
Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside shrouded in cloud

We waited a while in case of light breaking through but the cloud continued to thicken, so we headed back down to the track below the viaduct for a final stop to photograph the arches with looming clouds over Whernside behind.  From here it was just a short walk back to the Station Inn for some well-earned refreshment!

Overall is was a very enjoyable workshop – Ribblehead never fails to impress – and we were rewarded with some lovely images at the post-processing session the next day.

If you’d like to join us for a workshop we have Malham, Aysgarth and Bolton Abbey left this year and our first 2019 dates will be added soon.  We’ll definitely be back at Ribblehead next September!  See our upcoming workshop calendar for details.