Photographing at Upper Aysgarth Falls

Workshop Report – Aysgarth March 2019

With a forecast for rain all day long for our first workshop of the year we set out in the morning with a boot full of brollies as well as the usual waterproofs.  As we got closer to our destination in Wensleydale, however, it became clear that we should probably have packed a kayak too, as our walking route across the fields from West Burton to Aysgarth was underwater!  So we settled in to the comfort of the Fox and Hounds at West Burton for our introductory talk and a look at some images over tea and coffee – and lingered over this a little longer than usual to answer questions indoors rather than out in the rain, and get the cameras all set up for our day of waterfall photography.

Shooting fast-flowing water at Upper Aysgarth Falls
Shooting fast-flowing water at Upper Aysgarth Falls

We headed to Aysgarth Falls first (by car rather than kayak!) and spent some time at the Upper Falls.  Needless to say, the photography conditions were rather tricky with the breeze whipping the rain around under the protection of the umbrellas.  However, the raging River Ure looked quite spectacular and the light was just perfect for photographing moving water.  The river was so loud that we had to shout at each other to be heard!

The wild River Ure at Upper Aysgarth Falls
The wild River Ure at Upper Aysgarth Falls

Having spent a shortened amount of time at Aysgarth Falls we made our way back to West Burton to photograph the falls there, discovering on the way that the beck was nearly out onto the road between the main road and the village so at this point we decided it would be best to just have a quick look at the falls and then set off early as none of us particularly wanted to be stranded in West Burton for the night, delightful though it is!

Shooting the amazing West Burton Waterfall
Shooting the amazing West Burton Waterfall

It was worth stopping for a look at the waterfall though.  Walden Beck thundered over West Burton Falls generating a huge cloud of spray (regular use of a lens cloth required!) and we were restricted to pretty much one viewpoint, with the other vantage points along the beck under a swirling torrent of muddy water.  But despite the unpleasant conditions at the time I’m glad we went along to photograph it – it looked amazing!

Wild Water at West Burton Falls
Wild Water at West Burton Falls

Having enjoyed this spectacular scene for a while, we set off and made it out of the village – driving through one or two flooded stretches of road where the beck had now broken its banks along the way.  So it was quite an unusual workshop all round and despite it being somewhat curtailed by the weather we’re sure our group got some unique images!

If you’d like to join us for some waterfall photography then we’ll be back at Aysgarth in June and October this year.  Also, Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar will be providing the waterfall interest on our next workshop at Malham!

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