With a weather forecast for light showers and low winds we arrived at West Burton armed with a full set of brollies but hopeful for some great light for waterfall photography and settled in to the comfort of the Fox and Hounds for our introductory talk. Some of our group had stayed overnight and were watching the Rugby World Cup quarter final so we waited for England to secure a semi-final place before running through our slideshow over teas and coffees!
We set off across the fields towards Aysgarth, stopping on the way to set up the cameras and photograph a nice barn in the valley surrounded by the first tinges of autumn colour before continuing on to Aysgarth Falls.
We had a quick look at the Upper Falls, which was spectacular viewed over the wall from the road, but headed down to Lower Aysgarth Falls first and clambered down to the lower viewpoint below the falls to capture the many steps of the highest drop at Aysgarth Falls from the rocky riverbed.
We spent plenty of time here with a multitude of subjects on offer from wide views of the falls surrounded by autumnal trees to little moving water details, before enjoying a well-earned lunch sat on the rocks by the River Ure.
After lunch, at the top viewpoint above Lower Aysgarth Falls, with its great zig-zag shape, we spent some more time photographing moving water details with the peaty water providing amazing colours and the overcast conditions providing ideal light for waterfall photography.
Tearing ourselves away from the Lower Falls, we made our way back to Upper Aysgarth Falls, which we’d seen from the bridge on the way down but now we set up at the viewpoint on the riverbank.
It didn’t disappoint – if anything, the river level had been a little high to get the best from Lower Aysgarth Falls, but here at the Upper Falls it was just about perfect to get the best of the peaty patterns in the white water as it tumbled over the waterfall.
We crossed the river again and headed back along the riverbank as the first shower of the day started. The rain got quite heavy as we entered the woods, but we stopped here for a while to try out some intentional camera movement shots amonst the parellel tree trunks and autumn colours – a great subject for a swift vertical pan of the camera to produce some great abstract images.
After the woods, the rain had eased a bit and we had a quick look at the rapids further downstream before following the path across the fields to the line of barns on the way back to West Burton, which provided opportunities for colour and black and white images as well as panoramics.
A stroll across a few more meadows brought us back into the village of West Burton for the grand finale of the workshop day at West Burton Waterfall (or Cauldron Force). There’s always plenty to do here, and the longer exposures in the fading light towards sunset allowed for some great moving water images with a variety of patterns and eddies in the beck in the foreground.
All in all, it was a great day’s waterfall photography with good light throughout for moving water subjects, so we had plenty to discuss over a welcome drink back at the Fox and Hounds before the drive home!