Shooting Moving Water Details at Lower Aysgarth Falls

Aysgarth Retrospective

Normally at this time on the Friday of a workshop weekend I’d be making sure my camera bag was packed, charging up the laptop, writing discount codes on the back of our workshop handout booklets and checking the weather forecast to see if we were due to get rained on at Aysgarth on the Saturday!

Sadly, now that Covid19 has put paid to our Spring workshops this year, I thought it might be nice to look back at some previous March Aysgarth workshop images…

At the Viewpoint above Lower Aysgarth Falls, March 2016
At the viewpoint above Lower Aysgarth Falls, March 2016

Back in 2016 it looks like we had plenty of lovely peaty water down at the viewpoint above Lower Aysgarth Falls, with its lovely zig-zag shape.

Lower Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale
Peaty water in Lower Aysgarth Falls

It’s a great spot to photograph the whole waterfall, or to pick out details in the peaty water with a longer lens, like the abstract image above (which I captured on an earlier solo trip with similar conditions).

Using a Cable Release at Upper Aysgarth Falls
Using a cable release at Upper Aysgarth Falls, March 2015

At Upper Aysgarth Falls in 2015 it looks like the river level was just about right for photographing this beautiful waterfall sweeping across the River Ure.   This is also a great place for abstract details like this one:

Upper Aysgarth Falls
Upper Aysgarth Falls

The Upper Falls have varied a lot on our visits over the years.  Sometimes the river level has been so low that it’s mostly exposed rock with just a few cascades of water spread across it – not as nice as above, but when this happens it normally means that the Lower Falls will be spot on!

Photographing at Upper Aysgarth Falls
Heavy weather at Upper Aysgarth Falls, March 2019

At the other end of the scale, our March visit last year was during heavy rain, so the waterfall was barely visible under the muddy torrent of the River Ure.  This provided some quite different, and unique abstract images on that occasion!

Photographing West Burton Waterfall, March 2015
Photographing West Burton Waterfall, March 2015

The highlight at the end of every Aysgarth workshop is the delightful West Burton waterfall tucked away in the corner of  West Burton village, where we start and finish each workshop.  The shot from 2015 above shows it in one of its gentler moods where there’s plenty going on in the beck to add foreground interest, or make little detail images.  Compare this with last year’s image, when it was probably the fullest we’ve ever seen it:

Shooting the amazing West Burton Waterfall, March 2019
Shooting the amazing West Burton Waterfall, March 2019

The shooting conditions were awful, but it was amazing to see and some equally amazing images were made on that workshop.

Sitting here at my desk, I’ve just checked the weather forecast and it looks like being a lovely day in Wensleydale tomorrow.  However, I’d happily trade the good weather for a rainy day when we actually get to go on the workshop rather than isolating ourselves at home.

Ah well, we’ll be back at Aysgarth this October – and the March date for 2021 is up on the website too!  Check out the Aysgarth Workshop page for all the details.

One thought on “Aysgarth Retrospective

  1. Reblogged this on Mark Sunderland Photography Blog and commented:

    Normally I’d be preparing for our first workshop of the season today, which we always run at Aysgarth. So, as all of our spring workshops are now postponed until next year, here’s a post for the workshops blog looking back at a few March visits to Aysgarth oevr the years…


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