Aysgarth Summer Retrospective

This weekend would have been our fourth workshop of 2020 and second visit to Aysgarth, so here’s a look back at summer Aysgarth trips in the past…

We didn’t run an Aysgarth workshop in the summer months in the first few years of Natural Light Photography Workshops, preferring to stick to the shorter and generally gloomier days of early spring and autumn for waterfall photography.  However, we ran it one year as a trial and it worked out really well so it’s been in the schedule ever since.  It’s a lovely little walk in the summer too, which is a bonus!

Lower Aysgarth Falls looked great with the low river level in June 2018
Lower Aysgarth Falls looked great with the low river level in June 2018

We’ve always stuck to early June as the foliage is still fairly fresh and spring-like around the falls rather than the drab greens of the later summer months.  One of the loveliest things about this workshop is that it’s different every time we go.  The level of the river and the movement of the water always reveals something new to photograph.  The Lower Falls at Aysgarth generally work best when the River Ure is in a gentler mood and the steps of the magnificent cascade are clearly visible.

Upper Aysgarth Falls in June 2014
Low water at Upper Aysgarth Falls in June 2014

The Upper Falls by contrast seem to be easier to photograph when the river level is a bit higher and there are more interesting shapes to go at, as can been seen in the two images above and below.

Natural Light Photography Workshop at Aysgarth and West Burton 10 June 2017
More water in the river (and falling from the sky!) at Upper Aysgarth Falls in June 2017

The rain doesn’t stop photography on any of our workshops and often the soft light on the wet days works really well when photograping the waterfalls.

Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale
Peaty water in the River Ure at Upper Aysgarth Falls

The rain also often brings more of the peaty water down the river, which is great for photographing moving water images.  This is another fascinating aspect of the workshop – the amount, placement and tone of the orange/brown colour in the water is always different each time we visit!

Cow parsley at the field barns near West Burton in 2015
Cow parsley at the field barns near West Burton in 2015

It’s not exclusively waterfall photography on the Aysgarth workshop though – we find time for some intentional camera movement work in the woods and after the very noisy River Ure it’s nice to have some peace and quiet in the meadows photographing the old stone barns on the walk to West Burton.

West Burton Falls in June 2016
West Burton Falls in June 2016

The workshop starts and finishes in West Burton and the highlight (for me, anyway, as it’s my favourite waterfall) is the last stop at West Burton Falls (or Cauldron Force).  There’s a whole host of things to photograph here from wide views to little details in the beck.  If the level of the beck is low then close up portraits of the waterfall look great.

A more dramatic West Burton Waterfall in June 2019
A more dramatic West Burton Waterfall in June 2019!

When it has been raining heavily the waterfall is completely different and the wider view is preferable, surrounded by foliage and with sweeping lines in the beck in the foreground.  It never disappoints and I can’t wait to get back there!

If you’d like to join us for some waterfall photography in the future, see our Aysgarth Workshop page for full details, where the June 2021 workshop is already open for bookings!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s