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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!