At this point in our workshop schedule we’ve normally held our first proper summer workshop outing to the more rugged limestone country of the western Dales at either Malham for the spectacular Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss waterfall or at Stainforth for a waterfalls and peaks workshop covering Catrigg and Stainforth Forces, Winskill Stones and fantastic views of Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. Sadly this year we won’t be visiting either location, so here’s a look back at some previous visits…
On the Malham workshop we wander through the woodland and admire Janet’s Foss first before emerging into Gordale Scar where there are more waterfalls to photograph at the top of the gorge before we settle down by the beck for a well earned lunch stop, admiring the changing light on the dramatic limestone cliffs. It looks like we were blessed with a good mix of sunlight and dramatic clouds on the visit in 2015!
From Gordale Scar there’s a steep climb up to the viewpoint over Malhamdale. It’s hard work, for a short time, but well worth the effort as it’s an amazing location with spectacular front-lit, side-lit and back-lit views of the landscape to photograph. It always produces something different and even on overcast days the clouds tend to move quite quickly and a bit of sunlight bursts through. Even if the conditions are overcast or hazy there’s something to photograph – the back-lit meadows in the valley below with their lovely patterns of dry stone walls make a lovely subject on more overcast days…
We were treated to a lovely sunny summer’s day on our visit to Stainforth in 2018. Our first stop on this workshop provides a bit of a breather on the walk up Goat Scar Lane towards Catrigg Force and also a lovely view down the lane past a rickety old barn and over Ribblesdale in the distance.
The sunny day was also great up at Winskill Stones (featured image, top) but the hot and dry weather always makes waterfall photography more tricky and Stainforth Force on this particular visit was impossible to photograph being firstly in full sun and secondly full of swimmers cooling off! However, it was still possible to do a bit of moving water photography in the shade around Catrigg Force.
We had no such problems with the waterfall photography on the visit to Stainforth in 2017, however, with wet conditions and a low mist hanging in the valley providing completely different views over Ribblesdale and perfect light at Stainforth Force for capturing the peaty water tumbling over the rocks.
Back on the Malham workshop we always visit the famous lone tree on the way to the Cove. It’s a great place to experiment with different compositions and try black and white images too. It looks like we had some interesting cloud formations moving in behind the tree on the visit in 2013!
We always finish off the Malham workshop with a visit to Malham Cove with its spectacular limestone pavement and cliffs leading off into Malhamdale – it’s a glorious location and we can’t wait to get back there!