Lymm Sunrise

Lymm is the village I live in, hidden away in a corner of an otherwise very busy area. It’s local beauty spot is called Lymm Dam, which is basically a lake. Made artificially in 1824 as part of a new turnpike road, the dam was a crossing of a wet area. The new lake formed behind. Now it’s a very popular visitor attraction. On a still day the water can be mirror smooth. I’ve photographed it before in the daytime, in grainy black and white, which seemed to suit the mood of the day. This time I got up and out before the sun came up to try and get some sunrise colour on the autumn trees, which were near their peak of colour. I managed to get three good shots. This wasn’t my only sunrise trip, and I’ve had a few other good results which I’ll publish once I’ve finished processing them.

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Gordale Scar

I lived on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales for nearly twenty years. Despite this, I’d never taken any photographs of Gordale Scar, one of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s pre-eminent tourist attractions and natural wonders. A tremendous cleft in the limestone edge, with a river pouring through it and a rock climber’s playground to either side. I thought it was time I got some shots, so here there are.

You can fairly easily do a through-route right up through the gorge. In the pictures, you can see a bulbous piece of rock with a large hole in it, between the two arms of the falls. This is the way up and proves to be much easier than it looks. The hazard is getting wet, especially when trying to cross the outflow just in front of it. Most exciting is to do it in reverse, down-climbing, on a winter’s day when the falls are in full spate.

The single close-up shot is actually of a much smaller feature a few hundred metres away, a beautiful little waterfall called Janet’s Foss.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10

Pendle Hill

pendlehillorangesunset
Pendle Hill bathed in molten gold

I had a visitor to my stall the other day ask me if I had any shots of Pendle Hill. This shot is the only one I have and I didn’t have it with me at the time. I promised I’d put it up on the blog so she could see it. I also thought I’d tell the story of it, to make a more interesting post.

I’ve written before about being in the right place, at the right time, in the right weather. This was one of those days. I think maybe only one photography trip in five leaves me with top quality shots. From the other four I’ll have pictures to show on the blog but not my best. But that fifth trip makes it worthwhile. That’s the day when the place and the weather and the light come together. Then you’ll come away with treasure.

The picture below is currently my best selling scene. It was taken in the morning of the same day I took the Pendle Hill shot.

Frosty Gate in Wharfedale

The place is a track that leads from the minor road at Howgill, in lower Wharfedale, up to Simon’s Seat. The weather was perfect, cold and still, with frost still on the ground where the sun hadn’t yet touched it.

I went on to take a number of really good shots that day. One of the final ones was this one, below. I still remember I had to stand around for some time in the freezing cold waiting for the sun to go down. My patience was rewarded and the moorland grass was lit up with golden light.

Icy Track Simons Seat

But the very final shot of the day was Pendle Hill. As the sun neared the horizon the sky in that area turned burning orange. I used the longest lens I had, a 70-200mm, to zoom in to Pendle Hill, narrowing the view to just the orangest part of the scene.

There are many other examples in my portfolios of groups of pictures all taken on the same day, when everything comes together.

And if you’re wondering why I didn’t have this shot with me at the stall when I was asked for it – I just forgot! It used to be a popular picture but I think after the last time I sold a copy I just forgot to make another.

Tiny Jewels

In response to the WordPress Daily Post challenge Tiny

I took this a couple of weeks ago while waiting for a sunrise. In front of me was a mirror-finish lake and a riot of autumn colour, if only the sun would shine. Behind me, a wall topped with grass. I was there for about an hour waiting for the sun to appear, so turned all around me looking for something to do. I took this shot hand-held. I didn’t have to crouch down or stretch, the high wall had brought ground level right up to my eye line.

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Cotswold Stone

We met up with some friends recently in the Cotswolds and had a nice day walking and chatting. I took a few shots of one of the villages, a tiny village of cotswold stone houses that looked preserved in aspic but also didn’t seem to have a shop or any other sign of life. Very pretty, not sure I’d want to live there.

All shots taken with the Olympus OMD-EM10

Shortlisted for OPOTY 2016

Well, I’d like to thank my mother for the encouragement she gave me as a child, my wife for continuing support, etc., etc.

Why the celebration? I’ve had a picture shortlisted for Outdoor Photography magazine’s OPOTY 2016 competition. This is the second year I’ve entered it, no short-listing last year, and just the third competition I’ve entered in all, so I’m fairly pleased. However, I should own up that:

  • I entered seven pictures and only one has been shortlisted
  • The short list is hundreds long
  • Many other people have had six or eight of their shots selected
  • The competition is extremely strong, there are some seriously nice photographs in there.

Here’s the shot that’s been selected:

Kirkstone Lone Tree
A tree is briefly lit by a shaft of sunlight near Kirkstone pass summit

I took it this summer, on a wild camping trip to the Lake District. I like it, I think it’s strong, but oddly I haven’t included it in my sales stock for the art markets yet. I’ll have to get it printed quick-ish and see how it goes down with the general public. The category title I entered it for is “Light on the Land” and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

You can view the all of the short-listed photographs from this link. Like I said, some really good shots. Congratulations to everyone else short-listed, and to the eventual winner who probably won’t be me 🙂

UPDATE 21/11/2016 : No, it wasn’t me, but it was nice to be shortlisted.

Avoiding the crowds at The Strid

Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales is a very popular visitor spot. On bank holiday mondays it’s absolutely heaving. It’s also a fantastic location for autumn colour. I should have realised that the combination of school half-term and a Halloween themed trail would mean crowds. It was tricky trying to get shots without people in, especially as current fashions in ladies outdoor wear favour shocking pink fleeces. Continue reading