Posted by Mark Sunderland on March 28, 2017
With the prospect of a very mild and sunny spring day ahead we set off for Malham for our second workshop of 2017. Meeting in the comfort of the snug at the Lister Arms we had our introductory talk and a look at some example images over tea and coffee before setting out across the meadows and into the woods at Janet’s Foss. Here we set up the cameras on tripods for the first time and got used to exposure settings and working with the histogram with detail subjects of the moving water around mossy rocks in Gordale Beck. The main waterfall was lit by the bright sunshine rendering it virtually unphotographable, so after a while we made our way over to Gordale Scar to photograph the waterfalls in open shade before the sun came round into the rocky gorge.
As the sun came round and started to catch the white water we made our way out again to find a grassy spot by the beck for lunch before setting up again to photograph the scar with the two arms of the beck and dry stone walls in the foreground.
Next we made the big climb up the hill to the viewpoint above Gordale Scar offering fine views back down into the gorge, across the valley to the patchwork of fields rising up the opposite side and back into Malhamdale where the backlighting provided some great images of patterns of dry stone walls and undulations in the meadows which really came to life in the post-processing session on the Sunday afternoon.
From the viewpoint we headed across the rough moorland to the lone tree where the sidelighting on the limestone pavement accentuated the lines leading up to the tree and made some great black and white conversions. The limestone here looked particularly striking at this time of year, devoid of any vegetation creeping up from the grykes.
We tore ourselves away from the tree to wander down the lane and across the meadow to the top of Malham Cove hoping to catch it before the sun descended below the hill. We got there just in time, with about a quarter of an hour of nice warm light on the limestone cliffs with the pavement at the top of the cove in the foreground.
As the sun dropped below the hillside behind us we headed down the steps to admire the cove from below and to capture some more moving water details in Malham Beck. The reflections of the blue sky above and the colours of the rocks on the stream bed combined to produce some lovely abstract patterns as the exposure times lengthened in the fading light. From here it was just a short walk back into the village for a refreshing drink at the Lister Arms before the journey home. All in all a great day’s photography and we were treated to some amazing images in the post processing session.
If you’d like to join us on a Malham workshop we’ll be back in May when the wild garlic should be in bloom in the woods!