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Workshop Report – Malham August 2021

Our second workshop outing of 2021 and a return visit to Malham. The weather once again forecast as rain all day!!

We met up with the group at the Lister Arms for hot refreshments and our introduction to the workshop, plus our interpretation of what make a great landscape photograph. We describe 5 elements needed to capture the wow image, and one of them being light. Looking outside the pub window, there is little light and heavy summer rain! It’s a hard sell, but bad weather days often give the best opportunity for interesting images, and gaps in the clouds where light does break through is much better than a ‘boring’ bright sunny day for photography.

With that in mind we set out for the day armed with waterproofs and umbrellas to cross the open fields and the welcome shelter of woodland at Janets Foss. The woodland is looking very green and fresh after the heavy rainfall and the waterfall is looking a little fuller than our last visit. I did actually think there would be more water in the falls, but it was a good flow for some nice shots. Umbrellas out, we got the cameras set up on the tripods and we could go through the basic camera set ups and begin shooting.

From the shelter of the woodland we head out into the elements and up to Gordale Scar. No matter the weather the climbers are still ascending the sheer rock faces. It’s very tough conditions to photograph in, as the wind whips round the scar plus falling rain plus slippy rocks is a challenge at the best of times. However the water levels are high enough to find some nice subjects to photograph under the cover of umbrellas. We then gather under a rocky overhang for some lunch before heading back out along the stream for a quick stop looking back at the entrance of the Scar.

A short rest-bite from the rain as we climb up the hill for the always impressive 360 views across the glorious Yorkshire Countryside and Gordale Scar from above. We were lucky enough to enjoy some fleeting but nevertheless stunning light as the heavy clouds passed overhead. It was a good lesson in thinking fast and getting into a good position to be able to capture these moments. The other thing about being on top of a large hill is you could watch the next heavy shower approaching you from the distance!!!

From the viewpoint we cross country towards the lone tree. The light came out briefly once again and a different viewpoint of the tree presented itself, so we had an impromptu stop, however once the cameras came out of the bag and set up we were surrounded by heavy cloud, so much so that the view disappeared entirely. Quite unbelievable, we had to have a laugh.

At the lone tree and limestone pavement, the thick cloud didn’t clear too much, but we tried several exposures with black and white conversions in mind. Will look to see what they look like at the processing session.

From the tree, we made our way over to the top of Malham Cove. At this point the weather cleared for us quite nicely, and even a bit of blue sky was on display. It was nice to watch as the light broke in areas across the countryside, and we played the waiting game for it to hit the face of the cove. In cruel luck it seemed to move around everywhere but the cove, until (and only for around 30 seconds) it lit up the rock face!!!! magic!!!! It just went to show how interesting, frustrating, annoying and magical landscape photography can be. Sometimes you have to be so patient, sometimes it just doesn’t happen, and sometimes its just perfect!!! Thats why I love it!

We made our way to the base of the cove for our last location of the day and got to experiment with some abstract moving water shots in the stream. It was a rewarding finish to a challenging weather day, but in these challenges you often get the best images! I much prefer them to a bright, blue sky, sunny day.

To join us for a future workshop, visit our workshops page HERE.

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