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Workshop Report – Malham July 2021

Photographing meadows in Malhamdale from the top viewpoint

We’re back!! Yesterday marked our first landscape photography workshop since 2019 and was a welcome return to Malham for our July 2021 workshop. It was great to be back in the snug at the Lister Arms as usual for a welcoming cup of coffee and our introductory talk. After out chat we set out on a rather rainy morning across the meadows towards the woods and Janet’s Foss…

It was still raining when we arrived at the waterfall so we deployed the brollies and set up tripods nevertheless. After getting the camera setting sorted out there were numerous subjects to photograph despite the weather.

Photographing under brollies at Janet's Foss - Malham Workshop July 2021
Photographing under brollies at Janet’s Foss on the Malham July 2021 Workshop

We’d had a dry week leading up to the workshop, so the waterfall itself had little water. However, it provided a nice close up image with vibrant foliage in the foreground. The wet leaves glowed in the shade under the diffused light from the light grey sky. The view down the beck provided more interest with backlit leaves and the dramatic limestone rocks.

Janet's Foss in the rain - Malham Workshop July 2021
Janet’s Foss in the rain

Despite the weather it was a warm day and a few intrepid visitors decided on wild swimming in the splash pool! Not for us though, so we continued on to Gordale Scar and went straight up to the top of the scar to hunt for more waterfall details amongst the colourful rocks.

Looking at waterfall closeups at Gordale Scar - Malham Workshop July 2021
Looking at waterfall closeups at Gordale Scar

After a brief respite in the rain, a heavier shower turned up so we headed for the shelter of the overhanging limestone outcrop for out lunch stop! Suitably refreshed, we walked back along the beck to have a look back at the dramatic scar along the streambed.

Photographing Gordale Scar - Malham Workshop July 2021
Photographing Gordale Scar

Fortunately, by this time the rain had stopped so we took the hike up the hill towards the top viewpoint in fine conditions. We spent some time at the top to admire the breath-taking views down into Malhamdale and Gordale Scar below.

Enjoying the view at the top viewpoint - Malham Workshop July 2021
Enjoying the view at the top viewpoint – looking over Malhamdale towards Pendle Hill

As always on the Malham Workshop, this viewpoint provided some of the best photographic opportunities of the day. The pattern of meadows and dry stone walls below provides endless compositions to choose from.

Meadows and dry stone walls from the top viewpoint above Gordale Scar - Malham WOrkshop July 2021
Meadows and dry stone walls from the top viewpoint above Gordale Scar

Tearing ourselves away from the top viewpoint, we yomped across the access land to the famous lone tree. The rain was holding off but the sky was a pretty flat grey. This didn’t look great for colour images, so our attention turned to black and white.

Contemplating black and white images at the lone tree - Malham Workshop July 2021
Contemplating black and white images at the lone tree

The tree is a great place to experiment with composition. The position of the tree in the frame and using the foreground limestone and vegetation all come into play. As well as the tree, there are numerous detail subjects to hunt for. Fresh ferns growing out of the grykes work well!

Ferns in a gryke at the lone tree - Malham Workshop July 2021
Ferns in a gryke at the lone tree

From the lone tree we followed the lane and path across to the top of Malham Cove for our penultimate stop. We set up tripods on the grass above the limestone pavement. Here there are fine views of the limestone cliffs to the left and Malhamdale in front with the limestone in the foreground.

Photographing at Malham Cove
Photographing at Malham Cove

The sky remained resolutely grey, despite a few chinks of light through the clouds on the horizon. So, the conditions lent themselves better to photographing patterns in the limestone just below us.

Looking at limestone pavement details at Malham Cove
Looking at limestone pavement details at Malham Cove

Finally, we took the trip down the Malham Cove steps to out final stop by the beck beneath the cove. This provided a lovely finish to the workshop with buttercups by the stream leading up to the limestone cliffs.

Photographing below Malham Cove at the end of the day - Malham Workshop July 2021
Photographing below Malham Cove at the end of the day

We headed back into Malham village from the cove happy that the showers had held off all afternoon and some lovely images had been obtained along the way. We can’t wait to see the results at our next post-processing session – sadly these are still suspended due to the pandemic but we hope to have them back up and running very soon!

If you’d like to join us on a workshop we’ve got one space left on the next visit to Malham in August and you can find the full schedule at yorkshire-photography-workshops.co.uk/workshops.

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