Tag Archives: yorkshire

The Gorgeous Yorkshire Dales

I’ve just got back from leading 2 back to back workshops in the Yorkshire Dales. What a fantastic place for photographers. Everything from dramatic gorges to waterfalls to quarries to dry stone wall and buttercup meadows. Truly, God’s County…

This is the birthplace of the Sublime in England (check out James Ward’s Gordale Scar from 1815). My recent picture of the same location is above. We even have example of the Industrial Sublime imposing on the landscape (below)…

But I think the Dales are probably more representative nowadays of the bucolic and Picturesque, certainly so in late May, early June. And it’s still deliciously beautiful, irrespective of the label…

 

 

 


Fog and Ashes at York Minster

 

I know I keep showing pictures of York, and particularly the Minster. A bit repetitive maybe? Apologies, but it does repay the revisit. It’s one of those places I can’t leave alone. Well, I did grow up here, the roots go deep.

Minster in Fog1

 

I left York at 18. The day before I left a new Bishop had been consecrated in the Minster. He had questioned the literal truth of the Virgin Birth and that night a storm raged over the city, lightning struck the South Transept and the roof was engulfed in fire. That morning, as I made to leave I went to have a look at the ruins. Charred wood smouldered a metre thick on the floor. The papers wrote of the Wrath Of God. I turned my back.

Minster in Fog4

 

These are not images of smoky hellfire and damnation cursing the unfortunate Bishop’s apostasy. Merely a bit of fog early on an October morning. Makes everything look a bit eerie though…

 

Minster in Fog5

 

Minster in Fog6

 

I don’t turn my back anymore. And I love how beautiful the Minster looks. No ashes here. And no idea what happened to the Bishop…

Minster in Fog7

 

http://www.yorkmix.com/life/history/how-the-york-minster-fire-sparked-an-unholy-row-in-the-times/


Abbeys, Grykes and Waterfalls – a workshop in God’s County

If you’re a regular reader then you will know that I do go on about Yorkshire. God’s county and all that. Which is true, it is. But at long last I’ve decided to turn my Yorkshire passion into a bit of a business venture. So last week I ran my first photography workshop up North, and prayed for some decent, photogenic weather…

Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar

River Wharfe

River Wharfe

Scaleber Force

Scaleber Force

God didn’t play ball – it was boiling hot, and the skies remained stubbornly blue and cloudless. But photography is all about pointing the camera in the right direction, so we just cut out the sky…

The Strid

The Strid at medium flow

The Strid at pace

Boiling Strid

The calm Strid

Calm Strid

 

It’s true that I failed to convince the rest of the family that this is work, not play. Never mind, they’ll get used to it…

Malham Cove Grykes

Malham Cove Grykes

Conistone tree

Conistone tree

That tree in close up

That tree in close up

 

We even tried a dawn shot (that’s up at 4am with tripod legs set up by 4.20am…) only to get eaten by the Malham Midge!

Midge infested Malham Tree

Midge infested Malham Tree

 

But it was fun! Two days dedicated to all things photographic, in a series of locations covering Abbeys, Grykes and Waterfalls. Landscape, wide vistas, close ups, panos, iPhone and DSLR, colour, black & white and infra red, post processing. We did the whole caboodle.

Bolton Abbey (in Yorkshire of course)

Bolton Abbey (in Yorkshire, naturally)

My workshop customer, trying hard not to fall in.

My workshop customer, trying hard not to fall in.

Goat Scar Lane

Goat Scar Lane

Catrigg Force

Catrigg Force

Scaleber Force

Scaleber Force

My thanks go to Leona for being a very willing workshop guinea pig, and if you fancy a workshop in God’s County, then let me know!

(She kept nicking my tripod)

(She kept nicking my tripod)

 

 

 

 


A tranquil torrent

You will have to excuse my little Yorkshire obsession…  It’s my birth county, and, in the nature of many Yorkshireman, I am inordinately proud of it.

Late afternoon at Bolton Abbey

Late afternoon at Bolton Abbey

This is a particularly beautiful spot. Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe. Here it looks placid, gentle. Mind you, cross those stepping stones – there are 60 of them – and one slip and you’ll be wishing you were in a warmer county…

The Strid

The Strid

Just upriver is the Strid. A God-send in God’s county for photographers. Suddenly the  Wharfe gets a cob on and turns into a furious harpy, a boiling virago. Not to be messed with. Falling in here (30 feet deep, huge undercurrents) and you’re a goner.

Not the place to slip...

Not the place to slip…

 

Boiling but ice cold

Boiling but ice cold

And, much like a virago, suddenly everything is tranquillity and peace again. Calm surfaced, serene, temperate. But deep below the river is icy cold.

Calmly flowing on.

Calmly flowing on.

A river and a county of contrasts. But always beautiful…

Cool reflections

Cool reflections

 

More on Yorkshire? Check out this or this


Backwards glancing…

When we look backwards what do we see? Times gone past. Childhood. Memories bubble up. Rocking back and forth. Here and now, then and gone. We wind our way, on, on. Seize the day! Make it pay! Squeeze the essence and live every moment. So our mind’s eye can see and not forget…

 

Memories of childhood

A long glance backwards

 

The winding path

The winding path

 

Making memories

Making memories

 

 

 

 


Truly, God’s County….

Ah, I keep waxing lyrical about landscapes elsewhere. It’s because I’m a travel junky… But the dramatic and the sublime don’t have to be that far away. My own birth county is a great example. Yorkshire – beauty and drama, everywhere.

Yorkshire limestone

Conistone limestone

 

This landscape is wild and haunting. In the two hours I was at Conistone it blew a gale, hailed, rained, battered me until I was frozen. Good for clearing the mind and breathing deeply – easy to imagine Heathcliff and Cathy not far from here!

Almscliffe Crag

Almscliffe Crag

 

All these grykes and clints forming run off lines into the distance. A photographer’s paradise. And then the sun comes out, and it’s sublime…

Grykes and Clints

Grykes and Clints

 

Truly, God’s County…

 


The Minster in all its glory

I grew up in York. Of course as a kid I didn’t see the beauty of the city, especially the Minster. It was just there. I think I only really began to see it when I left. And now, when I go back, I look more closely.

Minster view...

Minster view…

 

I’m going to do a project of photographing the Minster. Up close, inside and out. This is the first post – views from a little way away. Seeing it through the snickleways of the city.

Grape Lane

Grape Lane

 

I’ve also been having some fun with an old camera that I’ve converted to infra red. I like a subtle IR effect, not too over the top. You can just about tell from the foliage when it appears in these photos. Whiter than normal.

Medieval cobbles

Medieval cobbles

 

Chimney Street

Chimney Street

 

York looks absolutely stunning at the moment, especially early in the morning before everyone crowds the city. And the Minster is its crowning glory. The ancestors would be proud.

Minster at dawn

Minster at dawn

 

 

View from Petergate

View from Petergate

(By the way, one of these photos is a cheat, an odd one out. Can you tell which, and why?)


Vive Le Tour in Essex!

They’re coming!

They’re coming!!!

Any second now!!!!!

Yes, it was a long wait… But exciting. And we enjoyed the show. After all, this is the 3rd most watched sporting event in the world and it was passing right by the end of our road. Not bad. Vive le Tour!

 

The leader!

The leader!

And the day before they’d ridden past my Mum and Dad’s house in York. What are the chances of that? It’s like they were laying it on specially for us. So we had to go bananas!

Are they here yet Dad? Not quite lass, be patient, it’ll be soon…

A French cockerel in Epping

A French cockerel in Epping

Yorkshire looked great. Epping did too. Yellow everywhere, garlic, onions and tricolours livening up the High Street. We love our cliches.

Dad, when will they be here? Soon, soon.

And all of a sudden, they were!

Here they come!

Here they come!

And there they go!

And there they go!

It brought the francophile out in me, plus the Yorkshire & Essex pride. They went past in about 12 seconds, but it was great!

The pic doesn't do justice to their speed...

The pic doesn’t do justice to their speed…

 

Was that it then, Dad? Aye, indeed. Time for a beer. Well I am a Yorkshireman…

I think this chap got left behind

I think this chap got left behind

 

Love it, when’s the next celebration?

It's all just a bit of fun!

It’s all just a bit of fun!

(Apologies for the number of exclamation marks in this post. It just had to be that way!)

 

 


Just goes to show – you never can tell!

It’s not quite the done thing to blow your own trumpet. Nor would I usually post an image that I’d already posted. But today I’m breaking the rules, and toot tooting my horn. I entered a photo competition last year, and the results came out yesterday – and my pic has done quite well…

Spring pathway, Swaledale

Spring pathway, Swaledale. Highly Commended

The International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) covers 8 categories & gets 20,000+ entries from all over the globe. So I went in for the Wildflower Landscapes section and entered 4 pictures. The odd thing is I was sure the 3 other pics were better than the one above – it was almost a throw-away last choice – but this was the one the judges went for. Highly commended was the comment, and by heck, I’m chuffed!

These are the 3 I was more convinced about:

buttercups, red clover, cranesbill

Swaledale buttercups, red clover, cranesbill

Walking through God's county

Walking through God’s county

Meadows, walls, moors

Meadows, walls, moors

If you get the chance, the IGPOTY exhibition is on at Kew Gardens until 30th March – the images are stunning when printed up nice and large. Exquisite. Or check out the website: http://www.igpoty.com/competition07/winners.asp?parent=winners

Just goes to show you never can tell, and that you should always try. Who knows what will happen?!


York is the centre of the WORLD!

Well, it was once… way back in AD 306. Emperor Constantius, busy subduing those troublesome northern Picts, died whilst based at York. The Roman troops proclaimed his son, Constantine, Emperor of the known world! He may have been born in Nis, Serbia, but he became Emperor in York!

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus

Just outside the Minster is a statue of our Yorkshire lad. And quite a statue it is. Captures the imperial confidence, pride and swagger very well.

Clearly he didn't suffer from lack of self-belief...

Clearly he didn’t suffer from lack of self-belief…

Dressed for battle, a warrior, confident of destiny, yes, this boy could swagger alright. Consider what he went on to do: Killed off his rivals in a bloody civil war, forced the Roman Empire to convert fully to Christianity (God appeared to him in a dream before a battle. “In hoc signo vinces” – by this sign you will conquer) so he led his troops into battle with the sign of the cross on their shields. Such self-belief – always easiest for the victor…!

the sword is a cross

the sword is a cross, deliberately…

Vanity! He decided Rome wasn’t good enough and founded a new capital, which of course could only be called…., Constantinople! The statue exudes this arrogant pride. Not just in the imperial look, the aquiline nose, disdainful gaze. Right down to his very fingertips, this man is emperor.

Hubris hands...

Hubris hands…

And is any of this relevant now? Well, yes. This was the man that decided what the whole of the western world should believe – the Nicean Creed, AD 325. He bossed the conclave. Not bad for a Yorkshire lad…

Hands that rule the world.

Hands that rule the world.