Castle Hill at sunrise from West Nab on a misty morning. Both Castle Hill and West Nab dominate the West Yorkshire skyline, somewhere between them, legend has it, there is a golden cradle. The only sign of gold this morning is the sun.
I'll Never Understand Women
My ex-wife reminded me recently about when we were in Peñíscola sitting at a bar on the seafront. I was watching some of the bikini clad women walking past: this did not impress her. Then, two of the women started walking over towards us so I asked my ex-wife to pretend to be my mother. Well, she went in to one hell of a rage. As long as I live, I’ll never understand women. Anyway, I understand my camera, and this is Scarborough, Yorkshire, where I’m more at home. My grandmother was born in Scarborough and lived most of her life there.
The autumn equinox, the first day of autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere has come and gone, so the nights are drawing in noticeably. So much easier to get sunrise/sunset images, if you like that sort of thing?
Good News and Bad News
This is a new place for me to explore but I’ll have to be careful because there is a gun range nearby, so part of the moor is restricted. There’s good news and bad news, I didn’t get hit by a stray bullet, so this is good news if you like my images but bad news if you don’t. Deer Hill near Meltham looking towards Castle Hill and Blackmoorfoot Reservoir: on the walk home, I saw two hares and a deer.
One lucky lamb is getting his breakfast, I’ll have to wait until I get home for mine.
I spent a very enjoyable evening soaking up the last rays of the day and talking to people walking along the Pennine Way. The Pennine Way runs along the right of this image
I’m sure a lot of fishermen were very pleased to see this sight: Whitby harbour entrance.
I checked the name of this place on the 1854 OS map because it looks to me as if the “s” is in the wrong place? But it’s not. Some people like to “bag” trig points but this one is so easy to get as it’s only about 100 yards from the road. I put yards deliberately because after Brexit we will revert to imperial measures. I can’t wait to see how youngsters deal with 240 pennies to the pound.
White Walls Sunset
I went back to Digley Reservoir to get this image having seen it in the snow and actually photographed it then but thought I’d like it better with a sunset. I bumped into an old acquaintance on the walk there which was nice and it was a lovely evening.
Too Many Sheep, Not Enough Sheds
Too Many Sheep, Not Enough Sheds. After my previous shot, “Roll Call – Everyone Out”, someone pointed out, quite rightly, that sheep should be outside not in sheds. So, especially for him, here are some sheep getting their breakfast, outside, in a blizzard.
Down the Lane
The lane is Ward Bank above Holmfirth. It had snowed again so I was out before dawn to capture some images. I bumped into Andy Leader who is a well-known local photographer and, after speaking to him, I realised he’s a decent chap. It turns out that our sons both work at the same place and we have several acquaintances in common. Small world. Earlier I’d fallen on the ice, slipped down a bank and twisted my knee which is still very painful, but, luckily, my camera was fine. Andy is not on YouTube or Instagram, but you can find him on Facebook as “Made in Holmfirth”.
Pale Blue Skies
Sometimes I feel so happy, sometimes I feel so sad. Happy that the snow came, and I got some pictures but sad that it is now gone.
Pretty and Functional
Pretty and Functional. This tree said, “All the snow on my branches might look pretty to you but I need it to stop me from getting any colder”. I said, “Sorry to wake you up, I’ll just be a minute and you can go back to sleep”. “Oh, get on with it then”, said the tree. Thanks to Paul G. Johnson for inspiration or is it plagiarism? (#paulgjohnson.photo).
Well, actually, this image was taken on the Wednesday after blue Monday. I was excited the night before I took this image because the snow had come, the weather forecast was bright sun for the next day, so I was planning to shoot at dawn. The hike up Holme Moss in the moon light, there was a full moon and no clouds (but you can see that), was magical and easy enough until the last quarter mile or so, this is the steep bit and the snow was up to 3 feet deep in places. I fell a few times but got there eventually. Mine were the only boot prints in the snow but I followed the tracks of a Hare, assuming that it knew the path, which otherwise was totally obscured. It did, which was good because my hands were so cold, I would have had trouble operating my GPS watch to get electronic guidance. One of my Christmas presents was a new coat, rated to -20°C, I certainly needed it on this occasion.
Do Not Disturb
This little tree said, “Do not disturb me, I’m good until spring. If you must take a shot I’m not at my best at the moment, come back when I’m in bloom”. I said, “You know what, I think you look good right now.”
Way To Go
Not many takers today for a Walk round Digley Reservoir. Up to this point we hadn’t met anyone so Louis would be the first through the fresh snow deposited by the “Mini Beast from the East”.
The Hour of the Siesta
My assumption is that the owners of this bench have retreated from the midday heat, -3°C today, for a siesta and will emerge in the cool of the evening to once again enjoy their view.
This is a view of Elysium Barn in Hades above Holmfirth. One of the symbols of Hades was the cornucopia, also called the horn of plenty, a symbol of abundance and nourishment and there certainly is an abundance of good compositions to nourish me here.
This mushroom must have thought that it’d found the safest place in the forest nestled as it is, between the roots of this tree. Well, not so, I still found it and took its picture.
I was walking Louis at the start of another hot summer’s day in the unusually hot spell of weather that the UK was experiencing when I came across this fungus. I associate fungi with the wet cooler temperatures of the autumn, not dry spells with temperatures in the high 20s.
The Bleeding Obvious
In my “Idiots Guide to Photography” the chapter on composition says “make your leading lines obvious” so here are two stone walls as leading lines. This is Park Nook.
All the aliens that visit our planet are insular and not interested in our culture otherwise they would stop approaching the vulnerable in our society, who no one believes, and appear on a TV chat show. Instead, perhaps they come here to enjoy the countryside because their planets have been ravished by wars or over exploitation. This is a place which they might enjoy: Digley Brook.
Look for me in Rainbows
I rested on a bench at the top of the valley while taking my constitutional and read some of the plaques on it that remembered the dead. One was for a 6-year-old boy and the inscription included the words, “Look for me in rainbows”, I assume taken from the song or charity? It was raining but there was no sun, however, when I came out of the trees at the bottom of the valley, I was astonished to see this.
This is Bray Wood at 10:30 in late October just as the autumn sun appears over Cartworth Moor, which in my opinion, is the best time to photograph it. I then had to decide whether to do a subtle edit or a full-on, over the top saturated version. Given that I’m as subtle as a house brick and I hop most places because I’ve put my foot in my mouth again, I went for the full-on version.
Holme Moss with Stile
This image was taken from above Ramsden Reservoir looking back towards Ramsden Clough. This was nostalgic for me because I hadn’t been here in over 20 years. I used to come here often with my parents and my eldest son when he was a toddler.
Normal service will soon be resumed. I was complaining to Les Garner, a fellow tog, recently that I’m currently struggling with my landscape photography because of the early sunrise, late sunset and, owing to the long hot summer, the yellow, parched grass which I cannot get to look good. Well it won’t be long before sunrise and sunset are at more civilised times and, as a bonus, we’ve had some rain. This is Moss Edge looking towards Holme Moss.
Billy the Sheep
I’ve christened this sheep Billy as in "Billy no Mates". Poor thing, all the other sheep have flocked-off and left him on his billy.
An old gate near where I live that I use most days. I think that I've managed to get the light reflecting nicely off the wood to bring out its texture. I used HDR is enhance the effect on the wood and stone.
Silly Place to Grow
I said to this tree, “Don’t you think that’s a silly place to grow, out of a wall like that.?” The tree said, “I didn’t have much choice on where my seed fell”. “True”, I said.
King of the Castle
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them so follow your dreams to the ends of the Earth, be guided by your heart and you won’t get lost, at least I won’t now I’ve purchased a GPS watch. Although, to be honest I bought the watch mainly to stop me getting lost on the moors and not to follow my dreams.
UFO Landing Site
These standing stones are situated on Ramsden Edge to the south west of Holmfirth. Nobody seems to know anything about them or how old they are, they are not marked on any maps or recorded in any books. My theory is that they mark a UFO landing site because an advanced alien race that could travel millions of light-years across the universe would need some old rocks to help them land safely.
This is a tree growing in Winscar Reservoir near Holmfirth. I brought my son here when he was learning to drive so that he could practice his hill starts. While he practiced in the car park I got my camera out.
Black & White
An old barn near where I live. When I was unemployed I used to walk down to Holmfirth via the road to the Post Office to post what I'd sold on ebay. I would then walk back over the fields and eat my lunch near this barn. I noticed the sun casting these shadows and took the shot. This picture encouraged me to take up photography as a hobby because it's a little bit more interesting than the snaps that I'd previously taken.
A jump to the right, and then a step to the left, with your hands on your hips you bring your knees in tight, but it’s the pelvic thrust that gets your tripod in to the exact place that you want. Number 3 from my top 7 tips to improve your photography.
Tenants in Common
I was lucky enough to meet Phill McCordall a few days ago in Hebden Bridge. Phill started as a photographic assistant in the late 1960s going on to have his own studio for many years specialising in product photography. If you haven’t seen Phill’s YouTube channel, then take a look. Phill used to have a website, sadly now defunct, where subscribers could upload their images for Phill to critique.
I’ve been through some of my old images trying to find another tree to convert to black and white because I liked the previous one a lot and I came up with this one. I like minimalist images and I’m looking forward to the bad weather of snow and fog to try and get some more.
Life on the Edge
Life can get exciting in rural Yorkshire. Here’s an example of what I mean: some sheep living-on-the-edge.
The Polish Girl
I’m exporing Holme Moss to find some waterfalls to photograph. This one is in Ramsden Clough and is easily accessible. While exploring I met a Polish girl and her boyfriend on Black Hills who were walking the Pennine Way and we got chatting about concentration camps, as you do. She, I didn’t know her name, had visited some and thought that they are a good memorial to those that died. My mother, who live in Austria during the war, which was first invaded by the Nazis and then the Russians, is of a different opinion. She is in favour of memorials but thinks that the camps themselves should be destroyed and not be left as tourist attractions. She told me about helping the people in the camps by passing food and clothes to them through the fence.
Free Ride ta ‘uddersfield
As I was making my way down to Folly Dolly Falls, I passed a man who was just leaving. He spotted my Muck Boots and asked if I was planning to go into the water. I replied, “Not intentionally”. He said, “If tha does it’s a free ride ta ‘uddersfield.” Meltham, round the back of Morrisons, a long way from Huddersfield.
Ramsden Clough Waterfall #3
The Waterfalls of Ramsden Clough. After a week of rain and inspired by Adam Gibbs (#adamgibbsphoto), I decided to walk down Ramsden Clough, aka Monkey Nick, from Holme Moss to Riding Wood Reservoir and on the way get some images of the waterfalls. Well, there’s no path and at times it was difficult going, the 6-year-old me would have loved it, the 60-year-old me was a little more circumspect: broken bones don’t heal so quickly at my age as I found out last year. I used my 10 stopper to calm the water and blended the images in PS to get a water effect that I liked, I do feel that the 10 stoppers are a tad over used. Although I named the images #2 and #3 there is no #1 because it didn’t come out well.
Folly Dolly Falls
These falls are in Meltham just behind Morrisons and there is much speculation as to how they got their name. They are only worth visiting after a heavy rainfall so maybe I should have been here the day before to catch a better show? However, I did meet a fellow tog called Paul with whom I had a chat about filters and mirrorless cameras.
As a landscape photographer I try and capture beautiful images but this one is perhaps a step too far, taken at the Falls of Feugh near Banchory, I can see this type of image on a tin of Scottish shortbread aimed at tourists. So, if any shortbread manufacturer wants to buy this image, get in touch.
Ramsden Clough Waterfall #2
This is the second image from my walk down Ramsden Clough that I’d like to share. I’ll definitely do the walk again, perhaps in the winter when there is some snow?
I Bless the Rain
I Bless the Rain down in Yorkshire. At last after a long, hot, dry summer the rain has come so the streams are getting back to normal and the reservoirs are filling up again. Dean Clough near Blackpool Bridge.
Peter and Tricia run a farm called Elysium in an area called Hades above Holmfirth. They keep Soay sheep which are a primitive sheep that resemble sheep from the bronze age and they are the ancestors of modern sheep. Peter and Tricia have a Facebook page and they love visitors.
Every Four Hours
This little lamb is called Jeremy but he has earned the nickname “Tiny, Shouty Lamb” because he is very small and very loud. Peter is bottle feeding him every four hours because he is too small to feed from his mother and his two older sisters who are much bigger than him bully him. Tiny Shouty could be the smallest Soay lamb ever?
Bolting the Stable Door
Liam and Peter mending a dry stone wall which is one of those jobs that is never finished, there is always a breach somewhere that the sheep have escaped through.
Cock of the North
Nothing to See Here
Peter on his Tractor
Peter is passionate about tractors and I think he looks so comfortable and happy on this one.
This week I have been mostly photographing trees
Bend with The Breeze
“Sometimes you have to bend with the breeze or you break.", Steve McQueen.
Bend with the Moss
“Sometimes you have to bend with the breeze or you break.", Steve McQueen.
Bend with the Snow
“Sometimes you have to bend with the breeze or you break.", Steve McQueen.
I took a walk up to Crathes Castle one evening while I was staying with my parents. Just as I reached the castle the heavens opened, and I had to take shelter under one of the many, very large, trees. On the way back, after the rain had subsided, I saw this golden light illuminating the trees.
Old Betty Nick
I love the feel of this ancient wood that is now surrounded by new plantations and grazing land. I’m not sure what the wood is called? I think that Old Betty Nick refers to the valley that runs through the wood (a nick being a groove)? It’s marked on an 1851 map that I found online in the Hades area above Holmfirth.
First Time in 50 Years.
Swans have returned to Meltham Mills Reservoir for the first time in 50 years, one adult and several signets. I hope they enjoyed the sunset?
We’ve had a few nice days recently so I went to Digley Reservoir for sunrise two days in a row, this is from the second day.
A Study in Blue
I took a few pictures of Yateholme Reservoir just before dawn and it’s a good job I did because the sunrise that morning was a bit disappointing. As I was sitting there minding my own business, the dew started to form around me, which was nice.
Snailsden Spring Sunset
I met a fellow tog on this shoot, a very nice chap called Greg. Greg is an Arborist who doesn’t work Fridays so he can pursue his hobby of photgraphy. I thought that was such a good idea that I’d try it until I remembered that I don’t work at all. Foiled again.
This is Snailsden Reservoir near Cook’s Study Moss, south of Holmfirth. It was constructed in the 1890s by the Dewsbury and Heckmandwike Waterworks. As it lies East-to-West I thought it’d be a good place for sunrise or sunset? However, when I was there it was blowing a Hooley, so I used a 10 second exposure with some filters to calm the water a little: I must get a big stopper. As I was leaving, I encountered a gamekeeper who was very pleasant and told me that I could take all the pictures that I wanted, which was lucky, as I’d already done that.
Duke of York
Poor old Louis must think mad: When I woke up this morning and saw the fog I realised that this was a good photo opportunity so I rushed him out and up Ramsden Road from where I could see the mist rolling down the valley so I rushed him down again to the reservoir. When I was up I took shots, when I was down I took shots and when I was only half-way up I didn’t take any. This is Riding Wood Reservoir and the view in the distance is Ramsden Edge.