Swaledale, in the midst of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, is a beautiful place. Green fields surrounded by stone walls. Each field it seems has its own barn, some still in use, some falling into disrepair and dereliction. Small villages line the bottom of the valley, Thwaite, Muker, Gunnerside, Reeth, all of which preserve that old world Yorkshire charm. Rising above the valley floor are heather clad moors, preserved and managed for the grouse so sought after on the 12th of August by some.
As I mentioned in my last post, it wasn't the best day. With a featureless blue sky, save for the occasional vapour trail of high flying aircraft bound for Scotland or the Americas and a fine haze which became worse as the day progressed.
Still, mustn't grumble as they say. Despite it still being February, it feels distinctly mild and quite spring like and the sun is shining.
So the question is, "How best to capture the grandeur of this place in a photograph?"
As always I want more detail than a single frame can capture. If I use a wide angle, I get a wide enough field to encompass most elements only those that are distant appear more so and become insignificant. If I use a longer lens, I can still see those distant details but the field of view is too narrow.
By combining multiple images taken with a longer focal length lens I can get the best of both worlds, which I hope to demonstrate here. The above image is taken with a Canon f2.8 70-200 IS L series lens set to around 100mm. The camera was orientated portrait wise and multiple images were taken allowing for around a third to a half image overlap. The final merged image was cropped remove the irregular border leaving an image with a pixel dimension of 4930x19249 pixels. In single image terms that equates to a 94.9mb sensor!
At 300 pixels to the inch, that works out to a print size of 42.33cm (16.6in) x 165.29cm (65.1in)
To give you an idea of what that looks like, here are a couple of screen grabs from the above photo at full size showing the amount of detail. Here's the barn on the right, and here's some of the sheep to the left........ I really like to maximise the detail in my photographs. In fact, back in the day when I took colour transparencies, I was always enlarging the projected images as large as possible to see what hidden details could be revealed.
From the millennium lookout point above Muker, this is the view looking east, down the dale towards Reeth. The road passes in front of the viewpoint winding its way down the hill towards Thwaite. Beyond, on the left, is Kisdon, patches of brown heather cloak its sides, Ivelet Moor lies beyond.
The following image is taken later in the day from Whitaside Moor looking west back up the dale towards Muker and Thwaite. The high hill on the left is Blea Barf, to the right is Brownsey Moor, with Ivelet Moor beyond, and almost lost in the haze, Kisdon. Swaledale is full of photographic opportunity, whatever the weather. Aren't we lucky to have such a gem of a place protected here within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.