Spring has arrived at last. After what has been a long wet winter what a pleasure it is to finally get some warm sunny weather. Southerscale in SpringtimeIngleborough framed by ash tree on the Southerscales. Early spring evening. Canon 5dMk3 24-70 f2.8L @ 24mm ISO200 f16@1/15th Polarising filter fitted.
The wind over the last few days has been predominantly out of the east which always assures us here in the northwest of some drier weather. The air though has been very hazy, pollution blowing over from the continent, with plenty of our own thrown in to the mix no doubt. Visibility has been poor, not much good for landscape photography.
However, on monday it rained. Quite steadily through most of the night and into tuesday morning. The skies were thicker and greyer and the visibility worse than ever; but by mid morning it had stopped.
Gradually the clouds cleared and the sun broke through. As if washed clean by the rain, the air had a clarity we rarely see in England.
By late afternoon it was time to get the camera out and, under a crystal clear blue sky, I head up the road to Southerscales. Rather than rush into taking photos straight away I spent an hour or so wandering around an area of limestone pavement looking for shapes and patterns, trying to compose images in my minds eye.
It is beautiful and quiet, just the sound of skylarks singing aloft and the occasional cry of the curlew and oyster catchers. Spring is definitely here.
When I'm wandering I often visualise images that I would like to create only to find that reality, somehow, never quite delivers what I'm after. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough, or perhaps I'm looking too hard. Still all this wandering in the warm spring sun gives Polly the labrador chance to have a walk and sniff out a few rabbits sending them scampering off from their hiding places between the rocks.
Eventually I select a location and put my camera bag down on ground. Polly comes and flumps down beside it and gives a huge sigh and a groan as if to say I'm interrupting her rabbit stalking.
My wanderings have passed some time and now the sun is getting lower in the sky, the shadows are lengthening and the contrast is slightly less stark but still pretty harsh. I try a few exposures across the valley towards Whernside. It's a difficult subject and I frequently find my photos fail to do it justice. It has nice light shining along its flanks which helps bring out the texture and shape of the hillside. I try including some foreground rocks, a tree, go wide angle, try zooming a bit closer but in the end I'm not happy with the overall look of the composition. It just isn't the right place for Whernside.
I then turned my attention towards Ingleborough. The light is falling nicely across its slopes also and, the tree that doesn't work for Whernside, does frame Ingleborough quite nicely. I reposition to get the composition I'm after. Polly has to be moved out of the frame, more flumping and sighing, I've interrupted her chewing on a piece of stick now.
The light is angled nicely across the frame. I take a few exposures tweaking the composition slightly, then try fitting a polarising filter to darken the blue sky to separate the light branches from the background sky a little better. The colour of the landscape becomes very vivid in the clear air with the filter attached.
Eventually it is time to call it a day and everything gets packed away.
Polly is back on her feet all enthusiastic, stick chewed and looking hopeful;
"Is it time to go sniffing for rabbits again……."?