Category Archives: Wild flowers

North Uist From Richard’s Perspective

If you were to say to me “You were thinking of going to photograph the Outer Hebrides, but didn’t know where to start”. Then I’d say, “begin on the Isle of Harris, it’s wall to wall photo locations”. However, I’ve been to Harris three times now and whilst I’ve returned with lots of nice images, I don’t feel as though I’ve captured the true character of the place, there’s something missing and I’m not proud of any of my images.

Last year we felt we needed a change, so we decided to go to North Uist. Our primary driver was to see the machair, but that’s another story, as they say. Uist may be physically very close to Harris, but it’s a different world. It’s a very traditional island, that’s very much un-developed for tourism and still has it’s crofting way of life. It’s also a very sparse landscape and it’s this minimal look that first caught our attention.

Last year we rented a cottage near Balranald nature reserve last year and whilst it was very nice, the location was much more suited to bird photographers, rather than landscape. Add in a hefty dose of very wet, grey weather and we only came back with a couple images between us. However, all was not lost, we both felt we’d seen the photographic potential in the island, we both really felt we “got it”. We’d also spotted a fabulous location complete with a cottage sitting overlooking it, so it was game on for 2017.

The cottage at Gearraidh Iain was expensive, but the location overlooking Traigh Vallay was perfect for us. We marvelled at the colours in the water and the ever-changing shapes as the tide came in. We were in photographic heaven, the location offered so much photographic potential, but as the tide came in, everything happened so quickly it was hard to know what to shoot.

As we drove home after a very enjoyable week, we both felt that the time was right to explore another island, but now we’ve had time to reflect, we both feel we’ve only just scratched the surface of Traigh Vallay, so who knows, we may just back again one day soon!

 

A Stroll Down Pickering Beck

A stroll along the banks of Pickering beck is one of my favourite local walks, but one I’ve neglected for a long time, so when I spotted a patch of bright yellow in the distance, I just had to investigate. We’d just returned from a day out in Swaledale shooting the wild-flower meadows, so it came as quite a surprise to have such a riot of colour on my own doorstep. Much as I do enjoy travelling, I derive a great deal of pleasure from finding scenes like this in my own patch. One of the many things I enjoy about photography is that it does teach you to “see”, so you can derive a great deal more pleasure out of your surroundings.

Pickering beck

Muker Wild Flower Meadows

I must admit that shooting iconic well known scenes is not my favourite photographic genre, I tend to do it more for commercial reasons than artistic fulfilment. However, our continued association with The Old School Gallery in Muker has seen me grow to enjoy the delights of Swaledale more and more, so I couldn’t resist the chance to have a go at shooting the wild flower meadows.

We tried shooting the machair on Uist last June and found it a very hard subject to master and we’re finding the same here in Swaledale, it takes time to adjust to an unfamiliar environment. But hopefully with a bit more familiarity we’ll get further into it and produce some work that we are pleased with and by the time the winter comes we should be sufficiently au fait with the area to produce some of the simple monochrome images that we love to shoot.

Searching for Wild Flowers on the Wolds

With the arrival of summer, we ventured over onto the Wolds in search of wild flowers and were very disappointed to find that the track to our favourite patch of red & white campion at Fridaythorpe now has a Private sign on it, so I could only shoot it from a distance from the public right of way.

However, all was not lost as a “Road closed” diversion at Thixendale took us to the end of Brubberdale and treated us to some lovely dappled light on some typical rolling Wolds landscape. I think the combination of the light, the rolling hills and the big sky really capture the true essence of the Wolds.

Weather permitting, we’ll be back next week in search of poppies and oxeye daisies.

Heather Workshop on the Beautiful North York Moors

Exciting News!

The heather on the moors promises to be great this year, so we’ve teamed up with the Milburn Arms Hotel in Rosedale and they are offering a 2 night, mid-week break complete with photo tuition from Janet and myself. Contact the Milburn Arms to book and get full details. 01751-417386 or email enquiries@milburnarms.com

Photography Package Poster (1)

 

Wolds Poppy Heaven

We headed off towards the Wolds full of expectation for a highly productive day. We’d done our recce last year and knew exactly where the poppies and the Oxeye daises would be; only they weren’t! We had hoped to drive straight to them and not have to drive around to locate them, but it wasn’t to be. We parked at the top of a hill above Thixendale village and not a poppy to be seen! The irony of the situation was that that there are loads of poppy fields in Ryedale near where we live, but we expected even richer pickings on the Wolds.

After scanning the horizon for a while, I spotted a field of poppies in the distance, but as we drove in their general direction, I was faced with a long walk in the hope of gaining access to the field. As luck would have it there were gates and public rights of way all the way to the field. The day was really hot and bright, but I’d landed waist deep in poppy heaven, so I decided to shoot them anyway and come back later in the evening as well once the light had got less harsh.

Fortunately there were wide tram lines between some of the rows, so I was able to get right in amongst the poppies without causing any damage or incurring the wrath of the farmer. After a happy hour up to my waist shooting in poppy heaven, we drove off in search of daises, but drew a blank, so returned to the original field and had our picnic tea, before trekking back up the hill for another session with the poppies.

So after a faltering start I came away with a set of photos I’m really pleased with, which just goes to prove persistence always pays.

Poppy Heaven

Poppy Heaven