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.
Sunday afternoon saw me head over to the Wolds to join Paul Moon for a gentle walk around Millington woods. Millington is a lovely place, but a pretty dense piece of woodland, so separating any feature was always going to be a challenge. Though I was heartened when Paul mentioned that over the years he’s been coming to Millington, he’s only produced a handful of images he was happy with.
As we wandered up the valley I have to admit I struggled to see anything that really captured my imagination. Anyone one who knows me will know that I rarely shoot a scene that has more than three trees in it, so I was always going to be out of my comfort zone in this dense woodland. Whilst the weather was fine, the light levels in the woods were low, so even shooting details of leaves proved to be difficult hand held, so it was a case of having to use the tripod at all times.
By the time we reached the head of the valley I was feeling pretty un-inspired, then I finally spotted a tree I liked the look of lit by the soft light of the late afternoon. As we headed towards the high path I spotted another tree I could separate from the tangle of trees, so my enthusiasm levels were definitely growing at last. Was I finally seeing the wood from the trees?
As we progressed back down towards the bottom of the valley Paul kept saying, “have a look in there Richard, there’s a nice beech tree”. So I was duly despatched into the thick undergrowth to explore. At first I was un-convinced, then I spotted a tree that was a nice contrasting colour to the trees around it, but I was left wondering how to capture it when I spotted a different angle to approach it from. Bingo a tree nicely separated by it’s colouration rather than physically and a great foreground too! Finally, I could come home happy that I had a nice image in the bag.
Thanks to Paul for organising what proved to be an enjoyable and satisfying trip out to such a challenging location.
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.
With the fields full of buttercups in Ryedale, the Yorkshire Wolds promised to be a riot of wild flowers and we weren’t disappointed. We passed through a heavy shower as we drove over early in the morning, but this only served to make the air clearer. We spent a happy morning watching roosting Tawny owls in Fotherdale, then headed to the pub for a leisurely lunch whilst dodging another heavy shower.
The sky cleared again mid afternoon, so we headed for Fridaythorpe to shoot a wonderful field of red and white campion. Once we felt we had done this justice we headed for Thixendale where we were able to shoot huge arcs of cow parsley and buttercups in Frendal dale, then headed off again to try and capture some more campion in Scoardale.
Conscious that the light goes off these deep dales long before sunset, we headed for one shoot at Horse dale, arriving just in time to catch the last rays of sunlight on the trees in the bottom of the dale.
We returned home 12 hours after setting out, happy in the knowledge that we had captured a really nice selection of images. Now all we need is for the poppies to burst into bloom.
A couple of weeks ago saw us return to the Wolds to try and capture some autumn colour. We intentionally arrived well after sunrise to allow time for the light to get into the deep valley, but when we arrived onsite the dale was covered in a thick blanket of cloud, which meant we spent a cold couple of hours pacing around waiting for the fog to lift.
By the time the fog lifted, the sun had moved too far round for the shot I had in mind, so I had to revise my plans and move to another vantage point and shoot with the light. In the end we came away with some misty atmospheric shots plus a few reasonable “stock” type shots, so all in all a worthwhile mornings work.
Just spent a very interesting and enjoyable afternoon with photographer Paul Moon on one of his Wolds photo walks round Deepdale. I’m not at all familiar with the Wolds terrain, so it was interesting to be shown such a different area by someone who is so knowledgeable about his home patch. I really loved the deep valleys with their intersecting slopes and myriad of different colours.
Paul runs these walks on a regular basis, so check out his website www.paulmoonphotography.co.uk for details. Highly recommended.