I’m always much happier shooting at little known locations, so with this in mind, I headed for Nelly Ayre Foss last week, rather than one of the better-known waterfalls. I’d heard of Nelly Ayre, but never been before, so I decided to go and have a look. Like many of the falls on the North York moors, actually getting down to the falls was a death defying experience, but worth it when I was safely down! Once I was down, I was able to take my time, knowing I had the luxury of no other commitments on my time that day.
My first test shot popped up on the monitor and was awful! With a bright, if overcast sky and little light in the valley, the sky was blown and falls looked dull and gloomy, so far better to omit the sky from my shots altogether. The next shots of the falls without the sky were much better, but the rocks on my left un-balanced the images, so I set about searching for a better angle. Looking across the falls, it looked like shooting from the far side would offer better compositions, but how to get over?
The stream was in full spate after heavy rain the day before, so wading across the stream was out of the equation. I spent some time searching for a way across, then decided to walk the half mile back down to Egton road and cross the river via the foot-bridge. I followed the path on the far bank, but it veered away from the river and keen to respect rights of way, I declined to blunder across the farmer’s fields to get back to the falls.
By the time I got back to the car it was mid-day, so I adjourned to the Aidensfield Arms for lunch and a re-think. Returning to the falls some time later refreshed in body and mind, my efforts were finally rewarded as I found that elusive crossing point and I set about finding some better vantage points. I started a little way downstream, then worked my way back up to the falls and settled on the viewpoint I’d spotted from the near side. This vantage point offered a good clear view of the falls and I was able to work the scene to my heart’s content.
Once safely back at the car I could reflect that it had been worth making the effort to literally walk the extra mile to find that better vantage point, rather than settling for the original image that I just wasn’t happy with.