Leaving Malham we would take the Cove Road past Malham Cove and then head down to the Tarn. The beauty of the valley up to the Cove, in the right weather, with the imposing face of the cliffs today was lost in the low grey cloud. I would get a shot, if I could, just from the road. There was no photo opportunity in those conditions. Perhaps the Tarn would have some decent views.
Sure enough, as we passed the Cove, it was mostly hidden. I took a shot, bracketed, just to try and get what I could, knowing the shot would only be as a momento. I couldn’t use it (except for here in a blog to show how bad it was!).
Malham Cove on a grey wet day (f/5.6, 1/100, 67mm, ISO160)
We were quickly on again heading down to the Tarn in the direction where the weather was massing again and getting worse. Another passing shower and the not-so-passing grey clouds covered the car on the way across Malham Moor as we drove past the high craggy rocks. It’s only a short drive down to the Tarn so that didn’t give the weather chance to change much, not that I think it would have. If anything, down at the Tarn, it was windier. At least, as we arrived, the rained had stopped.
As you’ll see from my Flickr feed, I like water. A bit of a photographic obsession, and with clouds like these in wind a long exposure is always tempting. Sadly the clouds were not so well defined as could be to make a long exposed sky more interesting. They were not grey clouds, but a mass of grey! From the car park to the Tarn is just a short walk, but a cold, one around pond sized puddles. The Tarn though looked dramatic. It’s a fairly large lake surrounded by the hills and some forests on the far side, with an intriguing run off down into a stream, which was running fast thanks to all the recent rain.
The colours were all muted. Monos again were the order of the day. I set up the tripod bending the knees aching after the effort at the Foss and Scar. I had to crouch over the tripod again to provide some protection against the strong wind that was pushing me over. Several compositions taken, with and without a Big Stopper, the sky was grey, but in that direction, bright grey. A lot of light had to be held back to get the desired exposure.
Moody Mono the order of the day at Malham Tarn (f/16, 25secs, 38mm, ISO400)
I altered my position again. The elements again were not helping. Water was being whipped off the surface of the lake by the wind onto the filters, and it was cold. August! Experience is a wonderful thing, as is hindsight, I know if I had my time there again I would take more images, why didn’t I? Knee pain? Vicious wind? Maybe…
There are some wonderful images of some rocks near the shore, I could’ve framed these up better but truth is I was concerned about the 70D and lenses. No real weather sealing to speak off, and by now my knees were screaming at me. Every kneel, bend or squat making them yell louder. Crouching over a long exposure, then trying to stand, hurts! Sad to say I could only do so many.
Looking back I should have taken a long exposure of the bubbling run off from the Tarn. At first I was annoyed by the oversight but then I realised that the composition would’ve been impossible. I would’ve had to fully extend the tripod to get the shot, but the wind would not have allowed anything close to a sharp image.
I walked away from the Tarn. As two folk with dogs passed me, there was a shot there. I handheld with a fast burst of shots and captured a few scenes now that humans and animals would give a sense of scale.
Dogs on the Moor (f/8, 1/60, 40mm, ISO160)
The drive back to Haworth, via Arncliffe, Hebden Bridge and Grassington, I know from previous visits to be stunning. Over Malham Moor at the start the sudden rises and drops of the dales are gorgeous, and today there were added waterfalls, seasonal appearances that are not marked on the regular maps. The wind and showers were strong and violent, I framed up one such waterfall through the car’s open window, the tripod set up on the back seat and down into the foot well. My Tamron 70-300 at full stretch on a 1.6 sensor only just picking it out through the thick low cloud. In the right weather, it would have looked gorgeous, tumbling down the hillside in a series of cascades before a long drop, it wasn’t to be.
An unnamed (seasonal?) fall near Malham Dale (f/9, 1/60, 218mm, ISO100)
Back to Haworth was much of the same, stunning ‘if-only’ views. Had I been on my own with endless time, I would’ve stopped in one or two places and waited to see if light would clear just enough, but I can’t expect drivers to hang around like that, and in truth, not even my British weather optimism saw any real sign of breaks in the cloud. A circular route to Haworth was taken to ‘make a day of it’ as no more wandering was possible in such grim weather.
Haworth was, once again, annoyingly dry! The weather over the Yorkshire Dales varies greatly town to town, here, on the edge, the skies break, unlike up on the moors. Before dinner I wandered around the hill of Haworth, around the old churchyard once again and captured a few more scenes. The village there, typical Yorkshire, beautiful streets, rich in history and colour.
Haworth Sunset (3 shot HDR, f/11, 17mm, ISO400)
Down the Hill of Main Street, Haworth (f/4, 1/30, 24mm, ISO125)
It’s an area so much more than just history, scenery or villages and people, it’s the whole and the sum of its parts, each affecting and affected by the other. Despite being ‘a southern’ I have Yorkshire in my family and it always feels like home and a part of ‘real’ England. Whether here to the west or over on the east coast, on the North York Moors, or in the rolling Yorkshire Dales, it’s such a rich and varied area. I will always try to visit as often as possible; Yorkshire, a truly beautiful part of the world, in any weather!
Do you have an area that feels special to you? Let me know in comments and share links!
The Frustrated Photog.