After a long day of landscape photography in the Yorkshire Dales I recently took a short cut through Ilkley on my way home. The famous Cow and Calf rocks were not quite as they usually look. Surrounded by huge lights and trucks and all manner of vehicles, it looked as if the circus had moved into town. Now I see what was going on.. In fact, Ilkley Moor has been used for filming a number of times in the past. At least they weren't there during my Ilkley Moor photography course !!
This fantastic wildlife photo was taken by Iain Leadley on Saturday's photography workshop at Fairburn Ings, West Yorkshire. We were blessed with stunning winter weather, starting with a hard frost - and a blue sky which remained all day; proper winter weather at last! The conditions allowed us to have a go at some flight photography of black headed gulls with a deep blue sky as a backdrop. I think I may have also invented a new pastime - gull tossing..! With everyone ready at the lake edge I began tossing lumps of bread into the air, knowing that the birds would try to catch them in mid flight..! This shot shows a gull just about to catch a piece. The acrobatics are quite amazing... and it's good fun too!! Well done to Iain for getting this shot; the pose of the bird is lovely - and I like the use of the trees too. A quallity wildlife shot with impact and bold colour.
My next half day nature photography course at Fairburn will be at the end of April when we'll be concentrating on spring flowers and insects. Thanks to everyone for great company. Hope to see some of you again.!
One of the good things about doing photography workshops is that it often teaches you to see things in a new light. Today's winter workshop was one of truly wild weather, up on the tops of Ilkley Moor. This is an exposed place at the best of times - but today we really felt the extremes. I decided we would start by visiting the small waterfalls at Hebers Ghyll - a much more sheltered location to say the least! After spotting a good composition, I was surprised at just how well Steve's camera recorded the colour and detail... in what was pretty poor light. Although the light could have been better, we still achieved reasonable shots when using a polariser to boost the colours.
My shot of Hebers Ghyll - taken with a 18 - 50mm lens and P series polarising filter
Later on we photographed at Backstone Beck on Ilkley Moor - using the bridge, water and surrounding bracken to create pleasing compositions. Steve's shots looked so good that I couldn't resist, so I bagged myself a couple. I've always been one for soft light, but I really didn't think there would be enough light to carry this image off. Looking on the screen I was pleased with the results; the sky complimented the scene well, and the colour of the bracken made the shot worth taking. A little bit of light on the distant side of the valley also lifted the image. No polariser, just a simple grad, with the foreground completely under an overcast grey sky. On my own I doubt if I would have taken the photo at all. A good lesson to at least 'give it a go'...
Ilkley Moor is the setting for my new half day landscape photography courses. These are ideal for beginners - and more affordable too! The dates in May and August start in the afternoon and finish at the end of the day to give the best chance of sunset and twilight photography at an iconic Yorkshire location. Details can be found at Beginners Landscape Courses
Thanks for your enthusiasm Steve - and for being so easy to teach..!