Nidderdale 2023

We recently took a long overdue break in North Yorkshire - Nidderdale, and to be precise, Fellbeck. Fellbeck is more or less on the outer edges of the Interwebosphere where 90% of the day there is no mobile phone signal. This has immense benefits and drawbacks although we knew this the last time we stayed there, we still went back as the views from the cottage (re-purposed barn) are priceless.

Small things in a big landscape become apparent the more one looks and last time I was fixated on a copse with a gate just Northwest of the property. Walking a small dog at a slow pace is just like slow photography. Plenty of images stack up in one's head. I had promised myself to take up the Ebony 5x4 for this trip but the forecast was not kind enough for me to take that camera and that was proved to be the correct decision as we had plenty of wind throughout the week starting with the remnants of a spent hurricane that brought before it the most wondrous of effects at sundown, followed by Storm Agnes.

Such were the variety of textures and colours, I made this using a circular polarising filter.

Later in the week we were presented with different light giving a blue/yellow shift that I dealt with by using a Lee Filters 0.6 soft ND graduated filter. By this time, sheep had just been moved into the field to graze.

This light was a portent for Storm Agnes.


I am a big fan of Keith Arnatt's AONB series and how he saw that designation in terms of living in an AONB. Coldstones Quarry was not that far from where we were staying and features an art installation that offers elevated views of the working quarry. A stiff breeze and very bright light greeted me so I made the best of being the first grockle to walk up there on the day and capture an image of this working hole in the ground. Other than a well landscaped industrial gate, one would not know this existed unless a lorry was exiting or the sound of blasting rock happened as you drove past. I quite like industrial buildings made of corrugated sheeting. They have a sense of the temporary about them but they seem to survive for years.

I never made the walk to Brimham Rocks this time but another scene that I had logged as potential for the 5x4 was a ford on one of the many footpaths that lead to and from the escarpment, this being a designated long distance path. I can recall seeing the detritus of what goes for rural development as I exited the woods and crossed the footbridge last year. Typical Arnatt material, but after I slogged down hill and up dale and downhill again, I was greeted with even more dumped spent concrete and rubble. I'm not sure as to what use this will be put.

A few steps away and with a careful placement of the tripod, a typically rural beck scene can be made.

Scudding clouds and Golf-balls

One of my many abiding mental images of North Yorkshire is the constantly changing light especially when Westerlies, come scudding in with heavily laden clouds breaking the sunlight and illuminating patches of pasture so quickly and so easily missed with never a repeat, or least to my eye, never repeated. I've managed to capture where we were staying and also the sinister aspect of Menwith Hill from a proper upland bog doing the job of holding water back in a controlled manner. I've no real idea of the control exercised over whom from within those golf-ball like domes.