Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Poppy Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A few days after the Poppy wave was unveiled at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in September I managed to get out and take a few photographs in the sunshine. This installation at the park was a part of the poppy display from around the Tower of London that is on tour over the next year I believe. In a previous post I had promised that I would include these photographs in a later post, so here they are.

This first photograph was taken from the footpath approaching the bridge between the lower and upper lakes at the park.  This had been recommended to us as the best way to go to get a good view of the poppy wave.  The water level in the lake was quite low because of some repair work taking place on the dam wall so there is a lot of weed growing on the exposed bed of the lake, but still enough water to get a bit of reflection of the poppies.

As we got closer the detail in the poppy wave became easier to see and also the extent of the weeds.  It is a shame really because this would have looked much better with the sculpture reflected on the lake with more water in it.  On my more recent visit here there is even less water in the lake as the repair work continues.  Normally there is also a nice cascade of water coming under the bridge which would added even more interest to the scene.

Here we are looking down from the bridge over the top of the poppies towards the edge of the display.  The light patch to the right go the photo is the reflection of the sun in the water where there is also part of the base of the structure of the sculpture.  I suspect that had the water level in the lake had been normal that the base would have been under the water and these poppies below would have had there heads just poking out of the water.

I used my fisheye lens to take this shot looking over the bridge and down the channel between the beds of weeds.  Normally the water would extend to the pathway you can see on the left where people are walking towards the bridge and up to the base of the trees on the right.  I also managed to get a sunburst effect of the sun through the trees on the top right which I quite like.

This last photo is again with the fisheye lens and looking down from the bridge but this time from the other side of the sculpture.  The top end of the wave comes over the top rail of the bridge but by now there were quite a few people on the bridge and very close to the top end so I couldn't get a decent shot of the top end because of them.  I managed to get another sunburst effect, this time in the reflection of the sun in the bottom right of the photo.

I think the Poppy Wave is at the park until the second week in January and I was hoping to get some shots of it with either snow or ice on it but the weather has been so mild this year I can't see that is going to happen.  Never mind, it was nice to get these shots of it in the sunshine at the beginning of September.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Weirs of the Colne and Calder

Last week I managed to get out in the morning for a walk before it rained again.  I had dropped my wife off at work and had a couple of errands to do in the Leeds Road area of Huddersfield so I headed off for the Calder Valley Greenway path at Deighton/Bradley.  I had intended on following the path towards Mirfield and then head back along the river or canal side. Unfortunately the path was closed at Dalton Bank Road due to bridge strengthening work so after I had crossed the old railway viaduct I headed on a path down to the River Colne and decided to follow that path instead.

I reached the river next to a weir which I hadn't known about so it was a nice surprise as a subject for my photos. There was a set of stairs from the river bank which took me right down to the edge of the river where I could walk alongside a fence to the place where I took this first photo. I quite like this composition looking along the wall of the weir.

Then on the way back towards the steps I took this second photo of the weir from a different angle. The overhanging branch gives a little bit of foreground interest to the image.

Further back towards the step this next photo was taken with a fisheye lens to get a very wide view of the area.  The steps can be seen on the far left of the photo and the overhanging branch and fence are on the far right. The reflection in the water shows a large patch of blue sky that was appearing between the clouds in the sky.

I went back up the steps and along the path a little way to take this next photo looking down the river over the top of the weir.  Now the steps are at the bottom right of the image and the fence is about half way up.

I walked on the path and under the viaduct where I took a few more photos which I may include in a later post but I am just including weir related photos today.  After a while I turned around to head back down the path following the river downstream.  A couple of hundred yard (or meters) down the path was another set of steps going down to the rivers edge.  This next photo is looking back up the river towards the weir where I had been earlier.

I swapped my lens for my big telephoto one to take this next shot of the centre part of the weir which I am assuming may be designed to allow fish to make their way upstream.

The path came out at the end of Dalton Bank Road near Colne Bridge Road which I followed for a while up the hill where I picked up the Greenway path again to walk along. Again I took a few photos but I found nothing of great interest.  The path reached a road that was heading towards Mirfield but it was a fair way and I wasn't sure whether I could get back down to the river or canal in that direction so I turned around and headed back to Colne Bridge Road.  I checked the map when I got back home and found that I should have persisted because a little way along the road was a another road which crossed the river and gives access to a path which goes between the river and canal back towards Cooper Bridge.  Must do more research before I go for a walk in future.

Anyhow, on Colne Bridge road I got onto a path next to the canal from where I found a bit of road which took me to where the River Colne joins into the River Calder which flows down the valley from Halifax. I followed the road upstream by the River Calder where I found the weir in this next photo.  I used my fisheye lens again so I could include the fish run up the side of the weir.  The red barrier in the river at the left of the photo is to stop boats heading over the weir instead of entering the  canal system.

The last photo is the same weir and looking downstream towards where the River Colne joins the River Calder. The clouds were starting to look heavier so I headed back up the canal path towards the viaduct and the path which brought me back up to the Greenway path near where my car was parked. Got back just before the rain started so that was good.

I was quite amazed that the river levels weren't much higher than they were after what seems like weeks of rain which has been quite heavy at times.  I know other parts of the UK have suffered with more floods but around here doesn't seem too bad. Not sure what I will have in my next post but hope to get something together soon.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Autumn Colours in the Mist

Another blog post from the foggy morning at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  This time I have pulled together some photographs highlighting the colours of Autumn but still containing the element of mist.

The first few photographs are on the way to the sculpture park.  This first on is on the way through a managed woods which is actively used for timber production so has lots of trees with very straight trunks.  There's no main subject in this image but I just like the colours and textures in the foreground and the way it all fades as you move into the background.

After the woods there are some fields with lots of very photogenic trees which make it one of my most popular shooting locations.  In the background of this photo there is a line of trees which I also photographed this day but it contained less colour than this photograph so I didn't include it.  The tree in the foreground was full of autumnal colour but the one behind was still mainly in the green of summer.

This little tree was also full of colour whereas the large one above and behind has totally lost its foliage.

As I walked around the upper lake I arrived at the the sight of the exhibit, Red Path by Richard Long. It was barely visible because of the coating of fallen leaves but you might just make it out in the middle foreground if you look at the expanded version. I took this photograph using my 10mm fisheye lens so I could include the whole of the reddish looking tree near the centre.  The sun was somewhere behind the tree so the colours appear quite subdued and the sky is very bright.

Here's more of a close up of the same tree in the previous photograph.  The phogrph was taken from the other side of the tree and the colours are looking more vibrant because the light was coming from behind me.

Further around the upper lake a small stream enters the lake through two pipes running under the path.  The fog had turned to more of a slight mist by this time so the colours in the scene had become much clearer.

Even further around the lake is this wide straight path which leads back to the bridge.  I would normally take a different path which goes up the hill into the woods but the path had been closed due to work taking place.  I used the piece of log on the path as some foreground interest but love the way the path leads off into the distance before it disappears into the fog.

While I was taking the previous photograph this couple walked by me and I thought their inclusion adds some extra interest to this image.  I don't normally feature people in my landscape photographs and go to great lengths to avoid them or remove them in post processing.  Just occasionally though I see a scene which really benefits from the human touch and this is one I really like.  Sometimes I think I should do it more often and maybe I will in the future.

I turned to look back in the direction from which I had come and thought that this made a reasonable composition.

After reaching the bridge I set off up the bridleway that runs alongside the sculpture park and back in the direction where I had left my car.  Again the colours are fantastic and the mist in the distance add a bit of atmosphere to the picture.

As the path goes up the hill the trees lining the path give way to open fields.  In this photograph there looks like there is a light at the end of the tunnel trough the trees.

Next time I'll take a rest from trees and fog but I am sure I will get back to one or both before too long.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Sculptures in the Fog at YSP

Continuing from my last post I went out a few days later to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) at West Bretton when it was another foggy morning.  I was a bit concerned when I was driving up the hill a few minutes from home as suddenly I was in full sunshine, but I carried on and as I could see in the distance that it still looked foggy ahead.  When I arrived at my parking place there was plenty of fog so I started taking photos of the trees and also some mushrooms which I will probably post later.  Todays post is purely some of the sculptures within the park.

The first sculpture I photographed was one (and a bit) of the Barbara Hepworth ones which was looming out of the fog as I entered the park.  There are some more of the ten or a dozen which are presented in an area down the hillside.

Adjacent to the patch of Hepworth sculptures are these very large holey men by Jonathan Borofsky which appear to be trying to push each other among the trees.

Here are another three photographs of the Barbara Hepworth sculptures as the fog was starting to disperse again.

Further down in the field are these Dennis Oppenhiem "Alternative Landscape Components" which I have featured previously in one of my posts from the YSP.  The mistiness makes them look more unusual than they are normally.

At the bottom of the field I crossed the bridge between the lower and upper lakes where the top end of the poppy wave comes over the railings.  I have some more pictures of the poppy wave in good weather and I will try to remember post them in a blog later.  On this morning I was just intrigued by the drops of condensed fog on the stem of one of the poppies.

I walked around the upper lake to take some more photos of the autumnal trees in the mist where I also made this photo at the old boathouse of the work by JocJonJosch which is called Eddy (I think).  Again I have features this three pointed boat in a previous posting but I like the effect that the mist has on the background trees.

After I had walked around the top lake I went down the path at the edge of the lower lake to a small fridge which spans the water race which is used to managed the lake water levels.  From the middle of the bridge I caught the set of Anthony Caro sculptures in the distant mist with the small duck in the foreground.

It was starting to get busy around this area as we were approaching Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day so there were lots of people coming to see the Poppy Wave so I decided to head off home and come back another day.  I am hoping to get some photos of the Poppy Wave in either the ice or snow but the weather has been quite warm for the time of year so it's not happened yet.  The fog started to thicken again so I took a few more shots on the way back to my car of the trees so I have quite a lot to edit down for inclusion in a later blog post.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Foggy Trees in Black and White

We've had a few foggy days recently and on one of those days in October I took a walk from home to take some photos of trees.  I like photographing trees at any time but in the fog it makes it easy to lose the background and concentrate on the form of the trees.  Initially I processed the photos in colour but then decided to convert them to black and white to simplify the forms even further.

This first photograph is a small tree on the edge of a footpath which climbs fairly steeply up the hill opposite my house.  The tree is on the edge of the hillside and looks as though it has been ravaged by the winds over the years.  The branch at the front of the tree was coming out towards me and makes the photo look almost three dimensional.

At the top of the path there is another path which heads through some fields which are scattered with various trees and bushes.  Most of the trees are at the edges of the fields next to walls and fences.  As I approached the edge of this fields I thought that this group of trees made quite a nice composition.

I found the tree on the right of the last image particularly interesting with most of the branches without leaves and then just a few branches still filled with leaves.

In the middle of the next field was this large tree which had completely lost its leaves.  I just love to look at the structure of this tree because it is so complex and beautiful.

The fog was lifting a little and so it became possible to see more trees in the distance.  In this next photo the trees in the adjoining fields may be seen in the background.  There are two crows sitting up high in the branches of the tree on the left hand of the image.

I walked a while until I reached another field which I knew had several trees scattered around it. I have been to this location on many occasions to take photos at different times of the year and in different weather conditions.  I took several photos of different sets of trees from different angles but this was my favourite of the day from this location.  

On my way home a headed down the hill on a different path where there was a few small trees and bushes.  I quite like the way this small tree stands up straight on such a steep slope.

I took some more photos in the fog a few days later at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and I will put them into a post later.  I was remembering that this time last year I was in Iceland with my daughter and I decided to have a go at reprocessing a few of the photos for another post.  In the meantime here is a link to the blog I created while we were in Iceland if you are interested.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Sunshine before the storm below the Woodhead Pass

Such a long time since I last posted (it could be my confessional) but here at last some photo that I took last week.  I'm not going to make any excuses or promise to post more often in future because who knows what might happen.

Anyhow, the Woodhead Pass is where the old A road between Sheffield and Manchester crossed over the Pennines and it's just a few miles from my house.  Coincidentally I have returned to where I last made a promise to blog more often back in January 2014 with this post called A New Beginning - Strange World (most of which has never come about).  Even more of a coincidence is that this first photo was taken from almost the same place as the last photo in the previous blog from this location (I honestly hadn't noticed until I looked back at the old blog post).

In this first photo I didn't have the mist from before but the weather was definitely on the turn again.  It was very windy so I had left the tripod in the car because it just wouldn't have made any difference over hand holding the camera.  I was stood in a patch of sun but heavy looking clouds were all around and I was expecting rain at any moment.

In this second photo I went around the other side of the trees to get a shot with some nice blue sky in the background, just to prove that it was quite nice in that direction.  There are probably ten or a dozen trees at this location and I took a few other shots with the blue sky in the background but I think this was the best.  Looking back at the previous photos from this location I can see that the fallen tree in the foreground was standing last time.

The previous photos that I took of this next tree and it's partner (see below) in the morning mist were mainly taken from the other side.  These trees are a little bit important to me because I have sold a few prints from my previous visit and exhibited them at the Holmfirth Art Show and a photographic exhibition at nearby Hepworth village.

Here are both the trees which are set away from the rest of the trees in the valley bottom next to a small stream.  The sun was getting a little more patchy now so I had to wait around for the good light before taking the shots.  I'm not sure but I think this tree which is now in the foreground is leaning over a bit more that it was on my last visit.

I moved back up to the main clump of trees for this last shot and as you can see the clouds were getting darker and more threatening.  A couple of guys in a 4X4 turned up and parked their vehicle on the dirt road right in my shot shortly after I had taken this photo.  I tried moving around a bit more to take some more shots from different angles but the sunlight was disappearing fast and I feared that the shooting session would be cut short again but for very different reasons.

 My remaining shots didn't come out too well and then the rain started to fall so I decided to call it a morning.  I have a few recent sets of shots that I might share with you but I won't spoil your surprise about what they are or when they are likely to appear.  Could be soon, you never know.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kendal Castle

Last week I drove my daughter to Kendal and took the opportunity to take some photos while she was working in court.  The weather forecast had predicted good weather and although it was quite warm there was a variable amount of cloud cover in the few hours I had available. I had a bit of time by the river and I will post those photos later but for this post I will just show the ones I took at the castle.  It was a bit of a climb from the river up to the castle and the sun was out and I was very hot by the time I reached the castle.  As usual a big black cloud moved across the sun soon after I started to take some shots.

This first shot was as I approached the castle and although the scene was well lit by the sun there was quite a lot of cloud in the sky behind the castle.  I quite like the way the fence leads up from the stones on the right side of the picture up to the bigger bits of castle on the left.  I tried taking some more shots from nearer the stones and following the fence but the sun was straight ahead and I wasn't happy with the results.

I wandered about the inside of the castle for a while taking photographs but the lack of any good light made them disappointing.  Finally the sun came back out while I had my fish eye lens on the camera and I took this shot.  I love using the fish eye for some landscape shots because it's possible to get really close to the subject but because of the wide angle the shot also includes a lot of the background.  The distortion of the fish eye could be straightened out using software but I actually like how it curves the background around the subject.

Here's another fish eye shot where I am close to the wall and using it as a leading line towards the building.  The distortion in the majority of the shot is less because I was holding the camera level with the ground.  I had to wait a while before the sun came out again for this shot but the clouds were starting to clear quite nicely by now.

I moved very close to the building for this next shot as I was still using the fish eye.  The distortion is more prevalent as I was pointing the camera towards the ground a little which makes the edges curve upwards.

Next I went outside the castle and headed around the back of the building I had been shooting.  I had changed the fish eye to a normal standard lens as I was further away from the subject.  Here I was well below the castle and got a sense of how imposing it would have been for any attackers when it had been in use as a defensive building.

After this I headed back down the hill to the river where I took some more shots.  I promise I will post more pictures from Kendal soon and I will also make a report on my first showing of a couple of my photographs at the Holmfirth Art Week Exhibition, which is quite exciting for me.

The Poppy Wave at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A few days after the Poppy wave was unveiled at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in September I managed to get out and take a few photographs in...