Friday, 20 July 2012

Snow Over Wessenden

Following on from my previous post, the weather hasn't improved much and we're in the second half of July.  There was one day of sunshine last week and I did manage to get out for a walk so I will post those images shortly, but in the meantime we go back to late January when we had a bit of snow up in the top of the Pennines.  At home there was no snow, so Evey and I set off to the hills one Saturday afternoon to get some exercise and make some images. I am posting a lot of photos so the text in going to be quite brief.

We set off from the car park above Wessenden Head Reservoir and this first photo was taken right behind the car park looking over an small old quarry.  There's our old favourite Holme Moss Television mast over to the right and there's lots of texture in the snow and the sky.


Evey was pretty excited because she's not seen much snow this winter so as soon as we set off she was racing around in the snow.  In this shot I was trying to pan my camera with her so that she was sharp and the rest of the photo has motion blur.  This was the best of the photos I took but still not quite as good as it could have been.


This is the road from Wessenden down to Meltham which provides nice contrast in the foreground and acts as a leading line towards the horizon.


Another leading line photo with the fence heading off towards the TV mast.  We are looking back from the direction we came and so our footprints echo the line of the fence.


Here we're looking in the opposite direction towards our target location on the horizon.


Again my footprints creating a leading line towards that strange cloud formation on the horizon.  Two photographs ago that cloud was over the top of the TV mast.


Here we have walked down into the valley between our start point and our target hill and the sky is becoming more dramatic as the cloud increases.


I had to lift Evey over this style because the step is a very narrow plank and then the wire at the top of the fence is quite high.  I like the way the line of snow on the front of the step has fallen slightly away from the wood and is leaving a gap.


Here we are climbing up the hill at the side of the fence and we're about half way up.  I was really stopping for a rest but took a photo as an excuse to catch my breath.


So we've reached the top of the hill and there's a lot of oddments of rock strewn about the place.


Here's Evey leading the way between the rocks.


The next few photos are of some more rocks in the snow on the top of the hill.





Here's Evey on the path towards the trig point.  Someone must have been here earlier because there are tracks in the snow.  As you can see by her shadow the sun is getting quite low and there's a pinkish tinge to the snow.


Here's the Wessenden Road again looking across towards Black Hill.  My car is parked just around the last bend that you can see in the road.    I thought the road looked like the number 3.


We've reached the trig point and the cairn next to it.  As we look down towards Meltham you can see there is no snow in the valley or anywhere towards the horizon.


On the way back to the car it was definitely getting quite dark so once we hit the road we stuck to it as far as the car park.  Here the sun is just on the horizon and in the valley is Wesseden Head Reservoir with a bit of the sun reflecting on it.


As we get closer to the car it is almost dark but the sun is still glowing orange and lighting up the clouds.


There's probably too many photos in this post but I found it hard to edit them down any more.  I actually took just over three hundred photos while we were walking so I think I've done quite well to get that down to twenty.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Day After

On the day after my previous post I took Evey dog for a walk around Digley Reservoir.  It had been very cold overnight and the sky was very blue with some cloud to the South East and there was barely and breeze at all.  The water was almost a mirror so I thought it would be great to make some reflection images across the water.  This first shot is looking up the reservoir towards the smaller Bilberry Reservoir in the distance.


This next image is looking across the reservoir more towards the South where the cloud is being lit up by the sun.  On the horizon is Holme Moss television transmission tower.  The fields are very frosty and white.


Turning even more towards the South there is still more cloud and in the distance there is signs of some mist coming up the valley.  Maybe I should have  taken a bit more care to line these shots up and then stitch them together into a panorama.  Better still I should have had my tripod and used that to swing the camera around for the shots.


For the next  image I put a very wide angle lens on the camera and took another shot towards Bilberry but now it's hard to make out the dam wall in the distance.  The colours in this shot are very different to the first three because in those I was using a polariser filter to bring out the detail in the sky.  Unfortunately the polariser filter isn't big enough to go on my wide angle lens.


In the next shot I've moved along a little and turned the camera more towards the South where there are more clouds.


Here I've moved next to the overflow where the water level is not quite high enough to be running down the big hole.  After the rain we've had here in the last couple of weeks I suspect there's a real torrent of water going down there now.


Now I've walked around to the dam wall to get a different view of the overflow.


Then to the other end of the dam wall looking back to where I had taken the earlier photos.  I've gone back to my standard zoom to get a closer shot of the overflow and fill the frame with the hillside and its reflection.  I don't remember if the water was a bit frozen or if the surface had a few ripples here but there definitely something breaking up the reflection in the foreground.


I walked on the path around the reservoir until I reached this point to look back down to the reservoir.  The cloud has increased quite a bit  in the East and it seems a bit mistier than before in the distance.


When I reached Bilberry Reservoir it was completely frozen over.  It's much smaller than Digley and does tend to freeze more readily during the winter.   This photo was taken looking towards the North West which was almost completely blue when I set off walking but now has lots of thin cloud.


This next shot is taken from the Bilberry dam wall looking across Digley Reservoir.  The water is so still here at the top end of the reservoir making the reflections almost perfect.


This next image is frozen Bilberry again with the frost on the wall in the foreground.


After leaving Bilberry I walked up some of the old roads above the reservoirs where I took this portrait shot of the tree with the frozen puddles in front.


For this landscape shot of the same tree I think I must have put the polariser filter back onto the lens because it has made the sky more dramatic again.  With the cloud there is definitely more mist coming up the valley.


This next shot didn't look much when I first downloaded it to my computer but I just felt there was something there so I spent some time in post processing to make this image.  It felt quite dark and atmospheric with the dramatic clouds and the mist in the valleys.  Maybe too dark.




So I lightened it up a bit more and converted it to a sepia monochrome picture which I really love. I spent some more time adding a border, title and copyright notice in PhotoShop Elements. Then I have printed it out on A3 paper, put it into an old picture frame and it's hanging in our dining room. I've put it into the blog at half size so if you click on the picture you can see much bigger version which will easily print up to A4 or bigger.



Finally as I was heading back to the car park I couldn't resist this shot of a little old quarry with the dry stone wall in the front.  There's just a lot of textures an colours that I like.


Next time, not sure, maybe some snow pictures.  We didn't have a lot of snow this winter but I managed a couple of walks out in the snow earlier this year which I haven't posted.  Or, although it's not looking likely, the weather might pick up and I might take some new photographs.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Winter Sun Remembered

It's been a roller coaster of a year so far with some good times and some bad times.  I feel I've been far too caught up with things that have been happening to  find time to spend on my photography and blogging but maybe now we have turned a corner and I can get back to doing things I want to do.  The weather hasn't been brilliant recently so I decided to go back to the start of the year and review some of the photos I have made but not got around to posting.

So way back in the middle of January we had a spell of cold and sunny days so on the 15th we decided to just drop everything and march up Black Hill to the trig point at the top.  There are several ways to get there but we decided to take the direct route along the Pennine Way from the road above Wessenden where the sausage van is parked in the mornings.  As the signpost says it is about one and three quarter miles.  It's very up and down (but mainly up, very steeply in places) crossing a couple of streams and ending about half a mile from the Holme Moss television transmitter.  As you can see the sky was a beautiful azure blue with a few wispy clouds and a hint of other small clouds just on the horizon. 


This second photo was looking back to our car on the road at the start of this stretch of the Pennine Way.  The flagstones make it a much easier walk than it used to be as this is a stretch of the Pennine Way that goes through some very boggy peat moors.  At this point we've crossed both of the streams which have cut a couple of deep valleys into the moorland and we're heading up a fairly gentle slope before the main rise up onto Black Hill.


As we walk along the path there are a few of the red grouse sunbathing in the winter heather.  There are patches of frost where the heat of the sun hasn't been able to reach yet this morning.  Sometimes we don't see the grouse hiding until we are quite close to them when they will suddenly fly off, flapping their wings noisily and loudly calling their warning to the others.


At the top of the hill there are more frosty patches and the puddles of water have a frozen skin.  Although sunny, it's quite windy up here and it is bitterly cold.  Lynne is well wrapped up with her fleece under the heavy waterproof jacket.  The layer of clouds on the horizon are starting to increase and it's getting a bit misty when we look down into the valley from here.


We reach the trig point and the morning sun is making long shadows from the white post.  This point is a popular resting point for walkers coming from all directions including out journey from Wessenden on the A635 and from the other end of this stretch of the Pennine Way at Crowden on the A628.  It's quite a nice walk of around six miles and is very popular all year around.  We just tend to walk up to the trig point and back which is about three and a half miles but sometimes we'll take different routes making it around 5 miles.  Other times we have done a circular route going down to Wessenden Lodge (as on the signpost) across to Black Moss Reservoir, take the alternative Pennine Way route back to the A635 and then up to Black Hill before heading down the way we have just come, back to the signpost.


Here's Lynne getting into the alternative shot of the trig point, still cold and raring to get off on our journey back down the hill.  I didn't take many photos on the way back and none worth posting so that's it for today.  Next time, I went to Digley Reservoir the following morning with Evey dog when it was still very cold, but more cloudy and misty.  So I took a lot of scenic shots and did some post processing on them.  Hope you like them.