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.