Natural Light Workshops 2017

As we’ve now finalised the 2017 schedule for the workshops that I run jointly with fellow Yorkshire photographer Sam Oakes, under the Natural Light Photography Workshops banner, I thought I’d have a quick look at a few of my own favourite places (and times) throughout our workshop season…

Meadows and Dry Stone Walls at Gordale Scar
Meadows and Dry Stone Walls at Gordale Scar, Malham

When we first set up the workshops in 2011, Malham was a main summer location and it still proves a firm favourite in the summer months, though we now run it at the end of March and September as well so that the workshop day ends around sunset, giving us the opportunity of some lovely late light at Malham Cove at the end of the day (top image).  I also enjoy the March visit very much when the tones in the meadows are more subtle than midsummer greens and a gloomy March day (which is often the case!) is fine for photographing details of the landscape from above Gordale Scar.

Birch Trees in Spring Bolton Abbey
Abstract image of birch trunks in Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales

Strid Wood on the Bolton Abbey workshop is always spectacular in autumn, but we do two spring visits to work with bluebells and wild garlic, and this is always the best time of year for shooting intentional camera movement abstract images of the birch trees alongside the River Wharfe with fresh foliage as a backdrop.

Field Barn near West Burton
Long Grasses in Summer at a Field Barn near West Burton in Wensleydale

The Aysgarth workshop is our main waterfalls workshop and provides plenty to go at with Upper and Lower Aysgarth Falls, plus smaller rapids along the River Ure and my favourite waterfall at West Burton at the end of the workshop.  However, a group of barns near West Burton provide alternative subject matter, and a nice break from the noise of the waterfalls!

Ingleborough at Sunset from Ribblehead
Ingleborough at Sunset with a Sink Hole in the Foreground from Ribblehead

We introduced a workshop at Ribblehead last year based on an enjoyable walk around the valley in sight of the famous viaduct most of the way round the route.  We end the day amongst the limestone at Batty Moss with a great view towards Ingleborough which is always a joy as the sun sets (weather permitting!).

Lone Tree at Winskill Stones
Lone Tree on Limestone Pavement at Winskill Stones, near Stainforth, Ribblesdale

This year we’re running another new workshop entitled Stainforth Waterfalls and Peaks.  With two great waterfalls in Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force on the Ribble plus great views toward Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent it will have plenty of subject matter along what will be our shortest (though not flattest!) walk.  We’ll also visit Winskill Stones where there’s a great lone tree on the limestone pavement – pictured above on our recce on a rather gloomy day last month – but despite the dull grey sky I still rather like the subtle tones in the limestone and grass.  It should look somewhat more lush on the workshop, which we’re running in July this year!

To find out more about our workshops and to see the full 2017 schedule, please visit our workshops website at:

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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