After the previous week’s somewhat tricky conditions at Force Gill I was hoping for better weather for my landscape photography shoot at Brimham Moor (and Rocks) last week. The forecast was for light cloud and low wind so I set out early enough to explore the moor and get some shots in the afternoon if some sunlight broke through, but if not I thought dusk would be good at Brimham Rocks itself. As it turned out, the forecast light cloud was absent and I had a clear blue sky all afternoon!
I hiked up the hill from Summerbridge and decided to have a closer look at the rocks at Brimham Beacon first, as I’d seen them from the road a few times, so I turned down the footpath towards Maud’s Farm and onto the access land at the rocks – it’s clearly access land on the Nidderdale OS Explorer Map (298) so the two “no right of way” signs near the top of the rocks are a bit annoying (and false). However, the rocks looked lovely in the afternoon light, so it was worth the detour!
From the beacon I followed the path up onto the moorland and cut back towards the road across the middle of Brimham Moor where there are more unnamed rocks marked on the map – some of which were quite large.
I walked some way up the lane from the middle of the moor before clambering up rough paths to look at the rocks up at Hare Heads, standing like sentries above the road.
The vague path (sometimes I just got lost in bracken and brambles) continued around the northern edge of the moor to the lichen covered Mushroom Rock which looked lovely surrounded by colourful winter heather.
There’s a more well trodden path from Mushroom Rock across to the more well visited Brimham Rocks area around the visitor centre – the path coming in above the visitor centre near Idol Rock, which is one of my favourites as it seems so finely balanced on its small plinth!
I had a quick look at the nearby Druid’s Writing Desk formation but decided to pop back as the sun started to set, hoping for some nicer light on it, and headed down to the main area of rocks below the visitor centre, with the famous lone tree – which I photographed from all angles – and quite liked the shots from just underneath it with mossy rocks in the foreground.
By this time the winter sun was getting lower in the sky and starting to bathe the rocks in some lovely warm light. A couple of climbers were out enjoying the weather too!
As the light was getting nicer, I walked back to the The Druid’s Writing Desk (also known as E.T!) to photograph it in the setting sun. It looked fantastic, and I’d timed it just right as not long after I arrived the forground stones started to disappear into the shade as the sun got lower in the sky.
With the Writing Desk done, I headed back down to the tree – but another flat-topped formation nearby caught my eye as the top of it was lit by the setting sun (see featured image – top).
The rocks around the tree looked quite different too as the last rays of the sun illuminated them.
Soon, the light faded off the rocks as the sun hit the horizon, creating nice silhouettes of the rocks overlooking the edge of the Nidd Valley. With the sun below the horizon is was tempting to set off in the twilight on the walk back to Summerbridge, but I hung about for another twenty minutes or so to see if there was a pink sky.
There was a hint of pink just after the sun disappeared, but nothing very exciting – though as the blue hour sky deepened silhouettes of the windswept tree against the light seemed to work best, though the tree also looked quite good photographed from the other side in the twilight light – quite a marked contrast from the sunset shot!
To see all of the image from the shoot, head over to the Yorkshire Dales gallery on the website.
Reblogged this on Natural Light Photography Workshops Blog and commented:
If we manage to get another still, sunny day this winter then Brimham Rocks – or Brimham Moor in general – is a great location to visit, as Mark found out on his visit last week!