Sunday, October 07, 2012

Yorkshire Dales mist

click photo to enlarge
A few days in the Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle, the place where I was raised, held the prospect of not only seeing members of my family but also walking the hills and doing some photography. With that in mind I hoped for some calm weather with sun and cloud. However, I knew from long experience that Settle in October (or any other month!) frequently delivers rain. Being on the west side of England's main mountain range, receiving the full force of the moisture-laden prevailing south-westerlies how could it do otherwise? And, true to form, it rained. Often it was heavy and sustained; at other times heavy shower followed heavy shower with the briefest of interludes between. But, on one day it relented and a day of mainly sun and clouds was interrupted by only a single downpour. So we got a longish walk on "the tops" as the hills are known locally and I got some photographs.

In fact, the day we spent walking started with thick mist in the valley - a temperature inversion mist - and the summits above bathed in sunshine from a clear sky. The dramatic mist proved to be perfect for photography and produced some of my best shots, including today's. In fact, as we walked and snapped and talked and hauled ourselves up out of the Ribble valley onto the limestone and millstone grit heights it occurred to me that, as far as photography goes, the weather you get is often better than the weather you wish for. Perhaps that phrase will join my list of self-penned photographic aphorisms. It has so often been true for me that my best shots have been taken in weather that is "extreme" in one way or another, or is quite different from what is usually thought of as good photographic weather. I reflected further on this when we passed a bookshop in Settle. In the window were a few different volumes of photographs of the Yorkshire Dales. All had a cover that showed a well-known location photographed in sunshine with blue sky and white clouds. I took a few shots of that kind myself during our time in Settle, but the ones taken in the unanticipated and unwanted mist please me more.

The photograph above was taken near the start of our walk at a point when it looked like the mist would rapidly lift. In those circumstances an eye for any available images and rapid composition is needed. Here the two gates  in the drystone walls, the short lane, and the trees offered the best possibilities.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 28mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On