22 and 23 April 2016
I decided to break my journey to Gateshead (for my CPAGB adjudication) by seeking out somewhere to photograph in North Yorkshire. This is part of the UK I have rarely ventured to. After some research on Flickr, 500px and Google I decided on Scaleber Force waterfall that is about one mile to the east of Settle.
I set off from home (in Essex) at 05.30 in the morning and arrived at the waterfall at 11.30 to discover that I had the place to myself. Having parked the car at the roadside (space for only 2 cars) I climbed over the stile and started a steep descent to the sound of the falling water about 80 feet below. I took the marked path and it was not too difficult a descent, although at one point it was necessary to climb onto a 5 foot high rocky ledge in order to make the final approach. A small ladder would have been useful. Having arrived at the waterfall I looked around and decided that I had discovered "photographic gold" - it was such a picturesque scene. However, in places, the rocks were very slippery and, remembering my mishap with the Maldon mud (see earlier blog entry) I was very careful moving about so as not to slip over.
After a while another photographer arrived and said hello. After he had wandered further up the waterfall I noticed another photographer descending a steep muddy path behind me. I carried on taking photographs until I heard a sudden thud. Turning around I saw that the latest photographer was now laying on his side below the path he had been descending and about 20 feet above the rocks forming the bed of the stream. I carefully hurried up the hill to offer assistance and discovered that he was so winded that he was unable to move and that it was only thanks to some saplings growing on the hill that he had not fallen onto the rocks below. The other person then arrived and I discovered that they knew each other. Between us we eventually managed to extract the "invalid" from his predicament and he ended up sitting on a rock, nursing his bleeding leg and taking only one or two photographs before returning via the same path. I mention this episode as I am becoming aware that pursuing better photographic opportunities can often result in my being out on my own, in uncrowded places, and potentially perilous situations. It is my intention to bear this in mind in future and ensure that I take all realistic precautions that I can. I wish to become an old photographer.
I was now free to return to my camera, and I spent the next 90 minutes taking photographs of the waterfall from various angles, using HDR on one occasion and employing my "big stopper" filter for exposures of up to 300 seconds. As it was now past midday I found that the sunny conditions meant that much of the rock face was bathed in sunlight. This was far from ideal as the difference in light levels across the scene was too great for the camera to cope with in some instances. However, the following image was taken in these conditions.
The next day I returned to the waterfall and, on this occasion, had the setting all to myself, with better light levels due to the sun being lower in the sky at 09.00 hours. I took much the same images as the day before but with a better light balance.