Personal choice

Colne Valley, Pennine Yorkshire

The photos on this page provide an insight into what I think about and what I look for when I'm out and about taking photos.

Drystone walls Drystone wall, close-up

Drystone walls must be in the Colne Valley's DNA; they add character and interest to many valley views. They can be relied on to provide a good foreground for a photo and, as here near Scapegoat Hill, they can even fill the middleground and background too.

This photo captures how the winter sun in late afternoon highlights the beauty of the local sandstone. It also shows the skill of the waller who built the wall.

Orange mist Sunset

Opportunities such as this are usually fleeting but these conditions remained for over one hour, allowing me to take other photos as well. Taken from Bolster Moor, this one shows a view across the Colne Valley towards West Nab, left, and Deer Hill.

On the other side of this wall in Bolster Moor, the ground falls away, leaving the wall silhouetted against the sky and providing a strong foreground — an essential requirement for a sunset photo. The telegraph post really isn't vertical — due to being battered for years by the prevailing winds.

Wellhouse Spa Mill and Pule Hill

Landscape photographers often talk about the quality of the light. I often walk past the spot in Golcar where I took this view towards Wellhouse. Sometimes the light makes the view interesting, sometimes not so interesting. And sometimes, as here, it is very special. The key ingredient is the slight haze; by softening the detail in the middleground and the background, the haze enables Wellhouse, bathing in the winter sun, to stand out from the other parts of the photo.

This photo shows Spa Mill in Slaithwaite and Pule Hill on the horizon. It came about by planning and luck. I had found the location in summer when the view wasn't inspiring but I knew it would be good on a sunny autumn morning before the sun moved off the mill side facing me. However, I didn't anticipate the clouds would put the valley ridges in the middleground into shadow, which greatly enhances Pule Hill.

View from near Scapegoat Hill Black horse, frosty morning

This photo, taken near Scapegoat Hill, captures the essence of the Colne Valley: a panoramic view, an interesting sky, and the inevitable wall made of local stone. And they're all looking their best in the sharp light of a spring evening.

I had gone to this spot to take a view of Golcar on a misty winter morning. To take this photo, all I had to do was turn 90 degrees. It was an unexpected bonus but such opportunities do compensate for the times when you're out and the light doesn't do what you hope for. It is an example of when several things come together: winter sun, haze, pastel colours, and the interest and contrast provided by the horse.




All content © Malcolm Beaumont