Photography at Malham Cove and Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales

Malham CoveSometimes we can forget how achingly beautiful England is – when I travel and photograph abroad I speak with the locals and often there is the comment “You have seen more of my country than I have” and this is true of myself when I meet visitors to England – because its on my doorstep, I perhaps don’t get out to areas as much as I should.


Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dales

Malham Cove and Gordale Scar is a tremendous reminder that the English countryside is among some of the most awesome places in the world, and in particular the Yorkshire Dales has its fair share of the best views in England.

So how do you photograph it? Well this blog would be never ending if we went into every detail. This area of the Dales is one of my favorites, so I have returned many times, and with each visit it looks completely different, not so much in shape, but most certainly in colour.

Weather plays a massive part creating a mood and sense of place, and as you may well know it can change dramatically in a short space of time. This means every time I visit, I make many mental notes and try to visualize how it might change at different times of the day or year, in preparation for every return visit.

Not only is the weather a massive factor, but also the time of year – obviously summer and winter are dramatically different, but the vegetation changes so much throughout the seasons, the leaves on the trees, meadow flowers, tall grass and the flowering garlic around the woods at Janets Foss.

Prepare for your trip, wellies are great to take and wade into the middle of the streams with your tripod, for moving water images (make sure your equipment is insured :)), Filters are particularly useful, waterproofs, a wide angle lens is best, and if you have a telephoto, this is really useful to pick out details from the wide vistas.

Theres a lot to photograph is a relatively small area, with totally different views, which makes it a superb place to practice your camera skills and techniques. But be patient, try not to rush from one location to another, as the light changes all the time. So if you find a composition you like, get the camera set up on the tri-pod ready, then stay and enjoy it for a while – watch as clouds pass over, casting amazing shadows and streams of light that pick out amazing details giving you the chance to wait for your perfect shot.

Myself and landscape photographer Mark Sunderland run photography workshops from Malham and other locations in the Yorkshire Dales throughout the summer and autumn. This is a great way learn how to get off auto mode, and really get to know your camera in beautiful surroundings. If you would like to join us for a day out, then take a look at our website –  and we hope to see you soon.

Below is a selection of images captured in one day, all using quite different techniques to achieve the end results.

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