A walk in the Yorkshire Wolds, captured by the Fuji XE-1
Posted on 8th September, 2014
The Yorkshire Wolds have been on my ‘to do’ list for far too long. Anyone who visited the amazing David Hockney exhibition in London a few years ago will have an idea of what a special landscape it is. I’ve also often admired Paul Moon’s beautiful photos of the area. We used to cycle there many years ago but have not properly explored it on foot, nor had I yet managed to explore it photographically. Our weekend walk offered the chance to start putting those two things right. Photographers come in many shapes and sizes and I know there are those that feel you cannot take ‘proper’ photographs on a walk. I don’t fall into that camp. It’s true I can’t spend the time I’d like working on a particular scene but there is still that chance to react to a special moment of light and to work off instinct. And even if not, the chance to create photographic sketches is invaluable for returning at a later date. Invariably one ends up with more of the latter, but one of my best photographs ever was the result of reacting quickly on a walk, albeit a walk on skis. It matters not a jot to me that it was the result of a happy combination of circumstances rather than the culmination of a pre-planned photographic marathon. We’d identified a rough route - starting at Millington and working our way northwards towards Huggate Wold before heading across to Bishop Wilton Wold and back down via Givendale. We enjoyed beautiful late summer conditions with just the right amount of cloud cover to make for interesting skies and a lovely play of light on the land. I had brought all my Fuji gear with me, packed into my F-Stop Kenti bag and with my Redged travel tripod on the back. So lovely to be able to travel so light and yet have every photographic scenario covered with this kit - even if I did end up using almost only one lens! I’d forgotten how deceptively steep the Wolds can be, even if the steep stretches do not last long. I rather regretted not wearing my walking boots for their extra support over my walking shoes and, by the time we’d done our 12 miles or so, my limbs were rather feeling their age! For the last hour or so of our walk, the light was particularly lovely and the chalky fields really are shown to their best with low sun and shadows picking out the gentle undulations of the landscape. I couldn’t resist a black and white conversion for one such scene, as it really does allow you to focus on the play of light and shade on the land. That said, I think I do still prefer the more subtle rendering in colour - it feels the more truthful interpretation to me. A little further along in the same field, I was rather struck by some characterful trees that emerged high above the hedgerow - again with beautiful shadows and pools of light being cast over the ploughed field. All of these photographs were taken without making my long-suffering husband and dogs wait for too long. Of course I would like to have waited for longer to see how the light developed - but I’m still pleased with some of the results and now have a few ideas of what I want to do when I go for a proper photography outing. And, most important, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, walking and taking in some beautiful, understated scenery.