May 2017 – Roseberry Topping Bluebells, North Yorkshire
For the second year running I headed up to the bluebell woods at Newton-under-Roseberry in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. It is one of the best bluebell locations in the area and an amazing sight at the height of May. The sun sets across the scene looking towards Roseberry Topping and Little Roseberry, local landmarks and a natural photo composition. This all means of course that it is also a good place to meet other photographers!
I did a bit of research with the Photographer’s Ephermeris to check out the lighting of the scene, sunset times and angles.
Post code TS9 6HP.
Head through Great Ayton towards Gribdale passing the train station. Before the road narrows between two houses, turn left up Aireyholme Lane towards Aireyholme Farm (Childhood home of Captain James Cook, discoverer of Australia).
Free parking is available in one of the spots along the left-hand side of the road before reaching the farm.
Walk up Aireyholme lane towards the farm and then take the stile up a steep bank on your left.
Walking route 1: Aireyholme Farm’s Fields
Follow the path straight on over two further stiles then turn right and follow the path around the base of the hill.
Walking route 2 – Cliff Rigg Quarry
Take care around the quarry which has steep sides and sheer cliffs with no fences in places!
A serene sunset fading in to the blue hour from Cliff Rigg Quarry shot with a Samsung S6. The rising smoke is flaring from the Wilton site in Redcar.
The hill around Cliff Rigg Quarry also has a lot of gorse which is stunning when in bloom in May, another photographer showed me a great photo he had captured of the sunset through the gorse over the quarry.
Both routes meet here at a sculpture made to make you consider the landscape around you, this comes naturally to a photographer but does it to all?
The Shots – Tuesday 9th May
I took a walk up to check out the scene and to see how the bluebells were doing, it was still too early, whilst very pretty, the sky was flat blue and the bluebells were not yet at their best. The flat sky reminded me of my attempt to get a shot of this in 2016 which was met with clear blue skies every time!
The return visit – Tuesday 16th May
After a week’s wait and having spotted a promising weather forecast of sunny spells with cloud I headed back out for another go. A number of togs were already on the scene and it soon became clear that we were in for a good sunset!
I set up my tripod and tried a number of compositions, eventually settling on two.
I attached my LEE Filter holder with a 0.9 ND hard grad filter and my 105mm circular landscape polariser. I adjusted the polariser dial in order to polarise the sky to maximum effect.
Sunday 21st May
I couldn’t quite get the image of the barley field out of my mind, seeing a nice weather forecast for Sunday evening I decided to work off some of the food eaten at a family barbeque and headed back up Aireyholme lane.
Tractor lines in fields are a bit of a cliche but the lines drew straight up to Roseberry Topping and over a number of small hills for a natural composition. The farmer rotates his crops so it also makes for an ever changing scene each year. In previous years there’s been bright yellow rapeseed crops in the field too.
A beautiful location, one I will be returning to soon once the heather is in flower at nearby Cockshaw Hill.