f4 Photographic Group go to Maldon

An f4 trip to somewhere new. Fresh challenges like, what do we photograph, what’s the beer like, what have I forgotten, have I remembered to register my car with reception, where’s the nearest ATM – all spring to mind. Discussions earlier in the year led us to Maldon. Colchester with it’s history, Maldon and West Mersea with the Thames barges and numerous coastal landscape spots, a potential photographer’s feast.

The weather was reasonably kind to us, with the notable exception of when we visited Walton on the Naze. I was expecting more from the tower at one end but the pier at the other, together with a sudden onset of fog, made for some interesting results. We visited a couple of good restaurants, one on the seafront at West Mersea and the other, a Thai restaurant in Colchester. The third was an Indian restaurant in Colchester and I have to say that even a sardine would have felt uncomfortably squashed, there was that little room.

Anyway, here are a few images from the break, including the one that won “Best of the Annual Trip” – “Thick Fog at Walton”.

Tornado at Ribblehead Viaduct

Not a physical tornado but Tornado – A1 class locomotive. I went with my photo buddy Pete Stockton for a day west of Hawes when we saw that Tornado was running. The day started with us looking at some lone trees on limestone pavement stuff at Southerscales and then having a bit of a trek up the hill to get a better vantage point of Tornado. We were standing around for a while and it was fairly cold so a good job we were layered up. It was also a good job that I’d had a decent breakfast, having stayed at the lovely Old Dairy Farm just outside Hawes. It’s run by Paul and Pam and an absolute treasure. Wonderful food and company and my room was very comfy too.

So Tornado came and went and then we decided to have a look at an old ruined cottage that we’d seen earlier. A well earned pint in Aysgarth and we called it a day.

Flying Scotsman and North Yorkshire

My photographer friend Pete Stockton and I decided to enjoy a couple of days in North Yorkshire taking in a few landscapes and also following the Flying Scotsman as it visited the North Yorkshire Moors railway section between Pickering and Grosmont.

The first day gave us wall to wall sunshine although it was quite cold – especially on the top of the ridges looking back towards the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge where I spent an evening. Lovely old inn, in the middle of nowhere but full of folk enjoying the great food and beer. We took the “lone tree” options available to us as well as a few panoramic views. There was a pleasant church in one small village which we thought would prove interesting but, as is a sign of the times today – it was locked.

When I looked out of my window on the second morning I couldn’t see a thing. The fog was incredibly thick, so I resigned myself to the fact that not much would be done. Pete arrived and said that there was some better vision lower down so off we went to Grosmont and on the Goathland. The railway crossing in Grosmont was closed so we sat and waited as hundreds of train aficionados milled backwards and forwards across the road. Eventually we caught sight of the Flying Scotsman as it belched a plume of thick white smoke across the road, making half of the folk scatter and the other half invisible. We got going shortly afterwards and drove through to Goathland , stopping just outside the village at a suitable crossing where we claimed our precious square foot of territory and waited. It was freezing cold and we had light drizzle and a head wind. My favourite image of the train coming through is from this spot. There’s plenty of smoke and almost an equal amount of fog to create some atmosphere. Following on from this we went down to Darnholme and also Beck Hole. A great couple of days.

f4 Photographic Group

Had a trip with f4 last week. We went down to the Peak District over the weekend to take a few decent landscapes. However, the weather was distinctly unkind to us and the first two days were wet. The third day we managed a visit to Padley Gorge and were after a sunset to finish off with but didn’t materialise. Still, a trip on the Peak Rail steam service between Matlock and Rowsley was worth it and also a short stop to Masson Mills where we went into the museum. Plenty of interesting features there.

Bobbins Padley Gorge 1 Peak Rail Matlock