Did I type that right? Yep, sunshine on a bank holiday weekend - VERY unheard of in England. Especially in May! My mother was up to visit, so we took every opportunity to bask in the sunshine and explore where I live.
Sandsend for Sunset
As soon as my mother arrived, we made dinner - which was ridiculously healthy - and headed out to Sandsend for sunset. I took my camera and my tripod with the ambition of taking some stunning photographs. When we arrived at the beach, I realised that my SD card was not in my camera and stupidly didn't think of looking in my camera bag. There I was utterly frustrated with myself that I was missing an INSANE opportunity to capture an absolutely beautiful sunset, I later found out the next day that all along I had two other SD cards just chilling in my bag..... Regardless, we watched the beautiful orange and pink colours dance along the calmest of seas. I have a thing for collecting anything and everything from the beach, especially sea glass. With no photos to take, I went off hunting for the best pebbles, sea glass and rocks that Sandsend had to offer. Safe to say, we came back happily with a rock the size of my head and bag of beautifully weathered pebbles and sea glass. I did manage to capture the colours of the sunset with my iPhone 7 though.
11pm Friday evening I decided on the location for Saturday's adventure. I decided on the Gormire Lake in the North York Moors as I loved the look of tranquil photos other people had taken there. I knew that the Tour de Yorkshire was happening in and around the area that we needed to get to, so we had to take a rather pretty detour down country lanes to get to Thirlby. A sudden deep sense of disappointment loomed as we approached road signs that said 'Road Closed', but Apple maps proved its brilliance by taking us straight into the heart of the little village to park up. We parked up at the end of Carr Lane, which was one of two car parks you can use to get to the lake. The other one was Sutton Bank visitor centre one, but with the cycling race on, you couldn't get anywhere near it.
The main reason why I chose the location was because it was renowned for its bluebells, but I think we were a week too late. They were on their way out, looking a bit worse for wear. So, I decided to concentrate on the lake and see if I could find a couple of compositions there. Thankfully, a trunk/branch protruding from the lake proved to be a perfect subject. It actually ended up being one of my favourite photos I have taken before. Just goes to show that you have to adapt when on location, you may have an image in your mind, but in reality it may not actually develop.
Staithes for Sunset
I had the ambition to capture at least one sunset during the weekend, so after another healthy dinner, my mother and I headed down to Staithes late evening. I've found Staithes a little strange in the past. Don't get me wrong it's a beautiful down in the harbour, but when it isn't a bank holiday or summer, the village is deserted and feels a little eery. The cottages are quaint and I love the winding streets, but the fact that probably 90% of the cottages are holiday lets or second home, kind of ruins it for me. I love to go to a harbour village and be with the locals, fishermen/women, but when it's just a holiday and tourist destination it doesn't have the same feel. Anyway, thankfully there were lots of people down in the harbour enjoying the sunset with us. I actually felt like I was on holiday, and I only live not far away! The sunset was pretty good, but annoyingly not as good as the one the night before. Typical! I think a sunset it so much more dramatic when there are clouds of different shapes and sizes, and unfortuantely on Saturday there wasn't a cloud in sight! I did however, find a beach where there are boats moored up! I was looking for somewhere to take some pictures of boats against the sunset!
After a delicious brunch, as a last trip to the beach, myself and my mother walked to Skinningrove beach. I knew it isn't great to head out at midday, especially in full sunshine, with the hope of great photography - the light is far too bright especially when it is in the mid 20s with not a cloud in the sky, even with a ND filter - but it was a suggestion I could not refuse.
Once we reached the beach, the local council were there with rubbish bags and litter pickers encouraging visitors to head on down and clean the beach. Also couldn't refuse such an opportunity to use a litter picker. They're strangely quite satisfying! We found quite a selection of rubbish, with the most worrying being little tiny pieces of plastic. It was great fun collecting rubbish, but very concerning about the amount of it found just on that one beach.
It was time to wave goodbye to my mother, and plan for my next adventure tomorrow.
Sunday night I was adamant that I was going to explore the North Pennines. I wanted to head over to Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout. Then on Monday we were spontaneously invited for a BBQ at my boyfriend's parents. Winner winner, quorn chicken dinner. Who would be stupid enough to deny such an invite?
Instead of heading to the North Pennines, we decided to head to Swinsty Reservoir for a trot around. It was ridiculously hot, 26'c in Yorkshire is unheard of - especially in May. It was such a lovely walk in and out of the trees, and along the water. Unfortunately the reservoir was lacking in composition, and I almost put my camera away in disappointment until we crossed one of the dams, and the reflection of the forest trees glistened on the water, and just like it was planned, a kayaker came roaring across.
And that photograph topped off such a lovely bank holiday weekend.
Hope you had a fun-filled bank holiday and enjoyed the sunny weather - while it lasts!!
- MM x