Much of my interest in photography is linked to another love of my life, the wide open spaces of the British countryside. From being very young I have had a love of the outdoors. I grew up in south Manchester but I remember as a young child that, usually on a Sunday evening, we would go out for a drive into the local countryside, probably into the nearby Peak District and it is from those early memories that I recall falling in love with the moors and peaks of northern England. Since that time I have enjoyed capturing the scenic beauty of this England (and Wales!) of ours and that has continued to the present day even though much of my photography is actually urban street work and events.
I am fortunate enough now to live very close to those same moors that as a boy I would visit. In fact I am sat right on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire – ‘war-of-the-roses’ country if there was ever such a thing and probably only a 30-minute drive to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are some very beautiful places close to hand and when the mood takes me, I am still inclined to go out with the camera and search out an image.
This photograph was taken very close to home. It depicts the trig point on the summit of a local hill called ‘Pinhaw’, sat just above the Yorkshire village of Lothersdale. Pinhaw was a ‘beacon’ summit, part of the chain of beacons that would be lit across the country when it was threatened with invasion, as might have been the case in 1588 with the Spanish Armada. In the distant to the left you can make out the whale-backed shape of Pendle Hill, that of the witches fame and very much the local landmark for where I live – and another beacon summit. I captured this image in late September 2015 as the late-summer heather was fall of colour and bloom and the sun was setting in the clear skies above.
It is often said that the ‘trick’ of scenic work is in waiting for the ‘right light’ to occur. While I would not dispute that – in fact one could argue that the trick in all photography is to wait for the ‘right’ moment – another point of view might be that spacial awareness, and understanding of ‘place’ is as important as the right light. Living as close as I do the this piece of northern England gives me the opportunity to seek out the right places and to choose my moments. I can only hope that I am able to enjoy the delights of my local area and indeed further afield as time progresses… and always have a camera with me to captures those places and moments in time…