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Photography review of 2017

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Review of 2017’s photography

Yes, its that time of year again: time to sit back in my rocking chair with lit pipe in hand and review the last 12 months of photography.

Having spent so much time in the Lakes over the last few years I have been increasingly aware that another, arguably more important, area of the north was being neglected: Yorkshire. This Yorkshireman was going to have to do something about this and so twelve months ago I decided to do more photography east of the Pennines. And I think its gone quite well.

In light of this I’m going to change my review this year: instead of picking five individual photos I’m allowing myself to pick one from each of the major galleries on my site. And then pick a personal favourite from any gallery. With that decision made let’s plough on …

Grasmere from Stone Arthur

The Lake District entry into this year’s list was taken early on in the year when there was still snow on the fell tops. However I was well below the snow line when I took this photo.

This was the reverse of a walk I’d done some years before: a loop from Grasmere to High Rigg climbing via Stone Arthur and descending via Alcock Tarn. This time I descended via Stone Arthur and waited patiently for some good light, light that hadn’t been there on my first visit. I was rewarded after a bit of a wait.

Huggate furrows

During the summer I reacquainted myself with the Yorkshire Wolds. The outings to the Wolds ended up being so enjoyable and so productive that I added a gallery of Yorkshire Wolds photos to this site.

My favourite photograph from this collection is above: an unusual one that shows the large, rolling fields typical of this area.

To say there was a lot of luck in getting this shot would be an understatement. Firstly it was taken at the end of a long hike and I was knackered – taking a photo was the last thing on my mind. I can’t believe I almost didn’t. Secondly I only took the path past this field at the last minute, purely to avoid walking on the nearby road. And finally the farmer had only just ploughed the field – a day earlier and there would have been no photo.

In short I think this wins the Lucky Photo of the Year award.

RAF Fylingdales on Lockton High Moor

The North York Moors has been another area neglected by myself in recent years. Realising this I put aside the end of August and start of September to concentrate on the area – a ‘North York Moors month’ of sorts. This was deliberately timed to coincide with the moorland heather coming into flower. What a great decision that turned out to be!

It wasn’t easy to pick a single favourite from the Moors for this year but an obvious contender was one I took from a trip to The Hole of Horcum at dawn. The morning I picked get up early just happened to coincide with one of the first autumn dawn mists of the year. I could have taken many more photos than I did on this day but sometimes to appreciate a view you just have to look at it with your own eyes, not through a lens. Thankfully I did remember to take a few photos too though.

Whernside whiteout

A late addition to my Yorkshire Dales photo collection has ended up being my favourite Dales photo of the year. A surprise as I had already selected a different photo for this title earlier in December.

I’m glad this came out as well as it did as, hardly surprisingly, it was a bit cold on Whernside. The combination of strong wind, sub-zero temperatures and standing around waiting for the light to be right meant that I appreciated every layer I had on. And there were many!

Helmsley Moor and Roppa Cross North

And so onto my wildcard choice and what is probably my favourite photo from 2017: Roppa Cross North, a summertime addition to my North York Moors photo gallery.

As I’ve already said, the days out I had onto the North York Moors this summer were unforgettable. This summer was apparently one of the most colourful in years on the moors.

I had been onto Helmsley Moor many years ago and knew it was a great patch of moorland. Roppa Cross North and Roppa Cross South are useful as a photographic anchors in the sea of heather, the northern one being the more photogenic to my mind.

To be there on that evening when the cloud was rolling in just before sunset was just good fortune. The result is a photo I love.

And there you have it, that was 2017. I’ve got about a bit this year which has made up for the lack of wild camping trips. Hopefully I’ll be dusting off the old tent a bit more often in 2018 and get back to my normal fare.

Photography review of 2017 was last modified: August 16th, 2020 by Gavin Dronfield

Further reading:

  • A dawn walk round the Hole of Horcum
    September 2017 : A photography trip to a misty Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors

  • A walk from Stainforth to Winskill Stones
    April 2017 : Watching sunset from the limestone pavement of Winskill Stones in Ribblesdale

  • Lake District Wild Camping
    August 2020 : A list of wild camping locations in the Lake District tried and tested out by yours truly

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