(The ramblings and excuses of a failed dawn landscape photographer)
I don’t normally do early morning. However, this morning, with a promise of frost, sun and autumn colours, I decided to get up early to photograph Dovestone, less than a couple of miles from home. Dawn time was 7:24 am and soon there was just a little light in a clear cloudless sky, but no sunlight hitting even the top of Wharmton hill opposite our house and definitely no frost. By 8 am I had arrived at the Dovestone reservoir and sunlight was now touching the top of Alderman hill, but nothing in the valley was lit, as the hills to the east were solidly blocking the sun.
By 8:30 there was still no sunlight in the valley, but I noticed the first tentative rays appearing on the trees above me, so I climbed the hill above Chew Brook to photograph them instead. Then, a quick descent into the valley allowed me to catch the first rays of sun reaching the grasses and brackens alongside Chew Brook. Here, on the western side of the Pennines, the light arrives late and disappears early.
By 9:45, now only 2 hours from the sun’s meridian, I was back at Wade Lock, Uppermill, to photograph the light along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, before returning home for a warm cuppa. So much for becoming a real landscape photographer and shooting at dawn!