A bird’s eye view of the Tour de France 2014 in Yorkshire

Enthusiastic crowds welcome riders on Day 2 of Le Tour de France 2014 as they enter the village of Ripponden in West Yorkshire. Vincenzo Nibali, from Astana Pro Team, passes the camera at the centre of the peloton. He later took the lead on this dramatic day’s racing to win Stage 2 as it finished in Sheffield. Three weeks later he was crowned overall winner of the 2014 Tour de France after consolidating his early lead and finishing on the Champs Elysées with an eight minute overall lead.

Tour de France stage 2 winner in Ripponden, Yorkshire

An estimated 2.5 million people lined the route of this year’s Tour de France over two days of thrilling cycling across hill, dale and through historic towns and cities in the north of England. Le Tour Yorkshire has been a resounding success by any standard, showing off the enthusiasm of the folk of Yorkshire, and the beautiful landscape we have here. To view a sunset panorama of the view at the top of the gruelling gradient of Cragg Vale nearby, click here.

Tour de France stage 2 winner in Ripponden, YorkshirePhotographing this was a bit of a challenge; I shot fast and panned quickly to catch the peloton as it sped past. The camera was mounted on the top of a 3 metre high carbon fibre pole, which as usual caused plenty of mirth and curiousity in the crowd as we waited for the cyclists to pass.

In the end, the riders flew past us in around twelve seconds, slowing down only slightly to take the bend before climbing up to Ripponden Bank. It might’ve been over in a flash, but it was a fantastic experience never the less. If you ever get the chance to watch the Tour de France, do so… it’s well worth it.

Technical info: photographed using Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 8-15mm f4 fisheye zoom lens; RAW processed with Lightroom 5.4. Stitched with PTGui Pro 5.2.0, output using Pano2VR Pro 4.5
You can also view this panorama on 360cities_logo

Summer’s evening on the beach…

Enjoying a brief Indian summer on a beach at the side of a Pennine reservoir. We started the summer with a heatwave; and despite a lot of rain in the last month, water levels are still significantly lower than they should be, exposing sandy foreshores and hitherto hidden features such as walls and gateposts.

This is Baitings reservoir near Ripponden: I’ve previously photographed this place as I love the sheltered, glassy surface of this stretch of water. This evening was truly glorious though, loved the light, and caught the sun just as it started to dip over the skyline. Shot as a 9 exposure HDR, which captured the full range of the sun’s colour and warmth.

Click below for a full screen 360° view of the scene with Flash, to see the location in Google Earth, or to view an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch compatible version.

The dam at Baitings Reservoir

I used to drive past this reservoir everyday on the commute to and from work. Usually the sluices are dry and there’s a bare ring of stones above the waterline, indicating that the reservoir still had capacity. Not today though: excess water flowed powerfully down the face of the dam, under a glowering sky. So much for summer!

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.