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England’s highest beach

Two spring evenings at Gaddings Dam, on Langfield Moor above Todmorden. I’d previously shot a couple of panoramas up here in worse weather, but warmer spring evenings have been tempting me out to enjoy the hills again recently.

This expanse of water reflects the great bowl of the sky above, and these photos capture those hazy ephemeral moments as the sun drops out of sight towards the Irish Sea in the west on two evenings. Pity it doesn’t capture the sounds of curlews and other birds breaking the silence. Gaddings Beach, or Tod beach as it’s also affectionately refered to, is sometimes called ‘England’s highest beach’ and is a great spot for enjoying the summer sun, far from the madding crowds of the valley.

HTML5 version

Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

HTML5 version

Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

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.

Setting sun over the Giant’s Causeway

Having grown up in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway was the place you’d always take visitors. Internationally recognised, visually impressive, geologically distinctive, culturally neutral: even at the height of the Troubles when other places may’ve been off-limits , the Causeway was the tourist destination. Rightly so: it’s a wonderous and crazy-looking place, with hexagonal columns formed by basalt cooling rapidly. No wonder in the days before we had an understanding of vulcanology the locals believed it was built by the giant Fionn mac Cumhaill: a much more romantic explanation.

Trouble is, it’s (justifiably) extremely popular, and so viewing it without hordes of sightseeing visitors is nigh on impossible, except in publicity photographs. Apart from on a Friday night when there’s a World Cup match on, so most people are either glued to the telly or going out for the night. Result…

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the bay around the main causeway look as magical. The sea was calm, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and the sun slowly dropped towards the horizon, painting the vista with increasing saturated colours. With so few people around we felt like we had the place to ourselves, for which I was incredibly appreciative. Such emptiness made it easier to understand the scale and beauty of the natural features. Truly magical.

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

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

Sunset and snow on London Road, near Mankinholes

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Salmon skies light up the snowy ridge of Langfield Common, near Todmorden. Stoodley Pike sits on the hillside, overlooking  the Upper Valley.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash, or for more info in Google Earth.

Just in time: watching the sun sink behind the hills

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