Sunset, snow… and the ‘Rude Stone’


I only found out about this old stone cross last year when I was researching for another project. It stands on the hills between Todmorden and Cliviger, near the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. There’s some debate about how old Mount Cross actually is, with locals suggesting it may originally date from the 7th century, although other estimates date it from the 11th or 12th century. Either way, it’s the most ancient religious monument in the area, and may have stood weatherbeaten and resolute looking down the valley for close to a millenium. Pre-Schism, pre-enclosure, pre-industrial – there were still wild boar and wolves around back then – I imagine even in those days the silhouette of this priapic religious feature may’ve raised a smile or two, earning it the nickname of the ‘Rude Stone’.

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Since shooting the video below (a short HDR timelapse of the sun setting here last year) I’ve harboured the desire to get back and capture a really stunning sky. One late Saturday afternoon, as the sun set quicker than the temperature, I grabbed a couple of DSLRs and set off up the hill. First I shot some bracketed stills, then, just as the sun dropped over the hills, captured this HDR 360° panorama.

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Bramsche timelapse: a day in the life of a new café bar

Here’s a standalone timelapse and photo slideshow, capturing the opening day of the new Bramsche Bar in Todmorden on Friday 9th December 2011.

Anti Limited was commissioned to install one of our self-contained, discrete timelapse camera units to capture the whole of the opening day; from the shutters being removed outside the venue, all the way to cleaning and closing up, almost 21 hours later. The video was then edited and placed online, and was used as exclusive launch content for the bar’s social media strategy. It provided an exciting, cost-effective and engaging piece of content for the audience, whilst demonstrating exactly how the space can be used at different times of the day.

After several years lying vacant, a new team has carefully refurbished and renovated this property, designing and fitting it out with care and passion. The fare concentrates on the best of local food and drink, but with a wider European bar and café influence as well. When you consider the well-stocked jukebox, a great selection of cakes, a small but perfectly formed menu, and some seriously good coffee, it’s a perfect daytime destination.  Add a great range of ales from Lancashire and Yorkshire, and an equally solid range of continental beers alongside a good cocktail list, and you’ve got an essential new addition to the Upper Calder Valley’s social circuit.

All timelapse, stills photography and editing by Anti Limited. Music credit: Minotaur Shock – Ocean Swell, courtesy of Melodic Records.

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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!

Sundogs over burned moorland

I was out walking with a mate on the tops near home when we saw how first-hand much damage the recent spate of moorland fires had wreaked on the landscape. I know this area fairly well: the conifers in the background were well-grown and obscured the view to the heather beyond. At least that was until the fires took over,  burning and blackening the heath, scrub, and many trees. More were scorched, their needles taking on unworldly hues, and fresh green growth was determinedly poking through the charred earth to make the most of the short summer.

Closer to the camera the pond had retreated into two smaller pools, sapped by the earlier heat of the summer. The cycle of devastation and rebirth painted a vivid picture: I was mesmerised by the colours and decided to shoot an HDR panorama. It was only part-way through we noticed a small spectrum-like flare either side of the sun, flanking it like two shimmering prisms. I’m really pleased to have unintentionally captured this uncommon phenomenon, known as sun dogs or parhelia, caused by sunlight refracting through high, icy cirrus clouds.

Incidentally this was the first pano I finished with HDR Expose, a new app to rival Enfuse and Photomatix which I’ve used for years to tonemap 32-bit images. Still getting to grips with this new tool, I like the more life-like results it allows than some HDR examples you see around the web.

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.

Air-dried hams hanging in the breeze

Artisan cured air-dried ham at the diminutive but wonderful Height Top Barn Co. near Todmorden. SJ and Nat run a small farm offering a seasonal selection of farmhouse products and wonderful freshly baked bread. Their weekend home delivery service is valued by all their friends on the round, as they sell their own produce and that of the local cheesemaker to your door on a Saturday morning. The perfect start to the weekend… fresh bread, eggs and cheese…

The ham was something they started experimenting with, alongside bacon and pork pies, as their first pigs matured and were ready for the table last year. The flavour of their dry cure is quite special, and the hams hang for months in the drying shed, cooled by the Pennine winds blowing across the tops. However unless you’re a friend of SJ and Nat there’s no chance you’ll get to savour this from their Pennine larder… it’s not available for sale!

There was something very tranquil about this taking this shot, in a tiny room full of produce raised in the fields outside, as the hams spun gently in the breeze.

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