Yorkshire Landscape Photographers…. is Gordale Scar Impossible to Capture?

Gordale Scar…. Can you do it justice?

Going around “that corner” for the first time and seeing inside Gordale Scar is breathtaking. It’s as near as we get to Yosemite Valley in Yorkshire!

The pleasant, flat walk along side the burbling stream doesn’t really prepare you for cavernous geological marvel that awaits you.

It’s a huge gouge in the landscape, some think it’s a collapsed cave, though that theory has been generally abandoned in favour of the land being carved open by millennia of water erosion.

So as a photographer, you walk around the corner and there it is… can you capture that feeling in a shot? Can you convey the size of the thing?

Well I’ve tried many times, in many conditions, and its not an easy location to convey, so a great challenge for your imagination and technical skills.

First off, there’s not a lot of “variety” in the rock – it’s the same “stuff” and looks the same where ever you point your camera. Unless you add points of interest, like waterfalls and people, it can look rather “samey” and 2 dimensional.

Second – scale. People are a great benchmark for a viewer – if you’ve got someone climbing up the waterfall, it instantly tells us the size of the fall. Most landscapers wait for people to get out of the scene… here, I’d do exactly the opposite.

Point of view… I’d encourage you to wander around the cavern and find different views. When you get to see the “upper waterfall“, it’s a magical experience.. I’ll leave it at that.

Anyway – here’s a set of shots from 2007, the day England got beat by South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. Should give you an idea of what it looks like… but do any of them do it justice?

You’ll have to go take a look for yourself 🙂

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