Photoshopping Sunrays with Curves

Sometimes you only get a fleeting second of light and you’ll have to grab what you can with the camera you having your hands.

The story behind this photo is that we were walking to a limestone pavement to capture photos of trees growing out of rocks when one of the clouds opened and let the sun shine through for what was only a few fleeting seconds. This is the image I grabbed.

Luckily I did have a 2 stop neutral density grand filter on the camera so could protect the highlights to some extent but as you will see in this video the foreground is pretty much black and the sky is almost burnt out.

In this full length tutorial I take you through the steps to rescue something from this grab shot, starting from the raw file in Adobe Lightroom and working 2-in Photoshop with luminosity masks and curves layers to lighten the darks and enhance contrast.

5 Landscape Photography Locations in Yorkshire

Such a HUGE National Park, where do you begin?

Yorkshire is a huge county and is full of amazing photography locations. It has 300 feet tall coastal cliffs and craggy inland limestone edges, long stone walls and burbling waterfalls. It really is a dream for photographers of all kinds, but where do you start our Yorkshire landscape photography journey? 

To help find the best places, and show you our favourite viewpoints, we regularly run Yorkshire landscape photography workshops in the Dales and the Yorkshire Coast, for more details of our days out in the dales, pop over to our Workshop website

View current workshops 


So where to start with your Yorkshire landscape photography?

This list could be easily 20 locations long, but we’ve kept it down to 5 which showcase the coast, dales and industrial heritage – the iconic images of the county. 


Firstly – What kit should you take? 

Before you go, we’d recommend you take with you some decent kit items – including:-


1 Flamborough Head – Caves and Cliffs

Just north of Bridlington, this outcrop is full of things like upturned boats, white cliffs and caves, rock pools and all sorts of other delights.

It’s certainly one of my favourite coastal locations – not as well photographed as it’s cousins up the road, Whitby, Scarborough and Staithes, as it’s probably not quite as “picture postcard” beautiful, rather majestic, dangerous and riddled with a smuggling past.


2 – Malham – Limestone and Waterfalls

If you’re looking for “impressive”, then Malham is the epitome of it in the Dales. The place has the amazing Cove, the even more amazing Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss (waterfall), a tarn and lots of limestones.

In these shots, we see a very well photographed tree on Malham Rakes, up above Gordale Scar. The rock formation is known as “clints and grikes” – they’re really deep in parts, several feet, so be careful not to drop anything down them!


3 – Aysgarth Falls – 3 Cascading Falls in 1 Mile

Aysgarth has a series of falls rather than one main fall – here we see the lower falls cascading towards the camera. The shape and variety of the falls could keep you occupied for a shoe afternoon if you’re feeling creative.

Ample opportunity for wide angle shots like this one, or long lens shots which hone in different parts of the falls. There’s also a shop at the car park which does nice ice cream


4 – Hardcastle Crags – Woodland Trail With A Beautiful Mill

This is a gorge above Hebden Bridge, near Heptonstall. It’s mainly woodland and a burbling stream which guides you up the valley.

It’s a great place on a sunny day when light peeks through the trees leaving a mottled pattern on the floor. After a good walk from the car park, you get to Gibson Mill, which has this wonderful mill pond at the back offering perfect mirror reflections on a calm day.


5 – Bolton Abbey – Classic Dales Landscape And Ruined Abbey

Bolton Abbey has featured the BBC2 series “The Trip”, where Steve Coogan falls in the Wharf whilst running over some stepping stones.

The stepping stones are a great feature as are the abbey ruins and woods around the river. There’s also a very thin part of the river called the Strid, where the whole Wharf goes through a 6-foot gap – surreal.

A little walk from the river up Desolation Valley gets you to 2 waterfalls – the falls in this gallery are the lower and largest, it must be between 20 and 30 feet tall and is probably one of the most beautiful in the Dales.

I prefer it in winter when you get some ice on it and the leaves don’t block the sunlight so much. It also gets lovely icicles.

Well there are 5 locations to have a go at if you’re after somewhere with photographic potential.


Other Yorkshire Locations You Need To Visit