Monday, October 12, 2015

North Yorkshire Day 1 - Reflections in the sand & a lot of steps

Sunrise photograph of Whitby lighthouse in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography

Up for sunrise on my first morning in Whitby, and at 6 o'clock it was a pretty civilised time for a change. I took a stroll down to the 18th century, Grade ll listed East and West piers that flank the entrance to Whitby's harbour, and waited to see if there were any shots to be had. 

There was a lot of cloud in the sky but it was hanging low and dark, so didn't catch any of the morning light. I got a shot of the West pier lighthouse with the sun rising behind it, but other than that I didn't get anything worthwhile.

I hung around for a while, waiting for the morning light to crawl up the coastline behind me, and drape some warm light on the buildings that line the cliff edge overlooking the harbour. Got a few images but by then the biting wind had worn me down a bit, so I was ready to head back to the apartment and get some breakfast.

Sunrise image of Whitby pier in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking along the East Pier in the warm dawn light.

Once that was taken care of I took a drive down the coast to Robins Hood's Bay, and wandered down the steep path that winds through the village to the beach below. By now the sun had come out and the morning was already unseasonably warm.

The wind had also died down to nothing and the sea was looking completely calm, shimmering all the way to the horizon under the bright sunlight. I spent most of my time there getting shots of reflections in the mirrored surfaces of the rock pools, either of the sky and clouds, which was tougher than it sounds as I had to also avoid giving myself a migraine from staring at the sun's reflection, or of the village itself, sitting high above the beach, it's white and orange homes under a clean, blue sky.

Robin Hood's Bay reflection of a rock and clouds by Martyn Ferry Photography
Reflection of clouds in a rock pool.
View of Robin Hood's Bay in the morning sunshine by Martyn Ferry Photography
A view of the entrance to the village from the beach. There always seems to be at least one car parked in
the way every time I'm there.
Reflection of the pretty village of Robins Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Reflection of the village above the storm wall.
Robins Hood's Bay house reflected in a pool of water by Martyn Ferry Photography
One of the houses merging with the ripples of sand on the beach.

Once I had comprehensively photographed everything that could photographed in a rock pool reflection, I clambered back up the path to the car, stopping along the way for a coffee and a sit down in the unbelievably warm weather.

I then drove back towards Whitby, stopping at Saltwick Bay. I wanted to get over to Black Nab, which can only be accessed when the tide is out, and the tide was well out, in fact is was the lowest tide for 18 years that day, so I made the most of it. The sky was a bit bland by now as the majority of the clouds had done a runner, but I got a few images of the Nab and it's accompanying reflection, yep more reflections.

Reflection of Black Nab at Saltwick Bay in Whitby by Martyn Ferry Photography
This shot has an other worldly feel to it.

Saltwick Bay rock reflection in North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
A reflection of a rock shelf at the far end of the bay.

I tried to get a shot of the wreck that sits nearby but I wasn't happy with any of them, I was hindered by the direction of the sun and I kept getting my shadow in the picture, plus a bit of interest in the sky would have improved things. 

Shipwreck and Black Nab at Saltwick Bay in Whitby by Martyn Ferry Photography
A view of the wreck with Black Nab in the distance.

There is quite a lot to see at Saltwick and it has an interesting coastline. I was diverted for an unreasonable amount of time by the pebbles that can be found along the rocky shore. I don't know how many pictures I took of pebbles, but it was a lot, an almost unhealthy amount in fact.

Pebbles collected on a rock shelf at Saltwick Bay by Martyn Ferry Photography
These pebbles had collected together naturally thanks to the movements of the tide.
Saltwick Bay pebble collection by Martyn Ferry Photography
I liked the shape of this collection of pebbles and took far too many shots of it.

By now it was getting towards the end of the day and I wanted to be in Whitby for sunset. I parked up on West Cliff and took the path down to the harbour, the sunlight by now was starting to warm up, and I took a few shots of the buildings that line the West bank of the harbour in the early evening sun. I then made my way around the other side of town and took the steps up to the Church of Saint Mary. 

St Mary's Church in Whitby North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking towards St Mary's Church.

Reflection of houses in warm evening light in Whitby harbour North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
More reflections!

The steps are known as the 199 Steps, because, surprisingly there are 199 of them, although there is some debate on that. They also feature in Bram Stokers Dracula when a huge black dog was seen to run up them towards Whitby Abbey. The main reason to ascend them is of course the view they afford over the town. I set up my gear, making to sure to keep out of the way as much as possible, as the steps are a popular spot, and waited for the sun to dip below the horizon, and the street lamps to be switched on.

Sunset photograph of the 199 steps in Whitby North Yorkshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
Looking down the steps with the street lights shining. I couldn't get a shot
completely devoid of people but this was as good as it was going to get.

The sky wasn't spectacular but there was a bit of interest in there so I hung around a while, trying to get a picture that didn't have people bumbling through it. Afterwards I picked up some fish and chips from one of the many fish and chip shops in town and sat looking over the inky black ocean as I merrily troughed away.

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