Yorkshire light

As an expatriate Yorkshireman I like to get back on home turf when I can. A few weeks ago I visited the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Harlow Carr near Harrogate for the first time. It was that magical time when summer was giving way to autumn (fall, to our American readers) and the light was clear , warm & mellow. Lots of amateur photographers snapping away at each flower and bed but, in my analysis of their viewpoints, taking no note of how the light was falling – with soft shadows subtly shading into saturated ¬†colours and the lower sun than in high summer giving shape and form to statuesque trees, or backlighting the foliage.

A few days later, staying with friends at Marske-by-the-Sea in what is now called the County of Cleveland but which was for centuries Yorkshire, a walk on the dunes made me look at the light bouncing towards me from the sea and beach. It made me reflect (no pun intended) on the old instruction, when I had my first camera – Get the sunlight over your left shoulder & you can’t go wrong! – but no-one said – Get the light anywhere except over your shoulders, and you may go wrong sometimes, but when you get it right, it’ll be worth it!

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