We expected a lot of mud and large puddles of water everywhere, but it did not occur to us there could be snow as well. So we were surprised and rather delighted to see quite a bit of white dusting covering the landscape. The first snow we saw was from the car around Queensbury near Bradford, and from there onward there was more and more of it as we neared Wycoller.
The ancient Pack Horse bridge over Wycoller Beck, which flows through the village, with the Hall in the background makes for a nice composition. However, I believe the shot would look more appealing taken in summer time. I know I will be back in summer as this is one of those places you just have to see and photograph in all seasons.
This is my favourite shot of the day. The Hall ruin with its varying geometric shapes against a white, snowy background, taken from a mid distance, lends itself well to a captivating winter image so I decided to play with it a bit. I added a snow texture layer and then "falling snow" effect too. A touch of Orton effect gave it more depth, contrast as well as some softness. I particularly like the forlorn looking, snow covered bench in the bottom right corner. This shot made me dream of real winter, something I seldom experience where I live.
Inside the ruin. The sun was slowly coming out and melting the snow on the ground.
The aisled barn sits behind the Hall. It is now a Visitors Centre. It is believed to be built in 1630 using timbers from the cruck barn previously on the site because more space was needed for threshing the corn they had begun to grow in the valley.
I took this with my mobile phone. It performs quite well in low light (apart from debatable
sharpness), and on this occasion I only wanted a quick shot of the barn.
I have recently heard a rather upsetting piece of information saying that The Lancashire County Council will have to introduce some cash cuts due to which countryside service around Wycoller will be at threat. It means the visitors would not be able to see the barn any more or use the countryside activity centre. This of course caused an uproar among the friends of Wycoller and several thousand protesters, including myself, signed a petition to save the beautiful Bronte landmark.
There is a steep flight of steps near the ruin leading into the Wycoller Country Park. Of course, I had to climb and see what was at the top.
Atom Panopticon can be seen on the left in the distance. It is one of a unique series of 21st century view points designed to attract people into the countryside to enjoy the stunning landscapes. If I had had more time, and if it had not been so cold an muddy I would have walked up there to explore and shoot, but on this occasion I soon went back down the steps and into the village.
Another old bridge over the beck, called Clapper bridge, lying just yards behind the old Pack Horse bridge. There are no less than seven bridges crossing the beck which is something that adds to the quaint charm of the village. The winter sun was fully out by now and very low. I got a through-the- lens flare in the shot which I enhanced in post processing.
We could not leave the village without visiting the Craft Centre, gift shop and Victorian Cafe for a refreshing hot drink. The cafe is extremely charming and cosy as this photo shows. It is another quick mobile shot, I could not possibly distract the visitors by walking around with my camera and clicking away. The cappuccino was very good and inexpensive as well. And next time I come I shall try something from the yummy looking food menu too.
On our way back to Stanbury, where we stopped for a hearty Sunday lunch, there was not so much water on the road or snow on the moors as the sun had been out for a while. G spotted this view with its dramatic light from his driver's seat and asked me if I wanted to stop and take a few shots. Of course, the answer was never going to be no!
I took this from the same spot. It is the road we were travelling on in the same direction as the red car. We left behind some ominous looking sky but the sunshine continued to follow us.
It may be surprising but I took this from the same vantage point as the previous two shots within seconds of each other. It is just that the camera was pointed in different directions. Sometimes it is incredible how the light changes in very short space of time or how it differs within a short distance. These fleeting changes in light are one of the things that make photography such an exciting and forever challenging hobby.