Friday, 30 August 2019

The Town of Hebden Bridge and The Village of Heptonstall, West Yorkshire

Hebden Bridge is a lovely town in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, lying at the confluence of the river Calder and the Hebden Water. Rochdale canal runs through the town too, adding extra charm to it. Like many other Yorkshire towns, Hebden Bridge used to be a mill town producing wool and woolen goods. Now, there are many interesting independent shops, unusual cafes etc., and for me it is one of the most attractive towns of West Yorkshire. I love its creative culture and the preserved olde worlde feel about it. What makes it even more dear to my heart is that it is only a few miles away from my favourite place, Haworth. The countryside between the two is very beautiful and the walk from Hebden Bridge to Haworth, or vice versa is on my list of walks to be done in the near future. I hadn't been to Hebden for a few years and on the Sunday a couple of weeks ago I was delighted to be back and to see some changes for the better. There is a market four days a week now, Thursday to Sunday, in the centre of the town; it was so good to see lots of stalls full of tempting local produce and craft products. The Hebden Bridge Mill shops seem to be open regularly now too with the vintage and ethnic stuff I always enjoy rifling through.

The pretty Hebden Bridge Station

Rochdale Canal

Rochdale Canal

Rochdale Canal

View of the town form the Rochdale Canal

Rochdale Canal

A most charming bistro with a balcony overlooking the river

The bridge over the river Calder in the heart of the town

Lovely little shopping centre

Cross Lane Methodist Graveyard half way up between Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall village

The gorgeous historic hilltop village of Heptonstall is my second favourite place in the world, Haworth of course, being the first. Some people think Heptonstall prettier than Haworth, and I can see why. It is perched high above Hebden Bridge and is characterised by its charming ancient hand-loom weavers cottages.

Around the entrance to the village

I was pleased to see a little craft shop had opened since my last visit in the building on the left.

Probably the most amazing sight you come across in the village - sheer fairy tale!

The ruins of the old Thomas a' Becket Church. The new church stands opposite

American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath was buried in Heptonstall. She was married to the Yorkshire poet Ted Hughes.

This street in the centre of Heptonstall reminds me very much of Haworth's Main Street with its cobbles and a distant view of the valley.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Portraiture Photography With Haidi, Summer 2019

Having my Croatian niece Haidi to stay with me here in Leeds also meant having fun doing portrait photo shoots. She loves modelling and I love taking photos; I always say portraiture has never been and will never be my favorite category of photography, but I am always happy and excited to work with suitable and willing models; and Haidi is more than that - she is also someone I know well and someone I love dearly, which makes things easier and the whole shooting more relaxed and enjoyable. Moreover, Haidi is beautiful and talented in more than one way. To be fair, I couldn't wish for a better model, and we shall continue to create photo images.

Golden Acre Park, Leeds

This was just a family outing to a nearby park; no photo shoot was planned, and I just took a few spontaneous shots of Haidi at a couple of pretty spots in the park.

Oakwell Hall, Birstall

We chose the grounds of the beautiful, historic Oakwell Hall for a more thought out shoot. We bought a cream silk tunic for Haidi to wear and made sure we were out on a late, bright afternoon for some pleasant lighting. We focused on mood and atmosphere images and also went for a few theatrical pics conveying some hard emotions.

This photo shoot was followed by another one a few days later, at a location that I carry deep in my heart - Top Withens, the ruin whose location inspired the location of the house in "Wuthering Heights", the famous novel by Emily Brontë. We made some great images on the day, and I am very excited at the prospect of editing them some time this autumn.

Friday, 16 August 2019

August in Golden Acre Park, Leeds

As I write this the weather here in Yorkshire is very disappointing; It's the middle of August and there is a lot of rain, strong winds are blowing and temperatures wavering around 17 degrees. I am so pleased I managed to experience some real summer earlier this month and take a handful of colourful shots I can now look at to warm my heart. It was a wonderful day out in Golden Acre Park with G, my lovely niece Haidi and her partner Bruno who had come from Croatia to stay with us, and, of course, our doggy Midge. Golden Acre looked more beautiful than I had ever seen it; the gardens were bursting with various gorgeous flowers and plants. It was one of those rare days I shall cherish forever. I am hoping to go back one evening with fond memories in my mind and take some photos in the golden hour.