The Beamish Reliability Trial 2019

Every year the Beamish Reliability winds its way through Muker, before the test of Buttertubs, then make a return to the village a few hours later via Oxnop. This year I waited in the drizzle and was rewarded by the sight and sound of some wonderful classic cars and motorcycles, with the dramatic backdrop of Upper Swaledale. As ever I had the camera and so some photos follow. Click through the galleries for bigger pictures.

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Muker Wild Flower Meadows

Packed full with clover, buttercups, pignut and crane’s-bill, the Muker wild flower meadows are spectacular this year, especially given the long, cold winter, which seemed to push spring into May. A compendium of photographs follow with related links after.

Stop the Car! Muker Meadows

Yelland Nature Reserve, Muker

5:30am, Meadows & Mist over Muker

Floating on an Ocean of Yellow & Green, Muker Meadows

Wild Bistort, Muker Meadows 

Muker Meadows after Jackson Pollock

Looking Back to Muker, Muker Meadows

Yelland Nature Reserve, Muker

Late Evening, Muker Meadows

Related links:

Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea, Richard Walls

For the Yorkshire’s Coast & Sea exhibition I’ve had three of my favourite Yorkshire Coast photographs printed on HD aluminium and framed: Saltwick Bay, Saltburn Pier and Broken Ladder, Spurn Point, each in a limited edition series of 20.

Saltwick Bay (featured image above) was taken ten minutes after a mini cliff collapse from which we narrowly escaped (with a mild pebble-dashing) after misjudging the tide. A couple watching from further up the beach told us they’d thought we’d had it, and as they chatted with Polly I wandered off and took the shot.

Saltburn Pier Sunset | Richard Walls

Saltburn Pier has a special place in the gallery. After a wonderful jumble of coincidences and connections it was the first picture we sold (to Kathy) on our first day of opening, perhaps a sign that fate might smile down upon us in our new venture.

Broken Ladder, Spurn Point | Richard Walls

Spurn Point is a place lodged in my earliest memories, my mother being a keen birdwatcher. At its tip is the pier for the Spurn lifeboat station and next to the pier a derelict wooden structure. In Broken Ladder, taken some years ago, a section of ladder hangs precariously, caught in a delicate balancing act, struggling to cross the void. How long it managed to defy the elements I don’t know, but it’s long since disappeared, lost to the wind and waves.

10 Winter Cow’uses, Upper Swaledale

According to the National Park figures there are 1044 field barns, locally called Cow’uses, in Swaledale alone and over 6000 in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, most built between 1750 and the end of the 19th century.

The 10 below (shots taken over the last few weeks and days) are situated around Muker, Thwaite and Keld, in upper Swaledale and most are common sights as we drive up and down the Dale we call home. It will take a good few years and a few inches of boot leather to collect the whole set, but if  you like a nice Cow’us you know where to come!

More background can be found at Every Barn Tells a Story on the National Park Website











Winter in Swaledale 2 – Muker Minimalism

Yesterday’s wintery conditions in Muker provided an ideal opportunity to take a couple of hours out from the renovation of the Old School and shoot some minimal monochrome images, before using these as a basis to create something a little dreamier using movement blur in Analog  Efex Pro.  It might not be everyone’s taste but it was a joy to be a little more creative.










Winter in Swaledale – Part 1

Frozen waterfalls, iced over bridges, snow covered barns, clear blue winter skies, morning mists, trees and  walls etched in the white snow. Our first Winter in Upper Swaledale is here …

Barn & Tree, Keld, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Thwaite, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Ivelet Bridge, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Encroaching Ice, Kisdon Force, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Ice Patterns, Kisdon Force, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Kisdon Force, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Dinner Time Swaledale Fashion, Angram, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Kisdon Force, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Barns near Muker, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Path to Kisdon Force, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Follow the contours, Angram, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Morning Mist, Angram, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Field Barn, near Muker, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

East Gill Force, Keld, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

Late afternoon Winter, Muker, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

After the Storm, Birkdale Common, Swaledale | Sigma SD Quattro H

Room with a View, Birkdale Common, Swaledale | Sony RX1rII

(c) all rights reserved.







Des Res in a Stunning Location

In 2018 we plan to run a number of photography days, taking people out to unique and interesting locations around Swaledale that provide scope to practice their technical and compositional skills. I’d passed this des res old railway van a couple of times recently and when the rain finally stopped this afternoon, went back with the hope of interesting skies. It looks perfect!







Shooting Notes

All shots taken with the Sigma SD Quattro H and post processed in SPP and Lightroom.

Discovering Muker, 1950 Restored

A recently re-discovered print of Muker, measuring 6 feet by 3 feet, found in Reeth Memorial Hall, and dating to circa 1950, one year before electricity came to the village and four years before the creation of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Considering its age it’s in remarkable condition. Who took remains a mystery but whoever it was, had a fine eye, a fine camera and a fine set of muscles to carry it!

Muker, Swaledale, circa 1950 Original

And hopefully the restored version below, now on sale to generate funds for Muker Village Hall, does the original photographer justice.

Muker, Swaledale, circa 1950 Restored



Discovering Muker – Wild Flower Meadows

The Muker wild flower meadows are beginning to come into their own in early June, which for me means a desperate search for interesting angles and compositions.  The image below is my favourite hand held “sketch” so far and I’ll head out early tomorrow with a tripod and (hopefully) interesting light.


The meadows are an inspiration for artists and photographers alike, with the vibrant colours of Buttercups, Clover and Crane’s-bill, scattered all around, broken by the staight lines of dry stone walls and field barns.


The Sigma DP0 Quattro is fast becoming my camera of choice for the meadows; its wide lens capturing immense foreground and its colour rendition and tonal rage showing the wild flows at their best, whether in colour or monochrome.


Muker Monochrome – Year of Discovery

Our new life in Muker, Swaledale at the Old School, provides the opportunity to explore the countryside around, understand the light,  read the weather, revisit scenes as the seasons pass, judge the moods, and develop a feel for the landscape with an intimacy I’ve never had the opportunity to do before. I’m sure it will take a year or two before I have a portfolio worthy of the landscape, but  discovery is my favourite part of the process, and the process has begun.


Track to Muker | Sony RX1rII

Neighbours | Sony RX1rII

On the path to Thwaite | Sony RX1rII