Last Week’s Shoot – Force Gill

Force Gill near Ribblehead

With a week of damp and dreary weather forecast I was looking for a new waterfall to photograph, so I decided to head to Ribblehead and have a walk up Force Gill having spotted Low Force, Force Gill from the path ascending Whernside when I was doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk a few years ago.  Only Low Force is visible from the main path, but there are many waterfalls marked on the map and I gathered that High Force, Force Gill was just as spectacular as the lower waterfall so I was keen to explore…

Force Gill near Ribblehead
Low Force waterfall in Force Gill near Ribblehead, Yorkshire Dales

I chose the one day in the week that rain wasn’t forecast, but it was still very overcast so I set out past the viaduct and along the path by the railway line expecting decent light for waterfall photography.  So it proved when I reached Low Force though the light drizzle in the air on the walk up had turned to a more steady rain and combined with the spray from the waterfall in the blustery conditions this made the photography quite tricky, even with the regular employment of a lens cloth!

Waterfalls in Force Gill near Ribblehead, Yorkshire Dales
Waterfalls in Force Gill near Ribblehead, Yorkshire Dales

Having had a lunch break by Low Force I climbed the path up above the waterfall and continued upstream.  Gaining a bit of height brought mistier conditions which was quite atmospheric but the distance was getting very murky indeed!  Though the light was lovely for close-up studies of the many little waterfalls along the gill.

Force Gill near Ribblehead
Waterfall and mossy rock in Force Gill

Further up the gill it became more difficult to walk along the bank, so I climbed up the path leading to the top of High Force, Force Gill, but the viewpoint is so exposed that I could barely stand up in the howling gale!  Persevering, I set up the tripod but this promptly blew over while I was getting the camera out of the bag and I could barely see in the spray from the falls so I opted to save High Force for another visit and head back down into the shelter of the valley.

Looking over the lip of Low Force waterfall in Force Gill
Looking over the lip of Low Force waterfall in Force Gill

On the way back I got a few more shots looking over the lip of Low Force but by this time both lens cloths were soaked through and it was difficult to keep the lens free of spray, so I made the walk back down to the Station Inn for a welcome rest before the train home.  Despite the tricky conditions I was quite pleased with some of the images and I can’t wait to return and explore Force Gill some more!

You can find all of the images from the shoot in the Yorkshire Dales gallery on the website.

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a landscape and travel photographer specialising in Yorkshire, England. He supplies licensed images, prints and calendars through marksunderland.com - the source for Images of Yorkshire - and also runs photography workshops in the Yorkshire Dales with Natural Light Workshops.

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