Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer: Blog en-us (C) Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer [email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:20:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:20:00 GMT Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer: Blog 90 120 Humber Street Sesh 2018 It was great to be back at Humber Street Sesh to photograph this fantastic festival. The festival continues to grow and adds more stages each year showcasing the best local musicians in the North of England. Check out below my images from the day. Featuring Rich Stephenson, SLEEPERMAN, THE COOL SEAS, VULGARIANS, LUCIA and headlining the Spiders from Mars stage - AVALANCHE PARTY.

Humber Street Sesh - Download Here

Avalanche Party OpeningA timelapse from the Spiders from Mars Big Top at Humber Street Sesh Avalanche Party Closing

[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) gig photography HSS hull music humber street sesh humber street sesh 2018 humber street sesh photography the sesh photography Mon, 13 Aug 2018 20:26:49 GMT
Photographing Barn Owls - Advice from a Photographer Welcome to this short blog post where I will explain my techniques to capture my best Barn Owl photographs to date. 

Now, first of all I am extremely lucky to live in an area of countryside that has untouched areas of grasslands. The Yorkshire Wolds are a patchwork of large arable farming fields. However, there are areas of grasslands that are unable to manage large agricultural machinery. It's these areas that voles and mice are feeding a thriving owl community. All within 1 mile from my home. 

I've photographed Barn Owls before. But only off the cuff, 'spray and pray' images usually from the warmth of the car. However when the opportunities were  so close to home, I decided to spend more time learning their behaviour and trying different techniques.

Peeka Hoo!ISO 1000, f6.3, 1/500 sec

1. Location.

You'll most likely spot a Barn Owl sat on a post or a hedgerow by the roadside when passing in the car. Take a note of the local fields. Is there a large area of long grass near by? Is the owl hunting the roadside verges? Owls will hunt the same areas and locations if they've had success. Return the next morning or evening and see if there's a pattern of visits. There could be more than 1 owl that hunts the same location.

Owls about that1/500 sec, F6.3 ISO 1000 @ 600mm

2. Blend In. 

Camouflage isn't essential but will help. Wear dark colours and a dark hat if you can. Try and blend in with your surroundings. I always try and sit at the base of a tree or at the foot of a hedge. Even a car will do, but for a more submersive and better experience, get outside! 

Frosty Fence1/640 sec, f6.3 ISO 640 @ 600mm

3.  The Camera, glass and equipment.

It's not all about the camera, I'm fairly sure images like mine can be achievable on a budget DSLR. What makes these images possible is the telephoto lens. The super lens I use is the Sigma 150-600 f5-6.3 Contemporary. It's not the most expensive lens on the market, but it's been so good for me. Having the extra reach on the lens, with the built in lens stability ensures you can get sharp images at even at slower shutter speeds.


Once I'm set up, I attached a monopod to the plate on the telephoto lens. This allows me to manoeuvre without too much restriction. Particularly when photographing owls in flight. Owls fly quite low when searching for voles in the grass. For birds that are higher in the sky, a monopod won't be so useful.

Super Owl1/500 sec, f6.3, ISO1100

4. The Settings.

Settings are always the debate of photographers. Ultimately it all depends on the conditions and the outcome you want. It's subjective.  This is what my 'go to' settings are: On my Nikon I set the camera to S -Shutter Priority Mode. This allows me to control my shutter speed and the camera to determine the aperture. When shooting wildlife I find you need a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second for a sharp images. I then set my ISO to 1000 and take Auto ISO OFF. This may sway a little either side depending on the conditions but I'll dial in 1000 even in sunny conditions. Here's why...  With my exposure set, and my ISO fixed I can now photograph an Owl when it comes along. If the light is good, the camera will pick out smallest aperture possible. With a smaller aperture the bigger the focal range. Therefore I can get more of the owls in focus. I keep an eye on it, but I find f8 to f11 in good light to work best.

Focus points have been trickier to tweak and everyone has their favourite methods. I tend to use Continuous shooting with 21 point focus, in the middle of viewfinder. I then lock that in using the L switch on the back of the camera. 

When photographing Owls into the low sunlight for backlit images. I switched the cameras metering mode to Centre weighted metering and upped the exposure compensation by about one stop. This allows the camera to meter the Owl in the sky and not the glaring bright sun you're pointing towards. The metering compensation just brightens it up a bit more, so you don't lose details in the shadow of the owls.

Brown BeautyISO 1000, f11, 1/500 sec

5. Waiting and getting the shot!

Ok, so now you're ready to photograph an Owl. Patience. Patience. Patience. Watch the owls behaviour. Are they searching in a certain direction? Once you get an owl in your viewfinder just wait until it's nearer and fills up more of the frame. I find that the eye naturally draws in to your specific subject however the camera doesn't and you'll lose vital pixels.

Don't be afraid to change angles. My advice is to have the sun on your back to start with. Once you've gained confidence try backlighting the owls. This way you can achieve really good illumination of the primary feathers.  Eyes DownISO 640, f10, 1/500 sec

Think about the backdrop too, try and get hedgerows and trees behind your Barn Owl. This makes all the difference in contrast for image. Unless you want an urban wildlife feel to your image try and keep houses and cars out of the background. Try and photograph different shapes of the owl too. Try and create images that distinguish themselves from "just another barn owl". 

HoverISO1000 f6.3 1/500


My final piece of advice is to keep observing and continue learning. The smallest amount of understanding the subjects behaviour goes a long way to achieving great photographs. I owe many a pint to a gent called Allan in the village who knows a whole lot more than I do on the bird world. Without his knowledge these images wouldn't have been possible. 


Flat WingsISO1000, f7.1, 1/500 sec


[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) advice photographing barn owls barn owls how to photograph how to photograph barn owls nature photography owls owls in yorkshire Sun, 15 Apr 2018 19:22:42 GMT
2017 Wedding Photography Video


2017 was my busiest wedding season to date! It was great fun and looking forward to an even busier 2018! 

[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Tue, 02 Jan 2018 18:49:13 GMT
Climbing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks - A beginners point of view! The Yorkshire 3 Peaks is a walking challenge based on a circular route of reaching the summits of Yorkshires 3 highest peaks. It's a challenge popular with experienced hikers trying to improve there PB, fell runners and those not so accustomed to climbing hills. Many charities run events for this challenge, as almost anyone with a basic fitness could complete it within the 12 hour time scale. But it's by no means easy!

To give a little insight into why I chose to do this challenge is that in our pocket of friends we're starting to build a portfolio of challenges we've completed. From Coast to Coast bike rides and cycling into Europe, and myself running my first half marathon we wanted a new challenge and preferably one more closer to home.

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks fitted that bill. We picked a weekend, booked the accommodation and I started to wear in my new walking boots as much as I could.


3Peaks D-Day arrived and we're driving from our accommodation in Giggleswick to the ceremonial start of Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The sun is shining, we're lathered up in sun cream and we're ready to go. As soon as we reach Horton, we pull into the Crown Pub with a huge sign welcoming 3 Peaks walkers. £2 ALL DAY PARKING. We thought that'll do and popped two quid in the honesty box that once lived its life as an ashtray.

It was 06.40 and the car park was already buzzing with walkers. A minibus with a charity group all wearing purple tshirts was gearing up too.

Now, the traditional process at the start is to 'book in' at the Pen-y-Ghent Café. You write your name, address and time of departure on a piece of paper and put it through the door. On your return you then book out with an official time. We didn't do this, we wanted to be on our way. We did the new age thing and fired up our Strava.

Onwards we go. Our first glimpse of the map showed us the way up Pen-y-Ghent. Head towards Horton Primary School and follow the path up to the top of our first peak. You start to get a feel of your pace, as some groups sprint past you, and you catch up with others. It was 40 minutes climbing up the sheep fields with a few escarpments we found the first retirees from the days climbing. They were clearly under prepared, an absolute no if you're planning this challenge.

The ascent up Pen-y-Ghent is short and testing. Before you know it, its single file traffic as we all climb the steep steps cut into the rock face. It's worth stepping out the way and taking a breather just to appreciate the view behind you at this point.

Alas we reach the top, and its 50 metres or so to the Trig point of Pen-y-Ghent. It was busy and buzzing with 3 Peakers! It's the first chance to sort any niggles with socks and laces, take on a little more breakfast and get on our way.

Heading over the stile we then begin the hike across to Whernside via Ribblehead Viaduct. It's about 5 miles in all, across farmland and moors. The beginning of the descent is boggy, even with the period of drought we're having. It was suggested that trainers would suffice, but you would have wet feet already. To the left the National Park authorities are doing the ground works for steps and a path. That'll help with the erosion on this popular walk, so maybe trainers will be fine in the near future.


Following the path, now signposted with 3 Peaks Finger Posts you walk through a farmyard and reach the road. Hang a right and follow the road until Ribblehead Viaduct comes into view and a first opportunity to replenish supplies.

The van sells cheese burgers and bacon butties but we opted with the sensible option of water and flapjack this time. Delish!

The next goal is simple, take the long winding path to the top of Yorkshires Highest Peak - Whernside. The race goers of Whernside take a more direct route, however majority take the longer route on the well maintained pathways. The path from the tea van follows the shadow of the viaduct and then follows the railway line before the railways disappears into the tunnel and we begin to climb. It's a long climb. I'd say 3 miles of continuous incline, but the knife edge topography of Whernside allows for marvellous views to the left and also towards Lancashire and the even the Irish sea to right.


We found this to be the busiest part of the day. With many 'One-Peakers' just doing Whernside and setting a picnic up at the summit. At the top there is a shelter and the ever present Trig point. We had our lunch, changed socks and got on our way once more.

The descent of Whernside is tough going. It's steep! I'm certainly glad we didn't climb up this way! The path fades into a rockface, as everyone finds a preferred route down. Our walking poles came in super handy at this point. It's incredible how beneficial these poles are! A worthwhile purchase (£10 a pair @ Go Outdoors!) before doing a walk of this magnitude. Walkers without poles are envious as we steam past in our Nordic fashion.

Finally, you reach tarmac again. We pass many people enjoying orange squash and ice cream at the farm shop at the bottom of Whernside. It looked tempting but we had time to make up. Not far on, we reached the road again and the hamlet of Chapel-le-Dale. Just by the Old Hill Inn was a charity van selling Water and more flapjack! It was our final pit stop filling our Camelbaks and our final ascent of the day - Ingleborough!

Ingleborough is recognisable peak with its table top shape that can be seen for virtually the full duration of the walk. The way to the top is a slight incline through limestone pavement and then board walks across bogs and then the wall. It's known as the wall as it looks almost impossible to climb and its the kind of mileage that runners hit the wall too. We regrouped and composed ourselves for what stood in front of us.

Brett felt the need to change his socks. Again....

I don't know the stats on the climb here, but it felt like an Everest base camp expedition without the cold. With 18 or more miles in our legs the lactic acid was building climbing up the steep rocks here. At the top of the wall is a plateau with a kissing gate. Walkers strewn everywhere, catching their breath and wondering why on earth they signed up for this.  

There only looks to be one climb left.. WRONG!

Beware of false horizons here. But the reward of reaching the summit is rewarding. Once you reach the table of top of Ingleborough it's a short walk to the Trigpoint. Here there is 360° views all around, with extensive views over the Irish sea!

With the peaks now behind us, we are set for the long walk back to base - Horton-in-Ribblesdale. It's around 4 miles, of steps descending off Ingleborough, to limestone pavements and finally more agricultural land and then the village. With feet starting to swell, and aching knees and limbs this is when the Walking Poles really come into their own. Give yourself 1hr 45 from Ingleborough to Horton, you may want to run it if you're against the clock. It hurts!

The sight of the pond at the quarry is a clue that you're nearly home. But the sight of railway station is a better one. You've made it. Locals sit outside their houses watching all the stranglers come in from the peaks, probably thinking why so many do it each day.

We were envious of all the walkers at their cars nearer the station, we had half a mile to go! TIP: Park nearer the station as you can!!

Back at the car we had our time check. 10 hrs 30 mins. 90 minutes within challenges allowance of 12 hours. We felt we could have done it quicker if it wasn't for breaks. One of our team picked up pains early on, and soldiered on through it. Fair play to him.

A quick shower at the accommodation and we're sat with a pint of ale in our hands and perusing the pub bar menu. It all tasted good. So good. We'd earned it.


So that's it for this challenge! Here's a recap on the top tips if you are thinking of doing this popular challenge.

  1.  Be Prepared! Plan ahead. Way ahead! The accommodation locally gets booked up quickly if camping isn't for you.
  2. Look after your feet! Wear in your walking boots/shoes/trainers and invest in good socks! Take at least 2 pairs.
  3. Hydrate! It's a long day out in the fresh air and you may not notice how much you actually perspire. I recommend a Camelbak reservoir for your rucksack.
  4. So how do you carry all that water? Take some with you, and fill up en route! There's chance to grab some H20 at Ribblehead Viaduct, and at Chapel Le Dale (farm shop, charity stalls or pub). Or Stash some on the main road!
  5. Walking Poles. Not to everyone's taste but they will help on the long slog up Whernside and the final 4 miles to Horton. They take extra pressure off your knees and help you keep a good posture and rhythm. Put in your bag for the other ascents/descents.
  6. Get there early and park as near as that Station as you can!
  7. Enjoy it, respect those that are quicker (& slower) than you and appreciate the hammer that the pathways get. Stick to the dedicated path as much as you can.



[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Walks in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations advice for yorkshire 3 peaks yorkshire peaks top tips yorkshire walking challenges Tue, 04 Jul 2017 21:28:11 GMT
Tour de Yorkshire 2017 The Tour de Yorkshire kicked off once again on the East Coast of our wonderful county in Bridlington. I have photographed each edition of the tour from a location usually at a midpoint in the race. My ambition was to research a good location, and get there ready to compose an image of landscape and the peloton.

TdY 2015The Tour De Yorkshire 2015 Edition winds through Castleton towards Danby in the North York Moors. TdY 2016Cote de Blakey Bank. I wanted to capture the road as it leads up Blakey Ridge but dull weather and parked cars spoilt the image for me.

However this year I decided to have a change and volunteered my services to the Tour de Yorkshire Official Charity Partner the Alzheimer's Society.

My brief this year was to capture my own images of the race, but also to capture some pictures of the volunteers that endlessly contribute their personal time to this worthwhile cause.

The Team at Bridlington

As well as the guys at the tent by the start line, volunteers were out with buckets collecting donations.


Further down the promenade the teams were arriving and preparing for the opening stage of the tour.


British ChampAdam Blythe's signature white cycle within the Aquablue teams set up.


I was stood at the top of the slipway when 2 young lads in the Raleigh Pro GAC team had a quick warm up on the seafront. Both were polite when they returned up their smallest climb of the day, as we wished them luck for the tour.

Cheers lads, and your team won 2 new supporters!


Meanwhile near the start line, the entertainment was keeping the crowds happy. I had a brief chat with my best man who was leading a local disability cycling group through the start corridor.


As the start approached I spotted the Sand Art was having its finishing touches being done. Unfortunately the TV Helicopter wasn't in sight to capture its grandeur. I hope these guys got some appreciation and hopefully some pics from a drone!


It looked just as good, at ground level.

Well done Bridlington on hosting a superb opening event! 


I managed to get home and get to Birdsall, as it was the nearest point the Tour passed my house! 

Day 2

I'm in Tadcaster, on my first visit to the town. You could tell the excitement of the local for hosting this event. It made a great celebration of unification in the town now the bridge has reopened. On both sides of the River Wharfe, there was lots going on with Minster FM in attendance, all the shops were selling refreshments and having charity raffles and prize draws. It was great to be about. 

It wasn't just a celebration of cycling it was a celebration of  a town & community coming together.


A cracking sense of humour in Taddy! 

Once again, I took time to photograph the volunteers and shop keeps raising money for the Alzheimer's Society.

By the time the Caravan had left town 2 hours before race time, the town was already buzzing. Many were watching the Lizzie win the Womens TdY and the riders signing on the stage.

Final Preparations before the flag is dropped on Stage 2:

I was a big fan of the bikes on show. They are surprisingly simple design, all carbon fibre and as light and tough as possible

The start line was incredibly busy. 30 minutes for race time and I was stuck to one side of the bridge! Never mind, I tried my best to get a shot from behind the riders as they queued up at the start line. 


Cheers Taddy, Brid, and of course Sir Gary Verity and the team at Tour de Yorkshire and ASO. Another great spectacle and successful legacy of the Tour de France with record crowds of over 1 million over the weekend.





[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations photography workshop yorkshire tour de yorkshire 2017 tour de yorkshire blog tour de yorkshire bridlington tour de yorkshire pics Tue, 02 May 2017 20:38:18 GMT
Raisthorpe Flyers - Simulated Game Shoot Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds is Raisthorpe Manor. A shooting estate that hosts simulated game shooting - clay pigeon shoots throughout the summer. 

I photographed this group last year and I was pleased to join them again. It's a fantastic day out, you're looked after from the moment you arrive on site with Bacon butties and a pot of coffee waiting for you. 

More photographs are found and available download for free & to purchase prints: 

Raisthorpe Flyers 2017

Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer

This year, I've included video of the shoot. It gives you an idea of the pace of the clay, and also the various surroundings and challenges in the shoot.


Raisthorpe also are Gin distillers and producers. Many samples of the liqueurs and vodkas were also supped throughout the day.

What the hell are those Mick?!?


Cheers to Phil for organising once again! 


Rich Smith is available to photograph your shoot or event within Yorkshire. Get in touch to discuss a photography quote.



All images available for download (for free!) and print: 


Raisthorpe Flyers 2017

Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer


When I received the invite to a simulated game shoot I was a little apprehensive as I had never heard of a simulated day before never mind shot one. Not only did have the most fantastic experience but I was also blown away with hospitality, probably, the very best in the UK.


[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Sun, 16 Apr 2017 09:33:35 GMT
Photographing Red Squirrels in Scotland with Loch Visions. The Red Squirrel is one of our declining native species here in Britain. Only pockets of reds remain around the UK, with the majority in Scotland. It is estimated that 140,000 Red Squirrels remain under threat by the invasion of the grey squirrel where there is now believed to be over 2.5 million!

To have the opportunity to photograph them close to the lens was an uplifting experience. They're fantastic creatures to watch and once they're comfortable with their surroundings (and the clicks from the DSLR!) they will happily continue their daily business.

This was my first experience of photographing wildlife from the comfort of a woodland hide. My past experience of photographing wildlife was capturing hares and was getting low and crawling on the ground or sitting in a hedgerow, but now I had a roof over my head and I'm glad we did!

Poor visibility and showers was the forecast for the day with chance of it clearing later in the afternoon. ISO was set as high as I dared whilst still getting a quality photo, in this case ISO 2000. I set the camera to Aperture priority mode, and set the aperture to f5 - the largest aperture to allow the most light to reach the sensor. I kept an eye on my shutter speed, somewhere around 1/100 second mark, as my main focus was portrait shots.

With hazelnuts in place by the bird feeder we settled in the hide to await our first squirrel. Phillip our host and guide was our eyes and ears. For 10 years Phillip has watched and studied the red squirrels and other wildlife in his local woodlands.

After a wait of around 30 minutes, our first squirrel appeared. The first time I've seen a red squirrel in front of my eyes. It casually walked along the branch, made the jump to the platform and picked up a nut and off it went. Wow, that was easy I thought. Phillip told us it will be back soon, just hold tight and not to fire the shutter until it grabs a nut. Sure thing, minutes later the female re appears but this time takes a nut, facing away from us, and makes a leap to our right and gone.

Then we had a third squirrel visit to the hide, but this time we were made aware with a satisfying thud of a squirrel jumping onto the tin roof above our heads. Now the squirrel is completely comfortable with its surroundings and we are urged to snap away. After the squirrel has scurried and buried a few nuts away it cracks on with tucking into some nuts in front of us. We get plenty of time (around 5 minutes) of squirrel munching. It allows me to try some settings, reducing the ISO for clearer images, and different shutter speeds. It also allowed me to zoom in and out and try different orientations - landscape and portrait.

After devouring a couple of hazelnuts the squirrel (who we now know is female) returns to her dray to probably sleep off her feast. We sat in wait for our next visitor as rain begins to rattle the top of our tin roof.

The feeders are also a magnet for local song birds. Mainly Great Tits, Coal Tits, Robins and Chaffinches.

This became one of our longest waits in the hide, but what we were to see was worth it.


A female squirrel arrives again, and takes a nut. Not sure if it's the same squirrel as previous. It returns and we take a few shots. Then to our amazement a male squirrel arrives too in a nearby tree, in view of the hide. He's being amorous, tail wagging immensely, he hops around the female, trying to get her attention. Phillip our guide tells us in a hush excited tone that the squirrels behaviour is interesting. We were seeing squirrel courtship in front of our hide! Phillip tells us, this is the first time he was seen this in 10 years of watching the local squirrels. Amazing!


It was clear the male was interested in the female who continued to feast on the nuts. He gave us plenty of opportunities to photograph him as he tried to 'woo' her. The male was priming himself up to mate (beware for X-rated photo of male squirrel!).

 However, as he approached the female she decided to play hard to get, and ran off into the growth. They did return very briefly, and another male arrived too. But we tend to think this male was a young squirrel, possible one of the females previous kittens.

The rain continued to pour and the light was too dark for any action shots so I continued to work on red squirrel portraits. I wanted to use the rain to feature in the background. Using a slower shutter speed (60/1 second) it just about captures the movement of the rain and is quick enough to snap the squirrel.



Conditions were beginning to improve. We had our own comfort break and allowed ourselves to have a stretch outside the hide. Hours in the hide had passed quick!

Satisfied with my Squirrel portraits, I set up the camera ready for some action shots. To do this the camera was set up at the end of the nut platform, with the focus set to platform and switched to manual to fix the focus. I switched the camera to Shutter Speed priority mode. This allows me to set a specific shutter speed and the camera to set the aperture. The shutter speed was 1/1600 of a second. This is fast enough to freeze frame fast movement, but 1/2000 and faster is more suitable. I also set the ISO to Auto, not something I normally do. Because of the dull light higher ISOs were required, up to ISO 8000. I trust my camera to make an acceptable image at ISO 4000. I plugged in a cable release, for rapid fire shooting. The final check on my camera was to set to continuous shooting mode. This allows me to fire 6 frames a second, increasing my chances of a top photo.


Whilst we waited for the squirrels to make a return, the birds gave us chance to practice!

First attempt..

Not too bad, but I was disappointed to cut the end of the squirrels tail.

Bah! Too slow this time!

** In post processing I merged 2 images together **

I reset the camera, more to the right hoping to catch the squirrel in mid air. I was limited to frame space because my zoom was as far wide (150mm) as possible.

Wahey! Got a mid flight squirrel! And lucky I did, as this was the last time it jumped onto the platform. For the remainder of the time it was with us it sat eating the nuts.


By now the squirrel had dried off by the chilly breeze blowing off Loch Awe which was now visible from the hide. I took some more portraits, hoping to catch its tufty ears blowing in the wind. Also, as the day had brightened up a tad, my ISO was able to lower and produce much sharper images and some video. (Apologies for the dodgy focusing!, still learning video feature!)



Our time in the squirrel hide was coming to an end. We had been in there for a mammoth session, from 8am until around 1pm with 1 break. We were ready for some lunch so we headed back to studio for a cuppa and sandwich. After lunch the weather had brought in another shower, we decided that a walk along the local brook would be a good way to finish the remaining light of the day. Phillip told us about what to listen for in the trees, and other signs of Dippers. I haven't seen a Dipper before, and to be all honest I don't know much about them at all. They're a bird that love fast flowing rivers, can interesting feed underwater. Although we didn't see a dipper, Phillip found us a Goldcrest in a nearby conifer. I was lucky enough to get the Goldcrest in to the frame and snapped a couple of shots. I say I got lucky. Phillip says I've done well to get a good quality shot of a Goldcrest. 

They are the UKs smallest bird, and forever moving and fluttering around. So I guess I did alright!


A huge thanks to my wife for booking this photography experience for my birthday and also for supporting my hobby and making it a future career. 

Thanks to Phillip Price of Loch Visions for a fantastic day. I learnt a huge amount from animal behaviours to camera settings. I would hugely recommend a photography day with Loch Visions for beginners and advanced photographers. You won't be disappointed. I think next time I'll like to photograph the Otters which Phillip also excels in observing and recording. You can find more on Loch Visions and the packages he offers on his website:


Loch Visions provides scottish wildlife photography workshops, courses and tours in argyll, scotland and freelance wildlife photography and wildlife guiding services

For accommodation in Argyll, we stayed at the newly refurbished Kilchrenan Inn, Kilchrenan. It's a 10 minute walk to the Loch Visions studio and a fantastic base to explore around Loch Awe, and relatively short drive (20 miles) to Oban to explore the Isles. We visited Glen Orchy and Glen Etive too but that's a little further. It was refreshing to see a young couple (Jordan and Lesley) take on a pub lease and look to be really making a good fist of it, putting lots of hours in. I hope they reap the rewards this summer season. They couldn't be more helpful hosts. They're doing a great job serving hearty food, with lovely clean rooms and best of all they're dog friendly! 

Rooms from £85 p. night with a Scottish breakfast. (Loved the square sausage!)

Kilchrenan Inn | Pub, Restaurant & Rooms near Oban & Taynuilt


Thanks for reading, please share your comments and share my blog with your friends. 




[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Get Outside! loch visions photography loch visions workshop photograph red squirrels photography workshop yorkshire red squirrel photography red squirrels in the UK Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:33:31 GMT
An evening of Murmuration When I found out that a natural wonder of the starlings murmurating before roost was happening in the middle of Scarborough - I had to get there!

Starling Murmuration over ScarboroughStarling Murmuration over ScarboroughA starling murmuration over the town and seafront of the South beach in Scarborough. Every night residents and visitors enjoy the nature spectical.

They say these specticals are to warn off predators before they settle down to roost for the night. Although this isn't the largest murmuration in the country, its a fantastic sight with some brilliant shapes. 

My photography didn't do it justice so I used the Nikon to take video instead. See the link below for a minute of the murmuration.


[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) #getoutside Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations in photography starlings yorkshire yorkshire. Wed, 08 Feb 2017 21:43:53 GMT
Malo Cross - Blakey Topping - Saltergate Circular Walk Last year I shared a post on a loop around the Hole of Horcum. Now, this walk begins and ends at the same car park. The easily accesible Saltergate Car Park on the A169 Pickering-Whitby road. If you didn't know already its £1 to park up to 2 hours, and £2.50 for all day (The ticket machine states 2-4 hours but the ticket expires at 23.59).  This walk took us roughly 1 hr 30, with stops for photos and a brew. If you intend to climb up Blakey Topping for the view or head to Bridestones I'd recommend getting a ticket for the day.


Once you've taken in the view of the Hole of Horcum, remain on the same side of the road as the car park heading in the direction of Whitby. Take the bridleway towards Newgate Foot Farm. You'll see the sign indicating the boundary of RAF Fylingdales. At this point take the bridleway-cum-footpath on the left. Follow the edge of the tree plantation and before the gate, be careful not to miss the sign the for bridleway to follow the Saltergate Brow. 

It was blowing a raw northerly on our trip this time. A day before we'd had our first decent snowfall this winter. Our faces took a battering but we soldiered on.

Enjoy the views over Saltergate Moor and RAF Fylingdales. Fylingdales used to be famous for the three 40m golf ball shaped buildings that housed radars. On the site is what looks like a former farmstead (marked Nab Farm on OS) but now looks to just house some hay. A couple of sheep were waiting patiently outside, much like a thirsty hiker waiting for the pub to open at 11.59 (Sounds familiar).


The track begins to descend, and we enjoyed a rest bite from the chilly northerlies. Once descended our first waymark comes in to view, Malo Cross.

I can't find much history on its origins of the cross other than it is a boundary cross erected in c1619 by Sir Richard Egerton. It sits at the base of 'Whinny Nab' and a junction of pathways heading in each direction. Marked on the cross is K   R I E plus a masons mark further down. It's in relatively good nick considering it's almost 400 years old.

After a quick drink we followed the 'long side' of Hazlewood Moor. If you have a dog be careful of livestock grazing in these fields. 

A view of Blakey Topping:

When you get to Newgate Foot its decision time. Whether to head up to the top of Blakey Topping or to take the route to enjoy the view. We chose the latter this time. We headed up the field and crossed the farm driveway. There's some steep steps here, so take caution. Particularly when its icy. If you'd like to conquer Blakey Topping take the track through the farm yard, resisting the urge to pet the horses in the stables.

It's time to make the first ascent up Newgate Brow. This is the only real ascent on this short but enjoyable walk. 


Pippa at the top, waiting for us blowing behind.

Once at the top you can enjoy further views of Blakey Topping and decide if you'd like to continue on to Bridestones or back to the Car Park on 'Old Wives Way'. It was time for us to make our return journey to Saltergate so we made a right turn and followed the top of Newgate Brow.



Old Wives Way:

Pass the small aircraft hanger and airstrip. The airstrip isn't marked on the OS maps. The only reason I can think of is the airstrip could be used a light aircraft landing spot for RAF Fylingdales. You'll soon find yourself back at the A169 and the car park. 


This circuit is a short but enjoyable walk and quieter than the jewel the other side of the road. It's not too challenging and I would say it would be good to tire the kids without walking too far. Another bonus is that you can make it longer if you wish by including the climb to the top of Blakey Topping and looking for the ancient 'standing stones' nearby.





[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Blakey Fylingdales Get Outside! Hole of Horcum Walk Horcum Walk Malo Cross Walk Photography in Yorkshire RAF Saltergate Topping Walk" Walking In Yorkshire Walks in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations bridestones walk horcum walks photography workshop yorkshire Sun, 15 Jan 2017 16:46:06 GMT
Top 10 of 2016 Well, 2016 is drawing to a close and despite the year being remembered for political change and celebrity deaths. Not for me. It's been a year of marriage, and the start of our family which means more to me than any referendum. It's also been a year of finding my feet, photographically. Making a choice to work towards wedding photography as a career, and photographing landscapes and nature along the way to fulfil my creative buzz.


So here's 10 of my favourite images from 2016 with a little explanation why.


1. Whitby Pier

It's a wonderful feeling when a 4am get up for sunrise pays off in the middle of summer. The beauty of this time of the morning is you're usually on your own. The exception this time was some lads on their mopeds doing an 'all-nighter' in a Quadrophenia kind of way. They acknowledged me and went about their business. 


2. Skelton View Brew

This is a beautiful viewpoint, about a 5km trek across moors from the car park. This is an iPhone pic (iphonie) of my setup as I wait for a steam train to pass. Yorkshire Tea particularly liked this one, sharing it on their social media. 


3. Home Aurora

Seeing the Northern Lights in the UK was considered a rarity. Previously you just had to be lucky, and be in a place dark enough away from light pollution. However nowadays solar activity can be measured and a short term forecast can be predicted. Coupled with a clear sky and a new moon, viewing conditions can be perfect and they can be seen here in Yorkshire. I use the Aurorawatch UK app, other apps are available. This has been the only time I've been able to witness the Aurora with the naked eye, it was an extremely memorable moment. My photos from this night were spotted by the researchers of BBC Radio York, the next morning I was on the daytime show explaining how I achieved the photos. 


4. Owl Chasing

This is my first encounter of photographing local wildlife and one of my favourite native birds. The Barn Owl. An hour before sunset, we set off on our own safari. Emma driving the jeep, with me ready to stand out of the sunroof to get an unrivalled view. Within half a mile we had our star, and we followed him as he scoured the hedgerows. We've located an owl box locally, away from the road so I hope to have some more owl pics soon. They're such a beautiful and majestic creature. 


5. The Young One

From South Africa now and this elephant was great fun to watch. He had no care in the world. It wasn't easy to get a photo of him, as his mother and others always kept him hidden for his safety. 


6. Sutton Bank Sunset

This has been on the list for a long time. I'd wished I had made it while the heather was still in bloom but never mind. It's good to know that to find this view you need to walk north away from the popular viewpoints. On this day there was just enough cloud in the sky. I hope to return and do some long exposures. A must visit for anyone in the area. 


7. Whitby Harbour

This is almost perfect for me. I would have loved a fishing vessel to just complete the scene, but hey ho! I took two exposures here, one with a Big Stopper that smooths the water out. This one wins, as I prefer the detail in the water.


8. Simply Hare

For our honeymoon, I purchased a new telephoto lens. To make sure I came home from South Africa with the best honeymoon photos. Whilst getting to grips with the lens I photographed the hares in a local field. I've since witnessed hares boxing, one of natures wonderful sights. I like to present my hare photos in a high key mono format. I've got big ideas for prints of these pics, hopefully in 2017. 


9. Bluebells

I really think that this is one of the North York Moors best kept secrets. Sonley Wood is high within the Farndale Daffodil Valley. Farndale is well known for its wild daffodils which draws in visitors every year however many do not know they should return a month later for the bluebells. This image is taken with a 50mm lens which gives better prospective of the carper of bluebells on the woodland floor. 


10. Single File Please

This image taken in January has won me a national competition and sits proudly on the Princes Countryside Fund Christmas cards. I hope HRH received one himself! 

Whoops, that's 10! I couldn't possibly miss this last one out.

An amazing moment on our first night on safari. This Lion, the leader of the pride sat enjoying the last of the evening light. It was a magical moment as the background became darker into shade. It was at this moment he started to roar to show dominance over the pride. The other lions joined in a ritual roaring which took our breath away being so close


That's my best of 2016. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2017 as I become a father and start to explore more of hidden Yorkshire. Happy New Year!




[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) #getoutside Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Walking In Yorkshire Walks in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations horcum walks photography workshop yorkshire ryedale Sat, 31 Dec 2016 18:30:42 GMT
Great Yorkshire Walks ~ Hole of Horcum Hole of Horcum - a walk of four seasons

The Hole of Horcum is a well known feature within North Yorkshire. It's easily accessible as the A169 Pickering to Whitby road gives a panoramic view of the full valley but to really appreciate its beauty you have to park the car up and take a walk. 

Saltergate car park is a North York Moors NP pay & display so you'll need some change. It's £1 for up to 2 hours or £2.50 for over 2 hours. For this walk I'd recommend over 2 hours. You might do the loop in under 2 hours without the excursion to Skelton Tower but it's too good to miss!

It's early November and the season is gradually turning to winter. It's not unusual for snow showers at this time on these high moorlands so be prepared for changeable weather. This walk was probably the most changeable I'd ever experienced. One minute sunshine the next a hail storm! The colours of autumn this year have been nothing short of fantastic. A warm autumn, a late summer and a lack of stormy weather has kept the leaves on the trees for longer than usual. I hope to share the amazing colours of the trees and the bracken in this blog post. 

Autumn OakThe colour of the leaves this year is amazing

Once parked up and paid up, take care crossing the road and head right with the hole on your left. If you have a dog with you, keep it on a lead here, as the path nears the roadside further on. When you head down to where the road turns around the hairpin towards Whitby, keep to the path and ignore the first left which descends. (Unless you want to walk this in reverse!). Keeping to the bridleway, hop over the style and the track is very pronounced. Keep to this track with more views over the Hole where natural springs have cut into the valley. Passing the 2000 year old earthworks follow this track for approx. 3.5 km until you reach a 5 way marker post at Dundale Pond. 

It's time to head to Skelton Tower, you might as well get to the destination! 

Follow the sign post marked 'Levisham Station' for Skelton Tower. Don't worry, we aren't going that far. Or if you only put a £1 in the car park meter take the direction of 'Dundale Griff to Hole of Horcum'. 

Five ways post

We're going for it! After 200 yards or so the path ascends and we are at another junction with a reminder to keep your dog under control. The swaledale moorland sheep probably have it tough enough!

Another warning!

Take the immediate right path. You'll be pleased you have waterproof footwear if walking in winter. Not far along here you'll see why it's worth the walk. As you reach the brow, the trees and forest come into view and your destination, Skelton Tower. 

Skelton Tower

Skelton Tower was built as a shooting lodge in 1830 by the local rector in Levisham. The views stretch nearly 360 degrees. Goathland Moor to the north, the whole of Newtondale to the west and Pickering is to the south.

It's an incredibly romantic monument, I'd love to be here on a summers night. It would be a perfect spot for a picnic, or in my case a flask of Yorkshire Tea. 

Once set up with my tripod and happy with the composition, I couldn't believe it when a hailstorm blew threw. My kit was blowing everywhere, I couldn't find my lens cap or any lens cloths. It showed how quick weather conditions can change, but fortunately these were only short sharp showers. 

From this:

To this:

I'd done a recce on the NYMR timetable, and I was 10 minutes before I expected a train to pass through. Be sure to check the timetable if you wish to see a train, as they only run on selected weekends in winter. When a train heads towards you from Goathland, it's heading downhill so you don't get too see much steam which is a shame. 

As a second storm front came through, I was treated to rainbow. But I knew I was about to get wet, so I didn't hang around packing the camera gear away!

Time to track our footsteps back to the five way sign post at Dundale Pond and head down into the Hole of Horcum.

Dundale Pond

The path follows a steep sided ravine known as Dundale Griff, heading gradually downhill. At this time of year, the silver birch trees were presenting beautiful coloured golden leaves and the bracken on the right is a carpet of browns and burnt orange. 

At the bottom, you'll meet Levisham beck and cross the footbridge. Important here not to pass through the gate but head left on the beck side.

The weather soon turns again!

Here's the hail!
Keep heading towards low Horcum and enjoy the views of valley you were once looking down on. Head past the eerie abandoned farmhouse of low Horcum. 


Long exposure fail. Got caught up in hail again!

At this point I went wrong, and took a slightly longer walk to the right, but you can go straight up and meet the path further uphill.


One final style!

You'll find yourself back to the start of the walk, with a short hike back to the car park. Take in the final views of the Hole of Horcum to your right.

  Next stop... The pub for a well earned pint!

Please Share, and I hope this inspires you to Get Outside. 


Hole Of Horcum & Skelton Tower - Approx. 7.2 Miles.


[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) #getoutside Get Outside! Photography in Yorkshire Walking In Yorkshire Walks in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations horcum walks photography workshop yorkshire ryedale Sat, 05 Nov 2016 21:22:03 GMT
Yorkshires Hidden Gems 5 places to photograph in Yorkshire that you may not have heard of or know about.


1. Runswick Bay


Just up the coast from the idyllic and ever so popular town of Whitby is Runswick Bay. Nestled away in the cliffs of the north sea is a small community, a flurry of local fishermen and one of the best bays on the East Coast. If you can get yourself here early on a morning, chances are you’ll only share the sunrise with the small fishing vessel heading out for the days catch.


Go here for:

  • A wide angle bay shot

  • Traditional fishing community

  • Small and pokey steets

  • Long exposure water and rock shots


Runswick Bay Runswick Bay

Runswick BayLooking Back to Hamlet


2. Hornsea


This tiny seaside town is my hometown and where I first studied photography so excuse me if I’m a little biased. Hornsea – famed for its pottery (sadly no longer in business) – boasts a great beach and Yorkshires largest fresh water lake-cum-mere. With only a handful of fish and chip shops and amusement arcades you don’t get the traffic jams and mess that comes with honeypot seaside towns. What makes Hornsea attractive for a photographer is 2 things. The weathered sand groynes that disappear into the North Sea, and its Mere which is a haven for local & migrating birds. If you haven’t got the time to sit in one of the bird hides dotted around the mere then take a rowing boat from the mereside cafe & boat house.


Go here for:

  • Long exposures of Sand Groynes & Rocks

  • Birds (particularly swans & geese) on Hornsea Mere

  • Fish & Chips

  • A steady rowing trip.



3. Farndale


From the coast to the moors now. When I mention Farndale to most people, the reply is always – Daffodils! Ok, I might be steering away from the subject of this article but here's the thing. Get away from the Daffy walk! What you probably didn’t know is that the daffodils grow wild the full length of the dale following the River Dove to the top. To really get a view of these, plan a walk that climbs up the moors but then take one of the many public footpaths that criss cross the dale, down into the valley and then up and back round. I guarantee that in the right time of year you will see thousands of daffodils unspoilt by human but maybe nibbled at by sheep. When you’re done, head to the Daffy cafe for a brew and some cake. You might want to keep this secret to your self though!


Go here for:

  • A challenging and rewarding walk in the moors
  • An exploration to find more daffodils
  • Head before Daffodil time to catch the bluebells.
  • Close up wild daffodil shots


4. Blow Gill Falls, nr. Hawnby


Continuing with the moors is a little place I cannot wait to visit again. Blow Gill waterfall is on the Hawnby to Osmotherley road, approx. 2 miles north of Hawnby. As waterfalls go in the North York Moors, its one of the smaller but this is what makes it better. Its lesser known! In autumn is its peak time of year, as the trees leave a carpet of beautifully coloured leaves. There are many of walks in the area you can take, to include this hidden gem or you can park up and have a look. The road where the water passes is a curving sweep ‘S’ bend, that lends to one of my favourite autumnal shots.


Go here for:

  • Long exposure water fall shots
  • Long exposure leaf pools
  • Autumnal shots
  • A moorland walk with trees & forest



5. Thornwick Bay


Thornwick Bay is another hidden bay, that’s shadowed by their more famous neighbouring bays. On the North Face of Flamborough head, when heading to the North Landing (known for its boat house and fishing vessels), take a left turn signpost ‘Thornwick Bay’. Many don’t see this, as they know only the North Landing, and are keen to get to the destination. Take it steady here, don’t rush on the path down to the bay ( try and get there at low tide), it'll be worth it. Unlike the other bays at Flamborough, here you can climb to the one of the rocky outcrops safely and just sit and take it all in. In Summer, the north facing cliffs lend to some amazing sunsets, just about over the water. If you’re there in the morning, there is a cafe to get a hot drink to warm up.


Go here for:

  • Sunsets over the sea (rare on the East Coast)
  • Quieter than the other areas on Flamborough Head
  • More to explore!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post, and I like to think it’ll give you an idea of somewhere else to visit that’s a little more ‘off the beaten track’. If you do visit let me know, I’d love to see your photos.

[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Photography in Yorkshire Walks in Yorkshire Yorkshire Photography Locations Fri, 21 Oct 2016 18:47:12 GMT
Tribfest 2016 I was pleased to be able to photograph Tribfest at Sledmere Estate, East Yorkshire. It's a family friendly festival celebrating its 10th year. Photos can be seen on its Adobe Spark photo page below.

Tribfest 2016



[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:16:40 GMT
Humber Street Sesh Check out my blog for Humber Street Sesh below.

Humber Street Sesh 2016]]>
[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Humber Street Sesh Humber Street Sesh Photos Mon, 08 Aug 2016 16:13:29 GMT
Chris & Toni Massey When I met Chris and Toni to discuss their wedding at Sledmere pub, I knew from then that it would be an amazing country wedding. The church at Garton On The Wolds near Driffield, is a hidden gem in the area. Paintings adorn all walls and the ceiling. It's a must see if you are in the area. The Wedding breakfast was back at the Massey family farm where the biggest wedding marquee I have ever seen was set up. Each one of the 200+ guests and myself had a great time. See below Chris & Tonis story board.

Mr & Mrs Massey



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[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) . East Yorkshire Wedding Photography North Yorkshire Weddings Wedding Photographer Driffield Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:01:09 GMT
Mr & Mrs Startup. Kirkbymoorside Wedding. Kirkbymoorside All Saints Church and the Black Swan at Helmsley hosted the wedding of Stuart & Nicola, and what a great day it was. After the service at church we headed to Surprise View at Gillamoor for some photos of the newly wedded couple.


A selection of photos can be seen on the 'Spark' page below.

Mr & Mrs Startup


Congratulations Nicola & Stuart!!



[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) North Yorkshire Weddings Wedding Helmsley Wedding Kirkbymoorside Weddings Yorkshire Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:48:09 GMT
Mr & Mrs Earles James & Sallyanne got married at Londesborough Church, with the reception in a huge marquee back at the family home nr Holme on Spalding Moor.

Photos from James' and Sallyannes wedding can be seen at the Adobe Spark page below.

Mr & Mrs Earles





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[email protected] (Photography by Rich Smith - Yorkshire Wedding & Outdoor Photographer) Market Weighton Wedding Photographer Market Weighton Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:41:05 GMT