Micscape Lite article: Microscopy enthusiasts sharing their other interests.
Near infrared gallery: South Pennine landscapes in the north of England.
by David Walker, UK
I've always had a fascination with imagery outside of the visible spectrum whether near UV / near IR microscopy or conventional near IR photography. In May 2010 I converted my aging, near valueless Sony S75 consumer digicam for NIR work and was pleasantly surprised that all functions still worked a treat when reassembled, see my earlier Micscape article.
This is an image gallery of very familiar features on my walks in near infrared light. One of the appeals of NIR photography is that literally do rediscover oft familiar scenes in a new light and also learn to visualise what scenes are best suited for that lighting.
This image gallery shows the South Pennines scenery not far from my home. The Pennines are hills that form the backbone of northern England. My brother Ian has shared a gallery of attractive landscapes taken in the area in conventional lighting.
A map of my local area courtesy of Google Maps. 1 - the area where I live in a house co-owned with my brother on the outskirts of Huddersfield. 2 - Scammonden reservoir area where all the photos below were taken, visited to date by cycle or short car drive, the latter with my brother Ian. 3 - Old Lindley area where regularly walk to from the house. 4 - Haworth where the Brontė sisters lived and were brought up. The Haworth area is also in the South Pennines. They regularly walked on the wild moors on their doorstep from the parsonage and which helped inspire some of their novels and poetry.
Scammonden reservoir looking across from the footpath that runs along the dam just below the very busy M62 motorway. My brother and I rarely use this route but prefer paths immediately going up the valley to move away quickly from motorway noise. The water level is some feet from full when it reaches the concrete collar on the lefthand overspill. Deanhead and reservoir is at the head of the valley just out of sight. The church shown below occupies a site high on the valley north side out of view on the right of the picture.
The reservoir and surrounding land is maintained by Yorkshire Water. Most of the trees in view have been planted to make the area more of an amenity. A sailing club uses the water. The reservoir was officially opened in 1971 and took two years to fill.
Locals still remember the dry summer of 1995 when water levels reached critically low levels but vital to supply the downstream population. The situation became so desperate that convoys of road water tankers 24h a day helped stave off it emptying!
The valve tower creates an interesting architectural image.
A path follows the water's edge and looking back towards the dam and the M62 motorway. It has the largest earthfilled dam in Europe.
The photographs shown were all taken in colour but to remove the red tint of NIR photos, the white balance was manually corrected by pointing at grass which is white in NIR. This leaves a pleasing sepia tint in some skies and hasn't been added.
Three seats for walkers to rest their legs. In the form of delightful sheep sculptures at the far end of the reservoir by the sculptor Michael Disley who notes on his website that they were carved from black and grey granite.
Deanhead Reservoir above Scammonden is much older, completed in 1839 and named after the village of Dean Head formerly on the site. The low water level is as seen after a dry summer and should reach some way up the slope below the wall when full. My brother Ian is admiring the view. The eerie call of the curlew can sometimes be heard.
The path which crosses the dam at Deanhead. Wooden stiles are the common way to allow walkers to use public footpaths while retaining sheep and cattle in. My brother and I much prefer this end of the valley as it is less frequented by visitors coming by car. It is wilder and the noise of the motorway cannot be heard for a feeling of solitude.
What looks like an old horsebox trailer presumably now in a new role. This is sited just past the Waterman's House which stands at the top of Deanhead valley.
The church of St Bartholomew West Scammonden and Dean Head (Church of England). It now occupies a rather isolated spot aside from the delightful surrounding cluster of houses. The local population it formerly served went when the reservoirs were built.
The environs of the church are a wonderful place to gently wander and to stand and stare; admiring the views across Scammonden and reading the inscriptions on the wide range of gravestones.
Published in the March 2019 edition of Micscape.
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