The Durham Dales, packed full of dark sky locations. A perfect part of the country for stargazing and/or taking great pics of the night sky. In fact did you know that The North Pennines has more Dark Sky Discovery Sites than anywhere else in the UK.
It was time to learn a new type of photography and excitedly headed into the dark of these Dales to Low and High Force, fantastic natural landmarks and sights to behold at any time of the day.
These photos are not perfect by any means at all, but from what I would have got before today they are much better than expected. What’s more I was having fun learning, as those that know me will know that I love to learn and not let things beat me.
This was a fun evening in a great place where I could learn and only get better from now on. Stargazing is not just about photography, it was learning about the universe around us, you can see/learn so much even with the naked eye or a telescope/binoculars.
I was learning the art by a great local fellow who is very much an expert in the field, Gary Lintern. To see his photos are something to aspire to. And if you have desires to see and photograph the night sky in Durham then check out the many workshops and courses he runs. He has a great passion to teach and does it so well.
In only one evening I got to get these photos, thanks Gary, I have the bug now!
As I was saying, I have the bug, and now knowing the Durham Dales has many sites to stargaze then I shall be back more and more. There are 16 designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites within the North Pennines and the full list is on their website. It includes spots like Cow Green Reservoir in Teesdale, Pow Hill Country park in the Derwent Valley and many other quiet spots that are easily accessible. Like Bowlees Visitor Centre which is close to here at Low and High Force. On the site there is also a leaflet with all the information you need and a map.
Incidentally between Saturday 21 and Sunday 29 October 2017 there is the North Pennines Stargazing Festival! A whole series of varying and interesting events to appeal to young and old. From Pop-up Planetariums to talks on the Solar System. Then there is the brand new Observatory in the dales that I shall show in the next article.
I couldn’t believe how fast time was going. You know how it goes when you are enjoying doing something. As I said I love to learn and still have lots to learn so I look forward to advancing my night photography skills to the next level. What is more I am also learning so much extra about the universe and light in space in the process, a win win all round! ..
High Force and Low Force also has a whole new sound and feeling in the complete darkness. Such a wonderful part of the world. I can’t wait to get back!