Tuesday, July 22, 2008

22 July 2008 Cross country and also the Headland

The forecast was foe a mild though cloudy day, so this time we decided to tour inland below the roads we had covered on the previous days, so after crossing to Bishop Auckland we took the back roads to Middleton in Teesdale, then up over the moorland narrow roads.
There is just one problem when doing this, and that is to find a way of making an interesting photograph of such a panorama of featureless land: it is hugely impressive to look at, but terrible difficult to photograph well, and there are none of the normal elements that you can use to give foreground interest, or even scale to the picture: what I usually look for is an interesting sky, or perhaps dappled sunlight, or in the case here the roads across the moor formed what I hope is an interesting pattern that takes you into the picture.

Above Middleton there are great views down into the river valley, and here and there farms that form interesting foreground details to give the picture scale.

The afternoon proved to be surprisingly hot and sunny and after tea I sallied forth to look at the "bit of Hartlepool that sticks out at the top" known as the headland.
It proved to be a strange place, on the northern shore there were literally miles of promenade, but strangely blank, no shops. no development of any kind, just mile after mile of beach and concrete wall and metal railings, weird!
At the end there was a little more in the way of facilities, The is a history park of the old wartime gun battery, a lighthouse and a cannon from the crimean war, and a walled garden and flower beds and statue that the seagulls clearly loved, further round towards the town even a paddling pool built into the lower level of the seawall.
There was access all the way along and people coming with rod and line for an evenings fishing of the little jetty by the harbour.

This contrasts sharply with the area around the power station on the northern shore, where crumbling factory buildings are the order of the day. considering that they are right on top of beautiful beaches it's a shame that no one has bothered to redevelop the area.

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