Photography in a cold snap by Sandie Nicholson

How many of us during this difficult year have stepped out on our daily walk and spotted something new to admire right on our doorstep?  That’s really how I developed an interest in photography (pardon the pun).

Many years ago I’d take my little dog, Crumble, out for exercise each day and found that each walk was a new adventure: finding new paths in the stunning countryside that surrounds us; watching the landscape change with the passing seasons; and of course, our great Yorkshire weather dramatically changing the scene from one day to the next!

I decided it would be a good idea to take my little compact camera (no mobile phone cameras back then) out with me on my walks to capture these delights along the way. I’ve been hooked on taking photos each day ever since and you’ll see on this website photos I’ve taken along the walking, running and cycling routes the team has produced for you to enjoy.

This winter we’ve had quite a bit of snow, which has produced some stunning winter wonderland, Christmas card scenes: who needs to be able to travel to Switzerland when you can wander through snowy landscapes like the ones we’ve had lately?!

I’ve loved capturing the beauty of snow-tipped trees, dappled drystone walls, and fields blanketed in white: beautiful scenes to savour long after the snow has melted.

Think about composing your photo

Photography composition

Once I’ve found an interesting view, I think about composing the photo to show off the scene to best effect. It’s a good idea to draw the eye of the observer into the picture by finding a wall, road, fence or line of trees to give the feeling of inviting others to walk into the scene and immerse themselves in the beauty of what they’re seeing. In the photo above, the eye is drawn along the drystone wall towards the little hamlet at the end of the road.

Livestock photography

With the multitude of hardy livestock that roam around here, I often find inquisitive sheep or cows who want to get in on the action once they spot the camera, and it’s a joy to include these characters in my photos as they add a touch of humour.

Livestock Photography

A cloudy day is often better for photography than one with full sun, as the sun can cast dark shadows. If the sun had been out when I took the above photo, the chances are that one side of the sheep’s face would have been obscured by heavy shade.

Look up as well as down

Talking of cloud, it’s always worth looking up, as the sky can really add a new dimension to our stunning valley’s landscape.  If I spot a lovely sky, I always anchor it to the ground to include a point of interest and give the view context.  Some of the best skies appear just after sunrise and are a worthwhile reward for your early start!

STunning photography

Creating cherished memories

Always having the camera with me means that once I’m back home I can relive the special moments I’ve enjoyed whilst out in our stunning countryside. My photography is a permanent record providing memories that I can keep forever, and it’s lovely to be able to share my photos and experiences with others and say “look what I found on our walk today”. Some of my photos have featured on TV, showing what a fabulous place we Honleyers live in!

By Sandie Nicholson

Sandie has provided many of the landscape photos on and regularly contributes photos to local news programmes.
Keep an eye out for Sandie’s work. She’s known as ‘Sandie’s Valley’ on the BBC