A curly-horned sheep peers into the camera lens as if trying to probe the photographer's thoughts; a swan stretches its wings in a golden sunrise on the lake at Castle Howard; delight is etched onto the face of a York RI Ladies rugby union player in the moment she touches down for a try.

These are just a few of the stunning images by members of the York Photographic Society which we feature today.

We invited members of the society to supply some of their favourite photographs, and to write a few words about how they came to be taken. Here they are...


Stretch by John Illingworth

"I went to The Great Lake at Castle Howard to catch the sunrise and on my arrival found the lake covered in mist," says John, a past president of the YPS and freelance photographer. "As the sun rose and illuminated the mist in front of the house a swan stretched its wings and I captured the moment. A good example of being prepared with everything set up and ready to shoot when a magical moment like this presents itself."

See more of John's work at johnillingworth.com

York Press:

Stretch by John Illingworth




Two sheep looking by Harry Silcock

York Press:

This picture was taken at Hawes Auction Mart as part of a project featuring life and landscape in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

"I can count on both hands the number of days when the subject around me gives me a photographic high," Harry says. "Everything falls into place and I become totally absorbed in capturing good images." He has experienced wow days when photographing in Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Kathmandu, Glencoe, the Isle of Eigg, Dalby Bank and Saltwick Bay, Harry says - and of course in this extraordinary encounter with a curious sheep.


Rachael scores by Lewis Outing

York Press:

This wonderful image was taken at York RI RUFC ground last November when York RI Ladies played Harrogate Ladies. "York won," says Lewis. All you need to know, really...


Sunrise at Bamburgh by Alison Taylor

York Press:

The forecast was good: cold and clear. So Alison decided to get up at just after 5am and drive up to Bamburgh. Sunrise was due at 7.55am. "But I like to allow time to set up a range of photographs and to make full use of the changing light before the sun actually rose," Alison says. "The best photographs are taken well before sunrise when the light burns its way over the horizon and through the low cloud.

"The hardest part of a dawn shoot is getting out of a warm car into the cold and fumbling about in the dark changing shoes." But it can be worth it. "I like it (this image) because the sunrise was at it's most potent with the reds lighting up both the sky and the beach. The eye is drawn to the castle as it is so dominant but it is also led along the waves, past the strong reflections to the sky."


The Foss taken from Layerthorpe Bridge by Sarah I'Anson

York Press:

"Until fairly recently my child and I took the same route to work/ nursery every day, and so would often look for different ways of seeing the same scenery, or play eye spy," Sarah explains. "I spotted the bold dark shadows one day, liked the symmetrical patterns, so rather than miss the image, whipped out my iPhone as this was what I had to hand."


Two Black 5s by Chris Hart

York Press:

A pair of Black 5s replaced the Flying Scotsman to haul the Cumbrian Mountain Express on 23rd January 2016. Chris captured them, in this image, crossing the Ribblehead viaduct.

"I had to be up early at 6am," he says. "Lighting conditions were poor and constantly changing, so I kept checking and adjusting exposure settings whilst waiting for the train. There was a risk of exposing for the viaduct but burning out the highlights in any steam and the sky. I decided I needed a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. to capture the moving train, and settled for an aperture of f/8.0 and ISO of 200. I used a tripod and pre-focused at a point on the viaduct, then waited for over an hour with hands in pockets to keep warm!"


Gannets Reunited by Antony Ward

York Press:

Antony, like many photographers, make regular visits to Bempton Cliffs to photograph the birds. The cliffs have the largest colony of gannets on the UK mainland, plus fulmar, kittiwake and sometimes puffin.

"Gannets are monogamous and usually pair up for life," Antony says. "This pair are greeting each other in a typical gannet way. Gannets have no external nostrils (they are inside the mouth) and have air sacks in their face and chest (like bubble wrap). This enables them to dive for fish from 30 to 40 meters up, and they can hit the water at up to 100kph (62mph) safely. An amazing bird!"


Ceiling boss in the South Transept of York Minster by Allan Harris. 

York Press:

This photograph was taken vertically, using a tripod and a telephoto. "It shows the detail of this boss," Allan says. "I think it is about three feet across, solid oak. The bosses in the South Transept are themed on the 'Benedicite' from the Bible. A piece based on this text is going to be performed in York Minster on March 19 by York Musical Society when the composer, Andrew Carter should be present."


  • York Photographic Society meets at 7.30pm every Wednesday from September to April at Poppleton Community Centre. Visitors are welcome, or you can also find out more about the society at yorkphotosoc.org/