Three favourite photos?

Ari├Ęge, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Laroque d'Olmes, National Trust, North Yorkshire

Choose my three favourite photos? What kind of a task is that? Hopeless, I’d say, because so many favourites rely on the memories that surround them, that only matter to those who shared the moments.

But Sarah, of Travel with Me fame, has asked us to do just that for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

Anyway. Let’s go. This photo dates from years ago, when we lived in France, and once, just once, there was an astonishing and dramatic sunset which we’ve never forgotten, even ten years after the event.

You can perhaps guess from the cross on the right that we’re looking up at the churchyard on the hill above the town, edged with the heavily pollarded plane trees you can see silhouetted against the sky.

Living as now we do near Ripon, we have two ‘back yards’. One is Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, where I volunteer. And the other encompasses the paths, fields and woodland near our home.

Because I’m so often in both these places, I’ve been able to photograph them in every season, and at every time of day. Here’s an autumn favourite of Fountains Abbey.

I like how the beech leaves frame Huby’s Tower, while their warm russet tints contrast with the austere grey of the abbey’s stonework.

Meanwhile, during the summer months I like to photograph the drifts of poppies in the fields of crops near our house. It was hard to choose just one, but in the end I settled for this one. I like the poppies tumbling about in the foreground, set against the much more organised stems of wheat in their vertical serried ranks.

Ask me to choose three favourites tomorrow though, and you can bet they’d be entirely different shots.