A Glimpse of the Future

With more challenging weather I get a taste of what life might be like should I become busy enough to generate the sort of income that I need to survive.

Limestone and the viaduct at Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales

Monday 24th February 2020

I had a quiet day today ahead of probably the busiest couple of weeks since leaving my old job.

I spent the morning in the office trying to get a ahead with the never ending admin that I have to do.

In the afternoon I had a Skype call with a friend in the US. She is trying to sort out her website so I spent some time showing her how I have put mine together.

Tuesday 25th

Today I was joined by fellow YouTuber Joe Elliot for a 1-2-1. We spent the morning shooting around Ullswater before making our way to Aira Force.

In the afternoon, after the 1-2-1 had finished, we headed off to Coniston Water. The original plan had been to shoot some video but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

I find helping someone else with their photography requires a totally different mindset than shooting for myself and I find it very difficult to switch between the two.

Aira Force Waterfall near Ullswater
The Aira Force waterfall – a shot that I took while on a 1-2-1 with fellow YouTuber Joe Elliott.

Wednesday 26th

Another 1-2-1 today, this time with Bill Spencer. Bill is a very experienced photographer who needed my help to find some locations.

We started at Rydal Water braving the wind, rain and eventually sleet, everyone’s favourite conditions! It was tough, particularly for someone who doesn’t shoot landscapes very often.

Bill normally specialises in macro photography and so I suggested we explore the road that runs behind the Thirlmere Reservoir, perfect for more intimate shots.

Bill Spencer on the back road at Thirlmere
Bill admitted he could have spent the week exploring the area behind the Thirlmere Reservoir.

Thursday 27th

I collected Bill from his hotel this morning before heading off to Ullswater. After the rain of yesterday evening it was at least dry, even if the biting easterly wind chilled us to the core.

Eventually we retreated to the cafe at Aira Force and I listened intently as Bill shared stories from his past, including the time he met the great Ansel Adams.

I do like to have a coffee after a 1-2-1 or workshop and am becoming well known in the cafes close to my favourite locations.

Bill Spencer on the wall near Glencoyne on Ullswater
Bill Spencer shooting the view from Glencoyne towards Glenridding – the biting easterly wind soon had us beating a hasty retreat.

Friday 28th

I was at Ribblehead this morning, checking out the area ahead of a workshop that I am cohosting with James Burns in a week’s time. They have had a lot of snow up here and I just wanted to check the lie of the land.

They have had a lot of snow in these parts recently. In places the famous limestone pavements were completely covered.

I do not feel comfortable leading the group into an area where they cannot see where they are putting their feet. Let’s hope for warmer temperatures next week.

Limestone and the viaduct at Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales
Snow and limestone, a recipe for a broken ankle. James and I may have to come up with a plan B for our workshop at Ribblehead.

Saturday 29th

My old school mate Tom is staying with us for the weekend. With poor weather forecast for today I perhaps had a glass of wine too many last night and was feeling a little worse for wear.

As the morning’s showers passed we eventually made it to the Ladore Falls near Keswick. I set about shooting some intimate shots, focusing on the fast moving water as it tumbled over the rocks.

I decided not to even attempt to film a video, content to enjoy a couple of hours of carefree photography with a mate. Inevitably the rain returned and we had to abandon our plans to shoot the sunset from the edge of Derwent Water.

Intimate shot of water tumbling over rocks at Ladore Falls
I continue to practice my intimate compositions and am starting to see improvement in my shots.

Sunday 1st March

Storm Jorge paid us a visit this morning but Tom and I were still determined to get out for a spot of photography before lunch.

We popped down to the Wet Sleddale Reservoir just down the road from my home in Shap.

Once again I was content to shoot intimate compositions of Sleddale Beck, battling with Jorge as it tried to rip my tripod from my grasp.

Close up of Sleddale Beck
An abstract of Sleddale Beck, close to where I live in Shap.

A pretty full on week which mostly involved battling the elements.

It was probably my first taste of what life might be like if I am ever going to become busy enough to earn enough money to survive.

11 thoughts on “A Glimpse of the Future”

  1. A little bit of everything this week Chris. Busy=good for business. It seems that you have been doing a bit more work through Skype lately which I think could develop into a significant part of your business. How do you like doing those Skype sessions?
    I’ve seen several vlogs from Ribblehead and without exception, the presenters always comment on the difficult and potentially dangerous footing. I think you are right to be concerned about leading a group there if it’s still covered in snow. Hopefully the snow will melt before the workshop.
    I like your shots of the flowing water, particularly the second one. I like to take those types of shots myself sometimes to see if there is something interesting and abstract. I find them to be quite enjoyable but I always feel like I might be missing out on a larger vista (my preferred shot) while I concentrate my efforts on such a small window. FOMO I guess.

    1. Hi Jeff, I really enjoy doing the Skype sessions, it is very different from working with other photographers in the field and they do say that variety is the spice of life! I am so glad that you liked my abstract from Sleddale Beck. As you know I am working hard to improve my intimate compositions and I am starting to feel as though I am starting to get somewhere. I hear what you are saying regarding FOMO; I always like to get a wider shot in the bag before starting to pick out details in the landscape.

  2. Thanks Chris. It’s always interesting what you find out when attempting something new. I’m wondering what has been the biggest surprise about going full-time (other than the wretched admin work!)?
    It would be an interesting Top 5 or Top 10 or Top 20 post, LOL.
    Keep up the good work and watch those ankles.

    1. Hi Miguel – I dunno about surprises but the most important thing that I have learned since going full-time is that this industry is all about people. Putting the ambitions and goals of the people that you are working with ahead of your own is the secret to success in this game. How about “7 things I wish I knew before going pro?” 🙂

  3. The weather sounds like it has been pretty miserable in the UK with storm after storm! It’s been 25 years since I left for the sunnier climate of Australia…sadly having never visited the Lake District!

    I have been facing the opposite problem – scorching hot days and brilliant sunshine don’t make for the best landscapes! Still, we are into Autumn now so I’m looking forward to getting more active -particularly my trip to New Zealand in 6 weeks time. Hopefully your Spring will bring some better conditions for your shots. Keep up the great work Chris.

    1. Hi Daniel – it certainly has been challenging here at times this winter but no where near as tough as things have been for some in Australia. Most of us in the UK have been watching with horror as the events of the summer have unfolded. Hope you have a great autumn, particularly your trip to NZ.

  4. You are a very good landscape photographer. I also follow you on Youtube, you always describe good and talk about your pictures. -Keep up the good work!

  5. Hi Chris: I really love the image you have created of the Aira Force waterfall. You are so fortunate to have locations like this to create images.

    I also like the image from Ribblehead. As you mentioned in your YouTube video the use of a wide-angle lens to capture the size of the train viaduct does work. The leading lines created by the lime-stone add to the organic nature of the image against the man-made structure of the viaduct. Would this type of image meet the requirements for your “Hand-of-Man” project?

    Best wishes, Keith Pinn

    1. Hi Keith – I think that the shot of the viaduct would be perfect for the “Hand of Man”. Unfortunately the project is supposed to show the positive impact that man has had on the Lake District landscape and Ribblehead is actually in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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