A New Regime

Having made the decision to make some fairly significant changes to my YouTube channel this week it was all about settling into my new regime. And learning about video lighting. And sound recording.

The view from Gelncoyne towards Glenridding.

Monday 7th September 2020

Today I spent the day in the office filming a video about how to get sharp landscape photographs.

Now that I am committed to filming more indoors I want to make my videos look more professional. I tried using my monitor as a background and feel that it added a little more interest.

But both the lighting and sound need work.

I also recorded 2 versions. One in which I recited a script word for word and one where I just followed some key bullet points. I ended up using the second as it was far more natural.

But I feel as though I need to stop saying “um” and “er” so much.

Tuesday 8th

I was at Derwent Water this morning to film a few on location pieces for this week’s video.

I still want to insert a view segments into each video where I am out and about with the camera, just to make things a little more interesting.

It was a lovely morning and after I had finished filming I spent some time photographing my favourite subject. Rocks in water.

Victoria Bay on Derwent Water
I suspect folk are starting to get a little bored of seeing images from me with rocks in the foreground. Perhaps it is time for me to experiment with something else?

Wednesday 9th

I spent most of the day researching how to improve both the lighting and the sound for my videos filmed indoors. This included a chat with my friend Tony Bucket Hands (that’s not his real name).

We concluded that I need to:

  • Get my lavalier microphone closer to my mouth
  • Invest in some better lighting
  • Do something to stop the sound bouncing around my office
  • Turn the ‘levels’ down on my camera

I have ordered a new light from Amazon and have been trying to figure out how best to suspend some make shift sound blankets from the ceiling of my office.

Thanks for all your help Tony, I really appreciate it.

Latest Video

The ‘numbers’ for my latest video seem to be encouraging. After 24 hours it is my top performing video (out of the last 10).

I am taking this as a sign that I am heading in the right direction.

It is still very early days but I am hopeful that by trying harder to add more value and to solve specific problems that  I will start to reach a wider audience.

I have also decided not to stop the on location videos. I haven’t figured out all of the details but there will be a few changes:

  • They will be adhoc, I won’t be putting pressure on myself to stick to any form of schedule
  • They will be shorter, probably focusing on just a single composition
  • They will not be published on YouTube

That last point will probably be a huge surprise to a lot of people but I want to remain as consistent as possible on YouTube.

Thursday 10th

Part of my new regime is to write a blog post for each video. This helps me to get my thoughts ordered.

Although I generally quite enjoy writing (particularly as there is now a few people out there who actually read my articles) it can sometimes be a bit of a drag. Today was one of those days.

Kase Filters

This evening I had a long conversation with Andy at Kase filters about ways that we could collaborate.

I am not in a position to say anything further just yet but I hope to be able to make an announcement very soon.

Friday 11th

I seem to be struggling a little with motivation at the moment.

Although I have not been idle (far from it) this was the 3rd morning in a row when I could have gone out with the camera but chose not to. This is very unusual for me.

Part of the problem is being unable to decide where to go. I find that I am a little bored of some of my favourite locations but am also feeling a little lazy. I don’t want to spend hours in the car or hiking up a hill.

In an attempt rectify this I spent some time planning the locations for the coming week starting with a visit to Grasmere tomorrow morning.

Saturday 12th

I made it to Grasmere this morning as planned. It was a pretty grey morning but I managed to film a short segment for next week’s YouTube video.

While I was there I also managed to record a separate on location video. I have had a think about it an at the moment I think that I will probably publish these shorter form videos to my Ko-fi page.

The view of Silver How from the edge of Baneriggs beside Grasmere
The video that I shot at Grasmere on Saturday will probably be released to my Ko-fi page.

I spent most of the afternoon in the office recording the rest of next week’s video.

I went to great lengths to improve both the sound quality and the lighting. This involved suspending blankets from the ceiling to reduce the reverb.

Although there is still room for improvement I was much, much happier than I was last week.

Sunday 13th

This morning I met up with Sam and Hannah Bose who had stopped off in Cumbria en route to Scotland. We met at Glencoyne on Ullswater for a rather breezy shoot, bumping into Mike Hutchinson in the process.

I tried to make the most of conditions by photographing the waves whipped up by the wind as they crashed on to the beach. I also managed to shoot another short video which will probably be published in the next week or so.

The view from Gelncoyne towards Glenridding.
The waves crashing on the beach at Glencoyne on Ullswater.

When I get home I checked that stats on my latest video and was surprised to see that there has been an unexpected jump in views.

This is usually a sign that I have been featured on the fstoppers website and sure enough I was delighted to see that Alex Cooke had shared my video.

Bless you Alex.

10 thoughts on “A New Regime”

  1. Hi Chris
    Just for something different and maybe some motivation, what about a bit of seascape photography? The West Cumbrian Coast is only 30 minutes from Keswick and can be a great location for sunset shoots. There are still plenty of rocks for your foreground interest though!

    1. Thanks Stephen, it’s a great suggestion but I have never really been that drown to our coast. For a start it is on the wrong side of the country for someone who mostly shoots in the morning! đŸ™‚

  2. Mate, I am so pleased to read this blog. Positives all round, even the motivation issue in my humble opinion. It proves that you are human and maybe a sign that the body is hinting to rest and recuperate, just for a short time.

    Chuffed to bits for you mate.

    1. Hi Tony – thanks again for all your help. The video was published yesterday and so far no once has mentioned the audio. I take that as a good thing! đŸ™‚

      1. Very much so, both sound and lighting is much better in “How to Correctly EXPOSE Your Landscape Photographs” compared to “7 Steps to SHARPER Landscape Photographs”, but I also find the quality in for example “How I Plan a Landscape Photography Shoot” the pretty good.

        As for background I like the one in “How I Plan a Landscape Photography Shoot” better than the other ones. More stuff is out of focus and is less distracting – I keep looking at the hangers, frames and door, the screen works fine.

        I liked “How to Correctly EXPOSE Your Landscape Photographs” content wise, useful for me.

  3. Hi Chris,
    I guess it must be difficult to find other locations where you are as you have photographed them all.
    As Stephen said try some seascapes near you for something different and mix and match both locations.

    1. Thanks Tim – for me it is all about having purpose. I am not very good at taking photos just for the fun of it, there has to be a reason for it. And now that I have a reason to take photos (to illustrate my blog posts, to share on IG, etc) I am back out there shooting at every opportunity! đŸ™‚

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