An Unexplored Territory

After finishing the photo essay about my efforts to reconnect with the area immediately around my village I have been looking for a new project. After a day exploring a rarely visited corner of the Lake District National Park close to my home I think I might have found it.

A Cumbrian fell pony in Ralfland Forrest

Monday 18th May 2020

I don’t get the Monday blues any more.

Since going full-time as a landscape photographer I work 7 days a week so Monday feels just like any other day.

Oh, that and I bloody love what I do! 🙂

Tuesday 19th

Following a comment that was left on one of my recent videos I spent the morning experimenting with Adobe Portfolio and Adobe Spark. Using the images from my recent lockdown project I wanted to see how easy it would be to create a website from scratch.

Turns out it was really easy and I managed to put together a slick looking website for my latest black and white images in just a couple of hours.

Monochrome Landscapes by Chris Sale
I managed to create a fully featured website for my recent black and white photographs in just a few hours.

Adobe Portfolio and Adobe Spark come free as part of a Creative Cloud subscription. However, I believe very few people make use of these powerful and intuitive tools.

As I am keen to help people get the most our of their CC subscription I would like to host a free webinar demonstrating how I built my ‘monochrome landscapes’ website. If you are interested in attending please leave a comment below.

Wednesday 20th

After a morning in the office I spent the afternoon scouting Ralfland Forest, an area of open moorland to the west of Shap just inside the boundary of the Lake District National Park.

Despite being just a few miles from the M6 motorway Ralfland is overlooked by thousands of tourists that whiz past junction 39 each year.

Over the years I have spent time exploring the area on a number of occasions. I have always found it to be a difficult area to photograph.

I don’t know if it is because I am developing as a photographer or just the recently rekindled love for my local area but I can see a huge amount of potential here.

Thursday 21st

Back out into Ralfland Forest this morning to film a video all about the impact that YouTube has had on my photography. It has to be my most enjoyable days filming of the year so far. I loved every single minute of it!

I started photographing the cotton grass which is looking particularly splendid this year before making my way to the top of Seat Robert, the highest point in the ‘Forest’.

From the summit you get wonderful views of Ralfland. Since completing the photo essay on the area immediately around Shap I have been looking for a project.

I think I might have just found it.

The summit of Seat Robert in the eastern Lake District
The view of Ralfland Forrest from the summit of Seat Robert.

Friday 22nd

The weather here in Cumbria has taken a decided turn for the ‘windy’ and so a day in the office was very welcome.

The usual mix of photo editing and managing my various social media accounts was broken with mentoring sessions with clients (I hate that word) in the US.

During the coronavirus crisis I have been developing a mentoring service that allows me to help other photographers anywhere in the world.

I really enjoy these sessions. Conducted over Skype they allow me to help photographers in many different ways, from composition advice and post processing to building a website and a following on social media.

But more than that it is an opportunity to form real connections with other people through a mutual love for photography and for the landscape.

Saturday 23rd

I have been very pleased with the response to the video that I published yesterday about the impact that YouTube has had on my photography.

During lockdown I haven’t been filming outdoors and I have noticed that photography is a lot easier. This I have put down to the fact that I have been able to focus 100% on taking photographs.

When I am out filming I only ever have half my mind on my photography. The other half is on the video side of things.

I have had lots of useful suggestions about how I could change my approach to filming in order to minimise the impact that it has on my photography.

I have a few things that I would like to try and a relatively clear diary next week. I am itching to get started.

Sunday 24th

I have often believed that with YouTube the real work begins once you have published the video.

With that in mind I have spend much of my weekend responding to comments on my latest video, trying as hard as I can to be as engaging as possible.

It’s not always easy but it is part of the job and I love it.

15 thoughts on “An Unexplored Territory”

  1. Hi Chris – I would be interested in your webinar on website building.

    Enjoying the recent videos and was struck with the thoughts about your video production getting in the way of your photography. It is often said that much of the art of producing great landscape images is the planning that goes into them before getting to the location and the value in time spent identifying compositions on location before even attempting to make images – maybe considering the production of videos in the same light brings you to the same conclusions you make at the end of the last video?

    In the last video you posed yourself the question about continuing to produce them. I always answer questions liek this by focussing on purpose – clarify for yourself the purpose of the videos (sharing your jopurney, connecting with existing customers, route to market for new customers etc etc etc) and that will help you to determine if and how many videos to make and also the subjects to cover.

    Best Wishes.

    1. I think you are right Stephen. Since going full-time my reason for doing YouTube has become less clear. I feel it is time to refocus, rethink who my target audience is and start making videos specifically for them. Regarding the webinar I will get something sorted ASAP.

  2. Hello, Chris. I watched your video on “YouTube BAD for Photography” – twice. The images – especially the monochrome – are great. I agree, with your final assessment. The journey you are on will change over time. The ability to adapt and grow will keep it interesting and challenging. Your contribution to others is invaluable.
    At this point, focus more on photography and let YouTube take its course. Like your Live YouTube project with Julian, I think a webinar on illustrating your process in creating your monochrome landscapes website would be terrific. Count me in.

  3. Hi Chris, I would be very interested in the website building webinar as I have been thinking about using Adobe portfolio for a while.

  4. Thanks Chris! Indeed, a slick website. Since I don’t have any online presence for my photography, this might be an option. I feel like a fool for not knowing that these tools were available to me via the CC subscription. What a tit! (See that, I’m using some British slang there).

    I’d be interested in knowing more but will certainly get familiar with Spark and Portfolio beforehand. Stay well and be careful out there.


    1. Love it Miguel, we’ll have you talking like a true Brit in no time… …mate! 🙂 I’ll get something sorted ASAP regarding the webinar and let you know. Watch this space.

  5. Hi Chris,
    I’d be interested in learning about Adobe Portfolio / Adobe Spark to create a website. I currently have one with another well known brand but mono site looks better and wouldn’t cost me as much 😉



  6. Hey, Chris! I would love to attend the webinar, if possible!
    Your website is looking slick! Great work as always

    1. Hi Bobby – as you are in the US what time would suit you best? I was thinking of running it on a Sunday evening at 17:00 BST which is UTC+1. If that doesn’t suit you guys in the US I might have to consider running 2, one for the UK and one for the US (which I am more than happy to do).

  7. Hi Chris, Hope you are OK. I’m looking forward to getting back to the Lakes. I would love to dial into the webinar.
    ATB Mark

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