Monday 18th November 2019
My organisation has been poor of late. I was completely unprepared for this week and so this morning I had no idea where to go.
I hurriedly scanned the OS map app on my phone for inspiration and quickly settled on Fell Foot Park.
Sitting at the southern end of Windermere Fell Foot is owned by the National Trust. When I have visited before I have always been drawn to the view south where the lake flows into the River Leven.
It was a cold, crisp, clear morning when I arrived, a thick mist sitting on the river. As I waited for the mist to lift a little I allowed my mind to wander.
The National Trust has many properties in the Lake District, all of which have a great deal of potential for the photographer. “There is a video here somewhere” I thought to myself.
Once I was back in the office I jumped onto the National Trust website and found their photography policy.
They are very clear that I require permission to carry out commercial photography or videography on National Trust land.
I have written to Harvey Edgington, Head of Filming and Locations at the National Trust, to seek permission.
Watch this space…
This morning I decided to head to Derwent Water along with most of the other photographers in the northwest it would seem!
Overnight there had been a heavy frost and I was keen make the most of the conditions.
After struggling for some time to find a composition that I liked I eventually settled on a shot across the lake towards Catbells which featured a frosty log in the foreground.
✓ – Simple composition featuring interest in the foreground and the background
✓ – Muted colour palette creates a calm and relaxed feel
✕ – The lighting was a little flat and so I have had to push things a little further in Lightroom than normal
With the classic shot across the lake in the bag I went in search of something a little more intimate.
I have always been drawn to the white house that sits on the edge of Derwent Water at the foot of Walla Crag.
The scene works well with the muted colour palette so cracked out the telephoto lens and grabbed a shot.
✓ – Simple composition with a clear subject
✓ – Muted colour palette suits the subject and stops the orange of the trees form competing with the house for the viewers attention
✕ –The position of the house is not quite right. It could do with being a little further to the right and a little lower in the frame
At the moment most of my income comes from 1-2-1s. This is where photographers hire me for my knowledge and expertise.
Next week I have David coming to the Lake District.
He wants to get a shot of the view towards Crummock Water from the summit of Low Fell.
Having only climbed Low Fell once before I set off this morning to double check the route. Good job I did!
I remember that the path that I had used before was very steep and I found it to be in very poor condition. I decided that it was not safe to use in the dark and so looked for an alternative route.
As I was in the area I decided to call in at Loweswater to get a shot.
✓ – Black and white long exposure makes the most of less than ideal conditions
✕ – The water does not add anything to the shot; it would have been better to have removed it completely
✕ – The white house would have made a strong focal point had it been larger in the frame
I spent much of this morning responding to comments on my latest video.
Whilst generally the comments are positive but a small number of people once again are choosing to criticise my images.
I will never understand what a photographer hopes to achieve by criticising another’s work.
For the record I am happy with the work that I am producing. I like my images and I am happy with the rate at which I am improving.
I feel that my images are of a high enough standard to inspire many others to invest more time in their own photography. That has always been my main aim.
In the past I have just ignored the comments but today I decided to stand up for myself.
In future anyone who consistently sets out to criticise without offering any form of constructive feedback will be blocked from my channel.
Today I spent time putting my ‘Hand of Man’ project in some sort of order.
I am someone who needs structure in their work, something to aim for, a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve.
I started by listing 20 locations that I would like to include in the project.
It also helped to list out the reasons why I want to complete the project, in order to keep me motivated:
- Produce images for my first exhibition
- Create a book to accompany the exhibition that I can sell
- Provide content for a talk that I can present to camera clubs
- Form the basis of a submission to the Royal Photographic Society for an ARPS distinction
Reviewing this list it was clear that the ‘Hand of Man’ is at least in part a commercial venture.
Therefore I need permission from the landowners to use photographs taken on their property.
It can be difficult to work out who owns what in the Lake District so I have started by writing to the National Trust, United Utilities, Lowther Estates and English Heritage.
You can follow the progress of the project here.
I finally found some time to add a page to my website that provides all the information that people need about 1-2-1s.
It was originally my plan to delay starting my business until next spring. However, there has been so much interest in booking me for 1-2-1s that I decided to get on with it.
So far 1-2-1s have accounted for about for 60% of my income which breaks down as follows:
- 1-2-1s – 60%
- YouTube ad revenue – 26%
- Workshops – 12%
- Print sales – 2%
Breaking my income down in this way makes it fairly obvious where I need to be focusing my efforts.
I have been thinking for a while about creating a photo book. After doing a bit of research I have decided on give Blurb a go.
What I like about Blurb is that I can create a book, order a copy for myself and then publish it on their website for other people to buy.
It didn’t take me long to create the book and I have ordered a copy for myself.
I am keen to see what it looks like.
I always knew there was a lot more to being a full-time photographer than just taking pictures.
For the last 3 months I have been shooting as often as I could and haven’t been leaving enough time for all of the other things.
As we move from autumn into winter I need to start to dedicate more time to the things that are going to generate an income.
The hard work starts now!