Lockdown

As the coronavirus crisis escalates the UK is now in lockdown. I find myself looking for new ways to grow my business and for any opportunity to indulge in my passion for photography.

The concrete road between Haweswater and Wet Sleddale

Monday 23rd March

I had a 1-2-1 this morning at Otterbield on Derwent Water. It was difficult to adhere to the social distancing guidelines but not impossible.

We were treated to a glorious sunrise and I broke with protocol and grabbed a quick shot myself.

The Otterbield tree on Derwent Water
My last shot before lockdown. How long before I will be able to stand on the shores of Derwent Water again?

This evening the Prime Minister announced that the UK would be entering a period of lockdown for a minimum of three weeks. He explained that these precautions where necessary to slowdown the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the pressure on the NHS.

For the next 3 weeks I am only allowed to leave the house for:

  • collecting essential supplies such as food and medicine
  • exercise (limited to once per day)

For someone that makes his living in the outdoors this is the worst possible news.

Tuesday 24th

My first day of lockdown has been rather unsettling.

I spent the day creating a video sharing how I intend to spend my time while I am unable to get out to shoot. It has just gone live and the early signs are not good. I suspect people are fed up with Covid-19 already.

I did manage to get out for a walk (as my permitted daily exercise) and took my camera with me. It was still good to be able to take some photographs even if the subjects were a little more modest than what I am used to.

The concrete road between Haweswater and Wet Sleddale
The concrete road that runs between the Haweswater and Wet Sleddale reservoirs. Part of the usual route for my permitted “1 form of exercise”.

Wednesday 25th

A better day for me today.

I had my first Skype session since launching the service officially at the weekend. It is always exciting when someone puts faith in you, investing not just their money but their time as well.

I also sold 5 prints! That is a new record. I am sensible enough to realise that this is people’s way of showing me support during these difficult times and I am extremely grateful for that.

With all of the excitement I wasn’t able to get out for a long walk this evening so I decided to pop out into the fields behind where I live. I was a really lovely evening.

Perhaps this lockdown won’t be so bad after all.

A dry stone wall near Shap in Cumbria
It was a beautiful evening. What a shame I am unable to venture any further than the area around the village where I live.

Thursday 26th

Today I started work on a photobook. I have decided to create one that documents the first 2 years of my YouTube channel. Starting with my very first video it will run right up to the point at which I left my old job.

I am using Blurb to create it but it is going to be far too expensive for me to sell. I have therefore decided to convert it into an eBook which I will give away for free. I hope it will provide people with a pleasant distraction during these difficult times.

This evening while out on my walk I stopped to photograph ‘a thingy’. I must have passed it 100 times and never given it a second look. But after 3 days of lockdown it has been transformed into a fascinating photographic subject!

A thingy that lies on the concrete road between Haweswater and Wet Sleddale
A ‘thingy’ that lies along the route that I usually take when out for my daily exercise. With limited opportunities for photography one must make the most of every opportunity.

Friday 27th

Yesterday we received the news that the government would introducing measures to support people that are self employed. People that run their own small businesses will be able to claim 80% of there income up to £2,500 per month.

This is great news for Mrs Sale and a weight off of her mind. Unfortunately I do not qualify as I am yet to file a tax return as a self employed person but that was to be expected.

To celebrate we chose a different route for our evening walk. To get to Hardendale Nab we had to cross the M6 motorway which seemed eerily quiet.

The stones at the top of Hardendale Nab
The Far Eastern Fells provide a backdrop for the stones at the top of Hardendale Nab. They are only a few miles from where I live but at the moment they may as well be on the other side of the moon!

Saturday 28th

I don’t know if things had been starting to get the better of us both but last night Mrs Sale and I really let our hair down!

Today we are both feeling a little tender. My first lockdown hangover.

It’s not all bad news. Yesterday I released my 6 Month Update video which mentioned my mentoring service. This morning I have 2 new bookings for next week!

I am starting to think that if I keep working hard and get a bit of luck I might just see out this crisis.

Sunday 29th

The thing about weekends during lockdown is they are almost indistinguishable from weekdays.

Today I did pretty much what I have been doing all week. Spent most of the day in the office before heading out for a walk.

The roads are very quite though.

The M6 motorway near Shap in Cumbria
The M6 motorway close to where I live. I don’t ever recall seeing it this quiet before.

My business has been severely impacted by the lockdown here in the UK.

Unable to leave my village except to collect essential supplies I find I am not even able to distract myself by heading up into the fells.

But I have hope that if I keep my head down and keep plugging away I will survive the coronavirus crisis.

14 thoughts on “Lockdown”

  1. With the exception of our overnight camping trip for my 66th birthday, I’ve been in lockdown for three weeks. My husband makes any necessary trips and has set up a decontamination station downstairs for anything that comes in the house and his new “outside the house” gear (goggles, gloves, and a ventilator mask designed to keep out chemicals). I’m sorting for some day when we can begin our adventure, trying to learn to focus differently (I dropped my camera and broke the back screen- waiting for a part to arrive), beading, and watching lots of tutorials. He is working on customizing the inside of the van, writing, and practicing his guitar. And we get a lot of phone calls from friends and family on the other side of the country. As much as I miss getting out, it’s tough to fit in everything I want to do in a day. Stay safe and well.

    1. It sounds like you are taking no risks with the virus Theresa, that is good to hear. Sorry to hear you have broken your camera. These things happen but it’s never a pleasant experience.

  2. I feel rather lucky in that I live in a area once noted for being the richest square mile on the planet in the heyday of tin, copper and arsenic . Within a short walk of my house there are old engine houses and other associated ruins of old mine workings. Although not one of my usual photographic jaunts as most of the time I head to the coast, North coast about 4 miles South coast 10 miles ( I am in West Cornwall. ) It must be a hard for the people who live in the large towns and cities who usually have to travel many miles to partake in there landscape photography. Keep your chin up Chris, and you and mrs S stay safe.

    1. I agree Tom, it must be difficult for people that live in the city. For once it feels as though we are living in the right place. Makes a nice change!

  3. Have you tried your hand at macro photography yet Chris. It could open up a whole new world of exciting opportunities for you while on lockdown?
    You could even declutter the hard drive making room for all of the new excellent shots to come.

    Whatever you do, you and mrs s stay safe.

    Take care buddy.

    Tony

    1. Hi Tony, inevitably I will have to give macro photography a try. It doesn’t really float my boat if I am honest. My first love has always been the outdoors and my photography is just a way for me to express that. But these are difficult times and so I am prepared to give anything a go in order to keep the boredom away.

  4. I feel for you Chris. Small businesses are really feeling the pinch of this crisis. State parks around my area are still open and still allowed to hike; always with camera in hand to capture some of the Spring. The fresh air and views keep me hopeful. Even before this challenge, I never took the well-being nature brings me for granted – and even less so. Be well and be safe.

    1. It’s all good mate – if there is one thing in business that is for certain it is that nothing is for certain! Like all good businesses I shall have to adapt. If I don’t do that I am finished. It is as simple as that.

  5. Hi Chris I think you’ll be fine I love your videos, as I live with mental health and Autism I find your videos very calming. Have you thought about macro photography or product photography. I keep thinking about trying to photograph a coffee being made as the frothy milk enters the dark coffee. Anyhow both you and Mrs S stay safe.

    1. Hi Karl – I am planning videos on both of those subjects. I still have a few videos filmed on location but soon I will have to start being much more creative. It won’t be long before I start digging out my lens ball and lava lamp! 🙂

  6. Hi there, I really hope that you are doing ok! It´s a very tough situation all over the world now. I dropped by to your website to look att your beuatiful pictures. -Take care!

    1. Hi Morgan, thank you very much for your kind words. A lot of people all over the world are struggling with current crisis. There isn’t much that I can do at the moment except to continue to try to produce videos to keep people entertained and to give them some ideas for photography projects that they can try indoors.

  7. What a cracking sunrise shot from Otterbield! Well done, and I cannot blame you for “stealing” a shot during a 1-2-1. What on earth is the “thingy”? Interesting shot and one of those objects we pass on a daily basis and never know quite what they are. The M6 ghost town image is eerie. Some similar scenes in my area and likely everywhere else in the world too. Stay well mate!

    1. Helen and I went for our daily walk yesterday evening around 18:00. The village was deserted. It would usually be quite busy as people would be returning home from around that time, calling in at the chippy or the Coop or even popping into one of the pubs for a pint to start of the weekend. Very strange times indeed mate.

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