Monday 2nd September 2019
The day has finally arrived. After months of preparation my first day as a full-time photographer is here.
This week my aim is to visit places that I know well for sunrise and spend the rest of the morning scouting new locations.
I started with Tarn Hows. As I drove through the darkness I passed through numerous rain showers but nothing was going to put me off. Not today!
Conditions were perfect when I arrived, a thick blanket of mist covering the tarn and the surrounding hills. I headed up the hill that overlooks the tarn hoping to get the classic shot looking down from above.
As the mist lifted from the hills in the distance I was presented with an stunning view of Arnside. I quickly grabbed my first shot as a full-time photographer.
When I was finished at Tarn Hows I headed to Black Fell. As I set off it started to rain, lightly at first but getting progressively heavier as I closed in on the summit. I got absolutely soaked and loved every minute of it.
I was absolutely buzzing when I got home. It won’t always be like this, I realise that, but while it is I am going to make the most of it.
I have been over-whelmed by the huge number of messages that I have received since announcing my decision to leave my job.
It took me all night last night to respond to the comments on my Instagram post and I have only just finished replying to the comments on my blog post.
Everyone has wished me luck. If I have learnt one thing in the last twenty odd years it that regardless of you hard you work we all need a bit of luck every now and then!
This morning I headed to Crummock Water. Conditions were not great. More rain to contend with. But I am getting used to these conditions. In fact I think I am getting quite good at them. Who needs light eh?
After getting soaked (again) I decided not to climb Rannerdale Knotts as planned opting to bugger off home instead.
As I drove east conditions improved so much that by the time I reached Penrith I had made the decision to climb up to the Beacon.
I have been planning to visit it for a while now but never seemed to have the time. Clearly I don’t have that excuse any more.
I took a few shots, none of which were any good, but on the way back to the car I pondered if it might be a good location for a spot of astro photography?
I got on the scales on Sunday and had the shock of my life. I didn’t know numbers went that high! More on that in a moment.
I started the day at Manesty to the south of Derwent Water. The plan was to shoot the sunrise from Great Bay but I arrived to find the foot path under 2 foot of water.
I am starting to realise that I need to be flexible. Nothing ever seems to go to plan.
Fortunately I didn’t need to look far for a composition, the River Derwent snaking past towards the lake.
I was finished by 07:00 so decided to head to nearby Sale Fell.
Part of the reason for my decision to leave my old job was to lead a more active life. The years of driving a desk have not been kind on my waist line.
I want to get up into the fells as often as I can, starting on the lower peaks and working my way up as my fitness improves.
Met up with a mate of mine, Steve Bennett, at Loweswater this morning.
We were treated to a beautiful sunrise before we headed off for a walk in the fells, shooting the breeze as we went.
Steve and I first met at the photography show in 2018, an active member of the community that has built up around amateur landscape photography on YouTube as anyone.
It is this community that has given me the confidence to take the next step in my journey. Every like, every comment, every word of encourage bringing me closer to my goal.
It is more than likely that you too are part of that community so thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
The community that we are part of is something that I am extremely proud of. The support and encouragement that we get from one and other keeps us all moving forward in our journey as photographers.
Some of us are further along that journey than others but we keep moving forward. Together.
For some of us new doors are opened and exciting opportunities present themselves. For others our skill as photographers grows as week in, week out we tune in to our favourite channels.
I have benefited from this community more than most. It is a debt I am determined to repay.
I met Steve at Derwentwater this morning. The forecast was not good and so I tried to think of a location that offered some shelter.
As I headed west I drove though some pretty foul weather. I was surprised therefore that it had stopped raining by the time I arrived at the small carpark at the foot of Catbells.
It might not have been raining but it was still overcast and very breezy. No sunrise and no reflections then.
I expect that part of being a successful landscape photographer is the ability to match the location to the conditions. With that in mind I was quite pleased with my choice.
Otterbield is well known for the gnarly old tree growing sideways out of the rock. I have always felt this composition best suited moodier conditions.
Once we had finished we decided to take a walk south alone the shore. I was keen to continue my efforts to get more exercise.
As we set off the heavens opened. My 4th soaking in 5 days. I am going to have to get used to this.
Or get better waterproofs!
Steve and I met up with James at Yew Tree Tarn this morning. We are thinking of hosting our next workshop there in November.
Before we headed up to Holme Fell we were treated to perfect reflections on the tarn.
I found a composition that I like and focusing on the famous wheel grabbed the shot. I did consider focus stacking at the time but in the end convinced myself that it didn’t need it.
In hindsight I think I was wrong.
What do you think? Do you focus stack?
When I got back home I had a message from Tammy Mellert.
Sadly it seems poor Tammy has injured her back and is now going to miss all the fun.
I often feel sorry for my friends in the US and other parts of the world. The community is so heavily biased towards the UK that opportunities to meet other vloggers are rare.
It is a double blow for Tammy. I must think of a way to cheer her up.