Scream If You Wanna Go Faster!

The rollercoaster that is my life as a full-time landscape photographer continues. From the high of one of the most enjoyable photography hikes that I can remember to the low of having to cancel my up and coming exhibition.

The tower in the hills above the Haweswater Reservoir

Monday 1st June 2020

Had a wonderful shoot last night at Haweswater, my first in the Lake District since lockdown was called at the end March.

I returned to shoot the cottages close to the Old Corpse Road. The weather forecast looked promising and I was hopeful of some interest in the sky. Alas it was not to be and I had to work with the featureless skies that have we have become all too familiar with this spring.

I decided to stick around after the sun had dipped below the mountains to see what the scene looked like without direct light.

I was encouraged to learn that there was still enough contrast to provide interest in the hills on the opposite side of the reservoir. I now plan to return on a bright, overcast day to have a third attempt at capturing the view.

The Haweswater Reservoir after sunset
I feel that there is enough interest in this scene even after the sun has set to warrant a return on an overcast day where there is a little more interest in the sky.

Tuesday 2nd

I was back at Haweswater this morning for sunrise, this time choosing to shoot from the foot of Rough Crag.

It was a still morning and I had forgotten that it is now prime midge season!

I had to try a compose my shot and deal with an extreme dynamic range whilst simultaneously beating off a cloud of the bitey little buggers.

My next purchase could well be a hat with one of those rather fetching nets.

The Haweswater Reservoir from the foot of Rough Crag
Not my finest work but nevertheless not a bad effort given the distraction of my battle with Haweswater’s most irritating residents.

Wednesday 3rd

Spent all day in the office today, scratching my midge bites and preparing for my webinar “Create a Photo Website with Adobe Portfolio”.

If you are reading this before Wednesday 10th June then there is still time to register if you are interested.

Thursday 4th

I had a wonderful morning exploring Mardale Common in the hills above Haweswater.

It was a long day, starting at 03:30 and finishing at 14:00, but an enjoyable one nevertheless.

I found a great deal to photograph on what was possibly the best photography hike I have done in a long time. I think there might even be potential for a workshop here. 🙂

Selside Brow on the side of Branstree
Selside Brow on the side of Branstree – I found so much to photograph in the area around Mardale Common that I am considering running a workshop here in future.

Friday 5th

I spent some time today editing my images from yesterday’s hike on Mardale Common.

Recently I have been struggling with post processing my colour images; I just haven’t been happy with the tones now that we are heading into summer.

The problem is that generally I try to enhance the warmer colours (reds, oranges and yellows) at the expense of the cooler colours (greens and blues). Whilst this works well for images taken in autumn, winter and spring it is not so effective for summer photographs.

I found that the solution was simply to ’embrace the green’!

Shifting the yellows towards the green and the oranges towards the yellow produces much more pleasing results.

I have been fine tuning my post processing for my summer images
Normally my post processing workflow is designed to enhance the warmer colours. I have found that it is not effective for processing images taken in the summer when the landscape is very green.

Saturday 6th

I spent some time reviewing my approach to my videos this morning.

I am really enjoying shooting hand held in Friday’s video, but I want to add more value with my Tuesday video.

Rather than simply sharing my experiences whilst I am out shooting I want to create videos specifically designed to help other people improve there own photography.

I also want to use the power of Facebook video to help promote my print sales.

From now on my schedule will look something like this:

  • Tuesday – landscape photography tutorial style videos filmed on location designed to help others to improve their photography
  • Friday – my little indulgence, videos sharing my time exploring the far eastern fells with my camera
  • Occasional Facebook videos – filmed on location when capturing my portfolio images, designed to promote my print sales

Sunday 7th

Unfortunately we learned yesterday that the R.A.O.B Club in Grasmere which has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic is unlikely to reopen this year.

As a result I have had to cancel my first exhibition that was due to go ahead on the 29th July.

Cancelled - My Lake District Exhibition
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic I have had to cancel my first exhibition

23 thoughts on “Scream If You Wanna Go Faster!”

  1. Love the Haweswater shot Chris, it works nicely, the lack of sky activity doesn;t bother me and the forground still has enough light and contrast. Well done getting up for a sunrise hike, I shot the moonset on Saturday morning and had a similar 3ish wake up call, it’s a shock but very rewarding at that time of day and ever more tranquil with hardly anyone about.

    I realise what you are saying about WB, I have also not been happy with my processing, taking the traditional approach of warming up the WB for daylight and feeling it is too muddy and orange. The shift on green and yellow is a good call, it looks more like what you would see I think, more accurate for reality.

    Sad to see your exhibition is off, the whole issue of social distancing is going to be with us for some time I fear and venues for galleries, exhibitions etc. are going to be a challenge how they work through that. Have you thought about trying to do something outdoors in your local village?

    1. Hi Alan – I hadn’t considered doing anything in my village. The big problem is that there just isn’t any tourists at the moment. I don’t think there is much point trying anything too ambitious until they return unfortunately.

  2. Hi Chris
    Sorry to hear that your first exhibition has been cancelled.
    You must be devistated after the time it took you to prepare for it.
    Let’s hope it gets back on track ASAP.
    Take care

    1. Ah, these things happen Tim – at the moment I am more concerned that I won’t be able to get the workshops and 1-2-1s back up and running until next year. If that happens that will be a disaster.

  3. Sorry to hear your exhibition had to be cancelled, is there some other way you could do it?
    Have been really enjoying your new format of videos and sharing your knowledge.
    Embracing the green certainly makes a big difference, great work.

    1. Hi Ross – to be honest we haven’t really looked into it. Anything that we try to do at the moment seems to be like pushing treacle up hill with a fork. Hoping things are back to some form of normality by the autumn. Yeah, certainly happier with my summer images now that I have changed my post processing workflow.

  4. Agh! So sorry to hear about your exhibit being cancelled Chris. A reality check that we are still in the midst of pandemic despite the phased opening. However, it does provide an opportunity to inquire about perhaps setting up a “live feed” for your exhibit when it is rescheduled? I think there would be many interested folks online who would enjoy participating virtually. Been also working on my PP. Never ending. Stay well.

      1. Something simple, less than 30 mins? Perhaps a roaming attendee/host with a phone either live on YT or Twitter. Or a live cam set up somewhere in the facility? Just a thought.

        1. Following this weeks webinar I thought I might do another one about the images that would have made it into my exhibition should it have gone ahead. Do you think that is something that people might be interested in?

          1. Depends, perhaps? Is there no possibility that you will be able to reschedule your exhibit? Or are restrictions/venue now not an option?Also, are these images you’ve not showcased in your website portfolio/shopping page?
            If not, I would consider waiting until you can give them the attention of an exhibit, and then perhaps follow up with a webinar to discuss each.
            Just thinking out loud.
            Either way, I’ll certainly watch ; )

  5. Bad luck for the exhibition Chris! However, this too shall pass…

    I’m taking heart from NZ where ALL restrictions are lifted after it looks like virus eradication. In Aus we can go to pubs and restaurants in controlled numbers, with further relaxation in 2 weeks. Hang in there!

    1. Thanks Daniel. Good to hear the NZ has lifted all restrictions. You can be far behind now. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the UK will be back to some for of normality any time soon. I am just hoping that things are back to normal in the autumn otherwise I am screwed!

  6. Sorry to hear about the exhibition delay. Being in lock down for a long period has given me an opportunity to try some new things. One of the new things I am got interested in was the pictorialism style that was popular in Europe and the US in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. It came about as a group of photographers saw it as a way to get photography accepted as an art form. I thought it might interest you since you are shooting some black and white. And, also because I have heard you mention the Hands of Man project you are working on. The style was described as “an approach to photography that emphasized beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition rather than the documentation of reality”. One of the ways pictorialism was described was having a softer focus and sepia toned monochrome photos. That is what I have been trying the most. I have an example posted on Instagram of some ginger (account is ButchReinhart). I stumbled into this style because I started to look at shooting black and white after see the fine photos you posted while on your walks. The photographers and photography of that period and the events that dominated that period makes for pretty good reading. Chris, that exhibition is still out there in the future.

    1. Hi Marvin – Just had a look at that image on Instagram. Very interesting. I really like the way that it was processed, the style is definitely very artistic. Is this something that you think you would like to take further?

      1. Thank you. Yes, I am going to do more with this. I make a couple of photos of clouds along the beach some days ago and those seemed to work well with this look. I like the look because it is a bit different that what I am used to seeing and it lets me look past the colors in some photos. Some photos look better in color but in some photos the color can distract and draw attention away from the underlying shapes and tones. I believe I am starting to like black and white because when I look at those photos I slow down and think more of what the photo represents — if that makes sense. The difficulty I have run into is being able to look at a scene and visualize it in black and white. So, I know I am probably walking by scenes everyday and missing opportunities. I saw in a post further down that you mentioned you were considering a webinar on black and white photography. I’ll keep my eye out for that.

        1. Marvin – what camera do you shoot with? I have found shooting with a mirrorless camera and switching the picture mode to monochrome helps to see if the scene works in black and white. If you are shooting with a DSLR then try walking around with you mobile phone – most of them also have a black and white mode. If you spot something that you can see works then get out the big camera. Hope that helps.

          1. Chris, thanks for the tip. I shoot with Nikon DSLRs. They do have a monochrome picture mode. I can easily switch to that mode when I am out and I’ll certainly try that. Appreciate the response.

          2. Chris, follow-up on the monochrome settings on the Nikon DSLRs I use. I just pulled out the D7000 and looked at the monochrome settings and see that not only can I set it to display in monochrome but I can also make it so that the colors are in sepia and emulate a variety of filters. I am so glad you put me on to thinking about that setting. That made my day. Headed over to buy you a coffee!

  7. Chris, I am sorry to hear about the delay in your exhibition, hopefully you will figure out a way to do a livestream and show your portfolio photos via YouTube. In the meantime I am really enjoying your new ‘handheld photography’ videos. You can get so many more shots done in each episode, across the vast landscape you have access to. As a M50 owner myself, as a lighter companion to a Canon RP, I really like the look of the photos you made recently. Would you consider a short video focusing on the post processing you do, specially the B&W ones? All the best!

    1. Hi Flavio – regarding the 2 points that you raised I am considering running a couple of webinars in the near future. The first would be to share the images that would have been in my portfolio, the second would be about my approach to black and white photography which would cover post processing. Is this something that you would be interested in? I prefer doing this sort of thing as a webinar as it gives me the opportunity to meet some of the people that I am trying to help.

      1. I would love to join both. I am currently in the U.S. but moving to Brazil at the end of July so I hope you can book them in your afternoon / evening.

        1. Hi Flavio – yes, it can be difficult to schedule these things so that everyone can join in. This week’s webinar was at 19:00 UK time (UTC +1) and I was lucky enough to have people from both sides of the US on the call.

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