Variety is the Spice of Life

It has been an extremely busy week for me. But with a number of 1-2-1s, a workshop, a commission and some filming for my YouTube channel it has been a great example of just how varied life as a professional landscape photographer can be.

Stephen Southwell and Valarie Ireland on Raven Crag overlooking Thirlmere

Monday 12th October 2020

A typical Monday morning for me, in the office dealing with all of the admin that builds up over the weekend. I have a full diary for the next couple of weeks and so this is my only opportunity to catch up.

One knock on effect of being so busy is that I am struggling to keep up with replying to comments, not just on my videos but also on my blog posts. I hope that normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday 13th

I was at Thirlmere this morning for a 1-2-2 with Stephen Southwell and Valerie Ireland. I first met Stephen at the beginning of the year when he joined me for a rather damp workshop at Derwent Water. There was a concern that history would repeat itself.

We started on the beach at the northern end of the reservoir before hiking up to the top of Raven Crag to shoot the view towards Dunmail Raise. All in all it was an excellent morning of photography and I am thinking of adding Thirlmere to my list of workshops for winter 2021.

Stephen Southwell and Valarie Ireland on Raven Crag overlooking Thirlmere
Stephen and Valerie on Raven Crag overlooking Thirlmere Reservoir – it did rain briefly and we all got wet but it was still worth it!

I spent the afternoon in the office editing the video that I shot on Saturday evening at Derwent Water with Julian Baird. Normally everything would be ready to go by now but with so much on my plate I am have to cut things a little finer than I would like.

I am pleased with the video which I think has a very strong story element to it. This is the sort of content that I like to produce; videos that show the reality of landscape photography for the majority of us.

Wednesday 14th

Today was a very busy day for me with 1-2-1s in the morning and the afternoon.

I started at Derwent Water with Ron Mitchell. The flat lighting and breezy conditions made photography difficult but we soldiered and I feel that Ron did very well given the conditions.

Normally on a midweek morning shoot such as this we would have have the place to ourselves. However, on this occasion we were joined by 2 other photographers including Kris Brown who I have bumped into once before at Castlerigg Stone Circle (a far more popular location). I take this as evidence that the Lake District is far busier this year than it would normally be.

Ron Mitchell at Victoria Bay in the western edge of Derwent Water
Ron Mitchell was faced with difficult conditions on Derwent Water by still managed to come away with some good shots. The one from Victoria Bay looked to have the most potential.

After Derwent Water I had just enough time to pop home and respond to some emails before heading out again. This time I was meeting Bill Spencer at Elterwater.

Bill and I have worked together before and it was wonderful to see him again. He has a very different approach to photography to most people that I have worked with, much preferring to take his time exploring a relatively small area looking for more intimate compositions.

In contrast to this morning’s session we had some wonderful light. Bill was happy for me to join in and so we teamed up, shooting handheld, hunting for shots together. It was for me an extremely enjoyable afternoon.

We parted with plans to do it again at some point before the end of the year. I am looking forward to it already.

Brookside beside the River Brathay near Elterwater
This simple shot of a group of trees is my favourite from a thoroughly enjoyable session with Bill Spencer. I am very much looking forward to doing it again.

Thursday 15th

No 1-2-1s today. Instead I was at Haweswater to shoot a commission.

I have been commissioned to capture an image of the Rigg on the Haweswater Reservoir. The full story behind the commission will be revealed in a video due out soon.

For once luck was on my side. Conditions were as good as I have seen for a long time at Haweswater and I was pleased with the images that I got.

The Rigg and Wood Howe from the Old Corpse Road overlooking the Haweswater Reservoir
I had to wait for 3 hours for the light to hit the Rigg. I will be sharing the full story behind my commission in a video due out soon.

Friday 16th

My old mate Tom Maple is up for the weekend and this morning we visited High Wray Bay on Windermere.

Tom has appeared in a few of my videos but this time we thought we’d try something a little different. Normally I would film Tom but this time I packed him off with my spare vlogging camera and set him the challenge of filming himself.

You can see how he got on in my next video due out on Tuesday 20th October.

Reflections on High Wray Bay on Windermere
With Tom taking care of most of next week’s video for me I could relax and grab a few shots of the beautiful reflections on High Wray Bay near Wray Castle.

Saturday 17th

Tom and I were at Rydal Water this morning for a workshop. We are considering running workshops together in the future and are keen to see how we might work together.

I took the lead roll. This involves leading the group from location to location and pointing out the dos and don’ts for each composition that I had prepared in advance. I also make sure that I was on hand to answer any questions that might arise.

Tom took a much more hands on approach (I never shoot myself when on workshops) exploring each scene for himself and sharing his own thoughts with the group.

I feel that this approach worked really well and I am keen to explore it further.

Tom Maple works a composition on Rydal Water
Tom joined me for my workshop at Rydal Water on Saturday. He was free to explore each scene for himself and share his thoughts with the rest of the group, an approach that I think worked very well.

Sunday 18th

I was back at Rydal Water again this morning, this time for a 1-2-1 with Charles Connor. Charles has had a few Skype sessions with me in recent months but this was the first time that we have met in person.

It was another wonderful morning for photography. The bright, overcast conditions provided both interest in the sky and enough contrast to life the superb autumn colours.

Best of all it remained still for most of the morning, the wind finally picking up and killing the reflections at 11:30 as we made our way back to the car.

Charles Connor photographing the boathouse on Rydal Water
The conditions were near perfect for my 1-2-1 with Charles Connor on Sunday morning. It was so still that Charles was still shooting the near perfect reflections at 10:30, nearly 3 hours after sunrise!

8 thoughts on “Variety is the Spice of Life”

  1. I love the images you have captured this week Chris. I really like the simplicity of the intimate landscape and how the cow is framed between trees. The mirrored reflections in High Wray Bay are fabulous and the light falling on the Rigg is fantastic. Great work!

    1. Thanks Matt, that is very kind of you to say. As I am so busy at the moment with 1-2-1s and workshops my own photography has mostly been limited to quick snapshots that I can grab here and there. But when I have been able to concentrate on my own photography I have been quite pleased with the results. 🙂

    1. Thanks Daniel, the last couple of weeks have been very busy but things should start to quieten down a little now. That should give me a little more time to concentrate on my own photography for a while.

  2. Hello Chris, The image of the Rigg is simply gorgeous – you were blessed with some sublime light on that day. Fantastic to hear that you are busy and that all your hard work and patience is paying off. I presume that with the uncertainty about Covid that you are keen to cram in as much as you can just in case Cumbria is subject to tighter restrictions. Everything crossed that the tier system works and that this does not happen to you. I am in your neck of the woods this week, and arrived early Monday. Spent the day climbing Gummer’s How, took a womble along Brother’s Water up to the waterfalls at the head of the valley, and then spent the rest of the day in Penny Rock Woods near Grasmere. The colours in the woods are really lovely at the moment – autumn is definately early this year. Have a good week sir. Stay well, and stay safe. All the best.

  3. Nice to see you are busy at the moment Chris, and hope with the uncertainty of the virus at the moment you continue to be so.

    1. Thanks Tim – I think the uncertainty of the virus is going to be with us for some time to come. I need to figure out the best way to adjust to the new world that we find ourselves in. Who knows what the future holds!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *