The most important piece of camera gear….

So many people think cameras and lenses are getting better.

They are.

But cameras are stupid no matter how ‘great’ they are.

They know nothing, they see nothing, they don’t come with vision.

There isn’t a Decisive Moment indicator light in the viewfinder.

There is no Avedon button on the back.

The most important piece of gear for a photographer is their brain.

– Zack Arias


How to Breathe…

If you ever find yourself empty from something you cannot know or name,

find a stretch of ocean, a field or a mountainside,

or even clouds or trees.

Because there are 1,000 simple ways to fill your tired soul so that you can remember how to be,

how to see, and most importantly, how to breathe.

– Victoria Erikson



To those of us who’ve ever fallen for a storm…

Do not fall in love with people like me.

I will take you to museums, and parks and monuments,

and kiss you in every beautiful place,

so that you can never go back to them

without tasting me, like blood in your mouth.

I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible.

And when I leave, you will finally understand,

why storms are named after people.

– Gabriel Gadfly.


And you….

There are a few things in life so beautiful they hurt:

swimming in the ocean while it rains,

reading in empty libraries,

the sea of stars that appear when you’re miles away from the neon lights of the city,

bars after 2am,

walking in the wilderness,

all the phases of the moon,

the things we do not know about the universe,

and you……

-Beau Taplin..

Thirlmere Dam

Every cloud has a silver lining…

Yesterday I had a WordPress meet-up with fellow blogger and photographer James from Walking with a Smacked Pentax. We met up at my Photography Exhibition, enjoyed a hot drink then drove over to Keswick for a leg stretch. I wanted to take James somewhere that had a good vantage point, a nice view of some of the popular fells of the Lake District. I decided Walla Crag would suit the bill with its lovely view of Derwentwater. We took the steep ascent up from Springs Farm in the pouring rain. I was worried when we got to the summit the view would be overcast, dull and uninspiring. But luck was with us and the sky opened up for us when we reached the top, light was bouncing off Bleaberry Fell, Catbells and sunlight was streaming through the rain clouds over the Borrowdale Fells. We were both delighted and had a wonderful couple of hours making photographs and chatting about cameras and blogging….

Borrowdale sunlight

The night sky is no home…

Blue Grass

Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water.

And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes

you cannot even breathe deeply, and

the night sky is no home, and

you have cried yourself to sleep enough times

that you are down to your last two percent, but

nothing is infinite,

not even loss.

You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day

you are going to find yourself again.

 -Finn Butler

Blue Grass

A mid-winter walk…

Today was cold, foggy and a little overcast in the Lake District.  My walking friend and I did our default walk from Threlkeld to Keswick following the disused railway line and back again – at the Keswick end is the now unused Railway Station.  Despite the poor weather conditions we had a brilliant walk, lots of fresh air, a delightful lunch in Keswick and lots of chatter.  I like the bleak, watery effect of these iPhone images.  My favourite is image No. 2.  Follow me on Instagram HelenBoyd1

Threlkeld Railway WalkThrelkeld Railway WalkThrelkeld Railway WalkThrelkeld Railway Walk


Why I took it up a notch…

During my twenties and early thirties I was always in the gym and I was always very bored, I tried swimming and I also was a casual runner and snapper. As I approached my 38th birthday I thought I would give running another go as I had always enjoyed it, it was free and I would get lots of fresh air.  It didn’t take long for me to become completely addicted and was doing regular five-mile runs after work or a shorter two miles before work. If you are on your first pair of hips and your knees are in good nick you should try running – NOTHING gets you fitter and in shape more efficiently than running.  I loved the highs (they are not a myth), the fresh air, frosty mornings and tolerated the occasional calf tear and my toe nails turning black and falling off. I was training for my first Great North Run GNR and had a trip to Paris planned the week before the run, but I was on schedule and was going to do my circuits with the other Parisian runners in the Tuilerie Gardens, nothing was stopping me, I was on course.  I set off extra early one morning to do a run as I had a day trip planned and instead of stopping and crossing a busy road, full of confidence I leapt from the kerbside, landed very badly and disaster occurred, I had torn both of my Achilles Tendons and I was completely immobile. What followed was months and months of private physiotherapy, painkillers and ice packs. I narrowly escaped surgery and I had to defer my GNR place for a year – I was totally heartbroken…

Rewind ten years earlier and I had spent a lovely summer with a couple I worked with.  They were living in the UK at the time and were keen walkers/climbers, we spent that summer hiking around The Lake District before they then returned to Christchurch in NZ – my first ever walk was Angle Tarn Pikes.  So I was at a place where my running ‘career’ was effectively over and so I recruited my friend Virginia, bought some good walking boots, armed with maps, a flask of espresso & homemade flapjack we started walking.  The first eighteen months we walked every Saturday without fail, exploring lost corners of the Lakes (usually because we got lost quite often).  The walking was a great therapy for my poor ankles.  I could not wear high heels for nearly two years as I had to keep the tendons long while they heeled. During these walks I took my reliable compact camera and got some good results, but needed something more.  I bought my first SLR a Nikon D60 and now I was getting great results, documenting our walks.  I then soaked up any information on photography, read magazines, watched DVDs and tutorials and joined a local camera club, this takes me up to the present time.  I love my photography, love my long Lakeland walks, although we walk mostly in the autumn/winter as I think it is prettier and cooler to walk in.  I cannot lie, I miss the running – I have two pairs of custom running shoes hanging on the rail in my dressing room (I have an over-pronation) just in case, but I have tried a few small runs and they have not been very successful. Without the injury and the start of my lovely walks with Virginia maybe I wouldn’t have taken my photography up a notch. I am so pleased I did…….