When you can’t see the wood for the trees

by Steve Warren

When life becomes all consuming and you can’t see the wood for the trees you know you need a break. A break is exactly what we had, and in one of our favourite places in the world, the Lake District.

We booked a flat in the centre of Keswick for the weekend and set off straight after work, which after an exhausting week at work was a surprisingly difficult thing to do but we dug deep, threw some random stuff in the car (hopefully some of which would prove useful) and hit the road. We arrived in Keswick around 6pm and collapsed in the flat. All we wanted to do was chill out and drink some well earned beer/wine but there was a niggling feeling we just couldn’t shake. We’re photographers with an Etsy shop selling photographs. We (obviously) had all our photography equipment with us and it was shaping up to be a beautiful sunset… Dammit! Why couldn’t it be dull and rainy like it always is in the lakes so we could just hole up and drink beer!! We dug deep and set off along the east side of Derwentwater towards Ashness Jetty, a location I’d planned for a good sunset. When we got there conditions weren’t perfect but we set up and took a few shots. I decided to go with a long exposure to smooth out the water and capture some movement in the clouds to produce a minimalist, yet dynamic feel. Heading back to the flat as the light faded we could already feel the tension lift and relaxation slowly take over. 

You can’t not relax with a view like this…


The next morning I planned to walk down to the north shore of Derwentwater for some shots of Derwent Isle with Catbells in the background. The alarm went off at 4.30am (yes, 4.30am! Sunrise is much more civilised in the winter!), I threw on some clothes and headed off armed with my camera bag and tripod (leaving Leanne snoozing, she’s not a morning person). When I got to the shore the conditions were good, but not quite perfect. The water was still and producing some lovely reflections but the sky was completely clear. Not a disaster but it would have been nice to have some texture to the sky. Nevertheless I had a fantastic morning composing and snapping away. I love heading out for sunrise shoots. The world feels still, calm and quiet at this time. There is a sense of absolute peace and tranquillity; it’s like a secret world that I have all to myself and I get completely lost in it. If you’ve never done it I can’t recommend it highly enough.  It has stronger healing powers than any drug that’s for sure! While Leanne played with the dogs I spent a good three hours or so filling up my SD card. You never know if you’ve got that killer shot until you get back to the computer but I headed back to the flat happy with my mornings work (if only this was my ‘work’ – maybe one day…)

We spent the rest of the day walking. We chose one our favourite walks that we have done many times but not for a long while. We set off with our two wonderful dogs through Keswick, through Portinscale to the bottom of Catbells. According to the sign the summit is only one mile away – one mile of very, very steep climbing however! It’s hard work but it’s soooo rewarding. I love how quickly you ascend and the views back across to Keswick with Skiddaw in the background are just stunning. The weather was beautiful and we had a fantastic climb to the summit. We stopped for a spot of lunch, looking out across the stunning scenery feeling more and more relaxed by the minute. We headed down from the summit to the south shore of Derwentwater and along the east shore to complete the loop back to Keswick.  We arrived back at the flat feeling wonderfully exhausted – it’s a great feeling. We managed to suppress our inner conflict between beer and photography that night. We spent a well earned evening in the pub!

The Lake District National Park, it’s the place to be when you can’t see the wood for the trees: 


I toyed with the idea of another early start but instead opted for a lie in. This was after all supposed to be a weekend of recharging the batteries. Having said that I couldn’t resist heading out with my camera around 8am. Well after sunrise but still early enough for some nice morning light. I headed out towards Ashness Bridge but as I got down to the lakeside I was presented with a perfectly still, mirror like lake!! Two days in a row! I spent the morning back around Ashness Jetty making the most of the conditions before the water inevitably started rippling up, which it did around 10 am. We spent the rest of the day chilling out around Derwentwater, soaking up the sun  and listening to the gentle lapping of the water as the warm, soft breeze washed over us. Was it as idyllic as I’m making it sound? Absolutely!

Sneak peek: This beautiful Lakeside Panorama will be available to buy from our Etsy shop from our Lakeside collection in June… it is huge so we are looking at the possibility of having it printed onto an extra large canvas… watch this space for updates!

sneak peek1

When life becomes all consuming and you can’t see the wood for the trees you know you need a break – and what an incredible break this was. I was so exited to go leading up to the weekend that I was worried it couldn’t possibly live up to my expectations, but instead it surpassed them in ways I couldn’t possibly have imagined. The lakes is a truly magical place and I think we had both forgotten just how much we love it – just as well as we’ve booked to go back in a couple of weeks time. Bring on the healing!

You can buy any of our Lake District print collection in our Etsy store from June. In the meantime this Ullswater print is available now to purchase from our store. We’ll be blogging after our next trip, so fingers crossed for the same results (but with maybe a little more time for the pub).



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