"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." Henri Cartier-Bresson


Documenting my daily life in photographs.

Photographic prints

Prints of my work are available at http://katieshires.redbubble.com/

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Camille's Appeal 2012 Calendar

So, all you organised people, already looking for next year's calendar, look no further!  2012's Camille's Appeal calendar is available to order now, featuring a selection of beautiful images from some very talented photographers (and me!).

Camille's Appeal is a fantastic charity set up by the parents of a beautiful little girl diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2009.  The charity raises money for children under the age of 5 who are suffering with a brain tumour, trying to find ways to ensure that the long-term effects of treatment are minimised to allow the child to lead a normal life.

You can find out more about the charity and about Camille herself here: http://www.camillesappeal.co.uk/

There are 2 formats available: a slimline layout or an A4 layout.

They are for sale via ebay, where you can also purchase Christmas cards designed by the extremely talented artist Nicki MacRae.

Calendars - buy here (£5 and £8 + p&p)
Christmas Cards - buy here (£5 for 10 + p&p)

Here is a sample page from the A4 format:

and a slimline sample:

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Summer in Dartmouth

It's funny how a change of scenery can lift your mood so completely.  There's something about the tranquility of the sea, and the new places to discover that feels like a different world and allows that escape that you only ever get on holiday.  Dartmouth in Devon has always been the place we used to escape to for family holidays.  Three generations of my family have been coming here since the 1960s, and whilst a lot has changed in that time, the picturesque views, the narrow rambling streets crammed with colourful houses, and the bustle of the regatta always stay the same.

This time, I was determined to take some long exposure seascape pictures.  I bought some ND filters a few weeks ago and have been keen for the opportunity to try these out.  I wasn't disappointed when I arrived at the house we were renting to find two enormous bay windows granting views of the entire estuary, from far up the river Dart, right out to sea.  The weather forecast hadn't been promising, but I still hoped I might manage to capture a few moody and dramatic skies.  With the typical fickle nature of British weather, it turned out that the moody skies stayed away, and in their place were some of the most beautiful, peaceful pastel sunrises and sunsets.

These were taken from the window of the house at sunset:

View up the river

The view out to sea with Kingswear across the water.

I even set my alarm to go out and capture some dawn images:

I love the neat rows of houses, all with their different shapes and sizes and colours, yet still strangely ordered and geometrical.  You can only really see the full effect when you take a boat up the river, which is how I took this one:

... and just because I can't quite manage to leave the portraits alone for long, this is my nephew on a little beach excursion to Blackpool Sands.  He didn't catch anything apart from a few pebbles, but at least he looked the part!

The only drawback is, this has given me a taste for landscapes, and now I've got a hankering for a decent wide-angle lens so I don't have to rely on my ropey old kit lens just to get some width.  Sigma 10-20 anyone?

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Bedroom bliss!

Over the last 5 months I have been going through the nightmare process of buying out my house from a joint mortgage.  Every possible thing known to man and mortgage advisor that could go wrong, went wrong along the way, but finally the transfer took place and the house is now solely in my name!

As the whole process ended up costing a lot more than it was supposed to, I haven't been able to go away this summer, so I decided to treat myself to a bedroom makeover instead.  I've not really done anything to it since moving in 4 years ago, so it was starting to look a bit tired and definitely needed a bit more of my stamp on it.

I had been looking around for wallpapers for some time and had spotted some lovely designs in Laura Ashley which I had earmarked for a feature wall.  However, my plans went slightly awry when I found the perfect paper.  I am deeply ashamed to admit this, but I saw it adorning the walls of the girls' bedroom in the Geordie Shore house!  Yes, the backdrop to their sordid nights of debauchery was the wallpaper of my dreams.

After a bit of scouring of the internet, my friend google found the paper for me, and although it nearly tripled the budget of my Laura Ashley designs, my heart was set.  I colour-matched the background to get a Dulux paint mixed up for the other walls and was good to go.

So, after a couple of days of hard-decorating, all done by my fair hand (I really am the wallpapering pro these days), here is the finished article, my beautiful, blissful, blue boudoir!

Wallpaper: Cole and Son
Paint: Dulux Liberty Blue

Friday, 3 June 2011

A bit of colour!

June is here and the sunshine is back!

I've been making the most of this, trying to get my garden into some state of pretty.  Lots of veggies planted now and some gorgeous flowers blooming.

It was this tiny little thing poking through the concrete that caught me eye, though.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Wedding Day

I've been seriously lacking in photographic inspiration lately, hence the neglect of the blog and the abandonment of the 52 weeks project :-(  Luckily, this weekend I was inspired to pick up my camera again and get snapping.  My cousin was getting married and it was the most glorious spring day, so the perfect opportunity to take some sunny shots.

In fact, the conditions were a bit too bright and, as there was little shade, it was tricky to catch people without harsh shadows and squinting eyes.  Still, I'm not averse to having a little flare and haze for that dreamy, summer look.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots from the day:

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Another year, another project! 52 weeks

Week 1: 1st to 7th January


So, time to start a new challenge. I can't cope with another 365, so this year I'm going to attempt a 52 weeks project to give me something to make sure that I get my camera out and keep trying new things.

Anyway, I needed to go to Hobbycraft last week to get some double-sided tape (I had a very revealing dress to wear for New Year's Eve, and didn't want anything falling out whilst I was dancing!!) Whilst I was there, I saw all the pretty craft punches they had, and picked up a snowflake one, thinking I'd have another go at shaped bokeh.

It's still wintery cold here at the moment, and apparently there's snow forecast for Friday, so I guess it's appropriate for this week as well.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Project complete!


Day 1:

Day 365:

It has been a real challenge, and there are a couple of blips. I forgot one day (was tipsy on my birthday and forgot to take a picture), and then took a couple of photos on my iphone which I lost before uploading, but it is at least a complete set of photos for every day of last year.

It's great to look back on the whole year like this and a really interesting record of what I've been up to. I also think I've learnt a lot from it. I've tried out a few new techniques, and just become a bit more confident and imaginative.

It was a real struggle at times, and there are a few too many photos which are total rubbish that I just took to get a shot that day. I'm not sure I'd do it again, but I'm so pleased I've completed it. I'd definitely recommend anyone else to have a go

Here's the set:
Project 365
And a couple of my favourites: