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

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Documenting my daily life in photographs.

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

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