Thursday, 15 February 2018


No matter how long you stay at the lake district it never seems long enough. I could sit and stare into the mountains all day long writing, painting and photographing. The love of the lake district has definitely been passed down through the family and we had a couple of holidays there as a child and I just grow to love it more and more each time I visit.

It wasn't that long ago that I was here, my mum drove me up to Cumbria last year to get my final major project final piece, unfortunately we didn't have enough time to stay a little longer and I made a promise to myself that day that I wouldn't leave it years until I visited again.

There's really not a lot to update you on what happened during our little adventure because all we did was drive around exploring and that's basically it, there really isn't much more to tell.

The picture pretty much speaks for themselves anyway.
































Thursday, 8 February 2018


As you are aware we are going to Cumbria for the weekend and for you photo lovers I have decided to write this post just for you because as a photographer myself I know just how nosey I am when it comes to wanting to know what kit photographers take with them on their photographic trips.

I am wanting to travel quite light so my kit bag is relatively small and honestly, my kit is very minimal.

My Kit Bag:
- Canon 6d
- 50mm 1.4
-80mm 1.4
- Tripod
- Battery charger
- Spare battery
- Nikon Coolpix

My little Nikon is wonderful for the point and shoots shots, and honestly, the quality is so good and due to not having a wide lens at the moment this will make for the perfect little fill in.

I can't yet tell you what I'm planning to take photograph-wise, but I and Stewart have just packed our fave equipment and are going to see where the weekend takes us.






www.shannon-matthews.com
www.artbymatthews.co.uk




Does anybody else's mind go to mush when you have to pack to go on a trip? Yes, mine too. More so for me, because I have not only a standard suitcase to pack, I also have a camera bag to pack too, to ensure I have batteries, battery chargers, lenses and the cameras themselves, tripods and anything else I might want to take with me.

I don't get to go on trips away a lot, due to the animals we have nobody really wants to commit to feeding 5 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, 3 cats and a hamster as well as looking after the 2 dogs so, me and Stewart can actually go and spend quality time together, something we've not done the whole time we have been together (7 years!!!!)

It's taken me 7 years, 7 WHOLE YEARS to finally be able to get someone without any other commitments that don't mind checking in or staying with my fluffy tribe. My younger sister, Nicola is an absolute gem and I'm pretty sure she loves my pets just as much as I do and I know they're in safe hands.

I'm not gonna lie, it's been hard watching the people around me go on trips away and not being able to do that myself so the excitement around ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE is too much for my little mind to comprehend, making it much harder to pack a bag, but I think I've got it covered! 

I will upload another post in regards to what's in my camera bag and link it here if you want to check it out.


Walking Boots

The weather is looking pretty snowy for us this weekend, which is ACE, however, even if there was snow or not we'd still need our sexy walking boots to ensure we had extra grip trecking up and down the mountains.


Underwear & Socks

A little bit of an obvious one, you can't wear the same pants and socks for 3 days in a row, I mean you could if you wanted to but that would be completely and utterly rank.


Medication

If you're like me and have many medications that you need to take on a daily basis it's important to check more than twice that you have these ready and packed for your trip, the last thing you want is to get 3 hours away from home to have to go back to get your medication.


Phone Chargers + Accessories

Some people would argue that it is a blessing if you forgot your phone, however, phones are legit lifesavers these days if you get lost or break down. A mobile phone is an extremely important must have so make sure you pack those chargers! 


Coffee Flask

Walking up and down mountains in snow will require for sure, coffee. We bought ourselves a coffee flask so that we can keep ourselves warm and hydrated on our adventures.


Comfortable Clothing

Don't put a skirt on for climbing a mountain or trousers that look good but are too small, This is something I would do but I have planned the most sensible.. and fashionable obviously outfits that does not involve anything remotely movement restricting or potentially revealing.


Hygiene Essentials

Toothpaste especially. Usually depending on where you're staying, they give you complimentary little wash bundles, but toothpaste is never usually part of that bargain. 


Snacks

Not only for the car journey will you need snacks but you will also want snacks for your hotel room. Not everyone wants to go out and spend an arm and a leg every time they want a snack. I need snacks to make the trip as comfortable as possible.


Coats and Winter Warmers

This is basically common sense, It's colder up north anyway but when you're forecast 3 days of snow, you're really gonna have to wrap up warm, scarfs, gloves, hats, the lot.






www.shannon-matthews.com
www.artbymatthews.com 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018



Tomorrow I turn the big 25! just 5 years off the big 3-0 and halfway to 50! Where is the time going? It honestly seems like only yesterday that it was my 13th birthday. I can't believe that already I am 25 years old, It's really time now that I start thinking about the future and building a life I am content with and not constantly wishing.


- Go on a family holiday to Cumbria - 
Family holiday's to Cumbria are the only holidays that  I look back on and miss a huge amount. It's been years since we all got away on holiday together it would be so lovely to be able to do this again in the next 5 years, preferably sooner.

- Get Married - 
Myself and Stewart Agreed on a 5 year engagement and the fact that already a year and a half has past is slightly daunting as we do not have anywhere near the funds to even start planning; We're not at a point where we want to start planning yet either, we're both extremely career driven at the moment and our main priorities are to get into a comfortable financial state before we even think about tieing the knot, so maybe it's gonna be a 6 and a half year engagement instead..

- Go to Wales -
Snowdonia, I need to photograph it. Travelling to places to get amazing Landscapes is high up on the cards at the moment as it could possibly get. 

- Move  -
Lincoln is not my home, nor has it ever really felt like home. I am completely and utterly miserable here and I find it very hard to look to and plan my future here in Lincolnshire. Maybe one day I'll discuss with you all where home is but for now, it's just for me to know.


www.shannon-matthews.com
www.artbymatthews.co.uk





Saturday, 3 February 2018

Black and white is my go to at the moment and I really can't tell you why I am just drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I spend a lot of time at work, looking at my computer working on my blogs or either doing my college coursework and very little time actually behind my camera taking photographs which is crazy considering I am studying photography for my degree. I love taking photographs but as mentioned in previous posts my inspiration is really running dry when it comes to anything other than my current final major project.

For some reason, I am more drawn to photographing on dull and rainy days and they're not really the best days to be wanting to take photographs but due to the light being so even, I thought it would create some interesting minimalistic images with the mirror effect on the Nikon Coolpix s7000.

They say the best camera you can have is the one you have with you, because its not about the standard of the camera, how expensive your camera is, it's merely what you can do with it and i'm not going to lie that has been one of the hardest things for me as a photographer to come to terms with after spending so much money on a professional camera, but when you're wanting to experiment and get into tune with your creative side, it really doesn't matter what camera you use to create your art.

I purchased the Nikon Coolpix sj7000 a few weeks ago when it appeared my iPad was faulty and I had to take it back and get a refund. I never really used my ipad so I took the opportunity to get something I would use and this was it - and some other bits but that's another story.

If you want to see some more pictures taken on this camera you can visit these two posts here:

Colour In The Peaks; Hope Valley and Peak District In Black & White














Let me know what you think, I'll be experimenting with this a lot more in the future and might even do something with the mirror mode when I visit Cumbria this February. As photographers, we should never stop experimenting and play with different techniques because you never know what you might create. I'm also hugely interested if you've done anything like this before with a mirrored setting on your camera or phone, link me! 

www.shannon-matthews.com

Friday, 2 February 2018


I did a reading like this for my year ahead just before the start of last month, you can read that here if you're interested, I thought it would be interesting to see what my tarot cards had to tell me for my month ahead. Feb is always a really busy month in my family with all the birthdays and anniversaries. I only ever tend to do my tarots when I get a ''feeling'' to do so, it may sound completely ridiculous to you reading this or it could potentially sound completely relatable.


My Reading

4 Of Wands; happy home. possible country setting.
keywords: Celebration, harmony, marriage, home, community.



Queen Of Swords; Woman over 25 years. brown eyes and hair, cold, hard, demanding authority
keywords: Quick thinker, organized, perceptive, independent.



Knight Of Wands; knight of wands; young man to 25 years, important letter.
Keywords: Energy, passion, lust, action, adventure, impulsiveness.




In regards to this post I thought it would be easier to reflect on these cards as a whole rather than individually, for this reading I was basically just asking the question "what does february have in store for me'' whilst continously shuffling the cards and I'm not going to lie I did have a little chuckle to myself when the cards came out, 4 of wands because the card stated 'happy home, possible country setting' which is interesting because next weekend me and Stewart are going away to Cumbria for our first ever in 7 years break away together and the second card showed something about ''Woman over 25..'' which also gave me a shocked giggle because obviously, I turn 25 this month, in 5 days to be exact!

Whilst studying and reading through these cards there is a lot of talk of change and about more adventure, working hard and just keeping my wits about me. We are already 2 days into the month and honestly, I already feel as though it's going to be a relatively productive month on the work front so receiving these cards has confirmed that.

I'm feeling pretty motivated after that small little insight into my month ahead. 


www.shannon-matthews.com

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Not long ago I and my sister worked together on a photo shoot and we experimented with some different styles, you can see our more fashion/fantasy based shoot here. There's nothing I love more than candid and natural shots, there's just something about them that has a much more magical feel to them compared to photographs that you take purposely to look magical. 

With a completely natural photograph of someone, where you're taking their portrait you're capturing their personality, whereas I feel like with fashion you're more likely capturing a character and not the real person. 

I would love to know what you think about these images; they were initially created as part of my final major project where I am trying to perfect the art of portraiture and am currently on a journey to creating my own unique style, so watch this space!

All of these images were taken with Canon 6D  and 50mm 1.4.












www.shannon-matthews.com



Tuesday, 30 January 2018



January has been a very long month. It's weird that it's actually no longer than the other months we encounter but for some reason, it really does feel as though it goes on forever and ever.

On reflection it's not been great and it could be a lot worse, however, I feel like this month has been quite hard to deal with due to intense fatigue I've been experiencing alongside the news of my family dog having only 3 more months to live due to a form of blood cancer and my antidepressants have been increased.

On the positive side maybe now that my antidepressants have been increased I might be able to get on with some of those new years resolutions I set myself a month ago and the main problem for a while has been my eyesight and I've finally bit the bullet and got that sorted and now am a proud owner of spectacles so hopefully- goodbye migraines! 

We traveled to the peak district this month to get some adventure and photographs in and got caught in a snowstorm, I will link the photography posts below. Next month should be really good as we are going away to Cumbria for a weekend and my darling star of a sister is house sitting and furbaby sitting for me whilst I and Stewart are gone.

I also got the pleasure of meeting, cuddling and photographing the cutest baby boy I have ever seen in my life and let me tell you, he smelt better than I ever imagined and was such a delight and absolute natural in front of the camera, clearly it's in his blood his mamma, caitylis is also a complete natural in front of the camera. 



I've had such a productive January in the sense of photography, 4 shoots in one month is more than I did last year as a whole!! Feb is going to be such a busy month I feel, and with it already being a few days shorter than other months, it's just going to fly.















Peak district blog posts;



www.shannon-matthews.com