NYC & Photo Plus Expo

I’m in New York City! Woot! I’ll be here for 10 days.

What brings me here is Photo Plus Expo. Ever hear of it? It’s the largest photography conference and expo in North America. Yep, she’s a big’un.

Even more specifically, I’m here to speak as part of the Fuji-X Photographer team. Exciting!

By the way, I believe Fuji is printing this image for the show… and I suspect it may be fairly big. I haven’t been over to the Javits Center yet to see everything, so we’ll see! You know I’ll share that with you. We do, after all, have that ongoing conversation about the Fujis and large prints. Will they or won’t they? (I suspect they will, just fine.) 😀

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A New & Stormy Piece

A Stormy New Piece

I thought I’d keep it simple today. Simplicity is goooood. Simple for me today is posting one of my new pieces, taken a couple of weeks ago as the waves of thunderstorms we’ve been having lately first began streaming through. They’re the ones that make for BOOMING sunsets… and they only happen in just this way once a year. It’s been a particularly awesome season so far (it’s been RAINING! Yay!)… some say it’s because of El Niño and that we’re in for a record-breaking winter. True or not true? I dunno. But it makes me want to start battening down the hatches NOW!

This moment happened at Donner Summit in Truckee, California. It sums up how much I love it here… the expansive, soaring, so-glorious-it-makes-your-heart-FULL feeling I get whenever I’m home in the mountains. A single frame just wasn’t going to scoop it all up… so I created a pano image with right around 8 frames of super boomin’ sunsetty goodness. Even at that, there alot was left over. Hey, I’m not that greedy! Hope you enjoy…

California's Donner Summit, Donner Lake down below. Summertime thunderstorm pattern. Sunset. If anyone wants to know why I love living in these mountains, this would be my answer. Questions?9-shot panorama, Fuji X-T10

9-image panorama
Fuji X-T10
16-55 f/2.8 lens.

Yes! You can buy this print… just click on it to learn more.

And yes! You can have a site like mine… just click here and get 20% your first year’s subscription to SmugMug!

Welcome to Our New Home!

We Have Liftoff!

If you’re here reading this, you’re doing it from our new hot bliggidy-blog home… on the website that’s taken about 9 months to create! (Yes, www.karenhutton.com) WooHOO!! New horizons, new light – and new place to play and create. Some cool new stuff is coming too, now that it has a home… we’re still building!

Let’s take a moment to breathe it all in… (OK, I’ll take a moment… because going live with this website has had me leaping around all crazy like a schoolgirl.)  Ahhhhh…. (That’s me. Breathing.)

BTW… this is a brand new photo I’ve been saving for the new site to launch (it links to the newly revamped photo galleries). I love it. Every time I look at it, it just fills me with light, energy and wonder. That’s why I thought it would be the perfect one for the first post in our new world. 😀

BigDeepBreath
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Short Story, Big Memory

Not so long ago, the hubs and I stood here on the shore of Silver Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
We took a week, got away from the hum of computers, emails and the madding crowd.
Went into nature.
Got up at 5am and beat the sun to the day. More than once.
Hoped for golds, pinks, purples and brilliance, but got mist. Magic, flirtatious mist though… so all was well.
Had breakfast at the oldest trout fishing retreat in the Eastern Sierras. Last seats, end of the counter. People watched.
Followed whims.
Captured starlight.
Breathed.
Came home. (Reluctantly)
Remembered.
Still do.

MistOverSilverLake

Do I Really Have to Tell You?

Some Stuff I Like About This Photo

Y’know what I like about this photo? The colors. The light. The tree. The clouds (lerrrrrv the clouds!). The way it looks like the tree is dreaming those clouds out of its dreamy little noggin. That it’s vertical. Just some stuff I like about it. It’s not a million dollar print, but it’s a cool little photo, IMHO. It was taken in Croton-on-Hudson, New York (literally ON the Hudson!) a couple of weeks ago.

Radiator
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Something Very Cool Is Coming!

Cool, Big, Awesome

Truth be told, not just one thing is coming. But perhaps we can think of THIS one as the kickoff of “Cool Thing Season.”

Yep, something BIG is definitely coming next week… and I can’t wait! Those of you who’ve been around here for awhile know I love a deal. And I ONLY share high-quality content at really great prices – so I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed (hopefully that’s an understatement!) when I can finally announce this one. So stay tuned and watch for my post right here next Wednesday.

That’s all I can say for now. But trust me… it’s cool.
Continue reading “Something Very Cool Is Coming!”

Classical Roots & Impressionistic Leanings

Dream States and Green Smoothies

Creating content for my new website (due in Oct/Nov) has put me in a semi-dream state.

I’m not dreamy all of the time, mine you – only some of it. It’s unpredictable. Like just now, for instance. I was daydreaming about a piece I’m working on… as I poured green smoothie into my coffee mug. Mind you, I had a glass right there awaiting said smoothie… but instead I looked down and realized my coffee cup was full, glass was empty. Hmmmm.

But I’m getting used to it. For weeks on end over the summer, it was all about work on the “crunchier” side of website creation… copy, concept, organization, decisions, research and learning curves ad nauseum. The stuff that is SO necessary and definitely time-intensive, but that is about as much fun as gnawing on a rawhide bone. (Which, from time to time over the summer, I’ve actually considered doing as a stress reducer!) That was ON TOP of having over-committed earlier this year, then spending the next 6 months fulfilling on those promises. Whew! It’s been a ride, to say the least.

And now… Aaaaaaah! It’s time to create new works, experiment, dream stuff up, play. Yes, there are still emails to return, commitments to show up for and all that… but getting to finally spend time in my happy art zone is soothing my tattered nerves.

CourageOverTime
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A Season of New Beginnings

Like a Fiery Birth of Fabulocity

“Like a Brainstorm.” “Like a Lake Tahoe Vortex.” “Like the Eye of Sauron fallen over on its side.”

“Whuuuuut?” I hear you wondering. “What’s IN that chia-and-flax-seeds-in-yogurt mash you’ve been eating??”

I see moments like the one above and it’s double take. No.. triple take! No, quick… write the first three captions that pop into my mind, no matter how daft!

(Oh, and photo notes: Single shot, Canon 6D, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, ISO 125, f/11. In case you wondered.)

TheOpening
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Simple Pleasures

I’m Not Particularly Simple. But Sometimes...

Simple is good.
Like a pat on the back, a refreshing minty drink – or staring at the sky when the sky is on fire whilst out for a walk.
The latter was my reality selection a couple of weeks ago, when I wanted to get awaaaayyyyyy from the computer for a bit.
Warm, summer evenings are so irresistible!
And so are skies like this one, which felt like it was sent just to me.

I expressed my deepest gratitude. 😉

AtFirstFlare

Big Message, Few Words.

The Mighty Visual Aid

I love visual aids. Y’know, images that just say it all – and then some – with no words at all.

It’s a little awkward when you put one on your blog, then proceed to use a bunch of words to talk about it. Kind of defeats the purpose, don’tcha think?

So I’m gonna go minimalist here;

The big picture.
The final hump.
The top that awaits just past the hardest climb yet… and you can’t see it from where you are.
The view: breathtaking
The scope: epic
You in the midst of it all: tiny.
Just keep going. You’re doing great… and you’re almost there!

Thanks so much for coming to my visual aid. Please continue now with your previously scheduled activities. 😀

VictoryRising

Summer, Clouds & New Collections!

But First, A Question…

Where DID the term “banner year” come from, anyway?
We all know what it means, the dictionary defines it as if it has always been… but anybody know where it actually came from? I was just wondering. But I digress (and I haven’t even started!)

It’s been one (a banner year, that is) for skies and sunsets this summer up in my neck of the woods. Lots of thunderstorms – which means lots of awesome sunsets and amazing colors/designs in the sky. I never get tired of looking at them!

Coming This Fall
(sneak peak, only for us guys right now)

This ties in nicely to one of my projects for my new website under construction… cloud packs. “The Heavenly Cloud Collection” to be exact. I’m making packs of cloud images for use as background, sky replacement in composite or design work, which will sell on my site. When I first started working in composites and textures, I looked high and low for good skies. They were not to be found, the little scamps – so I decided to make my own!

Now I’ve got over 3000 images! Some are compositional variations, but even at that there’s a lot. And this year being what it’s been, the collection is growing! So I decided to pack them up and make them available in what will be my new store! I’m just now culling, gathering, prepping (cleanup, sizing – but no processing.) and generally making the groups. Then I’ll do some videos to share ideas on how to use them. Fun! That’ll be coming in November, shortly after the site launches.

That’s just a little sneak peak I’m only sharing on my blog right now… and is one of many projects I’m working on as we speak! So much more to come. 😀

In the meantime… enjoy an evening from a couple of weeks ago. I sure did!

You'reHotAndCold

Shiny Things, Reflecting

I love shiny things.
I don’t mean to the exclusion of other things. Just that “shiny” is high on my list of “liked things”.

What I liked about this shiny thing image is how it responded to just the wee bit of processing I did in Adobe Camera Raw. Clarity, a little contrast… that was about it. It surprised me. The way shiny things often do.

Shiny things reflect light… which of course, is what make them shine so.
The nice thing about that quality is that you can see yourself in them.
Reflecting. Never a bad thing to do, especially if it leads you onward and upward.
Which is where I was just heading… and shall continue to, now.

Thank you for joining me on this KHutt stream-of-consciousness moment.
It’s always such a pleasure having you along! 😀

ISeeMyselfInYou

The Mighty Ferris

Ferris, But Not Bueller

The Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry is short ride… but a gorrrrgeous one, if taken around sunset! The view that Laurie Rubin and I had on the final leg of our journey back to Seattle from the Olympic Peninsula made me feel like we were living some fanciful segment in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”! Just so outside of my norm, anyway… like the most fabulous day off, ever.

The Mighty Ferris Seattle, WashingtonThe view was stunningand the wheel kept turning.

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Sunsets, Art & The Masters of Painting

The Power of Exploring One Area

I found a new vantage point! Lake Tahoe is a HUGE lake (72 miles around)… but only offers a few spots where you can get a great shot. The east side is one of them. I love going back under different lighting and weather conditions – because it’s just never the same from visit to visit.

Sometimes I think that in an effort to always have that NEW experience, a lot of photographers run all over the world trying to one-up each other with even MORE danger, even MORE extreme conditions, MORE exotic locations and… well, you know the drill. But I don’t always see them exploring one area deeply. And I think that’s a shame. Not to say traveling the world isn’t awesome… but a sense of deepening is often underrated, IMHO. I’m trying not to make that same mistake – especially given that I live a mere 30 minutes from one of the most wondrous jewels of the world!

Sunset: That moment when we wave good-bye to the day, and light bathes us with the soft caress of infinite blessings. I love that moment.
Continue reading “Sunsets, Art & The Masters of Painting”

Portrait of a Lady… er, Lake

Whenever I post a photo of Lake Tahoe on one my social streams, there’s this one fella who always pipes up, “You sure like to photograph that lake!”
Now I ask you… wouldn’t you, if this were 30 minutes from your home? I mean, seriously!

I consider myself blessed. When I’m home, I actually DO go lots of other places around Tahoe area to shoot… but there’s just something so otherworldly and awesome about catching Lady Tahoe herself bejeweled in her aquamarine finest.

Aquamarine
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Take a Detour

Ruts… Bleh!

Ever been stuck in a rut? I sure have! They often feel safe, known, comfortable… and you don’t always feel “stuck” in them! Sometimes it can be just smooth ‘n nice, which ain’t all bad sometimes.

I always know I’m hovering near rut-dom when I feel a little bored by my own self. In photography, it might feel like I can’t find anything original in anything I see, maybe I’m a little bored with my photo processing, maybe it’s just the itch to see and do something different(ly).

Rut-B-Gone!

In any case – I HAD a case of “the ruts” recently. When it happens, sometimes I’ll just step awaaaaayyy from the camera. Go out and enjoy life a little, without feeling like I have to find ART in every moment. Other times, I have an itch to photograph – but I just don’t want to look at another tree, ocean, beautiful sunset. Funny, huh? It doesn’t usually last too long AS LONG AS I take a detour from the norm to cleanse my palette.

Here are 4 things I do to banish The Rut:

 

GildedPast
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Shark Fin Cove

The Perfect Pirate Name

How can you resist a place that sounds like a pirates’ landing? From the moment I heard the name “Shark Fin Cove”, my hearty imagination had me hobbling around on a peg leg “Arrrr-ing” to passersby. Of course, I know the whole “Pirates say Arr” thing is a myth… but don’t tell my Hollywood imagination that!

In any case, we ventured out one day recently after some recent storms had passed through – and a nice sunset looked like a real possibility. The shark’s fin looking sharky… the water really wild and loud. Some of the waves’ thundering crashes startled me, even from my bird’s eye vantage point. This mountain girl views the ocean with a combination of admiration and suspicion. Tsunamis, rip tides, every 7th wave… you have to keep your eye on it at all times lest it wrest you from this life into Davy Jones Locker! But I digress…

SharkFinery

Filters: From “GAH!!” to “Ahhhh”

I’ve photographed Shark Fin Cove near Santa Cruz a number of times. I usually do something HDR-ish with multiple auto exposures. I usually like the churning water, the depth of color and textures – and being able to capture all the levels of light. Today, however, I was in the mood for something different.

I’m not much of a filter girl… I fumble with them, worry about dropping them, fuss over the time it takes to set them up. I have a Lee Big Stopper which I rarely use. It makes me nervous about breaking it every time I set it up… then I wrestle with the damn thing and when I finally get it all set up it only does the one thing: 10 stops down. It just leaves me wanting more. And I really don’t fancy carrying a quiver of colored sunset and gradation filters either; multiply the whole mess? Ack!

Then my friend Barry Blanchard introduced me to GenusTech Eclipse ND filters. They screw on the end of your lens, adjust from 2-8 stops and provide a ton of options to delight even the fussiest among you! Or me, since that’s who’s really fussy around here!

Approaching the “Done” With New Eyes

So I played with it that day. Wanted to make the incredible churning of the waters below seem more misty and mystical. Turn the absolute into more of a suggestion. Make a purely wild expression of nature seem more like a potential: sort of soothing and menacing at the same time. I liked it!

It also made the clouds seem more misty, adding to the mystique.

For this image, I used 2 images: one exposed for the sky at 8 seconds, the other for the ocean at 20 seconds. Both f/14, ISO 50. Blended them together in Photoshop and applied my mind’s eye vision of colors and gradations of light. For that, I used some NIK Collection goodness (Viveza, Pro Contrast, Skylight filter), as well as some Photoshop color fill layers and a pass with one of OnOne Software’s glow filters, brushed into certain areas. I’m thinking of making a short video showing the process. Should I?

I also made a panorama of the whole area; I’ll share that with you later. It was quite the day for doing things I don’t normally do! Plus it was a decent sunset to boot(y)!

A fine day all around, Arr!

Purchase? Thank you for asking!

You can usually purchase prints of the images on my blog, including this one.
Just click on it – then click the “Buy” button on the lower right.

Sunset at Bendemeer

Bendemeer Estates

A year ago, I went to New Zealand to help teach a fabulous workshop given by Trey Ratcliff. It was his first New Zealand workshop – and my first visit to Hobbitland. I pretty much walked around the whole time with my mouth hanging open at the postcard views EVERYWHERE!

We visited lots of different places and scenes, not all of them reminiscent of “Return of the King”. One was at a new housing development called “Bendemeer Estates.” I use that term loosely, since there were no actual houses built on the property; a fact that made me chuckle (to myself, of course) as we wandered about the golf course, golf cart paths and lovely little lake that you see here.


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The Age of Panoramas

It’s So Simple On a Mobile Phone Nowadays

Panoramas photos are becoming all the rage now. On many mobile devices, you just hold up the phone and follow its direction to create them. They’re getting better all the time! However, at 72 ppi – it’ll look great on your computer monitor – but you won’t be printing a big one for your entryway anytime soon. For a mondo printable panorama, you really need to use a big-girl/boy camera.

A Little Trickier With a DSLR

With a DSLR, it’s not quite as simple as with your camera phone. You have to take impeccably framed multiple image, then “stitch” them together later in Photoshop using Photo Merge (or some software that specializes in panoramas), then clean up any aberrations, balance any lighting variations – and process the photo (if you so choose). It’s quite a process! You’re talking hours. Many photographers do them with 10, 20 or even more images – some of those guys are at it for days.  I tried doing couple of panoramas a few years back… they didn’t turn out well at all. They actually stunk quite badly. But this day I was in the mood to give it a shot. Well, four shots. That was about all I was willing to commit to, just in case it blew. Keep it simple!

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The Mists Over Milford

Early Morning Milford

Early morning at Milford Sound is really something. When the tide goes out, you can walk pretty far out there to photograph areas you’d have to swim to otherwise. Or maybe waist-wade. To that I say: “No thanks!” Slipping and sliding over the fantastically slimy rocks was exciting enough for me. hehheh.

I suspect there was a relatively low tide the day we were there; although I didn’t have a Tides app like I do now to verify my suspicion.

In any case, Milford is a pretty surreal place. I don’t think a person could ever get tired of it – especially on misty/mysterious days like this! You should Google Trey Ratcliff and Milford Sound… just to see how un-tiring repeat visits are!

MistyMilford Continue reading “The Mists Over Milford”

Interpret the Sky, Move Your Feet

Inspiration in the Sky

When conditions aren’t inviting me to venture out for some inspired shooting… I just wait for the sky.

Without snow this winter in the mountains where I live, the dry, lackluster terrain just isn’t all that awesome to photograph all by itself. At least it isn’t for my taste. Maybe I’ve gotten picky from living here so long. But whatever the reason, I haven’t been so excited to get out and find new shades-of-brown vistas.

But when the clouds conspire to thrill and delight, all bets are off!


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My Photo, My Life

Photo As Metaphor

This photo is so metaphoric for where my head’s been at lately. Reflecting. Looking at things right side up – then them over to change my perspective. Feeling a bit murky, but upon looking closer noticing the patterns, interesting colors and mood woven into my life. Light right behind the murk, lending its ever-present glow to everything it touches; sending out quiet beams of brilliance. For all the murk… clarity. Order. Beauty. Stuff to see below the surface. Quiet. Calm. And for the way it “just so happened” that I was here for this moment… the element of miracles and delightful surprises.


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Where The Heavens, Art and The Imagination Meet

The Splendid Sunset

It was a magnificent evening in Queenstown, New Zealand high atop Deer Park Heights. DPH is no longer open to the public, but the intrepid Trey Ratcliff had, of course, found a way to bring the entire group of us up there for a sunset shoot. It was a photo adventure workshop, so we were traveling in a pack.

The awesome thing about New Zealand sunsets is that they go on… and on… and on! Here in California you have to be all set up and ready for the bloom of the set, because BAM! it’s over and done with in about 5 minutes. Over there… we had upwards of an hour and a half of gorgeous light to enjoy, frame, reframe, hike over there, stand over here, check out that knoll – for several compositions in one splendid sunet. It was amazeballs!

QueenstownDusk
Continue reading “Where The Heavens, Art and The Imagination Meet”