Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.

Oh boy! It’s Day 8 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, we’re going to wrap ourselves around…

Shapes and Patterns

A world without shapes or patterns is pretty much a blob. Ditto bones. 😉

Shapes and patterns are definitely important elements to watch for – and potentially build compositions around. But when it comes to your artist’s voice, you have to take it deeper. What shapes and patterns do you just go nuts over? Any and all? Organic ones? Geometric ones? Shapes and patterns in nature? Architecture? All of the above?

After you work that out – then the even bigger question to ask is why? How do those particular patterns make you feel? What kind of story/statement does that shape make? These answers are important to know, because they’ll tell you how to compose your shot, whether to wait for warm light, pink light or low light. Is the statement stronger in black and white? To know the answer,  you have to know what the statement IS in the first place. And that is all about you and your point of view…  your voice.

My favorite shape or pattern is ________.

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Finding Your Voice: Day 6. Color.

Welcome to Day 6 in: “Finding Your Voice… 10 Days, 10 Concepts To Help You Find Your Photographic Voice.” 

Today, it’s all about…

Color!!

Oh I do loves me some color! This is yet another deep topic with many facets to it. And once again, we’re approaching it from YOUR preferences. What you, your heart, spirit and soul all love in the way of color.

So the blank to fill in:

My favorite color palette is__________ Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 6. Color.”

I Am Not Afraid

I Was Born To Do This

I love watching people doing the thing they were born to do. They have no fear. It’s magic. There’s that moment when they ‘lean in’… embracing their true talent, their soul’s genius. It’s the moment when they let go and free-fall, landing in the waiting, loving arms of Creation itself. Oh man, that’s the moment that makes me weep with… I dunno, exactly. It just does. I feel like I’m witnessing a miracle – a burst of the Infinite. Cue the waterworks.

Those moments give me hope. Strength. But more, they fill me up with a presence so much greater than “little me”. In those moments I know there is a God. When someone goes there, they light up with their connection to the Greater Power.  I thought of it when I watched Lady Gaga perform the “Sound of Music” medley at the Oscars this year. I’ve experienced it in so many gifted athletes, teachers, artists… and photographers. “I am not afraid.”

When we stop questioning our gifts, but embrace them… when we lean into what we love… when we listen – and heed – the quiet voice within… light and magic is unleashed. Knowingness takes over. Fear backs off. We’re clear, we’re present, we’re in ‘the zone.’ Darkness flees when the light shines, y’know?

Reach-NotAfraid

What were YOU born to do?
I’d love to hear in the comments below!

 

But wait… there’s more!

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Flash Cards & Art

That Oh-So Wearable Feeling

Y’know that moment where you finally get a glimpse of something you’ve been after, and it kinda makes you gasp from the power of its revelation? Maybe it’s the answer to a deep question that has plagued you since you were 12, or blessed clarity that suddenly appears in answer to “What should I be DOING with my life?”… or maybe it’s just something stupid simple like “What shoes should I wear with this outfit that don’t hurt my feet?” Hey, it can be anything! But I’m talking about that second when the fog just starts to lift and what’s behind Door #1 shows itself for the first time, giving you just a taste of awesomeness yet to come. When I walked about the corner and saw this mountain framed with a flaming blaze of glory… I gasped like that. And of course, had to photograph it. Then I wanted to wear it – forever! GlimpseOfGlory Continue reading “Flash Cards & Art”

The Landscape of Life

Me Loves Options

Sometimes I don’t know if I love black and white or color better. Or… big, open space epic photographs or macro. Or… chocolate or really ripe raspberries.
Then I retrieve my senses and remember that I don’t have to choose! In this lifetime, on this planet – we get options and choices. I treasure that to my very core.

(SIDEBAR: I created this one in Macphun Software’s Tonality Pro. I love how fast it is – and how you can bring back color selectively like here, or split tone in the blink of an eye. Should I tell you that all of Macphun’s software is 40% off until Nov. 29? I think it’s fair… cause maybe you love a discount as much as I do and want the option to git one!)

BlueBoatWhiteSand

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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.
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The Harvest of Gold

Harvest… It’s Only PART of the Story!

Autumn is harvest time.
And personally, I like the idea of harvesting gold.
It doesn’t have to be literal gold… although… wait, give me a moment.

[She pauses. Muses.]

Yep, kinda love that idea too.
But there’s more to this ‘golden harvest’ notion that I like…

GoldenGrove

(Photo story: taken in Truckee last year – but I never posted it on my blog. The nicest man in town was generous enough to let me venture into his amazing yard. It was breathtaking! I gave the best ones to him to thank him for the unfettered, exclusive access. His family made a Christmas card out of one of them. It was all so cool.)

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Depth of Mustard Fields

Mustards in Spring

I’ve been wanting to photograph the mustard fields in Napa, California for a couple of years. Typically, you have to be there in January or February (at the latest) to accomplish this. Well, I finally made it there in early March – and despite it being completely cloudy, I came away with a few choice images to fulfill the dream.

I was glad for the clouds – and the rain that came with them – because we’ve been having a serious drought here in California. The LEAST of all major concerns was whether the mustard seeds would be snuffed altogether out by extreme dry conditions.  As it happened, the rains were late – so the mustard was too… but life has its own force and mind. So here we are, standing in fields of gold! I’m prone to celebrating the little things – and I’m celebrating that blessedly, fantastical fact…

Depth of Mustard FieldNapa, CaliforniaIn a veritable a riot of yellow, the mustards welcomed spring.
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To Surf the Zuvuya

One Evening in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is known for many things. Among them, surfing, beaches, sunsets, being a little (or a lot) “out there” – and Natural Bridges, which is where this image was taken. So on this particular evening, when they all converged in one spot for this one moment, I couldn’t help but come up with a title for it all. You know how I am. 😉

So I called it “To Surf the Zuvuya”. It was because of 1. the surfer and 2. the keyhole.

To Surf the Zuvuya... Santa Cruz, CaliforniaThe icons meet... sunset, the endless circle, the surfer. Oh, and Zuvuya? Just think of it as
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One Night in Death Valley

My Recent Adventure

I just returned from an awesome flying adventure with the equally awesome Jessica Ambats. Naturally, it was a blast. But also a revelation! I’m going to do a major post about the trip… but wanted to share this simple image from an evening just a few nights ago in Death Valley. I loved the color block effect and the crisp lines of the moon that night.

DesertPeace
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Icons and Perspective

Let’s Go Shoot An Icon!

A photographer friend was in town, so we headed out to Bonsai Rock at Lake Tahoe to shoot some sunset action.
Bonsai Rock is a bit of an icon. Google it and you’ll see what I mean.

We’re having an incredibly dry winter in the Sierra Nevada mountains… which means no snow where there should be MANY feet of it! It also means that Bonsai Rock and other locations around Tahoe are unusually accessible right now in winter. Which further means… we had LOTS of photographer company one Thursday night in January at Bonsai Rock. They were a quiet, tense, kind of cranky and definitely territorial bunch. Hey, I wished we’d had the place to ourselves too… but what the heck. Roll with it! There’s plenty for everyone. Sigh.

But Don’t JUST Shoot An Icon

My friend Lisa Donchak and I tried to lighten up the mood. Said hello as we moved about making multiple compositions amidst the “butt campers” as I like to call them.  I refer to the practice of finding a spot, setting up camp and possessing it like you own the very air molecules surrounding it. But I figure, why go to all the trouble of getting there only to walk away with one shot? Oh well, I’m sure they have their reasons.

This was one of my non-Bonsai blue hour images. I love the way Tahoe light and color is so blocky and clean at that time. And the moon! Cool.

Sierra RocksLake Tahoe, NevadaThe big rock shining above the little ones below.It was a rocky night... but oh-so-gorgeous!
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Processing "Posted: No Trespassing"

Deciding What, Why & How

I like “old building, new growth” juxtapositions. I especially love it when the old building says “Posted, No Trespassing”. It’s just so quaint and presumptuous. Oh, I know it’s a modern sign meant for modern, rude humans… but as a captured moment, the combination makes me giggle.

In this photo, I also loved the side light. It was the blend of “old building, new growth” and “cool side light” that made me want to play with this photo.
Since I often get asked to show my original photo(s) along with the finished one… here’s how this one came together.

First, here’s the finished version:

Posted8
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Perfectionism, Art and Life

Perfectionism and Rejection

Wow, I just named this post in a way loftier manner than perhaps this photo warrants. Then again, it helps make my point. Which is…

“Perfectionism” is a slippery slope when it comes to both Art… and Life.
Dictionary dot come defines perfectionism this way: “a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.”

My perfectionism rejected this photo for about 6 months.
It’s also rejected any number of impulses, ideas, experiences, personal self worth more times than I can count.
Good thing I’ve got longevity in my family! I’m quite determined to outlive and give the ultimate boot to the demon Perfectionism!

SunsetOverYonder
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Leave the Light On

Envisioning a New Year

I’m excited about 2014.
I also think words, numbers, the vision we hold, the thoughts we think, the attitude and stance we choose to take are ALL factors in the reality selection we experience. It’s certainly proven to be true for me.

So, this is interesting to think about as I look ahead. Let’s take couple of numbers. First, 2013. The significance of 13: Rebellion, Disintegration. Mmm-hmmm. Fits.

Then, 14. How ’bout some Deliverance or Salvation? Works for me! This is from a particular system of numbers I’ve found verrrrry interesting and useful over the years. And since I get to choose… I’ll take me some deliverance and salvation any day! I’ve officially woven this whole notion into “Karen’s Vision for the Coming Year” tapestry, BTW.
Just thought I’d share.

Now, this rather simple photo is like a snapshot for the Hero’s Story, along these very lines. You’ve got you Light Above All… your dragon chained to the wall, some cool implacable walls, the vastness of the sky and world outside, beckoning invitingly. It’s vertical, so the journey is tall and strong. The colors feel really clear and pure, like the best qualities of Our Hero.

But the main feature: The Light. Always The Light.

Just a little flash card for how I’m going to prioritize my world in the coming year. Just a little life interpretation, KHutt-style.

Grin.