Good Riddance, Summer: Hello Fall!

I’ll say it right here and now: “Good riddance, summer! Hello, sweet fall… ”

Sometimes, It’s Just Tough

I’ll admit it, summer sucked. I’m frankly stoked to be moving on from those hellish weeks. Over these past summer months, I needed to focus on backend admin/business systems stuff that had to be done, but am SO not gifted at doing myself, nor do I enjoy it. UGH! There were big learning curves and they were slooowww. But I plugged away at it for weeks – and eventually got it done. Not much photography got done, not much else besides slogging away behind a computer. REALLY not my happy place.

Where it went sideways was in my head for some reason; I had this weird stumble in terms of confidence and feeling good about stuff. Like, everything. It went to a dark place. Somewhere along the way, I got all off and judgy about myself, to the point of considering quitting and doing something else entirely. Luckily that last one didn’t last TOO long, only for the length of… summer! Blech! 😝

Mind you, I have really great self-care tools, from years and years of personal development work. I used ALL of them. Then had to get creative and develop a few more. Those voices in your head… man, you gotta stay on your toes to not start listening to them! I have a friend who says “My mind is out to kill me”. Mostly I think she overstates. But a few times over the past couple of months I actually thought she had a point!

Life itself really hadn’t changed, but suddenly I felt intense pressure about everything – and like a failure in certain areas on top of it. Like I’d made too many mistakes to recover from – and like my life just was never going to be as wonderful as I dreamed. And on and on from there. #Misery.

The ICK Overlay

At the same time, in the very same breath, I counted every one my blessings, looked around and saw the amazing things I’ve accomplished. What an amazing home I have, fabulous husband, friends. Yet, I couldn’t tell ANY of them how tortured I felt – and how I had feelings like nothing I do matters and how I felt like my dreams were slipping away.

It was like having this nasty overlay of ICK pressing down on top of what I really know is true and real in my life (the good stuff)… and having two clashing soundtracks playing LOUDLY at the same time. Definitely one helluva rackety dirge of misery!

My Bettylou-ism Of the Day

It was weird, I’ll tell you that. But something my mother taught me stuck with me (I call these “Bettylou-isms”).  Even on the worst days, this one was my shoehorn into eventually allowing a shift: “If it makes you feel bad, it’s a lie.” I kept thinking; “OK, so here I am… a talented, blessed person who has friggin’ LIES spewing in her head 24/7, keeping her awake at night, gnawing at her soul by day. Awesome!”

But knowing they were lies helped. I mean, I’ve had times like this in my youth, but not in a loooooonnnnng time. Back then I didn’t know those nasty critical voices weren’t really mine. This time I did, even if they had me by the short hairs for awhile.

So I did the one thing I know to do: focus on the light of all-that-is and hang in there. Just… Hang. In. There. EVERYTHING gets better, everything changes… and I’m not in control of how and when. I just know I have to choose the highest Light and focus on that.

One thing I finally had to step back from: social media. It is so NOT a confidence builder! I even stopped writing here on my blog for a bit – and spent as little time on my computer as possible. Every time I sat down in front of either or both, the voices got louder. My skin felt hot and prickly. It made me want to walk away and never look back.

On the bright and somewhat amusing side: all this crapiola was certainly not without humor ( if a little dark) and the appropriate theatrical expression. You’ll appreciate that I have THE movie moment (it played in my head ALOT) for this entire episode. You know how I movie moments.

It’s from “Inside Daisy Clover”, starring Natalie Wood – complete with French subtitles:

Yep, some nutbar moments there. I love how it all happens in a recording studio, which is kinda perfect in my world! Anyway, there it is: my summer in a nutshell.

Now: I’ve rolled over the hump and am motoring down the other side. WHEW! I’m sooo freaking glad! Right now, I’m not back on social as much as I was and I’ve had to simplify things in my life.  I’m getting back to my roots of photography… both on the ground and in the air. I’m starting to feel energy and excitement over what I do again… and about sharing it with all with you. I care about my purpose in life again… and love the way that feels in my veins.

So, bring it, fall… and HELLO to all the awesome stuff that has just happened and that’s coming up. KelbyOne, DJI, my Artist’s Voice Retreat in France, my stepson’s wedding at the end of October… me ‘n Valerie Jardin‘s photography project in Mexico in December, guest appearing on her new podcast: “Hit the Streets”. All upcoming, all will be shared… and all happening because I managed to remember a few simple things:

  1. If it makes you feel bad, it’s a lie.
  2. Focusing on Light is key.
  3. This too will pass. (another Bettyou-ism)

My humble thanks to God and the angels… and to those who love for as I am. Not perfect, but amusing to hang around. 😉

More SOOON!!

xoxoK

PS… Here a couple new recent pieces (one impressionistic, one more based in reality) I made after NOT creating anything new for WEEKS. It felt really good. Welcome back, creativity!

Both photographed with my favorite camera: the Fujifilm X-T2. Love that little beast like the old country! It gives me ideas and encourages me to try things… DEFINITELY my happy place!

fieldofabstraction

shiningbright

 

 

Soaking in a Sunset – with VIDA

I met with VIDA yesterday. It was A-MAZ-ING!!! (I shared what I’m working on with them in this recent post.)

I’ll have photos and video soon… cause OF COURSE I want to keep y’all in the loop. I got to see sample pieces with my images on them… they’re gorrrrrgeous! Plus I got to visit with Umaimah Mendhro, who is like a sister-of-the-heart in her approach to art and life. I really believe in what she’s doing and the good that can be done in the world.  I walked away excited, humbled, inspired and completely stoked for all that’s coming next!

“VIDA” is such a wonderful name for a vibrant company that makes beautiful things and has a global consciousness.  In Spanish, vida means “life”; in Persian, it means “a rare find”; in Hebrew, it means “beloved”; and in Sanskrit, it means “wisdom.” All of these – and more – are at play and about to unfold in touchable, wearable, purchasable form in the KHutt world. It’s a new beginning… and a continuation of a life journey!

I though a moment by the water with a beautiful sunset might be a way to soak it all in…

TikiSunsetOverThePier

A Little Waterfall Cleansing

Frequencies of Intent & Waterfall Love

Waterfalls always feel so cleansing, don’t they? The sound, the spray, the colors, the ions… all spell ‘reinvigorate’.

I always feel like art and photos can contain a ‘frequency’, just like sound does. Having worked with sound waves thousands of times over the years as a professional voice artist, I’ve thought a lot about this; the way feeling and emotion weave themselves indelibly & deeply into a wave form.

When I settle in with a favorite photo or other form of art, I can likewise feel the intent and purpose of the artist – hear their “voice” – just as clearly as if they’d spoken. Which they did! I love works with positive intent the most. The ones with intent to make you feel fuller, better, uplifted in some way. That’s the energy I want around me all the time. And now… more than ever… I believe it’s important to be purposeful in our lives about that.

Waterfalls feel cleansing. Soothing. Invigorating and peaceful all at the same time.
I love waterfalls, don’t you?

This one is Horsetail Falls in Oregaon. 2.5 second exposure. It felt REALLY good to be there… when I look at this, I can still feel it. Love that!

HorseTailFalls

Inspired by…

Inspiration 

I’ve always love those marvelous ancient Japanese paintings of plum blossoms on branches. Sometimes when I’m out photographing, I’ll see scenes that remind me of art from another time, in a particular style… or a movie scene will pop into my mind, I’ll hear music or have other flashes that are like neon signs pointing – not always subtly – to a particular composition. It’s not always quiet in that noggin of mine!

This day, I couldn’t help thinking about those Japanese blossom paintings when I spied this splashy display in forest next to the Buddhist Temple near Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

VibranceIsAHabit

Listen

My mother used to say “There’s nothing new under the sun”. Which was her shorthand for the idea that rather than spending time running around trying to come up with the ONE thing that no one else has ever thought of… go ahead and be inspired by what’s in front of you, what has moved you, what you love. If you truly listen (or SEE, to put it in photographic terms)… you’ll hear something unique, because YOU are unique. Spirit moves in its own way through you… and when you listen through its filter, a truly unique expression occurs.

I find that idea relaxing. It takes away the tension of worrying whether something I’m doing or creating is ‘good enough’. Just getting quiet and listening to that one, true voice on the inside – is the one, true thing in this world that I know for sure is worth paying attention to. It’s a lifelong journey… full of wonder and miracles. I’m glad I signed up for that ride!

911 & Consistency

The Peculiarness of Downtown Santa Cruz 

I’m sitting up at 1am. Awake. Not because I want to be… no, I’d much rather be sleeping.
But here in Santa Cruz, California where I spend part of my time, there’s a contingent of… what do I call them? Street people… night crawlers… musicians (no, that’s too generous)… lost souls… sigh. Whatever they are, they come out after midnight.

Their fave thing is to set up a band.. complete with bongos and other percussion instruments and start playing them on the street corner below the apartment. Badly. They sing. Badly. They keep anyone who lives nearby awake. Really, really well. It’s like a midnight (wannabe) music festival. I’ve learned that the way to handle it in downtown Santa Cruz is to call 911. Weird, huh?  But one day, I asked the cops who patrol the streets by day how to get help with this dilemma and they said “Call 911.” So I do. Every time. Because one thing I learned from training horses is that you have to be consistent to get results.

[Pause]

Ah now, there… see? In the time it took to write this, which I did after calling 911 (again)… the cops came, the festival broke up and I can now lay me down to sleep.

Thanks for keeping me company!

Random thought: I wonder if anything keeps redwood trees awake at night?

StandDown

The Lay of The Land

What’s Been Going On Behind the Curtain?

I’ve been nose to the grindstone. Behind closed doors. Below the radar. “Leave a message at the beep” now for weeks. I might even say for months!
So, I thought perhaps I’d take a moment to have a gander of the lay of the land looking forward… and share it with you. Because fun stuff is coming up!

An ALL NEW Episode of  The Chat This Week!!

FIRST up this week is my first completed episode of “The Chat” in about 2 months!! Yes, on Wednesday it will be released to the world. Woot!
The pace of said past few months has been so intense I haven’t had time to edit a single episode, which has pained me to no end. Well, truthfully I had to finally let GO of the pain, because it wasn’t doing me – or you – any good. But it’s unintended hiatus will be over on Wednesday with a brand new episode. Chris MacAskill, President of SmugMug will be my guest. And LORDY what an amazing life he’s had! In fact, we shot the main episode AND 2 shorter segments as “extras”, which I’ll show as exclusives right here. It’s all fantastic!

But wait, there’s more! Like who my upcoming guests on The Chat are, a new website on the way, TWiP Pro, Photo+ Expo, a big NYC photo walk, new works coming up and more!
First, however… a word from our Mother Nature in New Zealand:

Continue reading “The Lay of The Land”

The Myriad & Sundry Wonders of Waterfalls

Back from New York… aaahhhh

I’m back on my mountain home turf… in incredible contrast to the marvelous urban jungle of New York City!
I loved every minute of my time in NYC… and have SOOOOO many photos to share yet. But after a late night arrival back to California, a quick flight down to Southern California the next day, followed by a 6 hour drive (with stops) up the hill to Truckee the day after that… man, I’m ready to park it!

Tired, sore-throaty me finds incredible soothing and restoration in visiting some of the images I brought home from Washington, the week before heading east.
Like this one, from Sol Duc Falls. Aaahhhhh, it’s like a cool, soothing throat lozenge for the eyes…

Sol Duc Falls, Washington Continue reading “The Myriad & Sundry Wonders of Waterfalls”

Get the MacPhun Super Special While it Lasts!!

I Love To Pass Great Deals on to My Friends!

And this is one of them!! PLUS… use the code KHUTT and get 10% off this fabulous price on the MacPhun Creative Suite! It includes their Creative Suite, a ViewBug Premium membership & their brand new Macphun app. (due for release this Summer!!

The catch: MacPhun is limiting this deal to the first 500 people. So, if you want to get your MacPhun on… get going!

MacPhun has recently become one of my favorite plugins… and I use a lot of ’em!

But hey, acquiring a palette of plugins for your post-processing can get PRICEY!! I’m big on discounts. Big. Discounts.

I love Intensify Pro for getting the details and contrasts out of an image… and have recently become enamored with Focus Pro 2 for creating selective focus effects on certain images, like the one at the bottom of this post.

But hey, less blabbing, more clicking! Click on the image below – enter KHUTT where it says “Discount Code” at checkout – and get 10% off the entire suite! (at least till the 500 are gone. Doh!)

MacPhunSpecial
Continue reading “Get the MacPhun Super Special While it Lasts!!”

Lake Crescent Shorelight

Leaving Washington

The day we left the Olympic Peninsula was bittersweet. While my pal Laurie Rubin and I had had a magnificent week and were so grateful for the experience – we were also loathe to leave!

Driving by Lake Crescent for the 2nd time, we were treated to some really fun conditions. The first time by was on our way out to the coast. We spent a night at Lake Crescent Lodge. Now, THAT’S something I highly recommend, if you ever get the chance! Then, it was sunny and warm. This time… rain was due later that day and the skies were covered in clouds. They were beautiful though… and shafts of light would spear through now and again, lighting up the new springtime growth in a verdant green glow. I wanted to stop every time that happened!

As it was, it was the perfect combination of a fabulous farewell… and a pinkie promise to visit again!

At Lake Crescent, Washington... the light likes to play amongst the treetops. So do I... :D
Continue reading “Lake Crescent Shorelight”

Study of a Girl… and the Muse

Blinders On, Blinders Off

The blinders came off.. finally!!

I’ve had this feeling over the past months. Something inside wanted to be outside. (it was a good thing, this isn’t a weird sic-fi psycho drama unfolding here or anything!)

I thought it was my inner muse… but even she seemed curious too. We both waited. And waited.
This “feeling” wanted to create images that were different from what I’ve been doing. Not instead of… but in addition to.

“Oh goody!” I was excited. Eagerly awaited these new ideas and vision. Then… nuttin’, honey.
I’m not the most patient sort by nature. But I decided that I would be this time. So I waited. Asked around. Here’s what I heard from:

The Muse: “Hey, I can’t wait to see what it is, either!”
My Intuition: “Oh yeaaahhhh… this is gonna be GOOD!”
God: [smiled]

So I waited. Kept the wheels in motion, making photos, making plans, learning, growing. You know, the usual.

StudyOfAGirl-sq
Continue reading “Study of a Girl… and the Muse”

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
Continue reading “Portrait of a Lady… er, Lake”

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!

Continue reading “The Age of Panoramas”

Making Post-Processing Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

I love post-processing photos. Since my approach to photography means creating my own vision or “take” on what I see, I have no problem processing a photo in dramatic directions and find it all incredibly satisfying. I was raised in an artistic family, so I guess that just got baked into me. By the same token, I was trained classically in photography, revere Nature and have learned that sometimes Nature does all the work for you. When that happens, you really shouldn’t mess with perfection.

Such was the case on this day:

Nature is such a drama queen sometimes.
Continue reading “Making Post-Processing Decisions”

Old Barns & Windows in Time

Me ‘n Barns

I have a thing for old barns.
They speak to me of my childhood… and of the old West, where I might have loved living. Except for the bathroom situation. Wouldn’t have loved that, no. In fact… ix-nay on the athroom-bay deal! I’ll stay where I am. 😉

But I digress. This old barn just outside of Zion National Park in Utah made me – nay, forced me – to take its picture. With its perfect stormy day lighting, it peeking out from the trees, half swallowed up by time and trees… it covered just about every visual flash card for the ravages of time, the old west, being left behind and well, I willingly took the bait.

OldHomeWeek
Continue reading “Old Barns & Windows in Time”

Joe's Peacock, Teamwork and the Gift of Mosquitos – Part 2

Welcome back! Yesterday I started the processing tale of this bird’s tail (hehheh)… if you haven’t seen that and want to catch up, it’s here.

So far, I liked the direction, but it still needed a bit more work. So I turned to onOne Software’s Focal Point 2 to show Joe a twist on the basic vignette. He already knew about the judicious use of vignetting… but hadn’t tried Focal Point. I figured this was a good time to introduce him to a new tool that he had in his arsenal. After showing him how the focus bug worked and all the adjustments you can make, we both decided that we liked how Big Bird was beginning to stand out from his surroundings without even cropping, just kind of emerging from the shadows. It’s a subtle change from the last photo… this one mostly just deepened the transition into darkness at the outer edges of the feathers. It made the break from the background softer and clearer at the same time.

Joe'sPeacock-FocalPoint Continue reading “Joe's Peacock, Teamwork and the Gift of Mosquitos – Part 2”

Joe's Peacock, Teamwork and the Gift of Mosquitos: Part 1

Situation: my hubs Joe had to travel to Hawaii for work. I had to come along because… well… because I had to come along. Seriously. This is Hawaii we’re talkin’ over here! Mostly he worked. I photographed. But we did manage to have one day to go out together and do some shootin’ around and about the island. One of our stops;  Byodo-In-Temple, over in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Sidebar on that spot: TOTALLY worth it, but bring bug spray! I got swarmed by mosquitoes over by the creeky areas and finally had to make a run for it and hide out back in the car. (where I processed iPhone pics with Snapseed. I mean, why let a few venomous insects slow you down?) When the resident peacock made a show back the temple, Joe texted and said I should come photograph it. I said “NO!… but take one for me!” So he did:

Joe'sPeacock Continue reading “Joe's Peacock, Teamwork and the Gift of Mosquitos: Part 1”

Tall Trees, Towering

I visit the Redwoods whenever I can. I’ve talked about my history of swinging through the trees in a previous post (click the link to see it). Here, there are some bay trees in the mix; they’re the ones with broader leaves and thinner trunks in the foreground. They smell awesome and add some nice variety to the leaf/needle visual mix. There are a few tricks to photographing in forests. And since, in a world of possibilities, you may well find yourself wandering through one some day – here are some things I keep in mind.

TallTreesTowering
Continue reading “Tall Trees, Towering”

The Fork in the Forest

Who doesn’t love a redwood forest? There is something so prayerful and majestic about them. The big daddies amongst them are thousands of years old and they stand testament to the passage of time, of beingness. Something we flighty humans could stand to learn a whole lot more about. They form their own ecosystem. If you’ve ever been in a redwood forest, you know just what I mean. The freshness of air, the stillness, the damper, cooler atmosphere that welcomes a whole host of other flora and fauna. And the smell. There’s absolutely nothing like the smell of a redwood forest. Nothing at all.

TheForkInTheForest
Continue reading “The Fork in the Forest”

Beauty and the Tire

She was so lovely in the morning, all blue-green sweetness. How does anyone wake up looking so refreshed? 

Beauty and the Tire

Seriously. I gotta say, Queenstown Harbour is one gorgeous dame in the morning! I stood on a wall to take this picture… tripod and all. I wanted the whole kit’n kaboodle in the shot.
I also posted it on Google+. It got over 1000 +1’s over there and people seemed to genuinely like it.
But I waited for the tire complaints… annnd, sure enough… there they came. Alot of folks felt that this shot would be so much better without the damn tire. Hehheh. While I do understand the point, it made me chuckle. Continue reading “Beauty and the Tire”