An Ocean of Perspectives

Brand New Ocean Image

This started as a simple photo post of a spankin’ new image, which I took with my Sony A7ii… then it took off from there. Typical! But imagery first…

This is from a lovely spot on the California coast, just north of Santa Cruz. I like coming here because it’s got several vantage points to take in. You can create 6 or 7 really unique points of view all in the same small area. It’s just beautiful and you get super great bang for the photographic buck. Love that!

Now, truth be told, I’m not really an ocean person. More of a mountain girl. That said, I really do enjoy my forays to the coastlands, because the contrast of vibe and scenery is so completely refreshing. The ocean speaks differently than my mountains. Different voice, different perspective, different smell, different air. I think different kinds of thoughts there, feel different things. I like that. As an artist, I really feel it’s important to constantly see and think… differently.

In this image, I like the contrasts. Movement and eternal stillness. Bright light and mysterious shadows. Fluid and solid. Earth and sky. Yummmmm!!

It made me want find a cool quote… and that’s when things got (even more) interesting!

An idea showed upupon my shoreswith a great huge splash,showering its worldof unconditional possibilityeverywhere. I liked it.
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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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And Now, Let’s Breathe

Let’s All Just Take a Breath

It’s been an interesting week. On SO many fronts!! My goodness. Vic Gundotra leaving Google, all the crazy world stuff… whew!

So today, being Friday… I’m just going to leave you with this. A breath, a fresh, minty moment, just a spot of peace in the midst of all the rabble.

That is all. Have a lovely weekend!

Vigil

 

The Wide View

Another Panorama? Goodness, I’m on FIRE!

For someone who eschews the mighty panorama, I’ve certainly created a record number of them lately!
Mind you, two in the same month IS some kind of record for me… hahaha!

For some reason that I have not yet fathomed, I’ve been drawn to panoramacize certain scenes of late. This one – of the ocean just outside of Shark Fin Cove in Davenport, California, was taken on the exact same day as this image I showed you the other day. (and yes, I’m going to make the video I promised on that one… just seeking the time this week to sit down and do it).

Same Spot, 2 Takes

But where I was messing about with a 2-8 stop ND filter on the other photo to mystify and smooth out the water, I got a wild hair to produce this panorama as an HDR image. I just felt it would add to the wildness of the day. The water crashing and swirling, the sun setting so brilliantly (and so quickly!), so much going on all at once that I hardly knew what to look at! So I decided to bring the whole wide view home! hehheh.


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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.

Making Your Tech Support The Story

Opportunity in “Meh”: Change Your Eye-Set

It wasn’t an incredible day at the beach, photography-wise. No epic skies prepping for an eye-popping sunset, no late-day golden filtered light turning everything in sight to spun gold. No, it was just a nice fresh day at the beach. And I was in the mood to photograph.

So I had to change my eye-set. Like a mindset shift for my eyeballs. I started thinking depth of field, movement, cool rocks, green seaweedy/algae stuff growing on said cool rocks… and the locals. I always call the sea gulls and whatever critters live, work and play in an area “the locals”.

Takeoff
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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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All Lined Up For Awesomeness

“All Lined Up For Awesomeness” seems like a silly title… but that IS what I thought when I looked at this cool cloud formation at sunset – then saw these pelicans. Later, when I looked at it on the computer… the pellykins (as I fondly refer to them) were also lined up with that one bit of the arc in the clouds. I hadn’t seen that bit so clearly when I was just concentrating on getting the shot. I love juxtapositions!

SunsetFormation

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Living Life with "The Chat" is an Art

After only two weeks of my new baby being out in the world (I’m referring to “The Chat with Karen Hutton” here, lest we get off-course on the first sentence. heh.)… I can tell you it’s been an unexpected ride. Unexpectedly AWESOME!! More about that in a second. But first: who, oh WHO can my next guest on “The Chat” BE?? Remember… it’s coming up this Monday at 10 am! Wheeee!!

Hint #1: Finds the materials for his/her art in 2 lands.

AllRoadsLeadToLight
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The Power of Blue Hour

Blue Hour = Blue!

Blue hour is blue. Not kidding. Blue. Blue. Blue. Hence the name. If you haven’t even gotten out to photograph that special time of evening from shortly after the sun goes down till it’s actually dark – you should! It’s so interesting to see how your camera sees it too, which will probably be rather different than your eyeballs. My Canon 5DIII sees in that low light MUCH better than I do… so it makes it a fun surprise every time.

ThePowerOfBlueHour
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Bride on the Rocks

I love this photo. I also loved unexpected giggles. This moment happened in Hawaii, when I had a day to wander about looking for awesome vistas. I certainly found one here, amongst these dramatic rocks that still seemed molten, with the rough blue-blue water hammering against its edges. Oh yeahhh baby, I could see it now as a wall mural or some ginormous digital billboard. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream!

I set up my tripod, prepared my shot, bracing myself in the strong winds that howled and rain drops that spit that day. With that, a wedding photographer and his client bride/groom trotted out onto the rocks, smack in the middle of my shot and set up for some dramatic snaps. Hahahah!!
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Point Lobos After All These Years

I’ve wanted to visit Point Lobos, California ever since I was in my 20’s, studying photography and falling in love with Edward Weston and, to some extent, Ansel Adam’s black and white masterpieces of this area from the 1930’s. Their moody, monochromatic images from this oasis have teased my mind for many, many years. I don’t know what took me so long… but recently I made the trek. What a world full of wonder! And color! I had to laugh at that last part. Because I realized that in all the years I’d longed to visit, I’d only ever thought of it in black and white. Which made this photo all the more perception-altering and sublime.

AquaForYou

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Virtual Photo Walks: Steamers Lane

Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz, California is famous for it’s world class surfing. There’s even a museum there! So I decided to bring Virtual Photo Walks to the action by the sea to see what we could see. Hehhehheh. I was joined by friends Barry Blanchard, Natalia Stone and Roma Gee, who were all there shooting the action on a really fun, brisk September day!