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

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
Continue reading “Do I Really Have to Tell You?”

Envision The Results

Intend. Envision. Enjoy.

Cool. Moist. Relief.
On my social streams a couple of days ago, I asked for help in thinking “cool, moist thoughts”?. Guess what’s happening now?

Rain.

Why was this so important? Because of the King Fire, a wildfire that’s been burning out of control since Sept. 11. It’s been moving ever closer to us… while sending massive amounts of smoke billowing into town like some kind of advance death troop, bent on suffocating everyone. It’s been horrible. I’ve been trying to stay away as much as possible, just so I could breathe. 

So the other day, I put it out there. “Think cool, moist thoughts.” You may have seen the post.
And now… aaaaahhhhhh… rain. 


I’m thanking you – and everyone. Even if you think I’m a total crackpot for imagining that we made a difference. I just know that I asked for help from you, the powers that be and the heavens above… and everything changed. We haven’t had rain for months. Till now.

I think that’s how it happens. All of it. Let’s remember that, shall we? Remind me if I forget, OK? I’ll do the same for you. 😀

 

Tekla

Meanwhile, Just Outside of Las Vegas…

I’m off to Photoshop World in Las Vegas today. Gonna jump on the big silver bird and wing my way to the Bugsy’s big playground in the desert.

OK, I’m really going to connect with a bunch of photographers, put my finger on the pulse of the industry – and probably go out in the desert and take pitchers (as my friend Barry Blanchard refers to photographing. hehheh).

This was from last year, when a few photographer friends headed out to Valley of Fire for what turned out to be a gorrrrgeous sunset. I’m hoping for another sky like this one! There are also wild donkeys out in another area out there… am hoping for a wee visitation. They are so awesome… but I don’t want to disturb their natural flow. If they happen to flow my way… well, who am I to turn away? Grin.
Continue reading “Meanwhile, Just Outside of Las Vegas…”

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”

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

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.


Continue reading “The Wide View”

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
Continue reading “Making Your Tech Support The Story”

One Hot Idea

Birthing Dreams 

Like anybody, I have a vision for what I want; a dream. A few dreams actually. And I’m in action to allow them to spring to life. I thought I’d share how it sometimes comes through my photo processing, since it sometimes takes you places you didn’t expect.

I’m going about this vision-to-life process differently than I have in the past. And it’s causing me to access parts of myself I’ve only ever heard about, but never truly experienced. At times it alternately feels hot, messy, deep, uncertain, mysterious, inspired, unusual; also guided, lit from the inside-out, jubilant, a revelation, awe-inspiring, joyful. How’s that for bouillabaisse? I processed this image one night when I was in a particularly grapple-y mood : (you can click on it for a larger view)

It suddenly struck her. An idea so hot it made her brain sweat, her eyes glaze a little, her heart pound.
Continue reading “One Hot Idea”

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.


Continue reading “My Photo, My Life”

Changing Moods

Monochrome on the Brain

I’ve had monochrome on my mind lately. Not really sure why, I suppose it’s like anything else that floats through your muse’s consciousness for consideration.

I’ll be honest and say that I did shoot this auto bracketed, imagining it might end up as a color HDR image. I shot a whole series this day to great success that way. But I was struggling with it, since I didn’t like the way the colors looked, the textures responded… it was kind of strange, actually. And annoying, since I couldn’t seem to get fresh eyes on the situation. I loved the image, just not where it was going.

Then, since I just posted yesterday about playing with monochrome, I decided to find my fresh eyes with a black and white conversion. I was completely surprised by the result! In particular, I loved what the light did.

TheHush
Continue reading “Changing Moods”

Color or Monochrome?

Plan A, Hijacked

I was heading elsewhere this day; intending to shoot sunset (if there was one) at another location. But when I looked over and espied this scene, all other plans went out the proverbial window! I love matching reflections… strong cloud formations… and an almost surreal/abstract arrangement of elements when they happen naturally. It’s magic! (and this day, certainly one of my daily miracles. Especially since the west hasn’t even SEEN clouds for months!)

Unbroken
Continue reading “Color or Monochrome?”

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!
Continue reading “Icons and Perspective”

The Ice Tunnel

She stopped at the entrance and grimaced. Ice. Her least favorite element. She took a deep breath and prepared to kick her way in. Wouldn’t be the first time.

No matter what the townsfolk blathered on about, she knew for a fact that she wasn’t a queen, an ancient kingdom did not await, the ice would not magically part to let her through – and elves, bells and everything nice were all just a fairy tale.

Now if she could only explain why she’d been hearing faint laughter and tinkling for the past half hour… and why the ice that was solid to the ground moments before was now inexplicably knee-high. And rising.

IceTunnel

I couldn’t resist. heehee.

Valley of Fire

Coming home from our Southwest photo vacation, we drove through Valley of Fire in Nevada. Our re-planned trip (the one we made up after the national parks closed, erasing our original Plan A) had us staying over night at VOF so we could do sunrise/sunset there. But when the parks opened in time to visit Bryce National Park, well… there was no discussion. That’s where we went for 2 nights.

And still.. we managed to hit a Valley of Fire sunset as we headed back to Las Vegas to return our RV. It was absolutely splendid! A girl does love to have her cake and eat it too. 😉

TheRoad

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
Continue reading “Living Life with "The Chat" is an Art”

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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From Steampunk to Dreamy in One Fell Swoop

This photo surprise me, fo’sho! I started out going for a  sci-fi, kind of steampunk effect in my processing… and ended up with surreal, dreamy, otherwordly. Go figure! The thing that got me going in the first place – and I mean when I photographed this – were the roots. They just looked so strange. I went to this spot on a thunderstormy evening hoping for a rad sunset… but that never happened. So I focused on shapes and foreground – and went vertical because of how the tree so nicely framed everything.

WhereDreamsTakeRoot Continue reading “From Steampunk to Dreamy in One Fell Swoop”