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 ________.

Continue reading “Finding Your Voice: Day 8. Shapes & Patterns.”

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.

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5 Lessons Learned From The Grace of Landscapes

Landscape photography at its finest is like being rocked gently in the cradle of creation. It’s spiritual for me. Some of my biggest, deepest, most defining moments have happened out there. I feel the best when I’m out there, resonating with eternal songs.

So I thought I’d share my top 5 of “lessons from landscapes”. Five is the number of Grace, which is at the end of the day, is what I experience every time I’m out there.

1. Radiate From The Center of Your Being 

Find your core truth, the one that lights you up on the inside. Discover the source of All That Is and where it lives inside of you. Open your inner ears and listen to it. Focus on it. Then radiate its light into your world. It’s how we were designed to operate.

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Cheers to Zabriskie!

Winding Down with Zabriskie Point

It’s been busy, brain-bendy and learning curvy lately and I still have more to do! It is, after all, a long and thrill-packed road we’re navigating. But here, it’s late afternoon on a Friday and I’m drifting toward a weekend state of mind.

I thought a new image from a peaceful sunrise morning at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, California fit the mood perfectly. The air was chilly, but the colors were warm. The quiet: soothing to the bone. Though not typically a sunrise person… I actually got up at 3am to make the hour and half drive to be at this spot in time for the glorious rise of the sun. It was worth it.

It brought forth questions about how to tell a unique story of a monumental spot visited by many. Well, all I know how to do is shoot with my heart. With my soul. With all the light and thoughts and vision that moments such as this ignite in me. I close my eyes and let the grandness of it all fill me up. I don’t chase it. That never works. You have to use soft eyes. Sink in, let the moment wrap its arms around you until you nearly weep. Only then can you capture what you see… from what you feel.

So I say, go ahead; put on some music you love, raise a glass of your favorite refreshment… and let’s toast to our amazing journey on this incredible spinning little orb we call home.

Then it dawned on me... and I got the point. Sorry. Had to go there. Grin.

Trading Fire, Trading Cameras

Trading One Kind of Fire (and Camera) For Another

I taught the hubs to photograph. It was a smart move. Really smart. Because not only do we get to go out and capture the world around us and marvel at how uniquely we each see the same moments… he also is really good at photographing people. At family and friends gatherings, Joe’s photos are always better than mine – and I mean by a long shot! What’s more, he took ALL the photos of me for this website. Very handy.

So one night in Santa Cruz, we headed out for some fresh air and a sunset on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. This shot was taken with my Canon 6D as sunset was winding down, campfires on the beach were revving up and long exposures were fun because you didn’t need filters to stop down the camera anymore. I love juxtapositions like that…

Trading the radiance of one sort of firefor the warm glow of another...

 

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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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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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In An Abstract Mood

Criss-Cross Connections

I felt abstract today. Deeply layered, multi-colored, lively, but… abstract. Lots of crisses and crosses and bright light connections in my thoughts-a-plenty.

So I figured I’d just go with it and make a new piece from that place. I did it with my new Sony A7ii. Did I mention I finally sprung for a Sony to replace my NEX-7? Yup. Went for the fancy little dbl-ii. We can chat more about that, once I’ve had it more than 5 minutes. Mind you, I’ve only got the old lenses I used on my NEX-7 for now; Sony’s 10-18, 18-55 and 55-210. But that’s OK for the moment, while I figure out what I REALLY want to do with my camera situation. That’s a WHOLE other conversation; and a topic that contributed to my abstract-i-mood today.

Anyway, I strained my hip (it’ll recover, no biggie), so while I’m taking it easy I took my new little camera out to find some textures and light and lines while I thought about things. I like to do that, mediate through my camera. It’s fun to see what comes from through!

This was created from 4 or 5 different images… including the brushed stainless steel doors of the elevator that I rode up on my way back to the apartment.

CrossYourHeart

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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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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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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?”

The Veil Between Worlds

I knew this image would turn out impressionistically when I shot it. Mostly because when I saw it, it reminded me of a photographer whose work I just love: Philippe Sainte-Laudy.

I’ll admit I thought I might do some motion blur. But the quality of light that came out as I pleased my muse was what soared to the forefront instead. My muse needed pleasing, because we’ve been taking care of business – ALOT – lately! That’s important and all good… but she was definitely feeling neglected. So I let her play. We’re much happier with each other now. 😀

Sunburnt

The forest itself absolutely magical in the late afternoon light. But I wanted it to feel a little surreal – like the same forest, but as if it stood just on the other side of the veil in a different reality selection, on another world. One that’s similar to ours, just altered in certain mystically beauteous ways. I’m betting you’ve been by those thin-veiled moments. They stop you in your tracks, you gawk and whisper “That’s just unbelievable!”. Yep… you’ve just seen a reflection of that world.

This was that.
I just made the veil a little thinner is all.

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!”

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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Macro Autumn

As monochrome as yesterday’s post was, the day after that storm dawned ridiculously, shamelessly bright and clear. AND… with a couple inches of snow at the upper elevations! Couple that with some rad fall color – and you’ve got a breathtaking event. I found myself pulling out my 100 mm macro lens, the 24-70 AND the 14mm prime. Where are mini-me’s when you need ’em? Heh.

Here are just a couple of the in-your-face loveliness from the Day That Dawned Clear. I think they’re pretty self-explanatory… autumn in its many-colored  macro splendor from 8500 feet in the High Sierras!

Oh – and that last one? Taken by the hubs of one KHutt in her happy place. heh.)

PopscicleToes

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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

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…”

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