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

 

 

Walk in the Park x 2

There Was This Day…

One day whilst in New York, I had a morning all to myself (shocking!!). I decided to grab my camera and head out. No real goal or plan… just get out there and see stuff. I hadn’t done that yet in the neighborhood where I was staying… and it had easy access to Central Park, among other cool neighborhoodie sights.

It was a frisky-brisk fall day. Whereas back home the autumn leaves had all but fallen – here, they were still heating up. (Let’s hear it for two autumns in one year!). So of course, I ended up in Central Park.

The big elm trees were putting on a show. I can tell you two things: I’m a sucker for elm trees and I LOVE a good show! This particular show moment is brought to you by the friendly-friends who were walking that morning, who so very kindly provided scale for these awesome trees. To me, it was quintessentially Central Park, autumn… and life. Sigh.

WalkInThePark

Continue reading “Walk in the Park x 2”

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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Short Story, Big Memory

Not so long ago, the hubs and I stood here on the shore of Silver Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
We took a week, got away from the hum of computers, emails and the madding crowd.
Went into nature.
Got up at 5am and beat the sun to the day. More than once.
Hoped for golds, pinks, purples and brilliance, but got mist. Magic, flirtatious mist though… so all was well.
Had breakfast at the oldest trout fishing retreat in the Eastern Sierras. Last seats, end of the counter. People watched.
Followed whims.
Captured starlight.
Breathed.
Came home. (Reluctantly)
Remembered.
Still do.

MistOverSilverLake

Quick Chats & Croton-On-Hudson

As I sit here with a nasty code in by doze in NYC… getting ready to travel home tomorrow… I look back and marvel at all I got to experience whilst here in NYC over 2 short weeks! OK, I’m paying the price for it now, but I’m feeling like a very lucky girl right now.

One of the marvelous peeps that I got to spend time with was Rick Sammon. First at his fall workshop in Croton-on-Hudson along with his amazing wife and partner Susan Sammon – she’s the BEST!  Then he agreed to do a Quick Chat with me at Photo Plus Expo:


Continue reading “Quick Chats & Croton-On-Hudson”

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!

New York, Macphun & The Fish

Presets & Textures… Oh My!

I love new experiences. Roll them in a nice coating of fun, learning curve rich goodness and I’m hooked!
Such was my experience in creating new presets and textures for Macphun. I was delighted and honored when they asked me to do so.

I went to town on them a few months ago. I’ve certainly created and used my own textures… but not strictly for and in black and white – and never presets. What a cool thing to do! (You can create your own too, BTW… it’s yet another way to create your own unique touches.)

Since then, I’ve been using them ALOT to fine tune and get ’em dialed in. I finally like the results! And now… two are being released in their new Marketplace this week… the KHutt Urbex textures and The Dynamic Collection presets, both created for Tonality Pro. Click this link to see what they look like. Or just click on the images below.
(I put them here so you know what they’ll look like on the page.)

There are also presets and such from several other fabulous photographers – so if you like presets and textures, you MUST have a gander.

For any regular Macphun product you do decide to spring for… use the code KHUTT for 10% off your purchase. (Discount = yay!!)

However, please note that the presets and textures are not included in that discount. Sorry! But the good news is that they’re super inexpensive to begin with and you’ll barely miss it. 😀

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.45.52 AM Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 9.46.03 AM
Continue reading “New York, Macphun & The Fish”

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.

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.)

Continue reading “The Harvest of Gold”

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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The Rain Clears… Here Comes Fall Color!

First Rains of Autumn

The first rain of the fall is always so exciting. No, it’s not like watching paint dry! It smells amazing, invigorating the very air with… I dunno… stuff that make you feel all alive and spiffy.

The hubs and I are on a photo trip (I call it ‘photo tripping’) down the Eastern Sierras of California this week. We took off yesterday, as our first rains of autumn were pouring down. They came JUST in time to save us from one nasty wildfire that’s burned out of control for 3 weeks, working its way uncomfortably close to home. They turned the tide on that (thank God!) and have freshened up the scenery, washed away the dust which was dulling everything, and it’s made the colors pop, the air feel crisp and fresh… and the clouds do their mysterious, misty, moody show all day today. I’m in heavenly swirl of gratitude and appreciation of absolutely everything right now!

It was a loooooong summer. I promised myself that when I got my overly heaped plate of commitments large and small properly wrangled.. my reward was going on a photo trip.
Welcome to KHutt Rewards Week. Let the fun begin… 😀

This was a little bunch of rabbit brush overlooking Grant Lake yesterday morning. If you’re allergic to this stuff… it’s misery on a stem. If you’re not… it’s the perfect start to a colorful, awesome season!

DayInTheSun

Peaceful, Easy Lagoon

Lagoonia Reflections

I named this “Lagoonia”. Ha! So silly. It means “the land of The Lagoon”, which I also made that up. But I like it. I tend to like reflection photos… they always calm me. I don’t know what the brain actually does when it sees a mirrored image, but whatever it is must involve endorphins. That’s my guess, anyway because of how peaceful and easy it makes me feel. Wait. Not EASY… oh for pete’s sake, you know what I mean!

This was a lovely spot on the Castello di Amorosa grounds… just up from the castle itself. We were there in fall, obviously – but what a gorgeous summer’s afternoon spot to take a break from the world! Just wanted to share this moment of “breeeeathe”:

On another note..

2 New Chats Coming Up!

You know how I recently said I was going to go on a bi-monthly basis with “The Chat”? Well, for the next two weeks, I’ll be running brand new episodes! ‘Tis the season, I suppose. But on Dec. 16 & 23 you can tune in and be inspired by two fantastic photographers who each approach their photo world and lives very differently. And they’re both equally awesome.

The past couple of “off weeks” where I DIDN’T post new episodes… granted, I loved the breathing room. And needed it! But dang, I missed airing the show.  It felt like a big gaping “empty Monday” instead of Chat Monday! So I’m excited that I’ve been able to get these two ready to go.

Stay tuned for those… and OH so much more!!

 

 

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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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
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