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 ________.

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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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Patience and Mama Birds

New Things

New things are fun, aren’t they? New clothes, new ideas, new days… they make you feel reborn. Although it’s probably dorky to say that out loud. And yet… I just did.

Here’s a new photo. I took it last month, recently processed it. The light was just right to make this row of bright green pine trees look like a welcoming committee against their darker brethren scaling the mountain behind them. So I named this photo that: “Welcoming Committee”. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

If you click on it, it’ll take you to yet ANOTHER new thing… my revamped photo site, which I’m still tweaking. This is so much fun… creating new stuff and sharing with you first!

WelcomingCommitte

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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.

Beauty Awakens Us

Would You…?

The questions cycles around with irregular regularity: “If you knew __________________ (the world were ending, this was your last day on the planet… you know, fill in the blank with whatever dire thingie you choose)… would you still photograph?”

Two things always come pop into my mind on that one…

First: you really never know WHAT you’d do until you’re faced with such a dire thingie. Or the opportunity to ONLY what your heart desires most.
Second: Yes. And if I didn’t have my camera with me… I’d take pictures with my eyes and imprint them on my soul. I would take the time to do that; that’s the part of photography I love most, anyway. And I know that THAT’S what I’ll be taking with me out of this whole photography deal.

Rolling In The Deeper Side of Things

“Good God, Karen!” I hear you exclaim. “What sent you off into the deep end of philosophical tangents?”
Well, I pretty much always think about such things. But on top of it, I gotta say – building a website as a brand to contain your true heart and soul fine tunes your focus. It makes you REALLY dig deep and think about what’s most important, what you stand for – and stand behind, it defines you in ways you never expect until you build one. Mine will reflect who I am more completely than ANY website I’ve ever had. And I’ve had them since 1998.

And then lately – that question has been cycling around, as it does. I’ve been seeing it on blogs, in articles, in conversation. In fact, I just read a variation on it again on a good photographer friend James Brandon’s blog.

Passages

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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

Some People, Like Forests, Are Deep

Looking Back on The Chat, Episode 1

I loved my visit with Daria Musk on our debut episode of “The Chat with Karen Hutton” ! And I’m super excited to share Part 2 of our Chat on Monday… she sings, just for us!! I’ll definitely be posting reminders… you won’t want to miss it!

Daria’s got a ton of energy; she’s a powerhouse. She’s super smart – and she’s deep. Complex. Full of wonderful textures and interesting light. Kind of like this forest. More than a little magical.
She’s also the CEO of her burgeoning empire; she makes the calls, sets up the shows, handles the marketing and social outreach, decides on which projects/engagements/concerts to take, you name it. Beneath it all: she has complete clarity that she was given a gift and  is doing her best to live up to it. She follows her inner guidance and thinks about Light. She prays that standing in her own truth as she does That Thing she does could possibly heal the world in some small way.

I think about this too.

InTheForestDeep
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Present Your Photo Vision

You’ve got a pretty photo. Maybe a beautiful photo. You’ve taken the time and thought to take the shot, process the thing and share it with your world on the social site of your choice. But have you really presented your vision? Now, call me crazy (or don’t. I really won’t mind if you don’t.), but if you’re really trying to stand out from the madding crowd – folks really do appreciate a good presentation . Meaning, a clear representation of the thing that quickened your heart, made your eyes pop a little – and made you want to capture that awesome frame in the first place.
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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
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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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