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.
Came home. (Reluctantly)
By this image, you could easily think I’m in some dark, “tortured artist” phase. But mais non! It is not true!
One of the really cool things about photography is how you can stop time. We we all love the notion of frozen moments… captured for all eternity. Or at least until the digital file goes corrupt, rolls over and dies with its little legs stiff in the air like a cartoon stick figure death. Which hopefully that happens in some mythical faaaaar off distant future. But I digress…
On Being a Master in The Arcanum
Back when it all first started, I wrote a two-part blog post about what it meant to me to be a Master in The Arcanum, Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery.
Click here for Part One
Click here for Part Two.
Now, some months later, amazing things have happened… and I’m featuring a few of them here on my blog.
Featuring Sandra Carlock
Today… Sandra Carlock. Concert pianist, photographer, teacher – and one of my Apprentices just now graduating from Sphere 1, Level 20 (the first big leap in progress there!). As a concert pianist, she travels and performs around the world. As a music teacher, she holds the Arthur Judson Distinguished Faculty Chair in Piano at the Settlement School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a photographer… she shares her signature point of view of the world as she sees, feels and experiences it – while she travels and teaches and does all the above.
On November 16, she gives an invitation-only concert celebrating her 70th birthday (officially making her one of my heroes!)… which will also feature a showing of 35 of her finest photographs.
I got to meet Sandra in person (after working closely with her in The Arcanum for almost 8 months) when I went to New York a couple of weeks ago. We made this video on my iPhone of this auspicious meeting for the rest of our cohort gang. Can I just say… meeting amazing people that you’ve only known through hangouts and an online community feels… strangely… normal! And also full of heart, soul and joy…
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.
When Worlds Collide
Know what I love? (Stares out from your monitor into your eyes, expectantly)
‘Kay, I’ll tell ya.
It’s when worlds collide with a great sheBANG and explode into kaleidoscope of color and sound! (Awesomest when said mashup involves photography.)
Sometimes that actually happens in my life… like when I was asked to voice a couple of videos on the KelbyOne website. One for Lightroom – another for Design.
(Click on the image to see the video on Design)
(Click on the image to see the video on Design)
Big, Fat Myth: Colds Are Common
Whew! I think I’m back amongst the living now, after a bout with a beastly cold. Why do they make a “cold” sound so “common”, when you feel so UNcommonly miserable with one?
“Blech!” I say.
Of course, said beastly arrived 2 days before I had to fly home from New York. THAT was a helluva long day! Thanks to doTerra essential oils, Mucinex and Ricola Extra Strength lozenges… I got home intact and even stayed self-contained enough that everyone around me should have been protected too. Then I went straight to bed! The one activity that always soothes? Processing photos. It’s the one thing that gets my mind on something it loves whilst my body heals. This was the first one I tackled:
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:
Who’s Game for an Impromptu Interview?
Last week while I was at Photo Plus Expo in New York City, I did a series of fun interviews. I decided to call them “Quick Chats”. Cause, well, that’s what they are!
The premise: Grab whomever I could for a couple of minutes and ask ‘em a bunch of questions, man-on-the-street style. I was going for super impromptu, very real & authentic, fun – even silly. I just wanted to know what would happen if I said “Hi What’s new?” and let it rip.**
We kick it off with Alan Shapiro, who’s a dear friend and unbelievably creative and talented photographer. Alan resides in a world of creativity that is just rarified. I love how he thinks, love his work… love him!
He’s working on a book project called “Among Us’, which he explains. Of course, we horse around on our way to the point. Heh.
My fabulous friend and photography partner in crime Laurie Rubin shot the video… THANK YOU LAURIE! She did this on my Sony NEX-7. The video is organic, real and intended to feel kinda like standing right there.
** Note: No one I asked turned me down. It was really just an experiment… now I want to do more!
I wanted this image to be surrealistic. I think I succeeded. heh.
I had this idea about floating up above a scene… like a dream, or like that moment you leave your body at the end. It wouldn’t be a razor sharp focus moment, or be quite like your everyday vision at all. It would be… dreamy. Softer focus, with colors that reflect how you feel about the world as you look down.
In my case… that’s warm. I love fall-colored trees, picnic tables, leaves on the ground, life. It’s idyllic to me. And floating above it is like some modern surrealistic movie with either a tortured youth narrating his drifty, tortured tale (think: American Beauty)… or the ending of a love story where the main character dies at the end of some horrible disease. I really dislike the latter, BTW… won’t even watch them! But I do love The Float that only seems to happen in those kinds of movies. (Exception: Beetlejuice. That had a great Float at the beginning.) As you can imagine, I don’t get to enjoy The Float as often as I like.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.