Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Alternative cameras ~

When I was sent this photo as a submission to the "soft" challenge, I was immediately struck by three things: one, it beautifully interprets the soft theme, two, it's an absolutely beautiful portrait by any standards, and three, it wasn't even done with a camera. Well, a conventional camera, anyway. Our friend Tori Bascue made this on her cellphone, in this case an Android Atrix 2 smartphone. It absolutely knocks me out, and shows how a creative and talented eye can turn something like a cellphone into a powerfully expressive tool.

So my post today is doing double-duty, talking about all these terrific images that have been sent to us as part of the soft challenge, and also a discussion about our smartphone cameras. Every photo on this post was made on one. These photos on the left are from big bro Jim Hutt, using his iPhone 3Gs.

This sunset is a wonderful image, no matter what kind of camera it came from. That it was made on a cellphone makes us appreciate all the more its potential for personal expression. And since we always have it with us, I think we'll see a whole new body of spontaneous, adventurous, exciting work.

I had uploaded this photo by Whitney on my last post, but really wanted to revisit it. She took it through her windshield on one of those rainy days we had a couple weeks ago, using her iPhone 4S; a little photoshop work, and a result that looks so much like a 19th century platinum print. By any measure, it's a beautiful photograph; haunting and brooding, evocative. Whitney likes the Ansel Adams quote:  Chance favors the prepared mind". The right light, a good eye, and a smartphone. Who'd have thought?
Lastly, here's a photo of my friend Ashley that I took just a couple weeks ago, a snapshot really. Unposed, unselfconscious, just a quick situation where I thought the light was good. I use the iPhone 4S too, and have a number of photography apps, although I find myself using one called "Pudding Camera" more often than not.

Someday, I might actually use my iPhone to make a phone call.

What are you using? What are your favorite photo apps? Hey, if you have your smartphone fired up, send 'em to me! You know where: dhuttphoto@comcast.net.

later, amigos!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some SOFT samples...!

A few days back Whitney & I suggested a new photo challenge; the theme: soft. Here are some beautiful images that suggest some wonderful interpretations. This colorful photo of dancers (including my two nieces!) was taken by by sister Kitty. The warm, soft light silhouetting dancers in a classical pose is really lovely.

Whitney just sent me this photo, which I believe she took with her iPhone (and suggests to me a topic for my next post!). This is a really beautiful image, which evokes the etherial and haunting qualities of a 19th century platinum print. Definitely a soft image, but the result of a clear vision.
And what collection of photos designed around the concept of soft would be complete without a shot of a kitten? And particularly, one wrapped up in an Angel Soft tissue bag? It's cute, it's funny, it's a kitschy homage to the obvious; and that makes it delightfully successful!

Here's a shot I took this summer, a popular view of the Columbia River Gorge. I admit to being a mostly-studio shooter, but light of any kind intrigues me, none moreso than the fading pastels of late evening.
Where day meets night, where sea meets the shore, where light touches dark: really beautiful things happen at the edges.

What are you dreaming up? May we see?
dhuttphoto@comcast.net                toodles, amigos!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

But SOFT! What light.....

.....through yonder window breaks? Ok, it's a cheezy Shakespeare reference, but one that's intended to introduce our newest photography challenge: soft. You recall a couple months back Whitney & I issued our "red" challenge, and now here's our new one. Soft. We're going to shoot -- and invite you to shoot -- images that in some way embody whatever you interpret that word to mean. You can be as literal, figurative, alliterative, fantastic, ironic or just plain weird as you like. There are no limits. Ready, set...go!
And this was a great day for me in another respect as well, as I enjoyed some time with my dear friend Sharon O'Keefe at iWitness Gallery. Sharon is the founder of the Northwest Center for Photography (www.pnwcp.com) and this beautiful photography gallery. The Center offers an incredible range of programs and workshops, including some Studio Lighting workshops that I conduct at our studio. My conversations with Sharon turn always and inevitably to what we love about photography, what (and who) inspires us, and what challenges us. 

iWitness Gallery is currently exhibiting the work of Portland photographer David Zaitz, wonderful and humorous works which remind me of the fun of photography. And that gets us back around to our newest challenge: a great way to remember that along with everything else -- the need to expand our horizons, to hone our technique, to learn new skills, even the need to earn a living -- we are committed to the proposition that we can also enjoy our craft.
So shoot and share! I look forward, as always, to seeing your creativity at work (and play!). 
Oh, and for the record,  "...it is the east, and Juliet is the sun"

You know where I am!  dhuttphoto@comcast.net.  

Toodles, amigos.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! ~

So let me start this post right out by apologizing for neglecting it for such a long time! The holidays are over, so I can't use that as an excuse any more. But I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season. And as this picture suggests, last night was a wonderful New Year's party thrown by my friend Laurie Excell and her husband Frank. For all of us, it's the highlight of the year! I mention this because Laurie's images literally leave me breathless, and inspire me to continually strive to be a better photographer.
So I sat down this morning, the first day of 2012, and started going through my own archives to look again at what makes me enjoy being a photographer, and post some work I've never shared here before. So much of the time I'm behind the camera doing lighting workshops in the studio, or teaching digital photography to my client dentists. I love doing all that very much, but I overlook some opportunities to just get out, look, and shoot. So that's going to be my New Year's resolution: do more, shoot more, look more, enjoy more. Plus: give credit to the photographers in my life who inspire me everyday.
Laurie, of course, is just wonderful; as a photographer, an artist, a person. She conducts workshops all around the world and is the Photo Equipment Advice Desk Guru for NAPP. We used to work together many years ago at Pro Photo Supply in Portland, and would often bring in photos to share with each other and critique. You can't imagine how much I miss that. I highly recommend you follow her blog: www.laurieexcell.com/blog.
My friend/mentor/studio partner Whitney Stevens is also a cherished source of inspiration. Her studio work -- portraits, maternity, boudoir, children -- is extraordinary; her lighting and posing is so fluid and immediate it can't help but take away your breath. And then, of course, the photography challenges she gives us: remember Red? When you give yourself and others a challenge to step outside your comfort zone to find new ways to see things and create images, you're going to be better at your craft.

And my brother Jim Hutt, a supremely talented photographer who supports his habit with a private practice in psychology -- although  those two things seem oddly, and happily, synergistic. Hardly a week goes by that I don't open up my email and see something new from him. His wanderings around the San Francisco bay area, near his home: the scenery, the people, the wildlife; all of them focus sharply in his eyes and camera, and make images that simply dance.
This will be another resolution: I will seek out the work of other photographers where ever I can, and take pleasure in sharing in the vision and energy of my many talented colleagues. I'm looking forward to keeping this one!
And as always, I welcome you to send me your own images to share here. Not to critique, not to analyze, not to judge; just to enjoy.

May 2012 be a year you find new, exciting, crazy, confusing, challenging, exciting, questioning, provoking, wistful, and beautiful images. And that they bring you joy.

toodles!       dhuttphoto@comcast.net