Chris Lutton: Landscape Photographer

Short description of who you are and your passion behind your hobby/skill:

I am an amateur photographer living in Newburyport, MA, which is why most of my photographs are New England based. I also have a passion for travel, so hopefully over time my photos will start to span a much wider range of locations. 

I have always had a love of the outdoors and the natural world, so when I decided to take up photography, it was landscape photography that I was naturally drawn to. I love getting outside and exploring, and luckily for me I am a morning person, so I don’t mind getting up before the sunrise to capture the beautiful early morning light. 

The exciting challenge I find in landscape photography is in trying to capture the essence of a place, whether it is beautiful mountain scenery, ocean vistas, or downtown Newburyport. It is easy to take a camera and just snap away, but how do you truly capture the essence of what you see and feel when you are in a beautiful location? Your eyes and your brain take in the scenery and process it in a way that your camera can’t, so I work with the location and the light to try to capture a photo in a way that hopefully will do justice to what I see and feel. Sometimes I feel that I am successful, sometimes not so much! 

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Have you always wanted to be a photographer?

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in photography and have always been fascinated by beautiful and compelling photographs. Over the years I made several half-hearted attempts at photography, but life always seemed to get in the way of pursuing it to any significant degree until recently. 

When did you realize your passion behind photography?

Just a couple of years ago I decided to get serious about my photography and to take the time to really learn what it takes to produce interesting photographs. It started as an interest but has now definitely blossomed into a passion!

What has been your favorite shoot to date?

I think my favorite shoot to date was this past summer when I went up to Bald Head Cliff in York, Maine, behind the Cliff House for a sunrise seascape shoot. I was not sure if I was going to be able to get access to the site since it is behind private property and I knew that last winter the access to the shore had been damaged. The weather forecast was mixed but I decided to take the chance anyway, so I got up very early to be there by sunrise. Access to the shoreline was not a problem, and I was happy to see that the tide level was ideal for the shot I wanted to get. I set my camera up and waited to see what the sunrise would bring, and I ended up being treated to some wonderful light, color and dramatic clouds. It all came together for me and I was in awe of the scene that Mother Nature provided. I felt so lucky to experience it, let alone capture it in a photo!

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What is your favorite subject to shoot?

Without a doubt, my favorite subjects are seascapes. I have always loved the ocean, and the ever-changing moods of the sea and shoreline make it a subject that you can go back to time after time and come away with incredibly different images.

How has photography impacted your life?

Photography has provided a wonderfully creative outlet for me that had been missing in my life before. I am a warm weather person and have never enjoyed the cold New England winters, but since taking up photography, I have learned to really appreciate the changes in the season and the beauty around us even when the temperatures are way below what I enjoy!

Favorite things to do in Newburyport?

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Living in a place as beautiful as Newburyport, of course my favorite thing to do is to try to capture images that reflect the beauty of the city and its surroundings. I love to get up before sunrise and head out to Plum Island or down to the waterfront boardwalk to capture images of the new day. We live within walking distance to downtown, so we love to walk downtown, wander around taking in the sights of the city, visit some shops and maybe find a new place for a bite to eat. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a better place to live!

Where do you see yourself and your photography going in the future?

I am looking forward to being able to spend more time on my photography after I retire next summer. There is always something new to learn and different techniques to try – the more I learn about photography, the more I realize how much more there is to learn! I do photography for my own pleasure and to share with friends and family. In the future I am leaving open the possibility of finding ways to generate some income from my photography, but at this point that is not my intent. I do it because I love it and do not want to lose my passion for it.

Where can we find more from you?

I can be found on Facebook, and I also have a website (https://chrislutton.smugmug.com/) that features my photography where my photos are available for purchase. There is also contact information there for me, so feel free to reach out - I love to hear from other photographers and anyone else with an interest!

Joshua Frappier