About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.

An Apple Tree

Photo by Chris Stetson

Around here you wouldn’t know summer is on it’s way out because it’s still so warm. My friends and I decided to take advantage of a warm evening and do a little photo walk around our friend’s property. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get a shot for Dearest Nature and I wasn’t disappointed.

As the sun went down the light softened and everything around begged to be photographed. And while it is tempting, especially in this digital age, to just shoot everything in sight, I tried chose my shots carefully. Walking slowing through the rural property I came across a few things that caught my eye, a small tomato garden, the chickens eating in their coop, horses in the coral, and then I saw this one apple hanging from it’s branch. I had probably walked past it a couple of times that night already and plenty of other times when I had been at the property. But it was just then that I realized this was an apple tree, and it has actual apples on it. This made it that much more intriguing to me.

There’s something so interesting about the things that we just walk past day by day without giving a second glance. It’s one of the things I love about photography, seeing some beauty in a place or thing that most people would just walk right past. It gives me a reason to slow down and pay a little closer attention to what’s happening right in front of me instead of worrying so much about what I’m doing, where I’m going and what I need to do when I get there.

So even though summer is coming to an end and the kids are back in school or you’re back at work from a summer vacation, take some time out of your busy life. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and when you open your eyes back up, take a look around. Look out the window, see something that’s always been there but you never noticed before because you were in such a rush. It could only take five minutes out of your day and then you can get right back to the daily grind, but trust me, it won’t feel like such a grind any more.

Happy September.

About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.

The Big Dipper

Photo by Chris Stetson

Photo Info

  • Camera: Canon T2i
  • Lens: Nikon Nikkor-N 24mm f/2.8 with adaptor
  • ISO: 800
  • Exp: 8 sec

These summer nights have been exceptionally clear, especially out at our home out past wine country in Temecula. The lack of street and other city lights seems to make the stars of the night sky multiply. One night while out with the dogs I looked up and noticed one of the maybe three constellations I can name, The Big Dipper. I’ve always enjoyed looking at the stars but learning all of the constellations just went right over my head. I never really cared what they were called, or how they got their names, I just enjoyed looking up and seeing a sky full of sparkles.

I’ve also never been one to take pictures of the night sky so it took me a few tries to get what I was looking for, but I am really happy with the way this image came out. It was about 9:30PM and with the longer exposure, you get a little glimpse of the suns glow still on the horizon, not normally noticeable by the naked eye at that hour. It was so peaceful and quiet out there I think I might do it again while the night air is still warm.

Happy Summer!

About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.

Color in the Summer Heat

Photo by Chris Stetson

Photo Info

  • Camera used: Canon T2i
  • Lens: Vintage Olympus F. Zuiko 50mm f/1.8
  • Edited in Lightroom 4

With summer now in full swing it’s getting hot and where I live, it’s getting dry. This time of year there isn’t much that stays green through the heat, and it can be a lot of work and water trying to keep things green.

So at our house we just let nature do it’s thing and let stuff go dormant and wait for the colors and greenery to return in the spring. I’ll admit it does get a little bland having mostly brown and orange all around, so when I saw this big leafy green vine growing through the field it definitely caught my eye. I grabbed a few shots with my camera and then went to my father-in-law because he can basically tell you anything you want to know, and then some about any plant. He’s like a walking plant encyclopedia.

Here’s a little bit of what he told me. The plant is called a Buffalo Gourd, it uses almost no water and is a perennial which means it grows from the same root system every year. It has long stems that trail can trail along the ground for several yards, with the small round gourds which grow to 3-4 inches in diameter. That’s about where the fun stops, the leaves will give off an offensive odor when touched and the fruit is not edible. But it does make for a nice spot of color during the summer heat.

About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.

Ambergris Caye

Photo by Chris Stetson

Photo Info

  • Location: Abergris Caye
  • Camera used: Canon T2i

This time last year I was in Belize, Central America, and as summer quickly approaches I find myself daydreaming and wishing I was back there with a nice cold Lighthouse Lager. I took this picture while exploring the island of Ambergris Caye on a golf cart, which is the main transportation on the island. Ambergris Caye is only about 25 miles long and 2 miles wide. It has the world’s second longest reef just off the coast and has some of the most interesting people I have ever met. This is just one of the many beautiful experiences we had while in Belize and I hope to go back one day to see even more.

About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.

Deer in the Sequoia Mountains

Photo by Chris Stetson

Photo Info

  • Location: Sequoia Mountains in Kern County, California
  • Camera used: Canon T2i
  • Lens used: Vintage Spira-tel 135mm f/2.8 lens
  • Check out additional photos on Chris's blog

I recently spent three days at an old logging camp up in the Sequoia Mountains called R-Ranch. Located above the Kern River in Kern County, it’s a place to get away from all things technology-ish. The ranch was used back in the day by actual loggers, but it’s now used by a group of owners to escape the daily grind. with no TV, cell signal, or Internet you can really appreciate the natural surroundings. With Sequoia trees as far as you can see and deer that just about eat out your hands there’s plenty of nature to take in.

I got this shot the morning that we were getting ready to leave. I noticed about ten to twelve deer relaxing in the shade right outside our cabin. I grabbed my camera and got some shots from our doorway. It wasn’t quite close enough though, so I slowly moved toward the deer. I got a few more shots but still needed to get closer as I only had a fixed lens. As I moved even closer the deer noticed me and perked up, but decided I wasn’t worth getting up and running away from. So I got even closer. When I shot this photo I was about eight to ten feet away. She never did get up, it was such a great opportunity and I’m so glad I had my camera.

About Chris Stetson

Chris is a photographer and graphic artist living in Temecula, CA. He grew up in a small beach town called Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara, CA. He doesn't remember a time in his life when he wasn't doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting, playing music, or playing around with cameras.