Monday, November 24, 2008

The View From The Cheap Seats

Has it really been over a week since making an entry to this blog? 
Sadly, there has been little of an inspiring nature to write about. The economic realities of life in the most remote tourism destination on the planet, a destination overly reliant on disposable income and completely subject to the whims of the global markets, have hit the islands like a 500 ton bomb. In normal times, the last two months of the year more often than not bring a flurry of last minute advertising assignments as agencies and advertisers hurry to spend the last dollars of their allotted annual budgets before January 1. Not so this year and I hear the same sad tale from many colleagues scattered around the island. 
The silver lining within this dark cloud of doom is that magazine publishers around the state continue to publish their products and continue to have a need for photographic content. With any luck, editorial assignments will pull us through until the negative financial tides abate. 

The images above are from a day spent hiking down from high atop the razor-edged ridges of the West Maui Mountains, the heart of the West Maui Watershed and source of most of the drinking water for all of West Maui. I and several others were deposited by helicopter at the very top of the mountains. The first image shows the view as I walked from our landing site to the very peak of mountain. From this vantage point, I could look right down into Iao Valley on the other side of the peak and all the way across the Alenuihaha Channel which separates Maui from the Big Island. On this particular morning, the skies were amazingly clear and we were able to clearly see the peaks of Mauna Loa & Mauna Kea on the Big Island. From here we slowly descended the mountain on foot through thick rain-forest terrain where literally hundreds of rare species of prehistoric-looking trees, ferns and ground orchids... even green silverswords surrounded us. The ground was a wet, saturated and muddy bog which required that we all keep our feet on the narrow boardwalk installed in recent years by members of Kapalua Land Company's Watershed Management Team. Randy Bartlett heads up this team of dedicated forest managers and acted as our guide for the day. A Big Mahalo Randy!

The two images at the top of this entry have been included in the lovely coffee-table style book Kapalua Nui, with text by Jocelyn Fujii. Follow the link to order online. More images from that day are being added to the "Projects" section of my website. You can what's been uploaded so far by clicking here.

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