Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Meetings With Remarkable Men

It's been one of those weeks when everything works... everything! Creative juices are flowing, work I am very excited about and very proud to have made has been produced.

Things got off to a great start on monday with the privilege of working with Willie Kahaiali'i (better known around these parts as "Uncle Willie K."), master guitar virtuoso, walking music encyclopedia and an artist that has my vote as being Hawaii's preeminent entertainer. Willie, along with his wife Debbie, band members Kris Thomas (drums) & Jerry Beyers (bass), art director Sae, assistant producer Ashley all converged on a predetermined location Monday morning to produce media kits and promotional images for a couple of Willie's various projects. You can plan, scout, produce... organize every detail in advance. Then, sometimes magic happens and sometimes it doesn't. Magic happened. I so wish I could post a couple of my favorites from the edit here, but Willie hasn't seen them yet and it wouldn't feel quite right to put them up before he's had a chance make his selects. In due time...

An upgrade from Adobe Photoshop® CS2 to CS5 took place back in mid-December. What a difference! Much improved controls in Adobe Camera Raw processing has opened up an entirely new palette to work with. I've not even had time to explore all the new turd polishing filters, etc. in the software yet. ACR is so much better that 99% of my post work can be done there alone. Standouts are the much improved noise reduction controls, and the "clarity" controls. 

Yesterday afternoon & early evening was spent completing an assignment to make editorial portraits of America's newest Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winning author, self-made arborist, protector of endangered palms, avid gardener and fierce intellect W.S. Merwin

Meeting us at his garden gate, Mr. Merwin, his thick shock of white hair glowing in the afternoon sunlight and a shy smile upon his lips, guided us briefly down an overgrown path thru some of the exotic palms trees he's planted from seed on his "estate", pointing to one... then another, describing each one's native region, peculiar growth and propagation methods before leading us to a cozy little chalet he built himself, nestled deep within the verdant jungle he has created. 

Once settled in on his cozy, sheltered lanai, surrounded by his current stacks of reading material, I began setting up camera, tripod as he sat at the small table and began to talk... quietly, thoughtfully... his views on our current President, the state of our nation & the world, Blake, Shakespeare's Hamlet, his opportunity to speak & read at the Presidential Inaugural, his house in France, literary criticism, his recent shoot with Jill Greenberg for O Magazine.... so many topics covered in a few short hours. He would pause briefly from time to time, generously taking little directions from me as I snapped away. 

Today, back at the studio editing workstation, I was blown away by the gentle, thoughtful, organic portraits captured while in his presence. Again... wishing I could post some favorites here, but must wait for the images to be published by the commissioning publication. I can, however, post a few images I made with the new iPhone on the way to the meeting and after completing the "formal" round of portraiture. Here's a few from the afternoon...

William's Books

Self Portrait

Roadside Jetsom

Entering The Jungle

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