Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer's Begun - Back To Work

After enjoying a blissfully unproductive uneventful three day weekend, I'm back in the studio to finish up all those monthly loose-ends & paperwork so that we can soon be done with the month of May. Summer months around here are traditionally quite busy and I'm anxious to see what sort of activity this year's will bring after the virtual drought of the past two years in general. Given the flurry of activity over the past two months, I'm feeling quite optimistic about it all...

There are already a couple of decent projects on the calendar, a call this morning about another (estimate/proposal just now submitted for approval), an interesting sounding editorial assignment photographing chocolatiers pending and an invitation to produce a a solo exhibition of THE WORK tentatively scheduled for next summer. Should this one come to fruition, it will take a year of effort to put a show together, not to mention the goal currently kicking around inside my head to produce a series or two of new work specifically for this exhibition.

Late last friday afternoon, the last images of the three month project for Maui's Winery were delivered and reports from the client are very positive. Multiple trips into the vineyard for early morning and afternoon for photo-making... a couple of sessions on the stately tasting room grounds are now completed until harvest time... sometime in August, I believe... when the grapes are fully ripened to juicy fatness and more photography will be required. Here's a few samples of what was produced up to this point...

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Inspiration To Get You Through The Long Weekend

He's at the top of every photo-editor-worth-their-salt's want list. He delivers ONE... got that... ONE print for assignments. He is a contemporary master of portraiture, routinely photographing members of popular culture's A-list...

"Who's that" you ask? He's Dan Winters. To see more, go HERE.

And here's a little video of Dan talking about his work to inspire you through the long weekend:

Happy Memorial Day to all, gratitude to those that serve, have served and have given their lives in service. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Housecleaning, Some Resources & Some Changes

Given the recent demise of the WTJ? Blogroll - it was there, then the updates ended a couple of months ago, now it's gone altogether - it's been a bit of a struggle finding one source for current updates to my favorite photo-bloggers. 

Why, Andrew, have you forsaken me? Too busy with the Olsen Twins, I suppose...

The daily blogroll updates at WTJ? were usually my first stop for morning business readings & creative inspiration.. Now it's gone and I'm here to tell you that there's nothing out there that comes close to consolidating the best in photography blogs on a single page, allowing quick access to the best in business advice, creative output, commentary, criticism & sometimes, even side-splitting entertainment. 

Andrew still manages to regularly post entries on his exploits, current projects & announcements to things of interest going on in the photo world of NYC & elsewhere and I continue to dial him in as a source of inspiration. But the freakin' Blogroll? 

The closest I have come to finding a reasonable facsimile for quick links to the photo-world is The Photography Post, another clearinghouse, if you will, to all things photo-related. TPP is good, quite good really, in organizing the best blog output of the photography & commentary that most interests me... my only complaint being the need for multiple clicks to get to the actual blog. A minor annoyance in our faster, better, quicker, immediate world, but an annoyance nonetheless.

So, to that end, I've just updated the Blogroll here at CTL (you'll find it in the left column of this page).. dropped a couple of links that have been long inactive & adding a couple of others to blogs a read regularly but had somehow been negligent in adding to this site. 

Aspiring photo assistants & those of us looking for new assistants might take special interest in the new addition of A Photo Assistant blog. 

From the UK, we bring you the most-entertaining Perou's Secret Diary, penned by the quintessentially Brit fashion/music photographer Perou. Part punk fashionista - part english gentleman/country squire, car enthusiast, father, farmer, brilliant photographer and entertaining diarist, Perou's daily entries of family life, creative endeavors, frustrations of parenthood are generally a very entertaining read.

At No Plastic Sleeves, you'll find lots of tips, ideas, products and resources relating to all things marketing & promotional.


I spend a lot of time looking at photography. I see a lot of good stuff. I see even more stuff that makes me shake my head & mutter. Rarely do I see stuff that leaves me so gobsmacked that I can't stop thinking about it. Angela Bacon-Kidwell is a photographer of whom I know almost nothing about yet her entire body of work, brought to my attention by a friend, simply takes my breath away. Click on her name above & see for yourself. The first two portfolios, A Fishes Woe & Traveling Dream demand a look. Hauntingly beautiful is the only descriptive I can draw upon in reaction to this work. Recent work & current projects & news at Angela's blog.

Further onward... some resources:

If you're a professional photographer in Hawaii, you're generally shit-out-of-luck at a major disadvantage when it comes to buying equipment. With virtually no professional supply houses left here in the state... places where you could actually hold, touch & fondle the latest in gear & accessories for you photo-fetishists. Mail order, for years here, has been our only option... buying new gear sight unseen. Things might be just a tad bit better in this regard in Honolulu than they are, say, here on Maui or other remote, neighbor island burgs, but not much better... that is, until recently....

Hawaii Camera Rental has recently appeared on the scene with two locations in the state. The main location, over near Kaimuki at 3408 Waialae Ave. has the bulk of the best stuff... top canon, Nikon bodies & lenses, lighting gear including Profoto 7b Battery portable strobe kits, water housings, Hasselblad digital cameras & lenses... all available for rent, providing you the opportunity to handle. HCR also has an outlet here on Maui. You'll find them inside Photographics Maui, at 22 Hana Hwy. in the maui Windsurf Company building in Kahului. The Maui location has a very adequate supply of great specialty lenses, camera bodies, housings, etc. in-stock. What is available at the Oahu shop but not here on Maui can be flown in on short notice.

If you live on a neighbor island and have to work on Oahu, Foton Hawaii is another great resource for lighting, grip equipment... even a studio rental is available. FH rents an arsenal of Profoto lighting gear, modifiers, accessories, even a wind machine, all at very reasonable prices. They will ship equipment state-wide with insurance & a deposit.

photo lighting

Even further onward... misc. stuff and expendibles:

Attco Inc. Hawaii, in Honolulu, is a local source for stuff like set-paper, gaffer's tape and other stage & theatrical supplies. I've found it much cheaper to order rolls of set-paper (they carry the Savage brand, call for a swatch book of available colors) and small expendibles. I've found that if I call with an order in the morning, the staff will get it on a plane - shipped cargo - and have it to me here on Maui by the afternoon of the same day. Attco also rents grip & rigging gear, fog-machines, stafing & portable cycs.

Attco Light Logo

Not exactly close to home but most definitely a one-stop shop for all things expendable for photographers is JCX Expendables in San Francisco. Here, you'll find set-paper, tapes, tools, gels, bulbs, they used to and probably still do have special effects materials like smoke cookies (like little incense tablets that are small enough to hide and, when lit, produce a large amount of thick smoke - used for fogging outdoor sets or special-effects where smoke is required) and other pyro aids. Sadly, the online or over-the-phone ordering experience pales in comparison to a real-life trip to the place, where you will be greeted by a helpful & knowledgeable, self-styled rasta staff and a lingering whiff of the ganj hanging in the air. 

Closer to home is Ehman Productions, serving the film industry locally for years now, EP rents seasoned crew, grip trucks, booms & jibs, Matthews grip gear, Arri Lighting, Kino-Flo & Led lighting and lots more. Based here on Maui, if you've got a major production planned, these guys are going to be your first stop.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Is It Friday yet?

For the past two weeks the fun just hasn't stopped. Wrapped up yesterday with a late afternoon trip up into the vineyards of Ulupalakua, yielding a handful of good photos, including the one above.

Otherwise, the past five days have brought a couple of other assignments but have otherwise been largely occupied with post work on images captured from the previous week's outing to the Big Island. In the employ, once again, of Prince Resorts Hawaii, this mission was to capture two resorts with refreshed rooms & suites, including the suite favored by Star Wars creator George Lucas. One day devoted entirely to capturing dining items from one of the resort's fine-dining venues. Long hours, lots of equipment schlepping to & fro yielded good results. Some samples of the effort: 

The very first Norman P1250D strobe pack I ever owned was sacrificed in the effort. 25+ years of service that thing has given me. It's beaten, battered, dented, scratched... it's been dropped, blown-up, recklessly abused and has only failed me one other time. Let's just see if our man Brett over in California can manage to squeeze another couple of more years out of her.

Return flights home booked for mid-afternoon of our last day left some time to head for the South Kona-Captain Cook area of the island where we visited Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the fabled "Place of Refuge".

You've got to admire a culture possessing a tradition of refuge & redemption so strong that they built a sanctuary where the violators of sacred kapu & defeated enemy combatants would be spared certain death as long as they remained within the sacred walls of the heiau (temple) within the sanctuary. After a period of time, the refuge-seeker could endure some sort of ceremony where his or her transgressions could be forgiven, allowing the return to society.

Also a past home to many of Hawaii's ancient royalty, the 420 acre site was designated a National Park in 1955, is beautifully restored, maintained and now provides sanctuary for Hawaii's endangered Honu, green sea turtle population as well as being a cultural resource & popular sightseeing destination.

After serious consideration as to whether or not previous crimes warranted an extended stay in the refuge, we decided to take our leave, heading just down the road to a sacred site of another type entirely.

Overlooking historic Kealakekua Bay, where famed explorer Captain Cook met his fate, becoming known as "the other white meat", sits St. Benedict's Church, originally built in 1899 by Rev. John Velghe. The church is commonly referred to as the Painted Church. With no formal training and only ordinary house paint on bare wood at his disposal, the Good Reverend adorned the church's interior walls & ceilings with colorful frescoes of Hawaiian scenery & illustrated bible stories. In those days, few Hawaiians could speak english, let alone read... Rev. Velghe would use his works of art as teaching tools.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Hawaiian Airlines TV Spot Reels

Very happy to have had a hand in both of these...

Hats off to the creative team at LCA-Anthology & to the other photographers involved.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tear-Sheets, Reels to Come & More Good Stuff...

So much good stuff going on, I can hardly contain myself. Returned early Saturday afternoon from three days on Oahu shooting for Prince Resorts Hawaii. Big thanks to assistant Barry Frankel for keeping me organized, caffeine-fueled & entertained, not to mention the schlepping of 7 overfilled flight cases of gear, one bursting-at-the-seams camera bag & laptop case thru two airports, one rental van and numerous hotel hallways. 

Highlights of the trip included watching an entertaining homeless guy foraging for used ciggie butts from hotel ashtrays, Mr. Spugi-san eyeing up Barry's legs at every opportunity, house fried rice at Side Street Inn, the Kakaako hole-in-the-wall hangout of Hawaii's top chefs and an impromptu dinner of, perhaps, the finest in Japanese Cuisine I've ever had the privilege of eating courtesy of HAPA founder Barry Flanagan & his lovely bride Leslie. Thank you & don't mind if I do eat that last piece of Uni! 

Once off the plane, safely & exhaustedly ensconced in my comfortable mountain land-fort, the Missus queued up all three Hawaiian Airlines television commercials that had just aired during the Merrie Monarch Hula Competiton, broadcast from the Big Island. You may remember a few weeks ago, I was busy chasing teens thru the jungle, jumping off rocks, hurling themselves in the air on trampolines... organizing talent for other scenarios... four different photographers, yours truly included, worked hard producing still images to be used as TV spots for the airline. I can't speak for the others, but I wasn't entirely sure how the spots would all come together. Having now seen the finished commercials, I'm ecstatic! They are all lovely and my work is prominently featured in two of the spots... one of the spots even opening & closing with some of the images we captured during a day spent working at OGG Airport. Nice work produced by all the other photogs involved and BRILLIANT editing and piecing the images together into three beautiful, poignant and at times, even comical 30 second spots by the awesome creative team at LCA-Anthology. Reels of the spots will be posted here once I receive them...

And... if that wasn't enough to rejuvenate me from the Honolulu shoot, it was off Saturday evening to attend a listening party at the fabulous digs of Throwdowns drummer Ian Hollingsworth, where the new CD we've been working on packaging images for was debuted to the young, hungry Hawaii music press & band followers... well-over 100 attendees by the time I arrived. Ran into the MOTH team of James & James, "Jewish Jesus" Smith, film-maker Brian Kohne, Dishy Trish, finally got to meet scene blogger "MauiZan" and others. Alas, already barely standing was I by this time, and having to be up again at 4am the following morning, I made the rounds, pressed the flesh and amicably chatted with friends old & new before excusing myself & rushing home to bed.

Up early the next morning, I am immediately treated to viral video of El Presidente pointedly roasting thedonald and Fux News attendees during the annual White House Press Correspondent's Dinner, followed by early evening reports of the death of OBL and finally, El Presidente's address on the matter, timed precisely to pre-empt thedonald's celebrity slave TV show. Bitch-slap a trois! Hey Don... you're fired.

Ah... it's been a good week!

To finish things off, the new issue of MAUI NO KA OI Magazine hit news stands today with the tear-sheets posted above, (& others) included between it's pages, complete with cheeky text by author Paul Wood.

But we're not done yet... two days of large-format, fine-art reprography for expat artist Avi Kiriarty begins in the morning, just after I conclude my duties as tuesday morning radio host. Friday's there's another venture out to the Ulupalakua Winery for almost final work on the new image campaign and then Sunday, my new BFF, BF & I head for a three day architectural & food session at two more of the properties in the Prince Resort's Hawaii portfolio. 

In between all of that, there's plenty of editing still to do...

While working in H-lulu, I came across this post at former PE Rob Haggart's APE blog titled "Photographers Hiring Help-Old vs New (School). This entry deals with the hiring tactics of two very well-known photographers... most notably, Nat Geo's Steve McCurry, best know for his NG cover portrait of the Afghan girl with the piercing eyes a few years back. One response to McCurry's ad for dedicated, unpaid interns - posted on Craigslist and since removed after the exposure and rash of rude comments, had me rolling on the floor laughing:

Be sure to read the comments left by readers at the blog too... oodles of fun!