Monday, August 26, 2013

A Slice of Island Life - Obon On A Hot Summer's Night

July in Hawaii means Obon Season... part solemn buddhist ceremony honoring ancestors, part festival with plenty of smiling family faces, food and dancing. Every Jodo shrine in Hawaii hosts an evening or two of ceremony and dancing under the stars. I make it a point of attending the one held in Lahaina each summer.The Lahaina Jodo Mission also hosts the island's only floating lantern ceremony, a highlight of the event for me. 

This year, running in to a writer friend I see there each year, she asked my why I am always there? Assuming her question was put forth because I don't practice the buddhist faith, I responded "because it's beautiful!". There are other reasons, of course, which bring me back year after year. Having lived in Lahaina for many years previously, it's also a chance to catch up briefly with old friends ( inevitably, I am greeted by many of the aunties with a hearty " Haole Boy!I nevah see you long time..."), enjoy some excellent local foods prepared by the ladies of the temple and a handful of local restauranteurs. Then there is the dancing... joyful, colorful and welcoming... seasoned dancers invite novices into the circle and demonstrate the steps... all are welcome.

This years festivities in pictures (click on photos for a larger view):

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lodging Magazine

I recently had a sneak peek at the eagerly anticipated Andaz Maui Resort. I had just stepped off a plane after a 26 hr. flight returning from S.E. Asia only three hour prior... quickly showering, loading the gear in the car and driving down to the island's south shore to meet the publications Art Director and our subject for the shoot, new GM Michael Stephens.

Though I was wrapped in a fog of culture shock & jet-lag and the property covered in a good layer of dust and crawling with round-the-clock construction workers, I could easily see that this property, a new "boutique" arm of the Hyatt chain, would be a stunning addition to the star-studded resorts lining the beaches of the Wailea resort area. Watch for an opening either late this month or early september.

The photos appeared in the July issue of Lodging Magazinelanding on the cover, table of contents page and a double page spread on the inside.

Friday, August 9, 2013

JSB + T+D + .GIF

It wasn't long after yesterday's posting went online when I received a call, followed by an email, from an Agency AD friend in H'lulu. The call was to alert me to the email... and to apologize if I might have been offended that she had "stolen" the images posted yesterday. The AD had taken some of the Cambodia images and created the animated .GIF file you see above and then sent it to me, thinking this might be a useful tool for my future marketing schemes. She may be right. Either way, I am not offended... grateful might be a more accurate description. Grateful that my work & blog remain on her radar. Grateful that she would bother to take the time to make the .GIF file, to send it to me and to bother to follow up with a call to offer suggestions that may prove valuable to my continued viability in the image marketplace. With all sincerity, a big THANK YOU to W!!!

In further effort to get current on the happenings around here, we had the chance to photograph noted author, thinker, lecturer and self-described Chief of Confusion, John Seely Brown for an issue of T+D Magazine. The publishing photo editor, being a mainland-based journal for business training and development, had specifically requested that "JSB", as he prefers to be called, appear in a suit & tie against a white background. The background was no problem, yet JSB, being an island resident, shared the typical island-resident disdain for all things suit & tie oriented. While he did arrive at the studio with a sports jacket as a nod to the PE's lack of understanding about the informality of tropical island life, he had no shoes. Ha!

In the end, we photographed JSB in shirt-sleeves and barefoot... the PE ended up loving the departure from the typical business guru style of portraiture usually on display in the pages of T+D and I had an interesting conversation during the shoot with an animated & brilliant man.

JSB for T+D Magazine

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

It's been a while since we've posted anything in this space and I'll admit that the summer has gotten away from me. Since my return from S.E. Asia early last month, new projects have been coming at a furious pace. This is all good news as the clients for these recent projects have all been candidates for the honor roll. I had hoped to return to Indonesia sometime this month to begin a new venture but things have been so busy here on the home front that those plans may have to be put off until the fall.

There's been a new digital magazine app to work on as principal photographer & photo-editor, slated to see the light of day sometime in the coming months... an architectural & lifestyle project for an impeccably designed retreat center, a restaurant project and last week we were wisked away to the Big Island for several days to shoot another lifestyle project at the magnificent estate of an international celebrity who shall go un-named due to required confidentiality agreements being put into play. 

Client JP and Callie at a top secret, undisclosed Big Island location

Otherwise, there's little to tell unless you want to hear about the last week spent hunkered down in front of this fine, blue screen in full metal edit mode... busily in pursuit of the filthy lucre. No, let's not go there.

Finally, this morning I find time to get back into the Cambodia images. Rather than waste any more words here, let's tell a part of the travel story thru a handful of my favorites gathered along the way...

Of course, there were the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat...

And the markets of Siem Reap...

Always, the beautiful faces of children...

The generous hospitality offered by the monks of nearby Pradeak Monastery...

And a few odds & ends to finish things up...