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number one

Well, here we are. Nine pictures down and one left. I have to say, it’s been fun looking back at some of my favorite pictures from the last few years and thinking over the circumstances that brought them to be. And for number one, I couldn’t be happier with the memory it brings.

one year later

one year later

Does it show? Haha. I know, I know – it’s not fair that I chose a shot that I’m a part of to be my favorite. But who could blame me? Our first anniversary and a fun, moody shot! Frankly, some of the effect came from poor planning on my part. I had intended on taking a picture before we went off to dinner, but things just didn’t work out that way. Once we came back home, the sun had already been down for an hour or so. So, you work with the light that you have on hand. I set up some remote flashes and experimented, but nothing looked quite right. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was just not working. The final product that you see came from a realization that a lot could be said in a picture that didn’t show off our faces well. It’s all about body language! So I just used our doorstep overhead light. What you see matches what the natural eye would get. Even better, the high contrast and warm, tungsten light help make this picture look and feel like a memory – exactly what it’s meant to be as a portrait of “our first anniversary”.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my informal little countdown. Time to look forward to exciting things yet to come! Pay attention right here to continue to see what the latest is, hear about fun opportunities, and more…

annnnd…we’re back

Back from the deep, dark, abyss of the non-internet world! Hah! The reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Seriously, though, it’s good to get back into the swing of things and tend to my poor, neglected (but never forgotten!) blog. Plus, with only two photos left in my original top ten of the past countdown, we’ve got some business to finish. It’s been a busy start to the summer, but I’m looking forward to the second half of the year and all that’s to come. Some exciting stuff on the horizon including free stuff! More to come…

So, on to number 2! For those of you who have kept up with me over the past 3 or so years, this one will come as no surprise:

waiting

waiting

This shot, in a way, started it all. I was helping out at a friend’s wedding, doing some audio-visual technical stuff and lugging my camera along for whatever opportunities jumped out at me. At this point, I had only begun to be serious about taking photos and had limited gear and experience (thank you, high school journalism – pah!). While I was fiddling around with some computer issues, the lovely bride and official photographers popped into the room to take some shots nearby an open window. They chose a spot to pose, and while an assistant helped set her dress just right, I looked up and noticed the awesome soft lighting the photographer had wisely spotted. More than that, I noticed that the wall she was standing next to was creating a great, seamless backdrop – like the kind you’d use in an actual studio. And to top it off, there was a beautiful grace to this “prep” moment that begged to be captured. So in the midst of preparing to take a posed shot, I fired off a few frames to grab the candid. So while the picture looks posed, it’s actually very much not. The bride’s position? She’s looking down at the person who’s fixing her dress.

Taking a look at this after the fact, I was overjoyed to see the results and felt spurred on to keep at it. Even better – I was humbled to share this with my friend (the groom), and hear his total delight. Is it a perfect picture? No. Room for improvement? Always. But encapsulating beauty in a moment that would never come again and would have probably otherwise been quickly forgotten – that’s just fantastic. It’s what I love about photography and it’s the kind of thing I’m always on the hunt for! For that reason, this one will always be high on my list. 🙂

On hiatus!

Busy time up ahead, folks, so I will be on a bit of hiatus until mid-summer (hopefully before August)! I’ll still be available via email though if you need to contact me – just no blog posts in the mean time.

happy summer!

hawaii 2010

Ahhhhhh, Hawaii. What can be said? I’m not sure there’s more than a handful of people who have ever had anything less than a wonderful time there. Good weather, good food, good sights…what more are you looking for? Karen and I spent 7 beautiful days in Kaanapali, Maui followed by 3 quick days in Waikiki to wrap it all up. Not all was ideal, though. I had some paper writing to finish up for the end of the semester which put a slight damper on our first few days, but once that was fully out of the way it was relaxation-city!

room view

our condo’s view

This was, I think, my fourth time to Maui and maybe eighth time to the islands in general. Not much new, but you really don’t need “new” out there. I’ll take it unchanged and familiar any day. We did take an excursion to Lanai, however, that was a first and a highlight of the trip. This little island, previously made up of mostly pineapple plantations, only has about 3000 residents and is dominated by the two resorts run by Four Seasons. There’s one town and basically one main street. Anything you want to see out toward the shores (other than where the ferry comes in) requires traveling on rocky trails in a 4×4 vehicle. Here’s our Jeep, pulled to the side of the Polihua trail as we passed through the “garden of the gods”:

the garden

the garden

driving the garden of the gods

driving the garden of the gods

Looks almost like what you’d think the surface of Mars looks like, eh? Oh, and when I said rocky, think Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye ride from Disneyland. For real.

I think we averaged about 10 mph through the trail. The ride’s well worth it though…at the end you get this beauty:

polihua

polihua

That’s 1.5 miles of pristine white beach, baby. No footprints, no trash, no people. Somebody build me a villa there, please.
Closer to town you see a bit more of the resorts’ influences…we stopped on our way back to say hi to the folks living at Kō’ele stables:

Kō

Kō’ele residents

Our few days in Oahu went by quickly, but we managed to take in a few sights including the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites…I hadn’t been there in over a decade!

Ford Island

Ford Island

Arizona

Arizona

Plus, a little visit to a historic site with family ties! Check it out…my great-great-great-grandfather!

Afong Villa

Afong Villa

Good times! Oh, and can I share anything about Hawaii and not mention killer food? I think the images speak for themselves.

blue ginger loco

blue ginger loco

leilani filet

leilani filet

zippy

zippy’s mix

da kitchen loco

da kitchen loco (this…was the best)

Incredibly blessed to have been over there 4 times in 4 years…what a way to be spoiled! Until next time, Hawaii!

makena

makena

back from vacation!

just returned from maui and oahu! Not much time to write at the moment, but it was…fantastic. A bit more relaxed, a bit more tan, and now a bit more sad to be home and back to work. I’ll be sorting through my four-hundred odd photos and video over the next few days but until then, here’s a fun snap from the inside of our rental!

maui cruisin

maui cruisin’