When Ed brought in the mail this evening, he dropped off the September issue of InsideOut Hawaii that had just arrived on my desk. I was pleased to see my new friend Kat Reeder’s art featured on the cover – I’ve been a fan for a long time!
I quickly flipped to the article on Kat’s partnership with Le Sportsac. I was actually supposed to cover the launch event for the design, but had managed to accidentally overbook myself that evening. (Learned my lesson!) Aren’t the bags gorgeous? I can’t wait till I can get one for myself! It’s been awesome to see people around Oahu carrying them. Yay Kat!
After I finished reading the article, I continued perusing the magazine, until I came across a spread that made me exclaim, “Oh, hey!”
For this Throwback Thursday, I’m sharing a set of images I made of my dad, uncles, and aunt back in 2009, showing them as children, and again adults, in front of the old family home. For the life of me I can’t find the higher-resolution scan of the old photo, and the original is in storage, or I would have made it bigger, but you get the idea. There’s about 50 years between the original photo and my 2009 re-creation of it – not often you get to do that!
In my searches throughout my hard drives for the original scan of the old image, I’ve come to realize how I really will need to take a month off when I get a new storage system going, and I’m going to tag everything.
Midway Atoll is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but there is also a darker side to the beauty, where one is faced with a stark reality of how humans have affected the Earth.
A friend just messaged me on Facebook asking what I thought about Chris Jordan’s MIDWAY Film, knowing I had just been there a couple of months ago for the Battle of Midway 70th anniversary. Apparently, the legitimacy of the horrific images of dead birds filled with bits of plastic has been called into question by some, but from my personal experience, there is a real issue with the plastics and the birds. Here are two images from my Midway trip that I hadn’t posted before.
First, here is a 100% size crop of some ground on Midway’s Eastern Island. You can see there are bits of plastic everywhere. Also, to the center-right of the photo, there are long, thin, white sticks – those are actually bones of dead birds, which could be seen everywhere on the island. Yes, of course some of them die from other causes, but it is a grim realization that each little pile of plastic represents where a bird once died.
This is the only image I found in my files specifically of a dead bird, and while it isn’t as stuffed with plastic trash as some of the images in Chris Jordan’s preview video, you can still see it died with plastic inside of it:
After a week that included three sunrise photo shoots, two hikes, a fashion event, several meetings, and a casual but sweet birthday celebration for my husband, it was nice to take this rainy Monday off to work on cleaning our apartment and catching up on emails. My current top stressor is the death of one of my external hard drives – while I’m fairly certain it was the least critical hard drive to fail, as it contained mostly backups, any data loss is a real punch in the gut for me, and I’m hoping at least some of it can be salvaged. It’s not good that it takes a mini-crisis to make me reflect on my data storage process. I keep all my final images in online storage, but not the RAWs. Hopefully there’s a Drobo in my future soon!
Besides that, one of the main things on my mind has been art. Yes, photography is an art, and I consider some of what I do to be fine art photography. However, my background was in drawing and painting, and I spent my college years studying those arts in equal, if not greater, amounts to photography.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be an illustrator.
This was my art supply collection during the Spring 2007 semester at UH Manoa. Oil painting was my passion, and many of my brushes and paints had been brought home from Italy. I also had developed the habit of buying new art supplies whenever I was feeling down, which, admittedly, had been a lot back then. Art supplies had always represented possibility for me, even if my ideas for using them never came to fruition. I loved to experiment with new mediums, and I always found myself browsing the internet for inspiration from a variety of artists. Growing up during Japanese anime’s popularity boom in the United States from 1999 on, I had initially gotten into the visual arts after spending a summer drawing Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z fan art. This led me to getting my first little graphics tablet during high school, where I would teach myself digital drawing and painting at home while learning traditional methods in school. I would draw comics, design characters, and paint portraits.
Compare the 2007 art supply collection to my 2007 photography supply collection – one DSLR, two 35mm SLRs, two lenses, and loads of film photography supplies. Yes, drawing and painting was still my first love then, but that faded over the years until it found equal footing with photography, and then, after graduation, faded away as I pursued my career as a professional photographer.
Since graduating with my BA in Studio Art (didn’t feel I needed a BFA to get where I wanted to go) in December 2008, I have only finished a grand total of about eighteen drawings or paintings, mostly digital. (I know this from counting uploads in one of my Facebook albums) Compared to how I used to fill up binders and sketchbooks constantly, this lack of drawing and painting has been bothering me this entire year so far. I want so much to start drawing and painting again, whether digitally or traditionally, but trying to find the time and creative energy between the endless photo shoots and editing marathons has proven very difficult. I finally had enough of the nagging feeling in the back of my brain a couple of weeks ago, and bought myself a couple of brand new sketchbooks. One of my biggest hangups with sketching is that I would always be worried about drawing something that wouldn’t look good in the sketchbook later, which of course led to me not drawing anything at all. No excuses this time – I intend to fill both sketchbooks in the next couple of months.
Hopefully I can write again about the subject with a positive update!
Till then, if any of you are curious, here is a link to what would be my online drawing & painting portfolio, if I had one, which includes work spanning from 2006-2010.
Now, I’m going to go sketch for the rest of the night!
Model: Amanda Li Paige
MUA: Sarah Pacheco
Assistant: Edward White
These are my favorite shots from the early morning swim shoot we did before Amanda heads back to the mainland for school. I was inspired to use sea shells as a theme from a shot in the editorial “Blue Lagoon” by photographer Nicole Bentley for Vogue Australia, but after working on the photos and picking my favorites, I realized they are also vaguely reminiscent of the work of one of my all-time favorite painters, Jia Lu, particularly her painting entitled Water.
(I also made the starfish circlet myself!)
You might also note that this is titled Fashion Friday – another effort to schedule out my posting a little bit more! We will see how long that lasts… :)
This is a re-post from 2009, but I thought it’d make a fun #ThrowbackThursday post! Here is my mom (English/Irish/Scottish/French), myself (Hapa-pride!), and my dad (Japanese) – but these are each our high school senior photos! Yes, my hair was that short when I was 16 (Senior photos were taken the summer before senior year started), and it was styled after Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2. ;)
Taken on our way down the Koko Head Crater Trail last night, the sky completely cleared up, and we stopped for some photos of the stars. ;)
Here’s an outtake from last night – Because of the streaky clouds and the obnoxious lens flaring everywhere, I can’t consider this a ‘finished’ image read for prints, but I like it because it has the Milky Way, the moon, Mars, and Saturn all in the same photo!
How I met Ace is a funny story. I had been at a going-away dinner at Buca di Beppo for a makeup artist friend along with my husband and my stylist, Tyson. During dinner, Tyson and I both noticed a handsome young waiter walk back and forth past our table. Of course, we were the most awkward we could possibly be and started eye-stalking every waiter and waitress that went past us trying to spot him again, to the point that our own table’s waitress kept stopping to ask if we needed anything. My husband was obviously the most mature one among us, and told the waitress straight up that we wanted to talk to a specific waiter. Eventually, Ace made his way to our table, and after introducing myself I asked if he was a model. “Nope,” he said.
I then asked him if he was at all interested in modeling, and when he confirmed that he was, we all exchanged information and added each other on Facebook and Instagram with plans to do a shoot soon.
Unfortunately, due to crazy schedules, “soon” turned into “a few months later”, but I decided that it was getting ridiculous and I needed to just shoot Ace, who had in the meantime been signed to Wilhelmina Hawaii on our recommendation. I wasn’t even his first shoot – he already had one under his belt as a groom for a stylized wedding shoot with Creatrix Photography!
For this shoot we had no stylist, and we had no makeup artist – the shoot was pretty much just awesome friends hanging out on the beach at sunrise, but it went better than I could have imagined, and Ace is a natural. Looking forward to working with him more often in the future!
After shooting in Waimanalo, we headed to Sandy’s to watch Ace do his thing as a professional skimboarder. Those photos will be in a later post!
Special thanks to Tyson for attempting long-distance styling advice via text message!