My Favorite Photowalk Pics
These are my favorite photowalk pics from the 2012 Worldwide Photowalk. This one was taken with my phone, but I still liked how it came out. There were around 40 photographers in this group, all aiming to take a shot that would impress the rest of the world. Inside, I think we were all thinking “I hope I don’t draw a blank!”
Usually, photography, to me is a solitary endeavor, the individual and the world around him or her. I know I’m horrible to travel with because when something looks interesting, I’ve got to stop and shoot it. I spend the rest of the time trying to catch up with my wife and kids. When I’m shooting a wedding or portrait, although it is a collaboration, there is a “director” element that sets the photographer apart. In the workshop environment, often you’ll see photographers taking the same shot from the same location. To me they look like the photographic pool at the Superbowl. My goal as I set out on Saturday, was to try to come up with something different from everyone else and something that I could be proud of.
When I was first learning wedding photography I went to a couple of Maui Professional Photographer meetings. Nice guys, sharing their work, constuctive criticism and lots of socializing. Outside the meeting, dog-eat-dog competition. Who charges the most, who wins the awards and who takes the best pictures. The second meeting I attended, I shared a few shots from my first wedding. They called me out on them, because they were all soft-focus. I all wedding photos had soft focus. Lesson learned.
Photography is usually “quietly” competitive. We compete with each other to get the best shot. Mostly though, we compete with ourselves. We have to constantly adjust our senses, keep up with technology and study our craft. Can I shoot this scene before me better now than I did a year ago?
When I arrived at the Photowalk, I quickly sought out the restroom, and right in front of it was this Jackson Chameleon. There were 3 or 4 photographers capturing the same creature. Keep moving.
Randy Jay Braun, is the man, the myth, and Hawaii’s photographer. This was the most popular image I took. Randy is a terrific photographer, a leader of workshops and probably half of the photographers at the walk had taken a class from him. Also, in attendance, was Mike Neal, of Neal Studios. When you see a photo of “Jaws,” or “Peahi” as locals call it, it’s probably his. And photography is not his only thing, he is multi-artistically gifted.
The first thing that caught my eye walking around were Tim Garcia’s wood sculptures. Not that I have such keen powers of observation, but more because they are standing tall in front of the tasting room at Tedeschi Winery. Throughout the day, I returned here to get different light on this fascinating sculptures.
While I loved these flowers, on closer inspection, I felt there wasn’t quite enough depth of field on the closer bunch, but I liked the out-of-focus bokeh in the back. Something to work on next time, but for now, I’m suffering from photographer’s block.
I headed over to the Ulapalakua Ranch store, where they have these characters sitting around on the porch. I had photographed those before, but with my phone, I was able to get an angle that I hadn’t taken. Still, to end up with a shot that anyone could take wasn’t good enough.
This horse was quite a poser. It would eat some grass and then put its head up for a short time. I kept moving. Starting to panic now, couldn’t find a unique shot.
I saw a photographer heading back towards the store, so I walked up the road to see what was there. I shot a few pictures of a horse in a field, but there was unsightly junk in the field, so I moved to this water tank. Ah, my comfort zone, I love rust and corrosion. This tank had it in spades. It was sitting on the other side of the fence, but I could climb up to the fence and get pretty close. With my phone, I captured the first image, where you can tell where it is and what it is. I’d also brought my 70-200 zoom for my camera which allowed me to get abstract, blocking any hint of what exactly the water tank was. Zooming in close, I was just looking for interesting patterns. I liked the way the shadow from the pipe cut across the tank.
When I stepped back, I noticed the tree. The first picture is normal, but when rendered with HDR, the color and patterns of the branches popped, for me anyway. Saved. I had found my shot.
Then the icing on the Photowalk cake occurred. I heard the roar of Harley’s coming up the mountain. I had a pretty good position to shoot them as they came in. The bearded-biker seemed to be the baddest dude in six states, but when I met him later by the store, he gladly let me take another shot. It’s really 50-50 when you ask people and of course their expression changes. I’ve had dog-owners complain when I took a shot without asking. It helps to act like a reporter and just keep shooting sometimes.
After they went by I headed up to the Ulapalakula Ranch Store, where the motorcycles were parked in front. Classic cars and motorcycles are something I enjoy shooting and they’re very popular with fans on Instagram. I talked to the leader of the ride and he told me they had 150 riders on Maui for a 3-day ride. On my Facebook page I posted what I had so they could share them. The details of these bikes were attractive to me. Harley is known for the add-ons you can apply to customize your bike.
Then it was time to eat and as I’m walking in, I spotted this girl with a popsicle sitting in a rocking chair. The popsicle juice was dripping everywhere. I took a few shots of her, but I think this was another of my favorite photowalk pics.
This was my first time competing, I mean “attending” the Worldwide Photowalk. Maybe next year, I’ll relax and just “talk story.”