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Entries in photography (20)


island air

kauai boogie boarders

have you ever gazed upon the mediterranean seaside snapshots by massimo vitali and wished for a hawaii edition? luckily, la-based photographer gray malin started the new year by booking a helicopter to fly over poipu beach where he captured aerial shots of the island's turquoise blue waters dotted with happy beachgoers.

while the à la plage, à la piscine series can be found in the official online shop, for the next few days you can scoop up flash sale priced photographs on one king's lane. (fyi: you do need to register for a okl account to access the sale which ends fri, may 25th @ 5a hst.)

let's hope waikiki beach (or makaha!) is next up on gray's shot list.


photo.phile: dallas nagata white

happy monday! for today's photo.phile, i gathered up a few of the very pretty and romantic pictures from maui-raised & oahu-based photographer dallas nagata white. there is a sweet soulfulness to her photos which made me curious about the girl behind the viewfinder. and, while the island lovelies striking a pose first caught my eye, dallas's all consuming crush for photography captured my attention.

much to my delight, dallas also snaps the occasional polaroid, and, after clicking through her gallery, i discovered she has an eye for both finding and making a moment. dallas credits her yearlong gig assisting local fashion photographer daeja fallas with finetuning her camera chops, and i dare say she is quickly establishing her own style with every click and becoming quite a storyteller with her camera.

you may have caught word of her white twedding last year which set twitter hearts all a-flutter, and, while her hubby was deployed to afghanistan, dallas documented their year apart with a photo-a-day blog (the final welcome home photo, shown below, is très romantique!).

more peeks and a q+a with dallas after the jump!

message in a bottle
dallas & ed

{photo.phile notes}

what inspired you to pick up a camera and start clicking?
my dad was always a photographer, doing mostly nature shots around haleakala national park (where he worked until he retired), but he also has pretty much my entire life documented on slides, prints, and more recently, digital images. i'd used his old nikon a few times in high school for art projects, but it wasn't until my first semester at uh manoa (fall 2004) when introduction to photography was the only 100-level art class with openings that i got my own slr and fell in love with photography. that christmas, my parents got me a digital rebel, and from then on i was constantly shooting.

i'm really happy that i started out shooting film even as consumer-friendly dslrs were starting to become readily available, because using it made me both appreciate its qualities that digital can't quite replicate, and also taught me a lot about getting the best possible image in-camera. however, these days i'm very stingy with my film since processing can be so expensive, so i find myself shooting wild and free with my digitals, but more careful and considered when i am shooting film.

photography muses that spark your imagination?
too many to really name . . . i'm inspired by everyone, including classics like ansel adams and w. eugene smith, local talents like daeja fallas, to new discoveries like one love photo (thanks to your post about them)! every day i'm on my google reader scrolling through the dozens and dozens of photography blogs i'm subscribed to, soaking in all the awesome creativity.

favorite island moment captured on "film"?
i just went and looked through all my portfolio photos, and i've had so many great moments this year! some of the big ones are my military images, because as an army wife with a deployed husband, being a little more involved in the military world with my work meant so much to me. however, one of my favorite spontaneous photos has to be my rainbow wave image, taken on christmas day 2009. it was just a couple weeks after i'd met my husband, and i was back home on maui watching the surf at hookipa with my mom, and i somehow managed to catch a rainbow in the spray!

still, i must say my favorite moment is yet to come, and will be the end of my current year-long daily photo project - the homecoming of my husband from afghanistan.

any simple tricks to share on how to best capture a lovely, evocative shot?
create an image that means something to you, and don't be afraid to be whimsical. some may see things as cheesy, or overdone, but i figure some things are overdone for a reason! shallow depth of field and the golden hour (right before sunset) are always favorites. but no matter what equipment you have or what time of day it is, if it's something that touches your heart, go for it!

which camera stays close by for everyday shooting?
my g11 is always with me no matter what, but thanks to my epiphanie purse that is actually a padded camera bag, it's easy to take along my 5d mark II, no matter how heavy it is! lenses depend on where i'm going and what i'm doing, but i'll usually have at least my 50mm f1.4 on me.

pay it forward with the best photography advice shared with you:
shoot your digitals like you'd shoot film - trying to get the most image data you can. although i can definitely create images in-camera, i'm often exposing with post-processing in mind, making sure i'm getting as much information in both my shadows and highlights. and of course, always shoot raw.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
the ginger ono smoothie from lanikai juice, and spicy tuna rolls from wherever is closest!

mahalo dallas!

while her photography services are for hire, dallas is currently on hiatus to enjoy time with her hubby who just returned from overseas. until then, browse her gallery of i do's and 'ohana portraits at d'amour pacific, and click over to the online shop where you can order prints from her portfolio.


a peek inside general store

it's back to the west coast for today's mainland week discovery. i first happened across a mention of san francisco's general store in sunset magazine last fall which briefly noted shop proprietor & artist serena mitnik-miller's childhood ties to kaua'i. the carefully curated shop, which serena and hubby mason st. peter opened in early 2010, sounded like a little haven for design geeks so the mister and i made our way to its outer sunset neighborhood during our holiday getaway to the bay area.

the spare design of the shop interior combined with the handmade mix of merchandise was a pleasant antidote for my lingering winter cold. within minutes of our arrival, i was delighted that we agreed on the perfect clock (made in japan!) while i happily scooped up the elusive travel size bottle of jasmine scented hair powder along with a pair of pastel washi tape. somehow my wish list had magically manifested on the shelves within the tiny storefront . . . a very rare occurance for me.

with a few crushworthy objects left behind for another trip, i was most impressed with serena and mason's cultivated eye for thoughtfully designed goods. since we are slowly dispensing of no longer loved things in our small space, general store's wares reinforced our notion to live with less and fill our surroundings with well crafted designs that bring happiness to our day.

curious to see more?

wood stamp

i have also become quite taken with serena's artwork composed of minimalist wood stamp prints and quiet photographs of the sea. low-key and graceful reminders of keiki years spent exploring the islands and her adopted hometown of san francisco. (fyi: a current inventory list is available on request.)

for those not able to pop in and say hello, an edited selection of pieces from the general store inventory can be ordered in the online shop. and, bay area friends are advised to sign-up for the mailing list to stay posted on pop-up events and art openings hosted by the shop.

  • where: 4035 judah street, sf
  • shop hours: mon to fri, 11a to 6p & sat/sun, 10a to 6p

photo.phile: maile lani photography

their umbrella flew away

with cali being my home away from hawai'i and so many kama'aina spreading their wings to far off places, a mainland week seemed like a fine idea as 2010 began to fade and a new year glimmered on the horizon. and so, all week long i will be profiling local girls following their dreams away from the islands.

first up is new orleans-based wedding photographer maile lani who snapped this cheery beach umbrella photograph that i happily discovered during an etsy session. although her family left the islands before her first year luau, maile still embodies the sweetness of the islands and her love for toy cameras, vintage polaroids, and through the viewfinder photography made me an instant fan.

despite my already married status, i still find myself smitten with all the very lovely weddings filled with the prettiest little details. if you swoon along with me, please wander through maile's online galleries for glimpses of sweet southern i do's as well as photo souvenirs from her travels. for today, i gathered up a few of my favorites from maile's portfolio . . . all quietly dreamy and filled with romantic delight.

more peeks and a q+a with maile after the jump . . .

sarah & jeff

it's springtime in the south

{photo.phile notes}

what inspired you to pick up a camera and start clicking?
i really started getting into photography around the time i turned 14 when my family went back to hawaii (i was born there) for the summer. i remember taking this one photograph of palm tree silhouettes against this brilliant pink and purple hawaiian sunset. it sounds so silly, but at the time i was so excited by the fact that i created something that looked like a postcard that i kept on doing it.

photography muses that spark your imagination?
anthropologie catalogs! i have so many of them stacked around my house :) i love the eclectic mix of items and the way they arrange everything so perfectly. one of my favourite spreads ever was when they had their new line of purses photographed underwater. it was one of the coolest things i had ever seen!

favorite seaside moment captured on film?
i think that the one that stands out most in my mind is a polaroid i took last summer. i have a huge obsession with kites, but i had never really flown one before. so, my wonderful boyfriend got me one with these little fairies all over it. eventually, after my little kid excitement wore off, i asked my boyfriend to hold the kite so i could take a polaroid of it. as soon as i clicked the shutter a seagull flew by in the same direction my kite was flying. it's such a simple photograph but it just makes me feel happy every time i look at it.

any simple tricks to share on how to best capture a lovely lo-fi shot?
think about what you're shooting! the worst thing i ever did when learning how to use toy cameras was follow the "shoot from the hip" rule. a lo-fi camera is still a camera and if you want beautiful photographs then you have to think about how you're going to compose your images. i really believe that the magic of lo-fi photography comes from the photographer that is using the camera. as photographers we have to take our own visions and adapt them to a different formats. that is what makes a lo-fi image so beautiful :)

which camera stays close by for everyday shooting?
depending on what film i have, either my polaroid spectra pro or my holga. :)

pay it forward with the best photography advice shared with you:
i don't know if this counts as advice, but when i first started taking pictures it was a super expensive hobby. it was always such a big deal when i was allowed to shoot one roll of film and i was told to be careful and not to waste any of the photographs. now i just sort of take pictures carefully naturally because i'm so used to it. it drives me crazy that digital photography has made the "spray and pray" method so popular. i just shoot everything as if i were still paying to process the photographs!

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
jambalaya from the jambalaya shoppe, abita purple haze, and fresh louisiana strawberries.

mahalo maile!

click over to the etsy shop which is stocked with a lovely selection of prints. and, if you are planning your own i do's just know that maile accepts bookings near and far from nola.


photo.phile: one love photo

i must apologize to one and all who have been waiting for and wondering about the return of photo.phile. while peeking at all the amazing photographs shared on the interweb is a favorite diversion, time just seemed to slip away over the past few months leaving little time for clicking through the online galleries.

happily, through the instant connection of twitter, i discovered the dreamy work of one love photo just before the holidays and immediately began trading notes with heather who snaps photos side-by-side with her hubby jon (a local boy from oahu). the duo are currently based in seattle and travel back to hawaii often to visit jon's 'ohana, and caught my eye with a lovely roundup of images captured during andy irons' memorial in hanalei.

the vintage vignettes are absolutely swoon-worthy and have become a sweet reminder to shoot more with my diana camera and savor its lo-fi possibilities. although weddings and portraits are heather and jon's bread and butter (and quite gorgeous, may i say), it's easy to get lost in their snapshots of the islands.

in fact, i insist.

{photo.phile notes}

what inspired you to pick up a camera and start clicking?
heather has always been into photography, it took me about 10 years until i decided to give it a whirl. mainly i missed heather on the weekends while she was off shooting weddings and thought she could use the help. i planned to go along to the weddings as her "assistant" but i got bored in a hurry. i had to pick up one of her cameras and start shooting. i don't have any formal training so i have learned everything by experimenting. i am never afraid to try something, even when i am told it won't work. i am most inspired to shoot when i am using my homemade lenses with our digital SLR camera.

photography muses that spark your imagination?
keith carter and sally mann. recently, we've been enjoying the beautiful set of images by john wehrheim in the book titled taylor camp. we came across the book while over on kauai, the b&w photographs of the hippie camp on the north shore in the 60's makes me wish i could time travel and be a hippie with a treehouse.

favorite island moment captured on "film"?
the andy irons' memorial on kauai was moving beyond words. it was an honor to capture the spirit of community on the beach in hanalei that day. we also love capturing friends and family at weddings! at one of our most recent weddings on oahu, we were so excited to photograph the couple's little dog named bear, who was also their ring bearer. there was so much love all around that day.

any simple tricks to share on how to best capture a lovely in-the-moment shot?
learn your camera's settings well, really well. shoot in manual mode ALWAYS.

which camera stays close by for everyday shooting?
our canon 5dmkII with a homemade tilt shift lens, it's not pretty but it makes beautiful landscape shots and portraits. for the beach, i love throwing our bright orange blackbird plastic toy camera in our bag.

pay it forward with the best photography advice shared with you:
you have to learn the rules before you can break them, then bend them often.

local delights that are a must in your beach picnic basket?
1st off we love using the reusable grocery bags from foodland as our picnic basket, preferably the one with the musubi illustration on the front. add some real musubi and sunblock inside and we are ready to go.

*(if shave ice didn't melt, it would be in there as well, with a snow cap). 

mahalo heather and jon!

more lovely moments are shared on the one love photo blog with peeks from the portfolio mingling with day-to-day snapshots. and, if you will be exchanging i do's this year, just know that h+j are waiving their travel fee to hawaii through all of 2011!