The excitement of photojournalism is to capture and document candid moments of life and human nature, truthfully and honestly. When done well, photography can evoke a powerful emotional response and dialogue, make cultural norms and traditions relatable to a broader audience, and provide a visual expression of social commentary (whether positive or negative). Looking through the lens should always result in seeing life with greater clarity, and helping others to do the same.
As with street photography, photojournalism cannot be manufactured or constructed. It must be organic. Always have your camera around your neck or over your shoulder. Get outside and walk around. Meet people; talk to strangers, ask questions. Be inquisitive, be observant, and be ready, always. You may be surprised to find how many fascinating narratives can be uncovered from a healthy dose of genuine curiosity and kindness. The stories relayed, and accompanying emotions and dialogue, are often the best photographic frame.
Truku Weave Technique
An aboriginal elder passes down her technique for the Truku weave, used in making blankets and clothing. Hualien, Taiwan. 2015.
At an evening outdoor jazz venue, the lights reflect off the percussionist as he stays focused on the medley and improv of his colleagues. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Piano player stays in the shadows as he follows the jazz medley of his fellow musicians. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Clean Hands and a Pure Heart
A temple assistant dips his hands in the purifying holy waters as he waits the conclusion of a ceremony. Bali, Indonesia. 2018.
A common scene in Bali, a local farmer tends to his rice field outside of his home in the countryside. Bali, Indonesia. 2018.
A Muslim woman pauses in her washing duties to observe her street surroundings. Lubuklinggau, Indonesia. 2018.
A youngster's diligent search for sea life amongst the tide pools draws him close to the ocean's rocky edge, and into the splash zone. Suddenly, and with force, a mighty wave greets him. Tide Pools at Sandy's Beach. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
A Backyard Volley
Some teenagers in Phnom Penh convert the backyard of their parent's workshop into a volleyball court for some late afternoon exercise and time with friends. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 2016.
Petite Prep Cook
A small girl acts as de facto prep cook for the family restaurant in rural Cambodia. The restaurant operates on a chicken farm, with outdoor prep area, grill, and stone oven. It's menu is simple: chicken, grilled or baked. And it is delicious. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
In Cambodia, football is King: everywhere, all the time. Here, children in rural Cambodia take a break from classes to enjoy the morning and play a game of football in the schoolyard. Cambodia, 2016.
Street photography will make anyone a better photographer. On the street, everything moves at a rapid pace. Your full attention and focus is a prerequisite. There are stories on every corner, in every alley, at every food stall. They happen in a moment. On most occasions, we pass them by without notice or thought. We are too busy; we are late; we just don't really care. Street photography reminds us to stop and observe, to engage with the world around us.
Street photography engages you with society. It forces you to ask questions about culture; assess and develop paradigms and worldviews. It makes you care. To some extent, it makes you uncomfortable, or at least it should. Oftentimes, a particular moment has only a second or two to capture. No time to tinker with settings, grab a tripod, or frame perfectly. You have to be ready, always. Good street photography requires [sometimes awkward] dialogue with strangers and shooting the same streets again and again.
Above all, street photography makes you better understand and appreciate your neighborhood. It introduces and connects you to the people who live and work around you. Walk, whenever possible - walk to the farmer's market, to the pub, or to the mall. Walk or take public transportation to work. Always have your camera around your neck or over your shoulder, and always be ready to have a conversation. The best shots often start there...
Slack Key by the Sea
As the afternoon turns to evening, a man finds a comfortable spot on a rock wall by the ocean to play a few Hawaiian slack key tunes. The waves and ocean spray do not appear to interrupt his medley. Kaka'ako Waterfront Park. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Search for Wisdom
A man settles into his usual spot on a street corner in Chinatown and reads the morning paper. Homeless Series. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Life on the Street
Two men take a break for a cigarette and a chat while a nearby puppy surveys the activities on the street in a rural district outside of Phnom Penh. Cambodia, 2016.
Grease, Grime and a Grin
Two men take a brief break from their mechanical work to share a cigarette and a smile. Sumatra, Indonesia. 2018.
No toys? No problem! Two tiny companions pass the time with the use of their imagination in a game of zoo animals on the streets of Phnom Pehn while their parents operate a nearby food cart. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 2016.
Two girls find ways to pass the time in an ally by their house. Lubuklinggau, Indonesia. 2018.
A Man and His Cart
This man would sit out by my flat every day and collect plastics and recyclables. I still vividly recall his expression when I brought to him a bag full of glass bottles stored up from several months of consumption. The sheer delight was quite a memory and a reminder to value all that we have in life. Shanghai, China. 2009.
Dolor and Roman Meal
A woman offers a smile as she packages her produce to sell at the local market in Lubuklinggau. Sumatra, Indonesia. 2018.
A few friends squeeze into a doorway in Kaka'ako in their subconscious attempt at "self-storage." Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
As stated earlier, street photography reminds us to stop and observe, to engage with the world around us. It forces you to ask questions about culture; assess and develop paradigms and worldviews. It makes you care.
Street portraiture is an extension of street photography. It makes you care … about people.
At its best, street portraiture retains the spontaneity and authenticity of street photography while capturing the essence of the individual and moment. A face can evoke a powerful emotional response; it can tell a thousand stories. No special lighting, no advanced direction, no hired models. Simply candid moments on the street combined with the character and intrigue of a face.
Street portraiture challenges us to recognize inequality, social injustice, and other difficult circumstances on an individual level. A concept is easy to ignore; a face is not. Portraits can remind us that our response to the world and its citizens must overflow with grace, generosity and love. Portraits also simultaneously showcase the beauty, joy, adventure, and grit that are inherent in the human spirit.
Street portraiture reminds us all that there is tremendous diversity in our world. Approached with respect and openness, there is much we can learn from those around us.
Travel is oftentimes the manifestation of an adventurous curiosity and diligent pursuit of knowledge and new experiences. Travel affords an immersion in the unfamiliar. Most effective when paired with respect, grace, and openness, travel provides unparalleled opportunity to experience different people, cultures, languages, cuisine, and history. A camera, naturally, should always be close by.
Travel photography combines street and photojournalism components in an attempt to capture through the lens the historical and cultural narratives, worldviews, and relationships gained when traveling abroad.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
As the sun rises, beautiful colors paint the sky above Angkor's most famous temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
Gazing at Lover's Bridge
A lonely boy sits on his boat and gazes toward Lovers' Bridge at Fisherman's Warf, Danshui, Taiwan. 2016.
Ancient Place of Meditation
A monk meditates and offers blessings (for a fee, of course) at Angkor Wat. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
Sunrise Catch of the Day
A fisherman ushers in the new day with his nets in the hope of securing a good catch to sell at the nearby market. Bali, Indonesia. 2018.
Taiwanese Countryside by Train
On the train to Hualien, Taiwan. 2015.
Moment of Reflection
Traveling about the ancient city and its temples inspires one to reflect on many things, from religion and philosophy, to culture, architecture, and technology. This is a lighthearted literal manifestation of a Moment of Reflection at Angkor. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
Fusion of nature and architecture. An old warehouse once belonging to Tait & Co. Merchant House has been overtaken by large banyan trees. Anping Tree House, Tainan, Taiwan. 2015.
Ancient corridor through Angkor. Siem Reap, 2016.
Portrait of a Monkey
Baby monkey, cautious of the stranger, sits close by to mom. Too shy for a banana, but he stayed still long enough for a portrait. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Sun bursts through at ancient Angkor Wat. Looks like it will be a great day. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
The Singapore skyline is bright, but my prospects still grim. I look over the bay, waiting for her. Last we met, she put five slugs in me; one metal, and the others, bourbon. She was the last one standing that night. But tonight is a new night, and I'm on my feet again. And despite her cruelty, she is the remaining clue in a mystery still eluding me. Morning approaches, but she will come; she has to. That's the kind of Dame she is. And when she does, I'll have my answers...
Bayon's Many Faces
The Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat is a richly decorated temple built in the late Twelfth century for King Jayavarman VII. One of its most distinctive features are the many stone faces that watch over and protect the temple. Siem Reap, Cambodia. 2016.
E Ola Pono Me Ke Akua. E Ola Pono Me Ke Kanaka. E Ola Pono Me Ka ‘Āina A Me Ke Kai.
Live righteous with God. Live righteous with people. Live righteous with the land and sea.
In Hawaii, the ocean is a part of who we are, and how we live. The ocean is majestic, mysterious and, at times, seemingly paradoxical. It is serene and still, yet also violent and aggressive. It is calm yet powerful. It invites adventure, but not without caution and respect. It is vast. It is humbling. It is exciting. If you spend significant time near or in the ocean, you cannot help but be changed by it. In most cases, for the better.
The ocean places us in a vibrant community and culture. My Hawaii photography is a narrative that explores this wonderful community and culture, and the ocean that brings it together.
A surfer maneuvers his way up the rocky coastline and out of the surf as the sun sets in Honolulu. August 2017.
With early morning painted colors and Mānana Island on its horizon, it is no wonder that Waimanalo is famous for its sunrise.
Kīlauea Breathes Fire
61G lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō makes its way over the Pulama Pali on its way to the sea. Kalapana, Big Island of Hawaii. 2016.
Leap of Faith
A Surfer demonstrates the way to jump in while successfully avoiding the rocky coast. Beyond, the waves await. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
A hiker traverses his way to the summit of Haleakalā, Maui’s highest peak, for a glimpse of its iconic sunrise. Maui, May 2018.
Which Way is Up?
A surfer goes vertical in the surf at Point Panic. Does he land it? ... Kaka'ako Waterfront Park, Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Dreams Come True in Blue Hawaii
Night and you, and Blue Hawaii [proper attribution to the King]. Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Kamehameha the Great
In June of each year, the statute of King Kamehameha I, Hawaii's greatest monarch, is decorated with leis outside Ali‘iolani Hale in Honolulu. Honolulu, 2017.
As sunset paints the sky with golden colors, a couple snaps a selfie to capture Diamond Head, one of Hawaii's most recognizable landmarks.
Leap of Faith, Part Deux
A surfer navigates down the rocks to ocean's edge and makes an airborne entrance as she begins her evening surf session with the sea. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
A burst of light falls upon the tide pools near Makapuu as the sun rises on a new day. April 2018.
Three [Planetary] Amigos
Above the clouds at nearly 14,000 feet, the summit of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island of Hawaii, is the best location in the world for high powered telescopes and observing the night sky. On this evening, three amigos -- Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter -- can be seen together above the Keck observatory as the sun sets. Taken from the observation deck of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. Mauna Kea, Big Island of Hawaii. 2016.
Motor and Surf
When surf culture exploded on the mainstream in the 1960s, the Volkswagen Type 2 Bus found perfected purpose in the transport of seafaring thrill seekers and their trustworthy surfboards. An icon of Hawaiian surf culture was born. Nearly 60 years later, with colorful rusted character, these machines still roll in style on Hawaii's shores. February, 2018.
Blue Skies and Painted Surf
Waimanalo Beach wide angle with Rabbit Island. Waimanalo, Hawaii. 2017.
Sunrise Surf Session
A surfer rips in an early morning session despite the smaller surf at Point Panic, Kaka'ako Waterfront Park. Honolulu, Hawaii. 2016.
Valley of the Temples, Kaneohe, Hawaii. 2016.
Food and wine is fascinating. It is creative, global and diverse. It is scientific and complex. It invites community and shapes culture. There is always more to learn, more to experience, more to share.
Food permeates all aspects of life. At its core, it is an expression of individual and cultural identity: it evidences who we are, from where we come, and the road we have traveled. Its narrative is beautifully woven in family kitchens, farmer's markets, restaurants and street stalls, where culture and food collide in a wonderful accord of flavor, vibrancy and excitement. At its best, food photography carries you on a salivating journey of senses and nostalgia. It teaches you about food and, more importantly, the extraordinary cultures behind it.
March of the Meringue
Macarons are sweet meringue-based cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, granulated and powdered sugar, and food coloring (spoiler alert: turquoise and mauve are not natural colors). Ganache, buttercream or fruit curd is then sandwiched between the two cookies for a crunchy exterior and a delicate interior with a soft, chewy conclusion.
Colorful Shave Ice
Shave ice: an icon of Hawaiiana. A boy allows a photo of his shave ice, which is no small price to pay considering the speed in which it is melting on him. Waimanalo, Hawaii. 2016.
A female culinary cast prepares delicious Vietnamese-inspired dishes for hungry patrons as evening descends in Waikiki. November 2017.
An employee carefully rolls out pizza dough in preparation for a busy Saturday evening at Brick Fire Tavern in Honolulu's Chinatown District. March 2018.
A gentle pour of junmai ginjo, surrounded by foliage, flowing water and friendship. The serenity of the moment is refreshing and reflective. Honolulu 2017.
Satay's Rigid Rotations
A Balinese cook carefully rotates his chicken satay skewers to ensure they are evenly charred. Bali, Indonesia, 2018.
A child's plea and eggnog bribe for Santa to visit the topical Pacific shores. Honolulu, Christmas 2017.
The Gritty Side of Food
A fishmonger's block at a street market in Sumatra is a vivid reminder that not all meals are destined for the gourmet plate. Food often reflects a wide spectrum of class and status in society. Lubuklinggau, Indonesia, 2018.
A Sip and a Scribble
Have your pen handy; wine seminars at the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival afforded extraordinarily useful information made pertinent through the comparative tasting experience. Inebriated sensory analysis, the best method of education. Honolulu, 2017.
The master chef meticulously places the finishing garnishes on his dish. Honolulu, 2017.
Cauldron of Intrigue
A chef stirs the cauldron of intrigue at the latest Honolulu installment of Eat Think Drink, a local event that emphasizes sustainable agricultural and food practices. January, 2018.
Gummies gather for the heavy metal brew showdown. No room in the bowl? A few gummies must get creative. Halloween, 2017.