Year in Review

While my career has allowed me to travel extensively, some of this year’s greatest adventures and discoveries came from unexpected places and surprisingly simple moments.

I realized a lifelong dream when I visited Switzerland this past June. One of my favorite afternoons was spent enjoying panoramic views of the Swiss Alps from a restaurant on Mt. Riggi. I made only a few photographs in the bright midday sun, but savored the witty banter between the staff and intimate ambience as inspiration for future creations.

This embodied a theme for 2016 - shoot less, process more. Aside from my trip to Switzerland, much of my time was consumed with remodeling my first home and training for triathlons. Over the course of 2016, I competed in four triathlons and eight races in total. My disciplined training regime left little time or energy for shooting, but I found it lent a new strength to my creative work flow. Each hour had value, every time block for creation had a purpose. While I couldn’t shoot as often, I found the discipline to sit down and begin scanning and processing long forgotten slides from years ago.

My motivation for processing these slides was also driven by the purchase of my first home – a four bedroom house overlooking expansive views of Kahala. It became a blank canvas for my creation, and I spent eight months stripping the house down to the basic framework and remodeling every detail from cabinets to coat hangers.

For the first time, I had a space where I felt inspired to hang my own work, and I was driven to create pieces that spoke to me on a personal level. As I processed a waterfall image I shot over three years ago in Iceland, a few sheep grazing along the cliffside caught my eye. In color they were barely noticeable, but when I converted the frame to black and white and dropped the exposure, the sheep found their feet as a striking accent. While much of my gallery features bright, cheerful photos, there was a compelling beauty in the dark mood this process evoked. It became one of my favorite images from the whole Iceland trip.

In turn, decorating my own walls allowed me to experience firsthand how an image could transform the environment and affect my mood. I was inspired by the new black and white processing, and began to expand my gallery images to embrace a complex spectrum of human emotions.

In the coming year, I’m looking forward to further developing this process with a new collection of black and white waterfall images. I’ll also be training for my first Ironman in April, and preparing to hopefully qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2018. My travels will take me through Montana and the East coast, and possibly even Antarctica.

I’m also planning a solo road trip to explore and get back to the roots where my photography all began. I’m excited to explore with fresh eyes, and let my shooting take a backseat to purposeful process and creation.

The kitchen the way it stood the first day I received the keys.  

 First day of demolition.  First things first, removing the cancec ceiling!  

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Approximately one month into renovations.  A new ceiling with recessed lights, new door, added vent hood and the quartz counters are about to be installed. 

The original hardwood was in terrible shape.  Since I have two dogs and live a very active lifestyle, I went with a lighter oak tone flooring that is very resilient to water, sand, and dirt.  

Six months into renovations the big changes came.  I busted out the back wall to open up to a 300 sqft lanai that overlooks Kahala.  This wall will feature four, six-foot glass sliding doors.  

My kitchen almost complete, just a few finishing touches needed. 

My kitchen after eight months of renovations.  I chose every detail very carefully.  From the oil rubbed bronze pulls and handles, to the Greek Villa tone paint.

Even on stormy days, the view is beautiful.  

Charles and Oliver love the lanai.  

The Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland.  Originally shot on color slide film, I converted it to B&W after noticing how much the sheep stood out on the cliff.  

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First olympic distance triathlon.  

Xterra 10k Trail Run.

Switzerland and Lake Cuomo

In June I made my first trip to Switzerland, photographing the swiss alps has always been a dream of mine.  The flight is fairly easy from LAX, twelve hours non-stop.  I flew Swiss-Air, which was like flying in a big swiss army knife. Every nook and cranny seemed to have a purpose.

Once I landed it Zurich, I had a short drive to Lucerne. After check in, this was my immediate view! 

This is the view from my room at Hotel Schweizerhof. Since they opened in 1845, the original architecture and design have remained the same.  

Another view from my room.  Every morning I would sit on my little balcony, sip on expresso, and watch the morning commuters.  

The morning after I arrived, I took a cable car to the top of Mt. Pilatus.  You couldn't ask for a better view. 

I couldn't help but notice how close this church was to the ledge!

If you look closely, you can see hiking trails.  I can't wait to come back and hike around Switzerland.  

My guide wanted to show me her friends house, her view was stunning! 

The village of Vitznau sits at the base of Mt. Rigi with beautiful views of Lake Lucerne.  

Instead of sitting in traffic back to Lucerne from Vitznau, I took the ferry back to the city.

Another lakeside Village on the way to Brienz.

Behind Geissback Falls.  

Front view of Geissback Falls.

I visited a swiss family owned farm, the swiss love their dairy! 

Everyday at 2:00PM the cows are free to roam.  

A swiss farmer and his collie. 

The chapel bridge in Lucerne.  

Swans were a gift to Lucerne from Louis the Great.

Alpaca's on the way to visit the cheese man (as my guide called him). 

The cheese man.  

Arrived at the Villa d"Este in Lake Cuomo via train from Lucerne.

Villa d'Este was built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio.

More marble at Villa D'Este

The grounds at Villa D'Este are perfectly manicured. 

Villa D'Este Alfa Romero.

Tensions were high this week in Europe.  

Private tour of La Scala Opera House.

Some of the original decor is still preserved.

Musicians getting ready for a German opera.  

A Rolls-Royce used as a prop on the backstage of La Scala. 

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Thank you for following along with me on my travels.  Twenty-sixteen will be another exciting year for me with new endeavors and adventures to new locations.  I appreciate the continued support! 

 

Aina Imagery Tokyo Exhibit

October was a huge milestone in my career.  I had my first international exhibit in Tokyo.  The exhibit was at the Fuji Film Photo Salon in Roppongi.  

Fuji Film was very accommodating; I didn't have to lift a finger! Set up was a day before the exhibit and within one hour the exhibit was completely ready to go.  

A shot of the interior of the booth.  Hawaii was the theme for the exhibit, all of the images were taken on Fuji Film Velvia 50.  The film is known for its superb vibrancy and clarity.  

First Day of the Exhibit.

Even though I'm not fond of cities and night life, I found Roppongi quite enjoyable to walk around.  The area had a very modern and clean aesthetic.

Like something out of the Jetson's! 

Just a short walk from the exhibit was a fantastic little sushi bar inside the Ritz Carlton.  

The Otoro was the best I've had, at $24.95 a piece it better be! 

A shot of my Pumpkin cheesecake and ice latte, typical tourist.

Evening glow at the FujiFilm Square.

A common scene from my walk back to my hotel from Fuji Film Square.

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Halfway through the week I needed to get out and do a little exploring.  So I spent a few hours at the Mori Art Center.  

An exhibit of drawings and paintings done by Vietnamese soldiers.

Thousands of photographs of families that were separated/killed during Vietnam. 

You can visit the very top of Mori Art Center for panorama views of Tokyo. 

One of my favorite places to go in Ginza for lunch, Kaika Teppanyaki!  

Japanese A5 Waygu.

The lobster came to the grill halved and still alive.  

Simple and tasty.

The last day of the exhibit I got a very special gift from the musician Koshi Inaba.  He visited my gallery in Hawaii Kai and fell in love with a few of my pieces. 

My only free day I ventured out of Tokyo and took the Shinkansen to Hakone.  

With only 7 minutes to clean the train, these ladies are always hustling around.  

After being in Tokyo for ten days, I greeted the small town with open arms.  

This winding little road was something like the Road to Hana on Maui.  

The escalator down to the Hakone Open Air Museum. 

Fresh air and beautiful sculptures.  

This made me feel like I was in the Amazon.

Floating Orb.

I was too old to play on the jungle gym, but that didn't stop me from taking photos of it.  

Next stop was the Hakone Shrine. Unfortunately, I came five minutes after they closed.  

The Hakone shrine is only a 5-minute walk to Lake Ashinoko and I was there just in time for sunset.  Sugoi! 

The fisherman is wrapping it up for the day, yes that's a pirate ship in the background.

A complete 360 from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Completed the day with a very tasty bowl of ramen From Fu-Unji.  This place was so popular, and it's only a few steps from the Shinjuku station.  

On my last day, I went to the IMA Design Center in Roppongi.  I highly suggest giving this place a look.  One of the buyers visited my exhibit and was interested in carrying my book in the bookstore pictured below.  

I could spend days in this store.

The bottom floor of IMA, I loved the look of the frosted plexiglass on this staircase. 

The exhibit was a huge success.  I would like to thank everybody that stopped by and all the amazing people that made the exhibit possible.  I look forward to future exhibitions of my work in Japan and exploring more of the beautiful country.  Thank you for the continued support.