Stat Counter

A Valley Isle reportage. Shoot first, write later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Boulder Bound - A One Way Trip

Never say never, but for the foreseeable future, I will be in Boulder, CO!  Trading the mountains for the ocean.  It's been a great ride... You can view my website here.

A BIG mahalo to everyone who visited Maui Observer and especially the regulars.  You know who you are!

Signing off for now,


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Valley Fire Aftermath

There was a 25 acre brushfire on Sunday night in Happy Valley - a little enclave just next to Wailuku.  The blaze was believed to be caused by fireworks.  I cruised up there today to see what I could and noticed that life has pretty much gone back to normal; however, the infrastructure of the firefighting was still setup from the weekend.  After looking at the photos, I can't believe how close the fire came to engulfing homes.

What was interesting to observe was the fact that there was hardly anyone around.  Almost like a post-apocalyptic scene, trucks, beds, and food were present, just not the people!

Firefighter basecamp

Homes were spared

Note the firefighter patrolling on the ridge

Monday, July 12, 2010

Photographer Daniel Honma

When I was at the O-Bon festival over the weekend (see previous post), I ran into a local photographer named Daniel Honma.  What struck me about him was his camera - an old Japanese large format film camera.  In this day and age of near instant digital production, I was perplexed and very interested in Daniel's system.  He has to set up each shot meticulously and he doesn't really know what he'll get until he develops the film.  However, the images he produces using his methods are nothing short of extraordinary.  

The "problem" with digital SLR's today is that everyone is using them.  Photography is now the realm of the layman due to the ease of using digital.  I can literally shoot, edit, process and print a photo in less than 4 minutes using my camera, laptop, software, and printer.  So, any Joe with a modern Nikon or Canon DSLR, no matter how advanced or expensive, produces images that look similar due to shared technology.  Some images from the better DSLR's will look sharper or perform better in low light, but still, the essence of the image is pure Japanese DSLR.

This is not the case with Daniel's images.  Daniel has a dedicated darkroom in his basement and his work  epitomizes the "art" of photography.  You can see some of his work herehere, and here.  I snapped Daniel during the festival over the course of the evening.  

Daniel, do you have a website in which to showcase your work?  I saw your images on display at the Paia Tattoo Parlor and in the Maui Weekly, many of which I can't find on the web, and I thought they were unique and thought provoking.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

O-Bon Festival

It's summer in Hawaii, which means it's bon festival time at all the hongwanji temples (jodo buddhism) around the state.  These lantern festivals honor the spirits of departed ancestors, and it is believed these spirits come to visit their living relatives during the summer months.

I went to an O-Bon festival this weekend at the Paia Mantokuji Soto Zen temple.  This was my second one, and all the familiar sights, smells, and sounds flooded the air as people from all over the island came to participate.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Paia Bob

Sometimes finding the best opportunities for photos comes off the beaten path.  While patrolling in Paia, I decided on instinct to meander off of Hana Highway and down one of the side streets into a mini residential subdivision.  I ran into a well known Paia personality named Paia Bob.   A 22-year resident of Maui, Bob is an outspoken Hawaiian rights activist with often controversial points of view.  You can find his videos on YouTube here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Walking Da Docks

Lahaina harbor is festooned with activity boats which provide entertainment ranging from diving and snorkeling, to submarine tours and deep sea fishing.  Tourists are constantly coming and going - people just trying to enjoy themselves.  A great day for a visit to the west side of Maui.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do I Have To Eat?

I love pizza, but clearly this little guy is more interested in his toy vehicles.  I'm passing by Flatbread Co. in Paia at dusk.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Endangered Species

Trucks are usually meticulously cared after in Maui, and the vehicles certainly serve to project the feelings and personalities of their owners through decals, stickers, and photos.

What does it exactly mean to be local born?  A person born in Hawaii by local parents?  Hawaiian by blood?  Does the sticker insinuate that most residents in Hawaii actually come here from somewhere else?  

I do understand the Hawaiian by blood thing being bred out slowly but surely.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Night Stars

As the night falls on the North Shore of Maui, the first thing I see is the planet Venus.

To see other night stars in the area, one just needs to head to Charley's in Paia.  Here you will find a healthy dose of North Shore nightlife as well as live bands.  Willy Nelson comes here.  

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ride 'Em Cowboy

Over the Fourth of July weekend, I experienced the 55th Annual Makawao Rodeo - Hawaii's largest.  Competitors and spectators from all over the state converged at the Oskie Rice arena for 4 days of festivities.  It was my first time here, and I was surprised yet again at the diversity present on Maui.

For me, it was an eye-opener to be exposed to real Hawaiian cowboys from working ranches, such as Ulupalakua Ranch and Haleakala Ranch.  I am on Maui right?  Simply surrounded by names such as Circle (insert random letter) or the aroma of fresh farm animal manure made me realize and appreciate the Valley Isle all that much more - so much going on for a 750 square mile volcanic rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What A Ham

I don't know what my obsession is with cats lately, but here's a series of shots of my sister's cat Francis, named after the musician Francis Black.  He has the most interesting facial expressions I've ever seen on a feline.  Perhaps he drank the stuff out of the brown bottle sitting next to him...