Author Archive

A Life Less Ordinary

I like a mood to fit a style and an image to translate a message. Working underwater brings a quiteness to a photo, you have to add dramatic elements to bring a voice to photos. Maui has breathtakingly clear water but there is only one beach on the island that has a beautiful tan sandy bottom… Makena Beach on the south-side of the island.

I don’t wear women’s clothing but I was able to pick an ensemble that fit my model’s look and attitude. I kept thinking “Nico” from Velvet Underground and the work she did with Warhol in the 70’s. I needed the pictures to scream “STYLE” but remaining quite with a devoid of emotion. I think we did a great job and I’m happy to introduce Willie Kennedy to an ocean that is as beautiful as she is, Thank you Willa.

I have diluted the color on some of these images to fit the era

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I don’t claim to be an “on-land” photographer but I wanted this shoot to tell a story. So we documented her journey to the sea

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The umbrella was a fantastic addition to the shoot but it has not easy to maneuver. It also only lasted for 30 minutes

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I’ve been know to edit out tattoos from photos but this one was poignant and actually added to the shoot

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This photos tone may be distracting from the rest of the shoot but the bubbles and the way she is slightly holding down her dress need to be cooled… these accidental test shoot always seem to yield at least one breathtaking image. As the clouds came I needed to adjust my aperture and was just asking my model to stay still so I could adjust color.

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As these types of photo-shoots do not necessarily fit my moniker “The Surfing Photog” they sometimes are more rewarding. I couldn’t ask for better photos or a better model. MAHALO


Trusting Ablitity

Having the ability isn’t enough, it’s knowing when something goes wrong you have the skills to protect yourself. I know that shooting fisheye in the pit at Honolua Bay is the right lens but doing so leaves you exposed if an outside set comes rolling thru.  I got a bunch of fantastic shots yesterday but what I’m most proud of was when I got caught inside and wave after wave (maybe 6?) keep sending me deeper into this torrid mass of white water, that I was able to rise above. Having only a few seconds to gasp for air before the next wave hits you is a strange feeling but freaking-out is what gets your hurt. It’s a helpless feeling knowing that you are not strong enough to get yourself out of this situation, you need to stop fighting and let the current push you out of the impact zone.

What a rush…Mahalo for visiting my site

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I have a bunch more photos, if you don’t see your wave please email me


The Lefts at “RIGHTS”

If you have never been to the North Shore of Maui you might be a little confused about where to tell your friends you are going surfing. Where I come from in NY a beach and the wave are usually called the same thing for miles of coast line. At Ho’okipa Beach Park a quarter mile of sand and reef have a minimum of three names ( people would argue there are many more little breaks within this stretch ) Pavilions (pavils), Middles and Rights. I surf goofy-foot-ed ( right foot forward ) and I have a special love for going left at the “Rights” ( which is at the left end or westend of the beach park ( confusing…).

I have been told this section of wave is a waste of time because

{A} It is a heavy drop into shallow reef

{B} a solid wave sends you into a sea of white water from Middles, which is a pain in the ass to paddle back thru, 10-15 min paddle battle

{C} it will never be a long ride and most of the time you are racing to make the section.

That being said, I STILL LOVE THIS WAVE. It’s peaky, fast and no-body likes it, which means I don’t have to fight anyone for this wave. I watched on the beach for 30 minutes for the right lighting and could see this guy killing the Lefts at Rights the whole time. I grab my camera and basically was this guys personally photographer for 90 minutes. So besides a few rights at Rights that rolled my way shallow this is a blog post about TOSH PEILA @TOSH_PELIA

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I was soooo bummed this shot came out blurry, with a flash you have the tendency to focus on the spray of water because the illuminated water is the closest focal point.

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If you were wondering if Tosh was a good person? here he is ducking his head down and paddling so he didn’t block my shot. That’s why Tosh gets all his shots for free any day of the week.

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All night long

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Here are just a bunch of shots I really liked the lighting on…

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Think this was the only other person that caught a solid Left the whole time I was out.

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Fun Day @ the Bay

I never claimed to be a local in Hawaii, even though I call this place home. I realize there are just some places in this world where I always be a Haole. I surf with respect and humility and try to remain thankful for any waves I get to enjoy. Honolua Bay is one of those magical places that I’m happy just to be at and if a catch a few waves, even better.  January 5th, I was more then happy just to take pictures because there was so much talent I was able to get front row to all the action, Even got to body surf a few waves that the crowd missed.

I saw this guy pumping just staring at me all the way down the line, I was really really happy he didn’t smash his board into my face, that last second before he caught air, I wasn’t sure about anything. Man what a rush…

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This guy is always sitting deeper and shallower then anyone else, which translate into him catching speeding closeout where he can just keep throwing airs. Which is totally crazy because it’s only in 3 feet of water with exposed reef in all directions.

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The barrel sections were a little sketchy but if you were willing to stall you could get deep… Not sure if you’d make the next section but who cares, some one would drop in on you either way lol

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This is the off the lip section of this post !!!

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Looks fun but point breaks are always like swimming a marathon thru white water. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!!!

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had a magical session at Ho’okipa (North Shore of Maui, Hi). Sunsets there will take your breath away and to see it from the inside the Ocean is hard to describe. I love that I can once again call Maui home and really thankful for all the wonderful people that make this Island fantastic.

I would normal comment on each photo but as this is my triumphant return to Hawaiian waters, I’ll let the images speak for themselves tonight.

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If it’s the first time seeing this blog and you want photos from today’s session, please check out my contact page and understand that I just showcase my favorite photos each day. I take a lot more and if you think I got a photo of you, there is good chance I did, so shoot me an email. Mahalo


Drop Everything

There will come a time in every young surfers life when he has to start missing Swells for work, birthdays parties or hangovers. But there are days (especially during a wave drought) were you have to “just get to the beach”, this Sunday was one of these days, not the cleanest but the biggest we have seen in some time. I’m not going to name this spot (please don’t post locations) but it was prime for this crazy cross island swell. The people informed were ripping and everyone that stumbled across it were struggling to keep up (myself included).

I’m the not biggest fan of empty wave shots, they lack perspective and are sometimes UN-rideable but these perfectly illustrate the intensity of this swell. *none of these are fisheye shot, I was using a 17-55mm, what you see it what I was dodging all day Sunday.

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This one is blurry but the size of this pit needed to be shared.

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Best Turn of the Day. He had crazy speed going into it

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Winter is Coming

The cold water has arrived and with it has come some serious waves. This is the time of year in NY when all the kiddies that thought it was “so radical” to take up surfing for the summer go away and the cream of the crop rises to the top. When you realize that this isn’t just a warm water hobby but a serious addiction that is only satisfied by the cold heavy hand of mother natures raw force.

Let the fun start

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Wished he made this massive air drop but you have to have a serious pair to try

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It was so hard to stay in position, Would have love to be able to shoot fisheye in the pit but when your swimming against a raging current my 17-55mm lens is money.

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A lot of surfers where out, but you could quickly tell the one’s treading water and the one’s charging

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Days like this I don’t even mind that they are devoid of color, waves like these aren’t pretty, deal with it.


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