Monday, February 28, 2011

take notes

obviously, there are dozens of ways to eat an ice cream sundae, but i must confess that i think that this young tot has the keys to one of the best ways of all... please see photos for details and proof.

(sorry that i have been awol, but i have been trying to remedy a computer photo storage issue that threw a roadblock in my way for about a week... it has been fixed, for now.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

in the end, we sold pumpkins

she peddles pumpkins in a pious parking lot. she peddles pumpkins in a pious parking lot. she peddles pumpkins in a pious parking lot.
just thought that i would give that a try.

Friday, February 18, 2011

thank you.

i live no more than a mile from one of the many millions of commercial corners in america. you can get just about anything at one of these such places, and over the course of the last nine months, i have found a dozen or so portraits in the midst of my local commercial district. i have "stolen" from the coffee shop, mexican restaurant, sports bar, two grocery stores, the japanese restaurant, the bowling alley, and now, the hair salon. unassuming people going about their business are vulnerable to "attack" from me when i am on a mission for this project. this woman was trying to close up shop, and i stormed in looking to utilize their bright lights and bold graphics (this was the day that i returned from hawaii, and i was slow to execute my portrait for the day... the sun had sunk, and i was not ready to search long and hard for the shot.) in her business busyness, she did oblige the perfect amount and gave me just a minute of her time. in such photos as these, i get deep satisfaction out of the simple details, the documentation of a specific time and place. america's decor is a most fascinating subject to capture (both the people and the surroundings.) it is the people like this woman that keep so much of our country operating... their showing up and doing the work and holding others accountable... that is what it takes... and we owe her and the millions like her a big "thank you."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

warrior training

this young buck is the fortunate son of the friend of mine who was married in kauai... his dad is a warrior, and thus, he is in training (regardless of whether or not he is wholly aware of it.) it is not an easy role to fill... not in the least bit. he seems to carry the weight quite well; his young body is built for it, and his blood is steeped in the tradition. to see this boy eat was a tell-tale sign of his training. i'm still not sure where all the food went that he ate, because it is not fathomable to believe that it all fit in his stomach. it was a beautiful thing to watch, if you knew what you were watching. otherwise, it could have appeared that he was trying to eat himself to death. but, this warrior in training was stockpiling nutrients for battle on all levels. he is learning the Way, and the missteps are often not mildly affecting, but scorching. i trust that with his teacher trainer father tending to him that he will be well prepared when duty calls, and it will call. the night that i left, after an extremely delicious feast at a local restaurant, we embraced like brothers... more like spiritual kin, and it was good. his father, my friend, was possibly taken aback (and touched,) by the show of connection and affection. Family is family.

Friday, February 11, 2011

nine months down

i am now nine months deep into this project, and it is still moving along the set course... i take about six to a dozen portraits of one person every day as i go along my usual business, and i blog about it when there is ample time. i used to be concerned that the lag time between taking the portrait and posting it was too long, but now i don't concern myself with that delay. this was not originally meant to be a photo/blog project, i was just planning on doing the photo part... that was enough. as soon as i began writing about the encounters with my subjects, i (and a number of other people,) noted that the stories were as captivating as the photos... and thus began the updated project. and, i have to say, that i have extremely enjoyed the storytelling aspect. i am a painter, and for almost twenty years, i have told silent stories with that paint, and i have never been known as a storyteller. it has been a great experiment with this blog to indulge myself with the challenge of constructing tiny tales about brief encounters. i am truly appreciative for all of those who have taken their time to read some of these stories and connect on some level to these people who populate this blog (and my life.) at this point, i am posting portraits from mid-october... that means that i have three months left of portraits to take and six months worth of stories to tell. the lack of pressure to post every day is beautiful, and the project is allowed the opportunity to naturally unfold. i am still considering how i will proceed with producing a book based on this project... i have several ideas, but no plan yet. i look forward to continual revealing of the path. i thank you again for your participation. (and not to get to needy, but if you have a minute, and want to help me build a "following," just to the right of this post is a way to "follow" this blog. and, if you get a chance, please forward a link to the site to anyone that you think would be interested in this portrait project... take care. - dane

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

vessel of goodness

the Spiritual "side" of this woman leaves me timid to try to fit such weak words into a description of her, and my encounter with her. she is a vessel of goodness that overflows onto all of those around her. she performed the perfect wedding ceremony of my friends. she led the traditional "song and dance" at the reception. she prepared a feast of local delacasies that fed to the point of fullness an extremely hungry group of travelers. she treated us/me to my first taste of poi, a very distinctive food made from taro. she is someone that is doing extra amounts of loving to counteract the opposing forces, and she is doing it with regal grace. i am a fortunate man to have met her. with that, i leave the rest of the description up to these photos.

Monday, February 7, 2011


i was sitting streetside at a coffeeshop with the rest of the kauai clan, and we were going around in circles discussing possible options for dinner while i was seeking a portrait for the day. the sunlight was fading on the day, and there, right next door, tending the walk-up window at a cafe was this quintessential native island girl. the blue of the door, the flower in her hair, it was ideally composed without me having to do anything.... or, so i thought. i sidled up to the counter and did my best to casually pitch my proposal to her, and it seemed to be a little awkward. she was at work, and that usually makes my approach a little timid (i am never really sure how able an employee is to participate in my shenanigans,) and though she agreed to the task, i felt like she had stepped out of her comfort zone. in the middle of taking the pictures, i spotted a potential customer come near, and i backed away and allowed my subject to do her job. said customer went to be seated to wait on the food, and i proceeded with my job. i could tell the photos were going to be classic, and she seemed to be happy with the experience. unfortunately, i had forgotten the release form, so i had to explain to her that i would either be back in the next day or two (the cafe was not very close to where i was staying,) or i would send it in the mail to her with a return envelope. all seemed understood, and i went on my way to eat (very well) with the clan. the next day, we took an unbelievably long drive to the other side of the island, and we passed by the cafe on the way... (we parked in the back, and i went to the back door to ask if "sarah" was in, and she was not... one of the clan was near the front of the cafe at this time, and he later let us know that someone at the cafe asked the others, "why was that old guy looking for "sarah?"... made me feel a little bit creepy. oh, well... occupational hazard.) anyway, we went on our way, and i plotted plenty of strategies to get the form signed. somehow, at some point, we ended up back in the neighborhood, and she was at the window again, same pose, similar flower. i moseyed on up to the window with the form, and i felt relieved that this quest would soon end... not so fast, dane. as she began filling out the form, a customer appeared, and she swept the form to the side. the customer sat, and my subject was clearly uncomfortable with the situation. i stood there, uncomfortable myself, and i watched her as she continued to avoid filling out the form... i grew very anxious, and then the cause of the discomfort was realized as the "boss," or "higher up," made himself known along with his grievance. he told me that she couldn't be dealing with me at that point, that she was working, and he was quite upset with me that i wasn't even ordering anything from them. soooo... all that being said, i am still without a release form, but i am willing to post this for the integrity of continuity on this blog. it was quite an adventure with "sarah," and to top it all off, one of the clan members fell in love with her, though they never actually met... and from what i have heard, he is still heartbroken.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

her day

if you happen to be looking to get into the photography business, and you are hoping to build a portfolio of your work, i recommend getting a couple of beautiful friends who are planning a wedding in kauai, and following them there to offer assistance in shooting the wedding (it's a working trip too, so a tax write off is available.) so, this was the second wedding that i had ever photographed solo, and it was as close to perfect as it could get. one somewhat unfortunate fact was that because i was in the wedding, i was not allowed to photograph during the ceremony... and all i could do was try to be present as i watched hundreds of beautiful moments pass before my eyes uncaptured by the camera. it was difficult, and at least one time i flinched towards my camera, but restrained myself. the ceremony was magical... set just off the beach at sunset, a backdrop of mountains fading into ocean, two wonderful friends in holy glory. this bride... well, i don't really know what to say that these pictures don't express. it was her day, indeed. i hope that the photos that i took do well enough for her (and him) to summon the energy of that moment in time... it could surely heal the sick.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

the Kauai Crusher

if you ever happen to be in the surf at Hanalei Bay in Kauai, i would advise you to be on the lookout for this very powerful young man. in the last several months he has been spotted squashing people as the casually go about their beach business. he is deceivingly polite; it is when you turn your back to him that he will get you. otherwise, he has been seen sharing tuna sashimi and seaweed salad with friends, as well as body surfing with a buddy in dangerous conditions, and generally being cool. please, heed my warning, for his stellar skills of deception pale in comparison to the crushing force of his deadly hands.