UH Football Portraits 2015

August 30th, 2015
By

Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football player R.J. Hollis  poses for a portrait on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa.  For 2015 UH Football special section.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).   Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 24-70 2.8L II @ 50mm, 1/250 @f10, 160 ISO, daylight whitebalance.

Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football player R.J. Hollis poses for a portrait on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa. For 2015 UH Football special section. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 24-70 2.8L II @ 50mm, 1/250 @f10, 160 ISO, daylight whitebalance.

Howdy!  That time of the year again, when I switch into high gear in preparation for the fall/winter sports season.  This is always marked by the annual special tabs for UH Football and Wahine Volleyball that we release prior to the season openers.  I'm very fortunate to work with amazing editors and designers Mike Rovner and Bryant Fukutomi who help me envision the look and feel every year.

I used a Dynalite 1000pack and three heads to light these portraits.  For football, we were put in the green room of the Stan Sheriff Center, which has a rather low ceiling.  It presented somewhat of a challenge since some of the players are quite tall, and the C-stand holding the main head, with a grid, was maxed all the way up, touching the ceiling.  I used the main head up and pointed down up front, and two heads on the left and right behind the players with barn doors for rim lighting.  Since the photos were to be cut out, a nice clean background presented itself in the form of a white tile wall.

Here's the lighting setup.  You can see the main light in the foreground, along with the two other heads on stands in the back.  Not the most glamorous setup, but hey, whatever works!

Here's the lighting setup. You can see the main light in the foreground, along with the two other heads on stands in the back. Not the most glamorous setup, but hey, whatever works!

In order to achieve that high contrast look, I always like to have total control of my lighting and exposure, which is why I had the lights in the room totally off.

This is what the exposure looks like, on an accidental frame fired, hence the out of focus-ness!

This is what the exposure looks like, on an accidental frame fired, hence the out of focus-ness!

Once the lighting was nailed, it was just a matter of getting all the players, who are apparently on a tight schedule, to come in, pose, get photographed, and moved on.  Next.  Next.  Next.  You almost settle into a groove after the first subject you photograph, but you need to, as UH Sports Information allocates just a certain amount of time to get this done.  I work with no lighting assistant, so all adjustments have to be made myself.  But after about an hour and change worth of shooting, and the 45 minutes to set up and break down, it's all in a day's work for something I love to do.

 Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football player Dylan Collie poses for a portrait on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa.  For 2015 UH Football special section.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii Rainbow Warrior football player Dylan Collie poses for a portrait on Friday, August 21, 2015 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa. For 2015 UH Football special section. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

 

Football is here, what a lightning fast off-season!

August 25th, 2015
By

Howdy, everyone!
Well, the Cafe is open once again, and what better way to kick it off than football. This weekend's coverage highlight (pun intended) was of the Kailua/Kapolei matchup that was suspended due to lightning storms above the field.  I didn't have a tripod with me, as I didn't have any video shoots lined up in that day's assignments (more on that in another post), so I had to resort to hand held exposures of the lightning show happening above Alex Kane Stadium.

Lightning illuminates the sky over Alex Kane Stadium after the postponement of a high school football game between the Kapolei Hurricanes and the Kailua Surfriders on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Kailua High School in Kailua.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).  Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 24-70 II 2.8 @24mm, manual exposure, 1/2 sec @ f13, 200 ISO.

Lightning illuminates the sky over Alex Kane Stadium after the postponement of a high school football game between the Kapolei Hurricanes and the Kailua Surfriders on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Kailua High School in Kailua. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser). Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 24-70 II 2.8 @24mm, manual exposure, 1/2 sec @ f13, 200 ISO.

Kailua High School staff pack up their ticketing kiosk as lightning illuminates the sky after the postponement of a high school football game between the Kapolei Hurricanes and the Kailua Surfriders on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Kailua High School in Kailua.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Kailua High School staff pack up their ticketing kiosk as lightning illuminates the sky after the postponement of a high school football game between the Kapolei Hurricanes and the Kailua Surfriders on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Kailua High School in Kailua. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Needless to say, after two days and the game's resumption on Monday night, it was quite a mudbowl.  Slippery, muddy conditions made for quite a bit of fumbles, dropped passes, and flying mud/grass.  This was actually something I haven't seen in a long time, because a lot of the high school fields that once were host to these mudbowls have since replaced their playing surface with natural turf, like Leilehua and Mililani, to name two.

Kailua's Koolauloa Gaspar (1) pulls in a pass ahead of Kapolei's Leon Lee (4) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).  Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 400 2.8 IS II, 1/2500 @f2.8, manual exposure, 3200 ISO.

Kailua's Koolauloa Gaspar (1) pulls in a pass ahead of Kapolei's Leon Lee (4) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser). Canon 1D Mark IV, EF 400 2.8 IS II, 1/2500 @f2.8, manual exposure, 3200 ISO.

 Kailua's Taylor Tagupa (66) recovers a loose ball fumbled by Kapolei's Ezra Savea (2) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Kailua's Taylor Tagupa (66) recovers a loose ball fumbled by Kapolei's Ezra Savea (2) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

If it was one photo that told the story of the game, it was this one below.  With the game postponed on Saturday and Sunday, both teams were very hungry for the victory.  Coach Darren Hernandez would have celebrated his 100th victory had the Hurricanes won, but alas, it was a fight to the end, and Kailua came out on top despite a valiant fourth quarter revival by the Kapolei offense.  To me, this touchdown catch by Kailua's Koolauloa Gaspar, reaching up and over Kapolei defender Jonathan Liana to pull in the score, epitomized the desire to win by both teams...and it's not even September!  Look for more posts coming real soon, especially with our new UH Football and UH Wahine Volleyball special sections coming in the next couple of weeks!

Kailua's Koolauloa Gaspar (1) pulls in a touchdown pass ahead of Kapolei's Jonathan Liana (26) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Kailua's Koolauloa Gaspar (1) pulls in a touchdown pass ahead of Kapolei's Jonathan Liana (26) during the first half of an OIA football game between the Kailua Surfriders and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Monday, August 24, 2015 at Alex Kane Stadium in Kailua. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Afraid of heights

August 5th, 2014
By

Window washers Ikaika Pahulu, top, and Barry Iona of World Wide Window Cleaning rappel down as they service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu.

Window washers Ikaika Pahulu, top, and Barry Iona of World Wide Window Cleaning rappel down as they service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu.  

Now that our Progress Edition of Hawaii at Work has published, I can tell you a little story about a big fear that I had to overcome for my subject for Hawaii at Work--HEIGHTS!!!!

When we were asked to brainstorm ideas about photographing subjects with interesting jobs, the first people that came to mind were window washers--the fearless, rappelling, keepers of the some of the nicest views in the whole state.  I turned specifically to World Wide because I had photographed a bunch of their crew a few years ago rappelling down Century Square in downtown with Jason hockey masks a la Friday the 13th for Halloween.

20101031_newsWDAwashers

I've always had an admiration for the fearlessness these guys have in hanging off the side of a 400-foot tall building.  Working them on this current assignment, the guys at World Wide gave me such great access and knowledge into their craft--400 feet in the air!  The day I worked with them, they were working on One Waterfront Tower--the two building high-rise condominium across the street from our Restaurant Row newsroom.  Site manager Steve Kaaa oversaw the operations and led us to the rooftop of the makai tower.  Upon opening the rooftop, I was instantly mesmerized with the view looking out.  But looking down....well, let's just say, knots began to form in my stomach.

Window washer Barry Ionn of World Wide Window Cleaning prepares to rappel  down.

Window washer Barry Iona of World Wide Window Cleaning prepares to rappel down.  Canon 1D mark IV, EF15mm fisheye, 1/2000 @f8, ISO 200, manual exposure, daylight whitebalance.

As soon as Barry, Ikaika, and Gordon were rigged up and ready, they attached my safety rig so I can get onto the scaffolding.  I noticed I was talking at 90 miles an hour, and my palms began to sweat.  But I had to concentrate on the task at hand.  An overhead perspective was best, and that meant lying prone on the scaffold to eliminate the guardrails in the photo.

Here I am, trying really hard to work and trust that the scaffold won't suddenly disappear from underneath me.  Photo by Steve Kaaa.

Here I am, trying really hard to work and trust that the scaffold won't suddenly disappear from underneath me. Photo by Steve Kaaa.

It's pretty daunting to look down through the "cheese grater," as Barry put it, and see the street, cars, and pedestrians moving about like ants below your feet.

Here's another perspective of where I shot from.  Photo by Steve Kaaa.

Here's another perspective of where I shot from. Photo by Steve Kaaa.

From top, window washers Ikaika Pahulu, Barry Iona, and Gordon Susau of World Wide Window Cleaning rappel down as they service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu.

From top, window washers Ikaika Pahulu, Barry Iona, and Gordon Susau of World Wide Window Cleaning rappel down as they service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu.  Canon 1D mark IV, 15mm fisheye, Manual exposure, 1/1250 @f11, ISO 400, daylight whitebalance.

Window washer Gordon Susau of World Wide Window Cleaning rappels down to service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu

Window washer Gordon Susau of World Wide Window Cleaning rappels down to service the makai tower at One Waterfront Plaza on Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Honolulu.  Canon 1D mark IV, 70-200 f2.8 @95mm, Manual exposure, 1/640 @f2.8, ISO 320, daylight whitebalance

All in all, what an amazing experience.  Am I still afraid of heights?  HELL yeah!  But seeing Barry, Gordon, and Ikaika in action, and seeing the passion for their craft was well worth the sweaty palms and dry mouth!

 

Ramadan #latergram

July 30th, 2014
By

This is by no means a lean towards one religion or the other, but I just thought I'd share this wonderful moment I photographed a few weeks ago as local Muslim women observed Ramadan.

Fariha Kazi, left, Deanna Wathen, and Shereen El-Kadi share a light moment as Kazi has her hijab adjusted prior to breaking fast during the fourth night of Ramadan on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at the Manoa Mosque in Honolulu.  Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims worldwide observe as a month of fasting.  This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.  (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino). Canon 1D mark IV, 16-35 2.8 @ 20mm, 1/60 @ f2.8, 2500 ISO, daylight whitebalance, Manual exposure.

Fariha Kazi, left, Deanna Wathen, and Shereen El-Kadi share a light moment as Kazi has her hijab adjusted prior to breaking fast during the fourth night of Ramadan on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at the Manoa Mosque in Honolulu. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims worldwide observe as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths. (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
Canon 1D mark IV, 16-35 2.8 @ 20mm, 1/60 @ f2.8, 2500 ISO, daylight whitebalance, Manual exposure.

Deedy Trial, version 2.0

July 29th, 2014
By

Hey all,

Been a while since I've posted, but I felt that it was worth posting this image of Christopher Deedy at Circuit Court today.  I've covered the first trial, and now this, and I've finally FINALLY managed to nab an artistic shot of the otherwise mundane courtroom song and dance.

Federal agent Christopher Deedy is seen against the projection of a security video as he takes the stand on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in the Honolulu circuit courtroom of Judge Karen Ahn.  Deedy is on trial for the November 2011 shooting of Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's.  (Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino). Taken with a Canon 1D mark IV, 70-200 2.8, 1/200 sec @ f2.8, 5000 ISO, Manual exposure, 4100K whitebalance

Federal agent Christopher Deedy is seen against the projection of a security video as he takes the stand on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in the Honolulu circuit courtroom of Judge Karen Ahn. Deedy is on trial for the November 2011 shooting of Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Jamm Aquino).
Taken with a Canon 1D mark IV, 70-200 2.8, 1/200 sec @ f2.8, 5000 ISO, Manual exposure, 4100K whitebalance

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