Author Archive

Layers

By
September 28th, 2015



Gold Star mother Lis Olsen instructs dozens in joining a large lei during the 4th annual Gold Star Mother and Family Day on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu.

Gold Star mother Lis Olsen instructs dozens in joining a large lei during the 4th annual Gold Star Mother and Family Day on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu.

Here are two frames from a news assignment I had yesterday that didn't make print.   Yesterday's event at Punchbowl was an annual gathering of Gold Star mothers and families of soldiers who had died in the line of duty.  Like many annual assignments, it's always a challenge to try and come up with something new and visually stimulating.  After a moving tribute at the foot of the Lady Columbia statue, the families gathered to connect dozens and dozens of lei to form one gigantic one that was at least a hundred feet in diameter.  It was very touching to see everyone join together, and I saw the lei as a symbol of that joining.

I always look for layering when I try to compose my photographs.  Layers tell stories when you're lucky enough to have all the elements in the right place.

Misti French, widow of US Army Msgt. Timothy French,  connects part of a giant leiduring the 4th annual Gold Star Mother and Family Day on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu.

Misti French, widow of US Army Msgt. Timothy French, connects part of a giant leiduring the 4th annual Gold Star Mother and Family Day on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu.

steel wall

By
September 25th, 2015



A woman is silhouetted against a ridged steel wall along Cooke Street on Monday, September 21, 2015 in Kakaako.

A woman is silhouetted against a ridged steel wall along Cooke Street on Monday, September 21, 2015 in Kakaako.

Corrugated steel and afternoon sun make for some interesting street art.

Ohio State, a recap

By
September 17th, 2015



 Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes  and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Howdy!

Now that I've finally shaken the jet lag, here's a little recap of my amazing trip to Ohio State to document the Rainbow Warriors valiant effort against the defending national champion Buckeyes.  Columbus is a great city, very different from any place I've visited before, and I had just come off of a cross country trip in April that took me from Savannah, Georgia, to Los Angeles, California.  3,618 miles on the road, to be exact.  Perhaps I'll do a post on that another time.  For now, let's recap some of the most memorable moments in Columbus.

A panoramic of Ohio Stadium shot with my iPhone from the press box, with my awesome colleagues Ferd Lewis and Stephen Tsai at right.

A panoramic of Ohio Stadium shot with my iPhone from the press box, with my awesome colleagues Ferd Lewis and Stephen Tsai at right.

The Shoe was just top notch.  I've had the privilege of shooting inside the LA Coliseum, the Louisiana Superdome, and Reser Stadium, among others, and the press area of Ohio Stadium was just breath taking.  I want to say it was about thirty stories high, just a birds' eye view of perhaps one of the richest stadiums in college football, in history, tradition and financially.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to partake of a media meal in the press box, as I had many tasks to accomplish before kick-off--tailgating festivities of both Hawaii and Ohio State contingencies, pep rallies, and overall color.

Field level panoramic of the Shoe.

Field level panoramic of the Shoe.

I actually set foot for the first time inside the Shoe on Thursday, the afternoon before the Rainbow Warriors arrived in Columbus.

A reflection of Ohio Stadium is seen on the adjacent Ohio State University athletic complex

A reflection of Ohio Stadium is seen on the adjacent Ohio State University athletic complex

Warrior football reporter Stephen Tsai enters the Shoe.

Warrior football reporter Stephen Tsai enters the Shoe.

Being in there when it was empty, versus 106,000 people in a sea of "scarlet and gray," were two different things.  The sheer amount of people on game day was just overwhelming.

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Defensive lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii leads the Rainbow Warriors in a haka before the game.

Defensive lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii leads the Rainbow Warriors in a haka before the game.

College Football, Hawaii at Ohio StateOur work area for photographers was actually the storage area underneath the bleachers which we shared with cheerleaders, stadium support staff, and security.  There were a LOT of photographers, and I made friends with a bunch of local Ohio shooters who were all top notch gentlemen--very professional and friendly.  We had wifi which was a godsend since 105,000 people were using cell bandwith.

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones warms up.

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones warms up.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer takes to the field.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer takes to the field.

Hawaii running back Paul Harris (29) and Ohio State defensive lineman Michael Hill (77) work to recover a fumble by Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) in the second half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes  and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State won 38-0.

Hawaii running back Paul Harris (29) and Ohio State defensive lineman Michael Hill (77) work to recover a fumble by Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) in the second half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 38-0.

Hawaii wide receiver Keelan Ewaliko (12) waits to return a kickoff in the second half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes  and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State won 38-0.

PRETTY AFTERNOON LIGHT!!!  Hawaii wide receiver Keelan Ewaliko (12) waits to return a kickoff in the second half of a college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 38-0.

The game wasn't the greatest action to photograph, evidenced by the score, but the late afternoon light provided some epic pictorials from the field, as seen above.

After the game was over, and I had transmitted the photos, I had to work on video, a first on the road for me.  This took me deep into the night, and by the time Ferd, Stephen, and myself were leaving the Shoe, it was nearly 11:30pm.  5:30pm HST, no problem...we made deadline!

We proceeded to head over to the Tip Top, an eatery recommended by my new friends Adam and Kyle from the Columbus Dispatch, that came highly recommended as one of the best places to grab a bite.  From my experiences, when photojournalists recommend a place to eat or drink, do everything you can to go!  Believe me, we were HUNGRY!

Sorry, no food pics here.  This is a photography blog, after all!

Overall, I had a wonderful time.  A lot of weight on my shoulders to produce, but I was very happy with the content I was able to push out.  Three videos, 24.4 gigs of still and video raws, and almost 12,000 miles in the air.  I couldn't have done this without the undying support of our editors and our publisher, Dennis Francis.  It was definitely a trip to remember, and while the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors didn't win, they did have their time in the national spotlight, and I was there to document it.  I'll leave with a little silly photo of our crew being silly "unt" happy.  Til the next one! Proust!

Ferd unt Stephen outside Schmidt's, a sausage haus that's been around since 1886!

Stephen unt Ferd outside Schmidt's, a sausage haus that's been around since 1886!

So long, Columbus!

So long, Columbus!

UHFB Season Opener

By
September 4th, 2015



The Rainbow Warriors take to the field prior to their game against the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

The Rainbow Warriors take to the field prior to their game against the Colorado Buffaloes on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

One down for the Rainbow Warrior football team--their first season opener victory in many years.  Aside from the 7pm kickoff, the game ran extremely late, and due to the deadline guidelines we had for the Friday editions of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, we had to transmit the bulk of our work at the half.  It was a hot, humid night, characterized by the ripe smell of too many photographers in one small room trying to transmit in a non-air conditioned room.  The thickness of the air hovered over the stadium like a plague of locusts, and the Rainbow Warriors' victory ensured no one would go crazy from the conditions, though the Colorado Buffaloes came mighty close to evening the score.

Here are a few of my favorites from last night, since the page designers in sports and web didn't select these to publish.  Thank goodness for this blog that you're reading, right?

Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) throws on the run during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) throws on the run during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) charges out of the endzone against Colorado defensive lineman Leo Jackson (52) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii quarterback Max Wittek (13) charges out of the endzone against Colorado defensive lineman Leo Jackson (52) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Quinton Pedroza (5) pulls in a touchdown pass over Colorado defensive back Ken Crawley (2) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Quinton Pedroza (5) pulls in a touchdown pass over Colorado defensive back Ken Crawley (2) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii tight end Metuisela Unga (7) hurdles over Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie (4) and Colorado linebacker Kenneth Olugbode (31) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii tight end Metuisela Unga (7) hurdles over Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie (4) and Colorado linebacker Kenneth Olugbode (31) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) tries to pull in a pass while under pressure from Colorado defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) tries to pull in a pass while under pressure from Colorado defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) pulls in a reception ahead of Colorado defensive back Tedric Thompson (9) and defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) pulls in a reception ahead of Colorado defensive back Tedric Thompson (9) and defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (23) during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) shakes off Colorado defensive back Ken Crawley (2) enroute to a touchdown during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Marcus Kemp (14) shakes off Colorado defensive back Ken Crawley (2) enroute to a touchdown during the first half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Tiny pebbles fly from the hands of Hawaii defensive lineman Luke Shawley (93) as he shakes hands with linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams (2) after his sack on Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Tiny pebbles fly from the hands of Hawaii defensive lineman Luke Shawley (93) as he shakes hands with linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams (2) after his sack on Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii linebacker Julian Gener (8) works to bring down Colorado running back Michael Adkins II (19) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii linebacker Julian Gener (8) works to bring down Colorado running back Michael Adkins II (19) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Isaiah Bernard (84) pulls in a touchdown ahead of Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie (4) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii wide receiver Isaiah Bernard (84) pulls in a touchdown ahead of Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie (4) during the second half of a college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii held on to win their first game of the season, 28-20. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Next week I travel to Columbus, Ohio as the Rainbow Warriors take on defending National Champions, the Ohio State Buckeyes.  Fall is definitely here, baby!

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UH Football Portraits 2015

By
August 30th, 2015



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).