Archive for July, 2010


Tuesday, July 27th, 2010


It is always the scarcity of a thing which imparts value in the perception of a viewing public, so artists tend to withold showing too much of their hand at once.

I remember a photographer with whom I worked years ago, who would hoard his work, and release it one image at a time over the period of his career. His fame and fortune wound up being centered on approximately 9 great images.

I do not think he saw the time we are in coming, where with new tech, and refined approaches, a higher bar for acquisition and communication than ever before would be attained. He set limits on himself and the world of photography.

As I dove into the same field I annihilated those limits. Many have.

Seth Godin has something very succinct to say about limits in his Blog.

The following images are what I would consider to qualify as Golden images. Most were shot on one morning. The rest just happened to be on my desktop today.


Why settle?


Friday, July 23rd, 2010
They Are Off

They Are Off

A lot of subjects pass my way. Whether I am examining and experiencing those as a Journalist, Photographer or Film Maker, one of the primary goals is to properly interpret the subject into the context I choose for the final communication of the work.

This shoot was at the behest of my friend Peter Ganibi, who took me down to Los Alamitos, a horse track he has become quite familiar with,  in his work as a horse trainer over the years. One of the jockeys had died the week prior, and a memorial was slated.

Racing is a culture unto itself. Racing horses, is even more so. Unlike the upper echelons of the sport, these jockeys do it out of pure passion or to put groceries on the table, and maybe to have some possible shot at the big leagues. Or not.

I watched for quite awhile as we wandered through the various parts of the track. Then I chose my lane.

The finish line on this shoot was a long way off. But I liked it when I got there.

Windows of Perception

Saturday, July 17th, 2010
Nias Dawn

Nias Dawn

Perspective is a unique line item for all of us. Our own Point Of View (POV for short) is one that, being our own, may not seem particularly special to us. I find myself overlooking the fact that I can be rather unique. You may tend to do that as well.

As a photographer, writer, film maker, I am all about communicating a designated POV. I decide what perspective a subject ought to be examined from, in order to best embrace a particular viewer-audience.

This was one heckuva busy week. I shot a music video, BMX, a performance music video piece, K38 rescue work, did editorial fulfillment for lifestyle and some fashion publications. In each project, it was my choice of POV which made the work have appeal, or¬† “cachet” as I like to call it.

Here is a great clip, where the POV the film maker chose in communicating a mans job place, is a best case example. From music to narration to lens perspective, I was completely smitten by this.

Be you. It matters.

The gallery below is from this week. A short look at a thousand images and 6 hours of motion picture, most of it shot in the last 6 days. All work was filmed with the Canon 5DM2. Sound was captured using the  Beachtek DXA controller with Rode Shotgun and Audiotechica Propoint symphonic mics. One thing for sure, Canon not only makes my POV possible, they make it easy!

Click on any of the images to toggle through as a slide show.

Surfing Is

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
David Pu'u, Self Expression

David Pu'u, Self Expression

The motivation for this piece began with the publication of the following story in the WSJ, to which I contributed an image of my girlfriend Donna Von Hoesslin. Read the comment section, post story, and you will see a diversity of opinions (including mine) that are quite revelatory about each person‚Äôs point of view regarding surfing. Those statements reveal everything about those people’s depth of involvement with the ocean. The commentary engaged me.

I have always been a surfer. At four years of age I knew that goal was what my life would be about. To know the ocean, (and to surf) became my path.

In a lifetime of study and involvement in all things water and ocean related, I learned many things about the ocean that never cease to amaze and moderate me as a human being.

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Waterwoman, Hailey Partridge

Water has got to be the single greatest creative foil for mankind ever. It always wins. (You cannot compress it.) It is alive. Within it, and especially the sea, is contained the genetic signature of all life, which ever existed.

But what I find remarkable, is that as a Hawaiian, my ancestors gifted the sport, and the resulting culture that arose, for reasons many may not readily comprehend. I have long been convinced that surfing and the resulting relationship with the ocean serves to be a mirror of who and what a person is. In it, is a near perfect reflection of everybody’s true compass heading for their lives.

As I document and observe the people involved with the ocean, to me, the depth of every single human being is readily apparent by seeing how they relate to water.

In  a world of people aspiring to be called: surfers, surfriders, eco warriors, watermen, and all manner of ocean branded things, it is readily apparent, what surfing is to those people. You can always tell who really comprehends the ocean,  and whether that person is there to simply use it to brand their movement or maybe just find a means of validating themselves.

Hard to fake it with something so vital and alive as the sea. She always triumphs. Even if her own time frame is an eternal one. It is we who fade into her, and eventually she is us.

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Performance as a Mirror of Involvement

Seth Godin was thinking along similar lines today. His Blog.

My ancestors knew exactly what they were doing.

Like the ocean, truth is eternal.

Carmine Rush

Carmine Rush

Best to embrace it.

Light Monger

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
Going Over

Going Over

I have always been a light monger. To me it was apparent, that I would always want to walk in light, be led by it, emanate it. So it comes as a bit confusing, and stark, when something as overcast as anger, gets stirred into the brightness.

But seeing the thick black thread of darkness swirl  around in that light, like chocolate syrup into fresh white milk, is just the way of the world. You have to add a disproportionate amount of dark to convert light in the realm of the visible spectrum of color. So light makes sense, in terms of physical law.

Lightness of Being

Lightness of Being

One of the people who perpetually amaze me in the light mongering they succeed in doing, and never comes cross like a Pollyanna, is the ever pragmatic Seth Godin. This blogpiece of his said a lot to me at o dark thirty today as I sat having coffee with milk, and a little bit of honey. Seth’s words are a lot like that honey. Just the right amount of moderation in a beige brew. We all need a bit of sweetness some times.

For something amazingly dark, watch this. Politics seem to be steeped in darkness. In reading the Bible a particular verse has always stuck with me. In the book of James (3:16): “Where there is envy and strife, there is confusion and every evil work” That video clip is one of the best examples I have seen of the corollary between dark and light, as well as confirmation of that scripture verse.¬† It also makes me very aware of what little I want to do with the political process. I have no business being in a universe of dark stars. I am not so strong that I am able to engage tolerance for this person. (Probably why I am behind the camera.)

That being said, have a quick look at this examination of the above, very obviously disturbing video circumstance. Telling, isn’t it? We place these men above us. They are not leaders, in any sense of the word.

I tend to enjoy the company of bright lights, and will continue to endeavor to fan the flame of hope that lies smothered in the heart of someone else.¬† My photography career is one of those very simple things. Cameras, no matter how sophisticated, are simply light reflecting devices. So off I go, running down the path of life, some odd little water guy, holding a box with a mirror in it. “Hey look at this, check it out, see what I have captured: LIGHT. Isn’t it cool?”

And the room changes.

Mission accomplished.

Here is a man, lit in a manner which only God gets. He  would probably not be well suited to Politics, as he sees everything.



© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.