Archive for May, 2010

Linked

Monday, May 31st, 2010
Choice

Choice

Like it or not, we all are linked to our past. Our lives when viewed, in the perspective of our ancestors and those who come after us, our successors, will always reflect our willingness to engage in behavior which in the broader scope of time, will reflect our individual decisions.

There really is no such thing as a nation, just as there really is no such thing as a corporation. It always boils down to an individual’s choice. That is why our Constitution and Bill of Rights focus on the individual in such minute detail.

In a world of sameness, never forget that you matter, or ever think that your choice will affect no one but you, because that is the lie that kills everything.

So on this Memorial Day we call to mind the people who made choices that helped to form the world in which we live.  If you do  not like the way things are today, maybe consider how you would like it to be? Look to the past and make choices rooted in those old lessons, based on what you would like the world to be, in a future that tirelessly rushes up to greet you.

Future Perfect

Future Perfect

It matters. So do you. Anyone who makes you less than that is wrong. Choose to be right, and your life will have mattered.

A somber yet beautiful time capsule is right here. Sent along by Skip Saenger.

Standard Bearer

Standard Bearer

Yesterday I got to stand stage side with my son Josh, as the Shoemaker Brothers performed here in Ventura at Jonathan’s, a local restaurant and music nightspot. I heard Sam sing a piece done as  a spinoff of America The Beautiful. They saved it for the end of the last set, which took place as part of a birthday party celebration for local businessman JR Ford.

The song was so powerful, that it cut through the revelry, and one by one, I could see people sit up and take notice. The song really is a call to arms and choice, and one of the more powerful messages that I have ever heard.

Earlier in the week Sam and I had engaged in a really great conversation about how our personal experiences and past are the best source for our creations. Standing in the soft fading light, which fell through a skylight above the band, on a Memorial Day weekend, I realized just how much we need to be reminded, that America is you, and I, and this place needs us.

You can find the Shoemaker Brother’s music here and preview America. I bought it. America. That is my choice. I’m in. Are you?

Elements: Blood to Bone

Monday, May 24th, 2010
Air to Water

Air to Water

Water and air. Air and water. Blood to bone. Flesh of one’s own.

The uninitiate fascinate over the sea and the creatures in it. But for a surfer, the relationship is one of kindred spirit. “Oh yes, that is”: insert marvelously made marine entity, referred to casually by those in the water tribe, in similar manner to someone whose house you wake up in each day, HERE.

Blood to Water

Blood to Water

Dolphins live a life immersed. Yet linked to air, they have little issue being up and around in it. I see them fly a lot. No doubt exists, in spite of a lack of verbal discussion between us, on that very obvious point of connection.

As surfers we live a life in air, to dip in a mirrored justaposition to our dolphin kin. Kin you ask?

Saline Soliloquy

Saline Soliloquy

At what point do animal and man become related?

Blood to bone to flesh. Salt water connects us all.

Sublime in flow.

Not alone.

One.

One

One

Modus: Light and Water

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
Joe Curren

Joe Curren

“How many shots did it take to acquire this one?” It is a good question. I hear it a lot. Here is how it works…

Learn your craft. Buy the right camera and lens setup. Build-acquire the housing. Figure out optics in water. Watch weather.  Select a swell, tide, surf break, weather pattern with the correct potential combination. Wake at 4 am,

Tools

Tools

Prep your gear. Have a little coffee, but not too much because you do not want to pee in your wetsuit during morning feeding hour, and sharks feel the charge from your camera body and sometimes come for a look. Curious cats, they usually lurk outside of view. But not always.

 The Lavender Fields

The Lavender Fields

Pull on wetsuit and fins, in the cold offshore darkness. Step into grey-black water, as the light comes up on the eastern horizon. Feel the cold rush, as you swim under the first line of whitewater.  Tend to the port on the housing and protect your gear as you try to avoid a beat down. Then, outside the surfline, you find the peak you think exists, and not unlike surfing, you stalk your wave. The light is good for ten minutes, optimal for ten minutes and average for about a half hour after that, but you stay out for hours, making that 36 frame roll of film last, because that is what you do.

Dan Malloy

Dan Malloy

The really intriguing part is just being there. You never want that to end.

Editor Jeff Divine once asked: “Do ever shoot anything not during golden hour?”

“Only if I have to Jeff”

Benchmark

Benchmark

Though I am a big proponent of contemporary digital capture, I have to admit that I do not use the motordrive or the near unlimited load that exists now, with big storage memory cards. Quantity does nothing for me, in acquiring the things that I do. Planning, persistence and passion do.  So the game is pretty much the same. All of these images are film captures. Just what I was working on this week, as I created something for a project.

It is all about light, and water, vision and persistence.

Larry Ugale

Larry Ugale

The funny thing for me, is that although I am continually surprised at what I find in my stills files, I shot all of these same subjects in motion picture. An older cross section of that work is contained here. I need to build some new reels. Time…….passes.

All of this requires effort. Seth Godin examines the subject here.

Motivation Song

Friday, May 14th, 2010
Adam Virs

Adam Virs

This shot is of Ventura Surfer Adam Virs. It was taken in Ventura California, just south of the Harbor. You can see Two Trees, a landmark, in the background. If you are from Ventura, this image is pretty cool. It is a frame from the second or third roll of film that I ever shot from the water. The surf was terrible this day. When I came in, I ran into my friend and soon to be colleague, William Sharp. We were both shooting for Surfing Magazine and being edited by legendary lensman and mentor, Larry “Flame” Moore.

William laughed, and shook his head at me. “Dave, Dave, Dave, what were you doing out there? The surf is absolute crap.” “Um, shooting a cover.” I answered, with my typical, aggressive candor. “Really. You think so?” he asked. (I HATE it when people say those words) “Yea, saw it when I hit the shutter.” William smirked and remained silent.

So later that day, when I got my film back, there the image was, just as I had seen it. Since I was such a novice, it was not till many years later that I learned this was not the norm for most photographers.

When Flame got the shot in the mail, he rang me up, and was very enthusiastic. “Dave this image of Adam is remarkable. Trust me when I tell you, that it will stand the test of time.” I was pretty amped. I mean Larry was a bar setter in surf photography. He had shot me in my Pro Surfing career, and it felt remarkable that here we were years later, together, and that he had become a proponent of my work.

So the magazine came out, and Larry ran the shot postage stamp sized. William laughed, and tried to be encouraging. “Oh, that is just Larry trying to motivate you.” “Geezus William, I just got kicked in the nuts. This is how it works?” “Yep, that is Larry”.

I shot this photo using a water housing made by a well known surf photographer, and close friend who also happened to be a housing builder.

I used my wife’s Minolta X700 body with a Minolta 28mm lens and RVP 50 film. The water housing was hers as well. Veronica was one of two female surf photographers working for Surfer magazine when I became a professional surfer. Quite a ground breaker that way.

She was my wife, friend and photographer. It was a great excuse for us to travel together. She rarely used the water housing,  Ronnie swam like a rock. I knew this first hand from having pulled her to the surface before.

Larry called me into the office shortly thereafter, and asked me to bring my housing. I made the drive down to San Clemente, and as I handed the housing off, I could see what looked like anger on Larry’s face. “F ing —–“ he said, saying the photographer-housing makers name. “What?” I asked.

Flame told me that the 3/8 inch thick plexiglass port that my lens looked through, ruined optics, and that it was the housing makers means of  sabotaging his competition. “Fix it” were his sole words of advice. I did later that week, taking the port to a plexiglass fabricator and having him glue 1/8 optical grade glass in place after milling away the 3/8 inch thick plex that was ruining my lens view.

I was still shaping boards at the time that I shot this image. I have pretty much always been a board builder. I started when I was 12. The board Adam is riding is one of the first ones that I built for him, after he had come to me, and asked if I would coach him. I was shaping and building boards for a lot of pretty good surfers at the time. All of them were highly motivated. Adam, Bobby Martinez, Mary Osborne. A long list actually. But these are my close friends to this day.

The net result of Adam’s commitment and our joint efforts, resulted in him becoming one of the winningest amateur surfers in US history. In 12 months time, he won multiple regional, and two National titles, on both short and longboards that I built for him, start to finish. If anybody has won so many events in such a short time frame, coming from out of nowhere, so to speak, I am unaware of it.

I  tagged along with Adam on his adventure, shooting, shaping and coaching. But his strength was really rooted in motivation and desire. I simply believed. He did it all.

The other people’s stories, will need to wait till I unearth another image with a song to sing.

That was Flame’s terminology for imagery. Photos are the songs, and tell stories. Photographers were the singers.  And that image, well, time has passed… My mentor died of brain cancer.  I miss him. Adam has had a long career as a Professional, and the photograph remains contemporary for the most part. I bet Larry is still smiling about that. Last month, Ronnie borrowed a water housing from me. Motivation really is everything.

The Island

Monday, May 10th, 2010
The Island

The Island

A sloop rode astride disparate shades of blue, the ocean looking as if Gauguin had paletted every tone of that color available in the universe. The lone boat sheered through, cutting the briefest of white swaths, which were deftly consumed by azure strokes of the artist’s brush. Wind sung in the lines, with slap of bow and gurgle of wake, a pleasant serenade.

There is a vitality that seems to exist at the Equator. Astride the foredeck, with one hand grasping a stainless steel stay, it’s smooth gnurling carried the feel of the wind’s energy, that traveled as a throbbing pulse into the core of a weather colored form, which peered off through the broad expanse of blue forever. Green eyes rapt with sapphire horizon, reflected in mid morning light, calmly observing. Mind wandering, as creation’s flow traveled from sail to wire to body, and down through brown feet astride the rough texture, of a cream colored deck.

Wind and Water

Wind and Water

The singing of the rigging rose in timbre as the breeze freshened. The sails tugged more insistently: going, some place.

On a downwind run, the little boat leapt forward and the tang of salt carried on the breeze imparted a hunger for eggs with pepper, something the sailor had not tasted in awhile.

Man and boat sought an island, which lay amongst the great strand of viridescent gems, that comprise the Maldivian chain, which lie to the South East of India, astride both Laccadive and Indian oceans.

Memories convey persistent motivation, and it had taken some doing to reach this stretch of water, far removed from the busy world of commerce and hubbub, whose raucous cries, the green eyed man never seemed to miss.

Laccadivian Vision

Laccadivian Vision

In deeds past, and promises future, lay inspiration, hope, and somewhere, a particular island, where Creator touched and Creation responded, in purest form, with something unique in all the world. He knew she waited, and could feel fate in that morning wind, alongside something else, scarcely perceptible.

Tandem

Tandem

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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