Archive for December, 2010

Sliding into 2011: Year in Pictures

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflections

This link is to a new piece by Zuri Star called Keep Holding on. It fits the New Year quite well.

It seems that all around us this past year there was friction. In fact, I found myself enmeshed in three massive battles, all at the same time. I did not author those. I simply said “no” to three entities I saw as abusive of my fellow man, community and Ocean Environment.

friction |ˈfrik sh ən|
noun
the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another : a lubrication system that reduces friction.
• the action of one surface or object rubbing against another : the friction of braking.
• conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions : a considerable amount of friction between father and son.

So as we close out 2010 here are a few things to lubricate the road ahead.

A fantastic treatise on “love”, from the eyes of babes.

How to change the world completely, one girl at a time: The Girl Effect.

Beauty that matters. Sent along by Fernando Ismerio. A stunning high speed (slow motion) look at the oceans.

Seth Godin on 2011

Best to use lubrication when you have something big to move.

Because as it stands, anything worth attaining must overcome the things that impede progress and the only lubricant that sustains that in our lives is love.

Perfect love casts out all fear. (John 4:18) Fear is a mind killer

Easily said.

Lubricate.

Do it.

The images below are a small selection that are my Year in Pictures gallery. Click on any of them to toggle through as a slide show. I am stunned at what I managed to produce in motion and in stills with the Canon 5d Mark 2 system. 3 Music videos. 2 reality show teasers. 6 commercial Photography campaigns. 18 editorial features, and a book and six covers. Then there is all the random wonderfulness below.

Christmas Sonnet

Saturday, December 25th, 2010
Just like Gabriel

Just like Gabriel

This Song from John Lennon resonates with me. But not for the reasons one may at first surmise. For me the challenge is contained in the lyrics “So what have you done?” Doing, going, is what matters.

A young woman making her way up the stairs of a very old Catholic Church in the cold of a Milwaukee Wisconsin night, tripped. It was Christmas Eve. She had been on her way to Midnight Mass, as was the tradition for many Catholics of the time.

I was born sometime around 6 am the next morning.

People always ask me if I felt gyped by being born on Christmas, referring to the present count. My answer was set in stone from an early age, based on my experiences growing up in a rather strict household. “No, not at all.”

Being good Catholics, my parents had six kids, of which I was the first born. So discipline was pretty much a matter of survival for us as a family. But we had a tradition in our Goleta household, where my parents eventually had settled to raise us all. On your Birthday, you got to choose to do whatever you wanted. Since my day fell on Christmas, and the reigns of structure were loosened, I established a tradition for myself

I would wake early, everyone would excitedly rally round the Christmas tree which somehow, my parents always managed to have lavishly decorated and loaded with gifts under it’s scented boughs. Scarcely would that be done, and I was off down the road either walking or later, riding my blue Schwinn Varsity ten speed, to any number of Winter breaks that existed within a few miles of our house in University Village.

My Christmases are full of salton memories, of a plethora of days spent alone surfing, as none of my friends had such a tradition being offered by their parents. Glassy kelp strewn lineups, with Northwest groundswell sweeping down the points of the Gaviota Coastline, offered empty beautiful solace and inspiration on the celebration of the Creator of all’s birth. That meant a LOT to me. Still does.

So it came as no real surprise, especially in hindsight, that I should turn the respect and love for the Sea and all that inner meaning, into a career in Surfing and become enmeshed in various aspects of the Surfing industry as a surfboard builder. Everything I did while under the strict thumb of my parents, scholastically and regimentally, supplied me with the tools to succeed where few managed to.

Eventually I found myself being pried by industry and life changes which seemed to be sweeping me ashore far too frequently, back out to sea, as I became a Photographer. Specifically, first and foremost, a Water Photographer.

Funny thing about my career. It is all about communicating emotion and sharing. Giving, when no one asked. In hindsight, it strikes me as a very Christian avocation that modus. It is with no small sense of irony that I realize that the gift of me being born to my parents on Christmas, in turn lead to a domino like chain of events that presents what I do to a global stage today.

It leaves me with a deep sense of gratitude and purpose which generally has resulted in my own Christmas tradition based on the gifts God gave me.

Every Christmas, camera in hand, I meditatively shoot the things which inspire gratitude in me. I hold those, meditate on them and realize that everything in life is a gift, and comes with purpose. That is what I was given and in turn what I bequeath to others. It is all that I have of any value, really.

As I sit here at my computer, early on a Christmas morning, coffee on the rough hewn sturdy wooden table  growing cold, I remember the story of three kings following the light of a star to Bethlehem. They brought gifts to one who brought the greatest endowment of all, to mankind.

Just like mankind, gold, frankincence, myrrh: presents, things. But it was all that they had, a tangible representation of gratitude carried by faith and in hope, that what was to come by promise, would change the world forever. And it has.

So now the gifts we give, well they can be something greater, living.

The Gift of a Home

The Gift of a Home

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

The greatest gift of all. Jewel. Appropriate, and sent along by Eric Pederson.

The gallery below is Christmas in Ventura California, 2010. Click on any image to toggle through as a slide show.

Life Channel: Family Photo Album

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
The Irons Entourage. Surfer Poll

The Irons Entourage. Surfer Poll

It was not so long ago, that I shot everything on film. The reasons for that are mostly archive based. Film provides an analog image which can be scanned to whatever resolution and file size a client requires.

But then the 5D Mark 2 came along and with a parallel arrival of imaging program technology, it became possible to equal and in some ways exceed the imaging potential of many films. Even in motion picture.

5D Mark 2 generated image

5D Mark 2 generated image

I have an amazing amount of work sitting in image vis a files and huge binders. My sons have both worked scanning those into my library system. In process they each got a tutoring in digital post production and by contact got to see what really went on in my life.

The world of each artist is a LOT like a film or a TV Channel. We have a storyline and plot modus.

Dana and Bruce Brown

Dana and Bruce Brown

Seth Godin had this to say. I found it very on point

I consider what I will shoot carefully, and pursue it by placing myself in the right timeframe and mindset to witness things that the average person-viewer may not get to, but really should experience.

Otherworldly

Otherworldly

So every once in awhile I will take a glimpse through the scanned image files which are archived in several folders. Generally speaking no one will have seen these besides my sons and I.

So in a way, they are family photos.

Java

Java

Here is what I saw this week as I spent three days finalizing these files which I ran across in an edit. In it are everything from a view in an Al Quaeda occupied village , to the far shore, to the beach that lies down the valley which I can see from my bedroom window.

David Pu'u

David Pu'u

Each image has a pretty cool story. Wander through if you like.

Life amazes me. You all do, and the reason is:

because it matters.

Jeff White

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. “My Own Two Hands” A song for Jeff. Maybe listen to it while you read his obituary which was written by Gregg Tally.

Jeff White

Jeff White

Jeff White

1938 – 2010

Sandyland resident Jeff White passed away Friday, December 10, 2010, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Jeff was a lifelong waterman who was very much a part of early Santa Barbara surfing, influencing many young surfers through the years. He founded White Owl Surfboards, the Surf-N-Wear chain of surf shops, and he cofounded the Beach House with Roger Nance. He was a Velzy gremmie in his early years in Hermosa Beach. He was a Carpenteria lifeguard from 1958 to 1961 and was proud to have never had a fatality during his watch. He won many a dory racing championship with his rowing partner, Paul Hodgert. Starting the Rincon Classic was just one of the many ways Jeff mentored younger generations of Santa Barbara surfers. He truly loved people, and his big regret upon retiring was not to be in daily contact with the people who visited his shops. Jeff produced top-quality surfboards at White Owl, everything done in-house — he even blew his own foam in the back yard. He used the best materials and stood behind his product, employing such craftsmen as Stan “the Birdman” Veith, Tom Rowland, Brian Bradley, Tom Hale, Phil Becker, and Marc Andreini. In the mid-1990s, Jeff gave permission to two of his original gremmies, Andreini and Gregg Tally (who learned how to make a board under Jeff’s guidance), to revive the White Owl logo. Today, White Owl Surfboards and its surf team are still going strong, almost 50 years later. Jeff was unique, a truly wonderful person, and if you knew Jeff or got to meet him, you were truly blessed. He will be missed by many, loved by all, forgotten by none.

The Zuri Files: Westside Ventura

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Revolutionary Heart: Zuri Star

Revolutionary Heart: Zuri Star

I have a unique job, in that most of the time, I am drawn to subjects and they to me, not unlike a moon to a planet. I have never been able to figure out who is what in that constellation. But it probably does not matter.

This week saw a LOT of computer time as I worked on wrapping my commercial work for the year.

As I plowed the pixel fields of my hard drive borne library, I came across a project I had shot with Zuri Star as a collaboration of sorts. Zuri is a pretty remarkable recording artist and performer. But more than that, she and her family exemplify some of the very best aspects of America to me.

Zuri in Blue

Zuri in Blue

Daughter of an American activist, patriot, and pioneer in organic farming in the US, Bill Allen, Zuri understands the bigger picture of writing and communicating in music and in her life. Co- incidentally, she had also become one of the cadre of amazing women whose names, design modus and momentum are in the fashion and promotional lineup for Donna Von Hoesslin’s female driven company, Betty Belts.

One day, Zuri and I set out to walk the West Side of Ventura, where I have owned a home and raised my children. The West Side has texture. Sometimes it feels like the oil fields of Texas, or clamor and bustle of Mexico. Sometimes you think it is like the inside of a big crack house. But the reality is, that the West Side of Ventura exemplifies something every country and community needs: a place to get started.

 Self Starter

Self Starter

You either love it or hate it. Zuri has a new song released by that same title: Love or Hate.

Historic Ventura

Historic Ventura

I look at my own self and life process: the West Side was where I bought my first home. Fleeing from an unsustainable real estate market in Santa Barbara, and needing to follow the growth track of my low margin Surf Industry company of the time, the West Side of Ventura had been the logical choice. And no surprise, Dave Wallace, a long time Ventura resident, surfer, waterman and real estate agent, was the one who pointed me into the West Side. He knew what I needed.

It is a pretty unique place with a lot of History. The Chumash lived there at one point. (A good sign.)

West Ventura

West Ventura

So Zuri and I took a little walk down Ventura Avenue, and wound up in the Ag fields eventually. A farmer’s daughter with a revolutionary heart, in the land and backdrop of the families who founded Ventura.

Farmer's Daughter

Farmer's Daughter

So you can see how this works.

There is always more than meets the eye.

Our work and communities are matters of the heart.

Cherish that.

Heart Driven

Heart Driven

I shot this on film and on the Canon Rebel T1i system. The file I found had a remarkable amount of subject driven work in it. Sometimes what I have managed to create and collect surprises me. Pays to be in good company.

True West

True West

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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