Posts Tagged ‘Corbis’

Oceanlovers, Blue Ocean Sciences, Creativity and Commerce

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013


Note. click on any of the images to see them large and in full scale.

In this post are a few images from the past week shooting surf. It has been a remarkable Summer in that I never get to create a lot of high bar work around Ventura and Southern California this time of year. Weather and swell rarely line up as they do during our Winters. A warm and pleasant surprise is occurring!  That is one of the great things about Surfing. You never know when the presents will arrive. It keeps your appetite whetted and hones a weather eye which is innate to all of us who live attached to the Sea.



I work in some far reaching company endeavors these days. Two massive scale projects are Blue Ocean Sciences and the Ocean Lovers Collective. What those two groups are doing, is pretty incredible, really.  I never imagined being involved in something that could change the world, ever!  But it appears that I am.

I wrote about some of that on the Oceanlovers “Beyond a Blog” education asset today, in a piece titled The Blue Forge. I recommend it for anyone who believes they need to “save” something or someone.

I have long maintained that we really cannot save anything, our goal is to contribute, and to flow, in that is happiness and the good fruit of healthy change.

You can find some my commercially available image work at Corbis images here.  Corbis has been a great asset and help to me over almost 15 years and they supply my work to a large number of clients around the world with instant download delivery, and easy licensing.

And yes, believe it or not, I am always available to discuss shooting projects in Motion or Stills, from weddings like this one, I did as a guest for fun, for my friends at Paradise Pantry as a gift, to just about any subject one can imagine. Yea, weddings SHOULD be fun things. They are all about happiness!

I love it all, and am well qualified in every way. Should I not have the time or acumen a project requires, I connect that project to one of my remarkable colleagues. We are a talented bunch. Best people in the world in more ways than one would expect, and what we do adds ease, efficiency, affordability and an exceptionally high bar of imaging and content creation. There is literally no aspect of Motion Picture or Stills creation that we are not masters of, and many of us have a long list of imaging awards from Emmy’s to Film Festival wins as well as Journalism and Commercial successes to our credit.

Seth Godin has a bit to say about “The Bar”, here in his post titled: “But it only works sometimes”.

In fact, this concept of collective development is outlined further below, in a growing Venture amongst Artists at Oceanlovers.

You can  support the work of Ocean Lovers and Blue Ocean Sciences by patronizing our online store here! We all really appreciate it, and it helps feed sustainable growth AND the Artists.  The funds go to project development. In many Orgs, only a fraction of income goes to the Artists or the causes. In this one, almost every dime fuels change that matters, and the people who drive it. The products themselves are highest bar, in terms of Art and quality.

Aloha oe.

The Supermoon




A California Opus

Saturday, July 9th, 2011
Napa Orange Gold

Napa Orange Gold

Chapter 5 in the California Series.

I have not always lived in California. My Dad was going to college on the GI Bill in Milwaukee Wisconsin, at Marquette University. I had never asked him why, being from Hawaii, he chose the Mid West. He met my Mother there. That was where my two Brothers and I were born.

We were sick a lot as infants. The family pediatrician had told my parents that our Hawaiian genetics may have been to blame, as we did not tolerate the cold of  hard, Midwestern Winter very well. In fact, I ended up in the hospital. I remember the experience vividly. It was a bleak time of laying in an oxygen tent in a ward, and staring out a third floor hospital window, looking at the City, watching.

Eventually, the family moved to California where my Father explored his career as an Engineer. My parents bought a home in Whittier California.  The design of the first computer, as well as launch of the Space program, became a regular part of our household, via my Dad’s work.

In some ways, we were healthier in the warmer climate of California. However, a problem arose. I developed allergies. Those caused a lack of energy, and attendant respiratory problems. I began getting injections twice a month (one in each arm), which helped alleviate the symptoms. I still get a phantom muscle ache, when I think about those shots.

I recall days where one could not see the nearby foothills, which created the basin in which Whittier is located, such was the density of the smog prevalent in California in the 1960’s. It had been around this time that the massive citrus groves disappeared from the area, being replaced by housing tracts and strip malls. Part of a methodical, concreting over of the Los Angeles area.

I was already a swimmer at this point, having learned to bodysurf, ride foamies, and inflatable mats, at the beaches in and around Newport, Huntington, Palos Verdes and South Bay. I swam for a local AAU team. But those allergies were a persistent problem. The only time I had true respite, was when we were at the beach.

Due to my diminutive size, and sort of sickly nature, my parents decided that I needed to wait to get a surfboard. By this point, it had been a topic of discussion for a couple years. But my water activities, which included fishing and diving, kept me pretty busy.

I craved those idyllic long days at the beach. I have fond memories of ten hour days in the water,  a piece of chicken, or a few rice balls, snatched on the run, from the picnic lunch my Mom would have made, very early that morning, as she loaded up the white 1955 Chevy wagon, for the long (to me) drive to the beach. I had fallen for California.




ID Please

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
Who Are You?

Who Are You?

In marketing, one of the principal rules, is to identify the product in the eyes of the market.

I am often introduced as a surf photographer. It is not that I eschew the title, which truly makes me die inside at the proffering of that description.  Someone inevitably must endeavor to communicate what indeed it is, that one shoots. I do shoot surfing. I love the ocean. Surfing professionally was something that I was proud to have done for a substantial portion of my life, as it kept me IN the sea daily. But that is not what I am. I am truly not a surf photographer.

So those who know me, found it not that big a surprise when I started shooting empty waves. It was a sociological reason to be in the water that could conceivably lead to something related to making a living. Yea right? Right. Huge long shot. Not likely to amount to a fiscally viable career.  Think about it. If someone stood before you, and held out an archaic plastic box, with a camera and one lens in it and said: “I am going to swim out to sea as often as I can, and in as many places as I am able, for X number of years and make a living, what would you say to that person? (Insert suggestions for medical and psychological care here)

But that is what I did. No one was doing wave work much at the time. Preiss was not. Woody was gone, Greenough was doing dolphins.  It seemed to make sense, in a  round about way to me. I love the water. Off I swam, clickety click, day after day, alone. I would rise in the wee hours, prep my lone camera and housing. Wander down to the beach. Pull on cold rubber in the dark, and as the eastern horizon began to brighten, swim out. Fun times. Enlightening.

Not too much later, I was in the offices of Corbis Images, Los Angeles, having taken a few months time, and organized some slide books and been accepted into that agency’s ranks. Corbis used to hold regular gatherings for its Photographers. We would be tutored in all things photography related by the best people in the business, surrounded by again, the best photographers in the business. People that shot all manner of styles and subjects.

Driveway Toolbox

Driveway Toolbox

At this particular gathering, the entire day was dedicated to creativity. As I sat in our second gathering of that morning, along with approximately 200 of the best shooters in the world, we listened to someone who today, would be doing what has come to be known as a TED talk. (here is a good one) Her subject was creativity.

One statement stood out for me as being the starting gun for my fledgeling career. She said: ” If there is any one thing that I could tell you to do that would guarantee your success, this is it: learn to image your emotions.” Those simple words hit me like phosphorescent, shining, drops of brilliance. My mind instantly expanded and I saw my potential.  And then she stopped.

Corbis VP at the time, Steve Davis, stood up. In essence, he said this (paraphrased). “You all can shoot any subject in the world, and Corbis will help you do it. Anything! But choose wisely, because what you engage, will become your life and what you will be known for. The room was silent. Two hundred of the world’s best, all got it.

In the ensuing years, I shot things that I had empathy for.

empathy |ˈempəθē|
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

This week I turned in imagery for an agency in Europe. They had thought I was as surf photographer. The Art Director received approximately 500 images that comprised 30 different subjects. Ten of those were water related. One was surfing. Those 500 pieces are part of a 350,000 image library.

As I look across its ever increasing capture of bright moments, this is what I learned.

That I cared.

One must.

That is what I am:  someone who cares.





Small Town, Big World

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Bobby Hart gets it.

Bobby Hart gets it.

I get a global look at things through my photography business, which has web strands anchored to many countries. I see something first hand, that many do not have the personal luxury of acquiring: a broad economic  and cultural perspective.

This country is in the single greatest period of change and challenge since the Great Depression. So what to do, as assets dwindle and fiscal potential narrows? For the answer,  look to the past.

About a year ago, a group of people met in my little town. There were a series of meetings actually. No official city committee was involved. No State or Federally appointed grant commissions were tapped. The consensus was, that our town was hurting, and consequently, change was being wrought that could forever alter the things that make Ventura a unique and authentic place to live.

Christmas Wishes and Our Friends

Christmas Wishes and Our Friends

My friend and colleague Shawn Alladio, (also a member of “Team Betty” as Donna calls her girls)  runs another global scope company called K38 Rescue. Shawn always tells me that doing something, action of some sort, is the best answer one can give. Too many people forget that action part.

So that group did something. Each one. Individually and collectively. Even as some saw the US fiscal collapse bring the fight to survive right to their front door, they resolved to contribute. They became agents of change.

I am not talking about peanut sized problems. Some of these people lost homes, businesses, commercial holdings, marriages teetered. It is the stuff we read about occurring in that Great Depression: suffering.

It is no secret that in many ways, American Small Business is the fiscal backbone of this country. But what happens when a Government gone over large and linked to big business, looses focus and leaves Small Business in the lurch? What then?

The answer lies in your own community. Each member has assets of a sort, but more to the point each PERSON is the single most important asset that there is. People are what matters in this world of ours.

When a community comes together, it is entirely possible to fabricate a cultural and economic micro climate that can be vital, and buck National trends. My home town of Santa Barbara has always done this. It is one of the reasons I know this works. SB has always maintained a fiscal integrity separate from the rest of the US. Even now.

Many people think that it is due to the uber rich living there. That has not been my experience. As someone who ran businesses there starting at the age of 15, I learned that SB was a microclimate unto itself because of its sense of community. Santa Barbara works together.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

So I had a look back at the past. There are many stories that have stood the test of time, that have brought hope. People need hope. So we tell stories. It is what journalists and photographers do.   But the world requires action to be taken as well.  Being stuck at home, due in part to the collapse of paper publishing, I began to organize my own resources as a writer, photographer and film maker, and turn my global focus back on to my own community. It is not unlike what one would do as a child: playing with a magnifying glass.

For the first time, my own town would become my primary focus, along with the imagery that has contributed so much to my commercial library. Hopefully things would warm up as a result of the action of my own magnifying glass in our chilly local economy.

So “This Is Ventura”, a video montage, was created to communicate what makes my town unique. It showed first as an expression of gratitude during Artwalk. It may, in title at least, become the calling card for a collective of local residents to unify a town by focusing on small business and the tenets of inter community support.

Community involvement makes for a more robust source of income for the City and allows for the advance of Art, Culture and Creativity, which in turn provide a foundation of hope. It is a strong hedge against the forces which seem to be dragging our country into the gutter.

Last week, my friend Kat Merrick, (one from that original group) via Facebook, let us know that she was planning a get together at a local Restaurant and bar. Jonathan’s is located across from Mission San BuenaVentura.  Well known local musicians, Bobby Hart, Eric Lemaire, and others, were going to perform. It would be a good time.

My girlfriend, Donna Von Hoesslin, who heads up yet another globally connected small business that is based here (Betty B) told me that she was in desperate need of images for a new line of jewelry which is designed by members of Team Betty.

Donna Von Hoesslin

Donna Von Hoesslin

So we dropped in on the party at J’s, sat in the window booth and shot the girl’s designs there as Bobby and crew rocked. Typically we would do this away in some distant land, or somewhere on the coast. Definitely not associated with any particular business. (I actually have developed a penchant for Ventura night, street shoots) But deciding to both take care of Betty B’s business needs, and provide bodies, texture and a few extra dollars to the day’s till at J’s, allowed for an exponential increase of benefit for everyone involved.

Here is a video that explains in 4 minutes, the gist of Donna’s remarkable company. We did the piece for the Intuit Small Business United program. It helped Donna win a 5000 dollar grant from Intuit, which she used to help fund her Bali expedition.

On Bali last season, Hailey and Sierra Partridge, Jeanette Ortiz, Mary Osborne, and Donna, did a Betty B design trip. Each one of the girls worked with the local artisans who comprise a portion of Donna’s creative team, to produce collection pieces that exemplified themselves as ocean connected women. Each young woman then selected a cause or charity, whereby Betty B would donate a portion of the income from sales of each piece.

Donna’s company is a very active member of yet another organization, which was the brainchild of Ventura’s Chouinard family (Patagonia), which is called One Percent for the Planet. Through One Percent, Donna and other companies support David Booth’s fantastic Organization, the East Bali Poverty Project, which literally is changing the face of Bali, by educating the youth on their connection to the environment via the Arts and cultural action.

So with our country on the ropes, it all starts here. With me. With you. In our own back yard.

The answer is right there in your community: your dollars are a part of your voice. Now do something. Do it for yourself. Do it for your town. But more importantly: do it. By acting locally you affect Globally, as well as Nationally. Do it.

A Global Doorway

A Global Doorway

This song from John Mellencamp is very appropriate. Our past is our future. It begins today.

So after several days of post production that Betty B shoot has 120 images in the final edit. Those images will go various places. General commercial use for Betty B, the girl’s individual projects, to my agency rep at Corbis images, and to various editorial concerns that continue to use my work. I never know where an image will find an eventual home. I am often pleasantly surprised to see a billboard, or international ad campaign base itself on my work.  But it is especially nice to know that those moments were created here,  in Ventura, California.

The following montage is from that Betty B shoot at Jonathan’s,  and is an example of what the group, which has taken the name of Totally Local VC, wants to do: bring us all together. Together, we win. Click on any of the images for a larger view, and to toggle through as a slide show.  Then go patronize a local merchant, and change your world.

Drawing the Line

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Tyler Warren, Walking the Line

Tyler Warren, Walking the Line

Learning to say  “no” was one of Life’s hardest lessons for me. It came at great expense to those I love most in the world. No is not simply the absence of yes. It is the proverbial line in the sand of our life’s path. For a photographer and artist it is quite possibly the single most important thing that one can ever learn, because it is the no’s that will give you the space for the yeses that determine your subjects and future.

I have had several “aha moments” in a career association with my agency, Corbis Images. One of them was relatively early on when company VP Steve Davis spoke about choices. Steve stood in front of 200 of us, a collection of the best photographers in the world, and in five minutes explained how to create a career. I paraphrase below.

“We will help you to shoot virtually anything and anyone in the world. But choose wisely, because your choice determines everything about how your life will go”. Heavy statement. What this truly meant is that we had the weight, influence, and support of one of the most powerful imaging entities in the world holding the door open to a myriad amount of sets. The world of Music, Entertainment, Sports, you name it, this Bill Gates owned company had just said that they would commit to fulfill our desires as artists. We had been handed an e ticket really.

In the same meeting a creativity specialist spoke on the primary goals of an artist. Another “aha moment” occurred. She simply said: “Learn to image your emotions.” I will leave that statement alone. It needs no amplification or pollution by me.  It needs to be deciphered by you.

I chose my life to image, and the people and subjects that I love. I did this by uttering a complex word. I said “no” to everything else.

Today I say no selectively a lot. But this allows me to respond with yes,  frequently. It is why I am busy.

I get requests for me to give away my life every day, This is illustrated below in a funny tet a tet sent to me by Sean Davey. Saying no is more important than yes for a life and career. It all starts with no really. Remember being two? What was it you learned to say?  “NO!” Funny how we need to relearn that later in life.

From Sean:
Found this very funny add linked in a thread on Fred Miranda -

Seeking hardworking service providers…
Date: 2008-01-31, 9:28AM CST

I’m a fabulously wealthy photographer / artist making money hand over fist. Here’s what I need:

A mechanic to overhaul my custom ’57 Chevy.
A maid to clean my house on a regular basis
A doctor to perform some minor surgery on me.
A band to perform theme music for me where ever I go.
A carpenter and electrician to build an extra wing on my sweet house in East Austin.
A nanny to watch my spoiled kids.

Of course there will be no pay involved. In return for your services you will get FULL CREDIT on my website, AND you can add all of this work to your PORTFOLIO! If you ask me, this is an absolutely awesome deal!

I hope to have you work for me soon!

Seth Godin had this to say about NO.

Writer Harlan Ellison’s take is here

Click on any of the images below in the gallery for a back story. They exist because I said no.

Garrett MacNamara , Cortes Bank

Garrett MacNamara , Cortes Bank

Afternoon Wave



Keiki Explosion

Keiki Explosion

 Crucifixion, Adam Gray-Hayward

Crucifixion, Adam Gray-Hayward

Makaha Blue Afternoon

Makaha Blue Afternoon

Nias Morning

Nias Morning

Sean's Dawn

Sean's Dawn

Ventura Morning, Anyday

Ventura Morning, Anyday

California St Evening

California St Evening

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.