Posts Tagged ‘Donna Von Hoesslin’

True Generosity

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Vernal Retreat

There is a place on Bali which my wife insisted we visit. It is a Botanical Garden. Seems sort of obsequious, the idea of building such a thing in a place where one could plant a broomstick and it would grow. But I assure you it is anything but.

The place is a model of true generosity.

The man whose dream and life works this was, is gone now, having become part of that more grand sonnet which time plays with us all. But his gift, it grows on. And it is beautiful beyond comprehension. German writer Stefan Reisner authored this, and it quite likely is his best work.

So the next time you think about what matters, consider this. Sometimes the most beautiful acts are going to be those which you will never get to experience first hand but you authored, anyway.

Oh and Donna (my wife) gets all this. She has ears like an elf and draws inspiration for her design work from places like this. As she and I come up on our one year wedding anniversary, I am blessed ever more to walk through a life wedded to someone whose sensibilities are timeless.

All of us should be so fortunate.

Dream well.

Donna Designing


David Pu’u: Film School Project

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

I get letters somewhat regularly, as do many of my colleagues, from Film and Art School students who as part of their class assignment lists need to study a Photographer or Film Maker.

I take these seriously. Since I get a fair amount of them, I decided to do a blog on the subject.

The following excerpt is one I really appreciated as it came from the daughter of someone I went to school with. I am pasting it below with some entertaining and informative links that will give anyone who possesses a moderate amount of effort and ability to self motivate, a great look at what exactly it is that I do. If one looks a little bit more closely (I am a firm believer in incentives-reward for effort) there is a treasure trove here for a young Creative mind.

The Correspondence:

I have known about you for a while because my dad and I would always look at Surfer mag and he would see your pictures. He would go…David Pu’u, I met him in 7th grade P.E. class. So I have always been a big fan of your work. I see from your website you have been doing some video things as well. I would just like to get some background info about you. For my project I need to talk about you from 3 min. So whatever info is most important.
Some questions:Where did you grow up?

Santa Barbara Ca. Here. Google can be your friend sometimes (Or the road to massive distraction if one is ADHD prone like I am)


Where did you attend college?


SBCC. I was in Pre med and transitioned to business. Never finished my 4 year degree (came close) as I was already running a  company, on the radio as a personality, and doing entertainment based projects.

When did you start photography?

When I was 12. My Dad was a map maker and Photographer in the Military. He gave me his Army issue Nikon kit, and I self taught.


What was your first job out of college?

I never had one. I worked my way through, as a Restaurant Manager and Production Manager for a packaging company.

Then transitioned into Professional Athletics as a competitive Cyclist and Professional Surfer.


When and how did you start your business?

Which one? (There are 4 right now
) I have pretty much run my own companies since I was 24. I am 57 now.


What kind of camera do you use?

Depends on what I am trying to create. My last film was shot for Nat Geo on an innovative high speed 3D system which WHOI built for me from scratch. I own a large Canon film and DSLR kit for stills and have a large high speed film kit which I built for high speed motion picture capture.

The way that this works is that I am required to know how to work on any system in existence. For example, on my first film project as a Director of Photography, the director asked me if I could shoot on a specific camera System made by Photosonics. I said yes, no problem. They hired me. I called Photosonics up and went in and they tutored me on their system. If I had needed more help, I would have hired an AC. Understand? I rocked the shoot, BTW.


How is making the transition from photo to video?

I have never been a Videographer. I am a Cinematographer. A Videographer turns on the camera and documents action. A Cinematographer uses choreographed camera moves and looks,  to facilitate telling a story.


What lies ahead in the future?

Depends on what you are asking about really. I am not being flippant. That is a really odd question for me. I would need it to be very specific.
You don’t have to answer all of these, but maybe we can talk on the phone sometime. Where are you located?

I am in Ventura, Ca. A Bio is attached. The links below might help a bit as well.


Thanks for the quick response.

No problem.
As you have probably guessed, I am not a “Surf Photographer”, though I love being one of the best in the world in that genre. I have lived a life in the water, so it is an “area of specialization” for me within the craft.
I am merely a creative who cares, and has learned how to effectively use all my skills to benefit others. If you take anything away from this, let it be that people tend to believe what they read, and since a photo is worth a thousand (s) words, we have a high level of responsibility as content authors, to be both informed and ethical, as well as highly skilled and committed.
This is why:
 We picked up one of the most powerful tools in the world in the pursuit of the implementation of change: the Camera.
Someone whose Tribe I am in is Seth Godin. Here Seth writes about something critical to the life of a Creative:  Competence Vs Possibility.
Here is a video that I created as a photo collage which I did at Stoneworks Gallery in Ventura, during a fantastic joint show with the Artist Robb Havassy, and Sculptor Michele Chapin. We have these wild creative evenings with our friends. Life is like this. Our work can be anything, but really, Art is all about the communication of emotion in any given medium(s).
So don’t forget to play! ;0)
Be an Artist and you will always have work. Be a Photographer and you will always be looking for work.
Below is a little Gallery I have hastily assembled from what was on my desktop today. Thanks for your sweet letter.
Aloha Nui Loa

Tis the Season

Friday, November 23rd, 2012



We all know what the Holidays in North America typically are significant of: the prior sacrifices and services of the forbearers of the Nation and Christianity. Of course aside from those, at the core, it should be about the inception of gratitude.

Traditions are funny things. Over time the embeds get, well… buried.

Seth Godin has this to say about it today.

Black Friday. Really? I hate the name. Black, the absence of light, love, or gratitude.

My wife, Donna had to explain it to me. Keep in mind, such has been my own transformation, that she was tutoring a man with approximately 20 years of product manufacturing and retail experience. This is what she told me last night as my sons, and two of my colleagues were sharing some Thanksgiving time together.

“David, Black Friday is about putting retailers back in the black on their balance sheets. You know, as opposed to being in the red! ”

“Oh, I see.” And I did. But likely not what she thought.

We are so wrapped up in the day to day struggles here in this country that we are easily sold out, and  that  personal resolve, it sometimes becomes an unwitting and yes, even unwilling participant in something we ought to refrain from.

Well why should we resist? I mean, isn’t this supposed to be about giving? What are we to do?

Easy. Never stop doing what we can, and do it for no other purpose as to act in an expression of what is in our heart. Better make sure what is in there is not Black. It really needs to be white.

This weekend, Donna is having a company sale at her retail and online stores. But her take is a little bit different. Hurricane Sandy gutted the East Coast. There is no way existing Govt programs are going to be able to do much to alleviate suffering as Winter descends.

All week long, while I had been wrestling with issues regarding Blue Ocean Sciences and OceanLovers tech project for radiation remediation in Japan, Donna had been studying up on the problem of the East Coast. I had given her little in the way of hard advice, but had explained what to look for.

I do work in affiliation with K38 Rescue. We are tutored and trained in disaster response. I know a bit about the process, especially after witnessing what Shawn Alladio did during Katrina, and more.

So here is what Donna found. On the East Coast is a group Called Clean Ocean Action. For many years they have coordinated social and environmental programs on the East Coast. On Dec 8th they have a projects call, were they want everyone to contact them and will act as a liason to put resources where they need to go. As a trained first responder, I have to state and underscore, that this is VERY smart.

So instead of a Black Friday push, Donna and Betty B will donate 25% of all sales both online and in her store all weekend long, to Clean Ocean Action, and write a check and send it on Monday. NOT black. Green. Understand?

That is how we all ought to think: reach out, connect, and do so intelligently.

Giving is really about the beneficiary and not us, as the givers. That gets buried, much as one would think that it does not.

My brilliant friend Pete Ippel, left me a note on Facebook which I found this morning. A youtube piece called Buy NOTHING Day.

“Gratitude. It is a response to the gifts that are given to us in life. And when we commit to a life of gratitude, life becomes a complete gift of receiving and giving. It brings peace and contentment as a result. “-¬† Dr. Ed Brenegar

I unfortunately do not sell much, but I do have affiliates who carry some of my work.

This weekend, Solitary Exposure is doing a promotional sale. Donna also has a bit of my framed Artwork that she sells in her Fir St Store here in Ventura. So let’s do this. I will take 25% of my royalty payments from all sales via Betty B and Solitary Exposure from today till Christmas, and write a check to Clean Ocean Action in their mission to alleviate suffering from Hurricane Sandy.

But what I want any one you to do is this: say or write to Larry Beard or Donna, that you are grateful for what they are doing. Express gratitude in word and deed.

That matters.


Here is a little gift.

It is what is in my own heart, after much study about what goes on in Japan right now. I will write on that when I have a bit more time.

Aloha oe, a hui ho.

Messenger Arc

Friday, June 22nd, 2012


It was foretold in the beginning, that the day would come.  In those early times, Man lived in harmony with all that surrounded him. His days were long in the Earth, and he had Communion with every thing. His Creator enveloped  him in a joy and order, that brought great resonance of heart with all that was.

Soul to soul to Spirit, such was the nature of order in those times.

Prophecy is a strangely wonderful thing. In the expounding, there is always something of significance to be learned. It will draw the heart of man back to a place of comfort and confidence.

But there are always other choices to be made. We really get to choose, what it is that we will follow,  believe, expound and embrace as our truth.

The Messengers  were called back first.



It was at the end of those days and in a time, when  Men would call evil, good, and  in so doing, brought the world to a place of great peril. Hearts darkened, they drank of the cup of death, for soul and planet, and knew not the Truth nor recognized it as any source of order.

Hard to imagine, now, what that must have been like, as we walk in this beautiful, perfect, blue and green laced globe, where Love reins, and all, as in an arc, is so similar to that time of genesis.

Her name is Neosanctum now, and she is again, refuge to all that is sacred, and in great harmony. Mother of all life.  And once more, there is joy in the Coastlines and Islands.




                                                Baruch malakhi Adonai.


I am just back from a week of creative work in Northern California. This piece is a tiny slice of what was created. My fiance, Donna Von Hoesslin flew up to meet me and do some work,  as did Photographer Larry Beard of Solitary Exposure, our new Art agency, where you can see and purchase works like these illustrated above.

The Solitary Exposure Collection is linked here.

The Beauty of Story

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I stepped out of a marriage of over 22 years into an odd situation at the age of 44.

Having been married for most of my adult life, and walked a less than conventional path, the roadmap of memories and tales was rather, um, let’s say: convoluted. I had done a lot of things which when examined from our cultural perception of “normal”, were far from any definition of the term.

That, surfaced immediately, when I began to ply the dating seas. I learned early on that it was best to not really talk about what I had done in life that was interesting to me. (why I did those things) and maybe pick a more banal means of explaining my life history. Made for a longer date, I found.

I applied myself to dating, in similar fashion to how I learn anything. I study, organize, and totally immerse myself in the experience. That modus left me with a long list of women to meet. So for a couple months I dated. The process is what taught me a lot about the art of the story, or for me, the weaning and reducting of the details, of the story of my life.

I would go on 1-2 dates per day. And in doing so, I learned that women tend to have a great mistrust of the tales we men tell them. The fly in the ointment being ,that I really had no agenda (for them). I just wanted to figure out what being single meant. So I dated. And dated. And dated some more. I met some really neat gals, and in process, realized that people tend to not believe much of what they are told, if it is secretly, what they want to hear.

I think that the very best example, was a woman I will call  Y. Y was a beautiful Oriental woman who worked for a local Biomedical Tech company. Particularly inquisitive, she pressed me for the details of my past and present life. Keep in mind that almost two months of dating college had transpired. I was about up to my neck fed up ,in masking who and what I was, in order to carry on what would pass for a normal conversation. So I let Y know what was in my past. My athletic careers, car racing and building, radio and TV work, Company development, Environmental work, my great kids and the fond and long term relationship I had existed within, with my former wife.

Then I told her about what I was doing at that moment. Traveling as an Editorial and Commercial Sports and Lifestyle Photographer and Writer, working in Motion Picture. I talked about some of the adventures I had experienced most recently. I did the Journalistic account of the life of David F Pu’u. Who, what, when, where, why and how.

And Y simply looked at me. Unflinching. Out of the blue these words came out. “I will never let you use me for sex”. Y left me going in circles with that one. But then I realized something.¬† People use the Art of the story, quite frequently, to gain a foothold in your heart. But the problem for Y and I, is that this was not my intention. I was simply fed up, after 2 mos of NOT telling my story, and conforming to the dance, which I had learned, really is descriptive of the dating process.

A somewhat awkward goodbye transpired, and I figured we were pretty much done. But three days later, Y called, and I reckoned that I could tolerate another date. Heck, maybe we just got off on the wrong foot. So we met in a Thousand Oaks restaurant, for a cocktail, me having driven down from Ventura, and pretty much right away, Y revealed her tack. I had not said too much this time, to be honest. “David, why are you lying to me? I told you, I am not letting you use me for sex”

My response was to tell her what I had done since we last met. Which brought up some of the wonderful women I get to work with. Y grew flustered, when I finally politely told her that I really had no sexual agenda where any woman was concerned, and that this dating thing, was me getting feet down on the ground, and learning, after being half of a couple all my life what being single really meant.

A strained hug and kiss on the cheek and a faint “see you” and I in a much relieved fashion, went back to my car. What had just happened? Well, whatever it was, I felt violated. I also realized that Y maybe had “issues” which possibly required me to run, as fast as possible, in the other direction. But here is the deal. I never run away from scary stuff. I always run at it. Makes for a better story if you know what you are doing.

So the next day I rang Y up. (I know, against the rules. Too soon) “I was wondering if you and I could meet for dinner next Friday? I am meeting friends down your way.” I had told Rick, a pal of mine who happened to live nearby in Westlake, and Kathe, a close friend and one of the women I enjoyed shooting with, the story of Y. They both reckoned she was crazy. But I maintained that I could be as much to blame as she. Well, Y said “sure”, and I went about the work week subtly, and possibly sadistically, looking forward to our “date”.

Kathe, as is her sense of humor and style, showed up looking  striking in a low cut top,  short skirt, 5 inch heels, and close to six feet of lithe brunette wonderfulness. I think Rick showed up looking like a version of Mr GQ rugged, on a superbike. (Three against one). The thing is, these were my dear friends. Family. We weathered the seas of change in life together. They were a part of my story, and I theirs. We loved each other. I was convinced Y was in a desert devoid of that.

So in the course of dinner and conversation, both of my friends, let Y know that I was a liar, by telling her the rest of the story about me, that we mattered to each other. As I looked into Y’s eyes and saw reality dawn on her, I got it. I understood being single, dating, everything. Anyone who a man or woman chooses to be with must merit (deserve) those precious moments that comprise the existence which we call life. Y did not. She simply was not qualified.

The next day, I was a bit surprised when my phone rang as I was on set working on a film (Vibrate mode) and it was Y. This is what she said. “Hey, I have a sister. I think you two would really like each other” Bingo. The win. She got it.

Love your life and story. It really is all that you have.

Here is a great and well timed blog by Seth Godin on A True Story.

Today I head up to Silicon Valley with my Fiance, Donna Von Hoesslin, and friend and colleague, Dr Andrea Neal to do a LOT of amazing things. But one of them, is to sit on a panel of people who are a part of a project called the Sea-Space Initiative. I just read 24 biographies. I look forward to THEIR stories and hopefully I can add some salt water from my own, as we examine Space, Sea and the destiny of mankind.

This film, by Dana Saint, and his girlfriend, is called A Story for Tomorrow. I always share it when possible. Watch it and you will know why. Have a tissue handy.

Below are a few images from the ridiculousness of my wonderful life. Each is a story. It is the only thing we have, our lives, and our story. Best thing that one can do for humanity, is to tell yours.



© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.