Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara Photographers’

Surf Session

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

It is actually sort of rare for me to shoot surfing centric images. Often what is required to make a great image is even more complex than what is necessary to make a great break fire on all cylinders.

So having everything line up: talent, weather, swell, tide, attitude, schedule, is pretty rare. But when it happens. The quantity and bar of the work produced is mind blowing.

This week has been session after session.

This was yesterday.

Perfect day for what I do, when I finally  focus on surf.

Hans Rathje is the surfer. One of those guys who does everything well. Snowboard, BMX, Skate, Swim, a Lifeguard, and is 100 percent on point when it comes down to reading weather and swell. At 6’3″ you would never imagine how fast he is. Unusual for a big guy, that quickness.

This morning he was off. We both were. I slept in. He was off doing a swim test for his Rescue Diver Certification.

There is an amazing amount of swell and diverse weather heading in here right now. This has been quite the season.

If you get a chance read this story that I wrote which was published in Deep Magazine. Weathering Fall.

What I wrote on has come to pass. Lucky us who live round here.

The ocean is alive.

Earth Angel

Friday, March 5th, 2010


angel |ˈānjəl|
1. a spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God.

“So let the Earth give testimony.”

I was raised in Santa Barbara. Most of my earliest and therefore strongest influences, were based on my native Hawaiian Culture’s perception of man’s place in the world, and the catch all of SB culture’s budding eco consciousness, and the science based tenets of our University and College.

But one of the most basic of principals, and something upon which my work is founded, came not from my social and cultural mores, it actually was planted in me at conception. No one really understands how life generates. For lack of any more accurate descriptive terminology, we call the impetus that creates life, the hand of God.

Man is unique in all that walks, swims and flies the Earth. He has a level of power to affect his environment. He is a minor architect fashioned in facsimile to a grand Architect. It is why we are so cognizant of beauty, and as our culture grows away from its native tribal roots, where we lived close to the land, this beauty can serve to bring our attention back to our primary essence. That is a very important aspect to having a healthy culture and society.

We reside in the most complex of systems. Recently, man has developed a computer that has exceeded the computational power of the human brain. We are capable of affecting Spaceship Earth either in a positive, or negative manner on a greater level than ever before in our history.

We parachute into this spinning, wonderous blue ball, and become someone.

Then we leave, small and great.  Each one of us has that in common.

The Earth was made for us. As a citizen of this place, residing in a country whose very Constitution recognizes the tenet of being under God, I have a great respect for our responsibility to reflect and nurture through stewardship, this amazing planet.

But here is the really great thing about this place: it goes on, whether we affect it positively or not. That is how God designed it. The Earth gives a living testimony to His Sovereignty.  Science bases much on the Law of Entropy, which is the progression of things towards disorder. Mankind is one of the only creatures that I am aware of, that can actually have some affect on Entropy, yet true affect is relatively minor, when put in a global scale, or geological timeline, for humanity.

But whether we choose to act as responsible passengers or not, the spaceship will arrive somewhere some day, with an entirely new crew.  So what is important to you? How do you fit in? What is your role?  In a season, there will be new flowers growing. Each a blossom unto itself.

Here is a link to a demo reel that I did awhile back. It is very illustrative of our Earth.

It pays to know who is in charge.  All the rest is just the short strokes.

U2 and Greenday: Getting it done. The saints are coming. And if that was not enough. Eno and U2 with One. Amazingly on point.

David Fortson of Loatree motivated this post. He is a catalyst for change and sustainable thinking.



Click on any of the images in the Gallery for a larger view. I did this edit as an Earthday Homage. It is a sliver of what I see, in any given moment, in my passage on this ship.


Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
Rainbow Bridge one recent morning in Ventura

Rainbow Bridge one recent morning in Ventura

Brian Nevins name first came up almost ten years ago, as I was at Calumet in Santa Barbara and my pal Craig, had told me that a Brooks student was looking for me and wanted to assist. My answer had been somewhat sarcastic as I recall, something to the affect of : “What is he gonna hold my hand while I swim or something?”

The short of it is that Brian pursued the heck out of me and over a period of months, I relented. (I think Craig still laughs about it to this day.) We became best friends and eventually colleagues as his air status due to his Dad flying commercial jets allowed for Brian to pretty much go anywhere that I did.

It was with satisfaction that I attended Brian’s commencement ceremony at Brooks and watched he and Jon Steele (who later became one of my editors) graduate. In the ensuing years Brian and I traveled doing jobs together and I have watched with an immense pleasure as he hit stride and has become one of the better Photojournalists and human beings that I know with publications and commercial clients too numerous to list here.  Elite shooter and Brooks Instructor Ralph Clevenger calls this experience, where we watch people that we mentor grow, “The grand reward”.

The link to Brian’s website is here.

The copy and images below with the exception of the rainbow, were sent to me today by Brian:

A friend of mine just forwarded me a few images from my last trip to Nicaragua of the young girl Wendy and I at the beach. Besides a reminder of needing to start a weight loss program… I had a good reminder of those few moments in life that you strive to be a part of.
Wendy was the focus in my Surfers Journal article and has always been the face that drives my work and heart down in Nicaragua. If only you had the opportunity to spend one day with her… you would understand a lot more about what this life is really about.
Regardless… these are photos of us at the beach. The first time she has been outside of the dump, Managua and a life un-explainable. The first time seeing a surfboard and feeling the movement of the waves, the first time smelling salt water and having the sand burn her feet instead of the burning trash. Everything I’ve done in this life has given no greater perspective on whats real and whats important than to watch Wendy play in the waves for one day.
If only every day could be like this.

Click on any image in this blog for a full view.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.