Posts Tagged ‘Ted talks’

Be the Enlightened

Monday, March 5th, 2012
Notes From the Beach

Notes From the Beach

This morning as I prepared for the workday, it was all hustle and bustle in my home. Wrestling with twenty pound cats, charging camera batteries. Organizing my gear for a shoot. Scanning weather data.  Reading a Chapter of Michael Kew’s new book, “Crossings”, and perusing Facebook a bit. Adding a few posts, while monitoring my tone, as best as I am able.

I was surprised to see the face of a rather chubby and notorious “pundit” on the walls of many of my “liberal progressive friends”. These are people who normally would never allow themselves to be in the same room with the man, let alone advertise him on their personal pages. As is that guys normal M.O. he had flamed “an innocent” and now cries of outrage were all over the place. To read it, you would have thought that the man’s actions were something new.

But they were not.

He does this for a reason. It works.

So now my friends were all calling for him to be taken “off the air”. The pundit has got to be laughing. Why? He just won. He got people who are normally pretty level, to stoop to his calculated level AND advertise some of his vitriol as well.

That is the modern World which we live in. It is one of egregious misdirection and it is generally done for one primary reason, and issues forth from the shadow world of fiscal prurient interest. That intention being, to control the attentions of a body of people so that they do not focus on the real issues at hand, so that some may profit.

The net effect of this, is that people who should be collectively outraged by the greater issues, which crush our spirit and land, run in circles and tilt at windmills. Funny thing about windmills. As long as a wind blows, they will continue to turn, and the grinding wheel crushes all productivity. Unfortunately it is the bottom which our formerly Democratic Republic has reached, as Partisan Politics have become a mere facade, which thinly masks the Corporatism whose strings manipulate the players in Govt.

I won’t put the pundit’s name or face on my blog. He is a notorious bottom dweller, and his handlers are smart men. I have had little but disgust for the man most of my life. But I do accede to his unalienable right to pursue his work and business and his contrived “opinions”

We all should. But if one disagrees with him, the best thing to do is to ignore the entire mess. Don’t buy in on anything associated with him. Just stop. Personally act. And help someone who builds. Put your attention there. Much needs fixing these days. We all need to study up, focus, and refuse to be led astray. CREATE something. Grow.

Wolfgang Von Goethe put it well.

“Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.”

Yesterday, a Sunday, was spent studying a wide variety of things. Twelve hours straight online, while slowly working through an art file from a shoot the other day, when pressure and a feeling of claustrophobia from tales of much nastiness being delivered to my in box about my own poorly led town, made me feel in need of a saltwater bath. (Images posted below)

On my return, I had sat down to watch a  Ted talk that Donna Von Hoesslin had sent me. I liked the talk. But what I found most enlightening was the discourse which followed on the TED website. It was compelling enough that it caused me to finally register for Ted, and begin my own contribution to the conversations which occur there. I do not engage everything. The reason for that, is life today has the effect of a riot on the soul and psyche. Information, disinformation, lies, misdirection, leveraging, manipulating, all of it really an endeavor to market: something.

Here is that Ted talk. Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future

The realization that all marketers are liars is what turned me on to Seth Godin actually. The man has chops. But some lies really sneak up on one. Pays to be enlightened. Seth perpetually riffs on how marketing works and in reading him, you begin to step into a certain flow of understanding, regarding who indeed your puppet master may be. That is crucial, if one wants progress within a Community and in one’s life and work and yes, family.

Coming up this month is the Triiibes 2012 Global Retreat, which will be hosted by our friends here in Ventura California. We are calling the event, FLOW. Our hope is that in this impressive gathering of bright lights, that people will connect and participants benefit in their lives, businesses, and Communities from stepping into Flow, and away from strife. Here is the website.  Check out the speakers, peruse the plans. See if it is a fit for you. Come. You are invited. The only caveats being that you know about Seth Godin,  NEED some flow, and have something to add to the conversation. That is right, YOU are to be a co creator of Flow 2012. The event should be a LOT of fun, and is being organized by some very generous and talented people, who all want you, and your community to thrive. There is much strength to be gained in that, if we invest in our Tribe.

The images below are me stepping into my source of flow. The sea. If you come to Flow 2012, in the tradition of the ancient Polynesians, we are going to throw you in it.

Sent along by Skip Saenger, this very pertinent TedX music presentation by Jackson Browne. “If I could be anywhere”.

Aloha oe.

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.






Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Donnas jumping off point. Port of San Francisco.

Donnas jumping off point. Port of San Francisco.

I just finished building a little video for my girlfriend Donna, and her eco themed company, Betty Belts- Betty B. The video is a requirement for grant payment in a competition created by US business software company Intuit. We just finalized the piece and Donna managed to get out the door, a bit teary eyed, without actually having to pry my hands off her neck. Yes, we did this together.

I knew going in, that this project, which was to be a summary of her story that won the grant and you can read here, would be difficult.  The parameters would be much more narrow than if I were producing a film. To make it fair we would shoot on one camera, use no sound guy and rely on ourselves and friends to assemble a life’s story into ummm, here is the tricky part: four minutes. Oh, and zero budget. (Yea I know all you Indy film makers are laughing right now, going: “What ELSE is new?”.  Well F off, I am already IN your club. LOL) The piece needed to follow the storyline on the website, while being creative, educational, inspiring. (Yeaaaaa, riiggghhhht.)

From day one I had called the collaborative effort, my “Four Minutes of Hell ” project. Shot it all in a day. Added some of my stills, scans from her family album, then posted it in Final Cut Pro in the timeline and checked the run time.  Ah yes, twelve minutes. (Which needed to become four.)  Time to reduct, a process whereby you boil off the liquid and what remains at the end is a semi solid grist of  emotion, color, and sound that comprises a screen story. I knew that it would be a difficult thing for Donna to tolerate. As with most business owners, she likes to control all aspects related to her company. Yet she IS her company and the story being about her, well, it passes very close to the heart. Tricky.

Here is part of Donna’s Intuit story in a youtube link. Yes it is meant to make you laugh, and that is Donna in the music video which was filmed in Tenerif. Her music is a two edged aspect which we wanted to communicate in that grant video which Intuit will post in a bit.  And yes, we did manage to showcase her musical talents. The song soundtrack in the grant video is from a piece she wrote and performed while in Berlin. It gave the film a fantastic level of subtle personalization. It is the polar opposite of the song in the youtube link, but it hooks you almost as strongly.

By today at project finalization, I figure that there is more time than I care to admit to in this, and zero pay for me. Yet I persisted, having committed.

Writer, blogger, cultural marketing sage, Seth Godin explains why we do things,  in an incredible TED Talk HERE. If you have never heard of TED or Seth, do yourself a favor. WATCH it.

The upshot of the Donna video, which is titled Passages, after the story title,  is that it has motivated me to do a longer, more detailed version of her life, where I can better and more fully communicate how one person truly can make a positive difference in this world, and how that seed which we plant, will forever bear fruit.

Now you know the answer to the blog title: Why.  It is both question and answer in one three letter word.

The stills below are some from the video. Snapshots of Donna’s  life and a few of the talented women she collaborates with and supports through her company. She is very brave to bare her life and world in the process of working with me. I do not know that I could do the same were positions reversed.  Click on any of the images for a larger view and a back story.

 Below the surface of perception

Below the surface of perception

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.