Archive for November, 2010

Fun at Hawaii Theatre

November 8th, 2010
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Today I had the privilege of photographing renowned Hawaii comedians Augie T. and Frank DeLima for our Features desk.  Loads of fun on the corner of Pauahi and Bethel Street this morning!

Comedians Augie T., left, and Frank DeLima pose for a portrait on Monday, November 8, 2010 outside the Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu. Augie T. and Frank DeLima are set to take the stage together for the upcoming "Kings of Portuguese Comedy" show on November 12, 2010. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Since I was pressed for time, it was a simple, two speedlite setup with pocketwizards and two small banks.  Voila!

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 16-35 f2.8L at 19mm, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/200 at f11, ISO 160, Daylight whitebalance.

It was so much fun photographing these two charismatic gentlemen that at the end, I had to get in on the fun in front of the lens also!

Great start to a Monday–with a few laughs and a good time!

Look both ways

November 5th, 2010
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This safety mirror in downtown Honolulu intrigued me today.

Children are reflected in a safety mirror on Pauahi Street on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 in downtown Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Election Day

November 4th, 2010
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie speaks at his campaign headquarters minutes after the first printout on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in downtown Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

I figured I’d give one full political-free day before blogging about my Election day coverage this past Tuesday.  But alas, things have started to settle, there’ll be no more signwavers on the streets, no more television commercials about what so and so did or did not do.  None of that.  Instead, let’s look at photographs!

My day started off doing the usual community coverage at the polling booths.  Since I did the Salt Lake/Kalihi area in September, I opted to go to McKinley High School.  I must say, those red, white, and blue curtains used for privacy at the booths can make for some great images if you wait for the right moment.

A woman who did not want to be identified emerges from a voting booth carrying her ballot at McKinley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Moiliili. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Four-year-old Grace Fujii waits patiently for her mother, Karen, to cast her ballot at McKinley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Moiliili. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

I waited, and waited, and waited.   And…waited.  All this waiting for a good picture had me paying attention to people’s footwear, so I came away with this image:

SLIPPERS (i.e. flipflops)...in November?! Only in Hawaii!

After I felt I got what I needed at the polling place, I went to my car to prepare to move images but not before noticing the neat vent holes that adorn the McKinley cafeteria walls.  One more, for the artsy fartsy!

The voting booths as seen through one of the holed tiles in the wall of the cafeteria at McKinley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Moiliili. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

After a quick stop at Starbucks to file and re-caffeinize(sic), I was off to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie’s campaign headquarters for what I was expecting, would a be a long night.

I arrived shortly before the first printout, and was introduced by the Star-Advertiser’s Ken Kobayashi to Jim McCoy, one of the press liaisons, who gave me the lowdown that Mr. Abercrombie would probably make his appearance between the first and second printout.  First and second.  Not too bad.  One.  Two.  Problem is between first and second is a window of about 2-3 hours!  I phoned in a report to our news desk stating that I’m going shoot the reactions after the first printout, but depending on when Mr. Abercrombie shows up, I may or may not be able to move a photograph right away.

Positioning myself near the stage where an awesome Hawaiian music duo was playing, I surveyed the surroundings, looking for compositional elements, lighting, blocking, anything to plan out my movement once Abercrombie came out.  Of course, in my several election coverages I’ve done, no matter how much you thought out or plan, it’s ALWAYS out the window once the candidate is out.  But at least it passed the time.  Plus I was in position for the first printout, which, between my planning and plotting and enjoying the Hawaiian music, came sooner than expected.

Mila Kaahinui is overcome with joy after the first printout at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

James Kamakahi, right, points to the first printout as sister Marlene reacts at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

After the printout jube, I moved into position back towards the rear of the stage to await Abercrombie’s emergence.  Waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  This time, the waiting made me notice the breaks in the black stage curtains–compositional elements with which to shoot with!  The lead image at the top of the page was made because of these curtains, but more on that later.  That and a perfect hole to look through as I watched the doorway where Abercrombie was to appear like a hawk.  Finally he appeared, and the scrum began!  It felt like a “Resident Evil” movie, with all of the zombie photographers and iphone photographers enveloping myself and Associated Press photographer Eugene Tanner into a sea of flailing arms and cameras with all kinds of elaborate flash contraptions.

Neil Abercrombie is given a lei by UH President MRC Greenwood at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

In order to “clean up” my background of assorted heads, security, cameras and camera flashes, etc., I switched to second-curtain sync on my flash to blur the background and add tension to the shot.

Neil Abercrombie and his wife, Nancie Caraway, greet wellwishers at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie greets wellwishers at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

By now I had gotten what I needed from the Resident Evil scene, and decided to break away from the scrum–a challenge, I must say.  I looked at my watch, and what do ya know!  It was just in time for the second printout, and like clockwork, there it was on the projection screens.  So I made one more jube photograph before going back to my workstation to dump cards and move images.

Supporters react after the second printout at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Because of the timing of the printout, combined with Abercrombie’s appearance, he made his way towards the stage to talk, and so this called off my initial plan of moving images.  The printout spoke volumes about what was to happen the rest of the evening, and I had to hold out.  So I made like a human cleaver knife and sliced my way towards the front of the stage as Abercrombie took front and center.

Abercrombie also invited to the stage Brian Schatz, and as soon as I got a shot of the two of them together, I had to start moving images.

Neil Abercrombie, left, and Brian Schatz raise their arms to supporters at the campaign headquarters of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in Kakaako. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Boom.  I was gone.  Had to start filing!

My work station was against a pillar next to the speaker stand.  Quite posh and comfy, I must say.  But the moment I was able to upload my cards, Abercrombie was out on stage again!! DARN IT!  And the Resident Evil gang had taken up residence (pun intended) at the front of the stage!  So I quickly put my laptop away, and tried to get to the side of the stage to try and cleave my way in like earlier.  Not gonna fly.  Abercrombie’s security detail seemed to enjoy saying no to me.  Okay.  So I went to the OTHER side of the stage, but not before sneaking in a shot from behind the stage.

So I made to the other side of the stage, finally, with no chance of being at the front.  Remember those stage curtains I mentioned earlier?  Well, they came in handy for my closing shot.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie speaks at his campaign headquarters minutes after the first printout on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 in downtown Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

The black curtains isolated him and made a nice, clean image.  Of course I had to take other images of Abercrombie as he made his speech, but this one proved to be my favorite.  By this time, my phone was ringing off the hook.  Deadline.  Time to make it.  And I did.  And my Tuesday was over.

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This one time, in band camp…

November 2nd, 2010
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The Roosevelt Rough Riders marching band performs during the 35th Annual Oahu Marching Band Festival on Monday, November 1, 2010 at Aloha Stadium. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

The photograph I made above was a glass of lemonade made out of the lemons I was thrown last night when I photographed a “battle of the bands” competition between several high school marching bands.

As you are all well aware, I’ve photographed countless football games and events at the Aloha Stadium, but was shocked that after THIRTY minutes of telling the people at the gates (who won’t be named or affiliated out of respect) that I was just there to photograph the kids for the paper, they finally let me in, but would NOT let me on the field.  W.  T.  H…..???!

I had only brought a 70-200 lens as my longest lens, thinking that I’d be on the field no problem to get shots of the kids.  The stadium had been partitioned and closed off, save for the sections nearest to the 50-yard line going all the way up.  Up, huh?  I made my way up to the press box, and saw that the stairs leading up to the nosebleed weren’t chained off…hmmmm

So using my ninja skills, I was able to go all the way up, and the view is quite nice from up there, I must say, and make photographs of the bands doing their shifts and formations.  It actually worked out well!

I tried using the guardrails as a compositional crutch.

BUT,

I still wanted something DIFFERENT.  I had a few shots I was okay with from up here, including this one,

But when the Roosevelt band did this criss-cross move between their brass players, a lightbulb popped into my head: PANNED!

Canon EOS 1D Mk III, EF 70-200 f2.8 @ 200mm, 1/10 at f16, ISO 800, Fluorescent whitebalance

Something different.  Always what I’m after.  I wanted some lemonade after this ordeal!

Stay tuned for elections!

Jasons in the sky!

November 1st, 2010
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Hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween filled with more treats than tricks!  Of all the madness and chivalry that’s on the streets every year for Halloween, my favorite image was actually this one, of window washers wearing Jason hockey masks.  Enjoy!

Window washers from Worldwide Window Washers wear hockey masks to observe Halloween while cleaning the Century Square building on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 in downtown Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).