Archive for July, 2012

USS Nimitz

July 25th, 2012
By



Hi everyone!

Well the buzz of excitement has settled from my embark aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, so here’s a few of my favorites from the trip, since most didn’t make our print edition.

Leading up to the assignment, I was pretty nervous about the whole ordeal.  I mean, trap landing–going from about 150mph to 0 in about 60 feet or so–pretty gut wrenching–both literally and in my mind.  As was the catapult take off.  But that’s the only way onboard a carrier that was in the middle of naval exercises out in the middle of the Pacific.

I couldn’t really sleep the night before because of both the excitement and the anxiety.  Our meet time was scheduled for 6am at Pearl Harbor.  From there, we were to board a Grumman C2 COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) aircraft–a nice, turboprop powered plane that sacrifices everything for performance.  No inflight movie or beverages here.  Here’s what it looks like:

This was shot after we landed back from the USS Nimitz. Note the rear hatch, where we enter and face after being strapped in tight.

So after our safety briefing, we were issued cranials–a combination skullcap, helmet, goggles, and ear protection contraption required at all times while on the flight deck and on the tarmac.

Cranial with my two cameras. DV means "Distinguished Visitor," although I jokingly thought to myself it means "Doesn't Vomit"

So with my cranial on my cranium, I made my way towards the aircraft with the rest of the media.  We entered through the rear hatch of the aircraft, and the seats are facing aft.  No windows on the plane, save for two small, 8-inch diameter holes towards the front of the COD.  So there’s no seeing, just sensory telling you whether you’re going up or down.  I was nervous.  After a long taxi, we were finally airborne, and it was about a twenty minute flight to the USS Nimitz, which was about 100 nautical miles northeast of Oahu.  When we were safety briefed, the crew was to give a hand signal to the cabin to prepare us for our trap landing.  When the signal was given, I braced myself in my seat and counted down 15 seconds (that was the approximate time the crew had said after the signal).  It felt longer.  Then, BAMMMM!  I was thrown forward into my seat, knocking the wind out of me, and I swear my gut and innards wrapped around my spine.  But before even a second, it was done!  VOILA!  The crew opened the rear hatch of the aircraft, and my eyes adjusted to the bright sunburst and focused on planes, and more planes, and planes.  We were aboard the Nimitz!

The view from my seat in the COD. As you can see, it's dark and rather cramped inside. The rear hatch opens, and it's just a bright light.

After an adjustment in exposure, you see the flight deck, and it's just an amazing feeling to be actually onboard an aircraft carrier at sea!

We are shuffled aboard and below deck to the media room, where we are briefed on the day’s events, flight ops, lunch, etc.  But enough of the text, let’s see some images.  Here are a few of my faves.  Enjoy!

Seahawk helicopters carrying US Navy CNO Jon Greenert and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus lift off aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

US Navy AO2 Luis Rosales preps an F/A 18 Hornet for flight ops aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

US Navy Comm. Fred Goldhammer with VAW-117 "Wallbangers" talks in the squadron's ready room aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

A "greenie board" in the US Navy's VAW-117 Wallbangers E2C squadron is seen aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. The colors represent the grade on each "pass" or landing, with lighter colors being more satisfactory. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

After a quick break for lunch, we were off to witness flight ops! The food was really, really good!

I had to have the obligatory self portrait onboard, so here I am with my cranial on, struggling against the wind!

Capt. Kevin Mannix is silhouetted in the hangar as the HMS Darwin from Australia steams in the background aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Here’s a view from the hangar looking out to sea.  The sheer size of the Nimitz was nearly unfathomable.  About 5,200 sailors, pilots, engineers, cooks–you name it–live, eat, sleep, and work onboard.  It’s like a floating city!

A flight deck crew member is engulfed in steam from one of the catapults aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

The blast shield goes up as an F/A-18 Hornet prepares for a catapult launch aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

A "shooter," in yellow, give the signal for an F/A-18 Hornet to launch aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

The orchestration and coordination of the ground crew is just amazing.

Photos and video cannot replace the sheer power that was felt when a fighter launches off the deck of the carrier. It really rattles in your skin and bones! An F/A-18 Hornet launches from the catapult aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

An F/A-18 Hornet performs a touch and go landing aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 off Oahu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Mayoral debate at KITV

July 12th, 2012
By



From left, Honolulu Mayor incumbent Peter Carlisle, mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano, and Kirk Caldwell moments before a televised Honolulu Mayoral debate on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the KITV studios in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Last night I photographed the three Honolulu mayoral candidates in yet another debate–this time at KITV’s studio.  Their studio had some really nice, clean black tables with very reflective surface–perfect for the series of shots that I’m showcasing here.  With the just the right amount of squatting and getting on my knees, I was able to get the three candidates reflected in the table.

But aside from that, I also got to see my old news editor, and now news director for KITV, Chuck Parker.  He was my news editor when I first started working for the newspaper back in 2005, and it was always a pleasure working for and with him.  Here he is in action before the cameras roll.

KITV news director Chuck Parker, left, walks onto the set with candidates Kirk Caldwell, middle, and Ben Cayetano.

From left, Honolulu mayor incumbent Peter Carlisle, mayoral candidates Ben Cayetano, and Kirk Caldwell listen to KITV news director Chuck Parker, left, and Paula Akana moments before a televised Honolulu Mayoral debate on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the KITV studios in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

KITV news director Chuck Parker walks off the set minutes before going live with the Mayoral debate.

David Cook

July 5th, 2012
By



Hope everyone had a great Independence Day!  I spent mine photographing American Idol musician David Cook for a show he did at Hickam.  Very nice guy and very down to earth!  I shot a gallery for PULSE, but my favorite shots were the moments were he wasn’t rocking on the guitar or singing into the mic.

Genuine moments when an artist is truly engulfed into his craft as a musician.  These are a few of those moments, and my favorites from that night.  Enjoy.

Musician David Cook prepares to take the stage prior to his performance on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at Hickam AFB in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Cook prepares to take the stage after a quick signal check on his wireless.

Cook enjoys the response from the audience.

Posted in music | No Comments »

Kakaako at dusk

July 4th, 2012
By



Stumble upon this ethereal sunset on my day off last week.  Lucky I had my iPhone!!

Dog walking woman, Kakaako

Fireworks

July 4th, 2012
By



Happy Tuesday evening, everyone!

Thought I’d share my fireworks shot from Aloha Tower just now.  Have a great holiday.

I used the fountain at the end of Fort Street Mall for a reflective perspective on the Aloha Tower fireworks. Shot with a Canon 1D mark IV, 24-70 lens set to 35, angle-finder. 1/2 second at f 9, ISO 2500, manual exposure.