Morning on Hawaii

Morning of the Eve

Recently, I was quoted in a local Swedish magazine as saying that I’m “damn bad at being bored” – a quote that in itself defines me as a somewhat erratic, unruly and maybe even a bit of a whimsical dude. All true. I am all those things. And then some.

Basically, I’ve improvised just about every moment of my entire life. I know no other way, have no master plan, definitely no mission nor any kind of long term vision. Aside from staying alive and keeping life as interesting as I can, that is.

My loosely assembled philosophy is to actively take advantage of the ad hoc, unscripted and unpredictable moments that life serves up. Inherently, this perspective steers most of my everyday choices and for good or bad, the vast majority of my decisions as a photographer, business owner, father and husband. Seize the moment. Don’t be a victim of circumstance. Use it to your advantage. Turn the page. Shove off. There’s nothing to see here – move along!

I’m rambling. On Christmas Eve, no less. Just needed to give the magazine quote some context.

Anyway, I started this most auspicious morning with a invigorating run along the Pacific Ocean just as the sun was on the rise. And yes, it was a spontaneous decision to slip on my joggers and hit the road…

Kauai

Hawaiian Santa?

Shot this with my iPhone during yesterday’s excellent trail trek along the bluffs that outline the dramatic southwest coast of Kauai. Used the Pano mode and some post production trickery to get the most out of that small, but oh so sensitive sensor.

It’s soon Christmas Eve here in the North Pacific. Surreal. No Santa, but many of the locals are wearing his helpers hats. We’ll celebrate Hawaiian style with no Santa – but at a luau with dinner at a beachfront restaurant we stumbled onto and made reservations at yesterday afternoon. Of course there will be a few holiday, well-wishing calls to both immediate and extended families and friends.

Wish you and your family happy holidays – however and wherever you celebrate.

Kauaʻi

Kauaʻi

First visit to the Garden Island, Kauaʻi. Fifth visit to the Hawaiian islands – when you include a week long stay back in the mid 1990s when I traveled around the world for 3 months with a remarkably small backpack and a lightweight mountain bike. Boy, was that a trip to remember. Flew -> Stockholm -> New York -> Los Angles -> Honolulu -> Fiji -> Auckland -> Denpasar -> Singapore -> Stockholm with a bunch of shorter domestic trips at each destination of which Kaikura on the south island of New Zealand was the most memorable.

It’s pretty breezy this time of year on Kauaʻi – so the waves on the south coast are fairly choppy and less than perfect to surf in. Elle and I still hope to enjoy a few good sets. And I would love to add a few good shots of local surfers to my portfolio during our visit. If not, then I’ll just focus on the amazing nature that quite literally encapsulates this garden island.

abbot kinney

Today on Abbot Kinney Blvd

While Elle and I walked from Santa Monica Beach to Venice Beach early-ish this morning, I reflected on how little has changed in Venice. At least along the Boardwalk. Of course, they didn’t sell medical marijuana licenses back in my day – but in the grand scheme of things, for better or worse, very little has changed since I was Elle’s age. That’s almost forty years with the same mix of ramshackle storefronts, homeless, musicians, artists, skaters, surfers and street hawkers.

After a hefty breakfast near the beach, we walked eastward to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, arguably the trendiest/chicest/hippest shopping strip in Southern California. The above scene was from outside one of many cafes around lunch time today.


Hanging around HoH

The video is from a recent afternoon visit to the studio of our favorite charity, Hang on Hangers, founded by the always thoughtful generous and kind friend, Annika Jonasson in Bangkok, Thailand.

Shot on an iPhone and edited in Final Cut Pro X.

Venice Pier

I + Won@Venice Pier

Venice Pier, early yesterday evening. I was out shooting surfers, which were few, and as the sun set in the Pacific, I found myself once again mesmerized, nay, hypnotized by the wide palette of hues and how smooth the in-between gradients joined them together. The clarity is amazing and though I haven’t yet looked at my shots and footage, I’ve surely captured some pretty good stuff.

The shot of me above was taken by Noah Youhee Won, a local photographer and graphic artist that couldn’t help but get a couple of images of me and the pier as silhouettes.

Hotel California

Some sun for Son of L.A.

Slightly nippy but still absolutely gorgeous SoCal sunshine welcomed us back to Los Angeles this mid December afternoon. Weather-wise, it feels just about the same as when I was here in February. That’s California for ya.

The sun really lifts my soul.

Staying in Santa Monica for a few nights before flying westward to the Hawaiian Islands. Both surfboard and camera gear survived the transatlantic flight with Norwegian. Brother Nick was kind to pick us up with his ginormous new truck at the unusually busy Tom Bradley Terminal.

I’m writing this literally a block away from the Santa Monica Pier, not far from where I’ll be filming local surfers these next couple of days. Excited to see what the new camera can accomplish.

Elvis in the building

Elvis is in the Building

For more than a year now, I’ve been contracted to shoot PR and marketing photos of Scandinavia’s most spectacular hotel, Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live. I’ve shot food, drinks, rooms, suites, bars and a whole bunch of other particulars – both throughout the final months before the grand opening and for the first six months afterwards.

One of many individual projects was to help market the hotel’s very first Christmas show. So, I scripted, filmed and produced the broadcast commercial and shot a slew of Press and PR images to help the marketing team generate interest and help sell tickets. The show has been sold out for quite some time now and I saw the first of four shows the other night. It’s certainly one of the most spectacular shows I’ve ever seen and surely one of the biggest productions ever produced in Malmö. I was invited as a guest, but after eating a belly full of sumptuous American and Swedish inspired Christmas food, I just couldn’t sit still. Above is one of the shots I got with my phone. Couldn’t make up my mind which I was more impressed with; my camera phone’s ability to shoot decently in such relative low light or the show’s Vegas level production.


Paris

In Paris for a weekend of travel photography. Enjoying both surprisingly good (warm, sunny) weather and seeing my sister (and her family) who’s here from Alaska as a delegate during the climate conference.

Haven’t been in the French capital for about 5 years and it’s probably twice as long ago since I was here wintertime.

There’s been a tectonic shift in the way Parisians interact with non-French speakers. I ascribe the change to both how today’s younger generation has more to lose by not learning at least a basic understanding of the language most visitors speak and that English, is the de facto lingua franca.

We’re staying in the 10th arrondissement, not far from Gare du Nord and where Canal Saint-Martin links the northeastern area of Paris with the River Seine. It’s a truly eclectic neighborhood with lots of Middle Eastern grocery stores but plenty of classic Parisian brasseries.

pintxos

Veggieisms

About a half a year ago, our daughter Elle saw a documentary on YouTube (where else, right?) that disclosed some extremely discomforting facts about the food industry in general and more specifically about how horrifically bad farm animals are treated throughout their miserable lives.

Right there and then, Elle decided to remove meat – all forms of animal meat – from her diet. Shortly thereafter, her mother Charlotte joined in and about a month or so later, I too took the plunge and removed chicken, pork, beef and all other forms of meat from my list of edibles.

Charlotte and I still eat seafood and shellfish, though. I mean, I completely concur with Elle in not financially supporting the food industry’s unacceptable methods and gut-wrenching practices. But to stop eating shrimp and sushi? That’s taking it a little too far. and probably ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.

Recently, Elle’s taken her self-imposed dietary constraints even further by insisting that we eat less dairy products – and to thereby extend our moral stance against the often unhealthy production processes used to produce stuff like milk, yoghurt, butter, cream, and cheese.

As I’m sure some of you can imagine, this is by no means an uninteresting culinary challenge we’re in the midst of. And though I often feel I fall short in concocting and serving meals to the girls that look nice, taste good but are unquestionably healthy, I’m slowly learning about all kinds of new fascinating ways to create food that caries health benefits way beyond the dinner table.

The above photos is from a recent food session focused on so-called pintxos.