Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Maui for Voyeur Magazine

It’s hard to believe that it’s already February in this new year!  I’m currently on Maui, marooned on shore because of a quick moving storm that’s brought strong winds and locally heavy showers to the area, putting a damper on my humpback whale photography.  However, the inclement weather gives me an opportunity to share my latest story about the island of Maui, photographed for Virgin Australia’s inflight magazine, Voyeur.  The story is online in the January 2017 issue and features an insider’s take on our favorite Hawaiian Island.  The story proves once again that there is always something new to discover from a wonderful taco truck to the classic Hana Highway.  Take a quick break from your winter and enjoy a stroll on the island of Maui.  Mahalo for visiting and a hui ho!

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Maui Editorial Photographer Shoots for National Geographic Traveller UK

Maui Editorial Photographer Shoots for National Geographic Traveller UK

X Marks the Spot,” is the title of my most recently published feature about Maui.  I worked closely with travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy to put together a story about this remote Pacific island for the UK edition of National Geographic Traveller Magazine.  Andrew used to have a place here and I still do, so we both know it well.  We were able to meet for lunch, (a luxury in the modern age of journalism), exchange ideas and hatch a plan to cover this beautiful place.

After we settled on our subjects, we parted ways and went to work.  The result?  An eloquent, accurate and pretty article about my favorite place on Earth.  You can read the article and see a few pictures online here. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the UK, you can pick the magazine up on newsstands now as it’s published in the November 2016 issue.

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The opening page spread of Ka’anapali Beach at sunset

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The art gallery in Keokea, Upcountry Maui, next door to my favorite breakfast spot, Grandma’s Coffee House

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I love the colors the designer chose for this layout! Plus Yee’s Orchard is the best place for fresh mangoes on island.

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The color palette for this layout is a result of the time of day – both of these places were photographed at sunset on west facing beaches.

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Kahakuloa is one of my favorite places to visit as its location on the north shore is beautiful and the drive is much less popular than the road to Hana. Also, you can always count on getting warm banana nut bread at Julia’s.

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots O’o Farm in Kula, Maui

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots O’o Farm in Kula, Maui

Aloha from the beautiful island of Maui!  On Monday, we had the great pleasure of visiting O’o Farms located on the slopes of Haleakala in what is referred to as upcountry Maui.  The farm is located in the little town of Kula, just off of the main road and the property overlooks the valley and ocean.  O’o Farm is the only true farm-to-table operation on the island and for a nominal fee, one can visit the farm and learn about their coffee, vegetables and even pick the greens to be served for lunch!  It’s a nice way to spend the day in the cool, misty outdoors and an unexpected pleasure to experience fine dining in a unique island setting.  Below are some images from our visit that I hope you enjoy.  Mahalo for visiting and a hui ho!

O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Children get to feed the chickens at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Children get to feed the chickens at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

A delicious cappuccino made from coffee grown at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

A delicious cappuccino made from coffee grown at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, boast gorgeous views from the gardens.

O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, boasts gorgeous views from the gardens.

Visitors pick their own salad greens for lunch at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Visitors pick their own salad greens for lunch at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

The salad at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

The salad at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Beautifully prepared tofu with root vegetables at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Beautifully prepared tofu with root vegetables at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Wood stored for the outdoor oven at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Wood stored for the outdoor oven at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Farm flowers decorate the lunch tables at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Farm flowers decorate the lunch tables at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Vanessa, one of the workers at O'o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Vanessa, one of the workers at O’o Farm in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert shoots Video for Smithsonian

A while back, I had the pleasure of photographing Paul Theroux, the famed travel writer, at his home on the island of Oahu for a story for Smithsonian Magazine.  I also collected sound and video for a short piece for the online magazine.

I uploaded it to my Vimeo channel so that you can see this short piece about the art of hula in Hawaii.

Aloha and a hui ho!

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/178621129″>The Meaning Behind Hula</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/susanseubert”>Susan Seubert</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Susan Seubert Photography in 2014 : An Amazing Year, in Pictures

From the North Pole to the sands of Hawaii, my cameras and I saw many incredible places.

Here are some of the highlights.

My year began in Birmingham for National Geographic Traveler for a story about the history of Civil Rights in the city, but from a traveler’s perspective. The assignment took me to the Civil Rights Museum and the inside of the 16th Street Baptist Church, both sobering experiences.  Birmingham also has a fabulous food scene from down home BBQ to some seriously delicious high-end Southern Cuisine.  The lively arts scene was a surprise, complete with small music venues and vegan restaurants.

The Wales Window at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

The Wales Window at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

The Bottletree restaurant, which offers vegan cuisine, and music venue located in the Avondale district of Birmingham, Alabama.

The Bottletree restaurant, which offers vegan cuisine, and music venue located in the Avondale district of Birmingham, Alabama.

The next great assignment came from the Smithsonian Magazine : photographing the Von Trapp children who have made Portland, Oregon their hometown. We spent time climbing trees and jumping on rooftops with umbrellas to get some wonderful images of these multi-talented youngsters.

The Von Trapp children in Portland, Oregon

The Von Trapp children in Portland, Oregon

From there, it was off to Baja, where I taught photography on board the National Geographic Sea Bird.  We traveled throughout the Gulf of California experiencing all kinds of wildlife. Swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes, Orca whales bow riding at midnight under a full moon and huge flocks of elegant terns choosing their mates at Isla Rasita are just a few of the amazing encounters we had during our eight day voyage.  The wildlife experts on board kept our shutters flying.

Snorkeling with California Sea Lions at Los Islotes in Baja California Mexico

Snorkeling with California Sea Lions at Los Islotes in Baja California Mexico Photographed with a GoPro Camera

Elegant terns and other sea birds gathering on Isla Rasa, Baja California Mexico

Elegant terns and other sea birds gathering on Isla Rasita, Baja California Mexico

After a few loads of laundry and some face time with the kitties, it was off to Maui for the month of May, where I shot a story about Happiness for Prevention Magazine.  We had fun making smiley faces on trees in the lush, tropical forests.  We did street casting to choose our lovely models who expressed joy with their smiles and their feet. 🙂

A tree in the forest on Maui with a happy face made of natural materials.

A tree in the forest on Maui with a happy face made of natural materials.

pink flowers with a happy face in the grass with bare feet, Maui, Hawaii

pink flowers with a happy face in the grass with bare feet, Maui, Hawaii

From Maui, I flew directly to Quebec City for National Geographic Traveler where I spent ten days on assignment.  The European vibe and French speaking Vieux Quebec made me feel as though I had crossed two oceans.

Street scenes from Vieux Quebec, the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico, Quebec City, Canada. Rue Saint Louis lighting up at dusk

Street scenes from Vieux Quebec, the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico, Quebec City, Canada. Rue Saint Louis lighting up at dusk

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

In June, I headed to Svalbard to work as the Photography Expert for National Geographic Expeditions on board the Explorer, a beautiful ice breaker.  We sailed among the ice sheets, spotting polar bears and photographing the most incredible blues I’ve ever seen.  The landscape around the North Pole cannot be properly captured in pictures, but we all did our best.

A polar bear with her cub on the pack ice in Svalbard, Norway

A polar bear with her cub on the pack ice in Svalbard, Norway

Austfonna Ice Cap on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway

Austfonna Ice Cap on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, Norway

Ice floating in Svalbard, Norway

Glacial Ice floating in Svalbard, Norway

Teaching photography has been a focus of 2014. In July, I taught a group of aspiring young photographers through National Geographic’s Student Expeditions program in San Francisco.  We explored Muir Woods, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the streets of San Francisco and magnificent Big Sur.  Later in the year I taught two one-day seminars in L.A. and Portland for National Geographic on “The Travel Assignment.”

Our group portrait with all of the National Geographic Student Expeditions at the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, CA

Our group portrait with all of the National Geographic Student Expeditions at the Sutro Baths, San Francisco, CA

Our dusk shoot at the Golden Gate Bridge with Student Expeditions where we experimented with light writing and a group portrait

Our dusk shoot at the Golden Gate Bridge with Student Expeditions where we experimented with light writing and a group portrait

After wrapping in San Francisco, I photographed for several days on beautiful Bainbridge Island in Washington.  The subject?  Chickens.  Chickens and their coops for Amber Lotus, a calendar and card company.  Keep your eyes peeled for the 2016 edition of City Chickens and Their Coops!

Chickens and their Coops Calendar coming out in 2016, but it's not too late to get your 2015 copy!

Chickens and their Coops Calendar coming out in 2016, but it’s not too late to get your 2015 copy!

It was off to Switzerland in September for two weeks covering 1000 miles of Swiss bliss.  Every village and mountain peak was as picturesque as one would expect from this iconic country.  One of the many highlights was visiting a small creamery in the Alps that makes Alpkäse, a traditional cheese made entirely by hand.  I also hiked around the mountains, explored the country by train, car and boat, and (how could I resist?) sampled lots of chocolate.

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

A Swiss cheese-maker working on a batch of Alpkäse by hand in the traditional manner in a giant copper kettle over a wood burning fire at their cheese-making hut above Wengen, Switzerland

What could be better than this? Crete. I flew directly there from Switzerland and was met by my husband — and my fixer.  We proceeded to spend just over a week shooting the western half of the island.  The food, people, landscape and architecture were outstanding. That story has already hit the newsstands in the Netherlands for the Dutch edition of National Geographic Traveler.

Street scenes in Chania, Crete, Greece

Street scenes in Chania, Crete, Greece

Evening street performers in the village of Paleochora on the southern coast of Crete, Greece, Europe

Evening street performers in the village of Paleochora on the southern coast of Crete, Greece, Europe

After Crete it was off to another island, our home on Maui, where we spent October and November surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and, of course, making more pictures.  This time the assignment was for me: to explore the underwater world with a Canon 7D and an SPL water housing.  I photographed turtle after turtle, had a few octopus encounters and enjoyed a beautiful moment with a very large spotted eagle ray.

A spotted eagle ray at the reef at Black Rock in Kaanapali, Maui

A spotted eagle ray at the reef at Black Rock in Kaanapali, Maui

A large, male Hawaiian green sea turtle swims peacefully over the reef at Kaanapali, Maui

A large, male Hawaiian green sea turtle swims peacefully over the reef at Kaanapali, Maui

Thank you to all of my clients for sending me on such remarkable journeys.

You’ve made 2014 marvelous!!!

 

Travel Clothing/Make-up tips for Girlfriend Photographers

It’s that time again – the beginning of the travel year in earnest.  I’ll be traveling to 4 countries in the next three months which requires some necessities for the road.  Tomorrow, I am heading to Baja with National Geographic Expeditions.  One of the most important things  to consider in the tropics is SPF protection.  After I complete my assignment in Mexico, I’ll be headed to our Maui headquarters.  Both places require sun protection but also a little bit of dress code.  Some of my favorite pieces have been with me for a long time, so it was time to find replacements.  I hope that this blog post helps all of the women photographers out there who might be in the same boat. 🙂

The first thing I’d like to discuss briefly is skin care and a wee bit of make-up.  These are the items that I generally pack in my carry-on:

cosmetics for the camera bag

cosmetics for the camera bag

I’ve found the Neutrogena ultra-sheer SPF 55 sunscreen to be the best for my face.  It seems to adhere well, isn’t greasy and doesn’t burn my skin like so many other products I’ve tried over the years.  The absolute best sunscreen I recently discovered is the Susan Posnick brush on sunscreen.  It’s a full spectrum powder sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about it being confiscated by TSA.  It also is very handy to carry around and apply often, particularly to the nose, and it works.  It fits in my sunglasses case for protection from crushing.  Once you buy the brush, you can buy refills as needed which saves money and packaging.  The tiny Vaseline  is the best for dry, chapped lips and although it doesn’t offer sun protection, it keeps my lips from getting too chapped by wax based products.  When I’m working on ships, wind is a factor and the Vaseline prevents wind burn and can be applied to other areas on the skin.  I prefer the cocoa butter version, but the regular does just fine.  For a quick dress-up look, BLINC mascara can’t be beat.  It washes off with warm water and doesn’t tend to flake, so you don’t have to carry any strange cosmetic cleaners to get the stuff off at the end of the day.  These mini-dental floss dispensers are about the size of a quarter and for those long haul flights, it’s a great way to keep dental hygiene on the up and up.

I’ve been buying and testing SPF clothing for several years and was disappointed when Patagonia discontinued their fly fishing tops for women.  The ones they’ve re-introduced this season aren’t nearly as tailored as the older models, but luckily, Kuhl has a top that is very similar to the old Patagonia model.  It’s tailored for a flattering fit and has two zipper pockets for whatever you want to keep on your person such as currency, identification, keys, etc.  It’s also SPF 50 and has roll-up sleeves with a blue lining.  I chose white because of the heat factor for my next few destinations.  I like to layer these over some kind of tank top to help wick moisture away from my body.  An REI tank top that breaths but is form fitting does the trick.  Not only does it add a little color to the outfit, it can double as a sports bra for those of us who are, ahem, not as endowed as others.  Hiking in the islands in the Sea of Cortez can be very hot, so I’ve found that a skirt is often more comfortable than pants if there aren’t many sticky things around, (hello, cactus).  Cargo skirts, which are my absolute favorite for hiking, are starting to go out of fashion, but Marmot has one available now.  This particular skirt is also SPF 50, but it sits just above the knees, so sunscreen or other coverage will be necessary.  The waist band is soft which is great because I’m often using a holster type camera bag and sometimes other materials can cause chafing.

The last detail for the outfit is sun protection for the ears and neck, but can also be used as a headband or other head protection.  Buff makes a 50SPF gator.  It’s pictured below and not only adds a little color to the outfit, but keeps you from getting a red neck from either the sun or chafing camera straps.

Kuhl 50 spf top with side zippers and a tailored fit for women

Kuhl 50 spf top with side zippers and a tailored fit for women

An REI tank top to layer underneath really helps to wick sweat away from the torso

An REI tank top to layer underneath really helps to wick sweat away from the torso

Marmot's short cargo skirt keeps things cool while allowing you to zip in a driver's license, keys or passport

Marmot’s short cargo skirt keeps things cool while allowing you to zip in a driver’s license, keys or passport

Buff spf 50 gator for a versatile look - either around the neck or as a head band for sun protection

Buff spf 50 gator for a versatile look – either around the neck or as a head band for sun protection

Voila!  Cute and practical outfit for warm weather shooting.  Just add whatever leg-wear is appropriate

Voila! Cute and practical outfit for warm weather shooting. Just add whatever leg-wear is appropriate

Hasta pronto and a hui ho!  Thank you for visiting my blog.

I hope that you found the information helpful.  I am not sponsored in any way by any of these companies, so the opinions of this blog are solely my own.

Travel Photographer Susan Seubert photographs Ka’u Coffee in Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

A story about award winning Ka'u Coffee being produced on the Big Island of Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

A story about award winning Ka’u Coffee being produced on the Big Island of Hawaii for Sunset Magazine

I love coffee.  It’s part of my daily, morning ritual, yet until I recently photographed a story entitled, “Big Island Buzz,” for Sunset Magazine, I had never known much about the process of truly hand-harvested coffee.  On the Big Island of Hawaii, in an area that is located on the flanks of Mauna Loa in the Ka’u district, you’ll find one of the best areas to grow coffee in the United States.  The upper elevations of the Ka’u district have the perfect climate for the coffee plants. Those conditions combined with a wonderful group of devoted coffee farmers have landed this remote location on the international coffee map in recent years.  I had previously only been familiar with Kona coffee, the famed Hawaiian coffee grown around the bend on the same island.  The Ka’u area still feels somewhat untouched with it’s beautiful ocean views and sparsely populated villages.  During my assignment, I met two farmers who methodically harvest the ripe “cherry” on land they work by hand.  Willie and Grace Tabios, who produce the award winning “Rising Sun” brand coffee, hand pick the ripe cherry, then dry and process it outdoors at their home in Ka’u.  Lorie Obra does the same, and along with her daughter Joan, produces another award winning coffee from the area called, “Rusty’s.”  Both of these family run coffee farms have won international coffee competitions over the last few years and their beans now command top dollar throughout the world.  There is a wonderful place to see the entire process first hand in the small town of Pahala called the Ka’u Coffee Mill. There, I was walked through the entire process, from picking and processing the raw “cherry” to the roasted bean.  They dry their beans by laying them out on a concrete slab outdoors. The mill processes both their own beans but also roasts for some of the locals.  This facility is open to the public for tours.  It was fascinating to see how the red, plump fruit was methodically turned into the warm cup of jo that I enjoy every morning.  Of course, you can’t have a cup of coffee without something nice and sweet as an accompaniment.  The Hana Hou restaurant, the southernmost restaurant in the US, offers a variety of delicious home-made pies along side a steaming hot cup of the local coffee.  Although the article is not available to read online, I’ve put a copy of the story here for your perusal.  If you would like to look at more photos of the story, you can see them on my stock photography site here.  Mahalo for visiting!

Harvesting ripe "cherry", Ka'u coffee sign, Will and Grace at their Pahala store, and coffee drying in the sun at the Ka'u Coffee Mill

Harvesting ripe “cherry;” Ka’u coffee sign along the side of the road; Will and Grace at their Pahala store; coffee drying in the sun at the Ka’u Coffee Mill

A coffee bus parked on the church lawn during the Wednesday farmers' market in Pahala where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the freshest coffee on the island

A coffee bus parked on the church lawn during the Wednesday farmers’ market in Pahala where tourists and locals alike can enjoy the freshest coffee on the island

Macadamia nut cream pie with a steaming cup of Ka'u coffee at the southernmost restaurant in the United States, Hana Hou, Laurie and Joan Obra hand harvesting their coffee at Cloud Rest on the flanks of the volcano Mauna Loa

Macadamia nut cream pie with a steaming cup of Ka’u coffee at the southernmost restaurant in the United States, Hana Hou; Laurie and Joan Obra hand harvesting their coffee at Cloud Rest on the flanks of the volcano Mauna Loa