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!
“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.
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!
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>.</p>
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 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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
Thank you to all of my clients for sending me on such remarkable journeys.
You’ve made 2014 marvelous!!!
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!
Last October while I was based in Maui I got an unusual assignment: to photograph an Olympic Skier. Since there’s not much snow in Hawaii, I was very curious about why an alpine skier would choose to train in a tropical climate. US Weekly publishes a Collector’s Edition for the Olympics and Julia Mancuso was to be included. You can find the special issue on the newsstands now. Ms. Mancuso is the most decorated female American alpine skier so needless to say, I was eager to work with this legendary athlete. After all, she is one to watch in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics. We met at her home on the windward side of the island and I was immediately impressed. She was warm, welcoming and up for anything we suggested. She was comfortable in front of the camera and we got a lot of good material as a result. Seeing her with her father, Ciro, was also very sweet – a truly genuine moment of a proud father and loving daughter. I’ll post more pictures on my stock photo site later, but here is the magazine spread and a couple of behind the scenes shots from our shoot on the island. Mahalo and a hui ho!