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!
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!!!
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:
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.
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.
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!
Aloha from Maui, the Valley Isle! I’ll be taking over Smithsonian Magazine’s Instagram Feed this week, featuring photos of the island’s flora and if I’m lucky, some of its fauna. You can follow me here and read about why Smithsonian Magazine let me take the reins of their photo feed here. Mahalo for visiting and a hui ho!