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!
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!
Let ‘er buck! That’s the phrase that rings throughout the small town of Pendleton, Oregon during the second full week of September where over 50,000 people descend to watch or participate in the Pendleton Round Up Rodeo. This rodeo is unique in that since its inception in 1910 it has included a large Native American presence. Over 300 tee pees are set up on the rodeo grounds where members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla gather to visit with one another and participate in displays of their culture. One of my favorite events was the Indian Relay race where members of several tribes compete in a bareback horse race around the track. It’s mind blowing to think that these athletes are able to ride at tremendous speed without the need for saddles, spurs or any of the other trappings of horse racing to which I am accustomed. On the Saturday morning of the big rodeo weekend, the tribes invite the public to come down to the grass field of the stadium and watch as the tribal dance competitions take place. There is drumming, singing and dancing where contestants are divided up by age and gender, then judged on their dancing skills. Below are some of my favorite images from the 4 days that I covered just last weekend. Enjoy and let ‘er buck!
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!
It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. MIX Magazine, a food magazine published by the Oregonian, is publishing its final issue this month and they chose one of my images for the cover. MIX was so much fun to work for, not only because the assignments always focused on my favorite subject, food, but also because of the great editorial staff with which I had the pleasure of working. The photo editor I worked with on my projects was the illustrious Mike Davis, now the Alexia Foundation Chair for Documentary Photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He gave me complete freedom of approach to every story and also followed up with terrific feedback. The writer I most often worked with was Martha Holmberg, former food editor for The Oregonian, who is now busy writing cookbooks, teaching, giving talks and continuing to pursue all things food. Martha and I worked on several stories together, including one about Nick’s Italian Cafe in McMinnville, as well as another about how to make your own Nocino with green walnuts from the back yard, (and throw a neighborhood party in the process). “Hope springs eternal,” I often hear, so my hope is that I not only get to continue to work with Mike and Martha on other projects in the future, but that another food magazine based in my hometown of Portland, Oregon will spring forth in the near future.
I raise a glass to the fine people at the Oregonian and MIX! May our paths cross again in the very near future. Cheers!!!
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!
Beer flavored ice cream? Talk about a sweet assignment! I had to re-read the email to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. One of my New York Times editors had asked me to photograph the famed Portland ice cream scoop shop Salt & Straw for the dining section. Apparently, this ice cream store was offering a six-pack of flavored ice creams made with local beer and my assignment was to photograph one of the owners, Tyler Malek, making a batch of ice cream with beer, along with details of the ice cream and some photographs of one of their stores. Salt & Straw is a great Portland food story – two young people start a business as a food cart and it takes off into the stratosphere. I’m not at all surprised after meeting Tyler and his cousin, Kim, who as of today, July 1st, have three stores in the Portland area, each one with a seemingly permanent queue around the block. All of their ice cream is made by hand and is the best you’ll have without making it yourself. The flavors they offer are unusual: combinations like Goat Cheese with Habañero and Marionberry or Blue Cheese and Pear, both of which I’ve tried and can say without reservation that they are delicious! For the New York Times piece, it turns out that the beer flavored ice cream isn’t unique to our local scoop shop, but something that can be tasted in places like San Francisco, New York and Atlanta. This short and sweet piece by writer Andrew Spear will entice you to go out and try some. With temperatures hitting in the 90’s today here in Portland, I’ll be right there as well.