Chef Ed Kenny takes in the sunset in Tautira Tahiti


JR Slide 1987 photo

What is photography all about? What is a photograph? What does it represent? Questions my dearly departed San Dieguito High School photography teacher Lucien Bonnafoux might have asked me all the way back in the 1980’s. I have a few delightful stories I will share in time of this lovely man who taught many fine photographers over his time teaching.

To change the subject; but perhaps connected by this time period, the above image is of a film slide with John Rowen, a good surf friend back in the 80’s and even to this day. In the process of moving I found this little gem; tucked away in its protective sleeve and as you can see by the impressions in the cardboard from August 1987. Its labeled an Ektachrome slide, but I’m not absolutely certain of it. The Kodak lab which processed this roll would stamp all of the E-6 processed film as Ektachrome regardless if it was AGFA or Fuji which I used as often as I could. This looks to me as if is Fuji RD 100, so essentially two to three major versions prior to Provia 100F. I was shooting an Olympus OM-2Sp and at that point this is most likely the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm which was at the time a very good lens.

So to get back up to first questions: just what is this? This image I am sharing with you via the internet is taken with an iPhone of an original slide, itself the actual film that went through the camera and mounted in cardboard. Which will last longer I wonder, now that I launch this image forward into time via the ever expanding Internet. I of course see my happy surf buddy talking waves on a Saturday at my parents place; and to me personally this is meaningful. This slide seems to have aged well; the purple seems to be as accurate as I recall and it still has the Fuji neon color of 1980’s style. After I took one or two frames with the iPhone I tucked the slide back into its archival plastic sleeve and back into the depths of the box it came from.

Happy May Day!



May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii Nei.

This little plumeria seems to know when to bloom.

Can you remember all of your top surf sessions? I’ve surfed almost continuously since 1982 and I am pretty certain that I have a few clear memories of my top sessions. For a session to make it to the ‘top’ it needs to have a few interesting and creative elements beyond just “it was perfect and Nobody was out”.

In today’s post I present one of my top ten.

Swami's, New Years Day, 97

January 1st, New Year’s Day 1997

That’s me taking off, checking my line around the knee paddler. I was on a trip to my old stomping grounds on my way to Jamaica (another story), visiting my wonderful parents Rick and Nansy in Encinitas California. I had just met my future former wife to be (if that makes sense) and we embarked on a massive trip from Hawaii first to visit my parents and then off to visit my sister Lilia in Jamaica and then make it back to Florida to cover the tail end of the High Goal Polo season in Palm Beach. Mere hours before leaving Honolulu I picked up a couple of new boards from Dennis Pang, a new 7’10 for Lexi and a sweet 6’3 single-with-sides, wing swallow tail for me. After arriving back in Encinitas on New Years Eve and engaging in typical New Years Eve fun, the next day arose beautiful, with a solid 6-8 foot (Cali sized mind you) swell running at Swami’s, the premier spot of my former neighborhood. Before leaving my parents house up the street, Lexi (being a relatively new and inexperienced surfer) declined to surf, but offered to take some photos using my camera. I set her up on the cliff by the stairs; she had fun wielding my giant Nikkor 400mm with TC-301 attached making a solid 800mm lens, sat upon a big tripod with a Nikon F3HP fitted with a fast motor drive and 10 rolls of black and white film. I engaged in one of the most glorious surf sessions ever, and just to add to the fun I wore over my wetsuit Lexi’s purple and pink surf top so she could spot me in the large crowd which was full of all-black wetsuits. Surprisingly I knew a couple of the heavy locals in the lineup and I managed to create an excellent flow picking up plenty of set waves; ripping a magic Dennis Pang surfboard for the very first time in gloriously glassy overhead waves. This shot was from the tail end of the session, it might very well be the last wave after a 2 hour surf. Lexi was a champion surf photographer that day; she shot each and every wave I caught, motor-drive shooting the good sections of the waves and even caught me poaching off of a couple of slower surfers (the only evidence ever of me dropping in HA!).  A couple of years after I made this print; you can see a the top right hand side the discoloration of the print. I am so lucky to have had this photo taken of such a memorable surf session; I’ve had so many sessions ingrained into my memories but so few of them were recorded on film. Special thanks to Lexi for shooting.



CrystalBrowns (dusted)025


Crystal in Pualani.

Shot as she was wading out to the reef after sunset with a Nikon F5 on Kentmere 100 film processed in Kodak Xtol replenished. I was shooting a couple of suits for Iwalani on digital and as Crystal was repositioning I  popped off a couple of black and white film frames and this one looked nice as a print.





Milo strikes a pose at the Pualani photo shoot. Milo was the designated diva, there’s always one at every shoot.



I found another 200ft roll of Kodak Plus-X Aerecon and just tested a roll, Nikon F4 35mm f/1.4 N.C with Nikon R60 filter, Kodak HC-110 Dil. B.

Its just a quick flatbed scan of the neg; I let it scan in color mode and left it because I like the tone.



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