Tag Archives: Hawaii

The Practice of Photoku.

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Painted sky, salted air

The rhythm of the waves 

Senses sparked, soul nourished

At our “Mindful Photography” workshop, I introduced the concept of a PhotoKu.  This is the marriage of a photograph with a poem, loosely based on the Japanese from of poetry, Haiku.  The idea is to give words to what we are seeing and feeling. The hope is to help us see more deeply.

I believe the biggest shift in my photography happened when I started to focus on experiences rather than chasing “keepers”.  I find writing words with my images helps me connect to and remember the experience.  The end result has been what I believe is stronger photographs.

My teaching partner for this workshop, Flint Sparks,  recently added twist to this idea.  I shared a PhotoKu with Flint and this was his reply…

“I loved the Photoku and wanted to send one back, but I also wanted to engage in another practice for myself. The practice is not to go through all the images I’ve processed and pick the “best” one to send to John. Instead, I decided to pick the “next” one, let go of ego, and allow what comes to come. This is what was next in line this morning with my photoku for you”

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Waiting in morning light
Silent, ordinary, still
Ready for a warm hand
I am grateful for my friend Flint who is always teaching. Let go of ego.  Let go of good versus bad.  Let go of judgement.  Let go, and, be open to seeing more deeply.  Thank you Flint!  Approaching photoku from this paradigm will indeed deepen my ability to see beyond what I have traditionally labeled as good.  I look forward to this practice in 2017.
Posted in Hawaii, Molokai Also tagged , , |

Sea Cliffs

Wishing you a happy holiday and a wonderful 2016!

One of the magical places we photograph during our “Seeing The Light” Workshop in Hawaii, is the majestic sea cliffs.  My understanding is these are the tallest sea cliffs in the world. It is amazing to see the transformation of this scene as the sun rises. These two images were made just 15 minutes apart. The top image was made using a Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filter which allowed me to smooth out the rough surf.  For the image below, I removed the filter to include the waves as another element in the frame. Receive a 10% discount on Singh-Ray filters by using the code BARCLAY10 at checkout.

If you’d like to join us in Hawaii for the 2016 “Seeing The Light” workshop send me an email and I will add you to the list!  We are working to update the web page with the details about the 2016 event. That should be done before the end of the year. In the meantime, you can see the details for the same 2015 event by clicking here.    

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Posted in Hawaii, See The Light Also tagged , , |

Waves work in B&W

I was challenged to post a wave in B&W. An easy challenge as I had already made a conversion and loved it. Here ya go!

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Posted in B&W, Hawaii Also tagged , |

Yes, another WAVE!

I can’t help myself.  Clicking on the image will make it bigger. Enjoy

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Posted in Hawaii Also tagged |

Molokai Through Their Eyes

It is time for another “through their eyes” post. This time from beautiful Molokai Hawaii. There is something special about Molokai as you’ll see from the wonderful images presented by some of those who attended the workshop. Remember to click the highlighted link to see more of the photographers work.

Aubrey Yee

Molokai waves at sunset, standing witness to the universe, painting with ocean…

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Louise Shoemaker

Finally—Connection!  I danced around this gecko, advancing to get a close shot, watching as he scurried away, then re-emerged because he was as curious as I.  Finally he came to the edge of the leaf and stopped long enough to give me a long, quiet look.  The other photos were ok, but THIS one tells the story of that moment of magical connection.

Gecko Through my eyes

Carla Francis

“Of all the beautiful places we saw during our workshop on Molokai, the Sea Cliffs had the greatest impact on me. The cliffs lit up by early light and the powerful waves filled me with awe and thankfulness for the privilege of being there. I named this image The Power and the Majesty.”

 
CF-October 29, 2015
“I believe this is my favorite image from our “See the Light” workshop because it speaks to me of the peace and beauty of the people of Molokai. I saw this image right in front of me, looking into the sun and I knew I had to grab one shot before the moment and light was lost. It reminds me to act when I see the moment and to never be afraid to shoot into the sun. Amazing things can happen!”
 
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This image makes me smile thinking how happy these girls were, especially the youngest one. After I told them we are done shooting and that they can now do whatever they want, she immediately climbed the tree! After the mesmerizing performance of hula, the youngest dancer showing her mischievous side, because at the end of the day, kids still will be kids.
 
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I live on the Pacific ocean but never have I seen waves like those in Hawaii. Power, uniqueness & beauty- priceless joy.
 
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Janice Chipman 
Hawaii is, technically, just a group of rocks surrounded by water.  What makes it so special – aside from the weather – is the color;  the greens and blues of the backgrounds;  the soft yellows and whites of the Plumeria;  and the sun-touched browns of its people.  When shooting at a beach in the Halawa Valley, I had a chance to reduce all the best of Hawaii to its basic elements – some rocks, a little water and a touch of color.  Thanks, John Barclay, for the tour.  Thanks, Jonathan Kingston, for lending me your neutral density filter!
 
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“There is no doubt that the cliffs above Kalaupapa are the reason you come to this area to photograph. Though I loved most of the images of the cliffs themselves, by turning around away from the cliffs, I was struck by the stunning beauty of a Hawaiian sunset that I otherwise might have missed !!!”
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Terry Schroeder
The Sea Cliffs on Molokai are a feast for the eye and a place to return to again and again. It’s different every time and invites a deliberate photographic process.  Be still and let the images come to you.
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Another Wave!

 

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Not much to say other than, they are seriously addictive! I wrote about the technique in my recent newsletter, but thought it might be worth sharing here as well.

I shot this with my Fuji X-T1 which worked perfectly!  Understanding the proper technique is important.  Thank you Jonathan Kingston!  

Shoot in Manual Mode with your f/stop at f/8 and shutter speed at 1/2000. Now set your ISO to AUTO.  On my Fuji (and with Nikon) with the new version 4.0 firmware, auto ISO in this set up allows the ISO to float to make a correct exposure while locking in f/stop and aperture. Very cool! Next, go to your menu and choose AF-C and Wide Tracking. The last thing I did was shoot in continuous high.

[Tweet “Fuji X-T1 shoots waves easily with V4 Firmware. Here is the set up.”]

Posted in Hawaii Also tagged , , , |

Waves!

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I just finished co-leading our annual “See The Light” workshop on the Island of Molokai in Hawaii with Jonathan Kingston. Molokai is a place where many go to recharge, to “right their canoe” and experience the spirit of Mother Molokai. Last year, we went to the Beach in hopes of photographing the giant waves where Dewitt Jones, Jonathan Kingston and Rikki Cooke have made many amazing images. It is not as easy as it looks. It takes some practice and I did not do so well. This year we took our group back to the beach and were treated to amazing conditions where everyone got a good wave shot. The energy in the crashing waves is amazing to witness, and to capture one is a thrill! Be prepared, I may show a few more in the coming weeks! 

Posted in Hawaii, See The Light Also tagged , , , , , |

Welcome to 2015 – Happy New Year and Thank You!

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On our last day of shooting on Molokai, we went to the wharf. It was interesting to watch the group respond to a new place and see what they chose to photograph. Some were immediately drawn to the boats on the dock. Others were shooting details and close ups. Others walked away from the main group as they preferred to be on their own. Some photographed the people fishing off of the dock. I was drawn to the light on the water in front of the island of Maui and the warm tonalities in the sky. At this point in the week, after the thoughtful daily discussions and personal introspection, I felt everyone was comfortable photographing what they were drawn to. They seemed to be more open to finding the gifts that were there. 

Thank you, to all who faithfully follow my blog and sometimes even post a comment. I appreciate your choosing to make my blog part of your day. I wish you the best in 2015 and look forward to sharing and learning with you this year. Happy New Year!

If you know of someone who you think might enjoy my work and or blog, please feel free to share with them.

[Tweet “Happy New Year!”]

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Mindful Photography

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One of the participants at our recent “See the Light” workshop was Flint Sparks. For many years, Flint has been leading his own workshops at the Hui Ho’olana (on Molokai Hawaii), teaching mindful embodiment and meditation. This time he was a participant wanting to learn more about photography. On the first day as we got to know each other, Flint shared his lack of camera knowledge as well as his excitement about learning. He portrayed himself as a “new” or “beginner” photographer. Later that night when the participants shared their 10 favorite images, I was anxious to see Flint’s. His first image came up and I heard an audible gasp from the group. My reaction was the same, the image was magnificent. Then, 10 seconds later as the slideshow continued, his next image appeared. Another gasp, another stunning image. In the end, all 10 of Flint’s images were truly amazing. They were full of emotion and connection with his subject. They were not just snapshots from a “beginner,” but rather images that clearly expressed who he was, what he saw and how he felt. I sat there wondering how could this be? Flint had made it clear that he was a new or beginner photographer.

The next morning we had our first “porch sharing session.”  In this session we asked the participants to think about and then share why they photograph. It was a lively and interesting discussion during which Flint and others shared insightful, thoughtful and meaningful ideas. The next day we had another porch sharing session. This time with the focus on connection with subject. Again Flint shared marvelous pearls of wisdom. Really good pearls, pearls that got me thinking. Here, I was a “leader” clearly being taught by a master teacher! And then, in quiet reflection after the sharing session, it dawned on me why Flint’s images were so good. Flint had already done the work we were asking the group to consider. The work of becoming a mindful photographer. The work of learning to be still, quiet and open. Flint embodies these principals. He teaches them, he lives them, he is them. As such, Flint is already in that place where images just being to appear.

Flint shared his thoughts on the way we have evolved as humans. And to humanize what our brain is constantly doing said, “our brain is like wifi that is constantly scanning and asking the world these three questions. Are you there? Do you see me? Do you choose me?” Isn’t photography much the same regardless of the subject? I can imagine the person in the street that I’ll be photographing in Cuba next week essential asking these very questions. Hello, are you there? Do you see me and do you care about me? Do you choose to photograph me and will you be careful with me?  And while it might be more difficult for some to think of a a dune at Mesquite Flat in Death Valley this way, is it not the same? Isn’t the dune asking, are you there, do you see me, do you choose me?

It was said during the week that we don’t take a picture, rather the picture takes us. Freeman Patterson says, “when we take a picture, the camera points both ways.” During the week, we invited participants to pay attention to what turns their head. In other words, what grabs your attention so viscerally that you must make a photograph. So, I ask you, what are you being taken by?  And, are you being mindful enough to be open to what you are being taken by, so that you can make an image that makes your heart sing? Or that others will connect with and that will make their heart sing?

As a side note, Flint has done and excellent Tedx talk which you can view by clicking on this link.  You might also check out his excellent blog where you can read his comments about his week as a student in our workshop.

[Tweet “Mindful Photogrpahy”]

Posted in Hawaii, Inspiration, Workshop Also tagged , , , , |

Sunset at Coconut Grove

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First, thank you to all who attended my Topaz Webinar yesterday. For those who would like to try the new Topaz Glow you can save $20 by using the code BARCLAYGLOW at checkout. To save 25% on any other Topaz software, use the code BARCLAYWEB14 at checkout. This includes those who already own one or more of the individual plug-in’s and want to upgrade to the entire bundle. A great Christmas gift!

The blog image today, is from the beach at coconut grove on the island of Molokai. As is often the case, when we arrived at the palm grove, (which is right in front of this beach) the conditions were not optimal. When I made my way to the beach, I quickly ran back to let the group know the water was still and encouraged them to explore there. The water is very shallow, making it easy and fun to walk out in it. Some decided to head home when it looked like there would not be color in the sunset sky. As is often the case, about 20 minutes after the sun set, a band of pink began to appear in the western sky. I ran for the boat scene and started doing a happy dance! I’d have done the hula, but I had not learned that yet! Needless to say, this is one of my favorite images from the Hawaii trip.

 

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