Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is your dream powered with passion?

Click here to listen to the music which inspired me to create this image: 

I'm feeling highly energized this morning, mostly because I'm caught up on my sleep and also because I'm hugely passionate about what I do.  I love being able to capture and create beautiful images and also now to be able to use these images in my success workshops and seminars.

I photographed this pond and stand of trees on a recent trip to Kansas.  The unedited image was nice, but I really wanted to pull out how inspired I was feeling.  I gave the trees a fiery quality which, to me, represents the fire you have to have to follow your passion.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Uplifting Water

I recently learned that the image of uplifting water strengthens and protects you against negativity.  Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a statue, standing in the middle with uplifting water rising on all sides around you.  Hold that thought whenever you're feeling under attack. 

I call this image of the Bellagio Fountains "Dancing the Night Away."  I created it during a recent business trip to Las Vegas where I and a team of amazing individuals were being coached and trained by Jack Canfield (author of the Success Principles and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series).  (Stay tuned for more info on my Focused Success seminars and how I'll be incorporating that alongside my photography.) 

I created this image in black and white to emphasize the light and lines. Usually I'm all about adding color to enhance an image, but for Vegas I thought it was better to strip away the facade and see what's underneath (another teaching point from my success seminars!).  I added grain for texture and if you look closely, you can see the water specks flying all around--I didn't try to clean them out of the picture.  Rather than try to enhance an already over-the-top scene, I wanted to make it more authentic. 

I like authentic.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

When lightning strikes.... get out your camera and take pics!  We had thunderstorms yesterday.  Big ones.  Not unusual for those of you who live on the mainland, but for us here in Hawaii, thunder and lightning is a big deal because it doesn't happen here very often.  So I don't get a lot of practice!  In fact, this was the first time I've ever tried to photograph lightning.  Although I got a little wet, I got to see an amazing light show.  What I learned about photographing lightning is that it takes quite a bit of patience and a fair amount of luck.  And the guts to go into a storm. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making molehills out of mountains

When I'm faced with having to learn a new skill or try something that'll require a bit of effort on my part, I tend to procrastinate.  I guess it's because I know there's going to be a learning curve and I'm the type that likes immediate results. The thought of climbing that mountain is exhausting.  So I just sit in limbo rather than get into action.  Part of my rationale is that I'm waiting for the moon and stars to align just perfectly and I'm waiting for that big chunk of time to free up on my schedule.  So rather than get into action, I do nothing. (Sound familiar?)

About two years ago I was introduced to a new technique to enhance my images.  I put off actually trying it (for two years!) because I knew it meant that I would have to sit myself down, study the information and do a lot of trial and error.  It would take extra time, something I've convinced myself that I don't have a lot of.

Anyway, this past weekend I decided to take a little break from my routine and play for just a little while.  I pulled out some images, started watching the training videos, and jumped in.

What surprised me is that it didn't take as long to learn as I thought it would.  (Isn't that the way it always works?)  That mountain wasn't nearly as big as I thought. Or maybe I'm a quick learner or maybe I just didn't pay attention to the time. Whatever the case, what I learned is that those things that seem difficult and time-consuming aren't as bad once you just get started.  My mountain was really just a little molehill.  

Here's another favorite which just goes to show what you can do once you get into action. 

So if you're like me and tend to procrastinate, my advice is to just lean into it.  Get moving.  It's not as difficult as you think.

  If you'd like to see a few more images that I've enhanced, look here:  KD Portfolio  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sewa Fare (Joyful Celebration)

Last weekend I volunteered my services to Island Pacific Academy's annual Mardi Gras.  It's always an awesome event with great entertainment, very unique silent auction items (many handcrafted by the students), good food and great fun!  This year's theme was "IPA goes on Safari" and everyone got into the theme by turning out in animal print outfits.  Guests were greeted by an African dance troupe called "Sewa Fare" which means Joyful Celebration.  I love the sound of that!

Turn up your volume and enjoy the music video slideshow!

(click on the link above, it'll take you to my website where you can see the video
and other pics from the event)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


My daughter and two of her friends asked if I would take them to the beach this evening to watch the sunset.  Since I'd had a very busy week, I thought it was a perfect spur-of-the-moment idea!  While they poked along the beach and took pictures of each other, I took pictures of them.  They played in the waves, watched the birds skittering along the sand, and they even buried a dead fish.  As the sun set, I caught them jumping off this concrete slab.  They were giggling and chatting and just enjoying each others' company.  I'm so glad I gave in to their spur-of-the-moment request! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Glory and greatness

I've never seen a rainbow like this before.  I was out doing a senior portrait session this morning and we were waiting out a rain shower.  I was sitting under the tree and saw the faint impression of the larger rainbow, but from where I was sitting, I couldn't see the second rainbow closer to the horizon.  As the rain let up, I decided to go get a shot of the larger rainbow.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the vivid second rainbow underneath.  Life lesson - sometimes greatness isn't always apparent.  You have to get up and go see what's really there. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Morning Has Broken

Got up early this morning because I have a very, very full plate this week.  When I went to bed last night, I was already stressing about how I was going to get everything done on time.  So I was in my office working about 5:30 a.m.  Around 6:45 I opened the blinds in my office and the sky caught my eye.  I saw these magnificent colors forming on the clouds against a striking blue background.  Grabbed my camera, and was about to head out the door when I realized I was still in my pajamas.  (That would not have been a pretty sight for any neighbors to see.)  Quick change and then I jumped in the car.  Sunrises and sunsets happen quickly, so you have to act quickly.  I was afraid I might already be too late to catch the best rays, but I told myself, "It's never too late."  As I got to my favorite spot, the sun was just peeking above the horizon.  So I stopped to relax a minute and catch my breath, and I got the privilege of watching a beautiful morning unfold.  I started shooting, but there were times when I just sat and watched the colors develop.  Since it had rained heavily yesterday, the air was cool and I heard a stream flowing in the distance.  Beautiful.  A reminder that it's okay to slow down, no matter how busy you may be.  As I thought about what to call this image, a perfect song started playing through my head, "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens.  

Those of you who were around in the '70's will remember this song and in case you're too young to know it, here it is:

 Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

There will always be weeds

I took this image yesterday, not knowing how I was going to use it or what I was really going to do with it.  I just happened to notice the weeds and how they fit into the larger picture.

This morning I was having a discussion with a dear friend and business associate.  We were discussing a problem she was having when I thought about the image I took yesterday.  I said it out loud:

"There will always be weeds." 

We both thought about it for a minute, and realized that yes, weeds are always going to be underfoot.  There will always be weeds in your garden (just as there will always be bugs at your picnic or rain in your day.)  What's important is to quickly deal with the weeds and bugs and then focus and enjoy the surrounding beauty. There's always a bigger picture for you to see.  You just have to see past the little annoyances.  Oftentimes, those little annoyances help you appreciate the good stuff all the more!

(P.S.  I'm excited to announce that this image is the first of a Signature Series called Lessons From the Lens©.  These images will be available as fine art prints on textured portfolio paper or heavyweight giclee canvas.  Stay tuned for more details.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wet & Wild

Twenty to thirty foot waves were forecast for today, so I grabbed my camera and my daughter to keep me company.  Instead of heading to the North Shore and fighting traffic, we headed to the Waianae coast.  It was a beautiful drive and the waves were thunderous.  I watched one guy taking pictures with his point-and-shoot just as one of the waves splattered over him.  Fortunately, he was far enough away that the force of the wave didn't do anything but get him seriously wet, but I kept my eye on him.  (Not that I was going to go after him if he got eaten by one of those monster waves.... )  Later,  I caught up with him and we joked about how he was getting a little up close and personal with some of those waves. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Old and New

My daughter had friends visiting from college, so one evening I asked if they'd like to do a portrait session.  I thought it would be fun for them and it would give me a chance to play around a bit.   They did their own hair and makeup and we pulled out some clothes and jewelry.   Kylie had pulled her hair into a pretty bun, and when I saw how she looked I knew exactly how I wanted to photograph her.  I had her put on my daughter's vintage dress (the one that's shown on my website homepage) and here was the beautiful result.  I love the fact that this is a modern-day 20-year old, but she looks timeless.

And here was another fun one from the session.  She was checking her texts during a break and I simply asked her to hold that pose.