Category Archives: Documentary

Kalai Kiʻi: Kanani Kaʻulukukui

Kalai Ki'i

Sometimes projects take a while to come together. Iʻve been following this story since I first stumbled into it in 2012. Now, Iʻm presenting a new gallery, a series of my photographs from last summer with Kanani Kaʻulukukui.  I first met Kanani during a shoot for a multi-screen (10!) video art installation at the Kepo’okalani Interpretive Center in Kona for the Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust. He was one of our cultural advisors, freely sharing with us his skill and knowledge. Although he works in many different forms, Kanani’s carving is most prized, and is featured in installations at a growing number of residences, cultural sites, and heiau. I look forward to working with Kanani again soon— his work is infused with his spirit.

Also posted in Photojournalism

Happy New Year… Got Fish?

Honolulu Fish Auction JDDF7760


I’d been meaning to shoot the Honolulu Fish Auction for a while now, but the 4AM call time is pretty rough. Last night, it dawned on me that there isn’t a better time to go there than the New Year’s Eve ahi battle. This is it, the Super Bowl of fish buying and selling! So, I grabbed two bodies, the Fuji x100s and the Panasonic GH3 with the Nocticron, and waded in. It’s a feast for the eyes— there’s so much going on. It’s a man’s world; there are very few women around. Funny thing— many of the guys wear camo and hunting gear hats. Fisherman as hunters? I guess so. There’s ice everywhere, fish blood, pallets whizzing by… great fun! A good place to practice “seeing.” Thanks, guys, for letting me into your world.

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Life on the Streets


I recently returned from a 10-day trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to shoot interviews for my documentary film, Out of the Dark. I talked to Nuon So Thero, madam Phaly’s son, who has taken over the mantle of leadership at Future Light Orphanage. The stories he tells about surviving the murderous Khmer Rouge are so shocking, so moving. Can you imagine yourself, at five years of age, being lead into the jungle, where a man puts his knife to your throat in preparation to kill you? In Thero’s office that afternoon, we both shed tears.

This trip provided many opportunities for still photography, and I collected enough images for a book. Please have a look in the gallery, Phnom Penh, for a sampling. You’ll see more about these images in the coming months.

Awkun (Thanks),