Solomon Pali out on a outrigger for the New York Times

Solomon Pali out on a outrigger for the New York Times

Last month I had a quick job for the New York Times where I photographed outrigger canoe instructor Solomon Pali for a business profile the newspaper did on him.  Pali takes Fairmont Kea Lani guests out on short trips teaching the basics of Hawaii paddling skills.

The job was fairly quick and I had a short window of time with the Hawaiian water man as I had to photograph him in between customers and his schedule.

I did the standard shots of him but we decided to go out on the outtrigger canoe where I would photograph him with the ocean as his background.  It is always nerve racking to get into a small boat with thousands of dollars of gear but the resort’s canoe was fitted with two amas making the outrigger very stable and nearly flip proof, especially in the hands of experienced paddlers.  He and a few others paddlers from the hotel took me out into the ocean for about 10 minutes but that was all the time I needed.

The shots were fantastic and powerful.  The best shot was of Solomon blowing a conch shell.  Traditionally, he said, Hawaiians blew the shell when they were paddling in warning anyone on the beach of there arrival.  The editor chose a standard shot of Solomon smiling into the camera.  My favorite is below.

Solomon Pali
Solomon Pali blows a conch shell in advance of landing his canoe on the shore at the Fairmont Resort.

You can see the NYT article here.