A few weeks ago, I received an email from an editor at Popular Photography magazine asking me if I’d like to be featured in their “How Traveling Photographer” article for December 2015.
Although I had shot a portrait for Pop Photo a few years ago, I was thrilled to be featured as I was obsessed with the magazine as a very young person. Their articles showcased big name photographers, fancy equipment, and different photographic techniques. They published images from far away places that truly did seem so far away from my little bedroom in San Antonio. I fantasized about one day being a Nikon slinging photographer crossing deep valley gorges to capture exotic people and locations.
At the time, I was taking pictures with an inexpensive Pentax with third party lenses, but I longed for a Hasselblad, a state of the art Nikon strobe, and Kodachrome film. The magazine made me believe if I had a camera with an evaluative metering system along with a Vaseline smeared filter, I could be a jet setting photographer and travel the world.
Jump a few decades forward and I have crossed a few valleys and do live in an exotic location. I just did it without the Vaseline.
The assigning editor asked me for a few of my best Hawaii pictures and set me up with writer, Jeff Wignall, interview me on how and where to take the best beauty photos in Honolulu. The writer and I went back and forth a few times and he came up with a great piece. I’m more of a travel guide than a photographer guru as I gave no technical advice, but it is an enjoyable read nevertheless.
I hope the article inspires a young kid somewhere to dream big about making a life with a camera. I know it did for me.
My first professional written article was published in the Star Advertiser Sunday, Nov. 24th. On a trip to Texas last year, it dawned on me how Hawaii and Fredericksburg, Texas, a small town just west of Austin, north of San Antonio, are directly connected by a man who helped win the Pacific War against the Japanese. So I wrote a travel piece on visiting this small town in Texas and the significance of one of the town’s greatest sons has in the history of Hawaii.
Chester Nimitz was born to a German pioneer’s family who help settled parts of Texas. Nimitz rose to be the US Navy Admiral in charge of the Pacific Fleet after the attack on Pearl Harbor. His role in the defeat of the Japanese is slightly overshadowed by the US Army’s Gen. Douglas MacArthur; but in Hawaii, Nimitz’s legacy is not forgotten. Nimitz’s name lends itself to one of Oahu’s most important thoroughfares, Nimitz Highway, along with a nearby elementary school several businesses including a yoga studio and a BBQ joint, although those might be named for their proximity to the road, not the Admiral. At the end of the war, upon returning to Hawaii, he was given a hero’s welcome and led a parade from the battlegrounds of Pearl Harbor to the Kingdom of Hawaii’s historic Iolani Palace. The Admiral was named “Alii aimoku,” or supreme chief, by all the Hawaiian Orders in Hawaii – a rare feat for a haole from Fredericksburg, TX. A war museum was established in his family’s old Fredricksburg hotel and the collection of WWII artifacts rivals Pearl Harbor’s historic museum. The Nimitz Museum actually has the Japanese midget submarine that washed ashore on the beaches of Oahu after the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Quite a collection, indeed!
Please take a moment to read my first travel piece written as a professional “writer.” I’ve never thought of myself as a writer yet I’ve written most of my adult life. Here’s my first chance to prove I can.