Halawa beach, Molokai, Hawaii.  (Photo by, Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)

Nothing.  I have nothing. I have no camera, yet i have access to every camera i could ever need.  Vision.  I have nothing, but have access to a landscape and a world that excites me every time i see it.  Empty.  My vision feels empty until out on the rocks something turns my head.  How bad am i willing to be today?  Another thought is running through my mind.  A good thought.  The thought is “Risk is the essence of it.  You’re only as good as you’re willing to be bad.” 1 I wander out onto the volcanic rocks lining the bay towards four rounded rocks balanced beautifully on a post feet from the crashing waves.  As I walk, I am wondering how bad I am willing to be this moment. The wind is blowing in gusts strong enough to make me tense my muscles, yet the rocks on the post don’t even wobble.  Balance.  How the heck do those rocks stay balanced in all this wind?  The answer, they are rounded.  Click.  I feel a bubble of excitement rise inside me.  Click.  There it is again. Click, click.  The sun is disappearing and reappearing in regular intervals behind the clouds.  Ahhh.  There it is.  That’s why I do this.  For this moment and a hundred thousand others like it.  

Church window, Molokai, Hawaii.  (Photo by, Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)

Palm tree\'s at dusk, Molokai, Hawaii.  (Photo by, Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)



Molokai, Hawaii – Photography Workshop Day 1

Ironwood, Molokai, Hawaii.  (Photo by Jonathan Kingston/Aurora)

Rekindling the Creative Spirit – the title and intent of our week on Molokai.  Today, enough baco bits of wisdom have been sprinkled on the proverbial salad bar of life to float us for the rest of the seminar — and we are just getting warmed up!  It is an interesting week for me, because I come unarmed.  My sword, my professional camera passed away two weeks ago and with no home to take a second mortgage on to finance a replacement, i am left with my pocket panasonic and less baggage.  While my wallet mourns its loss, I love the idea and the reality of being free from the weight and judgment of carrying all that metal and glass and circuitry.  To paraphrase a good friend, ‘There is a mistaken belief that some special gear is necessary to take good pictures, Whereas the only real requirement is the ability to see clearly and objectively. Plus of course having the urge to take photographs.’ 1 In a fantastic presentation this evening by fellow instructor Dewitt Jones on focusing the vision, a video of Sir Ken Robinson at the TED awards lodged in my mind and would not leave.  I will leave you his thoughts on how we are being educated out of our creativity so that all of you not sharing this time on Mother Molokai can take a peek over the edge of the rabbit hole we are tumbling down this week.

Hawaii bound

Raindrops on the window of a plane.

There is rain on the window of this giant jet plane as we push back and roar into the sky.  My eyes close in sleep before the plane reaches cruising altitude.  Six hours later the wheels chirp as they hit the pavement.  The door opens onto the sticky sweet warm air that instantly forms a sheen of sweat on my forehead.  Luau sounds spill over the pa system in the terminal.  A few tourists walk around with sweet smelling lei’s around their necks.

Mentor – Paul Liebhardt

The first and second jobs I had out of Brooks Institute of Photography were directly due to Paul Liebhardt.  While there were many instances during my first job in India that I couldn’t decide whether he was playing an elaborate joke with me as the unwitting victim, Paul set me on a trajectory that I have been following to this day.  He once said “The best pictures are taken by those who feel some excitement about life and use the camera to share their enthusiasm with others.”  Please – do yourself a favor and share some of Paul’s enthusiasm for life by viewing his images.  Click on the image below to go to his site.

Paul Liebhardt Photography


© Marcia Duff 2008

A successful week in Ketchum/Sun Valley Idaho and the “Masala of Digital Imaging Techniques” workshop.  The above image was produced by Marcia Duff after a introduction to digital montages in Photoshop CS3.  Photoshop is such a complex behemoth of a program  that it is very refreshing for me to see my participants artistic vision emerge like it did during the workshop.  Great job Marcia and all the other participants who produced fantastic images during the two day event!


Rekindling the Creative Spirit Workshop, Molokai, Hawaii.

I will be teaching six photography workshops in 2008. Other Photoshop courses out there focus on techniques that aren’t applicable to everyday shooting. In my courses, Photography is at the heart of every bit of instruction behind the lens and the computer. The complete workshop schedule with links is posted below. I hope to see you there!


Jonathan Kingston Explores the World in Search of Images and Insights