Sunday, May 31, 2009

23/365 - Shades of Blue

When I have days off I like to walk. I have a route I take up into the valley and then back down to the ocean, then I turn around and go back the way I came. It's about 6.5 miles, but it's good exercise and helps me work on my tan! :o) As I walked down to the beach (which is my turnaround point) I looked to the beach for inspiration. I figured since it was a Sunday something cool would be happening. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary on the beach but I did see this really cool colored old school Jeep and I thought it was really neat. I crouched down in front of it (and probably looked like a weirdo to all passing cars) and snapped a few shots. This one turned out pretty cool. I decided to mess with the color a bit. I wanted to do the sky too, but the trees were in the way and I'm too tired at the moment to fix it, so this is it. I like it! :o)

Makaha Beach - Waianae, HI

Saturday, May 30, 2009

22/365 - Precious

Today was my last full day with Ryan, although I have two more days on the island. My emotions on the subject have been all over the place the last few days. It's finally starting to hit me that I'll most likely never see him again and it makes me sad because I've seen him grow so so much in the last 9 months of me being here and I there is so much about his future I wonder about that I'll probably never know. His dad says he will e-mail me updates and what not and I sure hope he does. Ryan has been such a substantial part of my life this past year and I will never forget my time spent with him. I can't wait to be a mother. I had so much fun with Ryan and I think I did a pretty good job with him too, so I look forward at what the future has in store for me. I hope I get some amazing children like he was. People often told me that my "son" was so cute and was going to be a heart-breaker when he gets older. I always pretended like he was my kid and sometimes I wish he was. I've been told that he looks like he could be mine too. Again, I wish he was. Ryan is the most precious child I've ever worked with and I will always remember his laugh, his smile, his giant dimple, and all of the fun memories we had together. Time for me to stop or I'm going to flood my room with tears.

My Apartment - Waianae, HI

Friday, May 29, 2009

21/365 - Untold Stories

I pass this property every time I walk down my street to the beach. It's only 2 blocks away and for some reason it always catches my eye. This is another typical looking yard for the area that I live in. I don't know why, but people out here seem to need to keep and hang onto everything! I often wonder what these things were once used for and why they are just sitting around. It makes me think about how everything has stories to go with it. Not just people, but inanimate objects as well. Sometimes I wish we were able to know about things, kind of like the expression "if walls could talk." I think there are so many interesting stories that each possession of ours could tell if there was such a way. Where did the bus take people? Why does no one drive the van anymore? Who used the boat? Was it for fishing or leisure? If only...

Jade St. - Waianae, HI

Thursday, May 28, 2009

20/365 - Running to Stand Still

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you are trying to run somewhere, maybe to or away from something, and as hard as you try, you aren't going anywhere? No matter how cautious we are or how much we try to prepare for, life is always going to throw us curve balls and we'll always run into unexpected bumps in the road. It happens. It's part of life. And you know what else there is about life that's pretty cool? It. Goes. On. It goes on with us and it goes on without us. Sometimes, there are events or people in life that we encounter that we think are the absolute worst things in the entire world. And yes, sometimes they are. However, as badly as they suck at the time, we get through them. In good, healthy ways or sometimes destructive whythehelldididothat ways or even ways we don't know they helped but they did. Life isn't mean to be perfect. Life is supposed to full of mistakes. I try to look at every mistake as a learning experience. I don't always see them right away or even after a long, long time, but eventually I am able to see and understand why something happened and why I changed for the better because of it. It may not always be something significant, but I believe every mistake yields some sort of wisdom. Wisdom we can keep for ourselves, wisdom we can pass on to others, or wisdom we can learn from and use in the future. How boring would life be if everything worked out the way we wanted it to? Sometimes a little kick in the ass from life is needed and it's not always the end of the world as much as we like to act like it is. I like to think that everything happens for a reason. It reminds me of a line in an old Diamond Rio song, "Well I know God has his reasons, but sometimes it's hard to see them..." Some things in life are just meant to be figured out. Sometimes alone, sometimes with the help of others (and who these people end up being may surprise us.) But in the end, that's what friends are for. No problem is too big to overcome. Just remember that it's okay to ask for help sometimes. You never have to do anything alone.

Kili Dr. - Waianae, HI

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

19/365 - Ry Guy

This is Ryan. He is the love of my life. I am sad to be leaving him in a mere 5 days but I know my time with him was valuable for not only myself, but him as well. I have seen tremendous growth in him over the past 9 months and I have learned quite a bit about myself too. It takes a lot to be a good parent or at least a good adult role model for someone so young and I think I did a pretty good job. My experience with kids this young is very very limited but I think I grew substantially through working with Ryan. I can't wait to be a mother and I hope my kids turn out to be just as wonderful as Ryan. I told Ryan that exact thing on several occasions. He is such a fun, happy kid and he rarely cried or threw temper tantrums or anything. He made my experience in Hawaii one I will never forget. I hope to receive updates on his life as time goes on and I hope he doesn't forget me. I will always remember his laugh, his smile, and the little things I taught him to say or do. I will miss Ryan so much when I leave the islands.

Papaoneone Beach - Waianae, HI

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

18/365 - Vintage Postcard

While driving around today (one of three days left with Ryan) I decided to stop at one of my favorite beach parks to take some pictures. This place always catches my eye because it's just a long row of palm trees along the ocean with a good 200 feet of grass between them and the parking lot. I have taken several wonderful pictures here, yet today I decided to turn towards Lahilahi (the "mini mountain" I like to climb) and try to frame her between two of the palm trees. I like this picture because it looks like a vintage postcard, and it's also a perfect portrayal of a few of my favorite places on the island. I'm standing at one and looking at the other and I'll always remember this place. Me wandering around with my camera and Ryan searching for coral amongst the sand and cramming as many pieces as he can into his pockets (which seems to be a new hobby of his.) Compared to the mountain range, Lahilahi seems pretty small, but she's a good 300 foot climb that I've done countless times and have been able to obtain gorgeous views of Makaha from her summit. Climbing Lahilahi on my 24th birthday for the first time will be a memory I will never forget. There is just something about being able to see so far and knowing that only a limited number of people have shared this view. Sitting at the summit of Lahilahi, feeling the wind in my face, seeing the pattern of footprints in the sand below me, looking for turtles amongst the turquoise blue water, gazing up into the mountains and seeing for miles, will be a memory of Hawaii I will never forget.

Ma'ili Beach Park - Waianae, HI

Monday, May 25, 2009

17/365 - Aloha

Aloha is a whole lot more than what you think it is. Most people know that Aloha means hello and goodbye. It also means love and affection. However, the thing about Aloha is, its definition goes way beyond what you'd be able to find in any dictionary. I found a little book a while ago at Goodwill that had a perfect quote that I think sums up nicely what Aloha means. It reads, "Aloha is found in silence, lived in peace, and passed on in love." Aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and afterwards to spread the love to others. Aloha is sending and receiving a positive energy. Aloha is living in harmony. When you live the Spirit of Aloha, you create positive feelings and thoughts, which are never gone. They exist in space, multiply and spread over to others. As you can see, Aloha means so much more than just hello or goodbye. Aloha, in a sense, in a way of life. Just writing about it right now and thinking about Aloha has put a calm over me. I can feel myself relaxing and my mind becoming clearer. Although my time in Hawaii is coming to an end, I will always try my best to live in the spirit of Aloha.

Makaha Country Club - Waianae, HI

EDIT: 05.27.09

While waiting for some photos to be ready at Long's, I found the book with the Aloha quote and here are a few more.

"Aloha resides in the quiestest room of your heart. Go there daily, sit with it, learn its ways, be still and become one with it. Then bring it out for all the world to see."

"Aloha exists beyond motives, desires, or opinions. It is sustained by love, fortified by compassion, and it expands in power and beauty as we give it away to all who come into our lives."

"The more you use your aloha, the stronger it flows through you."

"Aloha is balance, patience, harmony, tolerance, and boundless love."

"The more you are able to let aloha pour from yourself through your thoughts, wishes, prayers, and external actions, the more you brighten the world."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

16/365 - Simple Pleasures

It might just be me, but I think there are a lot of things in life that are simple pleasures. For instance: babies laughing, the smell of a fresh load of laundry right out of the drier, talking with a long lost friend, chocolate chip cookies.... I could go on forever. Today I got my first shave ice from Matsumoto's on the North Shore, which is the best place on the island. When we got there, the line ran through the store, along the front of the building, and wrapped around the side. There were easily 40+ people in line, locals and tourists alike. For people to be willing to wait in line for 20+ minutes for a $2.50 shave ice, there must be some sort of enjoyment. There are so many things that are so simple and insignificant, yet seem to matter so much to us. Whether we acknowledge them or not, they exist and we experience one, if not several, every day. If only we have the senses to be aware. Take pleasure in these little joys that life gives us every day, for we never know when they might be gone.

Matsumoto's - Haleiva, HI

Saturday, May 23, 2009

15/365 - Ant's Eye View

I've been wanting to take a picture from the ground for some reason. This wasn't entirely what I was looking for, but it's a good start. This makes me think about perspective. There are so many different perspectives in life that we are closed-minded about. Whenever we have a problem or are angry about something, often times changing our perspective or asking another person for theirs is a simple solution. Maya Angelou said it best, "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." I'm one of those types of people who likes to be a problem solver. I like to try to view things from other perspectives and think I do a semi-decent job at it. I don't have a problem asking for other people's opinions most of the time and I find that it definitely helps. If you're ever stuck on something, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Aloha Stadium - Aiea, HI

Friday, May 22, 2009

14/365 - Peaceful, Easy Feeling

Visiting the temple made me think of nothing but serenity. Serenity is the calmness of mind, eveness of temper, and an overall composure that is hard to obtain. Sometimes I wish I could live with serenity every moment of my life, but I think that would get old after a while. Sure, it's a great state to be in, but I think there is so much more to being human than being in a state of peacefulness all the time. It's the other emotions that make us who we are, good or bad. Joy, anger, greed, happiness, guilt, jealousy, excitement, sadness... all of these things and more make up the world around us. While some of them aren't necessarily good to experience, at least at the time, they help keep us in check. In my case, I've always been into writing. Every single piece of writing that I am most proud of has come out at a time when I was angry or upset. In a sense, the process of writing when I'm in such a mood helps me reach serenity. Serenity is a wonderful state of mind to reach and I enjoy those moments.

Byodo-In Temple - Kaneohe, HI

Thursday, May 21, 2009

13/365 - Easy Living

Life. It can either be simple or complicated. I think a lot of this depends on the person and what they make of the life they live. Some people thrive off busy, complicated lifestyles, where others tend to simplify everything and take things one day at a time. There is always going to be drama, but it usually comes and goes. I try to keep things simple, yet it isn't always easy. I try to take things one day at a time; I try not to stress about things that aren't a big deal; I try to let things go instead of reacting to them; I try to live as peacefully as I can. I know what relaxes me and what calms me down and I incorporate these things into my life every day. Listening to music, reading, running, often times writing. These things are how I relax and how I keep things simple. Music has always been my escape. It's so easy to disappear into a song and let it take over your thoughts. The same goes with a book. And when I run, I don't think at all really. Running clears my mind as I try to focus just on my breathing and the rhythm of my footsteps. And writing, oh man writing takes me to a whole other place. I tend to write when I'm upset, but it is when I am in these moods that I am able to produce the most beautiful poetry. Life is too short to be anything but happy so why waste all the time and energy on the things that don't matter?

Hawaiian Waters - Kapolei, HI

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

12/365 - Black Tears

After living in Hawaii for 9 months, I figured it was about time I visited Pearl Harbor. Especially since I am moving back to the Mainland in less than two weeks. Watching the video about Pearl Harbor was really amazing. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be in Hawaii when the Japanese first attacked Pearl Harbor. I would have been scared out of my bloody mind. There are a lot of Japanese who are living in Hawaii or come to visit. I wonder if they feel awkward at all. I don't know, just thoughts I guess... It was really cool to go to and experience Pearl Harbor and I'm glad I went. Once we actually got out to the memorial built over the U.S.S. Arizona was when it became more real. There are still hundreds of bodies trapped in the sunken ship. Every man who was killed on board the U.S.S. Arizona lies at rest at the bottom of Pearl Harbor with the ship. Personally, I think it kind of adds to the memorial knowing that those who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor are STILL underwater trapped in the ship. What gets me is the fact that to this day, almost 70 years later, there is still fuel leaking from the ship. Some refer to the oil leakage as "black tears" which I think is fitting.

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial - Pearl Harbor, HI

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

11/365 - Reflections

There is something about reflections that has always appealed to me. Being able to see something through that means is a really cool way to look at the world. When you look in the mirror, have you ever stopped to think that no one else sees you in this way except yourself. A mirror image is exactly that, a reverse of the original. We use a mirror in a way to function as our eyes so we can see what we look like. We are the only people in the world who can see us in that way. How our friends see us and how pictures capture us are how the rest of the world sees us. I don't know why I find that so interesting, but it's weird to think that when I'm looking at myself in a mirror, I am the only person who truly can see myself in this form. Of course if someone was looking in the mirror too, they would get the general "backwards" shot, but it's still pretty cool. I think there are so many people who look in the mirror and don't like what they see. All of it, some of it, or even tiny, minuscule details that no one else would ever notice. I think the secret to life and self-happiness is being able to look yourself square in the eye and be in love with what you see. How can anyone love you if you don't love yourself first?

White Plains - Kalaeloa, HI

Monday, May 18, 2009

10/365 - Nature's Masterpiece

So today we went over to Hawaii Kai to check out Hanauma Bay and do some snorkeling. When we drove by, the parking lot was full so we had to keep going. There was a scenic lookout just up the road I planned on going to anyways, so we just went there a little earlier than planned. OMG it was the most gorgeous place I've been on the island. It is a random, unnamed Scenic Lookout, but I'm fairly certain it is the Lana'i Lookout. On a clear day, you are able to see three of the Hawaiian Islands: Molokai, Maui, and Lanai. The patterns in the rock and the color of the water were a simply gorgeous combination. I can't explain how beautiful this place was. You'll have to trust me and take my picture for what it is. I had a hard time picking which picture to use because there were so many awesome ones.

Lanai Lookout - Hawaii Kai, HI

Sunday, May 17, 2009

9/365 - Life is Sweet

I had this great idea of what my picture would be today, seeing as I was going to the airport and all. Yeah, it didn't turn out. I will definitely keep it in mind to try again somewhere else though. For sure. It's a cool idea, I just need to be in the right place to do it. So yeah, I had approximately 5 pictures to choose from today, but I like this one. I've been on an oatmeal kick lately. And a healthy kick too I suppose I should add. I make oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. I liked what these sugar packets said. It's short. It's simple. It's to the point. There are so many little moments in life that we encounter every day that we are often times too blind to notice. It takes a keen eye to spot the little things, but if we look all around us, they are there. I tend to be a pretty pensive person, so maybe I look for things a bit more than your average person, but it makes me smile when I see them.

My Apartment - Waianae, HI

Saturday, May 16, 2009

8/365 - Playscapes

Anyone who knows me could probably tell you one, if not both of my two favorite things to photograph. The first is stairs. Always in black and white. I love staircases... I don't know why. I have a huge collection of black and white photographs, a good percentage of which are of stairs. I don't know why, but they always catch my eye. The second thing I enjoy is pictures that allow me to play with shadows. There are so many cool things to do with shadows and I had a great opportunity to get some shots today at a playground. We all know I'm just a big kid, so naturally I tend to enjoy playgrounds just as much (if not more) than your average eight year old. It happens. Playgrounds are a happy place. They are one of those places I always enjoyed going as a kid... Wacousta, Patriarch Park, Delta Mills, Sharp Park... all of these were playgrounds I frequented as a kid and still travel to on occasion. My favorite parks are the giant wooden ones. There is always so much to do and so many different things to explore. For some reason it never seems to get old for me. I've always loved swings. Swings and monkey bars. I miss the days when I could actually do the monkey bars without my feet touching the ground. Being 5'7 sure takes some of the enjoyment out of an old pastime of mine. Ah well, such is life!

Geiger Park - Ewa Beach, HI

Friday, May 15, 2009

7/365 - Scrumdidilyumptous

So this is something that will probably strike most people as quite peculiar. Especially seeing what it is and where it came from. This picture, my friends, is actually something you can order on the menu at McDonald's. But not just anywhere, only in Hawaii. When you think of breakfast at McDonald's what do you think of? Maybe an Egg McMuffin, or McGriddles, or a Breakfast Burrito. However, if you really want to try something new and exciting (and not to mention extremely unhealthy--like everything else) for breakfast, delight yourself in the Local Deluxe Platter from your neighborhood Hawaiian McDonald's. What, might you ask, is in this so called platter? You will be delighted to know that the answer is everything you ever dreamed of. And more. This local delicacy begins with a nice heaping pile of McDonald's style omelet, which is just scrambled eggs in my opinion. So far, sounds okay, right? Next we add two giant scoops of white rice. To get your nice daily dose of meat, this Local Deluxe Platter also features not one, not two, but three lovely pieces of Portuguese Sausage. And last but not least, two substantially sized pieces of SPAM. Yes, spam, the strange meat from a can. Stop by any neighborhood* McDonald's today and pick one up and try it for yourself.
*Neighborhood consists of the Hawaiian Islands only

Without further ado, I present to you today's marvel.

Leeward Petroleum - Waianae, HI

Thursday, May 14, 2009

6/365 - Fuzzy Red Lines

Today was one of those days where not too much eventful happened and therefore taking and finding the best picture didn't go so well. I went up to the North Shore tonight to watch the sunset at Waimea Bay and then get dinner at a Mexican restaurant and was hoping to get something cool from either place, but nothing special. I had a picture in mind that I could use, but it wasn't my favorite. Driving home with my cousin, we merged onto the highway to find traffic at a crawl--nothing out of the ordinary for Hawaii. We saw the flashing lights up ahead so we knew we wouldn't have to wait long, thank God. Everything cool in Hawaii is usually at least a good hour's drive so we were ready to be home and not ready to sit in traffic. We got through the accident scene pretty quickly, but as we were driving, the police officers had set up flares and my cousin suggested that I take a picture, so I did. I got one with the flare in it, blurred of course, which makes it look sweet, but I think I like this one better because you aren't really sure what is going on. I like the mystery in photographs sometimes!

Queen Liliuokalani Fwy, HI

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5/365 - Sextuplets?!?

I have been told several times that I'm weird, that I'm crazy, that I'm completely ridiculous. Can you imagine that times six? I'm sure everyone has wondered at least once in their life what things would be like if they were a twin, or if an annoying sibling had a twin. While looking around on Flickr for inspiration for my photos, I immediately found something I knew I had to try. I've messed around with Photoshop enough to know what I'm doing so I looked up online how to make this work and was surprised at how simple it was. The pictures took me maybe 5 minutes to take and another 5 to compile in Photoshop. I am so happy with the end product and plan on doing this many more times. I have been like grinning like an idiot for the last few hours since I took the pictures, uploaded them to my computer, and worked my magic. Hopefully this is the start to many awesome pictures to come!

Waianae District Park - Waianae, HI

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

4/365 - Rustic Treasures

I took some good pictures today and I had in my mind all day which one I wanted to represent the day, but when I was looking through them all on my computer, I decided to change my mind. I chose this picture to remind me of the area I live in right now. The houses are small, and filled with way more people than I think they are meant for, the yards are mostly trashed, homeless people live in tents on the beaches... a lot of this is hard to see and even harder to explain. Living in Waianae was a small culture shock to me. It's a rough area, one that keeps me home and inside after dark, and cautious if I'm alone anywhere. Living here has made me realize how lucky my upbringing was. Sure, to many, Hawaii is paradise, and it is, but not ALL of it.

Kaulaili Rd. - Waianae, HI

Monday, May 11, 2009

3/365 - Reach for the Sky

I don't know what it is, but I have always had a thing for trees. I have always loved to climb them. I love the adventure they bring as well as the views from the branches (which, of course, depends on how high you are daring to go.) I love the uniqueness of each tree... how the branches form, how the roots spread out and take over anything that is in their way. I love how trees offer protection. I have always wanted a tree house and used to spend my summers drawing plans for one to build at my grandparents. While that never happened, I vow to one day have a treehouse for my children or even grandchildren. Tree houses are great places to have fun with your friends, a wonderful hideout of you want to escape, or they just function as a home away from home, a place to be yourself. I love watching the death and rebirth of trees every year. I love how each tree tells its own story. My favorite thing is standing on the ground at the trunk of the tree and looking up. That being said, here is today's picture of the day!

Makaha Elementary - Waianae, HI

Sunday, May 10, 2009

2/365 - Paintbrush Strokes Across the Sky

Having the day off today and without access to a car, I had to be a little more creative with my thinking. I didn't really do much today besides go for a walk, but the pictures I took from it were mediocre. It was pretty cloudy so the lighting wasn't all that spectacular either. Nothing really popped at me.

As I was running last night, the sunset was brilliant and the sky was just bright orange. Sunsets like that are rare but I really wish I had my camera for it, but oh well. So tonight, as the 7:00 hour was creeping up, I decided to go walk to the spot where the sunset could be seen fairly well. When I got there, it wasn't anything special so I started walking back home. The coloring of this picture is pretty cool. Most things are dark except for the sky, which was decently colored, but I've seen better. I am standing in the middle of the road Kaulawaha, which dead ends directly into my driveway. I decided to enhance this picture a little bit with Photshop. The colors pop a bit more and the vignette helps too. I also decided to add the mosaic look (which I think makes it appear that I took the picture from behind a screen.) Either way it looks cool! Not the best picture, but I have 363 more opportunities! :o)

Kaulawaha Rd. - Waianae, HI

Saturday, May 9, 2009

1/365 - Itty Bitty

As I woke up this morning, I almost immediately remembered that today was day one of Project 365: Jenni Clark Edition. I thought of all of the things Ryan and I could do today that I could potentially capture my single photograph from. When I picked him up this morning, I was looking at everything a little more closely than normal, but didn't see anything that I particularly wanted to capture. I decided to take him to Pokai Bay, where we went early another day several months ago and I got the awesome picture of the palm tree shadow and the ocean. I thought maybe I could capture another shot there. So we went, and I took a few, and we went on with our day. A few other things happened that I ran to grab my camera for, and I did get some cute pictures, but they weren't the one. We ran a few errands and as we were almost back to the house, I saw an older guy sitting in a parking lot holding onto a giant collection of balloons to sell for Mother's Day. (In Waianae, whenever there is any sort of holiday, people set up tents on the side of the road all over the place and sell things that are pertinent for whatever holiday is approaching.) It was just so funny, it made me think of the movie UP that is coming out. It was one guy with his right hand in the air holding onto about 40 giant balloons. He was sitting in a fold-up metal chair and just sitting there. As I drove by, I thought "MAN that would have been a GREAT picture" but I was driving and it just wasn't going to happen. I could have stopped, but I figured that it wasn't meant to be.

So Ryan and I get back to the house to make lunch and I'm in the kitchen and he's wandering around the apartment. I walk to my room and he is trying to put my shoes on, which I thought was adorable. I grabbed the camera and snapped a few shots of his attempt. Once I was done laughing at him for being goofy, I looked through the pictures I had taken. When I saw one of them, I knew that it was my picture for the day, no contest. I'm going to try to make my pictures unique... not just people's faces and straight shots of places. I like how this one is just legs and feet and I think it's a perfect start for my Project 365.

Feel free to comment!

Jade St. - Waianae, HI

Friday, May 8, 2009

Project 365

So tonight I was tagged in a note on Facebook, which led me to doing some random searches on Flickr. As I was looking on Flickr I saw a particularly interesting picture here and wondered what it could be about. I looked at it more closely and read the description and I thought it was such a cool idea. To take at least one picture every day of something unique, meaningful, representative, etc and collect these pictures day by day until an entire year has passed. I think this is absolutely genius and am so stoked to begin this project in the morning. With just over 3 weeks left of living in Hawaii, I'm sure I will be able to find plenty to take.

To read more about the project, check out this site and perhaps consider engaging in this project for yourself. I highly look forward to this and where it takes me. I love love LOVE photography in general so I think this is a great project for me to do.

Day One starts tomorrow!