Pete Turner: 1934-2017


My Mentor Series

There have only been a few photographers that have had a profound influence on my own vision and work.

Pete Turner is one such photographer. He passed away about a year ago at the age of 83, and I’ve been meaning to start this series off with a tribute and information about him.

He was a master of color photography, and his ability to utilize the pure essence of various hues and saturation levels was astounding. Many of his works involved composite images created without the aid of modern digital technologies. If memory serves me right Pete shot exclusively with Nikon 35mm equipment and his film of choice was always the venerable Kodachrome (which embellished the incredible contrast witnessed with his creations). He also was a master of duplicating slide film and making composite double or more exposures in a final image that comprised many of his well-known pieces. His prints were meticulously produced using the Cibachrome process.

I do know he started his career in the 1950s as a military photographer with the Army. Later he became a much sought after commercial pro, whose assignments took him all over the world and created opportunities for many of his iconic photographs.

I have a pretty extensive vinyl jazz record collection, and most of the CTI label record covers (produced by Creed Taylor) were shot by Pete. Looking at one the other day I noticed that you could order 11 x 14 inch prints for only $25! I was also lucky to find his 1986 monograph book in a second-hand bookstore in Kona a few years back.

He was a really cool person, who was a super craftsman. The graphic power of his work will always spark my imagination.

For more information his family still maintains a website for his work at

The New York Times published a great obituary as well.



Coming back for a few days. Kinda worried about a potential calamari oops. Well I might be worried about where I'm going to find that, but I know I can. The main thing I mean was " a potential calamity" in the form of a hurricane bearing down on the state.

This morning I left the smoke filled skies of Washington. Every summer it seems to be getting more intense with the western wild fires.

Hey Folks, wake up and get real the world is changing not exactly in a good way either.

One of the reasons we like living in the Pacific Northwest is the historically good weather in the summer months. You really can't find it much better anywhere's in the US during these months.

But that might all be changing. I read that the summer smoke (which has recently reached unhealthy breathing levels) could be the norm with the raging wildfires that will become commonplace all over the Western States in the tinder dry summer months.

Which brings me back to Hawaii.

Traditionally the Eastern Pacific waters have been no stranger to the formation of powerful hurricanes. Usually as they progress westward they encounter cooler waters that knock them down before they reach Hawaii.

That's changing too.

Because of the warming temperatures of the oceans (which I'm afraid will never be reversed. It's already killed off HUGE swaths of coral reefs worldwide but I'll save that for another discussion), these monster storms are not loosing their punch in time.

The last one that really hit the Big Island was Iselle four years ago. Before that you have to go all the way back to 1992 when Iniki slammed Kauai.

Now the threat is becoming common almost every season.

Pele awoke from her slumber a few months ago and reclaimed her authority by wiping off the face of the earth one of my favorite sanctuaries in Puna--Kapoho.

Mother Nature is in reaction mode my friends

A Kilauea Evening Moment for a Part in Nature's Time


The story here is that you can still find an incredible amount of peace when you take the time to breath in the quiet air. Standing near the bottom of the Chain of Craters Road I feel an odd sensation of the vastness of the landscape that stretches out before me --and below me.

Underneath this peace and serenity is a boiling caldron of hot magma that can erupt and destroy everything in its path. 

Pretty cool. 

The Joy of Looking Back at the Glory Days of Kodachrome

California Chickens, circa 1977

California Chickens, circa 1977

I took it upon myself recently to rummage through some of my old film files and began reminiscing about the good old days of Kodachrome. These barnyard chickens were photographed with this film on a Nikon Ftn, with what I believe was a 28mm f3.5 Nikkor lens, sometime around 1977.

For a positive film emulsion it was unparalleled in its ability to render color with beautiful contrast and saturation.

It's kind of a shame that we photographers can't create the same kind of images with today's digital technology.

I don't care what others might say about the quality of today's advanced digital equipment, including camera phones.

None of this can replicate the true subtlety and ethereal qualities of film, and especially Kodachrome.

The Perils of Living on the Big Island

High above old lava flows of Mauna Loa

High above old lava flows of Mauna Loa

Once again I am reminded of the chance people take by living in certain areas here on the island. Currently the danger zone is in Puna where as to date over 80 structures have been consumed by the fast flowing lava.

Many years ago the same basic area of Kilauea's East Rift Zone erupted and inundated and destroyed homes near Kalapana at the Royal Gardens subdivision. This activity also wiped out the road that led to Volcanoes National Park from Kalapana up the Chain of Craters road.

When I started this journal entry several days ago the lava had not reached downslope to the sea. Now a beloved area of mine, Kapoho has been wiped off the map, buried over by 10-20 feet of lava. Kapoho Bay: Gone. The Beautiful Tidepools: Gone. And now hundreds of houses destroyed displacing many island residents. Super sad. 

This is the example of the powerful work of Pele, Hawaiian goddess of fire who has the ultimate say as to what goes where, especially on the Big Island. She has the power to destroy and renew. 



Before the 2018 onslaught: A pleasant evening from a shoreline near Kapoho Beach Lots

Before the 2018 onslaught: A pleasant evening from a shoreline near Kapoho Beach Lots