Thursday, June 25, 2009

Headed to Hana...

Forgive me blog followers for I have sinned... It has been 10 days since my last blog...

Hana is one of those places on Maui that I never get bored of visiting. It is a remote a lush tropical paradise that has retained the Hawaiian culture and embraces you when you arrive. The community is built around a bay on the eastern shoreline of the island of Maui, accessible by a long, narrow and windy road on either direction or by the small Hana airport.

There is a spirit in Hana, they call it "mana" in Hawaiian, meaning "life force." It seems as if this "mana" embraces the Hana community and protects it from over development for the time being. It is a strong community of families who have thrived for generations in the area. Many have worked at the Hotel Hana-Maui for decades - just check out the wall of photos of employees next to the concierge desk. Fishing, farming, ranching, hunting and traditional crafts are still part of the lifestyle in Hana. The Hana Ranch retains a presence both in town and just outside town along with Hasegawa General Store (a true historic staple out in Hana).

Hana is the home of many famous people, past and present and sometimes you will get a glimpse of them as they take their morning jog along the road or enjoy a beach mat next to you at Hamoa Beach. You never know who you may see in Hana....

One of the largest heiaus, or ancient Hawaiian temples, Kahanu Gardens, is found just before you arrive in Hana town and is a definite must see. It is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden System and you could easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the grounds and marveling at the enormous, hand built and wonderfully restored heiau.

Hana also harbors a stunning red sand beach, white sand beach and black sand beach just down the road at Waianapanapa State Park. The red sand beach has turned into a clothing optional beach so be prepared to see anything. The surfing, boogie boarding and body surfing is fun at Hamoa and Koki beach just be sure to check with the local surfers when you arrive on the conditions- the strong currents and surf can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
Designated as a bird sanctuary, idyllic Alau Island capped with a few palm trees, sits just offshore of Koki beach.
Hana Bay features the historic harbor and pier with a cute beach, picnic tables, Tutu's cafe and a short little hike along the shoreline that leads to a cave which was the birthplace of Queen Ka'ahumanu which is an historic site.

A few windy miles outside of town, Haleakala National Park dips down to the ocean and contains Oheo Gulch in the area of Kipahulu. This is the area where one of favorite trails winds through the bamboo forest to a 400 ft waterfall called Waimoku Falls and there are pools of water cascading down the hillside, ready for swimmers to take the chilly but refreshing plunge. You will have to pay the fee to enter the national park but it is worth the adventures you will have exploring, swimming, hiking and relaxing in the lush, tropical area.
You just gotta make the drive to Hana one day if you haven't already. Enjoy it, respect it and leave it as you found it, if not a little nicer.
A hui hou,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hale Zen expands line of products for Aubrey Hord Photography!

Hale Zen, the beautiful interior design store in Lahaina on Dickenson Street has just expanded its line of prints, note cards and large framed pieces for Aubrey Hord Photography.

Featured in the front window are two of the hottest sellers in the new sepia shell line of images.

Lisa Payne, the store's owner, was one of the first retail clients to pick up my work and she has been a huge supporter of expanding the line of images and products I have to offer.
I cannot thank her enough for encouraging me and supplying me with props for my photo shoots!

The store is located right in Dickenson Square in the former Village Galleries space (next to Lahaina Coolers). If you need directions to the store, call (808) 661-4802. The store features everything for home design including furniture, bedding, kitchen linens, sculpture, artwork and more.

If I could just transport everything from the store to my house, I would be in heaven.

Lisa has exceptional taste and I am honored she likes my work!

A hui hou,


Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Blowhole North of Kapalua

A few miles north of Kapalua on Maui, you will find a natural blowhole carved out by the Pacific Ocean that shoots water into the air at varying speeds depending on the surf conditions. It is a fun adventure to take the short downhill trek to the coastline and watch the blowhole do its thing.
It almost feels like watching a campfire - you just can't stop looking at it because you know any second it is going to go off again. When the surf is high, the blowhole it at its best, sucking water in and out through the opening in the lava and shooting straight up into the air with an intensity that can make you keep your distance. It's like watching fireworks. Nature at its best!
A hui hou,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Honolua Bay - perfect conditions

Aloha! It was a perfect day at Honolua Bay when I stopped by last week.
It was a gorgeous day with clear blue water and blue skies with my favorite white "Simpsons" clouds.
A couple of sailboats were moored in the bay, allowing their passengers to float above the marine preserve, enjoying the extensive coral reef, pristine conditions and abundant marine life.
It made for great shooting conditions for the magazine too! Hope they like 'em.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"It's a beautiful day on the iiiiisland..."

"It's a beautiful day on the iiiiisland... a beautiful day on the island... would you be mine, would you be mine, won't you be my model?"

Here is just a sample of some of my favorite shots of people...

Capturing people in their element, perhaps a moment in time- joyful, meaningful or tearful- is really an amazing to me.
I love discovering what makes someone tick and then trying my best to capture their personality or that moment in their lives through a camera lens.
Sometimes it is the joy and innocence of a child, the ever-changing face of parenthood, the resolve and experience of an older person, or the newness of a marriage.
Some people are truly at ease in front of a lens and others are more reticent.
Working with the model to earn their trust and ensure a sense of ease and comfort during the shoot is key.
And most importantly, making it fun for everyone in the end is what it is all about!
A hui hou,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Water water...everywhere

We live on an island on one of the most remote land masses on the planet so I figure I should probably do an installment on water and the ocean. We are surrounded by it and it changes every day with sun, the wind, the current, seasons and the moon cycle. Some days it is smooth and calm, revealing what lies beneath.

And some days it is "snotty" as we used to say on the boats. Those are the days that I hoped I wasn't working on the boats when I worked in the Lahaina Harbor in the early 90's. The water turns almost black and the skies range from grey to dark blue in a stormy cast.

These days I am more of a "land lubber," taking photos from the shoreline and getting out on the water every once in a while when my boating friends take pity on me.

Hawaii provides a great venue for photographing water and on its good days, it is stunning. The water turns various shades of blue and turquiose and the reef and sands below cast a colorful contrast through the water. This is my favorite time to shoot.

I have dropped to my knees on a beach or two, dialing in my polarizing filter to capture the range of colors in the water with the reef beneath, probably frightening some visitors who were wondering what a fully clothed person was doing crawling around the beach in the middle of the day.

Getting the sun shooting through the water at just the right angle is the trick to getting a really great shot in my eyes.

Colors and textures and tones appear from the depths, providing interesting compositions and stunning landscapes (ahem, excuse me, oceanscapes).

So stop sitting in front of your computer reading this blog and get outside. If you live near water, go jump in! It's just waiting for you...

a hui hou,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The long and winding road... through bamboo

The bamboo forest in Kipahulu is one of my favorite places to explore on this island. It is a few miles past the town of Hana and well worth the trip. Below the bamboo forest is what is commonly known to visitors as the Seven Sacred Pools. Funny thing is, there are actually more than seven pools and they aren't sacred. If you get up early and get out to Hana as the sun is just rising like a big orange egg on the horizon, it is well worth the trip.

It is located in Haleakala National Park in the Kipahulu District. The trail winds uphill for about 2 miles so be sure to wear solid toed shoes. It can also get VERY slippery after it rains so grab a hold of tree branches as needed on the way down.

The hike up from the National Park Headquarters takes about 45 minutes to an hour and follows a ridge above the waterfalls cascading down Oheo Gulch. Pretty cool views!

You enter the bamboo forest through a tunnel of bamboo at the end of a bridge over a waterfall. It is almost surreal.
Once inside the bamboo forest, it begins to sway and clack around you, creating a calm serenity that probably made many cultures around the world love bamboo as much as they do. The boardwalk winds its way through the forest until you get to a couple of stream crossings. These are very slippery as well so be sure to watch your step.
Once across the streams you will see above you a 4oo ft waterfall known as Waimoku Falls cascading down the cliff. Pretty impressive! I love to sit along the hillside just listening to the waterfall and watching the rainbows appear and reappear in its mist. It is truly a site to behold for the hearty traveler. What a magnificent way to spend a day!

Safety note: You can usually wade or sit in the shallow pools below but oftentimes there are boulders and rocks that get brought down by the powerful waterfall so you may want to stay a few yards away from the actual heavy flow of water. You don't want to earn a Darwin Award for getting taken out by a waterfall. :-)
A Hui Hou,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jacaranda Heaven

Every Spring on Maui, the rolling hills of upcountry are filled with vibrant purple blossoms of the Jacaranda trees. The tree blossoms stay on well into the summer, lending a lavender glow to the hillsides and roadways into Kula, Keokea, Pukalani and Makwao. It is truly a sight to behold especially when the light is just right on the trees in the early morning and evenings. The trees are native to India and the rural legend says were planted upcountry originally to draw visitors to the area and make a scenic byway.

They line the upper Kekaulike Highway and Haleakala Highway making the drive upcountry something you will never forget. Artists and photographers from all over the world make their way to the area to capture the beautiful purple glow of these trees against the green background of the hills above or the blue background of the ocean below.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Aubrey Hord Photography | Maui Hawaii - new blog announced!

E Komo Mai (Welcome!)
Well, I finally did it! Here is the first edition of my new blog which will be updated regularly when I am on island and in the country.

I have had the most incredible journey over the past few years after deciding to go full time as a professional photographer after many years in the corporate marketing world. I am honored to have been hired by some of the top brands in the world including Nike and Starbucks and grateful to my teammates and managers over the years for encouraging me to follow my dreams. Thanks everyone!

My journey into photography began as a high school student where I managed the high school darkroom. Not a very glamorous job for a high school student, I realize, but an incredible experience, nonetheless. I met a National Geographic photographer when I was in high school who encouraged me and taught me more composition and the technical side of the profession.

When I entered Colorado College, I continued my study of photography through coursework and continued to work in the darkroom. My first "big" camera was a Nikon F2 and I still have it!

My love of travel began at an early age since my family moved almost every four years to a new state. My first international trip took place in middle school at the age of 14 with a trip to England. Since then, I have explored, studied or worked in 14 countries on 5 continents. My favorites stops included working on the island of Palau and diving on the weekends, exploring the volcanic activity on the island of Dominica while living with the Carib Indians, scuba diving off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia...

working with Peace Corps volunteers in the National Parks of Uganda and photographing the Mountain Gorillas...
exploring Abel Tasman National Park and visiting with Maori master canoe carver and national icon, Hector Busby in New Zealand...
and living and studying on the island of Kalymnos in Greece (yes, I speak Greek- go figure).

Can you tell I have a love for islands??

I have also been fortunate to explore Bali, Pohnpei, Kosrae, France, England, Ukraine, Hungary, Australia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Believe it or not, I don't surf very much right now but I love to scuba dive, hike and stand up paddle board if you ever want to go! Just be ready for a long day on the trails or water.
These days my husband and I are fortunate to call the beautiful tropical island of Maui our home and I am continually inspired by the people I meet on the island as well as the intricacies of this culture and vivid beauty Hawaii has to offer. What could be a better jumping off point for travel to islands? When I moved to Maui in 1991, I met more National Geographic wildlife photographers, most notably Michael S. Nolan with whom I worked as a naturalist and world famous underwater photographer, Flip Nicklin (who also photographs for Getty Images and does not even need a website he is so in demand- amazing!).

Currently, I focus my work on fine art, portraits and weddings along with special events and concerts

I am grateful to long time Maui photographer and master of light, Greg Hoxsie, who believed in me and taught me how to use off camera lighting as well as how to capture weddings and portraits in the most spectacular light.

I am a current member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) as well as Maui Professional Photographers (MPP).
My local client list over the past few years has grown extensively and includes high end clients on Maui, Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai and the mainland. My fine art clients have come from all over the United States and most recently I have had international clients from New Zealand, Canada and France.

As for equipment, I am a Nikon fan and have Nikon camera bodies, lenses and accessories. I currently shoot with two D700 camera bodies. My Nikkor pro lenses include a 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, 70-200mm f/2.8, classic 50mm f/1.4 lens, and my macro lens is a Nikkor 105mm.

Living and working in the tropics can take a toll on my equipment so I am grateful to Nikon Professional Services (NPS) for keeping my gear clean and ready for anything.

Recent print work includes covers of Real Estate Maui Style (April and June 2009) images in Global Traveler USA (January 2009)

I look forward to bringing you news from the Hawaiian islands as well as engaging images to you to enjoy!

A hui hou! (until we meet again)