Morning Adventure / by Brandon Kawamura

It's already April. I can't believe how fast the days and months and years go by as of late. I haven't posted as frequently as I'd like. I haven't processed as many photos and sessions as I'd like. I often fall asleep soon after returning home from work, exhausted like my cellphone when it can do nothing but briefly display a battery icon with a sliver of red on its negative end. But yet my heart is full. I have wonderful friends and colleagues who inspire me and help me enjoy my time on this Earth.

I've lived on this island all my life, but I did a thing I have never done before last Saturday. I kayaked out to Mokuli'i Island with Producer/Assistant @alansvee and Model @therealslimcheyed! It was exhilarating, and I already want to do it again.

Like the professional that she is, Chéye arrived early, I forgot to charge my phone and hence woke up with that jolt of adrenaline you get when you know you've overslept. Thankfully, I was only "fashionably late." I packed minimally: that is whatever I could stuff in my Peak Design Everyday Sling (10L) and a cross body bag that contained a speedlight, the Magmod Basic Kit, and a Magshpere which managed to fit nicely into one of Alan's dry bags. Only one of the above photos utilized the light though. With only an hour or so to shoot (due to Chéye and my work schedules), "natural light" was the most efficient use of our time. 

Usually I hedge on the side of slightly over-exposing skin tones because brighter pixels contain more data to process in post, and what's more important than a properly exposed subject. Who cares about the background, right? This go-round, however, I decided to try something different. I protected the right side of the histogram which led to slightly underexposed images. I've recently been inspired by contrasty light and scenes playing a larger role in my portraits and I find that darker exposures play well with hard light. I figured, what better time to showcase scenery then when I've never actually seen these scenes before. I kinda like how this set turned out despite having a few regrets not getting a few shots I should've (like Chéye paddling to and from the island). It's a key part of the story of the morning's adventure that I'm missing. I am grateful to Chéye and Alan for helping me make this happen. Go team!