December 31, 2010

Closing out 2010 with POTUS

US President Barack Obama shares a laugh with Island Snow store employee Renee on Dec. 27, 2010 in Kailua, Hawaii.

Been quite busy as of late. We got word of POTUS' return to his native Hawaii for vacation, so Cory flew back to hawaii where he and I assisted with ISP (Indpendent Still Pool) coverage of President Barack Obama's annual winter vacation. Kudo's all around to Ron Sachs, the ISP coordinator, My awesome editors at Getty Images, Bloomberg, Corbis, Spia, and ABACA, and most of all Cory, who is a kick butt photog, an awesome mentor and really great friend.

There was one problem with this years coverage however, POTUS was scheduled to arrive in Hawaii on the 18th of December, but his travel plans would have to wait as he was overseeing some of his administrations key legislation move through congress.

Cory and I rotated our days in the 'tight pool' or 'travel pool', which is a miniature version of the White House Press Corps.  It was an honor shooting along side AP's Carolyn Kaster, AFP's Saul Loeb, and Reuters's Kevin Lamarque, as well as rotating with Cory, who kicked ass!  More after the break.

December 24, 2010


People watch the sunset off of Waikiki beach on Oahu's South Shore on December 23, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Snagged this photo while on my way home from Obama Duty 2010.  What a way to end the year! :)

December 20, 2010

The 38th Annual Honolulu Marathon

The lead runners take off of the starting line at the 38th Annual Honolulu Marathon on December 12, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Leading the pack in jersey F1 is Svetlana Zakharova, the 2009 champion.

Once again i found myself covering the Honolulu Marathon. I covered it back in 2008 for the Honolulu Marathon Association with Ronen Zilberman and Joaquin Siopack. Joaquin and I were both hired by Ronen, the Marathon's Staff Photographer. This year however, Ronen and I were joined by Jay Metzger, Greg Yamamoto, and Norman Shapiro. For those of you who don't know, Greg used to be the Photo Editor, my boss, at The Honolulu Advertiser, and Norman was a fellow Staff Photographer. Jay is the Multimedia Specialist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Athletics Department. All in all, Ronen assembled a pretty good team that I was proud to be apart of.

November 27, 2010

I shot a wedding...

Derek Fujimoto gets ready in a bathroom while his best man, Brad Choy waits behind him. 
I had the privilege of shooting the wedding of two friends, Derek and Mari.  I've known both of them for quite some time; from the YMCA.  One photo from the reception after the break.  Gonna go back to editing photos and working on the album.

November 26, 2010


A girl waits for a wave on a sunny afternoon at the Kapahulu groin in Waikiki, Hawaii

June 14, 2010

Nate and Breena

Nate and Breena share a moment under a tree at Sand Island on June 13, 2010.

So there's this guy i know. Nate. We both grew up at the YMCA. He was a Teen/Junior Leader when I was a kid in program, and later he was an Advisor when I was a Teen in program. At one point we became co-workers...but then somethings happened and we both no longer worked there...

one day outta the blue, he called me. "KENT! I'm getting married! Can you do some engagement photos of Bree and myself??" I always.... "SURE!!!"

Geena was a tremendous help. I don't know what I would've done without her there with me. We shot at two locations. Judd Trail and Sand Island. Geena graciously helped carry my lighting gear around the place as we went throughout the shoot.

Geena carries lighting gear to our location along Judd Trail on June 13, 2010.

Here's my one favorite photos of the day.

Nate and Breena pose for a portrait on June 13, 2010.

I really need to get out and shoot more engagements or just portraits in general.

April 20, 2010

Buh-Benny and the Mets...

Growing up, I played baseball between grades 3-4.  Not a long time, but a fun time.  I remember my father being into baseball.  It was him that really encouraged me to go out and play.  To make friends, and get more interested in the sport, and other sports.  Needless to say through high school I was out of shape and overweight, and the only extracurricular things i did was Band, Debate (9th grade) and Youth Symphony. 

But enough about me. This is actually about another Hawaii boy. The difference between myself and him is that he made it to the big time. His name? Benny Agbayani.

Benny Agbayani made his major league debut with the New York Mets on June 17, 1998, as part of an 8th inning double-switch where he defensively replaced center fielder Butch Huskey during a 5-4 loss to the Montreal Expos. Agbayani made his first start and picked up his first big league hit two days later. Leading off the bottom of the first inning by singling to second base off Florida Marlins pitcher Brian Meadows. But now, having retired from Professional Baseball, Benny is an educational assistant at Mililani High School.

So I got a call from the Daily News in New York asking if I was available for a freelance gig.

my reply?


So I drove out to Mililani High School a Friday Afternoon...right after i bought an iPad! But thats another story for another time. I got there was taken to the class and waited for Benny to show up.


the bell rang, and Benny hadn't shown up yet. The Vice Principal Andrea Moore sat next to me and joked about making sure that when Benny shows up I'd better make sure to make a picture and write in the caption that he was late for class.

So I spent the class time photographing Benny in his new element, working with the kids in the class.

Then I made a Portrait and had to run home to i could finally play with my iPad.

It was fun! Getting to meet Benny was an amazing experience.

April 6, 2010

Shooting Fill-um

A girl crosses the intersection at University and Metcalf on her way to class.  Scanned 35mm Tri-X 400.

"Ken-chan no take pictures of me, you gonna waste all your fillum" is what my grandmother alwasys says to me when a camera (film or digital) is pointed at her.

So lately I've been starting to shoot a lot more film.  Not entirely sure why I started to get interested, perhaps it's due to the fact that I'm doing an independent study for ART307 - Advanced Lighting and Large Format photography.

I had taken 10 rolls of tri-x and a Canon EOS A2 with me on a trip to Hong Kong, early December 2009.

Men sit next to a news stand in downtown Hong Kong Island. (Photo: Kent Nishimura)
Film...especially black and white hasa feel, and color tone to it that digital doesnt have.  For me, there's a certain mood that's created when you look at film grain.  There is a definite tonal quality that resonates visually.  Yes! That's right I said resonates (sound) visually (sight).  Furthermore the whole process from capture to development, to printing is just amazing. having compelte control over what you do, and how every smallest detail affects the image is really cool.

More scanned negatives after the break.

March 30, 2010

Heads up...

A man stands next to a sign that warns passers by of fly balls coming from the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium in Manoa, Hawaii

Signs are always interesting. The only time I don't like photographing signs is when they are being used as a message board to convey opinions or messages like "Lingle is da man!" or whatever have you...come to think of it i might have held a sign like that when i was in high school protesting something or another...

but that is neither here nor there...

More after the jump...

March 29, 2010

Eddie Would Go...

Kohl Christensen rides a wave during the first round of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Competition big wave surfing contest on December 8, 2009 in Waimea, Hawaii. Thousands of spectators and surfers are flocking to Hawaii's beaches to see some of the largest waves in the state in half a decade. Forecasters are predicting waves could reach heights of 50 feet.(Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

The image above of Big-Wave surfer Kohl Christensen was shot while on assignment for  Getty Images.  This image ran everywhere.  New York Times, TIME Magazine, Wall Street Journal.  Suffice it to say, I was stoked.

Twenty-eight of the best surfers from around the world plunged board-first into the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational - one of surfing's most prestigious and rarest events - on a Tuesday morning in December of last year.  People from all over the world and across the state of Hawaii flocked to Oahu's north shore in anticipation of this rare surf event.

The last time the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was held was 2004, and the contest itself had only run six times before that in the past 24 years.  This is because the contest requires extremely large waves measuring anywhere from 20ft to 60ft.  But that's enough about "The Eddie" Onto my story...the day before "The Eddie"

It was a Sunday night, and I had received a call Hugh Gentry, a local freelancer and good friend, called me up asking if I would be able to cover for him (He's a stringer for Thompson Reuters, but he had taken a gig from Quiksilver at the time...) because the waves were supposed to be GINORMOUS.  Reuters wanted coverage, and if Hugh had to shoot for Quiksilver, he wouldn't be able to shoot for Reuters.  I called Cory Lum, a good friend and mentor, and asked if he wanted to tag along to the North Shore. (He indicated that he had an interest in going along.)

Just to warn you, dear reader, the photo below the break may be found offensive to some, please do not judge my character, or make rash decisions about me because of this image. :) haha! I kid, Cory. You are a great friend and mentor...not to mention a phenomenal photographer.  As Austo-D would say..."Cory...he's got the Fu!"

More photos after the break...


I was working at the Atherton YMCA when the news broke. A 8.8 magnitude earthquake stuck Chile, and created a tsunami which put the entire pacific on alert.

CNN wasn’t really helping the situation at all. Reporting that there would be 40ft waves, and even at one point saying that waves would be 40 meters. “Holy Tall Tales Batman! 40 meters!” 40 meters is, of couse, ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FEET. get the facts right CNN…

Thankfully, Hawaii dodged a bullet, and no major wave came and slapped the living crap out of the islands. I wouldn’t really have liked to be floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a top my bed.

I digress, back to the chain of events that day.

It was 2:00am, and Getty Images had sent me an email asking if I was up, and available for coverage. Getty has been a good client in the past with Obama Duty, the Eddie Aikau, and other stuff, so I obliged them.

I hadn’t had anysleep, and didnt really feel like shooting while dopped up on a 5 hour energy, so i told my editor, “I need some sleep! will head out in an hour or so…i have been up since 7am the previous day!”

So i went home. popped the batteries on the charger, cleared my cards, and caught an hour of sleep. I ran out the door, and started to look for people buying supplies, and/or freaking out about the Tsunami.

Drove through Waikiki, and didn’t find much. Streets were emptier than usual, but at 5am everywhere is practically deserted. I drove to Times Supermarket on Waialae. What luck! They weren’t open, but had a line forming outside!

Okay. so it wasn’t really a line…more like a crowd. Thank god it wasn’t a mob. Yikes!

HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 27: Shoppers line up in front of a grocery store as they wait for it to open Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, in Honolulu. Hawaii residents are stocking up on food and emergency supplies Saturday for a potentially damaging tsunami, after a massive earthquake off Chile sent waves across the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
More Photos after the break

March 13, 2010

Clearing my head

A couple poses for a portrait at the Pali Lookout. In the background, Kaneohe, Kailua, and clouds as far as the eye could see.

So I went for a drive the other day. A very brief drive between meetings, group study sessions and developing film in the Photo Lab.  Life is strange how it can come at you so very quickly.

This semester is rapidly coming to a close and I'm closer to graduation, but not close to getting a job that I want. It's been...not a lot of fun watching as the industry gets smaller, jobs get cut, and good people are forced to find jobs doing things outside of a field they love so very much.

On my drive, I ended up at the Pali Lookout.  It was a beautiful day; clouds as far as the eye could see.  Feeling the wind rush against my face, I could only try to clear my head, and tell myself...

"All will be well."