Think of the things that give Hawai’i its unique “sense of place,” that create what people think of as “the aloha spirit.”  You might think of culture, climate,‘ohana, friends, landscape, the ocean, etc.

Your job is to

  • Think of your own definition of “aloha,” or use some of those above.
  • Think of a way to define aloha, by defining what it is not — un-aloha.
  • Try to photograph un-aloha in a way that will produce technically good, striking images.  What are some possibililties?
  • trash
  • housing developments or buildings that look “California” (or even “Tokyo”)
  • damaged landscapes
  • freeways
  • Are there any potential images in Waikiki?

Try to

  • avoid trite, cliché images
  • avoid boring images with just one thing smack in the center of the frame.
  • use light and shadows in an interesting way.
  • accept responsibility for the whole rectangle, including the background.  Everything in that rectangle should have a reason for being there.


No one rule applies, but many good photos share these qualities:

  • Sharpness — Brace that camera at shutter speeds below 125th second. If you throw an image out of focus, do it deliberately
  • Tones — Use light and shadow in an interesting, deliberate way.
  • Complexity — Everything in the rectangle counts.
  • Ideas / Emotion — A good photograph communicates ideas or feelings, maybe even passion.