Rekindling the Creative Spirit ~ A Fundraiser for Hui Ho’olana

An 8-Day Photographic Workshop at The Hui ~ Molokai, Hawaii

Seeing simply, creatively expressing our inner vision,
reconnecting with our environment, our photography, and our selves

Course Description

The workshop is about seeing simply, expressing our vision and encouraging each other as we refine and define our connection with our environment, our selves and our photography.

For the 34th year, Hui Ho’olana offers a photographic intensive workshop, “Rekindling the Creative Spirit”, as we venture deeper into the art of photography and return to “old Hawaii”.

This is a collaboration between four outstanding Master photographers and teachers: National Geographic freelance photographers Rik Cooke and Dewitt Jones, international fine arts photographer and author Theresa Airey, National Geographic Creatives photographer/Lightroom pro Jonathan Kingston. These are fur of the finest technical, creative and inspirational teachers you will find anywhere.

Rik will take you on photographic excursions to explore the creative process in the incredible beauty of Molokai – from the highest sea cliffs in the world and the most sacred valleys, to the warm waters of secluded beaches. Theresa and Jonathan will help you turn your digital files into unique images through Lightroom and other software, to maximize and communicate what you have experienced. Dewitt will lecture on creativity and ‘the inner self.’

Rikki speaks about ‘seeing simply’, Theresa teaches about ‘interpreting the subject creatively’ and Jonathan will help us to polish our digital images. Together they will show you new possibilities and techniques that you can apply to create your own style and unique images.

This workshop is about growing and reconnecting. It is about expanding our perceptual vision, increasing our creativity and encouraging each other as we refine and define our connection with our environment, ourselves and our photography.

There will be time to reflect, relax and rejuvenate your inner spirit in the calming and lovely atmosphere of the Hui sanctuary.

This is the main annual fundraiser for Hui Ho’olana.
Enrollment is limited to 18.

Course Pre-requisites

The workshop is intended for enthusiastic  digital photographers.  Bring a digital camera you know well, your iPhone and come with a laptop computer that you are proficient in your navigational skills. This workshop is primarily for MacIntosh users. If you are bringing a PC, we may not be able to answer your computer navigation questions.

Many of the photographic excursions required for this workshop involve hiking up to a mile over uneven, and at times, steep terrain. Participants should be able to navigate this type of terrain unassisted.

See Simply by Rikki Cooke

Each of us has a vision, a pure way of seeing that is uniquely our own. We are like a one-of-a-kind of camera with an unlimited film supply, recharging batteries and a storage recording bank that edits as we get older. And yet, we don’t realize how incredibly unique, how valuable our individual way of seeing really is. Each one of us is captured in a different way by an image.

What I am curious about is: “what turns my head? What grabs my attention? What takes me before I can identify it?” I am interested in core vision: the level of seeing before words, categories, or response. Noticing what touches me, inspires me, allows me to see as a child, discovering the incredible wonder of the life around me for the first time.

There are many layers covering this inner vision. Often my seeing is linked to words and thoughts identifying and naming everything I see. Getting below that level is easy and challenging at the same time. It requires getting beyond how I normally see, how my family sees (or saw), how I was culturally affected. (Does a native in Africa see differently than I do?) My biggest impediment to seeing simply is identifying, judging and naming.

“Today I’m going to go out and take a great photograph.”

Then we get to our personal mobile mind field, the one we bring everywhere: our insecurities about being seen and being judged by our work. How about a little comparison to everyone around us who is more professional, better organized, (better looking!) or has better equipment. The quagmire is getting deeper.

Then last but not least, my doubts: can I do it well enough? professionally? What happens if I don’t do it well enough, if I fail and my whole world comes down? It is a wonder that we still want to be photographers! Yet there is an excitement and an enthusiasm to discover, to see! What if I could just show up, completely neutral, ready to receive whatever gift GOD and Creation and the life around me is offering today?

Seeing simply starts now it will never happen later.

I step out, pick up the camera, stand aside from the momentum of my life, and move in pure trust, waiting to be taken by life through my seeing. I pray. I’m ready for that hundredth of a second that turned my head, before words: the moment of pure connection. Discipline carries me through: I shoot the image that catches my eye. Then I return to neutral. I’m trying to quiet my brain from asking “what’s next?” I notice the trying, take a deep breath, feel my feet on the ground and move to trust. It is this attitude that leads me into the unknown, uncontrollable next offering.

I can only speak of my approach, my discoveries and experiences. Each of you will continue to discover ways to be more present. You will learn the importance of honoring your internal pace, moving just as slowly or quickly as you need to, for you. In doing so, you will find the gift of tranquility and peace that will help you to see life more simply.

I can’t teach people to be present. The best I can do is to be present with people. My advice? Slow down. Notice how you color your photographs before you take them. Discover for yourself how to show up in neutral: seeing simply, simply seeing.