JC: Do you shoot in ‘Manual’ or do you allow the camera to do all the work and use automatic modes?
JH: For Ho’okipa I almost always use the same settings. I use AV set at 7.1 (the sweet spot for my lens) with ISO 400 and let the cam set the speed. If it’s not in the speed range I want then I adjust ISO or F stop. I don’t think I have ever taken a shot in ‘Auto’ mode.
JC: What ISO do you use the most?
JH: 400 to get enough speed for action shots in good light. If the light isn’t good then I’ll bump it up to the next stop until it is what I’m looking for. But almost all the time it’s 400.
JC: When you travel do you allow any of your gear to go in the hold?
JH: Not a chance in hell!!!
JC: Can you make money from just shooting windsurfing?
JH: Unfortunately no. My strong suit is being a photographer…not a business man. And being the newest guy who came on the scene after the $$ were gone from the business I don’t get any of the real $$ jobs. The brands etc. have been using the same pros forever and there is no room for a new guy like me. As much as I do for brands, their support is very very small. Some of them pay me to shoot their gear and make sure it gets on my page, but most of them just take the free advertising I provide and say they can’t afford to support me or buy my high rez. But I understand their loyalty to their pros. I just wish I was one of them.
JC: Can you make an average photo look great with photoshop/ processing?
JH: Editing is something I do a fair job at but I’m not a great editor. I shoot in raw so all of the information is in the file and the file always looks better after editing. I’m not good at creating a ‘wow’ pic with editing.
JC: What is the most you have ever sold one photo for?
JH: A broker sold a pic of Kai Lenny on a ‘JetSurf’ at Jaws for $1500 and I won $5000 for the XXL awards picture.
JC: What is your biggest photography disaster?
JH: Thank goodness I’ve been lucky!! Occasionally I’ll format a card too soon and lose a shot, but I have a good system and seldom blow it. My worst failure was a 2TB hard drive that crashed with my year of windsurf shots and an unedited day at Jaws that I was editing when it went down!! But I have a good buddy who is a geek and he managed to get back almost the whole thing. My blood pressure is almost back to normal now too!!
JC: How do you stay competitive when every Tom, Dick and Harry has a camera these days?|
JH: My job is shooting the action at Ho’okipa and posting it on Facebook. I’m not the only one doing that now, but nobody can do what I do to the extent I do it without having 24 hours a day to do it. A person with a regular job wouldn’t have near the time to complete editing 1500 shots and posting 200 shots that I edited individually in Photoshop. I go through 7 steps from shooting to watermarking every shot you see on Facebook, so when I start out with 1000-1500 shots it makes for a long night. I normally edit two hours for each hour I shoot. My ace in the hole is my Facebook page. Almost everybody you see in one of my albums has paid me a very small fee for the work I do to accomplish that. I don’t charge much because I want to shoot and post everybody, like I did for free for the first three years. Then reality and bills caught up to me and I had to start charging something.
JC: Do you ever get bored of shooting off the rocks at Ho’okipa?
JH: Yes and that time is starting now. I don’t shoot Ho’okipa in the summer because it’s too boring to shoot one foot waves even if there is a windsurfer trying to make it look bigger. But when there are good conditions and good sun I seldom get bored. I’m shooting the best in the biz, how could I be bored?