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Photographers’ choice

    I was driving around Ala Moana Beach Park on June 15 and noticed a bunch of birds gathering in a parking lot. I parked my car and watched as the birds waited around. No one was there. Then George McShane showed up and started to feed the birds. Suddenly the scene turned into a frenzy of activity. I placed my camera on the ground and pointed up, then pressed the button, shooting blind, not knowing what I was going to capture. Only after I got into my car did I see this photo. Photography often works that way -- we don't even know if we have a good photo until the moment has passed.
    Two brown anole fought outside my house in July. They were locked in this position for a span of minutes. I know they are invasive pests and I ought to hate them, but I enjoy watching them -- they seem so fearless.
    Over the years, I had photographed homeless advocate and former police outreach worker Sharon Black feeding the hungry at Gateway Park in Chinatown. Every time I saw her, I was struck by her aloha, genuine concern for the needy and her kinetic energy. Little did I know that I would eventually photograph this vibrant woman just before her death from lung cancer. Sharon had invited the media to her Aiea townhouse in a plea to find loving homes for her three great danes. When I went, I was unprepared to see her in such a frail state, but Sharon greeted us as she always did, with a wide smile and enthusiasm. I knew that this would be the last time that I would photograph her. Nine days later she died at the age of 52, but her dying wish was granted. More than 400 emails were received, and Rambo, Polo and Mokka found a home with a Waimea couple, who own a ranch on Hawaii island.
    The Dalai Lama's visit to Hawaii in April marked the launch of Hawaii Community Foundation's "Pillars of Peace Hawai'i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha" initiative. At a Kualoa Regional Park press conference, the Dalai Lama playfully fashioned his fingers into horns and head-butted Mayor Peter Carlisle.
    University of Nevada Wolf Pack player Ty Thompson broke up a pass reception against University of Hawaii Warrior Miah Ostrowski during a Sept. 22 game at Aloha Stadium. As someone who has covered UH football since 1978, every fall I wonder what kind of team will run out of the tunnel at Aloha Stadium on any given Saturday. This season started with the hype of a new coach, a new plan, a new team. Having covered a winless UH team and a nearly undefeated squad, the beginning of every season presents a new challenge to create telling sports photos -- photos that will both complement and augment the story of that game and that season.
    Sometimes, covering a spot news assignment requires you to skip the obvious picture and find an alternative way to tell the story. I chose this because of the irony in the beauty of a Hawaii sunset juxtaposed against the almost stagelike lighting of police and fire department strobe lights, which illuminated onlookers as firefighters battled a house fire Feb. 8 on Likini Street in Salt Lake.
    Starr Kalahiki performed during the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in May at the Hawai'i Convention Center. Few people sing with the emotion of Starr.
    John Mahelona, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 858, kissed his wife, Monica, after they visited the grave site of her father, World War II Navy veteran John J. O'Brien, on Memorial Day at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

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