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Craig Pindell Photographer

Hawai'i Waterfall Zen


         During a trip to Hawai'i I happened upon a group of waterfalls.  Most were close to trails and walkways.  Most were photogenic (to me).  I decided to spend some time photographing them.   

           My wife, Katie, and I long ago came to a compromise to make travel better for both of us.   I usually get up early and head out to make photographs, while she takes far too long to get ready in the morning.  When the light changes, or I get hungry, I go back to the room, get her and we go to breakfast.  

           This system worked really well for photographing these waterfalls.  I was usually the only person around that early in the morning, so there weren't crowds to work around, and it was a very peaceful. 

            I photographed every morning we were in Hawai'i, and ended up with quite a few waterfall images that I thought were worth printing.  On the very long flight home, I thought about how to best share the images.   Maybe a gallery show, a page on the website, or a photo book? 

            For many years I have had a short poem hanging in my darkroom:


“And so it is turning

The great sun is coming up

The sun of a great day

In the five colors

May nothing change

May luck remain

May everything bloom….”


Robert Slater

K2 Journal, 1995


                I have thought of this frequently during many years of photographing early in the morning, watching the sunrises. My friend Robbie wrote this in his journal shortly before he perished descending from the summit of K2.  When I went into the darkroom to develop the film from Hawai'i, this caught my eye, and it cried out to be included with the morning photos of the waterfalls.    

             I also have many, many scraps of paper with quotes that I have found meaningful over the years.  Sometimes when I go back and look at them, they have no meaning at all, sometimes there is a completely different meaning, and sometimes they grip me just as they did the day I made the note, or cut out the page, etc.

              As I looked at the images of the waterfalls, I wondered if I could find a few of these notes, sayings, and thoughts that might tie in with the images as well as with what Robbie must have been thinking and feeling in his final days.   

             I found I have far more notes than I have waterfall photos, and while it was difficult to edit the photos to a manageable number, it was far more difficult to choose the perfect text to fit the images.  In some cases the saying is about what is in the images, others are about what I was feeling when I created the image. In some cases, there is no correlation at all, but the image and the text were too important to exclude.   

                In the end I hope that somehow it all comes together in a way that you find as interesting, and hopefully meaningful, as it was to me when I was bringing them together.



Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old,  Seek what they sought.









In dwelling, live close to the ground.

In thinking, keep to the simple.

In conflict, be fair and generous.

In governing, don't try to control.

In work, do what you enjoy.

In family life, be completely present.

Tao Te Ching












Sea turtles are the fluffy puppies of the sea!

Uncle Giff

Infamous Surfing Instructor









As is the human body,
so is the cosmic body.

As is the human mind,
so is the cosmic mind.

As is the microcosm,
so is the macrocosm.

As is the atom,
so is the universe.

The Upanishads












Alone with yourself,

Never weary.


On the edge of the forest

Live joyfully,

Without desire.


The Buddha







Those who want the fewest things are nearest to the gods.









  People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life.....  I think what we're really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we can actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Joseph Campbell 







One see great things from the valley,
only small things from the peak.

G.K. Chesterton 





  And do not change. Do not divert your love from visible things. But go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary; animals and things and flowers, and keep the balance true.








Thinking is more interesting that knowing, but less interesting than looking.







  The most terrifying thing is to accept ones self completely.

Carl Jung 






The whole of life lies in the verb seeing.

Teilhard de Chardin 






  One can not step twice in the same river.







The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.

The purpose of the rabbit snare is to catch the rabbits, and when the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.

The purpose of words is to convey ideas.  When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

Chuang - Tzu 






  Someone needs to explain to me how cutting the top few inches off of your blanket and reattaching it to the bottom of your blanket somehow makes your blanket longer.

Preeminent server at Lahaina Grill
explaing Daylight Savings Time 






The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir 






  The rocks are where they are - this is their will.

The rivers flow - this is their will.

The birds fly - this is their will.

Human beings talk - this is their will.

The seasons change, heaven sends down rain or snow, the earth occasionally shakes, the waves roll, the stars shine - each of them follows it's own will.

To be is to will and so it is to become.

D.T. Suzuki 



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