Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - MONEY - ERIKA EN­GLE “Buy Lo­cal” each Aloha Fri­day is about made-in-Hawaii prod­ucts and the peo­ple who make them. Reach Erika En­gle at 529-4303, erika@starad­ver­, or on Twit­ter as @erikaen­gle.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Mike Krzy­won­ski has achieved a mile­stone. “Nord­strom plans to re­tail some of my work as early as next month,” he said.

The North Shore-based fine-art pho­tog­ra­pher, who spe­cial­izes in Hawaii na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy as well as pho­tos of se­vere weather from his main­land storm-chas­ing jaunts, met with buy­ers last week and got the good news the same day.

He had been sell­ing his fine-art pho­tog­ra­phy via his web­site and at large-scale craft fairs such as the an­nual Made in Hawaii Fes­ti­val, and at the ju­ried Haleiwa Arts Fes­ti­val. For the lat­ter, ar­ti­sans’ work must be preap­proved be­fore they can sign up as ex­hibitors.

It was at the most re­cent Made in Hawaii Fes­ti­val that he con­nected with the Nord­strom buy­ers, said Krzy­won­ski, whose name is pro­nounced “kriz-WAHNs­kee.”

Pre­views of some of his work to be sold at Nord­strom in Ala Moana Cen­ter can be found on his web­site. Due to the vol­ume of his work, he is not able to trans­port every­thing to the events at which he is an ex­hibitor.

Krzy­won­ski’s images in­clude every­thing from tor­na­does and strange cloud for­ma­tions on the main­land to beauty shots of Hawaii, in­clud­ing lava flow­ing into the ocean and fin­gers of cooled lava jut­ting out next to ac­tive streams, ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions from Hawaii and be­yond, a blood moon, a monk seal and some­thing he calls “ur­ban de­cay,” which has a cer­tain beauty to it. One ex­am­ple in­cludes old Chevron gas pumps at an aban­doned gas sta­tion seem­ingly in the mid­dle of nowhere — but his web­site help­fully iden­ti­fies the lo­ca­tion as Nara Visa, N.M.

On his web­site there are 10 Hawaii gal­leries, four se­vere-weather gal­leries, two Great Plains gal­leries, three Amer­i­can South­west gal­leries and a fa­vorites gallery that in­cludes a sam­pling of each type of Krzy­won­ski’s images. Nav­i­gat­ing them takes a while but the jour­ney is en­rich­ing.

The Hawaii gallery is di­vided into cat­e­gories in­clud­ing ocean, wildlife, land­scapes, sky, lava, night pho­tog­ra­phy, his­tor­i­cal, pre­his­toric and oth­ers.

The pre­his­toric gallery opens into even more gal­leries, and one in­cludes pho­tos and gen­eral lo­ca­tions of an­cient pet­ro­glyphs.

He feels strongly about cap­tur­ing the petroglyph images as a means to­ward preser­va­tion. “A lot of those things have cul­tural rel­e­vance and im­por­tance,” he said. To find them, “you have to re­ally dig and read the right books and find out where th­ese things are hid­den. They’re lost from the pub­lic eye. It’s like hunt­ing for hid­den trea­sure,” Krzy­won­ski said. He cap­tions each with the gen­eral lo­ca­tion where the im­age was cap­tured.

The night gallery in­cludes scenic shots of Waikiki, Honolulu, the Wind­ward side and other lo­cales, but also, per­haps un­ex­pect­edly, pic­tures of power plants il­lu­mi­nated via a pro­longed-ex­po­sure tech­nique. It is sur­pris­ing to see how pretty even a power plant can look at night.

His pho­tog­ra­phy, now stun­ning, was not al­ways so pleas­ing for him to view.

He got into it be­cause of his fas­ci­na­tion with se­vere weather, which could have some­thing to do with hav­ing to evac­u­ate his Texas Gulf Coast home for a hur­ri­cane at 8 years old.

“I started pho­tograph­ing light­ning … in Ari­zona, Florida, and from there it blos­somed into se­vere weather,” he said, de­scrib­ing him­self at the time as “a com­plete am­a­teur.”

“I guess my fail­ure rate mo­ti­vated me to get bet­ter,” he said, laugh­ing. He be­came an ar­dent storm chaser in 2007, trav­el­ing to the main­land’s so-called Tor­nado Al­ley each spring.

His ef­forts at im­prov­ing his craft, and his an­nual trips to en­sure new ma­te­rial, worked. He sold his first im­age in 2009 af­ter putting up a web­site.

Liv­ing in Hawaii, there is no short­age of ma­te­rial year-round. “We’re sur­rounded by all this beauty. Sun­sets, large waves and surf­ing, and then it just blos­somed from there,” he said, as he be­gan cap­tur­ing “ev­ery as­pect of na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy here in Hawaii.”

With the ex­plo­sion in dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy, “it’s a tough mar­ket out there,” Krzy­won­ski said, so he tries to dif­fer­en­ti­ate him­self and his work by of­fer­ing a di­verse ar­ray of pic­tures. Cus­tomers can say they are not look­ing for one thing, but an­other, which Krzy­won­ski is likely to be able to show them.

Prices on the Mike Krzy­won­ski Pho­tog­ra­phy web­site range from $30 for an 8-by-10-inch print on metal­lic photo pa­per, to higher for me­tal prints on alu­minum sold with “float mounts” that cause the work to stand out from the wall, to can­vas gallery wraps in var­i­ous sizes. The prices on the web­site top out at $1,300 for a 30-by-40inch me­tal print, but he of­fers prints “up to 60 inches, or 5 feet across” in length, he said. “The labs I work with are pretty ver­sa­tile,” en­abling him to do cus­tom work.


Mike Krzy­won­ski of Mike Krzy­won­ski Pho­tog­ra­phy shows his work at the Made in Hawaii Fes­ti­val at Blais­dell Cen­ter.


Mike Krzy­won­ski of Mike Krzy­won­ski Pho­tog­ra­phy holds one of his “float mounted” pho­tos printed on alu­minum, which can be pur­chased on his web­site.

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