[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Kurt Mutchler

Illustrations editor Kurt Mutchler discusses weighing the strengths of similar photographs.

Cut It?
"It was really a toss-up between this image and the one we used in the story [on pages 22-3]," says illustrations editor Kurt Mutchler. "That photo shows women honoring a male elder with a hula. It was a wonderful scene that captured a number of compelling elements: the geography of the land, the attentive dog looking on, the body language of the women, and the eye contact with the older man. It was a warm situation that went a little beyond the expected and showed an aspect of Hawaiian culture that this picture didn't."

Or Keep It?
"This is such a beautiful image," Mutchler continues. "And the light coming onto the porch enhances the setting. The picture also reinforces the importance of hula, something we wanted to convey throughout the story. It was such a tough call trying to choose the right photo that we couldn't pass this one up for Final Edit."

Final Edit

Photograph by Lynn Johnson .

Dance of Life
It began with singing. Then Hawaiian studies teachers Linda Pacheco, left, and Harriet Daog, center, broke out ukuleles. "I couldn't resist," says their friend and colleague Sabra Kauka, right, "so I got up and started to dance."

That's one side of hula: a spontaneous display of joy. But there's another, more measured form, reserved for special occasions, like Sabra's tribute to Pepito Makuaole, a kupuna, or elder, on pages 22-3. In the end the hula for Pepito was selected for the story. "This photograph of the ladies in the cottage carries a kind of delight. It's comfort food," says photographer Lynn Johnson. "The other photo captures what Sabra is all about: reverence for the kupuna and reverence for the past."

Check out The Hawaiians, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Lynn Johnson Find out more about photographer Lynn Johnson in Field Notes.

© 2002 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe