Through the Lens / Spend enough time in Chinatown and you’re sure to see Cheyne Gallarde, killing it with his sharp style and sharper eye for the camera. A resident in the Chinatown Artists Lofts on Maunakea Street, he runs Firebird Photography there, is a professional photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer and is also the referee of the online Photoboxing competition–although “The word ‘competition’ takes the fun out of it,” he’s quick to say. “It’s more of a faux-sport, a creative exercise, because when you mention sport, it sort of levels the playing field between the professionals and the amateurs, which is what I want to do. Give everybody a chance.”
Photoboxing works like this: You sign up online and wait to be chosen by the previous week’s winner, who also gets to choose that week’s creative concept. Nobody knows what the concept is until the time starts (you only get 2–3 days to shoot) and themes have ranged from “Taboo” to “Film Noir” to “Sugar City.”
The rules? Photographers must stick to the theme with only fresh work (no old pieces allowed), and promote Photoboxing. That’s it. Take pictures and tell your friends to look at them. We do it all the time anyway. As far as incentives go, Gallarde is working to garner sponsorships from area photo rental shops or supply stores for prizes, but right now all he can offer is “bragging rights and power,” he says with a laugh.
Go to the website, if only to see John Hook’s photo of a candy-assed Chad McGuire. Browse longer to discover some of the best photographers on Oahu, and vote!