An exquisite wave. The delicious curve of a hula dancer’s hips. The underside of a single, swaying palm frond.
Oahu, Hawaii-based photographer Karl Meinhardt gracefully captures the images dreams are made of. Some burst with movement; others illustrate a rare stillness. All offer a momentary glimpse into a life in the South Pacific and Hawaii.
Karl grew up in northern California, traveling frequently with his family to Hawaii, Mexico and other U.S destinations. He studied design and political science at the University of Arizona and worked for years in advertising, communications and interior design. That experience, combined with extensive travel to places like Europe, Central America, Thailand, Indonesia, China and the South Pacific, laid the groundwork for his second career and first love: Photography.
Karl has always been fascinated in places far from home. The place beyond the point. Karl has spent years exploring and uncovering cultures that fascinated him in the pages of National Geographic & Surfer Magazine. Karl has made documenting the Polynesian lifestyle his life’s work, focusing mostly on Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji and the Cook Islands. “I live in this unique lifestyle everyday and want to share it with the rest of the world,” he says.
“The Polynesian lifestyle,” he says, “strikes a healthy balance between self sufficient and carefree. The people are genuine and family oriented. They only take what they need.”
His areas of photographic expertise include surf culture, outrigger canoe paddling and pristine coastal images. Anyone can photograph a surfer. Karl surfs himself, giving him better insight into when waves will break,when colors will be optimal. In essence, he know where the shot will be and is willing to wait for
it--whether that takes minutes or hours.
He hopes his images will remind others of the area’s fragile beauty and inspire them to help protect it from over development. “It’s the best place on the planet,” he says. Karl is a member of the Surfrider foundation a leading coastal environmental organization. He and his wife, Gina, live in Kailua with their beautiful 2 year old daughter, Monroe.