2018-01-25 / Front Page

TAKING A LEAP

Military wife finishes 2nd in Hawaiian photo contest
BY RYAN GIBBS


This photo, taken by Amy Greene, was captured in Waimea Bay on Oahu. It was awarded second place in its category by Hawaii Magazine. Greene is a military wife who is temporarily living on Pierce Avenue while her husband attends the U.S. Naval War College. This photo, taken by Amy Greene, was captured in Waimea Bay on Oahu. It was awarded second place in its category by Hawaii Magazine. Greene is a military wife who is temporarily living on Pierce Avenue while her husband attends the U.S. Naval War College. At first glance, it looks like a scene from Fort Wetherill.

A teenage girl, with the sun setting in the background, jumping from the cliffs into the ocean below. From the top, spectators watch their friend — knees bent, arms behind her, hair flailing — as she falls toward the water.

This photo wasn’t taken at the state park, but rather Waimea Bay in Oahu. The woman who captured the Hawaiian moment, however, is now settled 5,100 miles east in Jamestown.

Amy Greene, an aspiring photographer, is a military wife who is in the middle of a one-year stay on Pierce Avenue while her husband, Marc, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, attends the Naval War College in Newport. Her photo that resembles the Fort Wetherill pastime won second place for its category in Hawaii Magazine’s annual photography contest. Although she was told about the honor in December, she didn’t believe it until she arrived at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Middletown and opened the January issue.


GREENE GREENE “There’s my picture,” she told herself. “It’s actually in there.”

Greene, whose family moved to town in July, was surprised, honored and humbled by the runnerup recognition in the people category.

“It was a very cool opportunity to see my picture in a magazine,” she said.

Burgeoning hobby

Photography has been a hobby for Greene, 38, since her daughter, Isabella, was born six years ago. Instead of outsourcing the special moments, she decided to capture her young family’s life herself.


The sun setting below the Narragansett skyline from a vantage point at Sheffield Cove. 
PHOTO BY AMY GREENE The sun setting below the Narragansett skyline from a vantage point at Sheffield Cove. PHOTO BY AMY GREENE “Photography is an outlet for me,” she said. “I like being outdoors, I like seeing what I can do. It’s new information to learn and I’ve always loved learning new things. It’s been a fun craft for me.”

Greene’s hobby blossomed shortly before her family arrived at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu in June 2015. Her in-laws gave her a camera as a gift, and she quickly became interested in capturing the landscape of her new home. She joined the Oahu Photography Club, learning tricks of the trade from her new friends.

“Everybody there has such a spirit of aloha,” Greene said, referring to the popular Hawaiian word for love, peace and affection. “They’re so happy to invite people along and answer questions. It was a really great opportunity to learn different techniques and expand what I could do with what I had.”

Along with landscape photography, Greene is interested in capturing sunsets, which is the reason she is working to improve her long-exposure skills. Her prizewinning photograph, however, does not quite fall into those categories. The happenstance image was captured during an excursion to Waimea Bay in May 2016 with other members of the club. One of the bay’s most popular features is a large rock formation that juts out from the beach. It’s used as a jumping point when the water is calm, something that separates it from the choppy waters at Fort Wetherill.

“We went there and sat on the beach, watched the sunset and took pictures of people jumping,” she said. “The one picture I caught was a girl who was a little hesitant to jump. It’s kind of a tall rock. Then she finally took the leap and I was able to snap the picture. The timing of it worked.”

Secret submission

Greene chose to submit the photo because she felt it perfectly captured the concept of “taking a leap,” both figuratively and literally. Also, the image captured the beauty of Waimea Bay during the sunset with the silhouette of a man dramatically pointing at the girl as she jumped.

“I caught it, then I looked around and nobody else had their camera up,” she said.

That’s when a friend asked if Greene captured the leap. She nodded yes.

“That’s the one,” he told her.

During the summer, a year after that trip to Waimea Bay, Greene heard about the photo contest through the club. After settling into her rental home in Jamestown, she submitted four pictures for the contest, including the jumping girl.

Greene did not tell anyone, even her husband, about her submission until she received an email from the magazine’s editors with the good news. That’s when she rushed to the bookstore and opened the magazine for the first time. Before reaching her photo, she saw submissions taken by her friends, Darcy Fiero and Peter Tang, who had both won first place in different categories.

“They’re both very good at what they do,” she said. “It was cool to be in the same magazine.”

The magazine has been available in Rhode Island since December, which made Greene the first of her friends to see the finished product. When she spoke to Fiero, she was told the magazine was not yet available in Hawaii.

Since arriving in Jamestown, Greene has continued her hobby by capturing images of her new island, which can be seen on her Instagram account, @contactamyg photography. Her favorite subjects continue to be sunsets, with a particular focus on Beavertail State Park, Fort Getty and Sheffield Cove — the latter because it’s basically her backyard. Not only does Greene think sunsets are beautiful, but they make logistical sense after the busy afternoons she spends with her daughter.

“It’s a nice way to end your day,” she said.

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