My Maui Photo Festival ’11 Plans [Revised]

West Maui SpeedboatUpdated on Sunday, August 21, 2011: Realized this weekend that the helicopter tour was actually scheduled for Thursday (not Friday). Time to move things around again.

This time next week, the ‘ohana and I will be back on Maui for the first time in two years. I started to rattle off some plans for the week on my Maui blog, but what I’m sharing here is my initial list of sessions I plan to attend during the Maui Photo Festival and Workshops while I’m there. After all, this event is the reason we chose to return to Maui at this time of the year.

As I started to mention in that other post, I’ve surprised myself with the shift in focus in my photography from back in ’09 to what it is today, not to mention the renewed focus and commitment to learning more and more, shooting as often as I can, and taking a serious look at what role photography may play in my life going forward.

The Schedule

Okay, enough with the fluff, here’s the real info. The following list of courses are what I’m planning to attend during the workshops, going off of the full schedule available on their website.


  • 7:00pm – Maui Photo Festival Opening Reception


  • 6:00am – 8:00am – Golden Hour excursion TBA
  • 9:00am – 9:50am – Keynote session, “The Art of the Landscape” with Randy Jay Braun
  • 11:00am – ? – “Doors Off Helicopter Tour” with Stacy Pearsall and Andy Dunaway
  • 10:10am – 12:00pm – Breakout session, “Lighting Essentials and Visual Perception” with Jack Reznicki
  • 2:00pm – 3:50pm – Breakout session, “Natural Light Portraiture” with Judy Host
  • 4:00pm – 5:50pm – Breakout session, “Controlled Candid Shots for Lifestyle Photography” with Lou Freeman
  • 8:00pm – “Photoshop Graphic Design Techniques” with Judy Host


  • 3:00am – 10:00am – “Haleakala Sunrise” golden hour excursion
  • 10:10am – 12:00pm – “Lightroom 3: Time to Get Serious!” with Frederick Von Johnson
  • 2:00pm – 3:50pm – “Photographing Children of All Ages” with Judy Host
  • 5:00pm – 7:00pm – “The Quintessential Hawaiian Photo Shoot — Hula on the Beach at Sunset” with Randy Jay Braun
  • 8:00pm – “Maui No Ka Oi Magazine, Shooting for Publication”


  • 6:00am – 8:00am – Golden Hour excursion TBA
  • 9:00am – 9:50am – “Crafting Digital” with Eddie Tapp
  • 10:10am – 12:00pm – “Mastering Pixel Processing” with Eddie Tapp
  • 2:00pm – 3:50pm – “Portfolio Review, Classroom Style” with Stacy Pearsall and Andy Dunaway
  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm – “Sunset Scramble,” last sunset on the beach
  • 8:00pm – “Personal Projects” with Stacy Pearsall


  • 9:00am – Awards Session


I’d like to say I’ll be pacing myself after the whirlwind tour of learning in ’09, but there’s just too much good stuff to pass up and not attend.

Here’s a short list of the things I’m looking forward to the most…

Doors Off Helicopter Tour

Napili BeachThere’s no doubt that this year’s helicopter tour is going to be even better than the one I did in ’09. Although it’s been a few years already since I’ve shot aerials, I have newly upgraded gear from what I had back in ’09, plus a much better comfort level with the camera controls and making adjustments on the fly (no pun intended) so that’s bound to make for better results.

Plus, I’m really hoping our flight group takes a pass by the Ka’anapali area this time, since I’d be thrilled to get a few great shots of Black Rock and the Sheraton Maui Resort from above. Would be one of our ultimate keepsakes in our household, for sure.

Haleakala Sunrise

Sunrise SilhouetteSure, it’s way super early in the morning, but ever since we did the sunrise ourselves in ’08, there’s been something about being above the clouds when the sun rises that hits me. And yes, even though I surprised myself when my sunrise silhouette shot won the Best Portrait Award in ’09 workshops, that doesn’t have too much of an influence of wanting to go back.

Besides, the only way I could make that shot better is if I had my son on my shoulders this time, and trust me, the folks on that tour bus don’t want him with us that early in the morning. 😉

Portfolio Review, Classroom Style

This was another session I did back in ’09, and what has me excited about coming back for the same session this year is how different my focus has come since then. Back then, it was all landscape shots, for which I did get some good advice and feedback on for improving in-camera and for editing.

This time, however, I plan to put together some of the portrait shots I’ve taken over the last few months, and get feedback on how to improve there as well. Plus, getting to see photos from other photographers and hearing the feedback for their photos, too, is pretty valuable, as well.

Personal Projects, Stacy Pearsall

Of the instructors I met back during the ’09 workshops, Stacy and her husband Andy have been the two that I’ve followed along with the most in the last 2 years. It was hard not to, as they left such a lasting impression on me with the helicopter tour, the portfolio review session, and the awe inspiring combat photography presentation they gave in ’09.

Following her work on Facebook, the one project that really stuck with me was the Veteran Portraits Project she’s been working on for some time now. That, plus owning and operating the Charleston Center of Photography as a day job have me really interested in learning more about the work she’ll be presenting about during this session.

Who knows, it may very well inspire me to come up with yet another project of my own…

That’s About It

Really, that’s all? 😛

I already know this year’s workshops are going to be a tsunami of information coming at me, and I’m ready to stand up to the challenge. I do like that there will be a few breaks here and there (and I may end up skipping a session or two near the end) to spend the extra time with the family. After all, our 8 month old son isn’t going to remember any of this trip unless I get the shots to prove he was there.

Anyway, that’s my take on where I’ll be spending my time during the Maui Photo Festival and Workshops this time around. And I know, just like the island of Maui itself, there’s always too much to do in one visit, so I’m telling myself this won’t be the last one I will be attending.

How About You?

If you’re reading this and also attending the workshops this year, what sessions are you most looking forward to? Will you be up there with me in the helicopter sans doors or shivering at the top of Haleakala before sunrise, too?

I’d really like to hear from you and get your take as well.

– Kris

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  1. kahuku August 16, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Looks like you’ve got some great plans. I’m still deciding on my classes. I’ll probably go to Haleakala in my own vehicle… This will be my first time to the MPF. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. Kris August 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    It’s going to be great, for sure. Meet some great photographers in ’09, too. Looking forward to meeting more this year.

    Took a quick look at your blog – love the family/kids photos. Great inspiration for taking a few shots of our son while we’re there this trip.

    – Kris

  3. Danny Ta August 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Dang it, that actually sounds like an awesome line up/schedule!

    I need to go back in a year or 2!

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