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Festival blends digital photography training with picture-perfect locations

By Staff | Aug 26, 2010

Big Island Realtor and 2009 Maui Photo Festival attendee Starr Kealaluhi took first place honors for this shot of dancer Ashley Kawagishi during the "Quintessential Hawaiian Photo Shoot— Hula on the Beach at Sunset” session led by Randy Jay Braun.

KAANAPALI — It is the iconic Hawaiian image: A hula dancer on the beach at sunset. Yet for the average photographer in Hawaii, the chance of capturing such a scene in the wild has always been remote… until now.

The second Maui Photo Festival and Workshops (MPF), set for Aug. 25-29 at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, celebrates the exploding popularity of digital photography by bringing top training to the world’s most photogenic location: Maui.

The signature MPF session, “The Quintessential Hawaiian Photo Shoot — Hula on the Beach at Sunset” led by Randy Jay Braun, offers the chance to photograph Native Hawaiian dancers adorned in traditional hula style.

It is just one of the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities available for MPF attendees.

Seminar content covers the spectrum — digital novice to pro — through classroom sessions, demonstrations and hands-on opportunities and location shoots.

This year’s event will have a special focus on available and studio light, portraiture and the business of photography. A beach wedding location shoot is planned.

Days start early with golden-hour excursions. Next are classroom sessions, often starting indoors, then shifting outside to take advantage of our lush setting.

Evening sessions beginning at 7:30 p.m. offer the portfolios of presenting pros and a glimpse of images shot that day and entered into competition.    

Evening sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be free and open to the public.

Optional excursions for a separate fee include doors-off helicopter or underwater shoots, a sunset sail and Haleakala Crater sunrise session. Space is limited to registered MPF attendees.

The festival will wrap in a morning ceremony, where prizes will be awarded for the best landscape, portrait, aerial, hula, studio, ISLANDS Magazine cover and other shots.

The $595 fee includes the opening reception, three full session days and awards ceremony. The  kama‘aina rate is $495, and there is an educational rate of $395. One- and two-day passes are available.    

Presenter, class and registration information is available at www.mauiphotofestival.com. Special room rates are available.

The festival is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and County of Maui. Call (808) 633-1339 for information.