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THE MAUI NEWS — Sunday, August 15, 2010 — C1

INSIDE Ahead of the Class, C2 Publishers Weekly Best-sellers, C4 Travel, C6

Lahaina resident Leah Mark took both “Best Golden Hour” and “Best Overall” honors for this Lahaina Canoe Club image from the 2009 Maui Photo Festival and Workshops.


Maui photographer Randy Miller took “Best Wildlife” honors for this green sea turtle image taken during the Turtle Town snorkel/onetank dive led by international marine photographer David Fleetham.


By TERRIE ELIKER For The Maui News

High school scholarship student Zach Pezzillo earned free admission to the 2010 festival for this sunset hula shot from 2009. ZACH PEZZILLO photo


Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon took time for a doors-off helicopter tour at the 2009 festival.

WHAT: Top pro photographers and digital imaging specialists gather to celebrate digital photography. More than 50 on-site classes and hands-on/demo sessions. Optional excursions and pre-conference sessions priced separately for paid attendees or non-attendees.

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 25 through Sunday, Aug. 29.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

WHO: Presenters include Lori Barbely, Randy Jay Braun, Lewis Carlyle, Jim DiVitale, David duChemin, Andy Dunaway, David Fleetham, Lou Freeman, Michael Gilbert, Helene Glassman, Judy Host, Randy Hufford, Bryan Linden, Clark Little,Tony Novak-Clifford, Rick Ortiz, Stacy Pearsall, Juan Pons, Jack Reznicki, Rick Sammon, Mike Sidney, Steve Simon, Eddie Tapp, Monica and Michael Sweet, and Jim Tierney

COST: $595 for the five-day festival • $495 kamaaina • $395 education One-day and two-day passes available. Evening programs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are free and open to the public.

INFO and REGISTRATION: or 633-1339

With just 10 days and counting, Maui’s second photo festival is set to again bring world-class digital photography training to the some of Maui’s most photogenic locations. lanning a photo festival is like taking a photograph. Each time you bring the viewfinder up to your eye, you choose your focus — what to include in the composition and what to eliminate, what will make your image stronger and what is not necessary. And so it was with the making of the Maui Photo Festival and Workshops (MPF). I know this because I’m one of the organizers. We chose what we wanted to include — the kind of digital photography training not available in Hawaii, classes that spill out of the classrooms and into the lush Maui landscape, models and settings that celebrate our host culture, and adventures like underwater photo tours and doors-off helicopter rides. We wanted world-class presenters teaching in the most photogenic locations, with a reasonable price for attendees, and a scholarship for Maui County high school kids who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend. Most of all, we wanted Maui to be as big a star as our presenting pros. Our first event, in September 2009, was a hit with attendees and presenters. Our second festival is set for Aug. 25 to 29 at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. The idea of a photo festival is not new. France’s Les Rencontres D’Arles is celebrating its 39th year this summer. Yet the concept has been slow to jump the pond to the Mainland. Traditional photo workshops in the U.S. almost exclusively target professionals and often cost thousands of dollars to attend. If workshop photography is the intimate business lunch among professionals, the photo festival is a veritable smorgasbord. Its soup-to-nuts approach is the basis of the Maui Photo Festival. Over five days and four nights, MPF presents more than 50 sessions led by 26 professional photographers — many the best in business — with concurrent sessions aimed to cover experience levels of all attendees. In the summer of 2008, I wanted to make better images. I had finally made the switch to digital and was disappointed with my early results. I headed off to a digital imaging conference in Las Vegas with 3,000 other attendees. While the teaching staff was impressive, it struck me that


Maui fine-art photographer Randy Jay Braun is the man at the center of a storm last year during his “Quintessential Hawaiian Photo Shoot — Hula on the Beach at Sunset.” Braun will once again present at this year’s festival. with all of that great photographic talent, we never stopped to take a picture. All of the sessions were in hotel ballrooms. We never stepped outside. When I got back to Maui, I immediately called friends Zane and Beth Mathias. The couple has spent 25 years operating a photographic and production services company in Lahaina that trained hundreds of photographers over the years. The next call was to Barbara and Richard Santos, who had years of experience helping to produce events like the Maui Writers Conference, the Maui County Agricultural Trade Show and Sampling and the Maui Onion Festival. The idea of a Maui Photo Festival resonated with both couples. We had our organizing committee. Then we needed a location. Zane and Beth have known Hyatt Regency Maui General Manager Mike Jokovich for more than two decades. Jokovich was just starting his hotel career on Maui when Zane was providing photographic services to the resort. They kept in touch over the years as Jokovich moved around the country and up the corporate ladder. With Mike back on Maui, our fledgling festival had a home. We couldn’t have asked for a more splendid setting. Then it was time to populate the event with presenters. Maui was never a hard sell, but asking folks to teach a couple of classes and forego more lucrative assignments was a leap of faith in this tough economy.

We’re thankful for those who’ve joined our team.

The combat photographers

The first MPF presenters were literally ripped from the pages of Popular Photography magazine. A late 2008 story on Military Photographer of the Year Stacy Pearsall (one of only two women to earn the honor and the only one to receive it twice) captured our attention. Also in the issue was a story about doors-off helicopter photo tours on Kauai. It didn’t take much to connect the dots. Pearsall After a short Google search, we had Pearsall on the phone. Both she and husband Andy Dunaway were aerial combat photographers who said they’d love to come to Maui. Event director Beth then Dunaway made the call to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, who happily removed the doors for our excursion. Our first MPF presenters were booked, and we had one of our signature Maui experiences. Pearsall and Dunaway also head up MPF digital photograSee PHOTO FESTIVAL on Page C3

THE MAUI NEWS — Sunday, August 15, 2010 — C3

Photo Festival Continued from Page C1

phy basic training, but it is the doors-off helicopter tours they lead that make MPF unique. (The limited flights are available only to registered MPF attendees, for a separate fee.)

Rattan Arm Sofabeds

The Pied Pipers

Since presenting at the 2009 festival, no one has spread the MPF word more than photographer and author Rick Sammon. Joining forces with wildlife photographer Juan Pons, the two founded the Digital Photography Experience (DPE) last December. It’s an Internet podcast and blog with a hui of contributing photo professionals (including Maui fine-art photographer Randy Jay Braun). DPE podcasts (which consistently have a MPF shoutout) have a international audience that make both Sammon and Pons our MPF MVPs. Pons will be presenting DSLR video classes at the festival. With so many members of the DPE gang in attendance, Thursday, Aug. 26 has been dubbed DPE night in the MPF Paradise Cinema.

Photojournalist Steve Simon shows images from his camera to a group of children. His session, “The Passionate Photographer,” will headline the Saturday evening program in the MPF Paradise Cinema. MPF evening programs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are free and open to the public.

The dynamic duo


Atlanta-based photographers Eddie Tapp and Judy Host have made MPF their own, never turning down an assignment. After talking us up on the show circuit over the past two years, Tapp will again be producing a Hawaii by Hawaii Photographers multimedia show for the opening reception. In addition to their regular sessions taught during the festival, their popular “Sweet Light Photo Safari” was a preconference hit in 2009. Their follow-up pre-con event this year takes the show on the road for a daylong photo trek to the Ali‘i Kula Lavender Farm. Host is an accomplished educator and natural light master photographer. Tapp is a Canon Explorer of Light and a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Photo-


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Host shop “Dream Team.” Pre- sionate Photographer: Ten conference sessions are avail- Steps to Becoming Great,” urges attendees to “transform able for a separate fee. your passion into a unique personal vision.” The photojournalists No celebration of photography is complete without those who spend their lives documenting the human condition. In 2010, both MPF photojournalists are from Canada. David duChemin is a self-described world and humanitarian photographer, as well as an accomplished author and educator. He still wants to “use his powers for good” and to produce work that encourages other to do the same. Steve Simon is equally passionate about “documenting the beauty and drama of the human condition.” Simon is also committed to sharing his passion. His special MPF preconference session, “The Pas-

The native son

Live Music @ The Red Bar


shoulder along Kaanapali Beach in 2009, savoring this unique experience. In the year since our first Maui festival, MPF-like events have begun popping up. We now compete with the likes of California Photo Festival, the Telluride Photo Festival and even JapanFest, which just wrapped. All are in their first year of production but none have our ace in the hole — Maui. As our presenters are packing their bags and sending us their final e-mails, there is one word that is in every one of their messages: excited. They are as excited to be coming to Maui as the attendees. If we can maintain that energy, we’ll be on the road to success.

Maui fine-art photographer Randy Jay Braun’s breakthrough into the world of art came with his portfolio of sepia-toned traditional hula dancers. His passion for the Hawaiian culture and his session, “The Quintessential Hawaiian Photo Shoot — Hula on the Beach at Sunset,” provides MPF attendees with an opportunity they will likely never have anywhere else — the chance to photograph lifelong students of hula, adorned in costumes of their own making and created in the traditional style. Presenters and ■ Contact Terrie Eliker at attendees stood shoulder to

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The Making of a Photo Festival  

The second Maui Photo Festival & Workshops celebrates digital photography by bringing world-class pros to the most photogenic locations.

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