Maui Photography – Beautiful Hawaiian Sunsets

Maui Magic

The sunsets are beautiful in Maui.  If coming to the island make sure to take time and enjoy them. Each day the sun sets differently with some more spectacular than others.

To get a good exposure point your camera off to the side of the brightest point in the scene and meter the light.  Most digital cameras today have a light meter inside and that’s what your using to set the exposure.  Once you have determined the values set the shutter and f-stop to match.  Now your ready to then recompose the scene and make the photograph.

If coming to Maui and want to learn more about taking better pictures check this out.

underwater photography workshop

If you like to dive and take pictures, why not combine the two and take a underwater photography workshop while on vacation.  Maui has great conditions and lots of good dives sites.  We have a lot of turtles and a few good wrecks. There are several good boat operators as well as sites that can be easily done from shore.


Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

The Wreck of The Carthaginian

Landscape Photography Workshop

The technology in today’s digital cameras makes it possible for anyone to point the camera, press the button, and take a good picture. However it is the person behind the lens that makes decisions as to composition, and design.

Framing as a compositional element

We have created a fun workshop that demonstrates several of the most important rules of composition and allows photographers to apply them while creating images on a scenic tour of Maui. Sunrise and sunset workshops are offered. During this workshop we will visit locations less traveled enabling participants to learn and see parts of Maui they might otherwise not get to see.

Three Bears Waterfall near Hana

Professional Photographer Magazine November Issue

Were so exited, as Douglas had a little feature in this months Professional Photographer Magazine.  The story and images are below.    Enjoy!

Gracefull baby whale

Douglas J. Hoffman: Into The Blue
Lorna Gentry

Douglas J. Hoffman sails the Pacific Rim to photograph whales and other creatures of the deep. While snorkeling the warm, clear waters of Tonga in the South Pacific, Douglas J. Hoffman photographed a humpback whale for nearly an hour as it languidly swam 10 feet below. Suddenly the whale twice shook its mighty tail and propelled upward like a torpedo. Breaching the surface, it sailed through the air 8 feet from the photographer. “I lifted my camera to the air and snapped shots as it flew past me. From my angle, the horizon was underneath the whale rather than over it. It was fantastic!”


Perfect breach

The awe of that moment is still palpable to Hoffman. For all his underwater adventures over the last 30 years, he still talks about that one with reverence and glee. Hoffman has a stunning portfolio of under – water photographs, which he prints on aluminum and canvas as large as 40 x 60 inches. He and his wife, Mieko, run Maui Photography in Hawaii, a family portrait and fine-art photography studio. In addition to commissioned work, Hoffman conducts workshops on underwater, land scape and portrait photography.

Sunset portrait at Po'olenalena Beach

In September 2012 he’ll take three small groups to Tonga to photograph humpback whales, and the following March he’ll take a class to Fiji for shark diving. Not much scares him, he says. “For me, it’s serene.”


Lemon shark

The main thing to know about photographing whales is to take it slow, Hoffman advises. In some ways whales behave like dogs, he says. “If you want a dog to come to you he won’t, but if you’re calm and ignore him then he’ll come sniffing around. A whale is no different, except that it’s 55 feet long and weighs 55 tons. Approach a whale with respect, and it will relax and get comfortable with your presence. Be peaceful and let the whale see you’re not aggressive.”

At times Hoffman has been so trustworthy that mother whales have allowed him to babysit their calves while they nap. “The mother is with her baby 24 hours a day and wants a break, but only if she can trust you,” he says. “If she can, then she’ll take a catnap and let her baby do donuts around you, blow bubbles and provide the most fun on Earth a human being can have. I had one interaction that lasted six and a half hours in the water, but most of our interactions last about 90 minutes.”

To see more of Douglas J. Hoffman’s work visit

After kids go to sleep…

Maui Photography, Inc. Mieko Hoffman I like looking up the sky, night and day.  Tonight was still new moon enough to enjoy beautiful Hawaiian star lights.  Van Gogh is my favorite master artist.  I absolutely admire his work “Starry Night”.  This shot has similar composition to that master piece.  This is straight out from my dear Nikon D3.  I may work on this piece later to make a piece to shine.  ISO 100, 17 mm lens, F2.8, 30 seconds shutter speed.

I love photographing “Night”.

PS. I shot this in our back yard.

PS2.  We do offer Photography Tours and Workshops in Maui.  Please call (808) 879-5753.

Good night…

Traveling is great but there is no place like home

Gracefull baby whale

For the last six years I have spent most of September in Tonga, swimming with whales and leading photography dedicated adventures.  I have just returned from this years expeditions and while the whales were ever-present I missed my family.

Each year it seems more difficult to be away for extended periods. Thank goodness for skype, email, and facebook.  These tools enabled me to stay somewhat connected to the family.  I was able to skype a few times a week and this helped the girls and I catch up and talk about recent events. Mieko recorded a video of Aya singing Happy Birthday to daddy.  This was the first time I had seen or heard Aya sing a song and was a landmark event.

My time in Tonga seemed to fly by and I am already looking for forward to next season. I am also dreading the fact I will miss the family again.

Next season I will be the guest host on three special liveaboard trips dedicated to whale photography.  The locations are remote and known to be very productive in terms of whales. For information click on swimming with whales,click here.

Is it a bird, plane, missle, helicopter, or whale

Until next September, I will be at home in Maui, teaching photography workshops, producing fine art, and creating portraits of families.    I  am very fortunate to be able to support my family doing what I love.

Jumping into a Maui Sunset