Howdy! Feel free to scroll down to the next post to get right to the tip for today. This post is just for folks that would like to see a few photos I’ve taken as of late. If you’ve noticed that I’ve been a little silent this week it’s because I’ve been on a cruise in Hawaii teaching Photoshop and Lightroom with Moose Peterson, Laurie Excel and Dave Cross. We’ve had a great time with the class and gotten some fabulous photo opportunities. I thought I’d share a few here:

1) Photo taken during sunset at Lahaina Beach

2) Another sunset photo from Lahaina

3) Sunrise at Wailea Beach

4) Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach

5) This one was taken at a hotel in Maui (the little girl’s father and I started talking photography and the light was just too good).

6) The lava flow on The Big Island from about 1/2 mile off shore on our cruise ship (shot at 3200 ISO – the photo just doesn’t do it justice)
Note: This one is just for fun. I thought it was an amazing site to see and wanted to share it with you. That lava flow doesn’t happen all the time and many folks come here and never get to see it. However, the photo is just too noisy and not sharp enough to print.

Please do me a big favor and leave a comment to let me know which one you like best (if any). I’m going to be doing some printing when I get back and maybe you can help me narrow the list down. Anyway, the cruise is over tomorrow and I’ll be really sad to say goodbye to some great friends that I’ve made during the week. Now I gotta go get some sleep. Getting up at 5:00am for a sunrise shoot. See ya!



  1. Seung 22 December, 2008 at 15:00 Reply

    I love the “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach”. Did you take the picture with CPL filter? Or did you just do some additional editing in LR? Either way, I would love some tips to take pictures like this.

  2. Nancy Morello 6 September, 2008 at 16:41 Reply

    I like the picture of the little girl the best. Love the way the light shines through her hair. Actually, all the pictures are great.

  3. Rob 6 September, 2008 at 14:46 Reply

    I really love photo number 4 (another sunrise). No words for it!

    By the way: Thanks for this great site. Very good for inspiration.

    the Netherlands

  4. Sarah 4 September, 2008 at 13:23 Reply

    I really like the first one of the flower. I think it’s that real intense painterly effect that the DOF created. Was there any other technique to that? I do a lot of macros and i’m always looking for a way to make them more interesting.

    I also really like the one with the sunset and all the people on the beach. I love how the sun hits off the sides of the palms. My question (im a serious amatuer remember) is how you got the sky and forground exposed and balanced? I’m nly familiar with using ND grads but i’ve never understoof what one is to do when theres something in the way… like say… those enormous palm trees that block the majority of the sky.

  5. Jason 21 August, 2008 at 22:20 Reply

    “Another Sunrise”, hands down.
    It is a breathtaking shot.
    They’re all very good, but that one is best of this bunch.

  6. Judi Mack 21 August, 2008 at 19:07 Reply

    My favorites are #1, 3, and 5
    You can almost smell the flowers! The sunset with the light burst with the clouds is amazing, and the little girl – precious, or should I say ‘priceless?’

  7. Andrew Anderson 19 August, 2008 at 18:05 Reply

    #2 is the best, as far as I’m concerned, because of the little self-referential story that I read into it–a bunch of photographers poaching a sunset, and one dude says “not as spectacular as what I was hoping for,” so he gets up and leaves. For me, this one is all about photography.

  8. Claude Biron 19 August, 2008 at 14:32 Reply

    My fave is Another sunset at Wailea … I would have like to see this at a longer exposure to froth up the water. Otherwise, great shot, perspective with wide angle.

  9. Mike Clemons 19 August, 2008 at 09:56 Reply

    The flower is a Plumeria, and it was excellent. I liked the beach with the big island in the distance. The clouds in the background bringing both sides of the bay together in the forground did a lot for the composition even though the bay shoreline was dark.

    To bad you missed the big surf. Pipe, Sunset et all are magnificent during the winter surf and a photographic challenge to say the least.



  10. L Lancaster 18 August, 2008 at 13:30 Reply

    The first pix totally captures the essence of Hawaii! The plumeria is the most common flower used in leis, and the clean light shining thru it represents the clean air of these Pacific islands. Looking at the pix instantly transports me to the 50th state, listening to surf, slack-key guitar music and smelling the ever-present scent of fresh flowers in the air. Great photo for the senses!

  11. Karrel Buckingham 18 August, 2008 at 12:17 Reply

    Wow, all the pictures are awesome, but I guess my favorite is #4. It was really a toss up between #3 & #4. Never been to Hawaii – grew up in SF Bay Area, live in Tampa Bay Area, who needs Hawaii.

    Anyway – love the sunrise pix. See ya Saturday!

  12. Tom O'Neill 18 August, 2008 at 11:19 Reply

    #4 . I got married at sunset on that beach August 14th, 1995. It is beautiful and brings back a lot of great memories. the photographer took a great shot of us with “Tom and Lorie Just Maui’d” written in the sand. The Four Seasons there will spritz you will compressed chilled Evian if you get to hot… wow what a cool place. Awesome shot Matt!

  13. Angey Price 18 August, 2008 at 08:13 Reply

    #4 is so totally rad!!! It looks alive almost, and really makes me want to be there! The purple on the mountain in the background… and the foam on the sand… the colors…beautiful!

    This is my first comment on your blog, so I want to thank you so much for all the tips and the time you take to help us.

    You rock… and that photo rocks!

    Angey Price

  14. Ted 18 August, 2008 at 02:43 Reply

    Well it looks like you had fun there,Photo #1 is a killer! Light,backlight,colour,contrast,Print,Print,Print.
    Might as well do a translation from Leonie zonneveld for ya,

    She wanted to let you know that photo nr1 is far out the best.
    Why? She did not expect this sort of photo en thought that i would be another one of many sunsets.
    She also says that she would like the flowers in the size to fit her wall,it would make her feel very happy for all time.

    Kind Regards from a very big fan of you,

    Leonie Zonneveld.
    (She is Dutch.)

  15. leonie 17 August, 2008 at 16:43 Reply

    Hallo Matt,

    Hoop dat je mijn mail kunt laten vertalen
    Maar ik wilde je even laten weten dat ik de eerste foto verre weg de mooiste vond
    Waarom? Omdat ik deze foto niet had verwacht en dacht dat het de zoveelste mooie zonsondergang foto zou zijn
    Prachtig die bloemen zou ze wel levensgroot op mijn muur willen hebben
    Zou mij er erg gelukkig bij voelen en blijven voelen

    Vriendelijke groeten van een grote fan van jou

    Leonie Zonneveld

  16. Colleen 17 August, 2008 at 10:54 Reply

    I really love #4. I have been trying to get a photo with that perspective and angle but just can’t seem to get it right. The light and the subject in that photo is breathtaking. Hawaii is on my short list of places I’d really like to go.

  17. adrian 17 August, 2008 at 10:47 Reply

    Hey Matt,
    You lucky dog in Hawaii, I love the second sunrise shot with the rocks in the foreground and the way leads into the image, the shot of the little girl was cute and the lava flow at least represents what you saw. Without digital probably would not have been possible? Do you think any of the software that removes noise would improve the file at all? Be curious to see the results. The sunset with the photographers shooting would be a great shot for advertising the class.

  18. Marcy 17 August, 2008 at 00:22 Reply

    I love them all but numbers 1 and 4 are my favorites. Makes me want to go to Hawaii again.
    And I will add I’ve learned lots from your Lightroom2 training videos on Kelby. Very in depth and so helpful.

    Thanks for all you do!

  19. John B 16 August, 2008 at 23:42 Reply

    Matt you really nailed the shot of the flowers. Perfect composition and manipulation of depth of filed. Then the little girl. Beautiful light and it is really hard to resit a picture of little kids. And then #2 with what must be your photo group in the foreground.
    I am kind of a sunset nut too. If you have time check out part of my collection on this page of my web site. Some are HDR but more than half are right out of the camera. You can almost get addicted to shooting sunsets in the tropics but you need to take time out to enjoy them too.

  20. Jamey N 16 August, 2008 at 22:08 Reply

    Hey Matt!

    This is going to be buried, and is probably not the correct way to ask this question, but I couldn’t find an email link to you, so here goes:

    I have a bunch of raw files on an external disk, which I connect to my laptop when I want to work on them. I am wondering, is there a way to work on the thumbnails (global exposure corrections, not meta-data) without being connected to the external hard drive? I’ve been checking around and can’t find anything. But I still hope.

    Thanks. And thanks for all the great info. I love this site!

  21. Eric 16 August, 2008 at 14:19 Reply


    I really like the way you framed picture 1 and played with the depth of field. It makes the foreground flower really pop.

    However, I think photo 4 is stunning. I love that you captured beach, rocks, ocean, and mountain all in a wide breathtaking landscape at sunrise. Congrats!


  22. Ivano 16 August, 2008 at 12:54 Reply

    Matt –

    Thr first one (flower) if my favorite. It screams Hawaii, and the color is terrific. My second favorite is the girl – I love this kind of light, very cinematic.

  23. Jim Thompson 16 August, 2008 at 11:38 Reply

    Matt, I live the shot of the Plumeria, the flower. Outstanding!! then the shot of the beautiful little girl by the pool. I’ll bet her dad appreciates that one. Or maybe he did as good or better?

  24. Ed Siciliano 16 August, 2008 at 09:30 Reply

    The flower shot – Sunset at Lahaiana Beach. Great color and fantastic composition. I am a flower shooter but nothing like this one.

  25. J Bedford 16 August, 2008 at 07:59 Reply

    I really like the lava flow, even though it is a bit noisy. Sort of adds to it…The light on the steam is FANTASTIC. I think you should really try to work on it, despite the noise. It’s not as detrimental to the image as you think it is.

  26. Carolyn Fahm 15 August, 2008 at 19:53 Reply

    My favorites were 4 and 5. I could feel the power of the tide from your low perspective on number 4 – it must have been a challenge not to let the camera get wet. And number 5 is pure magic.

  27. John Quadros 15 August, 2008 at 17:38 Reply

    I realy like the first one. One with the flower. I love the simplicity and the DOF. The one with girl is great too. Looks like a great trip and an array of subject matter. I would like to know the steps in making the display frames you use in this episode, if it’s not too much trouble. Thanks and keep the tips and the presets coming. John Q.

  28. John Quadros 15 August, 2008 at 17:38 Reply

    I realy like the first one. One with the flower. I love the simplicity and the DOF. The one with girl is great too. Looks like a great trip and an array of subject matter. I would like to know the steps in making the display frames you use in this episode, if it’s not too much trouble. Thanks and keep the tips and the presets coming. John Q.

  29. John Quadros 15 August, 2008 at 17:38 Reply

    I realy like the first one. One with the flower. I love the simplicity and the DOF. The one with girl is great too. Looks like a great trip and an array of subject matter. I would like to know the steps in making the display frames you use in this episode, if it’s not too much trouble. Thanks and keep the tips and the presets coming. John Q.

  30. John Quadros 15 August, 2008 at 17:38 Reply

    I realy like the first one. One with the flower. I love the simplicity and the DOF. The one with girl is great too. Looks like a great trip and an array of subject matter. I would like to know the steps in making the display frames you use in this episode, if it’s not too much trouble. Thanks and keep the tips and the presets coming. John Q.

  31. mattk 15 August, 2008 at 17:30 Reply

    Hi folks,
    Thanks so much for the kind words about the photos. I agree with most of your thoughts on the best, though I have to say I’m surprised about #4. That’s actually my least favorite of the bunch. They were burning sugar cane fields that morning and the haze made it so “bla” for me. I really had to do some magic with the adjustment brush and graduated filter on that one. Hmmmm… sounds like a good before/after post and maybe a quick tutorial could be cool. A few things:

    • Most of the wide angle stuff was shot with Nikon’s 12-24 lens. The flower and the little girl were shot with Nikon’s 18-200 VR lens.

    • I should have noted this in the post. The lava flow photo was only there to show you guys how cool it looked. That one will never see the light of day in my portfolio. It’s just too noisy. But you gotta admit it’s a beautiful site.

    • I wouldn’t print the photo of the little girl. I just really liked the photo and was talking to her dad about photography so I feel like I really got to know them. I actually took a few photos of her and her father and they came out awesome so I emailed them to him as well.

    Matt K

  32. Frank Torres 15 August, 2008 at 17:26 Reply


    I really like Another sunset photo from Lahaina. The trees in the foreground framing the beach and sunset give it a really nice effect.

  33. Christine Morgan 15 August, 2008 at 16:41 Reply

    Hi Matt – Love “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach” – if they were mine that’s what I would print. Echo Sean above in that it would be great to see a gallery of your work. Thanks for the great teaching you do – I’d never have got up to speed on Lightroom without it.


  34. RON 15 August, 2008 at 16:34 Reply

    nice pics Matt!

    I personally like #1 and #4

    I guess I am more a purist and dont like many people in my landscape shots, unless of course I am wanting to show scale.


  35. Mike Paterson 15 August, 2008 at 16:00 Reply

    I like 1, 4 and 5. I think each of them are just amazing. I’ve looked through them quite a few times and I keep coming back to 1 and 4. 1 (the flower) is just so elegant and pristine. It feels very pure. 4 draws you in. I feel like the water is pulling me out into the ocean (into the picture). Seriously great! Thanks for sharing.


  36. Sean Kukowski 15 August, 2008 at 15:50 Reply

    Hey Matt your best one is the 1st one easily. You know you should have a gallery page here at your website. I’m sure that everyone would like to see more. Sean.

  37. Jeff Baumgart 15 August, 2008 at 14:14 Reply

    Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach
    It leads the eye right up that mountain.
    This would look very dramatic in a large print.
    Great shot!

  38. Jeff Baumgart 15 August, 2008 at 14:12 Reply

    “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach”
    It leads the eye right up that mountain.
    This would look very dramatic in a large print.
    Great shot!

  39. Adrianne 15 August, 2008 at 12:30 Reply

    1, 3 and 4 are the best of that group….but I’m sure you have tons more to get through, as well! Have fun on the cruise!!

  40. Homer Arment 15 August, 2008 at 11:58 Reply

    I think the light on the little girl makes it the pick of the bunch and if I needed an entry for a contest or another sample to hang in a studio I would print that one in a heartbeat. That said, I can’t imagine hanging a stranger’s picture (even a cute one) on my wall at home. For that I would choose number 4 – another sunrise. That one I would live with everyday for a long time

  41. Hunter Harrison 15 August, 2008 at 11:51 Reply

    Definitely like the flowers best. Simple sunrise and sunset photos can be so “standard”. It is nice to see you found creative ways to use the scene.

  42. evanford 15 August, 2008 at 11:33 Reply

    My vote is for #2 but they are all great. Hey, what hotel is that in the photo with the little girl in Maui? My wife and I stayed at the Westin Maui on our honeymoon. It looks similar in the background as it has a wonderful man-made rock formation with a waterfall right there in the lobby. I have a shot of us in our wedding garb blown up to poster size hanging in our house. I didn’t use Lightroom to process the raw file though. 🙂

  43. Øystein Sanne 15 August, 2008 at 10:39 Reply

    I must say that #4 is the best.

    I know there’s many ways to add the borders like you do, could you say a few words about this, and maybe in perspective of LR2?
    I guess you know about the Mogrify-plugin, but AFAIK it doesn’t let me add frames like you do. If anyone knows a easy LR2-way to do this, I hope they could share it.

  44. Dumitru Tira 15 August, 2008 at 10:15 Reply

    the best one is the first, you could add more contrast and accentuate the blues a bit.

    ps: haha, me giving advice to a professional photographer and lightroom guru.

  45. Robert 15 August, 2008 at 10:06 Reply

    Begining to sound like a broken record – another sunrise at Wailea Beach and the one of the little girl are both spectacular.

  46. Brian Reyman 15 August, 2008 at 10:04 Reply

    Great shots Matt. I think my favorite is the second sunset photo.

    Also, I notice you’re displaying all in a Fine Art type of look. I REALLY like LIghtroom’s new ability to output to a .jpeg from the Print module – it makes this a ton easier. I also recently posted information on how to do the fine art print thing with a colored background directly in Lightroom. You can check it and a follow-up post at the following links.


  47. Dan F. 15 August, 2008 at 09:30 Reply

    They are good, but I like “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach”. Great lighting, and your position when shooting is excellent.

  48. Chris Barnes 15 August, 2008 at 09:21 Reply

    Matt –

    Judging by the names before looking at the photos, I would have said the “sunrise” or “lava” photos would be my favorite, but surprisingly – the “Photo taken during sunset at Lahaina Beach” is hands down my favorite image!

    Thanks for sharing and all you do!

  49. David Pascoe 15 August, 2008 at 08:02 Reply

    The bokeh on #1 is lovely and the little girl is warm, but the 4) gets my vote for the most pleasing shot IMHO.

  50. Stefan 15 August, 2008 at 08:00 Reply

    Favorite is Another Sunrise…! For sure!
    I just love Hawaii! Fortunately my sister lives there so I go quite often. I have seen the lava flow up close and it is AMAZING! The ground is hot to walk on and all the cracks in the ground glow.

  51. jr 15 August, 2008 at 07:58 Reply

    Flower pictures are usually boring(always the same), but the one you present here was really nice. It’s up side down?!
    pic #1 gets my vote

  52. Alessandro Rosa 15 August, 2008 at 07:41 Reply


    Photo #1 is the best; saturation is really nice and the photo pops. 5 has nice light, but why would you print a photo of someone that you don’t know’s kid?

    I think the sunsets over Jersey seen from the west side of Manhattan blow Hawaii’s away anyday, so I wouldn’t go with those personally.

  53. JulieM 15 August, 2008 at 07:22 Reply

    I can’t take my eyes off the flower, #1. Stunning!

    (Your link to Laurie goes to Moose’s site, by the way…)

  54. John 15 August, 2008 at 07:18 Reply

    sunrise at the beach!!! Killer shots. Great mood to the pics! Quick question! Saw on the podcast a eat sleep photography shirt you had on. Where can I get it? Thanks

  55. symes 15 August, 2008 at 06:37 Reply

    I hate to jump on the bandwagon here but that is the photo that really blew me away..the rest are nice but that one is fantastic!



  56. stuart 15 August, 2008 at 06:35 Reply

    “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach” is my pick, but they are all great. Little girl image really captures a warm moment too.

  57. Niels 15 August, 2008 at 05:44 Reply

    “Another Sunrise at Wailea Beach” is the one that speaks for me the most.

    Like different aspects of that shot, the wide angle so the beach is involved, the stones in the sand/water which make a great guide for the eyes of the viewer, the two dark shores which make a viewport for the mountain with clouds in the background. Great that it sun is shining/rising on it.
    Well balanced, lovely!

  58. Joel Todd 27 February, 2005 at 19:51 Reply

    I like the first one. One with the flower. The one with girl is good too. And I’m a landscape lover…. haha. Looks like a great trip.

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