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I’m back, baby!!!! :-)

Before we get to the story of the shots you see above, first a quick thanks to everyone who came out to my Honolulu Lightroom Live seminar. You guys were absolutely a joy to present to, and it was a really great way to end the year. My buddy (and one of the world’s best shooters), Joe McNally was there teaching the class with me (Joe did all the Live Shoots that day), and we just had a blast. Joe is simply amazing, and having him there took the class to the next level for sure.

Also, we had some celebrities drop by, as Photoshop World instructors Eddie Tapp and Randy Hufford both took in the day, and I was careful to make sure I harassed them both sufficiently. ;-)

I also worked in two shoots during this trip; the first on Honolulu with Steve Dantzig (who wrote the book Softbox Lighting Techniques for Professional Photographers) and he and I got rained out for our location shoot, so we wound up doing some studio work (more on this later in the week), and then on Maui I was invited to shoot some ancient Hawaii hula by Hawaii’s leading fine art hula photographer, Randy Jay Braun. (Click here to visit Randy’s site). Randy lined up a wonderful hula dancer, Tricia Dong, who is based up in Vancouver, Canada and was vacationing in Maui (she’s pictured above). Beside dancing traditional hula, she runs a fitness company called Code5Fitness.com.

She was really terrific, and so patient as we ran back and forth from our cars to the beach to shoot between the torrential rains during some of the Maui’s worst weather in six years. We still had a blast (and the first day’s photos are shown above).

We shot again at sunset the 2nd day, and McNally and Anne Cahill (from Nikon Professional Services) came along with us for the shoot (which turned into a flash fiesta), and I’ll post those shots tomorrow.

Info on the shots above: All taken with a Nikon D300 (it absolutely rocks by the way—even better than I had hoped it would be. More on this later). We shot under overcast skies, but there was still enough light to handhold the shots; most of which were shot at f/2.8 with a 70-200mm VR lens.

The effect on these shots took just two clicks in Lightroom. It uses the built-in “Aged Photo” Develop module preset, then I added my edge vignetting effect in Lightroom that I’ve been showing on my Lightroom Live Tour. Other than balancing the exposure a little bit, and sharpening; that’s it.

Good news: Randy noted that after this shoot, I now have a big leg up in the highly competitive Tampa, Florida hula photography market. ;-)

Thanks to Randy Braun and to Tricia for the opportunity to be a part of your shoot. Randy was just terrific (and he’s one hell of a photographer, and his calendars and fine art photos are for sale all over the island). It was so much fun, not even the rain could dampen my spirits. :)