About Me

Hi World!

I'M Douglas J. Hoffman

My goal is to create portraits that evoke emotional response. Photography has an incredible power to communicate and tell a story within the frame of a landscape, nature, scenic, or underwater portrait.

My career started at the bottom, as my first photographs were created underwater back in 1988. Since then, I have earned a Master of Photography Degree, received more than 40 international awards, been featured in museums, published in books & magazines, and produced two short educational videos for children.

In 2016, I opened Koholā Gallery and featured my landscape and underwater work. Sadly the gallery closed in 2020 due to Covid and now my work is only available online.

My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.


When creating images underwater for the most part I create three style of images.  Each utilizes a different technique.  For macro or fish portraits I use a Nikon D850 and 600 mm lens in a Nexus housing.  For strobes I have two Ikelite Ds150’s.  I shoot only manual settings on camera and flash as I want to control the highlight and shadows.  For wide angle reef in perspective or marine life environmental portraits I use a Nikon D850 with a variety of lenses including 8-15 mm zoom, 16 mm, and 14-30 zoom. I have a Nexus housing and an optical glass 180 mm dome port. I use two Ikelite Ds150’s.  I use only manual settings.  For whale photography I use a Nikon D850 in a Nexus housing with 180 mm glass dome. I set the camera to shutter priority as I want to freeze the rays of sunshine in the background when possible.

When creating landscape images, I use Nikon D850 or Nikon Z72 with a 14 x 24 or 14 x 30 lens. My tripod and ball head is made by Colorado Tripod Company. I use breakthrough Photography filters to manage light including ND filters, graduated hard and soft ND filters, and Reverse Graduated ND filters.  I teach workshops year round in Maui, and introduce my students to these great products.


When creating portraits of marine life my goal is an environmental portrait that shows the creature in its natural habitat.   I don’t move or touch anything but rather observe, wait, prepare, and create when the moment happens.  Underwater having good buoyancy skills is the most critical factor and makes all the difference in the quality of images created. Patience is also required because marine life is on their schedule not mine.  When using strobes my goal is to manage the transition between highlight and shadows as to create depth, texture, and dimension in order to show the creature in its best light and tell its’ story.  When doing ambient light work, I add depth and dimension by managing the shutter speed.

When creating landscape images by the sea my style is to use motion as part of the composition. To do this I use filters to handle the technical aspect help me create a balanced exposure.   I use a slow shutter speed to create a silky affect on the water that rushes on the sand or between rocks with each incoming wave. Motion controls emotion.


In addition to all the wonderful mentors I have had through my career, the stunning imagery of my peers, it is natures landscapes, marine life, the ocean, whales, and light that inspires me.

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