Welcome to my photography blog Beyond the Lens, where I usually have at least 1 (and often times more) posts related to photography each and every week.



Registration now open for 2015 Grand Teton National Park Photo Workshop

Registration is now open for our 2015 Grand Teton National Park photo workshop to be held June 26-30, 2015. Christine Hauber and I are preparing an awesome workshop that will include both field and classroom sessions during this 5 day workshop.

Dates: Friday, June 26 – Tuesday, June 30, 2015   Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Skill Level: Beginner to advanced Class Size: Limited to 10 students
Type: Field & Classroom Status: Registration is open. Click here for more info.


For more information and photos on this workshop you can visit my 2015 Grand Teton Photo Workshop page.

Balloon Fiesta 2014: A Photo Essay and Time Lapse

On Saturday, October 11, 2014 I had the opportunity to head down from Santa Fe to view and photograph the dawn patrol and mass ascension of hot air balloons at the 2014 Albuquerque, New Mexico Balloon Fiesta.

I headed down with my colleague Christine Hauber. The alarm went off at 3:15am so we could leave Santa Fe at 4am and make the 45 minute trip down to Albuquerque.

It was a good thing we left so early. We were able to park very close to the gate and had plenty of time to get our bearings set before the dawn patrol went up. Watching the news that evening we learned that traffic jams later in the morning prevented many people from getting down to the Fiesta and they even had to close the exit for a while due to the traffic.

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The making of my Blood Moon over Abiquiu photo

Early morning on October 8th, 2014 I had the good fortune of photographing my second blood moon of the year. In April I was in North Scottsdale, Arizona when I photographed my “Lunar Eclipse Blood Moon over Phoenix” and this time I was in Abiquiu, New Mexico – about an hour north of Santa Fe. Here is how I created it.

Blood Moon over Abiquiu

“Blood Moon over Abiquiu”


First the planning:

Two days prior to the eclipse I went scouting in the Abiquiu area with my colleague Christine Hauber. I had a very specific idea in mind and we spent all day looking for the perfect spot. I was looking for an old adobe building – preferably an old church – that I could use in the foreground of my photo. When people looked at the photo I wanted them to think of New Mexico.

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Just announced: Perfect Photo Suite 9 Crash Course in Tempe, AZ

After quickly selling out for our 2-Day Crash Course on Perfect Photo Suite 9 in Scottsdale, Arizona this November, we have added a second class date in Tempe, AZ on December 13 & 14, 2014.


This will be our 4th Perfect Photo Suite crash course this year. The other two were in Phoenix, AZ and Santa Fe, NM.

Learn all about image enhancement and effects with onOne Software’s new Perfect Photo Suite 9 in a small classroom with 14 students and two teachers. There will be plenty of time for one-on-one help in-between demonstrations and lectures.

For full details you can visit the information and registration page.

Here are some testimonials from earlier classes:

Steve H.

"[This class] exceeded my expectations. Getting 16 hours of instruction from two knowledgeable photographer/software/communicators for less than $20 an hour is a real bargain...other than the folks at onOne, I am confident that no one knows more about the actual use of the software."

Perfect Photo Suite class student

"It made me interested in going even further into photo editing than I had expected it would."

Richard - Tampa, FL

"This was the class I was looking for. I had been using Perfect Photo for about a year and had watched some of the video presentations but did not really have the feel I wanted for the program. I had been searching for several months for someone to teach a face-to-face class and finally came upon Matt & Christine after seeing a link through onOne’s emails. This was a crash course but it was perfect. Great explanations and demonstrations with plenty of time to ask questions and receive one-on-one time when needed. Matt and Christine’s experience as photographers and users of the software was very evident. It’s nice to have someone who actually uses a program in real life situations instead of a company representative. After sitting through this class, I can now start to do more with my photos and use Matt’s and onOne’s videos as refreshers to the class. I now have a better understanding of the capabilities of the program and what I want to do or need to do with my photos."

Perfect Photo Suite class student

"Great job – especially with patience. Some of my/our questions were repeats, but I greatly appreciate your patience and re-education where needed."

Jay M.

"After the course I came home and have been back through my India photos and reprocessed them all. I was able to really enhance my final output significantly. Kudos to you and your instruction."

The colors of fall in Santa Fe

The leaves are starting to change in the mountains above Santa Fe, New Mexico.


This was photographed with my Sony a7 and Sony FE 35mm lens. It was photographed in RAW and processed with a beta version of onOne’s upcoming Perfect Photo Suite 9 which is set to be released to the public in late October.

I never processed my RAW’s in Perfect Photo Suite before because the speed was way too slow for my liking, but Suite 9 has sped things up tremendously!!

Here is how the photo looked with no adjustments made – straight out of the camera:




Just how much faster is Perfect Photo Suite 9 than v8? Seeing is believing.

onOne Software’s upcoming Perfect Photo Suite 9 (available late October) promises speed gains over version 8.

In this video I will demonstrate the speed improvements using a folder containing 100 RAW images from the 36MP Sony a7R comparing browser speed between Perfect Photo Suite 8 and a beta of Perfect Photo Suite 9.

For more free tips on using Perfect Photo Suite 9 in addition to info on upcoming classes I will be teaching keep an eye out here on my blog at http://mattsuess.com/blog and to order Perfect Photo Suite 9 visit here.

Learn Perfect Photo Suite 9 in Scottsdale, Arizona November 22 & 23, 2014

Perfect Photo Suite 9 from onOne, the latest version of their excellent photo enhancement software, will be released in late October. Join Christine Hauber and me in Scottsdale, Arizona this November 22 & 23, 2014 where we will take you step by step through the entire program.

Scottsdale PPS8 2014 600px v2

In this 2-Day crash course on Perfect Photo Suite 9 we will go through all of the basics (and some advanced) features of onOne Software’s image editing and enhancing software Perfect Photo Suite 9.PPS9-appsPerfect Photo Suite 9 is made up of 7 different powerful apps integrated into one suite, and we will spend time in each app during the two days. I will demonstrate each module using my laptop hooked up to a projector. You will watch and take notes, and then following each lecture you will have the opportunity to work on your own photos using the techniques just learned as Christine and I walk around and help each student individually.


For more information on this class and to register visit the class information page here.

Better Landscape Photos with Lightroom Online Course

Announcing my new 3.5hr “Better Landscape Photos with Lightroom” self paced online course on my new online photography educational website http://learn.mattsuess.com


Join me as I show you how to process and enhance 9 RAW landscape photographs in Lightroom. Much better than a webinar, this course includes 9 of my RAW landscape photos that you will be able to download yourself to work on and practice as you watch the pre-recorded videos at your own pace.

You can read the entire course description here.

The course is priced at just $34.95 and includes the 9 RAW files and 5 Lightroom presets I created for this course. That amounts to just $10 per hour of expert training, an incredible bargain! There is even a FREE Trial you can sign up for to take the course for a test drive.

You will feel like I am there with you as I go into detail explaining the corrections and adjustments I make to the photos. You will benefit from working on the exact same files as I am, accelerating your learning pace.

Five Lightroom presets that I created are also downloadable and I show you how to install and use them.

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Announcing Perfect Photo Suite 9 from onOne Software

Today onOne software has announced Perfect Photo Suite 9, the next version in their awesome photo enhancement software, with new features that photographers have been asking for. It will be available in late October with new pricing that every photographer should be able to afford.


Stay tuned to my blog here for information on new classroom photo workshops using Perfect Photo Suite 9 in Phoenix, Arizona this coming October and November. Christine Hauber and I will be among the very first photographers teaching this software right on the heals of the new release.

A copy of their press release is below highlighting the new features and enhancements:

Perfect Photo Suite 9 adds lightning-fast Raw previews, re-editable files, improved selection tools and more

Portland, Oregon, September 2, 2014 — onOne Software has announced Perfect Photo Suite 9, an updated version of its photo editing and effects app for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. Included in the new release are many significant performance and feature improvements, all designed to help you streamline your photo-editing tasks, so you can spend more time shooting and less time processing your photos.

Among the key enhancements in Perfect Photo Suite 9 are:

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Editing screencast video recordings now for upcoming Lightroom online course

UPDATE: The online course is now available here at http://learn.mattsuess.com

Here is a screenshot as I edit the screencast video for one of the RAW photos you will be working on alongside me during my upcoming online class, “Better Landscape Photos with Lightroom”.


In this particular video recording I will be showing you how to use the Upright tool, the adjustment brush to mask one of the saguaro cacti to selectively fix a color cast, as well as showing you how to enhance the tone and color of the image globally and selectively.

Much better than a webinar, my course will include 9 of my RAW landscape photos that you will be able to download yourself to work on and practice as you watch the pre-recorded videos at your own pace. You will feel like I am there with you as I go into detail explaining the corrections and adjustments I make to the photos. You will benefit from working on the exact same files as I am, accelerating your learning pace. Five Lightroom presets that I created will also be available. The online course should be available for purchase by this upcoming weekend.

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