Underwater Photography An introduction into documenting the underwater world

It’s almost time for my underwater stills photography course at Blue Wilderness on the South Coast’s Aliwal Shoal. Hosted by team Blue Wilderness,  I’m always excited to get back to the diverse and shark rich reefs of Aliwal Shoal.

Here’s some info to help you decide if this course is for you. I try to run this over a weekend but you’d need to take Friday off work. We will do a total of four dives.

Day one: 

We meet for a coffee and delve into your underwater camera/housing and it’s buttons and settings; we take a look at possible upgrades and why you could and even if you should! After that, we move into the basics of shooting in all the modes your camera will allow including the ultimate trip- full manual mode.  We will talk about maintenance and preparation of your equipment and by then you’ve had enough of me talking.  After a lunch break, we will spend the afternoon in the pool practising and you can ask me all your questions. We will prepare the cameras for the next day. Later, there’s an introduction to Adobe Lightroom, my post-processing program of choice. I’ll give you an overview of the interface.

Cost

R4900 p.p

includes:

  • 3 x nights accommodation
  • 4 x dives with SCUBA rental gear
  • Course tuition

Day two:

We will do a pre-dive briefing on the photographic skills to be practised on that day and then we hit the water with a vengeance. We do two dives and they are usually both macro dives on this day, conditions permitting. After a well-deserved lunch, it’s back to some theory. We’ll be looking at your shots from the morning and learning more about Lightroom at the same time. After the crit. session and a coffee we will get back into some more theory and cover such topics as wide-angle shooting; perfect strobe placement; use of ambient light; reading the ‘peak of the moment’. The Lightroom work for the day includes a look at the library and develop modules. We will set up our cameras for the next morning and then it’s time to relax.

Day three:

As usual, there’s a pre-dive briefing on the photographic skills we will practise and today it’s wide-angle we are concentrating on. We whip around the reefs seeking our sharks and turtles, both of which abound at the shoal. Same as day two, we do a crit session and then it’s time to choose some photos that really worked and some that really didn’t and to do a group discussion- helping each other to find out why- based on what you’ve been taught. Now, it’s time to really apply the knowledge you’ve acquired over the past 2 days. I will preside of course !! The Lightroom work for the day includes a look at the remaining modules, esp. the slideshow module and how to watermark and export correctly.

As a bonus, and only if you tag my courses,  I’ll also show you how to quickly get your best shots out onto social media, appropriately watermarked and resized so they can’t be stolen. For those who aren’t rushing off back to work, on this final evening, we will present a combined slideshow and presentation of certificates whilst enjoying a braai.

That’s a wrap.

recent posts

Shark Nets

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Shark Fishing

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Backgrounds

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Underwater children

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Snow leopard

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Journalist Shannon Manuel from Leadership Magazine, a Cape Media publication wrote this article about my work in August 2018.

Leadership magazine is aimed at dynamic middle and senior business managers and directors, entrepreneurs, an influential political class and those who aspire to leadership roles, across all sectors of the economy. The magazine provides insights and analysis of situations within the country, bringing forth an intelligent interaction with what is happening in the world today.

 

Dive trip to Bassas da India

Submerge Magazine October 2008

This is a story Submerge magazine ran in October 2008 about our dive trip to Bassas da India. Bassas is an uninhabited, roughly circular atoll that is part of the French protectorate being part of its southern and antarctic lands. It is located in the southern Mozambique Channel, about halfway between Mozambique and Madagascar. I was fascinated by the amount of potato bass we saw there. These fish were incredibly curious. They are the main thing I remember seeing in the water around the atoll. It seemed fitting that their name should be in the title. I also wrote about this trip for Divesite magazine 

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Here’s a slideshow of some adverts entered into a SCUBApro poster competition in which I was lucky enough to get first place.

Sometimes I get to review new underwater cameras. On this occasion I got to test the Sony splash and an ad was made with my photos. I am keen and available to test underwater gear should you require it.