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.

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