Dive Travel Tips

Dive travel tips for scuba divers and underwater photographers, including how to pack camera gear.
Diving with affectionate lemon sharks and turtles in Moorea, a great manta encounter in Bora Bora, and the strangely charismatic blue-eyed eels of Faie. Discussions pertaining to the marine life personality ladder.
By Bryan Chu

Diving French Poly: Moorea, Bora Bora, and Huahine

Bryan Chu
Diving with affectionate lemon sharks and turtles in Moorea, a great manta encounter in Bora Bora, and the strangely charismatic blue-eyed eels of Faie. Discussions pertaining to the marine life personality ladder.


All of my shark diving up to this point has been with skittish, aloof species like scalloped hammerheads, gray reef sharks, white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks, and large but seemingly mindless whale sharks. (No offense, whale sharks – I still love you). As such, I have always thought of sharks as beautiful, amazingly well-honed apex predators, but not particularly high up on the “personality” ladder. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love sharks, but the ones I had seen were not winning any personality contests when compared to marine mammals, octopi, turtles, or cuttlefish. Not to say they were down at the bottom either, with the nudibranchs, jellyfish, crabs, and goldfish…but I would definitely put them in the bottom half.  


With my first dive in Moorea, I learned that there are, in fact, some sharks which are quite high on the personality ladder! I learned this courtesy of Neunoeil, a 3 m long lemon shark who is older than me by a year (she was born in 1984), and according to Moorea Blue Diving’s info on its resident lemon sharks, she is the “oldest resident alpha female, caring and affectionate.”

Throughout the dive, she followed us around like a very curious and friendly puppy dog, circling in for a closer look, then swimming off into the blue… but always coming back after a few minutes. Every time she came by, I hurriedly got my camera ready for the shot. But although she was nice, much to my disappointment she did not come right up to my dome port. It was still a lot of fun watching her swim by.

Part of her charm, and photogenic appeal, is that she is always smiling. That part comes down to her lemon shark physiology; her teeth are so large that she can’t actually close her mouth! That must make things a little awkward at shark parties. You know, like when you’re at a party with someone who can’t stop smiling…that gets awkward after a while, right? 

This was my first time diving with a shark with real personality, and it was phenomenal. There was no food in the water to attract her, but she just wanted to check us out and hang out with us.

The shop’s schedule for a typical morning 2-tank dive is one dive with the resident lemon sharks, and one with lots of turtles. Soon enough we started looking for turtles, and saw some nice ones hanging out in the coral. Shooting with a fisheye, there’s always the desire to get closer, but once they start making any kind of movement, I know that I’m too close and back off. So I couldn’t get right up to this guy, but it was still a decent shot.

There were also large clumps of fire coral, part of Moorea’s healthy coral ecosystem – watch out!

When Life Gives you Lemons…

For our second dive, the dive guide dropped a barrel in the water with a tuna head inside. The point was to attract lemon sharks with the scent, but not to feed them. And attract them it did, as we quickly came upon three sharks circling the barrel. Once we settled down on the bottom and stopped moving, they came fairly close to check us out, but mostly just kept circling and circling the barrel. I think it is fair to say they are also one of the most focused shark species. Nothing was distracting them from that barrel. 

On this dive we had Neunoiel and two non-resident sharks hanging out with us.

The next day our first dive was with lemon sharks, and this time there were a whopping 10 (!) large lemon sharks in the vicinity of the barrel. Neunoeil, Tampax, Stallone and 7 non-residents. It’s too bad they don’t wear name tags, as their distinguishing features are hard for the untrained eye to pick out. However, our guides were very sure about who had been at the party, and showed us afterwards in their illustrated book. 

As we crouched down in the sand between the corals, watching the sharks circling, I set up my strobes and camera for an upwards shot of a very close lemon shark (2-3 ft away). This meant increasing the shutter speed to avoid blowing out the surface of the water, and keeping the strobe power fairly low so as not to blow out the white undersides of the sharks. 

This was the shot that I planned before we even got into the water, my Playing to Win Shot which I thought I had a decent chance of getting. 

Playing to Win Shot: The ideal “competition winning” shot that you envision for the specific dive conditions, subject and background you are shooting. You can read more about this mindset here.

Although they are very large sharks, and they did come over to check me out, they were not coming close enough for me to get my playing to win shot. But that is the nature of shooting with a playing to win mindset – almost all of the time, you won’t get that perfect shot that you really want. But it will help you get the best shot you can, especially if using it in conjunction with a good Continuous Improvement Mindset. And most importantly, if the stars align and everything comes together to give you the split-second opportunity to take that winning shot, you will be ready!

As usual, there was temptation to stray from my playing to win setup. There were lots of large lemon sharks nearby. And if I only turned up my strobe power and dropped my shutter speed, I could get some head-on shots of them circling the barrel. But I decided to wait for my opportunity. So I waited, and I waited, and I waited. Nothing. And the sharks kept circling. Then our great dive guide came up and got me very nice and close, and two of the circling sharks started coming straight towards me, at a great upwards angle. But alas they turned, still maybe 2-3 feet too far away for my winning shot. It was still a nice shot, and one that I would have messed up if I had changed my settings to shoot from further away.

After spending some time enjoying the circling sharks, we headed off to look for nurse sharks (none to be found, shucks), and then returned to the barrel. I kept my settings as I had the first time, and then we had our best encounter, with Tampax. She swam right between Lisa and me, allowing for a very nice shot. Good thing, again, that I had stuck to my Playing to Win settings!

Turtle Mania


Later that day we went to Coral Wall, a site known for having tons and tons of turtles. The guide told me that on a bad day they would see a few, while on his best day they had seen 15. 15 turtles on one dive! 

I lost count of how many we saw on our dive, but I know it was at least 6. They were all sitting in the coral, nice and docile. Most of my experience with turtles has been when they are swimming. But the really neat thing about when they lie in the coral is that it allows for some very different compositions. The first was a bird’s eye view – I guess this makes it a bird’s eye fisheye turtle shot. What I love about this shot is that it brings out the amazing patterns of this green turtle’s shell – something which often gets lost in the mad scramble to photograph the photogenic “old man turtle face.”

The second was a “turtle’s eye” (right?) view of the turtle sitting in the coral, right at eye level. I love the effect of getting the fisheye lens so close to the turtle’s head, and how that lets me take advantage of the distortion of the fisheye lens to add a feeling of depth to the photo.


What a great day of diving…10 lemon sharks, 6 turtles and some very high quality, close-up encounters. Certainly nothing to complain about there.

Dive Logistics

Diving with Moorea Blue Diving was fantastic. The dive guides knew their stuff and were very friendly. The rental gear was top notch and communication with the shop was excellent. We were staying in Tahiti, and each morning we took the 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Papeete to Moorea. From the Moore ferry terminal, the owner picked us up to take us to the shop, and then dropped us back at the terminal when we were done. It would make more sense to stay in Moorea to dive there, but it still works fine from Tahiti if you don’t have time (for us, we decided too last minute to get good accommodations). 

Bonus Activity - Lagoonarium

Another interesting attraction in Moorea was the Lagoonarium, a great snorkeling setup with small huts and a course of underwater ropes out on a small motu (island) 5 minutes by boat from Moorea. There they did feedings to attract large amounts of blacktip sharks, stingrays, and all kinds of fish. It’s a lot of fun to do for half a day, but I would prioritize the diving over doing this activity if time is limited. 

Final Thoughts on Moorea

As we had not had any good turtle or lemon shark experiences diving elsewhere in French Polynesia, this was the perfect complement to our experiences in Fakarava and Bora Bora. If you are already on Moorea, for example for the humpback trip, I think it’s a no-brainer to at least do one or two days with the lemon sharks and turtles. If you are going somewhere else, like Fakarava or Rangiroa, then it would be easy to add a day or two. The lemon sharks and turtles are a very nice complement to all the reef sharks and fish in Fakarava. And if you wanted to do more diving in Moorea, the conditions are great for beginners, and there are other dive site options so you don’t get bored. 

Bora Bora

We did a total of five dives on Bora Bora. Yes, Bora Bora of the crazily expensive overwater bungalow fame. But instead of spending lots of money on luxury accommodations, we rented an AirBnB in town for less than $100/night and used the money we saved to get in the water a lot!

Inside the reef, the visibility was decent but not amazing, and there were mantas everywhere. At one point we had three swim past us. I think we probably saw 7 or more over the course of a dive, though it’s hard to tell if there were any repeats. And we learned a very valuable lesson from our dive guide – the way to have the best manta encounters was to drop down to the bottom or onto the reef (being careful not to damage anything) as soon as you saw them, and then wait. It turns out that mantas are actually really curious, and if you stay against the bottom and stay calm, they will often come over and check you out!

That was very interesting, as when I dove with mantas in the Galapagos, it was a bit of a free-for-all where everyone scrambled to get into the path of the manta to get the best shot. But this sitting down nicely and calmly and waiting was a whole different, and much better experience. 

So while clinging close to the reef, I watched mantas circling around a few metres away – close enough to enjoy, but not close enough for a good photo. I kept my settings dialed in for my Playing to Win Shot - a manta within about 3 feet of me, just in case.

All of a sudden, one came right towards me. I could see right down it’s massive, gill-filled mouth. And my strobes lit it up very nicely, because they were set for exactly this type of encounter.

Then it turned and looked me over as it swam past. I have had close manta encounters before, but never the eye contact, the feeling of having one look me right in the eye. Seriously awesome.

After the encounter with this curious manta, I have decided to move mantas a few steps up the personality ladder. 

Dive Logistics

We went with Eleuthera Bora Dive Center, who were excellent. The dive guides were great, the rental gear quite nice, and the communication easy and smooth. They picked us up from our place before the dives and then dropped us off afterwards. We did two morning 2-tank dives and one afternoon dive. The morning dives tend to have one dive inside the lagoon, to dive with mantas, followed by one dive on the reef outside the lagoon, for sharks.

Bora Bora has a lot of luxury resorts, which are all located on the outlying motu islands, across the lagoon from the main island. If that’s your thing, go for it, but they are not particularly budget friendly. We got a very affordable AirBnB, which was basic but certainly adequate accommodation, about a 15 minute walk from the main town of Vaitape. As mentioned, it was less than $100/night. But bring some earplugs, as there are a lot of noisy roosters around!

Final Thoughts

Bora Bora provides great opportunities to see mantas and eagle rays in the lagoon, up close, though with potentially difficult visibility (mantas) or current (eagle rays) conditions. The diving on the ocean side was not terrible, but it was also not nearly as good as Moorea or Fakarava (or Rangiroa, from what we heard). Overall, it was fun, and a worthwhile stop for the mantas, but other than that there are better diving options in French Polynesia.


We didn’t really do Huahine justice for diving, as we only did a couple of easy dives. But we did have some other very cool underwater photography experiences. And we absolutely loved the laid-back, non-touristy vibe of the island. 

We did a morning tour called the “Natural Aquarium”, with Huahine Nautique. This was basically a snorkeling tour in a shallow area, surrounded by convenient ropes, where an old local fed the resident black-tip sharks and other reef fish. There were a ton of blacktip sharks, and although they came right up to Lisa’s GoPro (thanks, SeaLife Aquapod), they were more wary of my camera and kept their distance. So I didn’t get great shots of the action, but we did see a lot of blacktip sharks, and we did get some very nice video. 

After having issues getting blacktip sharks to “pop” when shooting them just in ambient light in Moorea, I decided to bring my strobes, and I think they helped me get a stronger shot here. Without them, the sharks would have blended into the background more.

Sacred Blue-Eyed Eels of Faie

What exactly does that gobbledygook mean? Well, it's only the name of one of the most charismatic and amazing underwater animals that you have never heard of. There is a river in the small town of Faie with a large population of very large blue-eyed eels, which are very friendly and not at all shy. As soon as you step into the water, they come right for you. We visited a total of three times, partly because they were a lot of fun, and partly to get the photos I was looking for.

The first time, I tried to use my strobes. Big mistake, as the brown water and very non-photogenic concrete and rock substrate impeded good photos.The next couple of times, I just shot ambient light. The river was too shallow to immerse into, so had to shoot everything blind.

This was another good example of using the Continuous Improvement mindset – shooting a location, checking the results, tweaking, iterating, and improving, and then trying again. And then again. It was only on the third visit that I got my best shot, below.

Actually, if I’d had more time I might have gone back once more if there was a day with particularly strong sunlight, to try to get more shots with cool light beams in them. 


Want help booking your French Polynesia dive trip? Visit the Bluewater Dive Travel website, or drop them a line at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com!

Bonus Video

Check out our short video to get a bit better of a feel for the lemon sharks, mantas, crazy black-tip chaos, island scenery, and, saving the best for last, the incredibly charismatic blue-eyed eels!

Gear Links

 Additional Reading


Bryan is an editor for the Underwater Photography Guide. He loves any activity that takes him out into nature, and is especially fond of multi-day hiking trips, road trips to National Parks, and diving. Any kind of diving. He discovered the joy of underwater photography on a Bluewater trip to the Sea of Cortez, and after "trial and erroring" his way to some level of proficiency, has been hooked ever since. He has not done nearly as much diving as he would like, but has so far taken underwater photos in a diverse range of places, including BC, the Sea of Cortez, Greenland/Iceland, Northern Norway, the Galapagos and French Polynesia.

After working as a chemical engineer at a major oil & gas corporation for 9 years, Bryan finally had enough (and it didn't help that he was living in landlocked Edmonton, Canada with frigid winter temperatures and no real diving to speak of). He and his girlfriend decided to pack up their things and travel the world; they started their journey mid-2018 and will visit a number of great dive locations along the way. He is very excited to expand his underwater photography experience and skills while experiencing new cultures and exciting parts of the world. Though he is also a bit worried about the following equation that has so far defined his dive travels: Corporate job ($$) = Dive travel ($) + Underwater Photography ($). Taking away the left side of that equation seems like it might put things a bit out of balance. But as he reasons, what's the point in life if you can't take some big risks and have some fun along the way?

You can find more of his photos on Instagram at @bryandchu and check out his travel and relationship blog at www.bryanandlisa.ca


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


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The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


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A quick guide to conveniences and features to look for on your next underwater photo and video liveaboard cruise
By UWPG Editors

Liveaboard Customizations for Photographers

UWPG Editors
A quick guide to conveniences and features to look for on your next underwater photo and video liveaboard cruise

Many of us have probably been on a dive trip where we are the outcast, lugging around a bulky camera with strobes and lights, getting dropped by the group while we frame a shot, scolded by the dive master for not keeping up, and flying home with less than ideal shots.

Once you've dived with a photo group, or better yet, a photo group with an operator that caters to photographers, you know you're in good hands. The best dive resorts and liveaboards make customizations to their dive schedules and facilities in order to make things easy, convenient and streamlined for photo and video shooters.

Below we highlight a few liveaboard boat features that will make diving (and all the photo gear processes in between) more streamlined and enjoyable. These photos are from the Undersea Hunter group, which runs liveaboard trips on their boats, the Argo and the Sea Hunter, to Cocos Island for incredible shark and big animal dive action.


Plan your underwater photo dive trip to Cocos Island with Bluewater Travel



1. Huge Charging Stations

These charging stations are built right on the dive deck so that divers can get their batteries charging without having to change out of their wetsuits to enter dry areas during surface intervals. Air blowers are readily available for drying camera rigs before opening them up. Each station has plenty of chargers - enough for all the lights, strobes and camera batteries we travel with.











2. Ample Camera Storage on Skiffs

The skiffs on the Argo and Undersea Hunter have much more space than traditional RIB tender boats. In open ocean areas like Cocos this is important so that divers can pad their cameras from the bumps of surface chop. The extra space also means that your dive buddy's fin won't get stuck in your sync cords when they back roll off the skiff.


3. Photo Equipment Savvy Guides and Staff

Working with dive staff and guides who know photo equipment helps you rest at ease during a trip. You can giant stride into the water knowing that they will grab your rig by the handle and not the fiber optic cord, set the camera somewhere safe after the dive, and look out for many other small things that could trigger floods, scratches or other damage. Good boat staff have sharp eyes that can even save your dive. They might remind you that the lens cap is on or that you forgot your focus light on a macro dive. This is a huge help when trying to maximize the photo opportunities on every dive.










4. A Photo Friendly Dive Destination

It goes without saying that as a photographer you'll bring home more images at a subject-rich destination. Macro critters are reefs are fairly consistent, but big animal hotspots can be hot or cold. It pays to do your research and speak to experts (i.e. the travel adivsors at Bluewater Travel) to make sure you're visiting during the best season for the encounters you have in mind, whether whales, mantas, sharks, schools of fish or any other big animal. When the dive site is at its potential you'll reap the rewards... and be able to show the evidence to your friends!


Plan your underwater photo dive trip to Cocos Island with Bluewater Travel



The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.


Tips to improve your photography and maximize the experience of underwater photo workshops
By Pam Murph

Get the Most from your Photo Workshop

Pam Murph
Tips to improve your photography and maximize the experience of underwater photo workshops

You’ve done it – finally booked that underwater photography workshop that has been on your to do list.  Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and count down the days until your trip.   Or, challenge your approach – get prepared, get involved and get bold – so you can get the most out of the experience.

The way in which you go about getting prepared and the mindset you have about a workshop can make a world of difference.  It has for me, on all the workshops I have done since 2011.  After finally scheduling that first underwater workshop, I asked a key question.  How can I get the most out of this?   I have participated in a number of workshops since, and here is what I have learned from my own experiences and from those I have met along the way.


Get Prepared

First, get in the mindset of preparedness – in all aspects of the trip. Learn something about where you are going.  Is there anything unique to the area – like Jellyfish Lake in Palau, muck diving in Anilao, or Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman.  Knowing can enhance your experience and you just might want to add on a few extra days to your trip.  As a first step in getting into prep mode start with some simple questions.  What is the weather like, water conditions and temp?  What types of plugs are used for electricity?  Do I need adapters for charging camera related gear?  What currency do I need?  Is my passport up to date? Do I need a visa?  These are just a few to start with, but many times it is easy to pass over these simple questions and steps.  All steps help lead to a successful experience.  



Spend some time with your camera gear before the trip taking pictures and getting to know it better.  I am not a full time photographer – so I can admit to not having the camera in my hands all of the time, forgetting certain settings and functions, and not always being up to speed. You may be laughing at this suggestion, but it is easy to think that we know our camera.  Do not assume – get it out and play before you go. In addition, make sure you are covered by equipment insurance and DAN. Accidents do happen – to your gear and to divers.   I had a “catastrophic” flood a couple of years ago, and my equipment insurance covered everything except a small deductible.  Things do happen.  Be prepared.



Check, double check, and then triple check you gear. If you think there are too many checks, consider a recent workshop I was on in Palau.   When I arrived and started putting my housing together, I discovered my housing handles were not with me. They were at home – in the USA, over 36 hours of travel time and half a continent away. That was a moment where I will admit to crying.  When you consider the distance and remoteness of the location, I was not sure I would be able to overcome this missing component.  Finding a store nearby with parts is hard to do in most of the locations we travel to for diving and photography.   So, I got vocal and started talking to everyone around me.   Lady luck was with me, and I found someone at Sam’s Tours who used my housing brand and lent me their handles for the two week duration of my trip.  I admit to not following my usual prep routine for this trip which includes the three check system above.   So make sure you have checked everything out before you go.  And then start thinking about spares. Go prepared with spare parts, especially o-rings, batteries, sync cords, and memory cards. Go prepared with what you cannot live without.  Overnight express mail is not an option.  Make a check list to use when packing (which I did not use when I left my handles at home) to make sure all your gear – camera as well as scuba – goes with you.


What is your Focus?

The first workshop I went on was about understanding and controlling light underwater.  I choose this focus because understanding light is key to what we do as underwater photographers. Each workshop is different.  What is the focus of the workshop that you are interested in signing up for – lighting techniques, shooting macro, big animals, wrecks, creative techniques or something else?  Have an understanding before you sign up and go. It helps in preparation for the trip and enhances your enjoyment as well as your overall satisfaction.  Each subsequent workshop I have participated in since that first one has had a particular focus for me like the one on new, creative techniques that I did not have previous experience with; or muck diving, or macro photography, and even ones that are destination specific such as Raja Ampat or Palau.  In addition, know whether this is a photography trip, where there is no formal teaching but a well-known photographer is along for the trip; or a photo workshop where teaching occurs with lectures and photo reviews from a professional.



Photo workshops are usually fairly intensive trips: three to five dives per day, being up very early or late in order to get a particular shot, changing gear between dives, downloading and sifting through files, lectures, photo reviews, preparing gear for the next day, and somewhere in there finding time to eat before falling into bed.  I was told these trips are busy, but did not fully understand how busy until after the first day or two of my first workshop.   Get a sense of how intensive the week is going to be.  It is worth all the effort you put into.  My first dawn Sting Ray City snorkel to understand light in the early morning, use magic filters, and take black and white photos produced a part of my portfolio that I could not have gotten without doing a workshop…and it was incredible!  And at that time, no one else was doing this setup so I got to experience something outside the norm because of a workshop.  Photo workshops are also not very conducive to family vacations because of the intensity.  Think before you sign your family up to join you on one of these trips.




What are your equipment needs for the workshop? This overlaps with your understanding of the focus and type of workshop you are signing up for. Know what lens, domes, ports, extensions, diopters, snoots, strobes, filters, scuba gear, or other equipment you need.  This will make the trip a better experience for you. For example, if you are going to be doing photo reviews nightly, then having your laptop can be crucial.  I take mine on all my trips so that I do not miss out on what I consider one of the most important components of a photo workshop – photo review sessions. They are extremely helpful – everyone shares a few of their shots from the day, learns from each other, gets feedback on how to improve their shot, and sees how others interpret the underwater world.  Also, the review sessions are scheduled around lectures specific to underwater photography and are not to be missed. This is your meat and potatoes of underwater photography.  Ask questions, get involved and try out what they are teaching you.  Then bring what you worked on underwater to the photo review session.



Go out on a limb during these photo review sessions. Do not feel like you have to put up your best every time – be open - put things in that you want to improve on. For me, I go in with the notion that in order to grow and take better pictures, I need to be willing to take risks and leave my ego at the door. This is part of the challenge – getting involved and getting bold.  I do this often and then when we go back to the same dive site later in the week, I am able to spend more time with the subject and get a better image because of the interactions in the review session.  Be a part of the process – participate.  Do not be afraid to ask questions, ask for help, or acknowledge that you do not understand something that is being taught. I ask a lot of them (probably drive the leaders crazy) and take lots of notes. You are paying for the experience and knowledge of the professional leading the workshop. They have a lot to share, as do the other participants.  This is a learning experience. Get as much as you can you of it and be willing to share your own knowledge with others around you.  And get to know your fellow photographers. I have made some of my closest friends this way.  We see each other often on other workshops and trips and even plan trips together.



Challenge Yourself 

Challenge yourself – at all levels of the process.  What are your goals for this workshop?  Is there a particular type of shot you want to polish? Is there a new technique you cannot wait to try out?  Are you interested in adding a model to your photography for the first time or learning how to work with models better underwater?  Do you have that new snoot with you or want to have a go with new equipment? Go with the mindset of getting outside your comfort zone, learning new skills, acquiring new knowledge and improving your photography overall. I went on my first workshop trying to really hone my close focus wide-angle skills. I was having a lot of trouble with lighting the reef and dealing with ambient light in the background. By the end of the workshop, I understood how to take this shot and get the picture that I wanted. When I was getting ready for my next workshop, I read up on homemade snoots and made one to take with me. I worked in the pool the first afternoon, tried it in the ocean, and then asked for feedback and suggestions on how to improve this technique with the leader.  I also took my new 105 macro lens to try out. By the end of the week, I had some shots with my lens and snoot I am really proud to show off.  The end results of these workshops across the last few years (see the photos with this article) are the product of the learning process, takings shots over and over, and then trying again. I have trashed thousands of photos along the way, but I came out with many keepers too.



Be Considerate

If you want to keep everyone on your good side, do not leave your manners at home. Show up on time for the boat and briefings, and have all your equipment ready to go.  There will be more camera gear than you can imagine on one of these trips. Be mindful of sharing and not hogging all of the space. There are a lot of open housings and changing of lenses and equipment between dives. Be careful on the boat and the camera table. Also, don’t use that onboard shower to rinse off after the dive without first looking around to make sure there are no open housings or water sensitive equipment in your line of fire. Spraying without looking just might get you thrown overboard!  Underwater, be mindful of where you are on the reef in relationship to other photographers. If everyone is shooting wide angle, then be aware that you could easily swim into someone’s shot. Look around and down to see what is going on (there may be someone below you taking shots at an upward angle). Watch your fins, get weighted probably, and make sure you have good buoyancy. This is essential for any photography.  If you would like to add a model to your shots, then consider trading out with another photographer or work with a dive guide.  Talk about the shot and what you would like to achieve before the dive – prepare - and then both of you can have a go at taking the shot and modeling for each other.  And in shots set up for the entire group, don’t forget to share the dive guide who is modeling for everyone.



Whether you are a beginner or an advanced underwater photographer, there is something to be found for everyone in a photo workshop. This is one way to take your skills to the next level.  Most would agree that we are interested in learning and growing in what we do as underwater photographers.  Just imagine how much better it could be by putting a little extra effort into the experience. When I finished that first workshop, I was so excited about the improvements I could see in my work and the quality of shots I brought home.  But the real test came when I shared with other underwater photographers and they could see the difference in my work.  That sealed it for me.  I booked another one on its heels and have continued to do so since.  So my challenge to you is…get prepared, get involved and get bold.  The proof will be in the experience.  Hope to see you on a photography workshop in the near future…jumping right in, prepared for the experience, making a difference in your photography.     





Contact Bluewater Travel for available photo workshops or help you book the perfect trip.


Pam Murph is a landlocked diver and photographer from Knoxville, Tennessee. Diving since 1997, she is a psychotherapist when not under the water and traveling. As a kid, she fell in love with telling stories through photography from her dad and continues that love by sharing the underwater world and its stories her own photography. Her photography can be viewed at www.pmurph.com or on Facebook at Pam Murph Photography


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.


New Survey: Top 10 Underwater Macro Photography Destinations, conducted by UWMP
By Brent Durand

Top 10 Macro Photography Destinations

Brent Durand
New Survey: Top 10 Underwater Macro Photography Destinations, conducted by UWMP

Where is the best place you could possibly visit as a dedicated underwater macro photographer? Ask many macro enthusiasts and you'll probably get a number of different answers.

A survey was conducted by the Underwater Macro Photographers and published in their latest eNews edition (#23). The survey was refreshing to see and a great complement to the breathtaking macro and supermacro images throughout the edition.

These rankings are from a diverse group of macro shooters. Keep in mind that many divers live in different parts of the world, so travel times, costs, time off work and the fact that these photographers are probably traveling exclusively to capture more amazing macro images contributed to these rankings.




1.  Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Heralded as one of the best macro and muck diving hotspots since the days of Larry Smith, Lembeh Strait's black volcanic substrate is home to some of the world's most incredible critters. Dive sites are close to the resorts (and even a daytime liveaboard) allowing photographers time to hang out between critter-packed dives. Night dives in Lembeh are always amazing.

The downside of Lembeh is that you have to transfer through Singapore or Bali, making it just a little more difficult for some people to get to. Also, a large number of resorts have sprouted up in the last few years, making it a little more crowded than it used to be.

Learn more about Lembeh Strait's best dive resorts and dive sites.


A Flamboyant Cuttlefish float-walks across the sand. Photo: Brent Durand


A Harlequin Shrimp pair peek out from their shelter. Photo: Brent Durand



2.  Anilao, Philippines

Anilao is a relative newcomer on the scene, but talk to bonified critterheads like Mike Bartick and you'll see why Anilao ranks a close second for macro behind Lembeh (and a 1st place in many circles) and has been greatly increasing in popularity. Sand and coral reefs combine to provide the perfect home for all the sought-after macro critters, including the reknowned Lembeh Sea Dragon. 

Just a 2.5 hour van ride from Manila airport, Anilao is relatively easy to get to and offers more diversity than some other muck locations.

Learn more about Anilao's best resorts and dive sites.


Mating Blue-Ringed Octopus in Anilao. See the full Mating Blue-Ring Photo sequence. Photo: Brent Durand


Profile view of a Zanzibar Whip Coral shrimp. Photo: Brent Durand



3.  Tulamben, Bali

Tulamben, Bali is home to the world famous macro site, Seraya Secrets, sitting right in front of two great dive resorts. Not only is this one of the richest house reefs in the world for macro, but the neighboring dive sites are also world-class, from the USAT Liberty wreck to the beautiful Coral Gardens and more.

Not only does Bali offer great macro photography, but some great wide-angle sites and a plethora of topside/cultural activities that can keep a non-diver occupied.

Learn more about Tulamben, Bali's best resorts and dive sites.


A Bumble Bee Shrimp pauses to have it's portrait taken. Photo: Brent Durand


Seraya Secrets is not only a muck dive site, but home to sea fans as well. Photo: Brent Durand



4.  Dumaguete & Dauin, Philippines

Dumaguete offers the perfect mix of everything a dive traveller would want - a great selection of resorts, a nice town, good wide-angle shooting at Apo Island, whale sharks nearby, and of course, excellent macro photography.

Learn more about Dumaguete and Dauin's best resorts and dive sites.


A green sea turtle stares at the camera mid-water. Photo: Scott Gietler



5.  Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat ranks high on many scuba dive destination lists and for good reason - pristine, healthy reefs teeming with marine life. Raja Ampat is often referred to as the center of marine biodiversity. Any while many photographers focus on shooting wide-angle scenes, the macro diving is also just as colorful and diverse. It's here that local divers first discovered the Denise's Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus denise).

Although you don't always see all of the critters you would see in Lembeh or Anilao, Raja has a diverse, large number of nudibranchs plus pygmy seahorses found at many dive sites.

Learn more about Raja Ampat's best resorts, liveaboards and dive sites.


A Hippocampus denise makes it's home in a fan among skeleton shrimp. Photo: Brent Durand


Glassfish make colorful macro subjects during safety stops in Raja. Photo: Brent Durand



6.  Manado, Indonesia

Manado, Indonesia is the jumping-off point for diving the famous Bunaken National Park. The park's walls, turtles and pelagic sightings are a big lure for most divers, however smart macro photographers know that the sites around Manado are extremely rich in critter life. From blue-ringed octopus to ghost pipefish to nudibranchs, Manado delivers. It's also easy to visit Manado as a combo trip with Bangka Island and Lembeh Strait.

Learn more about Manado's best resorts and dive sites.


A blue-ringed octopus perches up high before beginning to hunt. Photo: Brent Durand


Soft coral crabs have excellent camouflage, not naturally seen perched high on their coral host. Photo: Brent Durand



7.  Ambon, Indonesia

Ambon is off-the-beaten-path but known as a critter hotspot that also has great wide-angle photography, vibrant reefs, pelagics and more. UWPG recently published a complete photo essay on Ambon macro photography. Check it out here:

Rare Photos from Ambon, Indonesia

Learn more about Ambon's best resorts and dive sites.


The iconic Yellow Rhinopias from Ambon. Photo: Mike Bartick


8.  Mabul & Kapalai Island, Malaysia

Best-known as a jumping-off-point for diving Sipadan Island, Mabul and Kapalai Island boast some incredible macro photo opportunities and several resorts.

Learn more about Mabul & Kapalai's best resorts and dive sites.


flamboyant cuttlefish mabul kapalai sipadan maco
Flamboyant cuttlefish in Mabul, Malaysia. Photo: Scott Gietler


9.  Komodo, Indonesia

The biodiversity of Komodo, Indonesia will impress even the most seasoned dive travellers and underwater photographers. Between the large marinelife and plentiful macro subjects, every diver will have fun on a Komodo trip. Diving is generally done by liveaboard.

Learn more about Komodo's best liveaboards and dive sites.


Juvenile Ghost Pipefish shot on a night dive in Komodo. Photo: Dan Kurz



10.  Various locations

The survey only had 9 results, but there are many more great macro destinations - places like Alor, Indonesia; Puerto Galera, Philippines; Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Also, many cold-water destinations like Southern California, British Columbia and Norway boast excellent underwater macro photography. What places do you like to shoot macro that were left off the list? Email scott at uwphotographyguide.com and let us know.


Further Reading


About the Author

Brent Durand is an avid California beach diver, photographer and writer dedicated to capturing unique underwater, ocean lifestyle and adventure images. Brent is an editor of the Underwater Photography Guide. Follow UWPG on Facebook for daily photos, tips and everything underwater photography!



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From the Field: Photos of a Melted Lens & How to Avoid Frying Yours

Don't Melt Your Lens - Literally

From the Field: Photos of a Melted Lens & How to Avoid Frying Yours


Don't Melt Your Lens - Literally

From the Field: Photos of a Melted Lens & How to Avoid Frying Yours

Text: UWPG |  Photos: Anonymous




Divers on a recent Bluewater Photo boat trip had quite the surprise after lunch when one photographer picked up his camera to find the lens melted. Yes, you read that correctly… melted.

The camera was a Canon S95 in OEM housing with one strobe and one video light. But none of this caused the lens to melt. So how did it happen?

There are two culprits that melted the lens: the sun and the +10 diopter. A diopter does nothing more than magnify the subject in front of it – it’s basically just a magnifying glass. Any diopter would give the same "results" in the sun.

Many Swiss Army Knives feature a built-in magnifying glass. Why? Because it magnifies and narrows the intensity and heat of the sun, and if you hold it at the right angle to the sun with dry kindling underneath, is fairly easy to start a fire. Young boys who spend time outside also know that a magnifying glass and sun are great tools to melt plastic army men.

So when we apply this thinking to a camera housing left lens side up in the sun with a diopter on, it’s easy to see how the sun could pass through the diopter to melt the plastic lens on the other side.





On-Boat Camera Maintenance Tips


Keep your gear out of the sun!

The sun brings life and everything we have. But it also destroys the materials of our dive and housing gear. After you’ve rinsed your housing, put it in an AO Cooler bag in the shade or under a towel. Not only will this protect your housing from the sun, but also help prevent condensation from forming on the inside of the port.


Get your camera out of the rinse tank!

Known as “camera demolition derby,” this is the easiest way to scratch your port or to have a latch pop open with someone yanks their tangled housing rig out of the bucket. Dip your housing in the rinse tank and then put it in a safe place. If you do scratch your port, look into getting a micro-mesh kit to repair it.


Don’t put your housing anywhere it can slide!

Boats rock. When boats rock, things slide. The easiest way to keep your housing from sliding is to put is somewhere safe. You can read more awesome underwater camera maintenance tips here.


Further Reading


Where to Buy

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Tips to Get the Most out of your Next Underwater Photography Workshop
By Ron Watkins

Advance your Skills with Underwater Photography Workshops

Ron Watkins
Tips to Get the Most out of your Next Underwater Photography Workshop

Whether you are brand new to underwater photography or an advanced shooter, photo workshop dive trips are an excellent way to learn and improve your skills. They are also a great way to meet like-minded people and expand your u/w photography network.  When the u/w photography bug bit me, I decided to take a liveaboard workshop. At the time, I thought it was really expensive and that I should spend the money on more equipment rather than instruction. Looking back, it was the best investment I have made and after the hands-on instruction, critiques, feedback and in-water demonstration I had solid fundamentals to quickly advance my image quality.

Workshop trips feature instructors that are professional or accomplished photographers who are familiar with various techniques, equipment, destinations and enjoy sharing their love of underwater photography with others. There are a wide variety of photo workshops in various destinations, with different durations, focus and price levels. Live-aboard dive trips will maximize your bottom time and land based resort trips will offer additional topside opportunities. As video becomes more popular, many of the trips will also include sessions and techniques on improving video. Selecting the right workshop is often a personal preference, but make sure that the trip selected is offered though a reputable organization that has years of proven experience and positive feedback. Do your research and when you are ready to invest in significantly advancing your skills, book early because the best trips fill up quickly.


Check out all of our UWPG Photo Workshops and Trips.


While on a whale shark snorkel, a tiny filefish swims right up to the mask of this photographer. What would you do?


Preparation for the Workshop

Once you decide on a trip that is best for you, don’t just sit back until it is time to leave or you will not maximize the potential of the learning experience. Like anything in life, you will get out of the trip what you put into it. Follow these key steps to get the most out of your u/w photography workshop investment.


Determine What you Want to Take Away from the Workshop

The reason for attending a workshop depends on past experience, interests and how the person wants to grow as an underwater photographer. The following will help you determine what is important to you.


Basic u/w Photography Techniques


Proper equipment setup and care is critical before entering the water. Once set up, you need to know what your equipment can and can't do to in order to maximize success underwater.


Composition is key in photography, and learning about the rule of thirds, leading lines and other basics of composition is critical no matter what camera you're using.


Photo Techniques


Behavior photos tell interesting stories about underwater marine life. This wrasse was observed picking up clams and slamming them against a rock to get them to open. To capture images like this you have to be patient and often spend the entire dive anticipating a special moment like this. Other times it happens quickly and you have to be ready for the shot.


Wide-angle photography can be a challenge to learn because you need to have the right equipment, good control over your strobes and an understanding of how to shoot in manual mode. You can't be fumbling around with your strobes and camera settings when approaching a skittish school of sweetlips or they will scatter.


Shooting over-under split shots can be tricky, but with a few simple tips and tricks you can create images that will amaze even your non-diving friends. Add a model to the image and it will add an element everyone can relate to.


Fast action shots like this dolphin at night are easier to capture when you set a high shutter speed and preset your focal distance, waiting for the subject to swim into the focal plane (in sharp focus).


Combining the use of strobe light and ambient light is easy to learn if you know how to properly adjust your shutter speed and aperture. A diver silhouette and light rays are two other elements that can be added to make your image even more interesting.



Post Processing


Shooting RAW format provides the most flexibility in post processing your images. Converting to black and white can add a dramatic effect to some images, including this shark lit by ambient light beams.



Communicate Your Priorities to the Trip Leader

Once you prioritize the above items, you need to communicate them to the trip leader in advance so that they can be prepared. Not all trip leaders will be experts in every category, but if there is something important to you and they have time, they may research and practice the technique or determine if others on the trip may be experienced in those areas. The trip leader will also prepare material to cover the topics of interest and if needed possibly bring specialized equipment to use. Most good trip leaders will also send out an email well in advance of the trip requesting this information from the participants, but if they don’t, share it with them.


Inventory the Items in Your Toolbox

Several years ago I booked a photo workshop to Tiger Beach in the Bahamas and only brought a 10.5 fisheye lens. When I arrived to check-in at the office, Jim Abernathy asked me if I was using a 10-17mm lens because that is the only lens he shoots with and that the 10.5 would be very limiting. Luckily, I was able to find a lens and focus gear that same day before the trip started. If I had only communicated with Jim ahead of time, I could have avoided a lot of stress and a potential missed opportunity.

Making an inventory of your equipment is even more important before a workshop because the equipment needs to support the goals of the trip. If you want to try wide-angle for example, make sure you have the right lens, port, extension rings, focus rings, diopters, etc. that are required to effectively shoot wide-angle. Call experts at Bluewater Photo to make sure you have everything for the destination. Do this inventory well ahead of the trip so that if something needs to be ordered there is time for it to arrive and tested. If there is a critical piece of last-minute equipment missing from your inventory, contact the trip leader immediately and see if they can bring it for you from the shop or if they will have rental or demo equipment to use.


if you are looking to learn how to shoot better macro or super macro, make sure you have the proper macro lens, diopter and ports. One of the most important tools in macro photography  that is often overlooked is a high-lumen focus light.


Practice, Practice, Practice

If it has been awhile since your last dive trip or you have new equipment, make sure you make time to practice with the new setup prior to departure. If there is no convenient access to local diving, jump in the pool and practice with kids, models, toys, dogs, etc. It is also a good idea to go online to sites like www.uwphographyguide.com and read the articles on topics of interest for the workshop.  There are also a number of excellent underwater photography books on the market for all levels and sometimes the trip leader will provide recommended reading prior to the trip to level set the group. You won’t be expected to be an expert on the equipment when you arrive at the workshop, but you should at least be confident in the new features and how to use them. Try not to show up like I did for the Bahamas trip with the equipment still in the box.


Why not fine-tune your camera settings and strobe positioning in a pool shooting sharks?


Before I take a new piece of equipment underwater, I always spend a fair amount of time mastering it above water. I tried out my new super macro setup in my office to learn the minimum focal distance, how to manual focus, how to shoot with and witout the diopter and the proper camera settings.



Research the Location

Before every trip, I do a lot of research on the location and marine life expected. Read previous trip reports, look at photo galleries from the location and talk to others that have been. Knowing what to expect and the types of images to capture is important. I like to have a list, or script, of the subjects and techniques to try out on each. Don’t just try to duplicate others work, but look for your own personal style and have the trip leader help you accomplish that.


Prep Computer Hardware and Software

Besides the usual laptop, backup drives, memory cards, card readers and power supplies, make sure you have downloaded the necessary software you want to use for post processing on the trip. If recommendations on software are not provided, make sure to ask. Many post processing packages offer 30-day trials, which provide a risk free way to try it out on the trip. After installing the software and downloading all of the upgrades, become familiar with the basics, practice importing images, playing with all of the different features and if possible, get an online tutorial on the basics of the package.


At the Workshop – Shoot, Review, Improve and Repeat!

When the day finally arrives, you will be well prepared to make the most of the workshop. Approach it as a learning experience where you can learn not only from the trip leader, but the others on the trip. Don’t be shy about asking for help, questions, and feedback on images or equipment. When asked by the trip leader to share images for the review sessions, don’t be shy and participate if you really want to improve. Don’t just provide your best shots either, but include the images that didn’t quite come out as planned. Listen closely to the feedback received and work on incorporating it.

Make it a point to dive with the trip leader or other experienced photographers on board and watch their style and technique (without screwing up their images). Also ask them before getting wet if they will also watch you and your technique. Once out of the water, discuss with them what they were doing and recommendations they have for you.



Underwater photography workshops are an investment on time, money and vacation days, so make sure to get a good return. Prepare for the trip like you are preparing for an important business meeting and do your research like you would for any investment. It is best to be humble on these trips and take all of the advice you can get. Get out of your comfort zone and try new techniques. Although many of these workshops have ‘friendly’ competitions at the end of the trip, don’t make winning it your main priority or you will miss some valuable lessons. Most of all, have fun, enjoy the trip, make new friends and appreciate the beauty of the underwater world and unique marine behavior. Like underwater photography itself, these workshops can be addictive and most likely you will find yourself going on additional trips with the same organizations, trip leaders and fellow photographers.



About the Author

Ron Watkins is an international award winning photographer, frequent contributor to underwater photography guide, and Bluewater Trip Leader. He has been passionate about underwater photography and marine conservation since the 90’s and his photography has appeared in magazines, websites, juried art displays, national aquariums, libraries and private collections. More of Ron’s photography may be viewed at www.scubarews.com.


Further Reading


Ron Watkins is an international award winning photographer and writer. He has been passionate about underwater photography since 1996 and his photography has appeared in magazines, websites, juried art displays, national aquariums, libraries and private collections.


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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


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Strategies for Bringing all the Gear you Need and Avoiding Excess Fees
By Brent Durand

The Packing Guide for Underwater Photographers

Brent Durand
Strategies for Bringing all the Gear you Need and Avoiding Excess Fees

(Written January 2014)

It’s that little knot of excitement in the bottom of your stomach that makes the pain of purchasing of an expensive airline ticket dissipate. Underwater photographers will start to dream about the reefs, large fish or tracking down an elusive critter and capturing an award-winning photograph. That photograph might be a shot from the hip or carefully researched and planned, resulting in a few Megabytes on a hard drive or maybe even a framed print. Either way, that little reward required moving loads of fragile equipment through several hostile environments: airports, cabs, boat loadings and remorseless baggage handlers.

There is no universal way to protect your camera and dive gear while avoiding airline weight restrictions and fees - everyone has an evolving system. I've been settling into a system that has been working really well for dive travel, beating weight restrictions and allowing me to move quickly (and effortlessly) through airports with all my gear. This packing strategy is outlined below and includes some tips learned from very well-traveled photographers.


Underwater photography gear adds up quickly regardless of whether you're shooting a compact, mirrorless or DSLR camera.


Shaving Weight While Bringing the Gear you Need


There are three gear categories on my packing list for dive travel. I always try to follow the strategy of “bring what you need, nothing more and nothing less.” A home luggage scale is invaluable during the packing process and worth every penny.


Photo Gear

Will you really use that 70-200mm lens while diving 4x per day at a resort? Probably not. Do you need a full set of allen wrenches for that housing handle bolt? Nope, you just need a single allen key. Backup items (ie sync cords / fiber optic cables) are critical, so always bring those since it’s unlikely you can replace them while on the road. You could even earn good travel karma by loaning them to another diver in need.


Dive Gear

Underwater Photographers who frequently travel to warm water know that it pays to invest in lightweight (yet sturdy) dive gear because it takes little space and weight in your dive bag, leaving room for clothes and other items. A good travel BCD like the Scubapro LiteHawk will roll up into a lightweight bundle that takes little room in your dive bag. Unfortunately, cold water divers don’t have too many ways to save weight when it comes to drysuits, undergarments, backplates and other specialized gear.


Personal Items

This is another category that many new travelers can pair down for basic space and weight savings. One thing to remember is that while attire at many dive resorts/liveaboards is very casual, luxury resorts at some popular destinations have a restaurant dress code and you don’t want to be caught off guard.



Carry On vs. Checked Baggage


The real challenge in packing for underwater photography comes down to bag weight, whether carry-on or checked. Carry-on baggage is generally limited to 15-20lbs (7-9kg) while checked bags are limited to about 50lbs (22.5kg). This weight allowance disappears QUICKLY with camera gear.


Carry-On Packing

The packing goal for underwater photographers is to bring all critical elements as carry-on items. Not only does this protect your gear during travel, but also eliminates risk of a lost checked bag. Starting with a light bag is essential, so ditch that carry-on Pelican case. In my opinion, a padded camera backpack and a compact roller bag with padded insert is the ideal combination.

On international flights it’s wise to assume that your carry-on bags will always be weighed. This happens no matter how much you smile, complement the employee, play stupid, bribe, distract, flirt or even reveal that you’re carrying fragile camera gear. Having a friend hold your carry-on out of sight during check-in is a great idea, but remember that you’ll need to go through the process again on the way back.

Domestic U.S. flights tend not to weigh carry-on bags so it’s usually not a problem to push past the weight limits. There are two caveats, however. First is that some flights use smaller jets that have small overhead compartments, forcing travelers to gate check larger "carry-on sized" roller bags. The second is that you need to board the plane as early as allowed in order to guarantee there's overhead space left for the roller bag.


A camera backpack and low-profile roller bag carry all crucial gear.


Roller Bag

I use a Scubapro Cabin Bag because it is light and small enough to fit in overhead bins of small planes where many carry-on rollers need to be gate-checked. The small size draws little attention and fits a padded camera insert that contains:

  • Housing with camera body inside (no front port to avoid pressure lock when flying). I remove one handle to make it fit horizontally.

  • Macro port

  • 4” dome port

  • Dual sync cord

  • Diopter and flip adapter

A view inside the roller bag.
Note: Roll carefully and pick up the bag if the ground is bumpy!



I’ve been using the ThinkTank Shapeshifter backpack lately. It’s very comfortable, and even when expanded it has a soft shape that appears lighter and less flashy than a square camera backpack with the same capacity. This bag contains:

  • Laptop

  • Charger

  • 2x travel hard drives

  • Card reader

  • Fisheye lens

  • Macro lens

  • Wide-angle lens

  • Circular polarizer

  • Variable ND filter

  • 2x strobes

  • camera battery charger

  • Memory cards

  • Pen

  • Phone

  • Earbud headphones

  • Sunglasses

  • Aluminum water bottle I fill up wherever I can (bringing a bottle saves plastic and helps to stay hydrated on long flights).

  • Note:  This bag is slightly above limits but looks light on my back and is not often weighed. If it is, I can stuff lenses into my pockets (note: wear clothes with big pockets) to meet the weight limit, then put them back in the bag after checking in.

All other gear is relegated to checked baggage, including strobe arms/clamps, strobe batteries, focus light and charger, strip charger, and depending on the destination, additional ports/dome, an extra strobe, video lights & chargers, topside lenses, tripod, etc.

Lenses, strobes, computer and accessories fit nicely in the backpack with plenty of extra room for miscellaneous carry-on accessories.


Checked Bag Packing

I use a full size Scubapro Porter dive bag for my warm water dive gear and load it to about 47lbs. Gear is always a little bit wet when returning home, so plan for the extra weight before leaving. This bag contains my BCD, fins, regulators wrapped in a wetsuit and other dive gear.

Topside clothes are packed inside a lightweight dry bag that goes in this bag, along with non-critical toiletries and miscellaneous camera gear that didn’t make the cut as a carry-on item. The dry bag doubles as a bag I can carry onto the dive boat. This checked bag comes in right at 47-48lbs for warm water destinations.

For colder destinations it’s necessary to bite the bullet and check a second bag since the gear is heavier, bulkier and there is more topside clothing. Same thing for longer warm water trips or warm water trips where I'm bringing extra gear (video lights, extra ports/lenses, etc). For cold water I use a standard roller bag filled with clothes and drysuit undergarments, leaving extra space in the dive bag for heavy fins and larger cold water BCD. A hard Pelican case is nice if for those with a lot of fragile checked camera gear (i.e. extra housings, ports & camera bodies), but most people will be fine with a regular hard-sided roller bag if any "tough" camera gear inside is padded well. A regular bag is also more discrete in customs and on the street.

This bag combination was easy to transport (even without a cart) on a recent trip to dive the Puget Sound.


Three Items Not to Forget

  • Pen:  If you can’t fill out a customs form on the plane you might be at the back of the line once you track down a pen.

  • Headlamp:  You’ll appreciate having a headlamp when opening and closing your camera housing in dark areas.

  • Snack or Nutrition Bar:  Many international airports have limited food choices (if any) once through security and at the gate. You’ll be happy to have a snack to hold you over a few hours until food is served on the plane.


Other Packing Strategies & Tips


1.  For international trips on small planes with very strict weight allowances, try wearing a photographer’s vest. You might not receive the airport fashion award, but any camera bodies and lenses on your person don’t count towards checked bag weight!

2.  I prefer to pack the housing separate from the camera gear because I’m often in the water just hours before flying (snorkeling or freediving) and don’t want to put the wet housing in a sealed bag along with lenses and camera. I move the camera body (normally transported inside the housing) into the backpack if the housing is wet.

3.  Car Travel:  I do a fair amount of road trips to camp and dive with photo gear. There are no weight restrictions, however I still stick with just the gear I need and keep a very low profile because theft is always a possibility. Pelican cases are perfect here since they can be stored under other non-valuable camping gear and are protected from mud, water and other debris from roadtrip adventures.



Travel is fun, dive travel is even more fun and traveling to shoot underwater photos is extremely fun. Different trips require slightly different packing strategies but revolve around protecting the gear and beating airline weight restrictions. It’s important to look up the weight restrictions for your airline before every trip so that you show up to the airport packed like a pro and breeze through the check-in process.


Even the locals will want to be your friend when you arrive at the destination stress-free!



Further Reading


Brent Durand is a weekend wanderer and story teller from California.

Brent is an avid diver and adventure photographer, and shoots underwater any time he can get hands on a camera system. He can be reached at brent@uwphotographyguide.com.

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Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


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Not your regular packing list - these are essentials you may need and others may not have
By Scott Gietler

Must-Pack Items for your Underwater Photo Trip

Scott Gietler
Not your regular packing list - these are essentials you may need and others may not have

Must-Pack Items for your Next Photo Trip

Not Your Average Packing List - These are items you may need and others probably won't have

By Scott Gietler


I've seen many excellent packing lists out there, telling you to bring spare o-rings, various tools, gadgets, wires, etc etc. Some of these lists are 30 or 40 items long.  Bringing all of these items is obviously not a bad idea, however I couldn't help feeling that many of these items I either find myself never using, or always being able to borrow from other people (in a pinch).  So I started to think - other than your camera & housing, what do I see people really needing?  What are the things that are often very hard to get?

Ok - you need more than just a camera and housing.  You need a camera, housing, mask, laptop, and external hard drive.  You can pickup a 500GB external hard drive for $60 USD and a 1500GB drive for $99USD, so you'd be crazy not to have one for backing up your images.

This list of a dozen or so items is not meant to be all-inclusive, but it does list the items that I think will either be extremely useful or hard to find if needed.  The list is based on my own experience running underwater photo workshops for several years, along with input from experienced travelers like Mark Strickland, Ron Watkins and Michael Zeigler.

So here it is - in no particular order, the "must-bring or you may-be sorry" packing list.


#1 Micro Mesh Kit

If you own a dome port, at some point it is going to get banged up. And when it does, you'll wish you had a way to repair it on your trip.  Bring along your micro-mesh kit and you won't see that giant gash in your photos anymore.

Micro Mesh Kit for Dome Port


#2 Spare charger for your Sola Light / Ikelite Strobe

First of all, be very careful to check all of your charges and make sure they say 110/220.  I learned the hard way that my Energizer charger was only 110 - when I plugged it in (in the Philippines) it got fried.  Same with my UK light canon charger.

Most chargers will work pretty well when travelling, but I have seen my fair share of charger problems.  If you own a Sola light or Ikelite strobe, I definitely think having a spare charger is a wise investment. 

scuba travel


#3 Rocket Blower, Lens cleaner, O-ring removal tool

One of the most important task on a dive trip is cleaning your housing, o-ring, ports and lens glass. Having a Giotto rocket blower, lens cleaning fluid, lens paper, and a good o-ring removal tool will make this task a hundred times easier.

Rocket Blower


#4 Spare Strobe or spare battery cap

Yes - your strobe is your weak spot. I've seen people flood battery compartments, fry chargers, have their strobe stop working, etc, etc. If your strobe does flood, usually if you quickly dry it out and clean the inside, it will work again. You may need to replace the battery cap. Just to be safe, either get a spare battery cap or bring a spare strobe. For a once in a lifetime trip, some shops like the nice folks at Bluewater Photo might let you buy a new strobe and return it if it is unopened.

scuba travel


#5 Digital Luggage Scale

Ok - this item is not essential, but it sure is a lot of fun, and it can save you a lot of money in baggage overage charges. But the best part it, you'll easily make lots of friends in the check-in line by sharing your scale with other travelers.

digital luggage scale

#6 Universal Travel adapter

There's nothing worse than needed to recharge your laptop or phone at a resort or airport, and not having the right adapter. Travel adapters are small, inexpensive, and usually cure these ills immediately.


#7 USB Drive / Thumb drive

For $10 or $20, you can pick up a large capacity USB drive, so you can easily share photos on a trip with friends, put together group slideshows, etc. So the next time someone takes a perfect photo of you underwater, and they offer to send you the photo, slap a thumb drive in their hand and get it on the spot!

scuba travel


#8 Spare Computer battery (& TTL converter)

If any of your gear takes a lithium battery (like your dive computer, leak detector or TTL converter), it is sure to stop working during your next trip, guarenteed. Bring a spare battery, however, and the gear will most likely make it through the trip.

scuba travel


#9 Owners manual for camera & dive computer

On many, many trips - people need to figure out something on their camera or dive computer, that no one seems to know. Bring the manuals - they may come in handy. More often then you think.

scuba travel


#10 Micro-fiber cloths

These are essential for cleaning your lenses, LCD screens, or anything else you don't want scratched. Enough said!

scuba travel


#11 Lens for topside use

Don't forget to bring a zoom lens for some topside shots. Yes, I know the main subjects are underwater. But inevitably, there will be something on land you will want to photograph. Don't be stuck with just your underwater lenses (e.g. - fisheye or macro).



#12 Regular viewfinder (if you are diving with a 180 or 45 viewfinder)

If you usually dive with your viewfinder, don't forget to bring your original viewfinder along, with any tools you'll need to change it. Because if your pricey viewfinder fogs up, you will be in deep doodoo. This happened to my friend Jim on my Raja Ampat trip, with his Subal 180 viewfinder.


#13 Thinktank International Bag  

Last, but not least, the Thinktank International Bag is essential. I fit my D7000 housing, 105mm port, 6 inch dome, camera, 2 YS-D1 strobes, Sola light, and 3 lenses into this bag. Wow! And I carried it on the plane. The best part is the long handle, it was simple to roll it while I was walking, without leaning over at all. I will never again travel any other way.

thinktank airport international bag



So that's all folks. If you have anything to add, etiher leave a comment, or shoot me an email at scott@uwphotographyguide.com.


Where to Find These Items?

Want to pick up some of these items before your next trip?  The well-traveled team at Bluewater Photo can help.



About the Author

Scott Gietler is the creator of the Underwater Photography Guide and owner of Bluewater Photo Store. An avid marine naturalist, Scott is the author of the Field Guide to Southern California Marine Life. He was the LAUPS photographer of the year for 2009, and his photos have appeared in magazines, coffee table & marine life books, museums, galleries, and aquariums throughout the world.


Further Reading


Where to Buy

You'll find the Thinktank International bag, micro-mesh kits and other essentials at Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!




The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.


A Guide to the Best Big Animal Dives for Underwater Photographers
By Travis Ball

Top 5 Big Animal Encounters

Travis Ball
A Guide to the Best Big Animal Dives for Underwater Photographers

What are the best big animal encounters in the world?  The sheer magnitude of life on this planet is astounding with an estimated 50%-80% of all life found in the ocean.  As scuba divers, we spend lots of time underwater, but generally need to seek out photographs with the largest animals and fish on Earth.  Diving lets us go on safari every time we dive, experiencing a little piece of the deep blue each time we get in the water.

Who wouldn’t want to capture that experience and share it?  From mantas to whales, we have the same fascination with big animals under the sea that we do on land.  Here are some of the best destinations to experience these magnificent creatures.


Swimming with Humpback Whales

Whales are by far the largest creatures on the planet, and who wouldn’t want to experience one up close?  For humpbacks, your best option is Tonga, where there government issues a set number of permits a year allowing people to snorkel with and photograph the Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale. 

Whales in Tonga

Tonga, an independent kingdom made up of 176 islands, is about a 90-minute flight from Fiji.  The humpbacks head to Tonga from their feeding grounds in Antarctica to mate and give birth.  Most of the whale excursion tours are launched from the Vavau Island Group, one of the three major groups Tonga is divided into.

A snorkeler shoots photos of a humpback whale in Tonga.

Travelers can opt for shared open boats or private charters.  Photographers should choose the private, more expensive, option as you’ll have more time in the water with smaller groups and the captain of the boat will find cooperating whales and keep the boat in the best spot for good lighting. Here is great info on diving Tonga.

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is another option that has a lot of options available for swimming with these majestic animals.  Read our article on swimming with humpback whales in the Dominican.

A humpback whale dances with a swimmer in the Dominican Republic.  Photo:  Wilfried Niedermayr


Snorkeling with Whale Sharks

Whales may be the biggest creatures out there, but when it comes to fish, there isn’t anything larger than a Whale Shark.  Not a predator by any means, these gentle giants graze on plankton and can occasionally be found near the surface where we can interact with them. 

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

As swimming with whale sharks is a huge attraction, there are many places that market as being good destinations to see and swim with them.  We have three favorite spots that we like to target. Top amongst them is Isla Mujeres, Mexico, where massive numbers of them congregate in the summer. This location is near Cancun. The advantage of Isla Mujeres is the ultra-clear water that will allow to get some great shots. The disadvantage is the crowds - there can be many, many boats on the water. Read our Isla Mujeres dive adventure story.

Whale shark in Isla Mujeres, photo by Stanley Bysshe


Sea of Cortez, Baja

Other greta options include La Paz, Mexico and the Bay of Los Angeles in the northern Sea of Cortez. There are usually many whale sharks swimming in shallow bays feeding on plankton, and although visibility isn't great, you can get many excellent photos over a couple day period in either place.

Another location where they congregate is Cenderawasih Bay, in West Papau, where they are fed by fishermen. Oslob, Cebu in the Philippines is also gaining popularity as a spot where whale sharks are fed.

A general rule of them with any of these spots is to leave the scuba gear at home.  Snorkeling is the method most encounters will force you into, which is probably fine as you wouldn’t be able to keep up with them anyhow on scuba.



A whale shark feeds in the Sea of Cortez.


Diving with Mantas

Kona, Hawaii

Likely the most unique creature on this list, manta rays are also the most graceful of the bunch and the easiest to encounter.  What else could you hope for but year-round access and a location that offers guaranteed encounters?  Enter the famous Kona feeding dive in Hawaii, where divers sit around a “campfire” (a large light) on the bottom of the ocean and allow the light to attract large amounts of plankton, which in turn attract the mantas.  The Kona experience isn’t exactly a natural encounter but it is virtually guaranteed that you’ll see these unique creatures up close and personal. Read our guide to diving Kona for Mantas.

A Manta flies over the reef in Kona.

If you’d like a more natural encounter, head to Raja Ampat in Indonesia, which has a famous cleaning station called Manta Sandy that regularly attracts mantas.  While nothing is guaranteed in the wild, your chances of an encounter are good.  Bali and Yap also have similar natural encounter locations. 

Baa Atoll in the Maldives should also be mentioned, as it is a well-known host to a large gathering of mantas between May and July.  It should be noted, however, that the timing can fluctuate and the idea of a large gathering of mantas has turned experience into a bit of a zoo.  Stick to Kona or a well known cleaning station for best encounters.

Mantas circle divers during the famous Kona Manta night dive.

Socorro Island and Bali

Socorro Island has amazing Manta Ray experiences year round, in addition to sharks and the possibility of dolphins and humpbacks. A socorro island trip is sure to produce some great Manta Ray shots, and many other big animals. Read our Socorro Island guide.

Likewise, Nusa Penida island in Bali has a couple Manta Ray cleaning stations that attract large numbers of huge manta rays.

Yap, near Palau in Micronesia, has some well-known Manta Ray cleaning stations that are great for manta shots, and you can also usually see mantas in the German Channel in Palau.

A Manta Ray swims overhead in Bali.


Playful Sea Lions

Whales, sharks and mantas are all interesting to observe and take photos of underwater, but there’s nothing more interesting and playful than a dolphin or sea lion encounter.  Just as curious of us as we are of them, sea lions remind me of playing with your dog in the park.  Their agility in the water gives them the confidence to get up close with divers, and they certainly make any dive experience a fun one.

Sea Lions play during a dive in La Paz. 

La Paz, Mexico

The number one destination for experiencing sea lions has got to be La Paz, Mexico.  It is easy to get to, has clear, warm water, and is host to large quantities of sea lions.  Anacapa or Santa Barbara islands in Southern California and the Northern Sea of Cortez are other destinations where you have a good chance of playing in the water with these guys. Read our La Paz guide.

A Sea Lion barks at the camera in La Paz.


Getting Close to Sharks

Sharks are likely the most misunderstood marine animal in today's culture.  Avoided by everyone except divers, it is hard to include them on this list because the sheer diversity of shark species makes it hard to pin down any one place for one type of encounter.  Instead, we have picked a few different types of encounters we feel represents some of the best shark experiences a diver can seek out.

Tiger Beach, Bahamas

Looking for an up close and personal experience?  Head out to Tiger Beach in the Bahamas where you can dive cage-free with Caribbean tiger and lemon sharks.  These trips are often set up with in a two-dive combo where the first dive is bait free, for a more “natural” experience,  and the second dive uses bait to bring the sharks in very close. Read our Tiger beach diving adventure story.

Tiger Shark at the world famous Tiger Beach.  Photo: Steve Rosenberg


Beqa Lagoon, Fiji

Another good spot that uses feeding techniques to bring in sharks is Fiji.  You will encounter up to eight species of shark on these trips, including Silvertips, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Bull sharks and a variety of reef sharks.  If you’re interested in this, seek out the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, Fiji. Read our Shark Destination guide.

Blacktip reef sharks in Beqa Lagoon.  Photo Mark Strickland with Beqa Adventure Divers.


Shark diving at Beqa Lagoon, Fiji.

Cocos Island

Lastly, for a truly natural experience, meaning no feeding or baiting, the best are to head is to Cocos Island of the shore of Costa Rica.  Being an uninhabited island, there isn’t much on land to attract anyone out here.  What’s under the water, however, is a major draw for scuba divers.  Mantas, sailfish, dolphins, turtles and, of course, many species of shark, often in large numbers, can all be found out there.  Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks are the headliner, and can be found schooling if you’re there at the right time. Cocos Island has the advantage of having cleaning stations for Hammerhead sharks, which allows for some great underwater photos. Read out guide to diving Cocos Island.

Socorro Island and the Galapagos islands also have their fair share of sharks, along with other large marine life. Also, Rangiroa, Tahiti, French Polynesia at the Tiputa pass can be an excellent shark dive, with Silvertip sharks and several other species commonly sighted.

Hammerhead shark at Cocos Island, Costa Rica.  Photo: Randy Harwood


Schooling Hammerhead sharks at Cocos Island, Costa Rica.  Photo: Edwar Herreno


Get out and dive!

There you have it - the best areas around the world for diving with some of the biggest animals in the ocean.  While nothing is ever guaranteed, if you head out to these spots you can be fairly certain you’ll have an experience worth capturing and sharing.  Let us know if you’ve been to any of these spots in the past and feel free to share an image or two you might have taken out there.


Top 5 Big Animal Dives

  • Tonga for Humpback Whales

  • Isla Mujeres or Sea of Cortez - Whale Sharks

  • Kona, Hawaii - Mantas

  • La Paz, Mexico - Sea Lions

  • Cocos, Beqa Lagoon, or Tiger Beach for sharks



Further Reading


Travis Ball is a travel blogger and underwater photographer who recently finished 30 straight months of travel. He believes everyone should enrich their lives with travel and all the experiences it has to offer. His photography and writing can also be seen at his bloghttp://flashpackerHQ.com. 


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.


An ongoing article list of our favorite places to dive
By Travis Ball

Our Favorite Dive Destinations, Part 1

Travis Ball
An ongoing article list of our favorite places to dive

Our Favorite Dive Destinations, Part 1

An ongoing article list of our favorite places to take underwater photos

By Travis Ball



We decided to ask some of our regular contributors and well-traveled underwater photo friends what their favorite places to dive are, and these are the results.  Some are local favorites, others are remote destinations, but they all have a place in the heart of these photographers.  We will be showcasing 5 favorite destinations from new people every couple of months.


Scott Gietler - Anilao

Where:  Anilao, Philippines. 2.5 hour drive south of Manila, across the water from Puerto Galera.

Why: Anilao has a number of things going for it. It is some of the best critter & macro diving in the world, with all of the popular macro and supermacro subjects found on a regular basis, such as various octopus, juvenile fish, frogfish, seahorses, rhinopias, etc. – pretty much everything on the underwater critter list (http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/critter-list). It is relatively easy to get to, diving is usually surge-free, with healthy coral reefs and good diving conditions. Most dives sites are just a 10-20 minute boat ride from resorts, sites are not overly crowded, and guide to diver ratios are small.

Who: Scott Gietler is the creator of the Underwater Photography Guide and owner of Bluewater Photo Store. An avid marine naturalist, Scott is the author of the Field Guide to Southern California Marine Life. He was the LAUPS photographer of the year for 2009, and his photos have appeared in magazines, coffee table & marine life books, museums, galleries, and aquariums throughout California. 


Victor Tang - Ningaloo Reef

Giant Manta Ray

Where: Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia- Remotely located 1200KM from Perth, Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing reef on the planet spanning 260KM long. The reef can be accessed mainly from 2 small towns, Coral Bay and Exmouth.

Why: Although primarily famous as a major waypoint in the migratory route of whalesharks, Ningaloo Reef boast phenomenal coral cover, streching as far as the eye can see and reef life is just somehow bigger in size than other tropical locations I have been to. Sharks can be seen in abundance even while diving the in the shallows, with Giant Mantas make frequent visits close to shore when the plankton blooms. Macro life is also bountiful if you can pry your attention away from the big stuff swimming around, making Ningaloo a complete dive paradise for underwater photographers.

Who:  Victor Tang is founder of adventure dive outfit Wodepigu Water Pixel based out of Singapore and shoots with the Canon G12. He is a regular  to UWPG and his work can be found at www.facebook.com/WodepiguWW


Ron Watkins - Tiger Beach

Tiger Shark

Where: Tiger Beach, Bahamas – Easily accessible from Palm Beach, FL or about 20 miles off of Grand Bahamas is one of the sharkiest dive destinations in the world.

Why: This site allows you to get face-to-face (or face-to-dome port) with its namesake tiger sharks for incredible images of these beautiful creatures.  In addition to numerous tiger sharks with names like Emma and Baby Cakes, there are sometimes 10-15 large lemon sharks at a time that circle you for hours and allow you to compose the perfect photo. The waters around Tiger Beach also have some incredible reefs teaming with reef sharks for a different backdrop for your shark photos.  After a week on a live-aboard, if you still haven’t gotten enough big animal action, free dive with Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins in turquoise blue water or at night off of the Grand Bahama Grand.

Who: Ron Watkins is an international award winning photographer and writer and frequently contributes to Underwater Photography Guide.  He currently shoots a Nikon D300 camera housed in a Sea & Sea Housing with YS-250 strobes. Additional images from the Bahamas and other international destinations can be viewed at www.scubarews.com.


Michael Zeigler - SoCal Oil Rigs

Location: Oil Rigs - Southern California: A series of oil platforms dot the coast of southern California several miles offshore. A few of these are able to be visited by recreational divers, namely oil platform Eureka and oil platform Elly-Ellen. 

Why: These are about 20 miles from the coast, and sit in several hundred feet of water. Being so far from shore and in such deep waters means that you could be visited by a whole host of pelagic critters. Molas, large jellies and salp chains, massive schools of fish, and even pelagic sting rays have been seen here. Not to mention the playful sea lions to hang out at the platform. Huge Metridium anemones, scallops, and brittle stars cover the structure, providing unique photo opportunities.

Who: Michael Zeigler is editor-at-large for the UWPG, instructor & trip leader for Bluewater Photo, and an AAUS Scientific Diver. His underwater photography can be seen at www.SeaInFocus.com.


Mark Strickland - Fiji


Location: Fiji - I could never pick just one favorite dive destination, but Fiji certainly ranks among my top three. A group of roughly 330 tropical islands in Melanesia in the South Pacific, Fiji is roughly 1100 miles northeast of New Zealand. The capital and gateway city, Nadi, is located on Viti Levu, one of the two major islands.

Why: Fiji is known for its abundant soft corals, but there’s also a wider spectrum of colors than I’ve seen anywhere else. These vibrant hues, combined with healthy hard corals, dramatic topography, typically clear water and a great variety of reef fish make Fiji’s underwater scenery second to none. It’s also home to some of the best shark diving on the planet, and is probably the most accessible Indo-Pacific destination from the USA, with direct flights daily from the west coast. If that’s not enough, Fiji is also home to some of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere.

Who: Mark Strickland is a professional underwater photographer based out of Los Angeles, California and serves as DSLR and Travel Specialist at Bluewater Photo. He’s also active with various marine conservation efforts and leads international dive trips several times each year. Mark shoots with Nikon D7000 and D800; his work can be seen at markstrickland.com      


Keep your eyes out for Part 2 coming in a couple months...feel free to leave your own favorite underwater photo destination in the comments section!


Further Reading


Note: underwater photos provided by the respective photographers


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!




The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.


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