The Philippines in my opinion is the perfect balance between blue water wide angle and critter or muck diving. I’ve dived the reefs here many times and the biggest difficulty you’ll have is choosing whether or not to go wide angle or macro. From the tiny critters like the nudibranchs, crabs and shrimps, to bigger creatures like giant frogfish on up to schools of swirling sardines, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more varied and photogenic environment to dive and take pictures in.
Who is this trip for?
This trip is open to anyone who likes easy going diving, doesn’t like being on a route march underwater, and would love to go at their own pace and if taking pictures to spend time unhurried underwater. With or without a camera this trip will deliver you all that. However if you’ve got any sort of underwater photo kit from a GoPro to a DSLR and would like to get the best from it then Duxy’s your man. His extensive experience leading trips and helping people of all abilities will sure to be of value to anyone even the slightest bit curious about trying underwater photography. The house reef diving in the Philippines is normally very straight forward and current free, so everyone from beginners to the more experienced will find it fun and rewarding to dive.
Why was this location chosen?
Magic Island Moalboal and it’s sister resort Magic Oceans on Bohol share the same level of comfort and hospitality perfect for the budding underwater photographer. Both resorts have an easy going charm delivering Philippine hospitality set amongst lush green jungle. The house reefs will wow you with loads of picture taking opportunities and short excursions up and down the varied coastline will give everything from classical muck diving, and also blue water drop offs and plateaus covered in corals hard and soft.
In Moalboal we will also have the option to dive the exciting Pescador Island just off shore, with schooling sardines swirling around our heads. I’ve done it a few times now and it’s a dizzying spectacle.
In Bohol there’s often schooling bigger fish and the occasional whale shark that happens by. So there is the potential to see everything from the very tiniest creatures to the very largest.
At both locations the plan is usually to do two morning dives departing at around 9am, then a third dive after lunch. I normally rely on up to the minute local knowledge as to where are the current hotspots, and unlike a regular trip, if a site is delivering photographically and we choose, then I like to repeat a site, this often pays dividends, not just for the photographers, but all divers usually benefit from this as you get to see the dive site at different times of the day and can get a real appreciation of what is going on at reef level.
Re-visiting locations and even the same marine life but seeing it literally in a whole new light, as the sun arcs across the sky.
What software packages will be used?
On the trips I teach Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop which are by far and away the most commonly used photo editing software programs in popular use. Don’t worry if you’ve never used them before or even own them, I can get you up to speed using my laptop if you desire. However if you’d like to do a lot of editing while away then your own laptop is probably a good idea.
If you already use another piece of software, no problem, I may already know it and the outcomes desired are usually the same, and I can generally work my way round it.
Shooting and editing video is a big deal nowadays as so many people have GoPro’s or cameras that shoot great video, so I can show you how to do this. Adobe Premiere Elements is probably the best option currently for most cameras at a reasonable price, but I also use iMovie, Final Cut Pro X and there’s a new kid on the block I’m learning, which is free, but very powerful called Da Vinci Resolve and works for both Mac OS and Windows.
What techniques will be explored?
With most beginners I start by teaching shallow available light photography, showing how to use RAW and/or using Custom White Balance to get good colourful confidence boosting pictures from the off. However in places like the Philippines it’s often a good idea to get up to speed shooting with strobes and extra lighting first, as so much of the subject matter needs extra light to show it at its best. With the proliferation of GoPro’s and other action cameras, a slightly different technique is required, and we will explore using filters and processing to get good colour in the shallows.
I will try and dedicate a whole day to shooting and editing video too. Once you are starting to get a grip on the technicalities we can explore, subject choice, composition and marine life behaviour to give you the skills to find, shoot and edit your pictures, raising your game as we go. With the more advanced I tailor my advice to suit their individual needs setting individual challenges as they wish.
What talks will be conducted?
I normally make time most days to present talks on a variety of subjects.
And I’m currently making all new ones on -
- Available Light – When, where, and how, to take advantage of the available light at your disposal
- Getting Flash #1 – How to mix flash and available light
- Getting Flash(er) #2 – Flash positioning and special techniques
- Composition is King, – Why good framing might be the most important thing you’ll learn.
- Shoot, Edit, Show – Making a video with your camera. Even if it doesn’t shoot video!!
- What a Fish Knows – a new talk I’m planning with fascinating facts about marine life and reef behaviour based upon the book of the same name
It’s not always possible or practical to fit in all the talks, but at the very least I like to get the primary ones about different lighting and framing and composition slotted in at some point.
As I will be diving alongside the regular group, I like to plan my day around this, and so I will be available to ask questions all day long, from breakfast until we retire, However on a long haul trip like this I like to try and fit in the talks after a third dive of the day or before the night dive if you decide to do extra dives. After the days diving has been done and for those not choosing to night dive, we will decamp to the bar with our computers and cameras for an hour or two chat about the days events and have a picture review session for those that would like, and to ask me further questions and solve any problems you may have encountered.
What Duxy says about the location/trip ?
I love the Philippines and apart from the beautiful reefs and the surroundings they sit in, the people here are really what top it all off. Friendly and good humoured with our comfort and leisure at the forefront of their minds. Nothing ever seems too much trouble, which all makes for the experience of taking pictures a real pleasure and never a chore. The guides are very knowledgeable and are able to spot things hidden within the reef with an almost supernatural skill, and as this area is so popular with photographers they know very well what sites are going to deliver whatever lens you’ve chosen to shoot with.
Itinerary (Moalboal & Bohol):
|07 November 2017||Fly Heathrow 13:40 to Dubai 00:40|
|08 November 2017||Fly Dubai 02:45 to Cebu 15:35|
|Transfer Cebu airport – Magic Island|
|7 nights stay Superior de Lux cottage at Magic Island|
|15 November 2017||Banka transfer to Magic Oceans with 2 dives on the way (waves and weather permitting)|
|7 nights stay Superior de Lux cottage at Magic Oceans|
|22 November 2017||Transfer Magic Oceans – Cebu airport|
|Fly Cebu 17:05 to Dubai 01:10|
|23 November 2017||Fly Dubai 03:10 to Heathrow 07:10|
Each week costs £1945 or do the full itinerary above for £3140 saving a massive £745
- Flights with Emirates
- 30KG luggage allowance
- 14 nights’ accommodation (7 at Magic Island and 7 at Magic Oceans)
- Full board
- 25 dive package to be used flexible at both resorts
- Airport departure tax
- Manchester Departures available at the same price.
- Single Supplement (7 nights – £282.50 | 14 nights – £565)
- Additional dives (Package of 5) – £128
- NITROX Fills – (1 week – £87 | 2 weeks – £145)
To get your name on the list
send us an email or call 0208 655 6458 today!