Underwater Photography Course, South Africa & Mozambique
Develop Professional Underwater Photography Skills in Africa
Advance your underwater photographic capabilities to a professional level while scuba diving in Africa’s most famed waters- home to whale sharks, humpbacks, manta rays, and so much more. Professional photographer and conservationist Fiona Ayerst and her hand-picked team of experts will focus on you becoming part of the marine world; daily routines include diving and photographing, tutorials, basic marine biology, free diving and editing photos. Enjoy relaxed nights at the Casa do Mar, just 50 meters from the Dive Centre, with a spectacular view of Guinjata Bay, or the Blue Wilderness Lodge on the gorgeous beaches of Durban.
- Undergo extensive, intense and detailed training on under water cameras and digital underwater photography
- Experience the progression from enthusiastic amateur to professional underwater photographer
- Enjoy night time photography and night dives if conditions permit
- Learn about macro and super-macro underwater work
- Attend multiple software workshops on Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere – specifically geared to underwater photographers
- Stay in stunning beach accommodations and experience everyday life in Mozambique or South Africa
- Where Guinjata Bay, Mozambique OR Durban, South Africa
- When May through October
- Focus Underwater Photography
- Suitable For Current or graduate students, self-taught aspiring photographers
- Recommended Experience scuba diving
Guinjata Bay, Mozambique:
Located on the Guinjata Bay, and just 50 meters from the Dive Centre, you will be staying at the picture perfect Casa do Mar. One of the first houses built on the bay, it has been standing tall and proud for over 50 years, boasting of sleeping 17 comfortably, offering full catering, a completely stocked kitchen, brand new beach deck, patio & large braai area. Mozambique is well-known for its magical white sandy beaches, extending for miles and miles of beautiful coastline, spotted here and there with lagoons, mangrove swamps, and barrier lakes. Spectacular wildlife in the bay is a massive attraction – exactly why you will be photographing here!
Durban, South Africa:
It is summer all year round for those living in the friendliest city in South Africa! Durban hosts an extraordinary mix of cultures and peoples, and is famous for having the busiest sea port in all of Africa, and one of the largest cities. Busy and bustling, there is always something to do in Durb’, whether it is going shopping at the Victoria Market, or retracing the steps of Mahatma on The Gandhi Trail. You will be staying at the Blue Wilderness Lodge, beautifully placed on the Golden Mile: 6 km of beach paradise unlike any other. Game reserves, cascading waterfalls, unique food dishes, and incredible wildlife are just some of the attractions Durban boasts of.
- Day-to-Day You will get up around 7 am and have coffee and a snack with the rest of your diving team! Breakfast is at 8 am; there we will re-discuss the learning goal for the day (goals will have had a full tutorial the day before, in the afternoon). Next we'll pick up our camera bags and walk to the beach, go diving, then home for lunch. After lunch we have a break for rest, then an afternoon theory lesson and tutorial on the goal for learning for the next day. We'll work on post-processing of photos before dinner and socializing. Normally everyone heads to bed early! All students get to watch a movie about the ocean or underwater photography together at least twice a week with a Q&A after.
- Underwater Scuba Dives Throughout the month long program, you will participate in 18 underwater scuba diving voyages. 2 of these will be pool based, and 16 will be open water in the ocean. In the pool, we focus on techniques to photograph and to work with human models underwater. Ocean expeditions will concentrate on photographing and/or filming local marine wildlife using both wide-angle and macro lenses.
- Cultural Expeditions All students will also enjoy 2 cultural expeditions. One of these will be water/surf based and focus on teaching the right skills to photograph human models at the water’s edge. The other will concentrate on photographing local village life.
- Free Diving You will partake in 4 underwater free-diving (no scuba gear) journeys. One of these will be pool based and focus on techniques to successfully hold breath underwater. Two will take place in the ocean, with one concentrating on locating and photographing local marine wildlife while wearing snorkeling gear and the other focused on working with human models underwater.
1 – 31 May (Durban)
15 – 29 May (Durban)
1 – 30 June (Durban)
1 – 30 July (Durban)
1 – 31 August (Mozambique)
1 – 30 September (Mozambique)
1 -14 Oct (Mozambique)
Cost: USD 2,750
- 20 dive package
- Practical and theoretical training instruction in underwater photography and videography
- Free diving course
- Food and beverages for your entire stay
- Accommodation: the rooms will be shared with other students (genders will be separated), or on request private or semi-private accommodation is available in the same dive lodge (at an additional cost)
- Transfer to and from airport for arrival and departure
- All required scuba equipment
- Scuba airfills
This course is focused on the development of students’ skills and advancing their underwater photographic and video ability to a professional level while experiencing some of the most incredible scuba diving that Africa has to offer. Students will finish the course with a professional level portfolio that will advertise their ability to photograph and film the marine world.
Your Photography Workshops
Diving workshops are in the morning after a group session highlighting our goals for the day. These ocean expeditions will concentrate on photographing local marine wildlife using both wide-angle and macro lenses. You will also learn how to photograph human subjects under water and on the shore. Each dive will emphasize different techniques and skills, which you will learn about in greater depth in classroom-style workshops. We’ll break for lunch to relax and re-energize. Lessons on underwater photography theory are in the afternoons. During these lessons you will begin to go over goals for the next day’s dive and sharpen your technical knowledge.
It is recommended you apply for this program if you have prior experience diving. However, if you have never dived before and want to learn, you can do your scuba training the week before the program starts. Both Blue Wilderness and Guinjata Bay Dive Center offer non-diving students the opportunity to train as scuba divers before the start of the course (4-5 days). For the benefit of the reef, it is recommend that you have training and are a competent diver prior to your arrival. Good underwater buoyancy usually comes with practice, and will enable you to more fully enjoy the benefits of the course.
Fiona Ayerst is a writer, editor, teacher, public speaker and conservationist specialized in the art of professional underwater photography. Her wildlife photography has won countless awards, and her work has been featured in famous magazines such as Time and National Geographic. She is passionate about understanding the relationship between animals and human beings, and protecting the lives of all creatures. Fiona is an extraordinarily talented and well-rounded individual, eager to spread her love of animals and marine photography to any student eager to learn. Fiona will be a teacher for all tours from mid September to the end of October.
Gil is Fiona's hand-picked trainer and past underwater course student; a passionate and talented photographer to help you learn.