Underwater Photography Courses

Baja Connections offer divers a unique opportunity to improve their underwater photography. Join us for one of our underwater photography courses ranging from one day to one week in length, with dive trips tailored to maximize your photo taking opportunities.

We here at Baja Connections would like to present a unique opportunity for divers who aspire to improve their underwater photography. Courses vary in length from a single day to a month or more and cover a variety of underwater photography methods including macro, wide angle, strobe use and photo editing. Underwater photography students will have the opportunity to join us on our daily diving and marine wildlife tours here in La Paz and explore the photo opportunities in the surrounding beaches, deserts and mountains of La Paz.

While the information and skills taught in most diving photography courses are important they by no means turn you into a good underwater photographer. The typical underwater photography course is very brief and does not focus on shooting with manual control and strobes, if you can afford it, live-aboard trips or photography camps may give you better results but usually at a price that is comparable to purchasing a professional camera setup!

In my experience as a photographer I learned the most by shooting, literally thousands and thousands of photos. Most photographers will tell you they delete more photos than they keep and the learning curve is steep with many dives going to waste because of any number of reasons, be it technical issues, improper exposure, the list is long. If you've been on scuba diving vacations in the past you realize they can get expensive. If you are new to diving you will figure this out pretty quick!

When you do manage to plan a dive trip you typically have no option but to join a group, making it hard to dive at your own pace and take the time you need to set up a good photo. Many underwater photographers simply do not get the opportunity to try new techniques or the time to properly shoot, adjust and re-shoot which is the most obvious benefit of digital cameras. Trying to improve your photography in this way can be frustrating and expensive; we here at Solitude Divers want to present you with a different option to improve your underwater photography.

While we cannot offer a professional underwater photographer to answer all your questions or an adobe Lightroom/Photoshop expert to tweak your photos we can provide you with a wealth of semi-professional experience in these areas and an opportunity to dive six times a week with an in-water photography instructor.

The course lengths can vary from one week to several months, the time frame is up to you. I would advise at least a one week minimum for best results but we understand some divers may have only a few days and we are more than willing to make up the extra time in the evenings. Courses of all lengths will focus on a variety of subjects, including wide angle, macro and special techniques. While we try to stick with "quality in quality out" sometimes underwater photos do need some editing beyond simple color adjustments and white balance, we highly recommend that underwater photography students use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for these adjustments.

How does the program work?

Baja Connections is a small dive center located in the city of La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico. We offer a variety of activities but focus mainly on scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the surrounding area, including the Espíritu Santo National Park and the island of Cerralvo. As an underwater photography student you join us on our normal day trips but dive with your photography instructor instead of a group. This allows you to plan your own dives and customize them to maximize your photo taking opportunities.

After you have arrived and settled in we will first meet with you and go through an introduction, including diving techniques for our area, any pre-dive prep for your camera setup and the sizing of any necessary rental equipment. For those who are new to diving or haven't dove in a while we can conduct some buoyancy workshops on the first few dives, these will greatly aid you in your photography skills and improve your air consumption allowing for longer dives and more photos.

The program is very flexible, we can teach all aspects of underwater photography and the course can be adjusted to suit your interests, available time and camera set up. If you only have one week available and want to focus on shooting macro it's entirely up to you.

No matter what aspect of photography we will be focusing on during the dives we will meet the day before and go through some photo techniques on land, plan our diving profiles and learn about the marine life we may encounter and the best ways to capture photos of them. In the evenings we will review your photos together, working on adjustments and technique as needed.

 
What will you need?

First, a Camera! We don't provide photo equipment for use and tailor your internship to your camera setup. If you are looking to purchase a camera setup for the first time we suggest you take a look at the websites listed below, they have a lot of information about what is what in the underwater camera world. Of course if you have any questions we will be glad to do our best to answer them. For the underwater photography courses it is highly advisable that you purchase a camera that can shoot in manual and stores photos in RAW format. Also make sure the housing you purchase allows you to access the manual controls of your camera.

Next, Strobes! Good underwater photos need a light source, while ambient light may work great for very shallow water photos or surface pictures strobes are necessary for anything shot below. You don't have to have two but it is ideal for eliminating shadows and reducing backscatter. Again this also depends on your camera setup, whether you are shooting macro or wide angle and the environmental conditions. In general if you are shooting macro one strobe will be sufficient. However having two strobes can allow you to be more creative with your lighting utilizing back-lighting and side lighting to bring out more textures and create a glow in more translucent subjects.

If you are new to underwater photography there are still many techniques to learn before the use of strobes. If a strobe is not in your budget do not be discouraged as there is still plenty to learn.

You will also need a computer for editing your photos, a laptop with at least 4GB RAM will be sufficient for the editing software to run properly.

Lastly, we will provide any necessary scuba equipment free of charge however students will need to have their own dive computer.

Prices

One Day course (2 Dives) - $150

Two Day course (4 Dives) - $300

One Week course (6 Dives) - $400

 

Contact us for more information.

 
Underwater Photography Links

Underwater Photography Guide

Welcome to the Underwater Photography Guide, written by Scott Gietler. This on-line book and magazine is a complete underwater photography tutorial full of underwater photography tips & techniques, and a complete dive destination guide.

Dive Photo Guide

Whether you're just beginning in underwater photography, simply looking to improve or fine tuning your established skills, the DPG underwater photography guide is designed to provide practical underwater photography tips, equipment requirements, and lighting techniques that you can put to use the next time you hit the water.

Wet Pixel

Wetpixel is the premiere community website dedicated to underwater photography and videography.

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