Underwater photography is now more accessible, enjoyable and rewarding than ever. Our collection of recommended photography trips have been carefully selected for their outstanding photographic opportunities.
Why our underwater photography holidays are so successful
The world of underwater photography
There are so many opportunities for underwater photographers of all levels. Many resort-based diving destinations are ideal for photographers, while liveaboards take divers beyond the reach of day boats and often offer outstanding on board facilities for photographers.
Resort-based underwater photography destinations
We offer a wide-range of resort-based diving holidays with exceptional underwater photography opportunities.
In Indonesia, we offer a photography workshop in Bunaken with expert Dr Richard Smith, or our Walls, Schools and Critters trip idea takes in both Bunaken & Lembeh, two exceptional destinations for underwater photography. Bali and Ambon are also superb for underwater photography. The Philippines also has fabulous diving locations for underwater photography, most notably Malapascua, Moalboal and Dumaguete. Why not create your own itinerary with our island-hopping dive safari, based around the Visayas region?
In the Caribbean, the Bahamas offers fabulous visibility and superb opportunities for wide angle photography, most notably shark photography. In recent years, Bimini has shot to fame, offering the chance to take up close and personal shots with great hammerheads. Bonaire, along with the Cayman Islands are also popular destinations amongst photographers for good reason, while the beautiful light and ambience of Mexico’s Cenotes make for a unique and alluring destination for eager photographers.
While the Maldives tends to have stronger currents, a holiday to the Baa Atoll between May and September should be on any photographers wishlist due to the prevalence of large numbers of manta rays and whale sharks and the chance of some exceptional underwater images.
Closer to home, Malta’s wrecks make for fabulous photographic subjects, while a dive at Silfra in Iceland allows you to photograph two continents at the same time in 100 metre visibility - an entirely unique photo opportunity!
Macro photography focuses on the smaller inhabitants of our oceans. This type of photography is both immensely popular and highly addictive. Once you have mastered the finer aspects of buoyancy control and have your eye in, the marine world comes alive with incredible photographic subjects, many of which are courteous enough to stay put, allowing you more time to frame your perfect shot.
The weird and wonderful marine life of the Lembeh Strait provide the best macro photo opportunities in the world, while Bali and the Philippines' Dumaguete are not far behind and will keep you entertained for hours on end. Papua New Guinea is the birthplace of muck-diving and offers a range of subjects to rival any other country on earth, for more intrepid travellers.
Wide angle photography
Wide angle photography lies at the other end of the spectrum and draws attention to colourful reefscapes and the larger inhabitants of our oceans. While technically easier, this style of underwater photography is arguably more challenging as opportunities for exceptional shots of big marine life tend to be few and far between - and often fleeting when they do come.
Destinations that offer a the largest concentrations of big marine life such as the Maldives, Mexico’s Socorro or the Galapagos Islands or indeed the Bahamas are popular destinations for wide angle photography. Equally, destinations with exceptionally vibrant, colourful reefs and plentiful marine life such as Raja Ampat or Fiji make for wonderful destinations for wide angle photography.
Underwater photography and liveaboards
While a resort-based holiday often allows you the opportunity to dive on easier dive sites or repeat the same dive to catch the right shot, many liveaboards are geared towards photographers and by virtue of the fact they provide access to the world’s best diving, offer a great deal for photographers. Aside from the quality of the diving and the photographic facilities, liveaboards also tend to offer more dives and therefore more time in the water to capture some great images.
Raja Ampat in Indonesia offers such a bewildering array of marine life and colour that it must feature on any round-up of great liveaboards for photography. Komodo, also in Indonesia, while known for strong currents, also offers a bounty of superb photographic subjects to focus on.
While conditions in the eastern Pacific can be more challenging, the majestic nature of the marine life ensures photographers will not be disappointed. Head to Mexico’s Pacific coast for exceptional manta ray and shark action at Socorro or for the chance to photograph great white sharks in superb visibility at Guadalupe. A Galapagos liveaboard also promises encounters not only with unique marine species, but also with schools of hammerheads and, in season, whale sharks that will put any wide angle lens to the test, such is their size.
Developing your skills
The marine environment is key to creating good conditions for photography and this is even more relevant if you are looking to practice or develop your underwater photography skills. Having a variety of interesting subjects to photograph is one part of the equation, but there are others possibly of greater importance.
Dive sites with calm conditions that allow you to take your time make a big difference. Unless you are practicing your macro photography, good visibility is also hugely beneficial. Access to relatively shallow dive sites also allows you more time underwater to practice, while dive centres that have small groups and are familiar dealing with photographers, with good facilities will also improve your experience.
Bali, Bunaken & Lembeh in Indonesia are all ideal for developing your skills, as is Dumaguete in the Philippines. Jordan’s easy colourful dive sites are also ideal, as are many spots in the Caribbean including the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Bonaire. Or perhaps join one of our specialist dive photography workshops in Bunaken or Sulawesi where you can develop your skills with the experts.