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Egypt's Red Sea


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#1 philsokol

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:35 AM

Greetings all,

I just returned from Dr. Alex's photo workshop in the Egyptian Red Sea. What a fantastic trip! The timing couldn't have been better as the political situation over the last few months has had the happy effect of keeping people away - we often had some dive sites completely to ourselves! Those who have dived this area know what a complete zoo some sites can be with sometimes a dozen (or more) boats rafted together with divers out of Sharm el Sheik. The trip was arranged to spend the first half diving the Thistlegorm, a British supply ship sunk by the Germans in 1941 and possibly the northern Red Sea's most famous wreck. Spending three days on the wreck gave us lots of time to scope out the most photogenic artifacts, return to improve our images and even plan out some shots with off-camera strobes.

Wetpix_Red_Sea_2.jpg
"Ellie's bike"

Wetpix_Red_Sea_1__1_.jpg
"Julian's truck"

Wetpix_Red_Sea_5.jpg
The stern

The balance of the trip was on the best reefs in Ras Mohammend and Tiran. Alex made sure we were there at the right time to get the site's best shot and we went back to a couple sites repeatedly in order to photograph them at their best.

Wetpix_Red_Sea.jpg
Anenome City

Wetpix_Red_Sea_1.jpg
Yolanda Reef

Wetpix_Red_Sea_2__1_.jpg
Jackson Reef

The group was primarily British (go figure) with a smattering of other Europeans and me, the token Yank. Everyone on the trip were fantastic diving and photography companions, cooperative and generous with their knowledge. It was pretty common to come into the salon and see a dozen laptops open, everyone looking over each other's shoulder sharing shooting and processing techniques and offering constructive critiques and advice. The good Doctor gave several talks on a whole variety of subjects from lighting and composition to how to get the signature image and made sure to spend time one-on-one with everyone. The crew let us dive our way ( :) ) and gave us the freedom to explore the sites on our own, a huge departure in an area that can sometimes have pretty rigid rules.

In short, everything you could ever want from a workshop. Very special thanks to Alex, the Whirlwind crew, and all the other participants for an absolutely fantastic trip! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Phil

More pics at http://www.philsokol...er/Red-Sea-0511

Edited by philsokol, 01 June 2011 - 05:40 AM.

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#2 Kimmeineche

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 08:31 AM

Hi Phil!

Fantastic images! I love the backlight effect on the Motorcycle picture and the B/W-image taken at the stearn!

whish I had been there......! :-)

Best regards from:

Kim Meineche
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Greetings all,

I just returned from Dr. Alex's photo workshop in the Egyptian Red Sea. What a fantastic trip! The timing couldn't have been better as the political situation over the last few months has had the happy effect of keeping people away - we often had some dive sites completely to ourselves! Those who have dived this area know what a complete zoo some sites can be with sometimes a dozen (or more) boats rafted together with divers out of Sharm el Sheik. The trip was arranged to spend the first half diving the Thistlegorm, a British supply ship sunk by the Germans in 1941 and possibly the northern Red Sea's most famous wreck. Spending three days on the wreck gave us lots of time to scope out the most photogenic artifacts, return to improve our images and even plan out some shots with off-camera strobes.


Edited by Kimmeineche, 01 June 2011 - 08:42 AM.


#3 AndyBarker

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:10 AM

HI Phil,

Great great images but I must ask were is the Turtle, also reading your thread I take it you may be looking to do the same trip next year??
It was a great trip as it always is, as Alex uses the same boat & the same crew, its great to have the freedom to dive our way, when the dive
guides tell you that we were the best ever group of divers/ photographers he has come across, we must have been doing something right`

Safe Diving,
Andy :)

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#4 philsokol

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:34 AM

Hey Andy,

Yep, Julian and I are already planning on next year's trip! That does mean you'll have to put up with me again :)

As for the turtle, you always gotta hold a little back from the forums! :) (but he is on my site)

Great traveling with you and like I said, looking forward to next year!

Phil
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#5 Rulo

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:43 AM

beautiful

#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 12:53 AM

As Andy says - some obvious ones missing Phil! I can't believe you didn't show one of "Phil's motorbike" or indeed "Damian's truck"!

Understand your desire to keep the turtle a little underexposed for now. At least I can say "I was there".

Glad you enjoyed the workshop - I really think it was one of the best I have run - for the attitude on board, the quality of the diving and images produced.

Hope you are enjoying staying on European time this week!

Alex

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#7 tdpriest

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:36 AM

It's so good to see the New World in the old one!

I have to say that after seeing those images, Phil, I'm agog to see the mysterious (presumably by now famous, as well) turtle shot!

Tim

:)

#8 philsokol

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:36 AM

I didn't mean to omit anything, just hoping others from the trip will share their images! Still, I'll add a couple more.

The holds are packed with row upon row of motorcycles and several different kinds of trucks. As Alex alluded, many of the artifacts acquired nicknames to differentiate them from the others based upon a distinguishing feature or the person who "discovered" a particularly photogenic composition. After seeing each other's shots during the day, we'd pull up a map of the wreck and point out the particular feature so that others could give them a try. There was the "Bubbling Bike" so named because it would often be immersed in a stream of bubbles after divers had explored the hold below, "Julian's Truck", a composition he discovered on a previous trip, etc.

With the help of our dive guide Yasser, Damien found an angle on a particular truck. After seeing the image, he and Julian planned to photograph it again with an off camera strobe in the cab. I tagged along :)

Red_Sea_0511__20486___Version_2.jpg
"Damien's Truck"

While in a narrow part of one hold, I came across a couple motorcycles that still had their head lamps

Red_Sea_0511__20189.jpg
"Phil's Bikes"

It really was the atmosphere of cooperation and sharing that made it possible for everyone to come away with great images, an atmosphere fostered by our illustrious group leader :) Special thanks to David and Debbie for their patience while I unconsciously monopolized the stern for this one:

Red_Sea_0511__20464.jpg

Again, thanks to Alex and all on board for a fantastic trip!

Phil
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#9 Newmediasoup2

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 09:14 AM

Greetings all,

I just returned from Dr. Alex's photo workshop in the Egyptian Red Sea. What a fantastic trip! The timing couldn't have been better as the political situation over the last few months has had the happy effect of keeping people away - we often had some dive sites completely to ourselves! Those who have dived this area know what a complete zoo some sites can be with sometimes a dozen (or more) boats rafted together with divers out of Sharm el Sheik. The trip was arranged to spend the first half diving the Thistlegorm, a British supply ship sunk by the Germans in 1941 and possibly the northern Red Sea's most famous wreck. Spending three days on the wreck gave us lots of time to scope out the most photogenic artifacts, return to improve our images and even plan out some shots with off-camera strobes.

Wetpix_Red_Sea_2.jpg
"Ellie's bike"

Wetpix_Red_Sea_1__1_.jpg
"Julian's truck"

Wetpix_Red_Sea_5.jpg
The stern

The balance of the trip was on the best reefs in Ras Mohammend and Tiran. Alex made sure we were there at the right time to get the site's best shot and we went back to a couple sites repeatedly in order to photograph them at their best.

Wetpix_Red_Sea.jpg
Anenome City

Wetpix_Red_Sea_1.jpg
Yolanda Reef

Wetpix_Red_Sea_2__1_.jpg
Jackson Reef

The group was primarily British (go figure) with a smattering of other Europeans and me, the token Yank. Everyone on the trip were fantastic diving and photography companions, cooperative and generous with their knowledge. It was pretty common to come into the salon and see a dozen laptops open, everyone looking over each other's shoulder sharing shooting and processing techniques and offering constructive critiques and advice. The good Doctor gave several talks on a whole variety of subjects from lighting and composition to how to get the signature image and made sure to spend time one-on-one with everyone. The crew let us dive our way ( :) ) and gave us the freedom to explore the sites on our own, a huge departure in an area that can sometimes have pretty rigid rules.

In short, everything you could ever want from a workshop. Very special thanks to Alex, the Whirlwind crew, and all the other participants for an absolutely fantastic trip! I'm already looking forward to next year!

Phil

More pics at http://www.philsokol...er/Red-Sea-0511


Just fantastic, Phil! Sounds like a phenomenal trip!

Cheers!
Jen

#10 Bigeye Bubblefish

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:08 AM

Hi to All,

Phil, Andy, I can only second what you have just said about this workshop with Alex. It was simply amazing.
I loved the great spirit of this trip and the generous cooperation between all photographers and the dedication of Alex.
I have the feeling that I have learned more in UW photography during these 6 days with Alex and all the folks on board than during the past 2 years.
I warmly recommend anyone willing to improve his UW photo skills to join this trip !!!
I'll be there next year.

As Andy and Alex said... where is the turtle ;-)

Few shots taken during the trip.

1. Thistlegorm
Posted Image

2. Stern of the Thistlegorm
Posted Image

3. Hold n 2, Thistlegorm
Posted Image

4. Turtle on Jackson Reef
Posted Image

5. Matins surgeonfishes on Ras Umm Sid
Posted Image

6. Coral garden on Shark Reef
Posted Image

7. Soft coral
Posted Image

8. Big truck in hold n1
Posted Image
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#11 Bigeye Bubblefish

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:11 AM

9. Platax schooling
Posted Image

10. BSA motorbikes, hold n2, Thistlegorm
Posted Image

11. Porcupine fish on Yolanda Reef
Posted Image

12. Sof corals
Posted Image

13. Sunset on Sharm El Sheik
Posted Image

The complete series is available on my Flickr account or on Fluidr

Many thanks to everyone on board for making this trip an amazing experience.

Damien

Edited by Bigeye Bubblefish, 04 June 2011 - 03:13 AM.

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#12 AndyBarker

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 07:16 AM

Hi Damien,
Great images the stern shot is just brilliant very well done. Its amazing the amount of information you learn between fellow photographers
then thiers the expert advice of Alex. I love these trips as you also get to meet great people & make new friends.
Till next time ,
Safe Diving,
Andy :) :)

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#13 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 01:07 PM

Looks like a great trip! Some excellent shots there!
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#14 andy_deitsch

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:50 AM

I'm a little late in responding but I agree with everything Phil, Andy and Damien have said. It was a fantastic trip and I learned so much in such a short time. What I found to be really valuable was how open everyone on the trip was. The time in between dives when everyone shared tips was really outstanding and a big help for me.

Alex, I've signed up for the first week of your Grand Cayman trip in January so I'm already looking forward to that! Here are some of my pics. The rest are all on flickr.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

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#15 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:34 PM

I have the feeling that I have learned more in UW photography during these 6 days with Alex and all the folks on board than during the past 2 years.

8. Big truck in hold n1
Posted Image


Two things, Damien!

First a big thank you to you for the all the knowledge and enthusiasm you shared with all on board.

And second that is Damien's truck - not a "Big truck"!

A fabulous selection of images.

Alex

p.s. I know I am 100% biased, but I see a lot of photo workshops out there - but I honestly feel that the group produced a set of images on this one that are truly outstanding.


I'm a little late in responding but I agree with everything Phil, Andy and Damien have said. It was a fantastic trip and I learned so much in such a short time. What I found to be really valuable was how open everyone on the trip was. The time in between dives when everyone shared tips was really outstanding and a big help for me.


Fantastic shots Andy - and you should tell people that this was your first time shooting wide angle - which for me makes the quality of images you produced almost hard to believe.

Alex

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#16 Bigeye Bubblefish

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:16 AM

Thank you Alex !!!

You really helped me during that week to improve my technic.
Too bad that you were not onboard while I was diving and shooting in California last weekend... different conditions, different problems.
I would have loved to send you a long, long list of questions.

To andy... we almost forgot that you were shooting WA for the very first time. Your images command respect !!!

Edited by Bigeye Bubblefish, 16 June 2011 - 10:17 AM.

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#17 3PW

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 09:33 AM

Lovely photos...

#18 Sampsa

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:07 PM

Amazing photos!

#19 Steve Douglas

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 06:22 PM

Just fantastic, Phil! Sounds like a phenomenal trip!

Cheers!
Jen



Love the motorcycle shot. Perfect angle and lighting.
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#20 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:54 PM

Should add that Damien's pictures from the workshop were also in the UK newspapers:

http://www.dailymail...ng-hotspot.html

Alex

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