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oneyellowtang

Looking for an "advanced" u/w photo learning opportunity: liveaboard preferred...

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I've got an interesting question that I hope folks will weigh in on (and may help others as well...)

 

I've been shooting underwater for about the last 12 years (started w/a NikV, then a housed N90, a housed D100, and now a housed D200). I'm happy w/about 50% of what I shoot (macro and w/a) - but I know there is more I can learn and work on.

 

The challenge is that I really only get to shoot 2 to 3 times a year (as part of a vacation - many times w/the family in tow), and I feel like I've kind of reached a plateau (feels like around an "advanced intermediate" level). I can get most critter/fish portrait shots I'm after (depending of course on the willingness of the subject...), and I've had a couple of shots used by others in advertising efforts, etc. (more luck of capturing a unique subject or behavior than actual intent). It's the artistic or creative framing; interesting use of light; and higher form of composition that I'm looking to learn.

 

I feel like a good week to 10 days spent w/a more skilled (and hands on) teacher would be a great investment. I've got permission from the wife to follow through on this (she's tired of me blaming the equipment :)

 

So I'm looking for recommendations - given the limited amount of diving I get to do each year I would prefer a live-aboard to a great destination, but open to other options.

 

What is really important is that there is some amount of quality 1:1 time, and hopefully more than just "reviewing images" (after a dive).

 

Any/all suggestions welcome!

 

Thanks,

 

- Matt

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Matt -

 

Wetpixel trips are great because most of the people who go are advanced shooters. Some folks love to talk technique and will sit around for most of the trip chatting and sharing information. The quality of imagery that comes out of a group of dedicated shooters is usually really good, and having 10-20 people show shots of the same subject is great for coming up with new ideas.

 

Having said all of that, our trips are typically not run as dedicated workshop environments.

 

Backscatter's trips are usually run more formally, with lectures and "office" hours, but 1:1 time may be limited.

 

You may be able to entice a teacher to go on a trip by paying their way, although a great shooter / teacher will most certainly require more than that. :)

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Martin Edge does a number of week long trips. Granted they are main populated by Brits and run by UK tour operators but I am sure they would be more than happy to sort things out starting from the States.

 

Unlike a lot of photographer led trips, Martin tends to dedicate his time to helping other improve their shots rather than concentrating on their own. The improvement that I have seen in, even experienced, photographers after a week with him is quite pronounced.

 

 

Daniel

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I dont suppose any of these would be m0ore catered (or also cater for) a maunalish settings with flash "G9 shooter" like me?

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I dont suppose any of these would be m0ore catered (or also cater for) a maunalish settings with flash "G9 shooter" like me?

 

 

I think Maria Munn specializes in that kind of photography Woodster.

 

http://www.oceanvisions.co.uk/

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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Matt,

I think the key issue here is the amount of 1:1 time you want. Of the photo trip courses / trips I've done, there has been some limited 1:1 time with Mauricio Handler and Stephen Frink on their courses and trips. Last year in Sipadan, Mauricio actually dedicated underwater time as well with each course participant, which was excellent.

On the other hand, if you are prepared to pay for it, you may want to consider approaching a photographer of your choice directly, for a total 1:1 training experience, quite a few do this.

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Martin Edge also does one on one if you are willing to visit the UK for them.

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I think Maria Munn specializes in that kind of photography Woodster.

 

http://www.oceanvisions.co.uk/

 

Stew

Thanks Stew, I nearly tried her a few times, but in the end we both felt it could have been a tad too basic for what I wanted. She was a great help over email a few times tho, shame, very nice lady :)

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Matt,

 

You didn't mention any specific destinations, but I'd like to recommend Mike Haber & Mike Mesgleski of Jim Church School of Underwater Photography. http://www.jimchurchphoto.com/index.html

 

Most of their workshops are aboard the Aggressor fleet, which as you most likely know, is scattered all over.

 

Their style of teaching is very effective, and there's a good mix of lectures, one-on-one time, and assistance in the water. It's a worthwhile investment, and you'll spend time with some fun folks.

 

Good luck,

 

Mark

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Martin Edge also does one on one if you are willing to visit the UK for them.

 

I paid for my girlfriend to do one of Martin's 1:1 classes here in the UK and she found it very useful. It is pool based, which actually has many pluses.

 

Here is a write up by a British photographer of Martin's 1:1 day course - gives a good idea of the format.

http://www.alanlarsen.co.uk/about/one2one.htm

 

Martin is only 1 1/2 - 2 hours from Heathrow - so it is something that could easily be fitted in to a stop over in the UK.

 

Alex

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There are lots of trips out there that feature noted underwater photographers who will work 1:1 with you! Mike & Simon just announced they'll be on the Damai next year; Marty Snyderman is doing two back to back Komodo trips on the Damai later this year; Bonnie Pelnar does workshop trips regularly; Jack & Sue Drafahl are doing back-to-back Solomon Island liveaboards later this fall....all of them will be happy to work with you and help you improve your images PLUS you get a great liveaboard diving destination to boot! Not only will most of them work with you on your actual images but will go the next step & help you with editing tips as well. Go to the "Organized Trips" tab and see who's got stuff coming up....and have fun!

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Thanks Stew, I nearly tried her a few times, but in the end we both felt it could have been a tad too basic for what I wanted. She was a great help over email a few times tho, shame, very nice lady :)

 

Hi again Woodster,

 

The one as to one course with Jeff is what i did and its really great. I was quite happy as it was a completely new learnig curve for me as i was using digital for the first time.

 

http://reefwreckandcritter.com/Komodo.htm

 

Cheers,

 

Diggy

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Another vote for Martin Edge. My day with him was well worth the cost.

 

Hamish.

 

what does he charge for 1 2 1. I only live 40 minutes from him so would be ideal for me.

 

Stew

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what does he charge for 1 2 1. I only live 40 minutes from him so would be ideal for me.

 

Stew

 

I believe it is something like £350 for a 1:1 and £250 for a 2:1. His website gives you a rundown on what is included.

 

Daniel

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I believe it is something like £350 for a 1:1 and £250 for a 2:1. His website gives you a rundown on what is included.

 

Daniel

 

 

nice one i have just sent him an email requesting dates etc.

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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I believe it is something like £350 for a 1:1 and £250 for a 2:1. His website gives you a rundown on what is included.

 

Daniel

 

For how long? I have got to start charging a heck of a lot more!!!!

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For how long? I have got to start charging a heck of a lot more!!!!

 

Thats only for a full day Mike. If the price was right I would be back on a plane to come and see what you have done at NAD since being there, and pick your brains at the same time.

 

Have you found any of those great big spiders that i was telling you about, the ones that nearly killed me with a single bite. What about snakes, are they still hovering around the Minahasa bungalows. The wifey wont return until the island is bug free.

 

Stew

Edited by stewsmith

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Thanks again Diggy!! :)

Komodo is on my to do list (amongst many others!) so will definately give it some thought :)

Cheers

Woody

 

Hi again Woodster,

 

The one as to one course with Jeff is what i did and its really great. I was quite happy as it was a completely new learnig curve for me as i was using digital for the first time.

 

http://reefwreckandcritter.com/Komodo.htm

 

Cheers,

 

Diggy

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How about Mark Webster workshops with oonasdivers??

Edited by Damo

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I can recommend Palau's Ocean Hunter 1 or 3, both are comfortable and diving in some of the best areas of the world. I am the photopro here and can join you for a trip providing 1 on 1 tuition.

Cheers

Richard

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Thats only for a full day Mike. If the price was right I would be back on a plane to come and see what you have done at NAD since being there, and pick your brains at the same time.

 

Have you found any of those great big spiders that i was telling you about, the ones that nearly killed me with a single bite. What about snakes, are they still hovering around the Minahasa bungalows. The wifey wont return until the island is bug free.

 

Stew

Oops, missed this one. hahaha, i have only seen one big spider in a year.. :blink:

As for snakes! love em, great photo subjects! the green tree snakes are beautiful and i also like the juvenile pythons we sometimes get around, very cool! Saw a black macaque monkey today as well off of one of the dive sites. Haven't seen that yet.

 

As for the "price is right"... I only charge $100 a day.. hmmm, i really should raise my prices closer to Martin :)

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