Alphamarine Photography is running an underwater photography workshop event at Red Sea Diving Safari’s Marsa Shagra Village in March 2024. The event includes eight classroom sessions on different aspects of underwater photography given by Phil and Anne Medcalf over four days, and then repeated. The workshops will start on 12th March and run until the 19th, inclusive. There won’t be a need to attend any of the talks in a specific order. This rolling program approach means attendees can arrive at any time during or before the event, and as long as they are in the resort at least four out of the eight days, they can access all the talks. That, in turn, gives lots of flexibility with flight options.
The talks will cover exposure, composition, using light, and underwater photography styles and techniques. Each will be about 45 minutes long. Guests will also be able to access Anne and Phil for advice throughout the eight days of the event, not just during the days they attend talks. They’ll run impromptu sessions and give at least an hour’s one-to-one time with everyone who is booked on a workshop. There’ll also be a selection of demo equipment available to try, including wet lenses and strobes.
Between them, Phil and Anne have over 50 years of diving experience, and over 30 years of those have been spent taking digital pictures underwater. In that time, they’ve dived around the world, including many trips to the Red Sea, as well as Indonesia, the Maldives, Australia, and the UK. Together, they turned their interest into a business in 2017 and now own Alphamarine Photography, an underwater photography training and retail company. They have a highly rated blog on their website alphamarinephoto.com and a Facebook Q&A group with over 2000 members worldwide. They’ve written on underwater photography for magazines and presented on the subject at every Go Diving show since the event began. Their workshops and online courses in photography and photo editing attract students from around the world. Alphamarine’s expertise ranges from getting the best from budget-friendly cameras such as Olympus TG’s to using the latest high-end mirrorless options, and experience as retailers gives them a broader knowledge base than many underwater photographers when it comes to the equipment available.
Marsa Shagra village has a range of accommodation from tents to air-conditioned chalets. A standard package will include full board, most soft drinks, and five days of unlimited house reef diving. Meals are buffet style, with a good range, and the meal times are long enough to allow for early morning dives and night dives without any risk of missing out. The house reef diving is excellent, and you can dive unguided from 6 am to 8 pm. As well as accessing the house reef from shore, zodiac dives on the outer house reef are covered in the unlimited package. Marine life is impressively varied, with regular sightings of turtles, reef sharks, and dolphins, as well as a great deal of macro life to find and occasional sightings of whale sharks. Elphinstone reef can be dived by speedboat with a journey time of about 20 minutes for a supplementary charge, as can a range of other local sites by boat or shore.
The way bookings are handled for this event is that you book your holiday package through Oonasdivers (oonasdivers.com) if you are in the UK (contact Red Sea Diving Safari for their agents elsewhere), and once you’re booked, you pay the workshop fee of £175 to Alphamarine Photography. The format and the resort setup suit people coming on their own, as a couple, or a group. If you have non-photographers with you, they don’t pay the workshop fee. Red Sea Diving Safari’s website is https://www.redsea-divingsafari.com For more details about what the workshop entails, to book spaces, or anything else, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Manatee Club launches brand new webcams at Silver Springs State Park, Florida
Save the Manatee® Club has launched a brand-new set of underwater and above-water webcams at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, FL. These new cameras add to our existing cameras at Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Florida, and Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, in Homosassa, Florida, which are viewed by millions of people worldwide. The cameras are a collaboration between Save the Manatee Club, Explore.org, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, who made the new live streaming collaboration possible via support of their interpretative program.
The above-water camera is a stationary pan/tilt/zoom camera that will show manatees and other wildlife from above water, while the new underwater camera provides the viewer with a brand new, exciting 180-degree viewing experience. Viewers can move the cameras around, trying to spot various fish and manatees.
The Silver River, which originates at Silver Springs, provides important habitat for manatees and many other species of wildlife. Over recent years, more manatees have been seen utilizing the Silver and Ocklawaha rivers. “The webcams provide a wonderful entertainment and educational tool to the general public, but they also help us with the manatee research,” says Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club. “We have learned so much through observing manatees on our existing webcams, and the new cameras at Silver Spring can add to the existing manatee photo-ID research conducted in this area, as well as highlighting Silver Springs and the Silver River as an important natural habitat for manatees.”
The webcams are streaming live during the daytime, with highlights playing at night, and can be viewed on Explore.org and on Save the Manatee Club’s website at ManaTV.org.
Save the Manatee Club, established in 1981 by the late renowned singer-songwriter, author, and entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett, along with former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, is dedicated to safeguarding manatees and preserving their aquatic habitat. For more information about manatees and the Club’s efforts, visit savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646).
Dive Worldwide introduces three new resorts ahead of Go Diving Show
Ahead of Go Diving (2-3 March, Stoneleigh Park), the leading scuba diving exhibition that marks the start of the dive season, Dive Worldwide has introduced three new resorts, each one set in a world class diving location. Among them is Coral Eye Resort in Indonesia, an eco-friendly island retreat with a welcoming community vibe where like-minded people get excited about the marine world and all its wonders.
Dive Worldwide has the largest programme in the UK of tailor-made and small group liveaboard and resort-based diving holidays to over 200 destinations worldwide, catering for beginners and experienced divers alike.
Founded as an outpost for marine studies, Coral Eye is a boutique resort on Bangka Island, east of Sumatra, which has been transformed into a diver’s paradise. Today Coral Eye, set in the heart of the Coral Triangle, attracts a community of visitors who share a passion for the sea. Its eco-friendly villas are designed to blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings.
From Coral Eye and the Coral Eye Dive Centre, it is possible to discover more than 30 world-class dive sites– each within 40 minutes of the beachfront dive centre – along with the fascinating volcanic topography and varied marine life around Bangka Island in North Sulawesi. From the beautiful house reef to steep coral-covered pinnacles, charming critters, turtles, and abundant reef fish, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Dives, up to four per day, are guided in groups of four by local guides with a wealth of experience and keen eyes.
Price: 9 nights at Coral Eye Resort from £2,775pp based on 2 sharing including Full board, transfer, 10 dives, tanks and weights
This resort is an oceanfront haven where luxury meets adventure. Against a backdrop of lush greenery and a white sand coast in Playa del Carmen, The Fives Beach Hotel’s location in Riviera Maya provides access to a plethora of renowned dive sites, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and the world-famous Cenotes. Within the resort is The Fives Dive Centre with its range of SSI courses, from beginner to advanced. Guests can dive with eagle rays and look for a splendid toadfish in Cozumel. Puerto Morelos has such a cool vibe above the water, but below the surface the National Park is also the best the Caribbean has to offer.
With a diverse range of accommodation, choose from stylish rooms with balconies to vibrant suites and oceanfront residences providing more privacy and a panorama of the Caribbean Sea. Beyond diving, guests can indulge in the hotel’s array of restaurants, relax with a cocktail by one of the hotel’s seven outdoor pools, explore the vibrant local culture at the nearby Mayan ruins or enjoy the hotel’s numerous cultural offerings.
Price: 7 nights at The Fives Beach Hotel and Residences costs from £3,145pp based on 2 sharing, all inclusive, including 8 ocean dives and 2 cenotes dives, tanks, weights and transfers
Located in Puerto Aventuras, these stylish marina and lagoon view apartments, each with tasteful Caribbean interiors, are the perfect location for an ocean and Cenotes diving adventure. The 19 marina apartments offer views over the marina, while eight luxury lagoon apartments overlook a private bay in the lagoon and benefit from a small private beach and a swimming pool.
Diving the magical caves and passages of the world-famous Cenotes in Mexico is conducted with Maya Blue Dive Centre while ocean dives are provided through a local dive centre. The Mesoamerican reef system along the Riviera Maya is home to colourful coral gardens and marine life aplenty, providing an exciting and varied week of diving experiences including plenty of hawksbill turtle encounters. Travel between June and September and add in a snorkelling trip to see the incredible gathering of whale sharks around Holbox Island or Isla Mujeres.
For further information visit Dive Worldwide (diveworldwide.com, 01962 302087).
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