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Join an Underwater Photography Modelling Workshop at Roots this May



Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a very special Underwater Photography modelling workshop hosted by one of the UK’s leading underwater photographer/journalists, Stuart Philpott. The workshop, which takes place at Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt from 23-30 May 2018 will also feature four Miss Scuba UK underwater models.

Over the years Stuart, whose photos have graced over 75 front covers, has become highly skilled at taking picture compositions featuring underwater models, either in the foreground, as the main subject for a front cover portrait, or placed somewhere in the frame to add perspective for a wide angle scenic composition.

Using his experience, Stuart has designed a 5-day workshop that completely focuses on the art of using models in underwater photography. He has compiled a series of presentations that will give photographers a unique insight into how to take underwater photos using models in a variety of different composures and settings. Stuart will discuss how to set up the best compositions, the pitfalls he has encountered and useful tips he has learnt throughout the years. This will be accompanied by daily practical sessions at local shore diving sites, day boat diving and inflatable excursions.

Femininity is a key feature when selling and promoting magazines, so four top Miss Scuba UK underwater models will accompany the photographers during the week-long course. Please note this is not a glamour shoot. The idea is to use the models to compliment and enhance underwater compositions. The plan is to practice new skills and pick up ideas from the group, as well as being prempted by Stuart. There will be daily image reviews with plenty of constructive critique and friendly banter.

The schedule includes a freshwater swimming pool session using bubble curtains, different lighting effects, different colour kit set ups etc. There will also be a wreck photography day and a trip to the famous Anemone city for some creative marine life/model compositions. Throughout the week, models will be using scuba, snorkelling gear, scooters, a variety of kit configurations, as well as different swimsuits and wetsuits. Initially photographers will work and dive as pairs to refine their skills before spending some quality time with the Miss Scuba UK models.

To get the best results, participating photographers should be equipped with their own camera, strobes or some form of external lighting, wide angle lenses and a laptop computer to download images and do some basic picture editing. Cameras can be compacts, housed mirrorless or DSLR’s. Anybody wishing to attend must provide a brief summary of their photography experience, including the camera equipment that they will be using.

Stuart and Roots Red Sea have created a special package for the workshop which is priced at £1125.00 per person (based on shared accommodation). This includes:

  • 7 Night’s accommodation at Roots in Deluxe Chalet
  • Soft All Inclusive
  • Return Airport Transfers
  • Unlimited Unguided Diving on House Reef
  • 2 Dives by inflatable boat
  • 2 Dives by hard boat
  • Stuart Philpott’s expertise and working with divers including sessions with the Miss Scuba UK models.

Stuart Philpott Profile:

Stuart began diving in the late 1980’s and became an instructor for PADI, BSAC, SSI and TDI agencies before turning his talents to underwater photography. In the early 2000’s he moved to Taba Heights in Egypt and set up a dedicated video and photography centre, diving four times a day taking 1,000’s of digital images for customers participating in discover scubas, training courses or just recreational diving. He then managed a photo centre at Hout Bay in South Africa and got to explore the entire eastern coastline line from Cape Town to Sodwana Bay. Several years later he moved to Silhouette Island in the Seychelles and worked as a guide/photographer at the 5-star resort. In a nutshell, Stuart has been travelling the world diving and taking pictures for the past 30 years. To date he has written and had published more than 350 articles plus two guide books and produced 75 front covers.

Stuart returned to the UK fulltime in 2011 and opened two small photography centres selling camera equipment and running regular underwater photo classes for groups and individuals based at Swanage and Portland, as well as overseas workshops to Egypt, Turkey, the US and the Bahamas. These custom-made workshops have been designed for all levels from beginner using compacts right through to semi pro’s using more complex mirrorless and DSLR’s.

Enquiries and bookings for the Roots workshop should be sent to:

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Mantis Sub: The world’s first production 3D/360-VR underwater housing



Mantis Sub opens the realm of 3D production to professional underwater VR producers. To date, underwater VR cameras and housings have been either monoscopic, or the price and size of a new car. The producers of the NZVR Project wanted an alternative that could meet demanding professional production standards, offer 3D stereoscopy, and do it in a compact, affordable, robust housing that was good to 90 metres.

An early decision to leverage the performance, reliability and huge feature set of Insta360’s Pro2 camera set the course.

“It made perfect sense to use the Pro2 camera,” says James Frankham, publisher of New Zealand Geographic and director of the NZVR Project. “We had already been using it for our drone footage, and the interface, control app and workflow offered quick and elegant solutions to an excruciatingly complex technology. It offers 8k 3D production with a log format, and means that users can deploy the same camera in terrestrial and marine environments. In the end, it was a no-brainer.”

The distinctive hexagonal geometry of the housing grew out of the desire for an uninterrupted 360-degree view with clean zenith and nadir. Even the latches are recessed into the anodised aluminium body, resulting in a perfect stitch.

The camera can be switched on and controlled using capacitive-touch buttons on the body, or connected via a waterproof ethernet bulkhead to provide control and livestreaming via the Insta360 app. (On the surface, operators can use wifi/bluetooth for configuration and control as usual.) There are additional ports for a hydrophone, a vacuum valve, and numerous threaded mounts for attaching lighting, tripods and other production rigging.

“This is a camera designed by VR professionals for VR professionals,” says Frankham. “We understand the production community wants­­­­ robust, capable tools that are good value, reliable and extensible.”

From the stable of Insta360’s professional range, the high degree of control allows producers to finely control the camera’s response to difficult underwater conditions, add artificial lighting and ISO-limit the exposure for clean blacks when shooting in dark environments, at night or in caves.

The Mantis Sub already has a product variation in the Mantis Spray—a weatherproof housing designed to provide 3D-360 coverage aboard foiling AC75 Americas Cup yachts. Rather than submersion it had to resist sheets of spray and the rigours of sailing at speeds approaching 100 km/h while delivering uninterrupted VR footage to the world. A powerful, filtered fan was required to keep the unit cool inside the housing. It’s available in lightweight nylon or anodised aluminium.

“With the acceleration of virtual reality technology, the advent of 3D stereoscopy, and the desire to create visceral experiences in the marine realm, these housings have an important place in the way we cover extreme sports and the underwater world. I can’t wait to see what producers can do with them.”

Development was funded by New Zealand Geographic and Global Dive—a technical diving outfitter also based in New Zealand. Global Dive will be the international distributor and first point of contact for sales and service of the products, says director Andrew Simpson.

“Global Dive is proud to be involved in this product development, and brings considerable sales and service experience to the partnership, from an extensive international network of dive professionals to the meticulous in-house service crew to assemble the products and offer uncompromising after-sales support.”

For more information visit the website by clicking here.

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Announcing the Winners of’s November 2020 Underwater Photo & Video Contests



Another great month for entries in both contests – your underwater photos and videos are just getting better and better! Thanks to all who entered.

To find out who the winner of’s November 2020 Underwater Photo Contest is, click here.

To find out who the winner of’s November 2020 Underwater Video Contest is, click here.

If you’re not a winner this month, then please do try again. December’s photo and video contests are now open.

To enter’s December 2020 Underwater Photo Contest, click here.

To enter’s December 2020 Underwater Video Contest, click here.

Good luck!!!

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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