Master Macro with Martyn - Far East

  • Water temp 26-30C
  • Air Temp 27-30C
  • Visibility 15-25m
  • Good for... It's frogfish season!
  • Suitable for beginners Intermediate photographers upwards
  • Highlights Martyn’s been shooting pics underwater for over 20 years and has travelled the globe in pursuit of his award winning images. Now it’s time for him to share his knowledge. Martyn will be running his first workshop to a destination that he loves passionately - Atlantis Dumaguete in the Philippines.

About Master Macro with Martyn

Photo workshop in Dumaguete

Martyn has been to Dumaguete (Dauin) 3 times already and it is easy to see why this area of the Philippines keeps drawing him back. Atlantis Dumaguete is a really well run resort and dive staff that know intimately what subject is hot and where to find them. You can log a lot of hours underwater here. The diving day consists of normally 4-day dives (limited to an hour) and an optional night dive on the house reef for those that want. There’s enough time in between each dive for a quick refreshment and lens or battery change and then the workshop cracks on! Most diving is by boat and sites are rarely more than 5-10 minutes from the resort. Atlantis has an excellent purpose built camera room and TV screen for presentations and is conveniently placed directly opposite the dive centre.

Goals of the trip

This holiday will enable guests to brush up on and learn new macro skills, including various lighting techniques, snooting and super macro, as well as hopefully compile a collection of turtle images at Apo.

With hands on instruction through group image reviews and evening presentations as well as underwater instruction for those needing it everyone will have the opportunity to return with a great portfolio. Sue is also happy to model for anyone that wants!

Marine life highlights

The diving is predominately muck diving, and this means macro. The “tyres site” (affectionately known by its Martin Edge name of Ginggang Goolie) is literally festooned with critters from egg bearing Cardinal fish through to ornate ghost pipefish, Emperor shrimps, nudibranchs and more. This trip has been timed in particular for the frogfish too. Last April Martyn found over 21 frogfish in a single dive, ranging from a tiny pink example to hairy, painted and warty frogfish! The trip in early May should guarantee similar opportunities.

Also included in the package is a day’s dive trip to Apo Island for wide angle blue water and coral (450 of the Philippines coral species can be found here) as well as numerous green turtle and sea snake encounters. You’ll be challenged not to come home with turtle shots!

Who is this workshop suitable for?

This trip is aimed at intermediate underwater photographers upwards – you will have some experience with a camera underwater and ideally will be using a mirrorless or DSLR camera set up. You don’t have to be a pro already! But you will be looking to expand on your existing skills as well as learn some new ones. Go beyond the simple fish ID record shots. Martyn will help take your photography to the next level.

As Martyn says, “from my experience of going on these type of trips over the years you get out what you put in but having said that the guests are on holiday so if they prefer to nod off during a talk or not turn up because they didn't wake up after the last dive! its not an issue for me. The other point to make is that this is a trip for photographers so the resort and I will ensure that we are in our own designated boats and put on the right sites at the right time of day and that we repeat the dive as many times as we want to if necessary so that we get the very best opportunity to build a great portfolio of images.”

Atlantis Dumaguete

A short flight from Manila and you can be diving in the heart of the Philippines with one of the Philippines' premier dive centres, Atlantis Dumaguete. Explore some of South East Asia's most famous dive sites... Apo Island, Siqui... MORE

Getting there
International flights will arrive into Manila. You will then have a night in Manila booked as part of your package. Your domestic flight from Manila to Dumaguete will be the following morning.

A typical day
Dive groups are kept small at Atlantis Dumaguete. There are 4 scheduled departures throughout the day and you are welcome to do as much, or little, as you want. The boat will return to the resort after each dive. If you prefer, you can also dive unguided on the house reef. There is then the option of a night dive on the house reef.

Due to the travel times, trips to Apo Island are for a full day and usually include 3 dives. A light lunch will be served on board.

Macro Must Sees
Dumaguete is a critter mecca and the coastline is quite literally strewn with all manner of macro life. One of the main highlights at this time of year is the frogfish - in every shape, size and colour! You can also expect to find a good range of skeleton shrimp, squat lobsters, chrinoid shrimps and ribbon eels. You can find mimc, blue ringed, wonderpus and coconut octopus on many sites. Night dives are great for candy crabs. But these is so much more to boot. The dive guides are experts at finding the small and fabulously strange!

Wide Angle Ops
Apo Island is the main opportunity for wide angle photography in this area. This small island is surrounded by excellent hard coral gardens. Potter around in the shallows and you will find turtles. It's not unusual to encounter several on a single dive. You can also see sea snakes here alongside other smaller reef fish. On the corners, where the current picks up, you can see big balls of sardines or jacks.

Trips to these further away sites are typically run once a week.

At the end of your holiday you will fly to Manila and then back to the UK.

Should you wish to add a stop at another Philippines destination or stop over in Hong Kong, please simply ask your travel consultant at the time of booking.