Best of Bali with Martyn - Far East

  • Water temp 27-29C
  • Air Temp 27-32C
  • Visibility 20m+
  • Good for... Wide range of marine life and the liberty wreck
  • Suitable for beginners Intermediate shooters - The trip is planned for both macro and wide-angle photography. It is designed for photographers with some experience and who will probably be using housed DSLR's or mirrorless systems.
  • Highlights Bali is an amazing and relaxed place and Scuba Seraya is a fantastic and well-run diving resort right on the beach.
    The house reefs - Seraya Secrets and Noisy reef - are probably the best that I have dived with excellent macro subjects to photograph, the first early morning dive on the Liberty wreck is superb wide angle and this trip to Bali has been planned around the full moon in late August as we intend to visit the area of Bali where Mola Mola (Giant sunfish) and manta can be found at this time of year and month.
    Whilst not guaranteed they make regular appearances at Nusa Penidas Secret Bay.

About Best of Bali with Martyn

Photo workshop in Bali

Scuba Seraya are one of Bali's premier photo dive centres and have hosted many photographers over the years - they really know how to support photographers in and out of the water. Martyn has stayed at Scuba Seraya in the Tulumban area before and have dived in Bali on several occasions. "Firstly Bali is an amazing and relaxed place and Scuba Seraya is a fantastic and well-run diving resort right on the beach. The house reefs - Seraya Secrets and Noisy reef are probably the best that I have dived with excellent macro subjects to photograph. Once we have all been briefed by the dive guides we can pretty much dive as we want and will have the opportunity to do multiple dives on the same subjects."

Goals of the trip

The trip is planned for both macro and wide-angle photography. Hands on instruction will be provided through evening group image reviews and presentations as well as underwater instruction for those needing it. Sue is also happy to model for anyone that wants and some of the opportunities on the Liberty are improved dramatically with a diver in the shot!

Relaxed group image processing on laptops is encouraged for those interested as this provides an excellent opportunity to learn new processing techniques. Martyn says that he learned almost all of his Lightroom and Photoshop processing tweaks from photographic trips sitting with other photographers in the evenings admiring their work and watching their processing over a drink or two.

Marine life highlights

The diving package included with the workshop is as follows:
10 boat dives - 5 days - 2 dives/morning
5 afternoons unlimited, unguided house reef diving
2 full days diving Ahmed reefs
1 full day at Nusa Penida - 2 dives to include Manta Point & Crystal Bay

The first early dive in the morning is normally on the Liberty wreck, which was beached (after being torpedoed by the Japanese in WW2in 1942) by the American navy and was then lifted closer to shore during a volcanic eruption in 1963. The wreck is reached by speedboat in about 10 minutes from the resort and this means that we can be one of the first groups of divers each day and late in the afternoon when other dive groups have departed. The wreck is home to a resident shoal of large bump head parrotfish and often there is a huge shoal of jacks drifting in the blue and occasionally coming right across the wreck. Everything is festooned in beautiful soft corals and is home to a huge variety of marine life including morays, anemone fish, anthias and pygmy sea horses and other reef fish as well as many other macro subjects. Wide angle and macro shots can be taken and we will have lots of opportunities for both.

The house reef is a veritable treasure trove. During the summer months, harlequin shrimps move onto the house reef, feasting on feather stars. There are ghost pipefish all over many of the dive sites, including the house reef. Razor fish are in the shallows, hairy squat lobsters on the sponges and zebra crabs. There are loads of nudibranchs on all the sites. Keep your eyes peeled for skeleton shrimp. You are welcome to dive here for as long as you like, for a max of up to 4 dives over a single day (including night dives).

There is scheduled a full day (2 dives) at Crystal Bay, south Bali where Mola Mola (Giant sunfish) can be found. Whilst not guaranteed, it is well worth looking out for these elusive pelagic fish along this drop off. The diving is in colder water and some of the drifts can be fairly fast in the current - you stay close to the reef. We also plan to visit manta point where regular sightings of the resident giant mantas occur.

Who is this workshop suitable for

It is designed for photographers with some experience and who will probably be using housed DSLR’s or mirrorless systems. You don’t need to be a pro already but you will be looking to improve your images and you will definitely have the opportunity to brush up on your skills and learn some new ones. For example the trip will enable participants to learn from basic camera settings if required to macro and wide-angle lighting techniques including snooting and back lighting as well as mastering super macro. Everyone should be able to return home with a great and varied portfolio of images.

As Martyn says, "from my experience of going on many of these type of trips over the years you get out what you put in but having said that the guests are on holiday and 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 put on the right sites at the right time and that we repeat the dive where possible as many times as necessary in order to get the shot”

Scuba Seraya Resort

Scuba diving in Bali is an experience you will never forget! Bali is sometimes overlooked in Indonesia, but diving here is a must for anyone that loves opulent reef diving. And Scuba Seraya has built a reputation as the area's pr... MORE

Getting there
International flights will arrive into Bali. You will then be picked up and taken to Scuba Seraya resort by land (approx 1-2 hours)

A typical day
Dive groups are kept small at Scuba Seraya.

The diving package included with the workshop is as follows:
10 boat dives - 5 days - 2 dives/morning
5 afternoons unlimited, unguided house reef diving
2 full days diving Ahmed reefs
1 full day at Nusa Penida - 2 dives to include Manta Point & Crystal Bay

Macro Must Sees
There is superb macro all along the shore by Scuba Seraya, but it is hard to beat simply going in off the house reef. It's not really coral growth here, more a rocky bottom that slopes gradually away, but what a treasure trove it is. Dive off to the left for shrimps - the harlequins are often close to the boat lines! - and mantis shrimps. Dive to the right to find squat lobsters, skeleton shrimp There are razor fish in the shallows as well as morays hiding in the rocks. Damsels dart around. Nudis of every shape and colour slilnk across the sea bed. Frog fish and rhinopia are regularly found. There's so much to discover, so dive, dive, dive!

Wide Angle Ops
The Liberty wreck is so close to Scuba Seraya you can almost see it. It's a large wreck, strewn down the beach. Start in the shallows or at the deepest section (30m) - it's your choice! There's a huge field of garden eels to one side. Focus on the corals draped all over the wreck. As it's broken down, there are some great swim throughs and lighting to work with, as well as several large sea fans. Jacks, a resident turtle, bump head parrott fish are just some of the larger inhabitants, but the macro life is excellent too!

The reefs around Ahmed are different to those closer to Scuba Seraya. Here you find large bommies with a vast field of hard corals until it suddenly gives way to a drop off. The hard and soft coral formations really are the stars of the show and the viz here is especially good. The bump heads are a highlight for the marine life but there is also a huge range of schooling fish, triggers, and large coral groupers. Do watch out for passing sharks, turtles and sea snakes.

The 2 dives at Nusa Penida are focused on finding manta and mola mola. The water here is cooler at approx20 degrees (so bring a hood!). Manta point is essentially a large hard coral field, and it seems like most of the area is a giant cleaning station. The manta loop in and out over the corals. Moving round to Crystal Bay you find the topography channels water up from the deep. Currents can be strong here but they bring with them the strange and seldom seen mola mola.

Departing
At the end of your holiday you will be transferred back to Bali for your flight home.

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