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  • July 24, 2018 3 min read

    This June I was lucky to be on board Mario Vitalini’s Red Sea liveaboard photo workshop by Scuba Travel. Scuba Travel has been arranging different kinds of photo itineraries for a while now but as Mike’s Dive Cameras and Scuba Travel have been working closely together lately, I wanted to have a look of what happens on board.

    Our boat for this trip was the roomy Whirlwind liveaboard, where we stayed for a week of diving, eating, photographing and relaxing. Whirlwind is a large 36m long luxury boat that can accommodate 20 people in comfortable cabins. It has been designed from a word go as a dive boat and has a large kitting up area and amazing diving platform. Air and nitrox are dosed up from the boat’s own compressors and if the dive site is out of reach of the main boat, two zodiacs will whiz you to your destination in no time.

    What happens in a photography workshop liveaboard you might ask? Well lots of diving, that’s for sure. In many ways, the photo workshop liveaboards are just like normal liveaboards. (Not all on board necessarily are even photographers.) They do not even cost any extra in comparison with the normal itinerary. As a bonus, the dive sites for the week are chosen with photography in mind. Often there is a chance to repeat a certain site to find the best lighting conditions or try to re-take the picture that just didn’t work out. In the evenings there are informal picture reviews and small presentations about underwater photography the techniques. The photo-pro is also available throughout the week in case you have questions or want to have a one-to-one tuition. And last but not the least, the boat is full of likeminded photographers to chat with and to see their techniques and hear their stories.

    Our week onboard Whirlwind started from Hurghada in calm conditions. The water temperature at this time of the year in the Northern Red sea was a comfortable 27C – 28C degrees. During the week we visited most of the famous dive sites in the area like The Barge where we spend a whole day and even squeezed in a night dive. We also visited the Thistlegorm wreck known for many fantastic photo opportunities and the various photogenic wrecks of the Abu Nuhas. The boat also crossed to the other side of the Red Sea to visit sites next to the Sinai Peninsula like the Rash Mohammed and the reefs at the Straits of Tiran. We were also incredibly lucky to encounter a pod of dolphins during our last day at Abu Nuhas. First, we managed to snorkel and finally dive with the pod that stayed with us for 20 minutes. We were the only boat in the whole area. What an encounter!

    Scuba Travel arranges different types of photo trips for all levels. Not all of them are liveaboard trips in Egypt. You can choose from a variety of destinations and photo pros like Martyn Guess and even Alex Mustard. Have a look at the full details from Scuba Travel’s website.  Mario’s trips are aimed at starting photographers who want to practice their skills and get more confident with their equipment. The perfect time to come to Mario’s trips would be when you have moved on from your first point and shoot camera and got your first proper underwater photo set-up…. With strobes and lenses, etc…

    The photographic itineraries are the perfect way to combine underwater photography with lots of diving, comfortable accommodation, good food and company. You will also learn a lot and get comfortable with your camera set-up. I wish all learning would be this fun.

    Thank you, Mario Vitalini and Scuba Travel, for allowing me to be on board! Check out some of the images below I managed to shoot during my stay. 

    Motorcycle inside the Thistlegorm
    The famous motorcycle inside Thistlegorm

     

     The Barge scenery
    The scenery at the Barge

     

    Living with food
    Living among the food inside the Carnatic

     

    Dophins at Abu Nuhas
    Dolphins at Abu Nuhas Reef