Cuba Photo Excursion
Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Viñales Valley

To call the island of Cuba a photographer's dream is an understatement! A visit there is like going back in time! The culture, people, architecture, music, nature and history are beautifully waiting to be experienced.

Our excursion will follow a people-to-people itinerary, making this trip legal even for US citizens. We will visit Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Viñales Valley and take in as much of the of the local flavor along the way.

The streets of Havana offer photo opportunities day and night at ever corner! We'll be practicing our night shooting techniques and will show you how to achieve the perfect shot using light-painting. Other stops will include the Malacon, El Morro fortress, Hemingway House and fishing village, Casa Africa.

The Vinales Valley area 

Cienfuegos

Trinidad

Accommodations will be with selected homes and apartments owned and operated by the Cuban people.

 

 

You must be a certified diver with good diving skills to attend this workshop.

The coral reefs are very fragile, so we want to be assured that you have your buoyancy under control before you decide to dive with a camera. If you are comfortable with your buoyancy but haven't dived in a while and would like a refresher, a course in buoyancy control will be available through the dive shop on Saturday and/or Sunday before the workshop begins. There is an extra fee for this refresher course. It is highly recommended if you're not comfortable with your buoyancy while carrying a camera.

Preparing for the workshop

Here are some additional suggestions that will help you get the most out of this course. We invite all levels of underwater photographer to this workshop.

1. Know how to use your camera. You should have a basic understanding of the following:

  • what your camera can and can't do
  • what ISO is and how it affects your images
  • camera shooting modes (Auto, Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual)
  • shutter speeds and apertures
  • camera file formats (RAW, Basic, Normal, etc.). Different manufacturers give them different names.
  • the different menus (familiarize yourself with important ones)
  • navigation of the menu structure
  • familiarize yourself with the camera manual and online instructions

If you do not understand how to use your camera above the water we recommend you look into classes locally or online before attending this workshop. You should know how to make the adjustments needed to change modes, file formats, etc.

2. Know how to use your camera inside your housing. Every camera/housing combination is different. Especially if you have a new camera make sure you've run it through its paces. Put your camera into your housing, attach the strobes, and get it in the water before you come to Cozumel. If you can't get in the water, practice on land. Call the people that sold you the system to get any issues resolved before you make the trip.

2. Bring all your parts, pieces, cables, and cards with you, expecially the camera user manual. If you don't have it, Google it to get an electronic version online.

3. Know how to use your laptop and get comfortable with the application you use to process images. You should already know how to move images from your camera or media card to your laptop. 

4. Make sure you have downloaded the software necessary to process your images or video. Make sure you can open the RAW file your camera shoots in what ever application you use. This is critically important! If you don't know how, take a basic computer class for photographers.

The more preparation you do before you come, the more you'll get out of the classes. If you have a question about something...GOOGLE! You'll find lots of help online just by asking a question. YouTube.com is also very helpful.

Suggested Websites

CameraSim

Nikon Lens Simulator

SimCam

Photonhead.com

 

 

 


Explore the Fiji Islands Aboard Nai'a

October 20-27, 2018
$3999 pp/do
7 nights - 5-1/2 days of diving
Sorry, sold out!

Explore the Fiji Islands aboard one of the world's favorite liveaboards. Nai'a is typically booked up many years in advance. One trip aboard this boat and you'll understand why. THIS TRIP IS OPEN TO NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS TOO!

We will also offer several underwater photography related presentations on several of the evenings which include topics like photo composition, wreck photography, and image processing. This photo tour will be tailored to your needs and requests!

Payment terms:
$2000 deposit required to hold your spot
$1999 due April 1, 2018
You must have a valid passport (valid for 6 months from the date of your return ticket).


Includes:

  • Accommodations on board Nai'a for 7 nights
  • 5 1/2 days of diving
  • All diving while on board
  • All meals while on board
  • Round-trip Nadi airport transfers
  • Photography assistance

Does not include:

  • NITROX ($150 for trip for NITROX certified divers)
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Airfare - Please call us to arrange
  • Meals while in transit
  • Hotels before or after the charter
  • Crew gratuity
  • Personal purchases
  • Camera rentals

ABOUT NAI'A

NAI'A's impressive layout, custom built for live-aboard diving, sports accommodations for 18 passengers in 9 spacious, air-conditioned staterooms with private ensuite heads. While the main salon above decks is perhaps her most eye-catching feature, with the golden grains of native Fijian hardwoods, the serious diver will appreciate the thoughtful lay-out of her roomy dive deck, complete with a dedicated dry camera and video room to suit the most discriminating photographers. Delicious and beautifully prepared meals of locally grown produce and meats and fresh fish await the hungry diver with a widely varied parade of delights served from the galley of our chefs. Truly the core of the NAI'A family is her Fijian crew, ten of the friendliest and most able sailors anywhere. Book a charter with us and you will agree; NAI'A stands head and shoulders above the rest.

For more photos of Nai'a click here.


Explore the Wrecks of Truk Lagoon Aboard the Truk Odyssey - SOLD OUT

WITH OPTIONAL EXTENDED STAY AT THE TRUK STOP HOTEL

March 25-April 1, 2018

7 nights - 5-1/2 days of diving

$3295 per person/double occupancy
$4995 guaranteed single occupancy

Explore the WWII wrecks of Truk Lagoon aboard one of the world's favorite liveaboards, the Truk Odyssey. There is no better way to see Truk Lagoon! Odyssey is one of the world's finest live-aboard dive boats and they are typically booked up many years in advance. One trip aboard this boat and you'll understand why. THIS TRIP IS OPEN TO NON-PHOTOGRAPHERS TOO!!

TRUK STOP HOTEL OPTIONAL ADD-ON: 

March 21-March 25, 2018: 4 nights accommodation at the Truk Stop Hotel, 3 days of diving

Ocean View - $897 single occupancy
Standard View - $857 single occupancy
Ocean View - $657 per person/double occupancy
Standard View - $637 per person/double occupancy

Read more about diving in Truk Lagoon...

We will also offer several underwater photography related presentations on several of the evenings which include topics like photo composition, wreck photography, and image processing. This photo tour will be tailored to your needs and requests!

Includes:

  • Accommodations on board Odyssey for 7 nights
  • 5 1/2 days of diving
  • All diving while on board
  • All meals while on board
  • Nitrox fills for Nitrox certified divers
  • round-trip airport transfers
  • Photography workshop and assistance

 

Does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Meals while in transit
  • Hotels before or after the charter
  • Crew gratuity
  • Personal purchases
  • Camera rentals
  • $50 dive permit fee
  • 5% VAT tax


Non-photographers or those who would like to learn are also invited!

 


ABOUT ODYSSEY

The Odyssey is a 132 foot live-aboard located in Weno, Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. On board the Odyssey you’ll find amenities consistent with the world’s top liveaboards. There is a total of nine staterooms. Six staterooms are 14’ x 8’ with either king size or 2 twin beds. Yes, this is big enough to do a cartwheel in! Two private single staterooms are 11’ x 6’. One stateroom is 10’ x 9’ with a double/twin bunk. ALL staterooms have private ensuite facilities, air-conditioning controls, DVD player, and are carpeted. There is air-conditioned throughout the vessel.

There is also a large dining area with full commercial galley. The food aboard Odyssey is outstanding! A separate entertainment lounge with TV, VCR (PAL & NTSC), DVD, stereo, library, large slide table, and bar is located on the A deck. This is a great place to hang out and work on your laptop. Odyssey has all kinds of room, so there are places where you can group to socialize and just as many areas to curl up and read a book in privacy.

JOIN BONNIE PELNAR DIETZ FOR A PHOTO/VIDEO WORKSHOP!

18th Annual Underwater Photo and Video Workshop
and Photography Contest
10 Days at Scuba Club Cozumel
Saturday, July 13 through Tuesday, July 23, 2019

WITH A PRE-WORKSHOP TRIP TO THE CENOTES

This workshop is designed to show you how to use your digital camera and get the best shots possible when shooting both still and video underwater. No camera is too big or too small! Not only is this workshop a lot of fun, but you'll learn all about how to improve your underwater photography by shooting better and improving on what you've captured by using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

We've been running workshops for many years and they keep getting better every year, with lots of fun, prizes, photo pros and surprises! Here's your chance to get all your questions answered and improve your underwater photography skills.

This year your instructor and hosts are Bonnie Pelnar and a guest presenter TBA. Bonnie has made over 40 trips to Cozumel and she knows where and how to find the best Cozumel has to offer and can show you how to capture it with your camera. 

In addition to the presentations, slide shows and seminars, Bonnie and/or the guest presenter will dive with you each day. We arrange several special photographer's boats, so if your non-shooting spouses wish to dive with the rest of the shooters, they are welcome to come along.

The evening before departure we wind things up with a wonderful awards dinner and ceremony, where we present the contest winners and distribute prizes.

If your would like to attend please contact Bonnie to reserve your spot. A $200 deposit is required.* We can not accept walk-ins that have not contacted Bonnie in advance.

CLICK HER FOR A SAMPLE WORKSHOP ITINERARY

$1724 per person, double occupancy
$2055 per diver, single occupancy

 

Includes:

  • 10 nights accommodations
  • 7 days 2 tank boat diving
  • unlimited shore diving
  • all meals
  • 8-day photo workshop & contest
  • tanks, weights & weight belt
  • private locker to store your
    gear (bring your own lock)
 

Not included:

  • tax
  • airfare
  • gratuities
  • marine park fee
  • additional scuba instruction
  • NITROX
  • beverages
  • rental gear if needed
 

Extra nights (includes meals):
$145 per person in a single room
$120 per person double occupancy

Extra dives:
two tank boat dive: $65 per person
one tank night boat dive: $45 per person
two tank twilight boat dive: $70 per person
one tank wreck dive: $45 per person

Past Workshop Contest Winners


Course prerequisites: You must be a certified diver with good diving skills to attend this workshop. The coral reefs are very fragile, so we want to be assured that you have your buoyancy under control before you decide to dive with a camera. If you are comfortable with your buoyancy but haven't dived in a while and would like a refresher, a course in buoyancy control will be available through the dive shop on Saturday and/or Sunday before the workshop begins. There is an extra fee for this refresher course. It is highly recommended if you're not comfortable with your buoyancy while carrying a camera. 

Cenote Trip Add-on

We will by flying into Cancun on July 10th to dive the Yucatan Cenotes on July 11th and 12th. Some may also stay to dive on the 13th and ferry over to Cozumel later in the day. The group will be split into smaller groups for the actual dives. All are welcome to join us!

$695 per person, double occupancy
$1001 per diver, single occupancy

 

Includes:

  • 3 nights accommodations at Omni Beach Resort, Garden/Marina view room
  • Full breakfast
  • 2 days, 2 tank cenote diving
  • tanks, weights
  • Group transfer from Cancun airport
  • Group transfer to Playa del Carmen ferry port
  • private locker to store your gear (bring your own lock)
 

Not included:

  • gratuities
  • marine park fee
  • NITROX
  • food & beverages
  • rental gear if needed
 

Extra dives*$140 per person

*If you choose to dive on Saturday, July 14, or come in early.