The Aliwal Shoal is a rocky reef which is the remains of an ancient sand dune approximately 5 km off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The reef is inhabited by many kinds of hard and soft corals and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish species. Having become well known for it’s sharks, it is the obvious place to cover some shark photography. During April, it will be possible to view Ragged-tooth Sharks, Blacktip Reef Sharks and, possibly, Tiger Sharks. We will endeavour to put you in the right place to photograph all of these species.
The mini-workshop is limited to 4 divers/underwater photographers (non-diving partners are welcome) due to space on the boat with all camera gear. We will have our own dedicated photoboat for the 2 days.
We will be based in Umkomaas, launching from the river mouth each day and returning there once we have completed our photography for the day. Accommodation is offered at Ocean Park Guest House, a 4 star establishment with a very good reputation in the area. We are happy to assist with arrangements for this accommodation. However, you do not have to stay there if you have your own preferred accommodation establishment in the area.
You will need to bring your own gear. If you need to rent gear, this can be organised for you. Otherwise we will supply cylinders and weight belts for those that will need.
The sole purpose of this mini-workshop is to introduce you to the world of Shark Photography, and what it takes to get a great photograph of various shark species.
We will launch each day with the plan of doing 2 – 3 dives (weather and conditions permitting) on the reef to photograph the Ragged-tooth sharks which take refuge in the reef during the day. Once we have completed the dives we will then move slightly south and start working on the Blacktip Reef Sharks and Tiger Sharks on the surface. Here we will work close to the surface, photographing the sharks around us, with the final purpose to get some great images towards the end of day in the golden light. These make for the really special images which are not possible under normal dive conditions as most dive operators do not launch at this time of the day.
Prior to the launch each day, we will have a brief discussion period where the day will be discussed as well as what to expect and what we are going to photograph. Photographic techniques will be discussed and then we will head out for the days photo session. Sunday will be used to discuss the previous days images, where we can improve and what you would like to aim for that was not achieved the previous day.
A general itinerary for the workshop will be as follows:
18h00: Meet and greet to discuss the weekend
08h3o : Meet at accommodation – Ocean Park Guest House
09h00 – 11h00 : Photo discussion, tips and tricks (Sat);
11h30 – launch
11h3o – 18h00 :2-3 dives and then surface shark work until sunset (we will stay out at sea the whole day)
18h00 – return to accommodation
19h00 – Photo discussion
08h00 : Meet at accommodation – Ocean Park Guest House
08h30 – 10h00 : Photo discussion, going through photos from previous day, then discuss days objectives
11h00 – launch
11h3o – 16h00 :2 dives and then surface shark work
16h00 – return to accommodation
18h30: Meet and discuss images from Sunday. Final debriefing.
Total cost for the 2 day 3 night underwater photographic workshop – US$500 per diver per day (excl travel, accommodation, and gear)
Option to extend the workshop to 3 or 4 days is available by prior arrangement.
Minimum of 4 divers required for course to take place. If less than 4 divers, a minimum boat rate will be applied.
Included in price:
1. All dives for the 2 days (total of 6 possible dives and 2 sessions with the black tip sharks and tiger sharks on the surface over the 2 days) on the exclusive photo dive boat
2. Food and drinks on the boat while out at sea.
3. Workshop material plus 2 professional photo guides on all dives
4. Daily workshops after dives
5. Option to try and test other camera gear
Excluded from price:
1. Transport to and from Aliwal Shoal
3. Breakfast and Dinners
4. Gear rental
5. Dive permit