Another Underwater Tribe/Underwater Lightroom/NAD Lembeh Lembeh Photo Week has come to an end. Once again we hosted a fantastic group of 16 folks from all around the world for 7 nights and 17 dives of non-stop fun. Joining us this year were attendees from Australia, the Netherlands, Russia, Canada, the UK, and the USA. We had 3 professional underwater photography instructors on hand: Doug Sloss, Luca Vaime, and Mike Veitch who were in the water every dive with slates in hand. One of the key points of our workshops is that the instructors don’t take their cameras underwater, instead, the time is spent helping the students improve their photography skills.
All of our participants arrived by the 29th and so we gathered in the brand new bar at NAD to introduce ourselves as well as meet all of the guests. After an explanation of the planning for the week, we enjoyed a wonderful presentation about diving in Lembeh by Simon Buxton who is the owner of the resort.
On the 30th we split everyone in 3 groups, each boat with one of the instructors aboard to help get everyone on track. The best thing about NAD Lembeh is that they offer a ratio of 1 dive guide to every 2 guests, so we were certainly well looked after underwater. We hit different sites throughout the morning before heading back to the resort for a tasty lunch. After lunch we made our way to the brand new bar/meeting area to present our first bit of theory for the week: “The Basics of Underwater Photography.” After this short presentation we were back in the water for the afternoon dive before heading back to the bar for Doug Sloss’ presentations about Lightroom and Photoshop. The basic concept of the workshop was to remain the same throughout the week, 2 morning dives followed by lunch and a brief presentation before the afternoon dive and then meeting after the dive for Lightroom and post processing work and individual critiquing.
On several nights throughout the week we also presented a few things after dinner but not during nights when people were enjoying a night dive. NAD Lembeh offers the wonderful “Black Water” night dive option and our group was eager to take advantage of that option. On the first black water night dive they even came back with photos of the incredible juvenile pelagic version of the Wonderpus. Encounters throughout the week were varied and all of the stars of Lembeh paid a visit. Flamboyant cuttlefish, wonderpus, mimic octopus, a blue ring, the hairy frogfish, seahorses of all kinds, cuttlefish, hairy shrimp, ghost pipefish and too many more to list.
Topics that were covered throughout the workshop included the basics of lighting and strobe positioning to get people started on the right path. The knowledge of the basics was then reinforced underwater with one to one hands on help from the instructors. Once everyone was on the same page we progressed into topics such as Composition, Shooting Wide in Lembeh, Blue and Black Macro Backgrounds, Snooting, Backlighting, and Minimum Depth of Field. Each day we would set a series of goals for the participants to work on each of these techniques so that the instructors could then discuss the results with them later in the day.
Doug Sloss presented tips and tricks about Lightroom and Photoshop throughout the week starting with the basics and continuing through with plenty of great ideas and techniques to make underwater images pop.
On the first 5 days of the workshop we did 3 dives per day and on the last we ended with two dives in order for people to work on images and prepare their favourite 10 images for the final week slideshow. After a fantastic BBQ on the jetty under the stars we headed back to the bar for the big final presentation. The images presented by all of the participants were stunning and reflected a variety of all of the techniques discussed throughout the week.
At the end of 7 nights and 17 dives it was sad to say good bye to all of our participants, both those who have been with us before as well as those who were new to Lembeh. We are looking forward to our NAD Lembeh Photo Fun Week 2018 next year, for those who are interested we already have the dates set starting on the 28th of July. Pricing and further information will follow shortly, please stay tuned!
We would like to thank Simon, Zee, Sonja, all of the dive guides and boatmen, as well as the entire crew of the ever evolving NAD Lembeh Resort for a warm welcome and great cooperation and organisation throughout our week.
Here is a gallery of images from the participants during the workshop, photographic credits in the watermark.