Photography Group Trips
In addition to running my dedicated photo workshops, I also lead group trips each year for photographers. These trips are designed to provide underwater photographers and videographers with diving that is perfectly tailored for producing to quality images. Although these trips do not have any formal photography lectures or image review sessions, there is always lots of discussion about photography and how to get the most out of the opportunities we experience. These trips are often focused on a location, an event or a species and are typically highly productive for all. I am happy to share my knowledge of techniques and subjects throughout these trips.
When these trips are focused on an event, species etc, as with any wildlife encounters nothing can be 100% guaranteed, although all these trips are planned in great detail to visit locations at the peak time and with the best local guides. These trips are usually very popular, please sign up to my newsletter to hear about them first.
I DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE ANY NON-TEACHING PHOTOGRAPHY TRIPS SCHEDULED. RATHER THAN LEAVE THIS PAGE BLANK I HAVE LEFT UP THE TRIPS I DID EARLIER IN 2012.
Scottish Basking Sharks. Mull. June 2012.
BASKING SHARK TRIP IS FULLY BOOKED. I am excited to be going back to Mull in June to photograph the second largest fish in the oceans, the basking shark. Because of the level of interest in these amazing subjects much of this announcement reads like I am trying to put you off! This is an amazing trip, but it is not for everyone. So please read this announcement carefully before signing up. You can see more on last year's trip here and to you can read Chris Gomersall's 2020V blog from the day last year when everything went wrong, just to put a few more of you off!
The plan for this trip is to spend 5 days on the water with the top chaps at SeaLife Surveys to search for and photograph basking sharks. And any other beasties we happen to find above or below the water (it is one the UK's best areas for cetaceans and seabirds). I saw so much potential in this area for photography and feel its owes me something really special. I am expecting to run this trip again in 2013, too.
Swimming with basking sharks is a fantastic experience, and they are actual easy to photograph. But finding them can be hard work with many hours in a small boat and also many hours floating in cool water. I would expect there to be one day, at least, when we don't get in the water because we haven't found the sharks or they are too skittish. So this is a trip for those who understand to get great shots you have to put the time in and sometimes you are disappointed. This is not a trip for those who expect the critters to be there on Monday morning at 9am and by 11am have to shots and be onto something else. This is also a cold water trip, much more comfortable in a drysuit although perfectly doable in a semi-dry. And just to balance all the off-putting comments, check out Simon Spear's video check out here for why it is all worthwhile.
The price is £800 GBP, which includes 7 nights accommodation (shared room in nice cottage in Mull and camping) and 5 days on the boat sharking. The extras are getting there (petrol and ferry Oban- Craignure) and food. The dates are Sunday 24th to Sunday 1st July 2012 (on water Monday-Friday). Plan is to use Saturday to shoot puffins or eagles near Mull (this would be an extra cost too). If you are coming from overseas then fly to Glasgow and hire a car (and Tom-Tom/Sat Nav/GPS - navigation is simple) for the week. Ferry is also booked online. We might be able to coordinate travel with those who are already coming, but I would prefer places to go to those who are self sufficient. All very easy and we'll try and coordinate being on the same ferry crossings.
The trip will be snorkelling only. Focused on finding and spending extended time with baskers. But the area yields plentiful dolphin sightings (common and bottlenose) and minke whales. Although neither are typically friendly enough to provide in-water shots, both better for topside, but you never know. The area also has an excellent area for snorkelling with seals (both grey and common seals) in clear water with great scenery. But the main aim for the whole week is to find and swim with sharks.
Ultimate Whalesharks. Mexico August 2012.
BOTH WHALESHARK TRIPS ARE FULLY BOOKED. It doesn't get much bigger than this. Your chance to see the largest known aggregation of the largest fish in the ocean. In August I am very excited to be running two whale sharks trips to Isla Mujeres in Mexico for WETPIXEL. This location is amazing for two reasons. First the sharks are feeding on transparent fish eggs at the surface, so can be seen in beautiful clear Caribbean waters. And second, the sheer number of sharks. To quote Eric Cheng from the previous WETPIXEL trip here: There's no other way to put it: our first day of photographing the whale shark aggregation was absolutely epic. Within an hour of leaving port, we found a group of over 300 whale sharks.. There are plenty of places in the world you can see whale sharks, but there is not another whale shark experience like this. To get a real impression of this unique event, check out his aerial video (WARNING THIS VIDEO WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO DO THIS TRIP).
This is one of the hottest trips in underwater photography at the moment, which, as my friend Jeff Hartog puts it, is "a trip that certainly lives up to it's reputation". A total must do. And this is your chance to get one up on Jacques Cousteau, who said he only saw two whale sharks in his whole life. If you are considering this trip you should also watch this video, featuring Richard Branson, shot by WETPIXEL Moderator Shawn Heinrichs. This is the trip everyone is talking about.
The deal. WETPIXEL has two 6-pax boats running side by side for the following dates. I will alternate between the boats, although the plan is to travel and work together.
Trip 1: July 31 - Aug 4, 2012 (7 day trip, 5 full days in the water: arrive July 30, depart Aug 5)
Trip 2: Aug 6 - Aug 10, 2012 (7 day trip, 5 full days in the water: arrive Aug 5, depart Aug 11)
The cost of the trip is $2,550 USD per person (approx E1900 Euros, £1650 GBP), which includes:
private boat charter with experienced captains, and plenty of space and shade, simple lunch on boat + non-alcoholic drinks, golf cart rental to get around the island (group), airport transfers in Cancun to ferry terminal (from and to), tip, hotel, dual occupancy (7 days, 6 nights: 1 day before to 1 day after). singles available for supplemental fee. You are responsible for airfare to and from Cancun, ferry cost (not expensive), breakfast, and dinner.
A 50% deposit secures your space, and is refundable only if we re-book your space (minus a $200 cancellation fee). The balance is due 4 months before the trip start date. Telling me you want to come does not hold a space.
To book, please contact Dan Baldocchi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that this is a snorkelling trip and therefore suitable for non-divers too. This is also a wildlife focused trip and there can be no 100% guarantee the sharks will turn up. This would be a very good trip for topside wildlife photographers looking to add some underwater images to their portfolio. Although I am running two trips, most people will see more than enough sharks by coming for just one week. Ok, and one final video from Eric: count the sharks in this 30 second clip.