This is a workshop that I am running as a replacement for trip that was scheduled for 2015. THIS WORKSHOP IS CURRENTLY FULL.

A colourful reef scene with soft corals (Scleronephthya sp.) and scalefin anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) and magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei). Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji, Polynesia. Bligh Waters, Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Tropical South Pacific Ocean.

Fiji may be famous as the Olympic Sevens Champions (bravo Ben Ryan), but amongst divers Fiji is best known as the soft coral capital of the world. The country is made up of 333 islands, which roughly split into two groups, divided by a deep water channel (the Vatu-i-Ra Passage, an area also known as Bligh Waters). Clear Pacific Ocean water is funnelled through this gap and around the small islands, atolls and bombies, which leads to an explosion of life, with reefs famed worldwide for the density and colours of their soft corals, great sea fans, clouds of plankton feeding anthias, damselfish and fusiliers.

A colourful reef scene with green tubastrea (Tubastrea micrantha), soft corals (Scleronephthya sp.) and scalefin anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) and magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei). Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji, Polynesia. Bligh Waters, Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Tropical South Pacific Ocean.

Photographically the headline attractions and focus of this workshop is wide angle. The scenery, with such vibrantly coloured corals and thousands of fish in clear blue waters is key Fiji diving DNA. “The colours are so intense that we were actually de-saturating our photos last time to make them look believable!” says Alex.

A colourful reef scene with leather corals (Sarcophyton sp.), soft corals (Dendronephthya sp.) seafans (Melithea sp.) and fish, including magenta slender anthias (Luzonichthys waitei) and scalefin anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis). Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji, Polynesia. Bligh Waters, Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Tropical South Pacific Ocean.

The trip is timed to try and catch the best conditions for what Fiji does best – wide angle scenery. Alex says “I have booked the boat for the end of their summer, with peak water temperatures, lowest wind speed, low rainfall, low cloud cover and lots of sunlight hours. I think flat seas and sunny weather really make a difference for reef wide angle. Fingers crossed we get it! This trip starts on mid-moon, with weak currents, and continues through to new moon, meaning easy conditions through most of the trip and plenty of time to be in the zone for the strongest water flows. Although remember what they say in Fiji – no current, no fun.”

A large seafan (Melithaea sp.) with a brown crinoid (Stephanometra sp.?) growing in a coral cavern. Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji, Polynesia. Bligh Waters, Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Tropical South Pacific Ocean.

Fiji also offers the chance of seeing some of the bigger boys, schools of bigeye jacks and barracuda are common, as are turtles, sea snakes, mantas and several species of sharks, often in impressive numbers. There are plenty of subjects for macro lenses too, but these are more classic reef creatures (reef fish, including several species of anemone fish, blue ribbon eels, nudibranchs, cowries etc), rather than out and out critters. Your first lens choice will always be fisheye.

A colourful reef scene with seafans (Melithaea sp.) soft corals (Dendronephthya sp) and mainly female scalefin anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis). Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji, Polynesia. Bligh Waters, Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Tropical South Pacific Ocean.

The teaching on this workshop will focus on wide angle reef photography. Alex says “On these expedition type trips I tend to try make the workshops a little less frenetic and just have one teaching session per day. Either a talk or image review. My aim on these trips I tend to make the teaching more about polishing up technique, with a focus on both technical and artistic considerations that will really help you make stunning images, rather than trying to reinvent the way you are shooting.”

Seafans (Melithaea sp.) and soft corals (Sarcophyton sp.) make up a colourful coral reef scene. Vatu-i-Ra Passage, Ra Province, Viti Levu, Fiji. Bligh Waters, tropical Pacific Ocean

Alex adds “Fiji is a long way away from most places and I may plan a pre-trip extension, TBC closer to the time, for a few nights at Volivoli Resort. A chance to get over jet lag and get in the zone before joining the liveaboard. I’ll figure this out closer to the time. I am not planning an official group visit to the famous Beqa Lagoon shark dives, but I suspect many will want to add this on at the start or end of their trip.
THE PACKAGE
Liveaboard Dates: 28th March to 7th April 2019
Price: Euros 4350.
Includes: 10 Nights full board accommodation on liveaboard.
Up to 34 dives inclusive of night dives.
Free Nitrox fills for Nitrox certified divers.
Free rental dive equipment.
Alex Mustard Underwater Photography Workshop

Additional costs:
International Flights
Transfers between Nadi International Airport and Volivoli Resort/Fiji Siren (liveaboard departs from Volivoli Resort.
Port, park and tax fees: 200 Euro
Crew tips

For further information and reservations please contact: fiji@worldwidediveandsail.com