FULLY BOOKED. The Philippines sits in the heart of coral triangle, home to the world’s most biodiverse tropical marine life and is arguably the world’s epicentre for underwater photography. Join Alex Mustard for his Macro Masterclass workshop, an extensive (50+ dives) shoot in two of the finest locations in the country. This workshop is organised by Scuba Travel, please contact them for reservations, direct email: Caroline@scubatravel.com.

Blue Ring Wide Angle. Philippines.

First stop is Anilao and the stylish and spacious Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort, a simple land transfer away from Manila International Airport. Anilao is a classic, rightly hailed as one of the world’s top macro destinations and a hotbed of underwater photography innovation. Here Alex will teach the “Macro Techniques” section of the workshop, to give you a solid foundation and a host of creative ideas to try at both destinations. Anilao is a fabulously diverse and rich critter spot, that reliably provides “firsts” for even the most seasoned traveller. Alex says “Anilao is most famous for nudibranchs, and is probably the world’s top destination for sea slugs. But it is so much more, you can really find all the macro critters you could ever want here: frogfish (including hairy), octopus (including mimic, wonderpus, blue ring, coconut), flambos, pygmies, huge numbers of special shrimps, the list goes on and on.” Check out Alex’s Anilao images here for a flavour.

Coleman Shrimps On Fire Urchin. Philippines.

In Anilao, the workshop includes 6 nights in a casita room at Aiyanar on an full board basis – optional room upgrades available – with 5 days diving (15 total), nitrox included and unlimited house reef diving. Alex adds “because of the number of special critters in Anilao, we have arranged a 2:1 guest to guide ratio for this part of the workshop”. One night dive in included, however, additional night dives (either muck, bonfire or blackwater) can easily be added if you are not pacing yourself (you can expect Alex to dive on most nights in Anilao)!

Dancing Sweetlips. Philippines.

Next is a transfer back to the airport and the flight to Dumaguete and the welcoming and elegant Atlantis Dumaguete Resort, for 9 nights, with 8 diving days (5 boat dives per day, including night dive). Dumaguete is quite a contrast out of the water, with an on-the-beach laid-back atmosphere. But don’t be mislead this is a really serious macro destination, with a host of dive sites right in front of the resort.  Check out Alex’s Dumaguete images here. Alex says “on my last workshop here, we had 9 frogfish on the check dive and things just built up from there. If you like skeleton shrimps, prepare to be amazed. The workshop will become less intense in Dumaguete with teaching focused on shooting the “Prime Subjects” and image review sessions. It is also a fantastic place for anemone fish photography, with upto 7 species on some dives, providing a great chance to really nail that perfect memo shot for your portfolio.”

Warts And All Potrait. Philippines

In Dumaguete, the workshop includes 9 nights in a deluxe room at Atlantis again on full board – optional room upgrades are available – with 8 days diving (unto 5 per day), nitrox included. One day trip to dive Apo Island is included in our package. It is possible to arrange day trips to shoot the whale sharks in Oslob, although this is not included in the workshop. At the end of the workshop, you will fly back to Manila to connect to your international flights.

Pink Mantis. Philippines

Alex says “I have visited both these destinations previously and run workshops at them multiple times. They are both fully focused on photography and have always exceeded my expectations, both above and below the water. The Philippines are quite seasonal, and this trip is specifically timed to catch both areas rich with critters. Although the teaching of the workshop is focused on macro photography, I recommend bringing one wide angle lens particularly for Apo Island, and possibly for the outside sites in Anilao.”

Whip coral goby (Bryaninops amplus). Anilao, Batangas, Luzon, Philippines. Verde Island Passages, Tropical West Pacific Ocean.

The workshop runs from 30th April to 15th May 2019 (Manila to Manila).

The price is £3895 GBP per person, from Manila to Manila (based on sharing rooms). Includes full board accommodation, nitrox diving (50+ dives), Alex Mustard macro workshop, internal flights and transfers.

Room upgrades are available at both resorts. Single supplement is available. Non-diving partners are welcome. Scuba Travel can also arrange international flights.

For further information and for reservations please contact Scuba Travel, direct email Caroline@scubatravel.com. A non-refundable deposit of £800 GBP is required to secure your place, an interim payment of £1000 GBP is due in July 2018 and the final balance is due in January 2019.

Ghost Pipefish Pair. Philippines.