FULLY BOOKED. Raja Ampat in Indonesia is famed as the home of the world’s richest reefs. But for the underwater photographer it actually about so much more than that. The mantas are mesmerising, the fish life is phenomenal, the wobbegongs wondrous, mangroves marvellous, etc, but it is ability to combine these dives, these experiences, these opportunities (and many, many more) in a single trip that makes this place so special. Alex says “Raja Ampat is far more than just four kings, it is a complete royal family of fantastic diving experiences. These back to back workshops aim to put you in front of the best opportunities with the tips and knowledge to capture truly spectacular images.”

To book on this workshop, please contact indonesia@wwdas.com.

A kayaker (Eleonora Manca) explores mangroves and coral reefs. Waigeo, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Model released.

“Furthermore,” adds Alex, “I have timed this trip specifically to catch the mini-sardine run in the Misool area, which typically happens in this early part of the season (October/November) when great schools of anchovy aggregate on the reefs in Misool. And these attract predators. I’ve watched hundreds of groupers, snappers and lion fish rise up from the reefs to feed on them, while on the outside of the schooling anchovies, I’ve seen teams of jacks, tuna and even mobula rays racing in to feed. The spectacle can’t be guaranteed, but the flexibility of a liveaboard is certainly the best way to find the action. And if we get lucky, this it will turn an amazing trip into an extra-ordinary one.”

“The itineraries of both legs of the workshop will be flexible,” continues Alex, “with the intention of working the best opportunities, whether that means sticking on a site or in an area, or by travelling widely.”

Silversides and Seafans. Indonesia

The workshop’s teaching focus aims to be more evolution, than revolution to your existing photographic approach. Raja is one of the world’s ultimate photographic destinations, so it isn’t the place to spend days reinventing your photographic technique. Instead Alex’s teaching will be about getting the most out of the destination and especially you, as a photographer. The focus will be on the aesthetics of underwater photography, with some helpful refreshers on the technical side. Teaching will concentrate on helping you produce stunning scenics that capture the DNA of Raja Ampat, jaw-dropping frames of great marine life encounters and sumptuous macro art that celebrates the amazing biodiversity.

Alex adds “the teaching will focus on ideas relevant to the subject matter we are encountering, creative compositions and tips for the different opportunities in each area. There will be one main teaching session each day, either talk based or image review, with pre-dive tips and informal chats during the day. These longer trips work best with a less intensive teaching schedule than some of my other workshops – the aim is to spend our energies in the water, rather than in the classroom.”

Soft Coral On Mangrove Root. Indonesia

Home for the workshop will be fabulous MY Indo Siren (these are Alex’s 6th and 7th workshops on board this vessel) and bookings are direct with Siren Fleet, their website has lots of useful travel and destination information. Indo Siren is a great combination of luxury and practicality. The cabins are large and the whole boat is ideally setup for the needs of a workshop. Indo Siren is at the higher end of the scale for liveaboards in the region, but without the astronomic prices of the most luxurious boats.

Each charter is priced at $5540 per person (this is simply the standard charter price, plus $200 USD course fee for Alex’s 10 day workshop).

Wobbegong Yawn. Indonesia

Alex adds “I am running two workshops back to back. The talks will be the same on both workshops, so I expect most people to book for just one leg. There is no significant difference in my plans for the two trips, although it is unlikely that they will both visit all the same sites, as there is just too much good stuff to see. Both trips are likely to have a southern Raja bias, to catch sardines in Misool assuming they are there. I am also planning on calling in on the Nampale mangroves, as it has been a while since I have shot there, and to visit the muck sites of Batanta. I will find it hard to resist sharing personal favourites such as the classic sites in Dampier Strait and the Passage with the group. The exact plan for each trip will be decided on location with consolation with the cruise director and the captain.”

Batfish and Pinnacle. Indonesia

VITALS

The charter price is $5540 USD per person for a 10 night charter (Sorong-Sorong).

Workshop 1: 23th October to 2nd November 2019. Workshop 2: 3rd November to 13th November 2019.

This includes accommodation (shared twin cabins) and full board on the Indo Siren, the diving, the workshop, Nitrox, full rental dive kit (if you want to save luggage) and free soft drinks and beer.

Not included are flights, Marine Park Fees (130 USD) purchases on board, crew tips (cash only).

To book on this workshop, please contact indonesia@wwdas.com. I expect these workshops to be very popular, so places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A 30% deposit is required to secure your place.

If you want to be on a particular trip, with a particular buddy, please coordinate with them prior to booking and make sure that you ask to be on the same charter.

Anemonefish Under Forest. Indonesia