Location: South Africa or Mozambique
Duration: 4 weeks
Start Dates: Start dates are each month, enquire with us when applying.
Cost: $3,900 USD per month for Photography and Videography courses. See Costs section for more details.
Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pick-up & drop-off, orientation, training, all equipment hire and all project related travel
Does not Include: Flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
- Gain knowledge and practical skills to become an underwater photographer and videographer.
- Ideal for interns with an interest in getting their feet wet and getting footage under the water.
- Keywords: Scuba, underwater photography & videography.
The project you will be working with is an environmental and media company who focus on bringing attention to environmental issues specific to Africa, always looking for unique and authentic perspectives in their work. They work with many different clients, ranging from broadcasters, corporations, non-governmental organizations, print media and online news outlets. Their work is not restricted to water-based work, and you can also get involved in their terrestrial work.
If you are looking to acquire knowledge and practical skills to become an underwater photographer and videographer, then we can help! They use dSLR cameras in Sea&Sea housings; Panasonic HVX200 video and GoPros together with lighting and accessories to film the stunning coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. This course will empower you to see and explore the underwater realm in a totally new and intimate manner.
We focus on teaching you to become part of the marine world; using specialised breathing techniques and capitalising on the marine inhabitants natural curiosity. Their hand-picked and personally trained team will teach you how to capture the perfectly exposed and composed images and film. Creativity and new techniques are key. You can, if interested, also learn how to capture star trails; time-lapses and other interesting land based techniques. The course leaders mix in a little bit of information on how a young person entering this competitive but exciting field , can make money out of underwater photography.
The dive sites include some of the top rated dive reefs in the world such as Manta reef. The whale sharks in Mozambique are legendary. During the winter months the humpback whales are omnipresent as they come to breed in the bay. In Durban you will have a chance to dive the fantastic Aliwal Shoal and also get into the water with the black-tip sharks that frequent the area. Our partner dive company, Blue Wilderness specialises in shark diving and has a shark cage for those who prefer.
Specifically, the month long Mozambique program consists of a 20 dive photography package, a free-diving course, 1 cultural photography trip with a half day outing to the estuary near Barra, Inhambane. The course price includes 3 oceans safaris of which 2 are long-distance safaris aimed to get you the best chance of swimming with whale sharks and/or sharks and/or humpback whales depending on which month you join the program. The month long Durban program has a similar dive schedule but there are two other trips to a game reserve or the famous uShaka Aquarium in Durban included.
Included in the price is all camera and SCUBA gear hire and daily tuition and personal attention from the team. In other words you will live eat and breathe underwater photography for a full month. The price includes the use of professional underwater DSLR underwater photography kit,(with at least one and usually two strobes) and a month of food, accommodation and fun either at Blue Wilderness near Durban in South Africa or at Guinjata dive Centre near Inhambane in Mozambique.
We have developed a training syllabus consisting of direct tutorship, practical underwater photographic expeditions, practical cultural photographic expeditions, free diving training, and theoretical plus practical tuition for digital workflow and post-processing of your photographs.
Underwater photographic expeditions: Month long students will partake in 20 expeditions. 2 of these sessions will be pool based and focus on techniques to photograph and to work with human models underwater. 16 other expeditions will concentrate on photographing and/or filming local marine wildlife- both wide-angle and macro subjects.
Cultural photographic expeditions: Students will partake in 2 cultural expeditions. One of these will be water/surf based and focus on techniques to photograph human models at the waters edge. One expedition will concentrate on photographing local village life.
Free diving training: in addition, students will partake in 4 underwater free-diving expeditions. One of these will be pool based and focus on techniques to successful breath-hold underwater. Open water expeditions will concentrate on locating and photographing local marine wildlife (such as whale sharks or humpback whales and also reef vistas or landscapes which have recently gained in popularity in art sales) whilst on snorkelling gear and one will concentrate on working with models underwater ( this last one will either be pool based or possibly in the shallow surf or rock pools).
Although the course is not limited to this- here are some of the aspects of this field that you can expect to learn about:
- Extensive, intense and detailed training on UW cameras and digital underwater photography, and setting up your housing and camera and maintenance
- Successful shooting of models underwater,
- The progression from enthusiastic amateur to professional underwater photographer with a positive cash-flow
- Night time photography on land incl. shooting star trailsLandscapes
- Locals- villages and on the seashore
- Shooting wide angle
- Stock Photography
- Macro underwater work
- Super-Macro underwater work
- Ambient light photos in water
- Strobe use and creative UW lighting effects
- Working with premiere and adding music to films
Digital Workflow: Lectures/practicals include:
- Multiple Underwater Photo software workshops on Lightroom , Photoshop and Premiere – specifically geared to Underwater Photographers
- Creative ideas for UW specialists
- How to correctly keyword your images both in Lightroom and on stock sites
As a student and guest your daily routine will vary between diving and photographing or videographing, being tutored in photography and video techniques and free diving, and processing and editing your photographs.
The program runs on weekdays only, during the weekends you will be able to take part in activities & tours or simply relax!
Travel & Accommodation
If you are joining us for either Oct or Nov then your home for the duration of the course will be the beautiful dive center at Guinjata Bay. This is a resort located within the Inhambane Region of Mozambique. If you are joining in May, June, July, Aug or Sept then you will stay in Scottburgh, South Africa.
For the project in Scottburgh, South Africa – Arrange flights in and out of King Shaka Airport Durban
For the project in Guinjata, Mozambique – Arrange flights in and out of Inhambane Airport – Inhambane.
You will be met at the airport by a project representative and transferred to the project.
One hour south of Durban, lies the sleepy surfing village of Scottburgh. This coastal town lies directly opposite the world famous Aliwal Shoal. Students participating in our underwater videography and photography program will be housed at the Blue Wilderness Shark Center. A residential house mere meters away from the tranquil Scottburgh beach. The shark centre offers 5 bedrooms as well as living spaces, workrooms and a spacious garden for students. With Blue Wilderness you will stay in dorm style accommodation. Private rooms are occasionally available at a surcharge and must be booked early.
- Minimum age 18.
- Basic English language skills.
- Necessary vaccinations
- Necessary flight & visas.
- Full travel & medical insurance – full assistance provided in arranging everything you will need if you choose our Premium Support
The course is open to all qualified SCUBA divers and those wanting to learn. For non-qualified divers, you must gain a minimum open-water dive qualification prior to arrival. Alternatively, you can arrive on program 3 days prior, to gain qualification and practice in SCUBA diving.
In terms of underwater photographic gear, all dive gear and photographic gear is supplied. Students can bring their own gear if desired. A minimum standard of photographic gear required is a DSLR or quality mirrorless system with two strobes. You would also be required to have a wide angle and a macro lens and the relevant ports. If you bring your own photographic equipment of the standard set out here then, a cost break of $250 is offered.
All photographic and scuba equipment is supplied during the course this includes;
- 7 x Underwater DSLR photographic kits with strobes
- 1 x Panasonic HVX200 video camera & housing
- Full scuba kits including a full range of wetsuit sizes.
- Rubber Duck RIB or dive boat
Camera’s – we use both Canon and Nikon cameras but you are welcome to bring your own gear.
Computers: Please bring your own laptop. It must be pre-loaded with Adobe Lightroom 6 or CC as we use this extensively on course. Please bring Adobe Premiere Pro OR if you don’t want to buy that, then any other video editing software that you usually use and know.
The cost is $3,900 USD per month
If you have your own dSLR underwater photography kit (with 2 strobes), the cost is reduced to $3550 p/m.
*$750 deposit to confirm your place
**All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** For the latest currency conversions, check out xe.com
- All food and accommodation
- 20 dive package (incl. of 3 ocean safaris and 1 estuary trip in Moz) (incl.of 1 ocean safari and two game reserve an/or aquarium trips in Durban)
- Practical and theoretical training instruction in underwater photography and videography
- Free diving course
- Food and soft drinks ( juice )/ water for your entire stay
- Accommodation: the rooms will be shared with other students (genders will be separated) from the 1st (arrival day) to the 30th (departure day).
- Transfer from airport to your residence when you arrive, and again back to the Airport upon departure
- Hard and soft SCUBA equipment and full DSLR sets with lights
- SCUBA airfills
What’s Not Included
- Laptop computer (please bring your own)
- Laundry service
- Tourism excursions
- Extra food and beverages
- All flights, travel insurance and vaccinations
- Recreational weekend SCUBA diving
- Internet fees
- Laundry service
- Non-course excursions
- Extra food and beverages and alcoholic beverages
- Staff Tips
- Private accommodation (available upon request)
Depending on your habits and lifestyle, it is usually suggested to add between 4,000 and 6,000 South African Rand (approx. $300-500 USD) to your monthly budget. This would be for souvenirs, excursions, entertainment and other personal daily needs. A dive course will cost in the region of R5500 to R6500.
Due to the number of applications received and limited places, the owners unfortunately cannot accept all applying interns. Therefore, they do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation and deposit has been paid. They request that a non-refundable USD750 deposit is paid within a week of booking into the program as confirmation (foreign and local bank fees are for your own account). The remaining fee must be paid in full 21 days prior to your arrival in South Africa/Moz. In case of cancellation, they will attempt to move you to a preferred month that you are able to attend, however, they cannot offer refunds on deposits.
If you would like to stay with us outside of the program dates (1st to the 28th) then they ask R500/day to cover food and accommodation.
Note: Map coordinates are approximate