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Anilao December 2022 Photo Workshop


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Bluewater Travel's December 2022 Anilao

Underwater Photo Workshops

Join Bluewater Travel in December 2022 in Anilao for

some amazing reef and critter diving at Crystal Blue Resort.

December 4 - 11, 2022 (7 Nights)

Trip Leaders: Helen Brierley

Mike Bartick, photo instructor

Optional Land Extensions:

7 Nights in Dumaguete

7 Nights in Puerto Galera

10 Nights in Cebu & Bohol

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Why Join This Trip?

  • 25% off rental photo gear from Bluewater Photo
  • Daily photography workshops by photo pro at no extra cost, suitable for beginners and experienced photographers alike
  • Trip designed to shoot photos - We select liveaboards that provide photographer-friendly facilities. The dive guides are also there to enable you to get photos, not just show you the reef
  • Considered by many to be the best macro diving in the world!
  • Awesome itineraries, packed full of diving and workshop lessons
  • One of our most popular workshops offered
  • Awesome testimonials, all listed below!
  • Leaders who care about their guests' experiences
  • 4 to 1 guide to guest ratio
  • Up to 4 dives a day, including night dives!

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Shaun the Sheep, nudibranch Hairy frogfish 

Shaun the Sheep nudibranch (L), and hairy frogfish (R)

Trip Overview

This was the best organized and informative photo trip that I have been on, and I’ve been on a few.” - Harry O'Neil 

  • Package includes 7 nights, 8 days, with all meals
  • Up to 4 dives a day, with no afternoon dives on the 7th day (December 11).
  • Deluxe accommodations in sealed rooms with air-conditioning
  • The resort also boasts 2 family rooms. They are larger than the deluxe rooms and are located at the lowest level of the resort, closest to the restaurant and dive shop. The family rooms are available for an additional $250.
  • Small 'dive guide to diver' ratios and long dive times
  • Daily photo clinics and workshops to help you improve your photography
  • 7 nights not enough? 10-night stays are available for $2,199 with up to 4 dives a day.
  • Single rooms are available for $2,299 for the 7-day workshop and $2,849 for the 10-day.
  • We will visit the best dive sites early and often! Most sites are just 10 - 20 minutes from the resort.
  • December is a great time to dive Anilao!
  • Prizes for photographing the most critters, the most nudibranch species, best video, and the best macro, wide-angle, and behavior shots
  • Photographers with even the smallest point and shoot camera will feel very welcome here, and you will go home with some great shots!
  • We will have several boats, so you can dive the type of sites you like
  • Additional costs: Nitrox ($99 for the week and highly recommended), transfers ($100 round trip from Manila airport), airfare


Anilao boasts some of the richest reefs in the world. Whether at 10ft or 100ft beneath the surface, you will be inundated with photo subjects that will fill up your memory card before the day is over.


Almost all species on our critter list can be found in Anilao - such as Rhinopias, blue-ring octopus, hairy frogfish, pipefish, flamboyant cuttlefish & Bobbit worms. Anilao is also the nudibranch capital of the world!

Bluewater Photo will show you where to take that perfect wide-angle, macro or critter behavior shot.

Here's the schedule for this trip:

  • Day one of the trip: Arrival at the resort will be between 11am-1pm from Manila hotels. Rooms will be available for check-in between 12pm and 2pm. While waiting for rooms to become available, guests can have lunch (runs from 12-2), unpack their camera gear in the camera room, or relax in the common areas. There are 2 optional afternoon dives the day of arrival, which can take place as soon as 4 guests are ready for a dive (4 divers per boat).   
  • Each subsequent day of the trip includes *up to* 4 dives per day, consisting of two in the morning and two in the afternoon (one afternoon dive is a night dive).
  • There will be no afternoon dives on the 7th day (December 11). This time is reserved for a photo contest and group dinner before you depart the next day (if you don't book the 10-night extension).
  • There will be underwater photo seminars and image reviews in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
  • Check-out on the last day is at 10:00 am.

*If your flight doesn't depart until the evening, you may want to consider getting a "day room" somewhere in Manila so you can be dropped off there instead of the airport too early!

To get a little insight as to what the workshop is like, read the report from our 2018 and 2019 workshops or see our guide to diving Anilao.

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Trip Testimonials

"This was the best organized and informative photo trip that I have been on, and I’ve been on a few.” - Harry O'Neil
"This was my first trip with Bluewater Photo, and my trip with you was my best dive trip ever." - Christy Vail 
"I learned so much after each day we dived, the tuition was invaluable at the end of each day, and as a result, I was able to see the day-to-day improvements in my underwater pictures." - Warner Priest
"Scott and Mike are amazing underwater photographers, and they are passionate, patient, and eager to teach students of all levels and abilities." - Larry Naylor
"I'm loving this trip - thank you Scott so much for organizing it and all your help while you were here. And the amazing cake. Again, this trip is probably the best thing I've ever done - last night's dive to Twin Rocks was maybe the best dive of my life." - PT Hirschfield
"The dive sites were, of course, amazing sea life on every single dive, but more fun than that was being able to give your guide your wish list and knowing they’d work with you as a unit to try to find your subjects." - Suzan Meldonian
"It was a fantastic trip. Great diving, resort facilities and very helpful staff. I would go back to Crystal Blue Resort in a heartbeat. Not to mention the feedback, seminars and the slide shows by Scott and Mike have definitely helped me become a better photographer." - Nayan Savla
"Great trip! A very intense program with priceless underwater coaching. Looking forward to more." - Alex Sher
"I had a great time and learned a lot. Thanks! The diving was awesome and it was one of my best trips." - Chuck Dreyfus




  • 7 or 10 nights of deluxe accommodations in sealed rooms with air-conditioning
  • Daily photo clinics and workshops to help you improve your photography (for the May 2nd trip, the workshop will run only for the first 7 days - if you purchase the 10-day package, there will not be any additional photo education)
  • Up to 4 dives a day (including night dives)
  • All meals



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Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

The resort is on a hill and involves climbing stairs

About Crystal Blue Resort

Above are the rooms at Crystal Blue Resort, near Anilao's best dive sites. The resort has a bar, restaurant, spa, jacuzzi, awesome food, and great rooms - along with a great dive center that pumps Nitrox!


Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

Crystal Blue Resort Anilao  Crystal Blue Resort Anilao 

Read the reviews of Crystal Blue Resort here.

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Flight Information

  • We recommend guests arrive in Manila one day before the workshop begins and stay in a nearby hotel.
  • We have 3 hotel recommendations for guests; The Manila Marriott, Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City, or The Belmont Hotel - all very close to the airport.
  • Alternatively, you can arrive at the Manila airport (code: MNL) on the morning of the first day of the workshop before 10 am and the shuttle will pick you up directly from the airport.
  • Everyone will leave in the morning of the last day (approx 8:00 am) and be transferred back to the airport.
  • Booking an afternoon/evening flight would be advised.
  • If you have any questions, please email us for recommended departure/arrival times. We will arrange your transport to the resort.

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Daily Photo Workshops

Workshops will be given daily on topics such as macro composition, camera settings, creative lighting, super macro, and more. Help underwater is also given.

Check out this page for more information on what to expect from our photography workshops as well as some testimonials!

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Camera Recommendations

In order to get the most out of the photo workshops, we have put together a few recommendations for our guests. These are recommendations only; they are optional and all types of cameras and lighting systems are welcome. We will be teaching certain concepts and skills that will allow you to expand your photographic knowledge, and we feel that these tools are best suited to help you get the most out of the workshops.
A critical part of creating a photograph is exposure settings, therefore you will benefit most by using a camera that will allow you to take full manual control over the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.
Another camera function that is highly recommended is the ability to shoot images in RAW format. This will give you the most flexibility for post processing during image editing, which is also covered in many of the photo workshops. Most modern camera systems provide this functionality.
Lighting is perhaps the single most important part of creating beautiful underwater images....there is simply no way to cut corners with respect to lighting. The most common lighting systems for photography are strobes, however we do see many fine examples made with video lights. Instruction will be provided for using and getting the best results with strobes, so it is also recommended that strobes are part of your underwater lighting system. It is also highly advisable to get the most powerful strobes your budget will allow. While a single strobe will work for macro photography, dual strobes are highly recommended for both macro and specifically for wide-angle photos.   
-Tips provided by Photo Leader Erik Lukas


With a lifelong passion for anything water-related, Helen has been an avid scuba diver for over 30 years. Her first underwater camera was a Nikonos V, back in the days of film, but these days she never jumps in without her Nikon DSLR in hand. Currently based in Los Angeles, she races sailboats at every opportunity and is board chair of the international marine conservation foundation, Reef Check. She has won awards for her photographs and published articles on dive travel and photography.

Examples of her work can be found at or on Instagram @HelenMB.






Mike Bartick is a Marine Wildlife Photographer residing in Anilao, Philippines. He has an insatiable love for finding unique marine life, observing and photographing its behavior and sharing his insight and knowledge with others. His curiosity and drive for first-hand experience have led him across the globe in search of that special critter encounter.  Mike is a widely published, award-winning photographer, writer and international public speaker with work appearing monthly in various magazines, websites, and internet publications. 

Mike also hosts photo clinics, workshops, and seminars at Crystal Blue Resort, concentrating on the different aspects of Underwater Photography and the natural history of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific. 
 For more information, please contact or



Deposit: $500

Payment 2: $800 due 12/1/21

Payment 3: Balance due 7/1/22

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We can help with that! See more of the Philippines before or after your workshop in Anilao with Bluewater. Flying all that way merits a multi-destination vacation! Puerto GaleraDumaguete, and Cebu & Bohol are amazing destinations nearby that offer a range of additional unique experiences. Here are some examples of packages we can add on to your workshop reservation: 

*Rates are subject to change at any time; please contact us for the most updated pricing. 

7 NIGHTS in Dumaguete

A short domestic flight from MNL to the Southern Philippines can extend your macro photography vacation in style at the luxurious Atmosphere Resort.

  • A week in a Suite
  • 10-dive package
  • All meals
  • Transfers
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes

Atmosphere Resort Atmosphere Resort

Atmosphere Resort



7 NIGHTS IN Puerto Galera

A few hours' car and boat transfer from MNL, El Galleon can offer you abundant corals and fish diversity and an inexpensive all-inclusive dive package.
  • 7 nights at El Galleon Resort 
  • Daily dives
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes

El Galleon Dive Resort El Galleon Dive Resort

El Galleon Dive Resort



10 NIGHTS IN Cebu & Bohol

A short domestic flight from MNL to either of these islands offers a whole new experience! See pristine corals and abundant reefs, all with never-ending diversity ranging from tiny seahorses to whale sharks. There are numerous resorts to choose from, but we think Magic Resorts (Magic Oceans Bohol & Magic Island Cebu) offer the best experience for the price.

  • 5 nights on each island
  • Daily dives
  • All meals and transfers between resorts and airports
  • Free WiFi: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes

Magic Oceans Resort Bohol Magic Island Resort Moalboal

Magic Oceans (LEFT) & Magic Island (RIGHT)


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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at 310-915-6677 email us at

Or stop by our office at 3961 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 206 Culver City, CA 90230 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery

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 Anilao Underwater Photos by various trip leaders from previous trips  

Anilao trip - Paper nautilus Anilao trip - jellyfish

Anilao Trip Anilao Trip

Anilao Trip 

Anilao Trip Anilao Trip




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