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Fiji Soft Coral & Shark Bonanza Photo & GoPro Workshop Oct 2024

$4,490.00

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Fiji Soft Coral & Shark Bonanza Photo & GoPro Workshop Oct 2024

Join us in the soft coral capital of the world! This underwater photo & GoPro video workshop spends 3-nights at Waidroka Bay Resort and 7-nights at Volivoli Beach Resort, the ultimate combination in Fiji for divers.

 

Why Join This Trip?

  • Dive the world’s best shark dive in South Fiji plus the world’s best soft corals in the Bligh Waters in warm, clear water
  • Learn from Bluewater’s top photo and video instructors - Nirupam Nigam and Todd Kortte
  • Easy travel from the USA, stay at two of Fiji’s best dive resorts
  • Bring your non-divers to experience the best snorkeling in the world at VoliVoli resort
  • Unique opportunity to learn photography and GoPro skills from two of Bluewater’s best instructors 

 

OctOBER 9 - 19, 2024

10 nights at Waidroka Bay Resort & Volivoli Beach Resort

Trip Leaders

Photo Instructor: Nirupam Nigam

GoPro Video Instructor: Todd Kortte

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Standard Ocean View/Panoramic Room $4,490 per person, double occupancy

Deluxe Ocean View / Deluxe Bure $4,700 per person, double occupancy

Premium Ocean View / Deluxe Bure $4,825 per person, double occupancy

 

Click here to compare room types:
Waidroka Room Options | Volivoli Room Options

Single Occupancy and Non-Diver rates available. 

Option to upgrade to a 2 bedroom Superior Bure at Waidroka for $500

 

Trip Overview

Start off your Fijian adventure with 2 days of exhilarating shark diving in the Pacific Harbor area where you have the opportunity to observe and shoot several species of sharks, including bull sharks, silvertip sharks, lemon sharks, and the occasional tiger shark. There is also the opportunity to explore the hard coral reefs and massive sea fan gardens in the southern part of Viti Levu.

In Fiji, it’s all about the corals. The colors are so incredibly vibrant and the anthias so plentiful that it’s hard to ever look away. Around every corner is the next world-class image. One of the main draws of diving Fiji is the reef scenes - they are quite spectacular!

The gorgeous, lush, color-splashed images of Fiji that you see in dive publications are courtesy of a soft coral called dendronephthya. Few other places in the world offer such an abundance of this coral, nor the wide spectrum of colors, ranging from pink, purple, and orange, to yellow, and fiery red. Dendronephthya soft coral needs a brisk current to really look their best. With little current present the soft coral colors are muted, but as the current increases they inflate with water and their color really begins to glow. As the current picks up, planktivores such as beautifully colored scale fin anthias spring up off the reef in polarized schools. Together, this forms a rich pageantry of color. Underwater photographers will want to shoot when some current is present, making a dramatic difference to the color of the underwater imagery.

One of the best places for soft coral in Fiji is the Bligh Waters between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu where there are numerous reefs and pinnacles. The reefs in the surrounding Bligh Waters, also known as The Vatu-I-Ra Passage, are some of the healthiest in the world, with very little pollution and few boats, so you’ll be able to see an array of marine life including anemone fish, turtles, colorful soft coral, and reef sharks. 

Volivoli Beach Resort is known for its proximity to Bligh Waters. There are over 50 superb dive sites no more than a 20-minute boat ride away, and some of the most popular ones are in the fascinating Bligh Waters. 

Read the trip recap from our 2022 Photo & GoPro Video Workshop here.

  

Marine Life To Photograph & Film

You’re going to see the healthiest soft coral in the world, more colors than you can imagine, and some extremely rare macro creatures—like the ornate ghost pipefish, orangutan crabs, frogfish, nudibranch, and seahorses — and in all likelihood, turtles, moray eels, schools of barracuda, trevally, giant groupers, grey, black and white tip reef sharks, and the occasional tiger shark.

Fiji underwater photo Fiji underwater photo

Fiji Photo Workshop 2022 Fiji Photo Workshop

Read the reviews on diving Fiji here.

 

Trip Type

This trip is a PHOTOGRAPHY & GOPRO VIDEO WORKSHOP. It will be led by two of our photo and video instructors and will include daily underwater tutorials, in-water support, and one-to-one advice and guidance as required.

What to expect from our Photo & GoPro Video Workshops

  • Daily photo & GoPro video workshops - Your instructors will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography and videography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include topics relevant to the location and your experience such as wide-angle, and macro-specific workshops and assignments.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the  instructors, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the instructor will do his or her best to accommodate all requests. 
  • Consecutive days of practice & review - Each day you will have the opportunity to practice the techniques and skills learned in the previous day’s tutorials. If you are new to underwater photography or GoPro videography you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image & video reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos and videos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructors and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers & videographers - Both new and experienced photographers and videographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography and videography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers and videographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos and videos, increase your confidence in finding the best underwater shots, or hone specific skills. We also encourage non-photographers to join, as many of them really enjoy the daily photo reviews, learning about underwater photography, and some have even returned to a photo workshop with an underwater camera setup!
  • Enjoy free, unlimited access to a wealth of knowledge and advice from your photo instructor and GoPro video instructor.

Read about our latest GoPro Video Workshop in the Cayman Islands here.

 

Trip Syllabus

Bluewater's Fiji Photo & GoPro Video workshop is the perfect learning experience while you're diving in some of the world's most colourful reefs or sharkiest lagoons. Photo instructor, Nirupam Nigam, will instruct students on the intricacies of shark and reefscape photography (as well as a little macro), while renowned GoPro video instructor, Todd Kortte, will be covering the ins and outs of how to tell the story of this amazing region on video.

 

Photo Workshop

  • This workshop will include 8.5 days of instruction with daily photo and video workshop sessions comprising 8 x 60-minute photo presentations. This workshop will also include 2x 30-minute image reviews and 1-on-1 sessions for Adobe Lightroom. Teaching will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, 1-on-1 training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help
  • Introduction Topics (Day 1 & 2): 
  • Introduction to Fiji's Top Creatures and Photographic Opportunities: This introduction will go over our favourite subjects and reef scenes we can photograph in Fiji. Nirupam will go over his top tips for photographing each subject as well as information about their natural history, habitat, and lifecycle. He will also describe tips for photographing some of the popular reefscapes in Fiji. 
  • Introduction to Underwater Photography: This class is Nirupam's grand introduction to the hobby of underwater photography. He will cover essential information from the phenomenon of light attenuation to the triangle of exposure to underwater composition and strobe positioning. This class can sometimes span over 2 days.
  • Intermediate Topics (Days 3, 4 & 5): 
  • Underwater Lighting Demonstration: This is a short class that will cover general positions for both underwater strobe and video lights with a single light source or dual light sources. Nirupam will cover both wide-angle and macro photography as well as what to do in difficult conditions with limited visibility or white sand. 
  • Introduction to Macro Photography (short class): This class introduces students to the concept of a macro lens and subject. It covers ideas for lighting, composition, and creative tools of the trade. Nirupam will talk about how to photograph anthias, nudibranchs, wire coral shrimp/gobies, anemonefish, and more macro subjects. 
  • Adobe Lightroom - the Full Spectrum: This is the largest class of the workshop. Nirupam's Adobe Lightroom class includes the full spectrum of use for underwater photography including importing images, using the star rating system and sorting, creating collections, basic underwater editing, backscatter removal, and new AI masking tools/denoise/sharpen. As a follow-up, students will have the opportunity for 1-on-1 lightroom instruction in the evenings. 
  • Introduction to Wide Angle Photography (short class): This class introduces students to wide-angle lenses, photographing reefscapes, and dome port optics. It covers ideas for composition and lighting as well as different techniques for photographing the coral reef scenes found in Fiji. 
  • Photographing Sharks: Nirupam's top tips for photographing sharks with an overview of shark behaviour, approaching sharks, and techniques for focus and lighting. This class will focus on the bull sharks and tiger sharks found in Beqa Lagoon.
  • Advanced Topics (Days 6 & 7) 
  • Advanced Wide Angle Topics - Ambient Light & Close Focus Wide Angle: This class covers more advanced wide angle techniques for close focus and ambient light. Nirupam will take a look at lighting techniques, lens selection, capturing refraction, and light attenuation.
  • Motion Blur Photography: Motion blur can add a sense of drama and chaos to your Fiji shark photos. This class introduces the concept of motion blur and teaches students how to use it in their shark photography. The group will practice these concepts with the sharks of Beqa Lagoon.
  • Nirupam will have open sessions for 1-on-1 time at least one hour per day. During dives, he will be alternating dive groups and offering underwater help to provide lighting and triangle of exposure settings advice to the best of my abilities while we dive. Unless there are strong currents, Nirupam will be available by request to anyone. He will also be available underwater to anyone who is having camera issues and can try to fix any problems that are occurring underwater. He will be available for 1-on-1 advice throughout the workshop and will have open sessions in the evenings before bed to help with lightroom and any questions people have.

 

 Video Workshop

  • When used properly, the GoPro can be a very powerful tool for capturing underwater video.  Join Hollywood actor Todd Kortte to learn how to shoot, edit, and share underwater videos with a GoPro camera using shooting techniques learned from experience on Hollywood production sets.  Learn how to share your content online and make an impact with your underwater video content.
  • This workshop will include one online class before the trip and daily workshops during the trip. Workshops and tutorials will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, one-on-one training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help.
  • Days 1 & 2:
  • Introduction to underwater video will include understanding the difference in video frame rates and resolutions.  Types of Hollywood-style shots that hold the viewer's attention, are easy to capture, and simple to edit.  Lens options and camera settings for underwater video.  Camera tray setup options to maximize your potential to capture captivating videos.  How to use custom GoPro QR codes to switch camera settings instantly.
  • Days 3, 4, & 5:
  • Intermediate subjects include understanding color loss underwater.  Learning the difference between ambient and video lights and how to understand lighting to streamline your ability to shoot video underwater.  When and if to use red filters.  Understanding white balance.  How to use a macro lens with the GoPro.  How to shoot shy life.  How to approach marine life and create experiences you will never forget.
  • Days 6 & 7:
  • Advance topics will include video editing tips and tricks that can enhance and streamline your post-production process.  Color correction, video output settings, editing software, bitrate settings, social media settings, and feature film settings.  How to submit your videos to viral video companies and monetize your work.  How to optimize your video for sharing on Facebook and Instagram. 
  • Todd uses Adobe Premiere to edit videos, however, the basics of video editing can be found across all editing software platforms.  Even free editing software packages can perform the tasks needed to fine-tune your video.  Once you understand some basic color correction and output settings, the rest is really simple.  It's all down to telling the story, transitions, and flow to your content.  You will soon discover how the types of Hollywood-style shots you captured underwater come together in a simple-to-manage workflow.
  • During the workshop, Todd will be available topside to answer questions and dive deeper into the subjects you want to know more about.  Underwater, Todd will work with you to show you shots, point out subjects of interest, and show you how to move underwater to create interest in your video. Todd will hold daily reviews of diver videos so you can see and compare who has captured great shots.  This is often one of the most enjoyable parts of the workshop. 
  • Underwater video can be intimidating at first, but once you understand the process taught by Todd, you will see that it's actually pretty simple and exciting.  Any diver, no matter what their level or experience, has the potential to capture something underwater never seen before and share it instantly with the world.  We all have the potential to shape the views of our underwater world by sharing our work on social media.  This is pretty exciting to think about.  Join Todd to learn how to shoot underwater videos, and share your content with the rest of the world.

 

 

Diving Conditions In October

June through October is the dry season. During that time, the water is clearest with visibility often reaching 100 feet or more, but it can be windy and water temperatures can drop into the mid-70s. Most likely marine life sightings during this season include sharks, eagle rays, whales, and turtles.

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Inclusions

  •  3 nights accommodation at Waidroka Bay Resort
  • 7 nights accommodation at Volivoli Beach Resort
  • Full meal plan (3 meals daily with juice, milk, rainwater, coffee, and tea at breakfast)
  • FREE daily underwater photography & GoPro Video tutorials and workshops
  • Round-trip Nadi Airport/resort transfers
  • Transfer between Waidroka Bay Resort and Volivoli Beach Resort
  • 1 day of 2-tank reef diving at Waidroka Bay
  • 2 days of 2-tank shark diving at Pacific Harbor
  • 3 days of 2 tank boat diving & 3 days of 3 tank boat diving at Volivoli Beach Resort 
  • Unlimited shore diving at Volivoli on dive days (reserve tanks 24 hours prior)
  • Tanks, weights, and dive guide
  • Complimentary wifi at Volivoli on 2 devices per person
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Beach BBQ
  • Traditional Meke performance
  • Hosted group event on the last night
  • Free use of kayaks and participation in a variety of complimentary resort activities
  • Dolphin Safari at Volivoli Beach Resort
  • Resort and Government taxes

 

Exclusions

  • Nitrox ($125USD - must be pre-booked) *only available at Volivoli Beach Resort 
  • Marine Park Fees ($20FJD per day)
  • Beverages other than tea, coffee, and rainwater
  • Lobster and crab menu items (market price)
  • Personal dive equipment
  • Dive courses
  • Extra dives at Volivoli ($78US per tank)
  • Night dives at Volivoli (min. 6 divers; $125US per tank)
  • Excursions
  • Dive and Travel Insurance (diving insurance is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Fuel surcharge

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Important Information

  • No. of dives:  2 days of 2-tank shark dives and 1 day of 2-tank reef dives at Pacific Harbour, 3 days of 2-tank boat diving, and 3 days of 3-tank boat diving at Volivoli Beach Resort – includes all tanks, weights, and dive guide
  • Avg. visibility: 50 - 130 feet
  • Required skill: Beginner to advanced
  • Wetsuit needed: 3-5mm full-length wetsuit (recommended)
  • Topside temperature: 72-81°F (22-27°C) in October
  • Currents: We can, and regularly do, encounter medium to strong current

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About Waidroka Bay Resort

Waidroka Bay Resort offers the best of world-class scuba diving with amazing variety, combined with some of Fiji’s finest soft corals and the great Fiji Shark Dive in the Beqa Lagoon. Expect comfortable accommodations, great services, and an overall excellent value for money!

Waidroka Bay Resort Waidroka Bay Resort

 

Waidroka Bay Resort Features

  • On-site full-service dive center
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Internet available throughout the resort. Surcharges apply, depending on the option you choose
  • Laundry service available at $15 FJD per load 

 Waidroka Bay Resort Waidroka Bay Resort 

 

Waidroka Bay Resort Restaurant & Bar

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner available around the clock at the resort, freshly prepared using the best local produces
  • Outside pool bar with a happy hour every day. Wines, beer, cocktails and soft drinks available.

 

Read more about Waidroka Bay Resort here.

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About Volivoli Beach Resort

Volivoli Beach Resort is the ultimate diving paradise in Fiji for beginners and advanced divers alike, located in one of Fiji's best diving destinations. They offer 32 comfortable rooms with panoramic beach and ocean views.

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort

 

The Volivoli Beach Resort also just recently opened its brand new camera room, which can accommodate up to 14 people and comes complete with international and USB charging ports, and individual air-guns at each workstation.

Volivoli Beach Resort Volivoli Beach Resort 

 

Resort Amenities

  • 2 x licensed restaurants and  3x bars
  • Large swimming pool with swim-up bar
  • Onsite dive operation – RA Divers
  • Airport transfer service
  • Multiple happy hours
  • Large screen TV for sports events
  • Hammocks
  • Poolside furniture
  • Day spa
  • Beachside bar
  • Beach towels
  • Beachfront location
  • Lush tropical gardens
  • 24-hour main grid power
  • Onsite backup generator
  • Reception and day room facilities
  • All tide swimming beach
  • Weekly beach BBQ

Read more about Volivoli Beach Resort here.

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About The Trip Leader

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in Southern California's Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. He spent some time as a fisheries observer on fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific, collecting data for NOAA. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his wife and taking photos.

As the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the Chief Marketing Officer at Bluewater Photo & Video, Nirupam is one of the world's few full-time underwater photography editors. You can get in touch with him at nirupam@uwphotographyguide.com or through his website www.photosfromthesea.comRead more about Nirupam here.

 

 

 

Todd Kortte is an Actor and Producer in Los Angeles with a passion for the underwater world. He also has a creative background in roller coaster design/theme park ride design and has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Studios Creative. Todd combined his storytelling theme park background with his Hollywood acting experience and brought experience to the underwater world. He placed 4th in the world in the Underwater World Shootout in Germany in 2018. He is the only American to make the top 5 finalists in the underwater video category. Todd has several licensed viral videos, is a 5-time video winner of the So-Cal Shootout, has achieved over 10 million minutes of online stream time with his work, and is currently achieving more Film Festival awards with his underwater content.

Todd is also a Pro Team Member for Kraken Sports and participates regularly with Oceans Defenders Alliance in Southern California to remove lost fishing nets off the coast of California.

In the hope of giving other divers the tools to capture our underwater world and share it online for the world to see, Todd teaches underwater videography and GoPro underwater classes with Bluewater University. Read more about Todd here.

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Travel Information

  • International flights: Guests should fly into and out of Nadi international airport (code: NAN).
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure: Round trip Nadi airport/resort transfers are included in the price.

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Payment Schedule  

Deposit: $800 to confirm trip

May 1, 2024: $1000

July 1, 2024: Balance due

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GOT QUESTIONS? READY TO BOOK?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677, email us info@bluewaterdivetravel.com

Or leave us a message in the live chat box 

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Underwater Photos from Previous Trips  

Fiji underwater photo Fiji banded sea crate

Fiji underwater photo Fiji underwater photo

Fiji Reef Fiji underwater photo

Images by Dan Bishop & Craig Dietrich, Fiji Photo Workshop 2022

 

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