Underwater Photography & Videography Classes


Are you interested in learning underwater photography?  Want to take an underwater photography course? Are you an experienced photographer but want to brush up on your techniques or learn more advanced underwater photo concepts? Take a look at our 2019 class schedule and see if something fits well for you. We offer group classes and can also schedule individual classes just for you and your needs!

Class Schedule | Class Descriptions | Teacher Bios | Testimonials


We offer photography & video classes in California and Florida


2019-2020 Underwater Photo & Video Class Schedule - Culver City, California


Tuesdays, January 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th at 6PM - Lightroom in Depth - $350

This ia a series of four 2-hour classes, teaching you all of the fundamentals of Lightroom in-depth. See the class details below for a full description.

Taught by Mike Chiado


Tuesday, February 4th at 6PM - Introduction to Underwater Photography  - $99

Equipment, settings, lighting, use of your strobe, composition, macro, wide-angle, black backgrounds, subject selection, and camera maintenance are all covered. Class is tailored to the needs of the students, and is also suitable for intermediate level photographers.

Taught by Mark Strickland


Tuesday, March 3rd at 6PM - Wide Angle Photography - $99

Learn what Mark considers the essentials of wide angle underwater photography, from close focus wide angle to big animal. Camera settings, lens choice, strobe positioning, as well as creative lighting possibilities will be covered. Mark will explain specific techniques with the help of example images that will be shown and discussed in class.

Taught by Mark Strickland


Thursday, May 21st at 6PM - Macro Photography - $99

You will learn about the tools-of-the-trade, camera settings, strobe settings, strobe positioning, creative lighting techniques, macro compositions, light modifiers and more. Additionally, Erik will show a series of images with a breakdown of how the image was made to give you an understanding of the specific technical settings and the approach he used to create these images. 


Taught by Erik Lukas


Classes in Florida

Classes in Jupiter, Florida are taught by Bluewater Photo pro Craig Dietrich. Craig runs multiple international photo workshops for Bluewater every year, and is one of Florida's best known creators of fine-art underwater photography, specializing in custom metal prints. Email craig@bluewaterphotostore.com for information on group and private classes in Florida.


Click here to sign up for a Class

These scheduled classes not fitting your interests or schedule? Please email sales@bluewaterphotostore.com or call the shop at 310-633-5052 for other potential classes or private sessions.

$99 per person for group photography classes
$99 per hour for private classes

Classes offered:

Introduction to Lightroom

The class will start with an overview of the different Lightroom options available from Adobe. You’ll then learn techniques useful in all versions of Lightroom to import, organize and rate images creating a searchable and useful library. Next, post workflow covers steps to bring out the best from your photos with tone correction, white balance, cropping, straightening and exporting. The class is hands-on and interactive - students should bring a laptop and some photos to edit.

Lightroom in Depth

Students will become comfortable using Adobe Lightroom for underwater photos - to import, inventory, manage, develop and export photos. By the end of the 4-session course each student will understand how to structure their photo library, organize photos for easy retrieval, develop/edit photos to their own preferences and ways to share photos with family and friends. 

The course will be interactive and hands-on. The small class size will allow for lots of individual attention. Students should bring a laptop and source of photos—camera, flash card or hard drive. Test images will be provided for understanding of Lightroom image processing functions.

Topics include installation, importing, metadata/keywords, rating/flagging, and the library, development, map, book, slideshow, print, and web modules. To warm up for the class, view some Lighroom tutorials for underwater online.

Photoshop for Photographers

Basics of photoshop for photographers, including removing distractions, backscatter. Color, tonal and contrast changes. Sharpening, noise reduction, cloning, dust removal. Blurring the background. 

Introduction to Underwater Photography 

Equipment, settings, lighting, use of your strobe, composition, macro, wide-angle, black backgrounds, subject selection, and camera maintenance are all covered. Class is tailored to the needs of the students, and is also suitable for intermediate level photographers.

Underwater Photography Boat Session

Most students take the classroom and boat session as a unit, one right after another. The boat session is where you really get to learn composition, lighting and subject selection "hands on" underwater. The instructor does 3-4 dives with the group, giving feedback below and above water, reviewing images in-between dives and giving assignments.

Advanced Underwater Photography

Topics are tailored towards the students, and may include close-focus wide angle, supermacro, off-camera lighting, slow-shutter speed photography, panning, shooting action, sunbursts, backlighting, snooting, and artistic shots.

Topside Photography basics for dSLR shooters and advanced compact users

We'll cover how to shoot nature, wildlife, people, moving objects, and indoor photography. Aperture, ISO, shutter speed, lens selection, focal length, and camera technique will all be covered.

Nature and Wildlife Photography

We'll cover how to shoot landscapes, seascapes, flowers, birds, and mammals. Use of a tripod, polarizing filter, neutral-density filter, low-light shooting and long-lens technique are all covered. We also discuss some of the best spots in Southern California for this type of photography. More extensive field workshops are available.

Equipment Discussed

Whether you are interested in high-end equipment like Nikon D850 underwater housings, or Sony A7r iii underwater housings, or a beginner setup, we can show you how to use your gear and get some great underwater photos with practise.

About the Underwater Photo Instructors

Scott Gietler

Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, the Underwater Photography Guide, and Bluewater Travel, a new full service dive travel agency. He also founded the world-reknowned Ocean Art underwater photo competition. He is on the board of ReefCheck.org,  and has volunteered at the Santa Monica Aquarium. He is also the author of the Guide to the Underwater Flora and Fauna of Southern California.

Scott regularly shoots underwater with a wide-range of compact, mirrorless and dSLR housings. His photos have appeared in most major dive magazines.

Mark Strickland

Mark is one of the world's best known underwater photographers, and has an exquisite collection of fine art underwater photography that appears in many high-end coffee table books.

His passion for underwater photography has led him to many top dive locales, including Thailand, where he spent 17 years as Cruise Director on a series of liveaboards. An avid marine naturalist, Mark has discovered several nudibranch species.

He is co-author and principle photographer for Lonely Planet's award-winning book, "Diving and Snorkeling Thailand", and his work appears in many magazines, books and displays around the world. Currently, Mark leads several dive trips each year to his favorite destinations, while working on a career-spanning large-format pictorial book. Mark's work also has appeared in many gallery exhibitions, and is frequently shown in major dive magazines.


Erik Lukas

Erik Lukas is an active diver and photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a volunteer scuba diver at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. You can expect to find Erik diving many of the amazing Pacific Ocean sites of Southern California, camera in hand, at any chance he can get.

"I am passionate about underwater photography in general and have a special love for macro subjects. For me the things that are hardest to spot hold the most interest. Documenting the commensal and symbiotic relationships is for me the most interesting…the smaller and more bizarre the better. I also have a passion for sharing my knowledge with others. My goal with all of my workshops is to ensure each guest leaves with a group of images that they are proud to share."


Todd Kortte

Todd Kortte brings a unique set of knowledge to the underwater world of video editing.  He has creative experience working with Walt Disney Imagineering and Universal Studios as a theme park ride designer.   He is also an actor in Hollywood with experience working on over 150 different sets.   The combined knowledge of learning how Hollywood shoots Commercials/TV/Film, along with the creative imagination of Disney and Universal Studios helped Todd with his achievements in edited video.  Todd has won 8 Film Festival Awards, is a top 5 video finalist representing USA in the 2018 World Shootout in Germany, has published films, is a 4-time edited video winner of the Bluewater Shootout, and has achieved over 5 million minutes of online stream time with his work.

“I love seeing how passionate scuba divers are about what they see underwater.  I want to help these divers capture video, and teach them how to tell the story through edited video.  I wish there was someone to teach me these tools of shooting underwater video when I first got started in 2014.  I had to learn by trial and error.  There is a growing trend of the underwater world moving to videos.  Whether you want to create videos for your social media, or want to take it to the professional level, I will pass on what I have learned by providing basic to advanced knowledge of how to create and edit underwater video.”


"VICTOR" from Todd Kortte on Vimeo.

Mike Chiado

Mike Chiado has over four decades of experience in the entertainment post production industry. Mike is CTO of Company3 and oversees technology, workflow and image science departments for feature motion pictures, episodic and advertising businesses. Mike become a PADI Master Scuba Diver in 1991 which included the speciality of Underwater Photography (film-based, BTW!), and actively diving and photographing tropical and California waters.

Mike enjoying a Moorea humpback whale trip


Thank you for a cool and very informative class on Tuesday! Major light bulb moment on lighting issues and more. This class has inspired me to shoot more!  I will definitely be signing up for more classes. - Lisa W