Photography in the Visayas
Photography in the Visayas
For our first liveaboard trip back in the Southern Visayas we had the pleasure of hosting Bluewater Photo’s workshop aboard the Philippine Siren. Hosted by Mike Bartick, the 15 guests arrived with their range of compacts and DSLRs ready for some superb diving, all except Justin who was still aboard having recently joined us also in Tubbataha. The starting point of the trip was Cebu’s Yacht Club and after everyone had settled in we departed that same evening towards the island of Cabilao. All the cameras were ready the next morning and everybody was keen to apply the latest advice Mike had provided in his first seminars. Daemon stingers and plenty of other macro life would be the subjects of our first dives at Cambaquiz, although the 4 giant yellow frogfish and the pygmy seahorses would be the stars of the day from the dives at Lighthouse. Mike was hand throughout the evening to give further feedback and counsel during the guest’s presentations of their day’s photos.
After a good night’s sleep we reached our next destination, Balicasag Island. A moderate current was awaiting us on some of the dives. This was the day to swop to wide angle lenses and snap the beauty of the resident school of big eyed jacks and the green sea turtles. Sites of Cathedral & Diver’s Heaven really provide superb scenery with gorgonian fans, soft corals and steep walls to add the backdrop to that wide-angle shot. Our cruise director Eva enjoyed modeling in the shots with great applause and delight from all the photographers!
On our way to Dauin and its muck dives we made a brief stop at Oslob to snorkel with the whale sharks, 10 of them would accompany us for a whole hour which gave a good chance to capture in photo the beauty of these gentle giants. After breakfast and some more advice from Mike and just about enough time to switch back to macro lenses. Captain Russell and his Chief Mate Pablito made sure we reached Dauin in time for the next three dives and all the divers were ready to see what awaited us on the dark sand slopes. Warty frogfish, ghost pipefish, seahorses, white-eyed morays, cowfish and spider crabs were all spotted and our guests snapped away happily. At this stage it was obvious the seminars had had the desired effect and the quality of the photos was increasing exponentially.
The fourth day would be spent in Apo Island where our guests had the chance to walk around this quiet island and stretch their legs. More green sea turtles and a giant black frogfish were spotted and we rounded off another superb day of diving with a night dive in Dauin. Pescador Island and Moalboal were our last destination for this short 6-night trip. Everybody enjoyed the massive sardine ball performing for us and the last two giant frogfish of the trip only this time grey ones. Finally on the last evening Mike organized a friendly photo contest in which our dive guide Gaby and myself had a tough time assisting him to choose the best ones. In the compact camera category Peter (wide angle) and Sue (macro) would be the winners and in the DSLR category Rob (macro) and Lea (wide angle).
Unfortunately all good things come to an end and next morning we disembarked our guests in Moalboal though many of them would have a further 6 days of diving aboard our sister yacht, the Palau Siren. All in all a great trip, great photos, great dives and fantastic guests!
Photos by Peter Marsh, Lea Lee, Sue Goodman, Mike Bartick and Rob Reif