Anilao Photo Workshops Spring 2018



 Bluewater Photo's 2018 Anilao Underwater Photo Workshop

Join Bluewater Photo in April/May 2018 for the annual Anilao workshops, and some amazing reef and critter diving at Crystal Blue Resort.


April 19 - April 29 (10 Nights)


April 29 - May 6, 2018 (7 Nights)*

Led by Erik Lukas

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10 Nights: $2,299 Shared Room, $2,849 Private Room
7 Nights: $1,699 Shared Room, $2,199 Private Room

*We will hold some rooms from May 6-9, so guests can stay for 10 nights

Why Join This Trip?

✓ Debatably of the best Macro diving in the world!

✓ Awesome itineraries, packed full of diving and workshop lessons

✓ One of our most popular workshops offered

Leaders who care about their guests' experiences

Why Travel With Bluewater?

We book resorts/ liveaboards that offer the best overall value

Gear discounts and other benefits

Great support if flight/weather issues occur

✓ "Bluewater helped me out when I needed it most, the airline wouldn't let me board because of a Visa issue. They saved my butt" - Ray Tsusuki

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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

The trips are led by Erik Lukas and in addition, Anilao expert Mike Bartick will be at both workshops! Mike knows the Anilao reefs inside and out, and will show you where to take that perfect wide-angle, macro or critter behavior shot.

> Small 'dive guide to diver' ratios and long dive times

> We will visit the best dive sites early and often! Most sites are just 10 - 20 minutes from the resort.

> 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

> Single rooms are available. Please email us for rates.

To get a little insight as to what the workshop is like, read some detailed testimonals from our 2012 trip, here!

See more photos from Anilao at the Anilao 2011 shootout page, and on our Guide to diving Anilao.

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Dive Overview - 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!

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✓ 10 nights of deluxe accommodations in sealed rooms with air-conditioning

Daily photo clinics and workshops to help you improve your photography

✓ 36 dives (includes night dives)

✓ All meals


✗ Nitrox ($99 for the week)

✗ Transfers ($100 round trip from Manila airport)

 ✗ Airfare

Daily Photo Workshops - Workshops will be given daily on topics such as wide-angle underwater photography, ambient light shots, snorkeling with large animals, strobe exposure and positions, avoiding backscatter, and composition. Help underwater is also given.

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Trip Schedule

Day one of the trip (i.e. arrival day) will include two dives in the afternoon. It is recommended that you arrive either the day before and spend the night at an airport hotel, or arrive before 10am on the morning of the first day. There are no refunds for missed dives if you arrive late!

Each subsequent day of the trip includes four dives consisting of two in the morning and two in the afternoon. There will be underwater photo seminars and image reviews in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

> On the second to last day there will be 2 morning dives and departure will be on the following day at 8 am back to MNL. Shuttle transfers take approx 3.5 hours between Anilao-Manila so book your departure flight sometime in the afternoon (we recommend anytime after 2:30-3:00 PM to be safe).

*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 so early!

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About the Trip Leaders

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.

See more of Erik’s photography at or on Instagram @seeundersea.

"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."

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Crystal Blue Resort Anilao Crystal Blue Resort Anilao


About Crystal Blue Resort - Crystal Blue offers spectacular diving, amazing macro photography, knowledgeable guides, incredible cuisine and comfortable ocean-view accommodations. The resort has a bar, restaurant, spa, jacuzzi, awesome food and offers 17 rooms that consist of deluxe rooms, superior rooms and a large family villa.

Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

Read the reviews of Crystal Blue Resort here.



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Flight Information - We recommend guests arrive into Manila one day before the workshop begins and stay in a nearby hotel. We have 3 hotel recommendations for guests; The Manila Marriott, or Resorts World Hotel - both very close to the airport. The 3rd is the Oxford Suites Best Western which is about 30-40 minutes from the airport but is cheaper and a more desireable area (You can get there for about $8 USD via taxi). Alternatively, you can arrive at the Manila airport (code: MNL) the morning of first day of the workshop before 10am and the shuttle will pick you up directly from the airport. Everyone will leave in the morning of the last day (approx 8:00am) 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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Payment Schedule

$800 - Due when booking
Remainder - Due Feb 1, 2018

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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 from Previous Trip

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Reviews (3)

  • Top Reviewer
Los Angeles, CA
United States

My latest trip to Anilao was to help lead a Bluewater photo workshop. Knowing the tremendous diversity of marine life, especially macro subjects, I was very excited to meet a whole bunch of fellow underwater photography enthusiasts and hopefully help them capture some great images. The dive guides are truly exceptional, with incredible skill at finding the often tiny creatures - frequently spotting exactly what you 'order'. So we began the week with a talk on 'What to expect', which left us all excited to get in the water. The guests had a wide range of diving and photography experience, from those setting up brand new cameras for the first time, to seasoned enthusiasts and of course the whole range of equipment from compact to mirrorless, slr and video. This made the daily screening of guest photos extra fun and by the end of the week there was some real improvement to be seen.
The high guide to diver ratio makes for amazing photo opportunities - no waiting around for your turn on a subject as the guides always find something for everyone. Anilao is surely one of the best places in the world for macro photography and the ease of diving at Crystal Blue means you are given every opportunity to spend the time you need to get the shot.
The location is right on the water, and the boats leave from the shore just steps away from the resort. All your gear is looked after by the dive crew - all you need to do is show up for the boat and within minutes you are at yet another amazing dive site. The night dives are truly awesome and not to be missed, with a whole different array of creatures appearing on the reef and in the muck.
The rooms are good value, the food is easy and plentiful and the dedicated camera room is brilliant, both for keeping your gear charged and dry and from a social aspect too - there is always someone in there changing a lens or swapping out batteries (and it's just across from the new bar!).
I would recommend Anilao and the Bluewater workshops for everyone from beginner to pro - the enthusiasm of your fellow guests makes for a really great week with more photo opps than almost anywhere else and all at a very reasonable price.

Visited on 12/2016 - Submitted on 10/31/2017

This was my first experience going on an actual photo workshop. We had image reviews, which were not only fun to see people's images, but also because it made it possible to see what other participants had found and could nerd out over all the different critters. The technique presentations were also fun and informative and could spark creativity and people definitely responded positively to them. No doubt about it, every guest's images improved dramatically from day one through the end of the week. As for the diving itself, Anilao's macro kingdom is known to rival any, up there with Lembeh and Ambon, etc. If you want amazing critters, marine life, reefs, great dive masters, and top notch photography help, this trip is absolutely worth it.

Visited on 12/2016 - Submitted on 10/28/2017

I've dived Anilao on my own before, and also during the Bluewater Photo workshops. I enjoy going with Bluewater for several reasons:

1) The guides at Crystal Blue are outstanding, and the resort is well positioned near the best dive sites
2) Anilao can be expensive if you are in a group less than 4 people, travelling on a trip like this eliminates that issue
3) Great sigthtings are shared between the boats and the guides. This greatly increases the chance of rare critter sightings
4) The daily image reviews are fun, it is nice to see what other people are seeing, and how they are taking photos/videos of it.

the resort itselfi it a perfect dive resort - meals are buffet style so no long waits, one of the best camera rooms on the planet, a well thought out dive deck, and the most gorgeous views of the ocean from the restaurant and rooms. Since the resort is on a hillside, there are some stairs but it is good exercise. The resort has a reputation for having excellent food. Rooms are good and the AC works well. Just a heads up, there is no pool, sandy beach or nearby nightlife.

Visited on 04/2016 - Submitted on 10/28/2017