Anilao December 2022 Photo Workshop

Anilao Photo Workshop
Anilao Photo Workshop
Anilao Photo Workshop
Anilao Photo Workshop


Bluewater Photo's December 2022 Anilao Underwater Photo Workshop

Join Bluewater Photo in December 2022 in Anilao for some amazing reef and critter diving.

December 4 - 11, 2022

Trip Leader: Helen Brierley

7 Nights for only $1,699

Single Occupancy from $2,199

Optional Land Extensions:

7 Nights in Dumaguete 

7 Nights in Puerto Galera

10 Nights in Cebu & Bohol

Book Now Button

 Travel Insurance not included, click here to learn more about our preferred plan


Anilao From Above by Erik Lukas for Anilao Trip Report 2019

Anilao from above, photo by Erik Lukas


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 dive operators 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!

Back to Menu

Trip Overview

  • 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
  • The workshop will run only for the first 7 days - if you purchase the 10-day package, you'll be booking the extra days at our phenomenal group rate, but there will not be any additional photo education



To get a little insight as to what the workshop is like, read the report from our December 2018 trip, here


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!



We also will see tons of crinoids, giant barrel sponges, mantis shrimp, garden eels, gobies, shrimps, crabs, seahorses, pipefish, several octopus species, and every kind of fish imaginable. Our group collectively will probably also find over 100 nudibranch species. There are calm sites, and sites with currents and pelagics. Muck and lush coral sites.

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 10). 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.

Back to Menu



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

What to expect from our Photo Workshops

  • Daily photo workshops - Your photo instructor will schedule seminars each day on topics including, but not limited to, equipment type and selection, the concept of underwater photography, lighting and composition techniques, and post-processing. They will also include topics relevant to the location and your experience such as the use of snoots & diopters, single vs multi-point light sources, plus daily macro-specific assignments to practice your skills.
  • In-water support - Where possible, each dive group will spend time underwater with the photo instructor, receiving in-water support and guidance on their shooting techniques.  Participants can also request in-water assistance during the workshop and the photo 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 you will likely see a vast improvement in just a few days.
  • Daily photo image reviews - You are strongly encouraged to bring your laptop, a thumb drive, edit your photos, and submit your shots for review from both the instructor and your peers. These are fun and interactive sessions encouraging you to improve throughout the trip.
  • Quality time with fellow photographers - Both new and experienced photographers from past workshops have expressed the advantages of joining a trip with like-minded divers with a passion for underwater photography.
  • Suitable for everyone - New and experienced photographers are welcome on all our trips. Gain the necessary skills to start shooting great photos, 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.



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 


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

crystal blue resort in Anilao

Mike Bartick teaching some photo pointers during our 2015 workshops!


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

Back to Menu


Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

The resort is on a hill and involves climbing stairs


About Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

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 in Anilao


Read the great reviews on Crystal Blue Resort here.

Back to Menu



  • 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) 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 8:00 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.  

Back to Menu


about the trip leader

  • Helen Brierley
  • 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


Back to Menu



Deposit: $500

Payment 2: $800 due 12/1/21

Payment 3: Balance due 7/1/22

Back to Menu



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)

  Check out some other dive resorts in indonesia.

Back to Menu


Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 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!

Back to Menu


Photo Gallery 

Book Now Button

Anilao Underwater Photos from Previous Trips  

Anilao Dive Trip Report 2019 Anilao Dive Trip Report 2019

Image by Bryan Chu for Anilao Trip Report 2019 Anilao Dive Trip Report 2019

Anilao Underwater December 2018 Anilao Underwater December 2018

Back to Menu


Reviews (0)

Be the first to write a review


Sign up for the mailing list today