Anilao Workshop Trip Report December 2015

Anilao Workshop Trip Report December 2015


Anilao  UnderWater Photography Workshop

December 6-13, 2015 Trip  Report


by Vijay Raman


In the past several years, Anilao has quickly become known as one of the best macro destinations in the world among divers and underwater photo aficionados. Anilao is justly compared with must-dive critter havens such as the Lembeh Straits, but it is not just the density and diversity of the marine life that makes this place special. Easy accessibility and availability of top notch resorts, like Crystal Blue Resort, with attentive staff and highly skilled dive guides make this place a must do on any underwater photographer’s list.

The annual Bluewater Photo December workshop started off similar to the others. Following international flights to Manila, guests were met at the airport by staff from Crystal Blue Resort, for the 2 ½ to 3 hour van transfer south to the resort, near Batangas Bay. No internal flights or long boat rides are required to get to world class diving. How great is that!


The resort itself is built into the side of a hill, with the main office level with the parking area. Stairs lead up to the guest rooms and massage suite. Just below the main office is the media room, which served as the central meeting area for the daily workshops and image reviews. Just beyond the media room is the large dining area overlooking the beautiful ocean view. Just below the dining area is the camera room. One look at the camera room and you know the resort is designed with the underwater photographer in mind.


Crystal Blue   Crystal Blue Rooms
                                    A view of Crystal Blue from the water                                                   The guest rooms at Crystal Blue                                      


Separate workstations for the guests come with a worktable, outlets for chargers and plenty of work and storage space for gear. Just a few steps down is the dive deck, where all the dive gear is stored and separate rinse areas for camera and dive gear can be found. The resort offers both air and Nitrox, and tanks are analyzed before each boat trip. Here guests suit up and board the bancas for the short trip to the dive sites. All gear including cameras are loaded by the boat crew. Diver to guide ratio is 4:1 so it's easy to dive without crowds and rotation among subjects was easy.

Camera Room   Workshop
                                   Crystal Blue Camera Room                                                              Vijay leading a photo workshop                                         


The days consisted of an image review of photos from the previous day, just following breakfast. This was followed by two dives, then lunch. After lunch guests gathered for an afternoon workshop, then two more dives, including a dusk or night dive. After dinner guests could be found in the media room and dining area, editing images from the day's dives.


Our guides for the week were Paul, Edgar, Johmel, Glenn, Kim and Pong. All of the guides are highly skilled at finding the most amazing critters, some small, some microscopic, most unusual and uncommon. The guides at Crystal Blue are truly world-class. During the 7 day workshop guests came away with lots of beautiful images and had the opportunity to shoot quite a bit of interesting behavior. There was quite a bit of mating behavior and critters with eggs on the trip.


The following is a sampling of some of the incredible marine life we were able to photograph during the trip:
























Bluewater Travel can book you on a trip to Anilao for the same cost or less than booking any other way. We know the resorts, dive operators, dive sites, and logistics!


Bluewater Travel hosts 2 underwater phptography workshops in the spring.

April 21 to May 1, 2016 and May 1 to May 11, 2016

These workshops are some of our most popular, so email us soon if you want a spot.


Email us at to start your adventure.


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