Anilao Philippines Ultimate Photo Workshop Spring 2025

Explore one of the best macro diving destinations in the world with Bluewater Travel's Anilao Photo Workshop in Spring 2025.


Anilao Philippines Ultimate Photo Workshop Spring 2025

 Join one of Bluewater Travel's most popular trips with FREE daily photo workshops, in one of the world's top macro destinations; Anilao. Choose from 7 or 10-night trips in April/May 2025 at the fabulous Crystal Blue Resort and discover amazing macro critters, and breathtaking reefs.


Why Join This Trip?

  • Attend our most popular underwater photo trip
  • Find out why Bluewater’s Anilao trips are known as the best underwater photo trips on the planet
  • Amazing dive guides, each group of 4 divers get their own private boat and guide, most dive sites are just minutes away
  • Chance to see every underwater critter, nudibranch and fish on your bucket list and then some
  • Daily photo workshops and lectures


April 20 - 30, 2025 (10 nights)


APRIL 30 - MAY 7, 2025 (7 nights)

Trip Leader: Nirupam Nigam and Mike Chiado

Book now to lock in 2024 prices:

7 Nights Shared: $1,999

7 Nights Single: $2,199

10 Nights Shared: $2,559

10 Nights Single: $3,259

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Optional Land Extensions:

7 Nights in Dumaguete 

7 Nights in Puerto Galera 

10 Nights in Cebu & Bohol


Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023

Images by Erik Lukas


Check out this awesome video from one of our previous trips to Anilao:

Read about our 2023 trips to Anilao here (Spring) and here (December).


Trip Overview

Our trips offer small 'dive guide to diver' ratios and extended dive times, allowing for an optimal diving experience. We prioritize visiting the best dive sites regularly, and many of them are just a short 10 - 20-minute boat ride away from the resort. Plus, we hold competitions that reward participants for capturing the most critters, nudibranch species, best video, macro, wide-angle, and behavior shots. Whether you're an experienced photographer or using a small point-and-shoot camera, our team makes everyone feel welcomed and comfortable, and you're guaranteed to take home some fantastic shots.


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.

Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023

Images by Craig Wilhelm (L) & Erik Lukas (R)


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!

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 underwater photo seminars and image reviews in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
  • On the second to last day, there will be no afternoon dives. There will be 2 morning dives, a photo contest and group dinner. 
  • 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 any time 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 too early!

To get a little insight as to what the workshop is like, read the report from our 2023 Anilao Spring Photography Workshop or see our guide to diving Anilao.

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  • 7 or 10 nights of deluxe accommodations in sealed rooms with air-conditioning
  • Up to 4 dives a day (including night dives)
  • All meals
  • Daily photo clinics and workshops to help you improve your photography. The April 20 - 30 trip includes 9 days of workshops. The April 30 - May 7 includes 6 days of workshops with the option to pay the 10-night rate and enjoy an extra 3 days diving.



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Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

The resort is on a hill and involves climbing stairs


Trip Type

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.


Trip Syllabus

Bluewater's Anilao photo workshop is a cult classic. It's all about finding critters and creating creative concepts to photograph them. This photo workshop is a collaborative experience for all levels of photographers - from new shooters to seasoned professionals. And if you don't have a camera, that's ok too! Anilao is one of the world's best spots for finding unique creatures from blue-ringed octopus to frogfish to pygmy seahorses and more!

The 10-night workshop will include 9 days of instruction involving 9 x 60-minute long presentations. The 7-night workshop will include 6 days of instruction involving 6 x 90-minute long presentations. Training and tutorials will take the form of PowerPoint presentations, informal group discussions, one-on-one training, streaming live demonstrations (e.g., using programs like Lightroom), and underwater help.


  • Introductory Topics
  • Topic 1 - The Critters of Anilao: Students will learn the lifestyles and behaviors of some of the top critters found in Anilao - from flamboyant cuttlefish to sexy shrimp to seahorses. We will go over basic tips for photographing each of these subjects. 
  • Topic 2 - An Intro to Underwater Photography: Students will learn that light is affected by water. We will introduce phenomena like light attenuation, snells window, refraction and artificial lighting. We will also discuss the top rules for underwater composition, camera care, and underwater photo etiquette. We will finally spend a lot of time learning the exposure triangle and discovering how this can affect your underwater lighting. 
  • Topic 3 - An Intro to Underwater Video: If we have enough students interested in underwater video, we will cover the topic in detail. This presentation covers frame rates, resolution, the triangle of exposure, balancing color, lighting video, composition, storytelling and more!
  • Intermediate Topics
  • Topic 1 - Macro Photography: Students will learn everything they need to know about photographing small subjects. We will cover what defines a macro lens, the exposure triangle, and composition. 
  • Topic 2 - Macro Lighting Demonstration: We will have a live demonstration on underwater lighting for macro photography. We will cover topics from creating black backgrounds to creative lighting for translucent subjects and backlighting. 
  • Topic 3 - Underwater Snoot Photography - Underwater snoots are tools that reduce the width of the beam of light coming from your strobe. They can be effective at creating black backgrounds as well as introducing high-contrast lighting. Niurpam will discuss his top tips for snooting and the best technique to position your snoot. 
  • Topic 4 - Wide Angle Photography - If we have time we will have a presentation on wide-angle photography. There are one or two wide-angle sites in Anilao. We will cover topics including dome port optics, types of wide-angle lenses, the triangle of exposure and underwater lighting and composition. 
  • Topic 5 - Adobe Lightroom Organization - This is one of the core classes at our Anilao workshop. Lightroom Expert, Mike Chiado will cover how to use Lightroom as a tool for effective organization. We will cover tools including importing, exporting, sorting, collections, star ratings, keywords, and more! 
  • Topic 6 - Editing Underwater Photos with Adobe Lightroom - This is one of the core classes at our Anilao workshop. Lightroom Expert, Mike Chiado will cover the basics of editing underwater photos in Adobe Lightroom. We will cover all the tools at your disposal for removing backscatter, masking tools, color correction, and more!
  • Advanced Topics
  • Topic 1 - Creative Macro Photography: This class is meant to expand your horizons and get you thinking about the next technique to try on your macro dives. In many ways, it is an open brainstorming session between guests. Students will also learn about creative tools like magic tubes, snoots, steel wool, prisms, and more. We will discuss creative techniques like motion blue, fluorescent photography, snooting, and others. 
  • Topic 2- Supermacro Photography: Supermacro photography is the art of photographing ultra-small subjects. It requires multiple stacked lenses which can present their own challenges to underwater photographers. We will discuss techniques for rising above these challenges, setting the right triangle of exposure, and locking in focus.  
  • Topic 3 - Underwater Video Editing: If we have enough interested video shooters, we will be discussing techniques for underwater video editing and storytelling. The primary software for learning will be Adobe Premiere Pro. We will go through editing clips, adding effects, and using audio to tell a story.
  • Assistant trip leader, Mike Chiado is extremely proficient at Adobe Lightroom and will be teaching the software. Leadrip leader, Nirupam Nigam, will be teaching underwater video editing by request. Underwater help will be available by request and pending ocean currents and dive conditions. We will be available every evening to provide one-on-one time with guests, especially to go over lightroom topics.

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 Crystal Blue Resort Anilao

Crystal Blue Resort Anilao  Crystal Blue Resort Anilao 

Read the reviews of Crystal Blue Resort here.

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Flight Information

  • 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) on the morning of the first day of the workshop before 10 am 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.

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About The Trip Leaders

Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in Southern California's Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. He spent some time as a fisheries observer on fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific, collecting data for NOAA. When he is not at sea, he is traveling with his wife and taking photos.

As the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the Chief Marketing Officer at Bluewater Photo & Video, Nirupam is one of the world's few full-time underwater photography editors. You can get in touch with him at or through his website www.photosfromthesea.comRead more about Nirupam here.

  • 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.



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Payment Schedule

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Deposit: $500

Payment 2: $800 due 7/1/24

Payment 3: Balance due 12/1/24

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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. 



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 Resorts breeze restaurant Atmosphere Resort Breeze restaurant

Atmosphere Resort



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

El Galleon Dive Resort



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 great dive resorts in Philippines.

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Got Questions? Ready to Book?

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

and let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery

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 Anilao Underwater Photos by various trip leaders from previous trips  

 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023

 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023

Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023 Anilao Trip Recap Spring 2023

Anilao trip - Paper nautilus Anilao trip - jellyfish

Anilao Trip Anilao Trip

Anilao Trip 

Anilao Trip Anilao Trip



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