Beautiful Underwater Photos from Anilao

Wild and wonderful macro critters from Anilao, Philippines during December, 2018's workshop
By UWPG News

Every December, Bluewater Photo and Travel returns to the macro photography paradise of Anilao, Philippines for their annual winter underwater photography workshop. The December, 2018 photo workshop was led by Craig Dietrich, Helen Brierley, Crystal Blue Resort’s Mike Bartick and Bluewater CEO, Scott Gietler. Guests enjoyed a rigorous underwater photographic routine involving 4 dives per day, a daily image review, and daily presentations on different aspects of underwater photography – the perfect recipe for sharp photographers.

The Macro Photographer’s Sacred Site

Anilao is undoubtedly a niche destination. If you’re looking for your standard tropical beach vacation, there are undeniably better options. If you’re looking for expansive underwater reefscapes to bask in – there are better places to be. If you’re looking for big pelagic, sharks, rays, and whales – go to Socorro. But if you’re looking for freaks, oddities, aliens of the deeps, and sea slugs Anilao is the place to be. In an almost sacred sense, Anilao is the global pilgrimage destination for macro photographers on their quest to find tiny but coveted marine life – much of it unbeknownst to the public eye. 

Trip Critters

These creatures are as odd as their names sounds - frogfish (hairy, warty, giant, and painted – and yes, there are that many types), pygmy seahorses, flamboyant cuttlefish, rhinopias, nudibranchs, Lembeh sea dragons, mimic octopus, and blackwater “aliens” can all be readily found in Anilao. Why travel halfway around the world to see these creatures? Every dive in Anilao is an underwater saga of life, death, violence, and love. The behavior of these animals and their inherent natural beauty is unlike anything on this planet. These photos from our trip leaders speak for themselves.


Photos from our Trip Leaders


Helen Brierley

“One of the highlights for me was the blackwater dives, which I did every other night (alternating with night dives).  I photographed dozens of different tiny critters and saw some very unexpected larger ones  - a sea snake surfacing as we drifted over a sea mount and a massive mola mola, spooked by the lights, that sped up the line of our rope to the surface right next to us.”


Craig Dietrich



Scott Gietler



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


April 25 - May 5, 2019 (10 Nights)

May 5 - May 12, 2019 (7 Nights)*


December 1-8, 2019 (7 Nights)


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 12-15, and December 8-11 so guests can stay for 10 nights


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.