La Paz 2010 workshop at Club Cantamar

By Scott Gietler

Incredible diving in La Paz at the UWPG Baja workshop

By Scott Gietler and Todd Winner


Wow, awesome, incredible. These were the words heard most frequently at the 2010 Underwater Photography Guide photo workshop in La Paz, Baja, Mexico.

We saw with several whale sharks on multiple days. Dozens of hammerhead sharks swam underneath us. The sea lion encounters were so amazing, words can’t describe them. And the baitballs – I’ve truly never seen so many fish in my life.

Some of the workshop participants were taking better photos than the instructors – chasing down whale sharks can be tiring, and the in-shape photographer and free diver is well-rewarded.

Club Cantamar was our host, and they delivered wonderfully, giving us nice air-con rooms, comfortable boats, good fills and great divemasters. We will be returning from October 22nd to 30th in 2011, so if you love fish, whale sharks, wide-angle photography or marine life, this is a trip not to be missed. Read trip details here.

Macro life was plentiful too – nudibranchs, signal blennies, pufferfish, arrow crabs, frogfish and seahorse are plentiful and I had no dearth of subjects for my 60mm or 105mm lenses.

Each evening we reviewed photos, discussed technique and made plans to return to each site a second time so people could practice what we discussed.

Well, a picture tells a thousand words, so enjoy the photos. Well be putting up some more articles soon, including articles on diving with whale sharks, more photos from the participants, a Club Cantamar review, and info on the marine life of the sea of cortez.

 Huge baitball - wow!

 Huge baitball - wow! This baitball was actually only a tiny portion of the huge river of fish we saw behind it.


 Huge baitball - wow!

 Large school of Barracuda hovering over the baitball


 Huge baitball - wow!

 Cormorants provided hours of entertainment


 cormorant underwater hunting fish

 2 cormorants hunting fish. One time we saw 5 together!


 Huge baitball - wow!

 Blenny on a pier piling


 Huge baitball - wow!

Crab on a starfish 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Friendly sea lion. Photographing these sea lions was amazing and we never got tired of them. 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Sea lions like to play fight, with each other and with us! 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Yes - the Hammerheads of La Paz are back! I couldn't believe my eyes. We swam over more than a dozen of them, and other divers saw more.


 Huge baitball - wow!

How many sea lions do you count? 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Beautiful nudibranch - one of several species we saw 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Stunning octopus 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Sea lions like to chase the fish, and eat them too! 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Signal Blenny. I now have tons of respect for anyone who can shoot these guys. Taken with a Nikon 105mm lens

 Huge baitball - wow!

Snappers hunting. 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Sea lion and starfish 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Sea lion flying through the sun 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Sea lion greets Todd Winner 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Turtle emerges from the wreck 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Whale shark and fish. Whale sharks seem to travel with an entire eco-system. 

 Huge baitball - wow!

Hungry Whale shark - good thing they eat plankton! We had many good whale sharks encounters, one of the reasons we are returning next year.

 arrow crab lapaz

Panamic Arrow Crab, photo by Robin McMunn. Canon T2i

whale shark in la paz underwater photo

Whale Shark & snorkelers, photo by Brandon Hartstein, Canon G10 + fisheye lens

whale shark by dave rudie

Whale shark, photo by Dave Rudie. Olympus SP-350


Equipment used: Nikon D300 (Scott), Canon 7D (Todd), Tokina 10-17mm lens for wide-angle, 60mm lens for macro unless otherwise noted. Sea & Sea and Nauticam housings, Inon & Ikelite strobes.

Email us at for more info our workshops in Anilao (May 20th-30th 2011), Ensenada (July 31st - August 4th 2011), and La Paz (October 22nd - 29th 2011)


Further Reading:

La Paz photo workshop 2011

Anilao photo workshop & shootout 2011



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