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Underwater Photography in South Africa

Gain the expertise and practical proficiency essential for mastering the intricate craft of underwater photography

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THE PROGRAM
Gain the expertise and practical proficiency essential for mastering the intricate craft of underwater photography amidst the captivating diversity of the vibrant coral reefs within the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean. Utilizing DSLR and mirrorless cameras housed in Sea&Sea casings complemented by outstanding strobe lighting and supplementary gear, our underwater photography program is meticulously designed.
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Crafted by globally renowned underwater photographers, this curriculum empowers learners to perceive and engage with the submerged world in an entirely novel and intimate manner. Beyond conventional theory, participants delve into the profound interconnection with the marine environment, harnessing their innate curiosity. Under the guidance of a seasoned team, participants refine their ability to capture impeccably exposed and composed images. For those seeking to push boundaries, fostering creativity and mastering advanced techniques remains paramount.
UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM VIDEO
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UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM GALLERY
UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRAM LOCATION
PROGRAM FAQ's
What are the program dates?
  • Program 1: 1 – 28 February
  • Program 2:  1 – 28 March
  • Program 3: 1 – 28 April
  • Program 4:  1 – 28 May
  • Program 5:  1 – 28 June
  • Program 6:  1 – 28 July
  • Program 7:  1 – 28 August
  • Program 8:  1 – 28 September
  • Program 9:  1 – 28 October
  • Program 10:  1 – 28 November
What will I get out of the program?

The underwater photography and video program is aimed at assisting in the development of students who are interested in advancing their underwater photographic and video ability to a professional level whilst enjoying some of the most incredible SCUBA diving that Africa has to offer. Interns will be able to walk away with a professional-level portfolio that will showcase their ability to photograph and film the marine world.

What practical training do you receive?

Film techniques, camera operation, understanding wildlife, equipment maintenance, crew management, footage workflow, working with talent (including animals), video editing, voice over/soundtrack, pitching your film.

What theoretical training will I receive?

Course introduction, orientation, inspiration and story, what is selling today, film equipment, script writing, wildlife presenting, marketing you/your films, ethics in wildlife filmmaking, funding your films, and the art of pitching.

Am I eligible for the program?

This program requires that you are SCUBA qualified and have some experience in SCUBA diving.

The course is open to all qualified SCUBA divers and those wanting to learn. For non-qualified divers, you must gain a minimum open water dive qualification before arrival. Alternatively, you can arrive at the program two weeks before to gain a SCUBA qualification and practice in SCUBA diving.

This additional training, meals, and accommodation cost approximately $1600. If unable to attend for two additional weeks, we can consider a 1-week training package for $1000 that includes Open Water qualification, 5 recreational dives, meals, and accommodation.

What is the program schedule?

As a student, your routine will include diving and photographing on most days, being tutored in photo techniques and free diving, and processing and editing your photos. However, please note that the actual schedule may vary based on several factors. In general, the month will follow a schedule of 5 days on and 2 days off per week. Again, this may vary, particularly based on the weather and dive conditions.

How long is the program?

The course lasts 1 month beginning on the 1st (arrival day) and ending on the 28th (departure day) of each month. If you choose to arrive early (before the 1st) or depart late (after the 28th).

Do I require a visa?

No. You will not be employed. On this program, you are entitled to enter South Africa on a temporary visitor’s permit (e.g. tourism permit). Tourist visas are usually issued for three months/90 days upon entry to South Africa. However, we do recommend that you contact the South African Embassy or Consulate in your country and confirm this fact.  If your application period is for a period longer than three months, or if you plan to travel in South Africa before or after the course for a period extending 90 days, you will have to apply for a volunteer VISA application through your home embassy.

Quickly evaluate the visa status of your country when visiting South Africa here 

Who owns the media I collect?

All media (photographic and video) collected by you will belong to you. Gloworm and the program instructor retain the right to use the media for marketing purposes only.

Do I need my own photography equipment?

Participants have the option to bring their own underwater video gear, soft diving gear, and underwater housings if they prefer. However, a minimum standard of video gear is required, which includes a DSLR, a quality mirrorless system, or a video camera along with two underwater lights. All necessary dive and photographic gear will be provided. Should you choose to bring your own videography equipment meeting these standards, a cost break of $250 will be extended.

For post-production tasks, it is mandatory to bring your own laptop for editing purposes. The laptop should have a minimum of 4GB RAM and be pre-loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro.

What equipment will I have access to?

All photography and scuba equipment is supplied during the course. This includes the following:

8 x Underwater DSLR photographic kits with strobes (both Canon and Nikon)
2 x Prosumer type cameras with housings and a strobe
Go Pros
Full scuba kits including a full range of wetsuit sizes

Where do I stay?

You will stay in Scottburgh, South Africa, at our dedicated shark centre in Freeland Park, Scottburgh. Diving will be in Aliwal Shoal off the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal coast.

Address – 34 Edgerton Road, Freeland Park, South Africa. 

What must I pack?

If you are getting ready to pack, here is a rough packing list of items you should consider bringing.

Clothing

  • Work clothes. Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have warm, water proof jackets, a good sun hat with a wide brim and a warm hat/beanie for the boat. Gloves can be helpful for early mornings. Bring a tracksuit or something similar to lounge around in during the evenings, which can get cold. Also, face buffs help keep off the cold in the evenings.
  • Social clothes. Scottburgh is a small town, so social clothing should reflect a casual, non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume.

Video and electronic gear

  • Minimum of 1TB storage hard drive.
  • Laptop.

You are more than welcome to bring any personal videography or photographic equipment; however, this is totally optional. 

Editing programs

  • Adobe LightroomPro (or equivalent)
  • Adobe Photoshop (or equivalent)

Miscellaneous

  • Toiletries &  strong sunscreen (There are also plenty of shops to purchase from.)
  • Prescription medication
  • Passport & photocopy of passport
  • Bank cards (Inform your bank of your travels.)
  • Spare cash (rands)
  • Phone & cables
  • Sunglasses
What travel arrangements must I make?

Pickups and drop-offs (from King Shaka airport) will be organized by the program instructor for you on the 1st day of the month (for arrivals) and the 28th of the month (for departures).

The program begins with paperwork and orientation on the 1st of the month. There is no need to arrive prior to the 1st; however, arriving earlier in the day is preferable, as it gives you some time to settle in before the course begins.

You can schedule your departure for any time on the 28th.

Do I need travel / medical insurance?

Yes. When you are accepted into this program, you agree to our liability and copyright documents, as well an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents or illnesses, so please do organize your own medical and health insurance. You may apply for a normal travel insurance policy. Chances that you will be injured by a predator are very slim if you follow the safety guidelines and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. However, you will be working on a boat in conditions which can, on occasion, be less than comfortable. Accidents may occur, so it is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have an insurance cover for your entire stay in South Africa. SCUBA divers also need to be insured by the Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Do I need Malaria or other medication?

South Africa is far from Malaria areas, and there are no strange African diseases which you could pick up (that is if you respect the same safety rules as anywhere else in the world).

Please ensure that you bring any medication required. If you will require medication whist in South Africa, please contact us to ensure that it is available.

Can I cancel once my place is confirmed?

Due to the number of applications received and limited places, we unfortunately do not accept all applying students. Therefore, we do not welcome cancellations or date changes after the final confirmation has been completed. Please make sure that the dates you indicate in yourbooking form suit your own schedule/budget before submitting.

PACKAGE DETAILS
IncludesExcludes
  • 18 x SCUBA and freediving package
  • SCUBA kit and airfills
  • Day trip to Monkeyland
  • Use of broadcast standard underwater cameras
  • Practical training program in underwater videography
  • Theoretical (online and in-person) training program
  • Industry professional tutor and SCUBA guide
  • Airport transfers and local transport
  • 28 days of comfortable accommodation
  • 28 days of delicious and nutritious meals
  • Stay connected with internet access
  • Flights (international/domestic)
  • Editing laptop and harddrive
  • DAN Insurance / Travel Insurance
  • Staff / Crew gratuities
  • Alcohol and snacks
  • Laundry service
PROGRAM PRICE
from

$3900 / 28 nights

Connect with Program Instructor

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PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR
Africa Media

Media Training Institute

Africa Media is a premier destination for photography and videography training. Their expert team of instructors is dedicated to empowering passionate individuals to master the art of visual storytelling in Africa. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, join an unforgettable journey to unlock the secrets of capturing the essence of Africa through the lens.
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