Underwater Photography Workshop with John Collins a great success
This year’s underwater photography workshop was for divers shooting a SLR rig. It was given by renowned underwater photographer and videographer John Collins.
The workshop will took place on board our liveaboard, Embarr on the 21st and 22nd of July. On Saturday Morning John when through some of the principles involved in taking first class underwater images. In the afternoon Saturday there was a practical macro photography dive. That evening various Lighting options were discussed. Sunday was all about Wide Angle and there were two dives where the participants could put into practice some of their new found knowledge.
What the Participants thought
“Many thanks to Oceanaddicts for hosting John Collins photo workshop over last weekend, 21st/22nd July 2012. I think it would be fair to say that everyone on the photo workshop took away a huge amount. John’s experience of photography both topside and underwater is vast, over the two days he comprehensively covered macro, wide-angle, lighting techniques as well as a short over viewof LightRoom, and we even got some diving in too. John I really did appreciate you lending me the 85mm macro lens even if I was sure I was going to write it off by flloding my rig on Saturday morning’s lovely dive on the Bream Rock, but was much happier when I was able to hand it back intact! Also thanks to my fellow participants, Mark Barry, Derek Bolton, Brian Donnelly, Damian McGuirk and Simon Carolan, John said that we would learn from each other and I am grateful to you all for kindly sharing all your experiences and knowledge with me. All in all a very sucessfull weekend, again many thanks to everyone & looking forward to seeing you all in the near future.” Sarah Lyle
“Thank you for organizing the underwater photography workshop with John Collins last weekend. John’s presentations, photography experience and advice was total invaluable to me and quite a revelation to my own underwater photography. There is nowhere else you have so much access to a world class underwater photographer in such a relaxed atmosphere. It was great to just discuss accepts of underwater photography over a cup of tea during the surface intervalI have to say I learned more about photography over the weekend that I learned on any other photography course I have taken. A fantastic experience for me personally. I really enjoyed the weekend a lot. Thank you very much again.” Mark Barry
” …. Sending John images ahead of the course proved to be an excellent idea as he was able to tailor the course to suit what everyone needed, and he did that very well.I didn’t feel that he was covering more basic or more advanced topics than I needed, it was pretty much spot on. I knew in advance that lighting was my major issue and John hit that perfectly – I know just why I need to point the strobes outwards rather than towards the subject. I have also learned how to take properly exposed pictures without using the TTL adaptor, which I wasn’t able to do before now. In fact when we first got the digital setup I pretty much gave it to Sarah and kept the film setup for myself because I couldn’t get my head around it. I learned about setting up the dome port for wide angle photography and now I know why I am having problems with blurred edges on some of my pictures. I didn’t expect John to cover this so it was something of a bonus, particularly as it is a cheap fix. John also explained why DX-sensor SLRs are better than full-frame SLRs for underwater use (it’s simply down to the selection of lenses available) which is particularly relevant to me at the moment because I am thinking of upgrading. Another very worthwhile aspect which I didn’t expect was the whole image processing section, including noise reduction which will be particularly relevant to us as our cameras are a bit older and so don’t work as well in low light. John had a lot of good advice on the whole strobe / arm area which was very beneficial and he also covered some things that I hadn’t thought of. The only real negative aspect is that I now have a big shopping list for gear which I didn’t have before I came down!…..” Simon Carolan
John Collins is just the bees knees :-) - his knowledge base is amazing – a super diver- and a gentleman….” Damien McGuirk
”This is a great experience whilst gaining fast knowledge to the world of underwater photography. I have used a compact for many a year and had become quite adept at capturing my desired shots, yet I found myself struggling badly after upgrading to a Nikon DSLR. I had used my new DSLR above water for over a year and was quite familiar with the basic settings, having taken night shots and other long exposures for landscaping effects. Also being used to my compact running on auto underwater, I could not understand why my DSLR was failing to focus or even allow me to shoot underwater. John covered all of these issues that now seem quite easy to handle. Housing Ports and their required diopters being something I had never encountered during my photo experiences above water. Changing the auto focus button is a life saver both below and above water. We also covered the technical aspects required for the Macro and Wide angle lenses. Then as there is no substitute for practical experience we hit the water with John moving from group to group pointing out subjects and tips for shots. A great weekend was had by all, with Ocean Addicts providing excellent accommodation, hot showers and tasty food. One had to be fast with the cookies and cakes as no crumbs were ever left behind. Stories were shared and photo’s viewed with all having a great holiday experience as well as learning. I would happily repeat this course in another year or two to get more fine tuning on my shots with John. Would also recommend other courses Ocean Addicts host over the year having previously completed some DAN courses onboard Embar with Graham showing off his victim acting skills….Love the venue, love the course… We want more.. We want more….” Derek Bolton
About John Collins
John Collins is an award-winning photographer, based in Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland. Originally from Limerick, he discovered photography as a teenager and with it a life-long passion to capture images of the world around us. While studying Pharmacy in Trinity College Dublin, he learned to scuba-dive with Dublin University Sub-Aqua Club and went on to gain experience both in Ireland and abroad, eventually becoming a diving instructor in 1991.
John is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography course in professional photography. On land, John continues to work on landscape and documentary photographs, producing unique images of the beautiful areas around Kinsale and west Cork.
John specializes in Underwater Photography, particularly in his home waters and other temperate seas that are less visited and appreciated than the coral seas of the tropics. A collection of these images have been published in the book, Cool Waters Emerald Seas, published by Atrium in 2006. Many of John’s photographs have been successful in competition and are widely published internationally. As Divers we can really appreciate John’s ability to capture glimpses of our unique underwater landscape, the life that inhabits it and the ships that have been wrecked in it.