Trip to Grand Cayman with one of the best underwater photographer on the world Dr Alex Mustard. Diving with Alex was wonderful experience!
In quest of the last remainings of paradise, an adventure-seeker will undoubtedly stop on the Cayman Islands, the overseas territory of the United Kindgom. The group of three beautiful islands gathered under this name, nestled in the northwestern part of the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica, was first noticed by Christopher Columbus, during his last voyage to the New World. Surprised by the abundance of sea turtles, the famous seaman named these islands “Las Tortugas”, whereas the first British visitor, Francis Drake, gave them one of the present-day versions of their name, bearing in mind the term identifying alligators.
For those who love diving and underwater exploration, the Cayman Islands are particularly attractive, since they are considered to be the birthplace of recreational diving on the Caribbean. Underwater exploration has been popularised ever since 1957 when the diving pioneer Bob Sotto opened the first diving equipment shop. From that time on, the Cayman Islands have developed into one of five world top diving destinations, with over 200 locations marked with docks. If you ask those who are truly in love with diving, the adventurers prone to sail around the world in search of unforgettable experience, about the reasons for their visit to the Cayman Islands, they will be all delightfully telling you about the same thing: accessibility, the azure sea, a number of coral reefs, amazing rocks and a rich underwater world. A remarkable range of visibility, even up to 50m, is certainly yet one more key reason why you should dive into these waters.
A Stingray City snorkel trip in Grand Cayman will be the highlight of your vacation. Standing in only 1m of water you will be surrounded by more than two dozen friendly Stingray’s.
The thing which will leave you breathless everywhere you go, and particularly in the Cayman canal, is the gentle play of colours of the sea, from green to light blue all the way to cobalt blue.
All of this reasons force me to choose Grand Cayman to spend some time in cold January, but the main reason was one of the best underwater photographer on the world Dr Alex Mustard and his underwater photography workshop! Diving with this professional underwater photographer was big challenge for me and something totally new. Every our day was really fun trought lot of divings and presented lectures and slide shows. Diving with Alex was wonderful experience with lot of acquired underwater tricks!
Alex’s “Understanding, controlling and exploiting underwater light” photographic workshop covered available light, strobe light and balanced light, using the lectures to look in detail at each. Topics included lens filters, strobe filters, diffusers and underwater soft boxes, snoots, ring flash, flat versus directional light, sunbursts, blues, complimentary colours, and most importantly how the different characteristics of strobe and ambient light determine the types of subject matter that can be captured effectively in underwater photographs.”
“Other aspects of underwater photography were covered in briefings before dives and in image review sessions. Alex try and encourage a non-competitive atmosphere, but with all the group dedicated to excellence. He encourage photographers to share subjects and to dedicate some of their dive time to modelling for others – so that everyone’s photos benefit. With a talented bunch of photographers in attendance it was a positive learning experience for all, Alex included.”
You spend thousands and thousands euros or dollars on a dive trips and you don’t have any underwater pictures! Are you interested in underwater photography and want to learn more about it? As professional photographer I strongly recommend one of the Alex’s workshops!
After my trip to Grand Cayman I have lot of new ideas and I am sure that my underwater pictures will be much, much better in the future (the biggest reason is “BIG motivation from his side”). I am happy that I came home knowing such a special guy as Alex and also many other wonderful people.
WHO IS DR ALEX MUSTARD?
Dr Alexander Mustard trained and worked as a marine biologist until 2004, but now works full time as a professional underwater photographer. He took his first pictures underwater at the age of nine. They were not very good, but over the years they improved and he is widely regarded as one of the world’s most creative underwater photographers. His images are known for their distinctive style that makes them instantly recognisable. They have won many awards and have been widely published. Alex was an early adopter of digital and has pioneered many of the specialist techniques of digital underwater photography, such as the use of filters in available light photography and using telephoto lenses underwater. Alex was born in 1975 and has been a certified diver for over half his life.
Alex has won many awards for his photography including being a multiple winner in the two most prestigious competitions for underwater photographers: the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Festival of Underwater Photography in Antibes, France.
Over the last few years, Alex has been working on a number of books and he has written more than 300 published articles about marine life, diving and underwater photography.
Please visit Alex’s website to see his amazing work and more information about him! Gallery from Grand Cayman with my topside pictures you will find also on Alex’s website and my underwater pictures from this fantastic place you will find in my underwater gallery.
Article and pictures about this trip to Cayman Island were also published in Travel magazine.