Join Jim Decker and Adobe Lightroom expert Erin Quigley on a unique photo expedition to Guadalupe Island shooting Great White Sharks aboard the luxury liveaboard dive boat Nautilus Explorer.

Great white shark encounters at Guadalupe Island are nothing short of spectacular. It’s simply the best destination in the world for calm clear water and consistently high probability of multiple shark encounters per day.

The sheer number of sharks in the bay that we cage dive in is amazing. On many dives, we see two to three great whites, although we have seen up to 47 sharks on one trip! Guadalupe Island is home to at least 366 individually identified sharks and still counting.

Daily classes and In-Water help from the Photo Pros

Jim and Erin will be on board and in the water with you to assist with UW photo techniques, offer technical support, and teach post-production workflow in Adobe Lightroom. Nightly image critiques will give you immediate feedback on the day’s images. Seminars throughout the trip will cover shark specific shooting techniques such as:

  • Focus
  • Exposure
  • Lighting
  • Avoiding backscatter
  • Composition

Lightroom and Photoshop techniques for White Shark images

In addition to shooting techniques Erin will be teaching you the best ways to edit and enhance your images using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Topics include:

  • White Balance and Color Correction
  • Neutralizing Ambient Light
  • Optimizing the color of the water
  • Backscatter Removal
  • Object Removal
  • Selective Sharpening
  • Black and White Conversion
  • Adjusting your Lighting in Post

Guadalupe Island

Located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 165 miles west of Ensenada, Mexico, Guadalupe Island has become the world’s best location for viewing, photography and video of great white sharks. The visibility is often more than 100-foot and the water temperature averages around 72°F in September. This is cage diving at its most exciting using 2 cages with surface supplied air (hookah), and 2 submerged cages on SCUBA.

Nautilus Explorer

The 132 ft Nautilus Explorer is custom designed for divers to the highest possible level of comfort and safety. Expect spacious rooms and cabins, a convenient layout for diving, first-class facilities, top-notch dining services, and excellent dives throughout your trip. There is a large camera table on the dive deck.

There are two upper floors, a sun deck, and a hot-tub deck where guests can relax with a glass of wine or frosty beer under the evening stars. The main salon is located in front of the dive deck and is fitted with comfortable couches surrounded by large picture windows, dedicated PC and Mac computers, and a 42-inch plasma TV. Mealtimes are taken very seriously by the Nautilus Explorer chefs, and everything is made fresh, including breads and pastries which are baked on board. There are nine lower deck staterooms. Each has private heads with separate shower stalls, central air conditioning, and measure 90 square feet. Six of the staterooms have side-by-side beds. Two have large double beds and additional storage area and the one triple occupancy suite has a double bed with two single bunks facing.

The three superior suites on the hot-tub deck measure 145 sq. ft and have large exterior windows. They each have private facilities, a desk, and either bureau or wardrobe. Two of these suites have doors that open directly outside.

The premium suite is also located on the hot-tub deck and is twice the size of the other suites. It has a separate bedroom and lounge each with a large flat-screen TV and DVD player, private facilities with a full-size bathtub and shower plus large private windows looking out on an ocean view.

Standard Package Includes:

  • 6 nights aboard the Nautilus Explorer, twin shared cabin
  • 3 full days of cage diving – 2 surface cages, 2 submerged cages
  • Daily seminars on UW Photo techniques and image processing in Adobe Lightroom
  • In water shooting assistance
  • All meals and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Group transfers from San Diego to Ensenada

2021 Guadalupe Pre trip pdf


  • $3,499 per person, double occupancy – Stateroom
  • $4,299 per person, single occupancy – Stateroom
  • $3,999 per person, double occupancy – Suite
  • $4,599 per person, double occupancy – Premium Suite

Additional costs:

  • Transportation to San Diego (SAN)
  • Marine Park Fee $225
  • Rental gear
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Crew tips


  • September 14th (or earlier): Arrive in San Diego (SAN) and transfer to Ensenada Mexico.
  • September 14th: Check-in between 3-7 pm, boarding at 9:30 pm, depart for Guadalupe Island
  • September 15th: Photo seminars and gear prep sessions on the full-day trip to the island.
  • September 16-18th: Cage diving all day, classes, and critiques at night.
  • September 19th: Return to Ensenada around 2 pm, back to San Diego around 7:30

We encourage you to spend an extra day or two before your trip enjoying the lovely resort town of Ensenada. We especially recommend a Guadalupe Valley wine tour arranged through the Hotel Coral. If you prefer, take advantage of the hotel’s kayaks, bikes, indoor and outdoor pools, gym, or spoil yourself with a massage and spa treatment.

We are happy to assist you in booking your flights and local accommodations.

Please note that Divers Alert Network (DAN) or equivalent evacuation insurance is mandatory on all trips. Additionally, comprehensive Cancellation, Accident, Medical and Baggage insurance such as Dive Assure, Generali Global Assistance or Travel Guard is highly recommended.

Jim Decker
Jim Decker As the CEO of Backscatter, Jim is one of the top experts in the world on underwater photo and video equipment and shooting technique. From SLRs to compacts and handycams to broadcast video, Jim has shot video and photo systems from all the major underwater manufacturers and has been a consultant on many of the designs seen in the water today.

Erin Quigley is a Adobe ACE certified digital imaging consultant specializing in customized workflows and editing strategies using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. She is an award-winning underwater photographer and video editor, and creator of, which provides one-on-one instruction, custom video tutorials, and Photoshop and Lightroom resources specifically developed for underwater shooters.