Macro & Blackwater Underwater Photography Workshop – Crystal Blue Resort – Anilao Philippines – October 4-14, 2024
Improve your macro underwater photography skills with Photo Pro Mike Bartick at Crystal Blue Dive Resort in Anilao Philippines.

With its healthy reefs and incredible diversity of marine life, Anilao has some of the best macro photo opportunities in the ocean. Known as the nudibranch capital of the world, Anilao is home to over 600 species of Nudibranchs. You’re also likely to see many species of frogfish, octopus, Rhinopias, pipefish, seahorses, and many other macro reef and muck diving critters.

Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Crystal Blue Dive Resort in Anilao Philippines

Who should attend the workshop?

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced photographers will all benefit from this workshop. The workshops are fun, informative and will include natural history and photo techniques along with demonstrations and photo coaching.

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Daily classes and one on one help from the Photo Pros

The best way to learn is by shooting and our photo pros will be on location with you to help improve your technique and to correct mistakes. Daily seminars throughout the trip will cover Macro shooting techniques such as:
  • Focus techniques
  • Lighting and Exposure techniques
  • Strobe placement
  • Composition
  • Avoiding backscatter
  • Snooting
  • Shooting with Diopters
  • Backlighting
(The exact curriculum will be tailored to the group)

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Rhino

Blackwater Diving

If you’re a diver who likes adventure or a photographer who wants to see something totally off the charts, then Blackwater Diving is for you. Imagine, drifting through the open ocean at night and witnessing the upward migration of plankton and the critters that feed on them. Subjects like the Paper Nautilus, Blanket Octopus, Pelagic Seahorse, Larval Jack’s, Jellyfish, 10-foot Salp Chains, jellyfish, Moon Jellies, Flying fish, and much much more. Crystal Blue’s dive team pioneered blackwater diving in the Anilao area. Using bathymetric maps, local knowledge, and experience our dive team has located some of the best places to conduct the dives and the best times to dive them. Blackwater diving is assured to be as unique as the subjects that you will encounter.

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Wunderpus

Lightroom and Photoshop techniques for Macro images

In addition to shooting techniques, Mike will also conduct some live edit sessions using his workflow method for improving your images and learning stronger compositions.

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Pika chu

Learn on-location in a small group setting

This course is limited in order to maximize the one-on-one time with our instructors. Each boat dive is limited to just 4 divers and a guide. The guides are professionally trained critter spotters and know how to assist photographers in getting the best shots.

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Jawfish with eggs


Crystal Blue Resort is located in the heart of Anilao known as Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas, Philippines. The resort’s stunning location sits directly in front of Arthurs Rock (a Marine Protected Park) which gives it one of the best house reefs in the region.

Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Rooms

Managed by underwater photographer Mike Bartick, Crystal Blue Resort caters to the needs it’s of underwater photographer guests. It offers a large camera room, top-notch dive guides, and small-group diving. The crew is well-trained to handle all of your dive gear efficiently and is especially conscientious when handling underwater camera gear.

Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Dining with a view

Large camera room

The camera room features 23 large camera bays with plenty of power, lighting, and storage space for your camera essentials and bags. The camera room is environmentally managed for dryness and locked down and secured in the evenings.

Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Gear Room

Getting there

Manila (MNL) is easy to get to from the US and is serviced by most major airlines. No internal domestic flights are required. The resort is just 2 ½ hours from Manila and ground transportation is provided in the package.

Space is limited so sign up now!

Price: $2,999 (per person, double occupancy)

Standard Package Includes:

  • 10 nights accommodations at the Crystal Blue Resort
  • Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner daily
  • 9 days of guided boat diving, up to 4 boat dives per day
  • 3 nights of Blackwater diving
  • Unlimited Nitrox
  • Tanks and weights
  • Dive Guides and Park fees
  • Taxes and service charges
  • Round-trip group transfers
  • Daily seminars on Macro UW Photo and Blackwater Photo techniques and image processing
  • 4 to 1 ratios on the boats for a small feel and more guide attention

Additional costs:

  • Airfare to Manila (MNL)
  • Private transfers
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Single supplement
  • Crew tips
  • Private guides

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Nautilus


  • October 4 – Arrival day – 2-afternoon dives possible
  • October 5, 6, 7 – Up to 4 dives a day
  • October 8,9,10 – 1 day dive and 2 Blackwater night dives
  • October 11,12 – Up to 4 dives a day
  • October 13 – 2-day dives
  • October 14 – Departure

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Toungfish

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.

Lead Instructors:

Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop
Mike Bartick is the manager and resident photo pro at Crystal Blue Resort and is an expert on macro photography. He is uniquely qualified to show you the best of what Anilao has to offer and teach you the skills and techniques he uses to create stunning underwater images.

©Mike Bartick - Macro Underwater Photography Workshop - Swimming Octopus