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Explore the fascinating waters of Malta and Gozo and capture the amazing marine life through underwater photography. Designed for underwater photographers who want to move beyond entry level as well; those experienced who seek new inspiration and to enhance their skills and techniques. You will also have the benefit to meet like-minded people and expand your underwater photography network.

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The Workshop

Photography skills and techniques that will be covered during the 4 day workshop

  1. Review your procedures for keeping yourself, your equipment and the environment safe before, during and after photographing underwater.

  2. Planning your underwater macro photography shoot

  3. Pre-visualising your intended macro shot – framing, lighting, depth of focus, approaching the subject, bracketing, working the subject

  4. Taking well framed, well-focussed, well-lit close-up and macro subjects

  5. Planning your underwater wide-angle photography shoot

  6. Pre-visualising your intended macro shot – framing, lighting, depth of focus, approaching the subject, bracketing, working the subject

  7. Finding your preferred ambient light background

  8. Taking well framed ambient-light wide-angle landscapes, subjects and silhouettes

  9. Lighting of foreground subjects in wide-angle shots

  10. Taking well framed mixed-light wide-angle

  11. Finding your creative style


The workshop consists of four elements:

  1. Classroom modules

  2. Dive modules with mentor available

  3. Independent dive modules to practice your skills

  4. Classroom review and mentoring of your results

Weather conditions will determine both the dive locations and the order in which the types of dive will be done. This in turn will determine the order of the classroom sessions.

A welcome talk will be held on arrival, covering core techniques, safe diving practices for photographers and care of underwater camera equipment.  During the workshop you will have mentored and independent dives which will occur at various time of the day, morning, afternoon, evening and at night. On site your mentor will brief you about the dive site, and talk to you about the shoot you will be practicing on the day. After, a break will follow for you to have lunch at a nearby eating place or if you prefer you can bring your own. At the end of each workshop day you will have an image review session where mentoring will be provided on the participant’s results.


  1. Participants need to be 18 years and over.

  2. A diving qualification is required – minimum PADI Advanced certificate or equivalent. Good to perfect buoyance control is a pre-requisite for underwater photography. You should also have full insurance such as provided by DAN Europe.

Photography Skill Level

  1. Essential is that you have experience of using your rig underwater.

  2. You should be familiar with your rig’s auto and manual modes for focus, exposure and strobe/flash controls

  3. When registering, send us examples of your best shots, and shots you would like to improve – macro and wide-angle


Camera Requirements

Underwater camera or camera you are required to bring – please let us know what equipment you will be using when you register. If necessary we can adjust the content of the workshops.

  1. DSLR or mirrorless camera which takes exchangeable lenses

  2. Underwater housing – we will be diving to maximum 40m

  3. A wide-angle lens (ideal is in range 13mm – 20mm)

  4. A macro (close focus to 1:1) lens (ideal is in range 105 – 200mm)

  5. Lighting – preferably two strobes/flashes or video lamps, on adjustable arms

  6. Focus lamp or torch, also on an adjustable arm

  7. When completely assembled, your rig should be neutral or slightly negative buoyancy underwater. Come prepared to adjust for slightly higher buoyancy in Mediterranean waters.

  8. Computer set up to download, examine and edit your images.

  9. Any more limited camera gear than this, will constrain the range of photographic techniques you can experience in these workshops


Equipment needed to perform a dive

Each participant is responsible to bring their own dive equipment. Dive Systems can provide rental equipment at their normal rental prices.

  1. Wet suit – we recommend a full wet suit or 5mm semi-dry, hood and booties. Photographers stat stationary for long periods underwater, so need more thermal protection than average divers. A full wet suit also gives some protection against scrapes and injuries. Gloves are permitted in Malta.

  2. Mask, fins, snorkel

  3. Dive tool (knife)

  4. BCD

  5. Dive Systems provides weight belts and weights. We recommend you bring your own ouch-style weight belt as it is then easier to adjust your weights for the perfect buoyancy required for underwater photography.

  6. 1st & 2nd stages, with octopus and pressure gauge

  7. Dive computer

  8. Lamp/torch with lanyard that can be hung on your BCD

  9. You might also consider an underwater magnifier and blow bottle



€1475.00 per person

  • A non-refundable deposit of €500.00 per person is required to reserve your place

  • The balance of €975.00 is to be paid by 31st May 2024

After 31st May 2024 full payment of €1475.00 per person is required in order to secure your place.



There are only 10 spots available for this workshop and participants are accepted on first come first serve basis. In order to secure your place we ask you to make a deposit of €500.00 euro upon registration. For enquires and registration please contact Celine Farrugia on



Included in your price

The Workshop, a mix of shore and boat dives in Malta and Gozo, mentor on dive site and in the classroom, instructor as guide, tanks, weights, oxygen and first- aid kit. Land transport to and from Dive Systems to shore-dive sites and back. At the dive centre you will have access to dive kit storage, lockers, washing facilities, showers and use of class room.


Flights and accommodation

Everyone is free to choose and book their own flight and accommodation. The workshop will start daily from Dive Systems which are located in Sliema. There different types of accommodation to suit different budgets in this area for you to choose from.


Underwater Photographer Mentor


Malcolm H. Ross is PADI Master Instructor #31684, (certified16 August 1994). He started diving in 1986 and became a PADI Open Water Instructor within one year. In 1989 he was certified as a PADI Underwater Photographer Speciality Instructor by Kurt Amsler at the PADI European  College in Cannes. He has taught diving with PADI dive schools in Darmstadt and Munich, Germany, San Francisco and Malta. He has certified 240 divers at all levels, including 28 PADI Underwater Photographers, staffed instructor development courses. 

Malcolm has thousands of logged dives, including German and Austrian mountain lakes, Spanish Costa Brava, French Riviera, Croatia, Malta, Red Sea, Maldives, Cuba, Aruba,  Bonaire, Northern California, Galapagos, Australian Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef,  Palau, Truk Lagoon, Solomon Islands, and New Britain, New Ireland and Milne Bay in Papua  New Guinea, Lembeh Straits, Raja Ampat and Triton Bay in Indonesia. 

Malcolm has participated in nearly 30 underwater photography expeditions to the Solomon  Islands, Papua New Guinea, Galapagos and Indonesia, under the mentorship of Chris  Newbert, who produced “Within a Rainbowed Sea” (the most award winning photography  book ever printed) and “In a sea of dreams”, two of the most widely sold “coffee-table” format  books of underwater photographs. 

Despite over 10,000 images, he has restricted showings to friends and colleagues, apart from the chapter on underwater photography in a German dive encyclopaedia, a few pictures published as part of newspaper articles and a collection with He is currently preparing his collection of images for a coffee-table book, his own web site and for placement with additional photographic stock agents. 

Between dives, Malcolm is an independent Management Consultant with 40 years + experience in mobile communications. He is also developing a process for turning starting new ventures into a career choice, rather than a risky adventure. Malcom is an active member of the Malta Photographic Society and from time to time he delivers presentations on Underwater Photography to its members.



This workshop is being organised by Discern Group in collaboration with the Malta Photographic Society which was founded in 1961 with the intention of fostering friendship through photography. It also serves as a learning platform to all enthusiasts eager to increase their knowledge in the skills of practicing photography. Furthermore, we have engaged Dive Systems who have been at the forefront of diving in Malta for the past 40 years providing a mix of fun, safety and excellent diving and are also founding members and actively involved with the Malta Professional Diving School Association (PDSA).

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