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Susanna Webster

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BWPA Success again

The British Wildlife Photography Awards were announced in September and I was once again lucky enough to receive a highly commended award for the image of a thorn back ray  below.

      

 

UK 2015 Season

The summer season came to us intermittently, but we had some great days. 2015 was definitely the year of the jelly fish and we saw thousands of them between March and September.

         

 

BWPA Success

The British Wildlife Photography Awards were announced in September and I was fortunate to receive a highly commended award for the image below. It was great to meet up with fellow successful members of BSoUP at the awards ceremony as well!

               

 

                 

 

Red Sea Wreck Trip

A whistle-stop tour of thirteen Red Sea wrecks in seven days in December! Gallery can be seen here.

 

UK Season 2014

We have enjoyed a pretty good summer this year in the south west of the UK producing some excellent diving and good image opportunities. Here are a few examples and a link to the UK gallery for 2014.

 

Nudibranch Photo Competition

This competition closed in early April and attracted more than 1000 entries world wide. I was lucky enough to win the UK category, take the runner up position and score three commended images from the judges. So I am pretty pleased with that and am now looking forward to receiving my prize of a Nauticam SMC lens to shoot a few more nudis!

http://www.nudibranchphotocomp.com/galleryUk.aspx

First Place: Favorinus branchialis

Runner Up: Polycera quadrilineata

 

Anilao, Philippines

In the never ending quest to find new quality image destinations with good amenities we have enjoyed a very productive stay at the Crystal Blue resort in Anilao, Philippines. This location provides an excellent mix of critters, muck and coral reef diving for wide angle images. The resort is very comfortable and well managed with a terrific camera room and excellent meals between dives. What more could you ask for?!

See the image gallery here.

 

Red Sea Workshop 2014

Join us for the Red Sea workshop will be aboard the MY Juliet from 12-19 October 2014.

Contact Oonadivers for booking details:

info@oonasdivers.co.uk

www.oonasdivers.com

Red Sea Workshop

 

An Upgrade at Last!

Like many other photographers I have been frustrated waiting for the mythical Nikon D400 and finally gave up when Subal announced their housing for the D7100. The D7100 offers all I would have expected of the D400 (if it ever appears) and the housing is all you would expect from Subal. The low light performance of the D7100 is outstanding and it has been a surprising pleasure to have TTL back which works well in both macro and wide angle. Look out for my review in the January edition of UWP.

           

   

 

Plankton and Nudibranchs

Although we have been suffering very heavy phytoplankton blooms the visibility is still good enough for macro and some unusual and striking nudibranchs are turning up this season.

We still have space on the workshops this year so if you yearn for warm clear waters then do join us in the Red Sea in October or in Ambon in February 2014.

 

Spring is in the air...at last

The winter in Cornwall has been long and unusually harsh but at last the seas are calming and the nudibranch, opisthobranch and sea hare season is upon us despite the 8c water temperature.

If the cold water does not appeal to you then perhaps consider joining us on a workshop in warm tropical waters with endless image opportunities! We still have spaces available in the Red Sea in October and also in Ambon in February 2014.

Maluku Divers Workshop

Red Sea Workshop

 

Happy New Year!

We returned from a very successful trip to Maluku Divers in Ambon just before Christmas. The resort, diving and critter population are an ideal mix for a workshop location. With only one resort here it is like turning the clock back at Lembeh Strait with only your boat in the bay and the critters all to yourself! You will find all the usual suspects here plus plenty of exotics including resident Rhinopias and a few species that may be new to you. My favourite from the trip were some diminutive and very tricky hairy gobies that the guides showed us at several locations. There are also reef dives and an intact wreck close at hand in case you need a wide angle fix.

 

Maluku Divers is a popular location and we have had to revise the workshop dates as a result. The dates are set for 22 February to 1 March 2014, so if you would like to join us please mail me asap and I can send you further details and add you to the list.

Maluku Divers Workshop

Red Sea Workshop

 

markwebster@photec.co.uk

 

Ambon - Maluku Divers

I am escaping my present chilly work location of Northern Norway for the calm warm waters of Indonesia for a couple of weeks. We will be spending some time at a location new to us - Maluku Divers on the island of Ambon, which is earning a reputation for its fantastic muck and reef diving. Watch this space for updates on plans for 2013:

 

End of Season News

The Red Sea workshop this year was held on the MY Juliet in the Northern Red Sea. This was a bit of a reunion as we had not used Juliet for quite a few years and we were joined by some regular clients as well as several new clients with a wide mix of nationalities. We enjoyed perfectly calm weather and had some great dives on the classic sites of the north. The 2013 workshop will also be on the MY Juliet:

13-20 October- contact info@Oonasdivers.com

 

 

The competition was won by Luca Credeli with Stuart Waudby claiming the macro prize:

 

 

During September in the UK we were blessed with some fantastic late summer weather (at last!) :

 

 

 

 

Flaming June....Not!

We continue to get battered by storms in June that are more common during the autumn equinox. Between the storms it is still possible to get in the water and find interesting and cooperative subjects.

 

With all this gloomy weather now is a good time to plan for some warm water immersion and exotic subjects. Join us on a workshop with other enthusiastic photographers in the Red Sea or in the Lembeh Strait:

 

Red Sea: 14-21 October- contact info@Oonasdivers.com

 

Lembeh Strait: 1-8 December - book directly with me, further details here.

 

 

 

 

Stormy Weather

The weather in April has been appalling! High winds and heavy rain have not made ideal diving conditions. When conditions are bad consider something different like exploring deeper rock pools or perhaps plan for a warmer workshop trip in the company of other photographers. We still have space on the Red Sea and Lembeh Straits workshops later this year.

 

 

Spring Is Here Again

Following a mild winter here in Cornwall there is already plenty of activity underwater with nudibranchs and juveniles in abundance. A couple of images to tempt you to get wet and hone your imaging skills.

                    

 

 

If the cold water does not appeal to you then plan ahead for some warm water workshop diving! We still have some spaces left in the Red Sea in October and at Lembeh Hills Resort in December:

 

Red Sea: 14-21 October- contact info@Oonasdivers.com

 

Lembeh Strait: 1-8 December - book directly with me, further details here.

 

Workshop Update

We have just returned from the Seaventures photo workshop where the group have enjoyed some excellent and varied diving between the three islands of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai. Some excellent images were produced during the week and the well deserved winner of the competition was Panos Fafalios with an image of a Sipadan turtle.

 

 

 

Susanna and I then travelled on the the new Lembeh Hills Resort where we enjoyed a relaxing and indulgent week of diving in the Lembeh Strait. The resort is very well appointed and has very comfortable boutique style rooms all with a wonderful view of the strait below. The resort offers full service and has delicious food on offer in the restaurant. The diving in the Lembeh Strait needs no introduction of course and the range of critters and macro subjects continues to amaze me. We will host a workshop here in December 2012.

 

 

 

The workshop dates for 2012 are as follows:

 

Red Sea: 14-21 October- contact info@Oonasdivers.com

 

Lembeh Strait: 1-8 December

Book directly with me, further details here.

 

British Wildlife Photography Awards

This competition is in its third year and open to all photographers shooting in the UK. I entered for the first time this year and was lucky enough to score a highly commended and editors choice plus several images in the book. The overall winner was an underwater image and the book features many underwater photographs as well as some stunning surface photography of British wildlife and is well worth the cover price.

 

   

 

 

Workshop Update

Some workshop dates for 2012 in case you are planning ahead:

 

Red Sea: 14-21 October- contact info@Oonasdivers.com

 

Lembeh Strait: 1-8 December

This workshop will be at the new Lembeh Hills Resort which we will visit in December. Book directly with me, further details here.

 

We still have some spaces available on the Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai workshop between 3-10 December if you cannot wait until 2012.

Based at the Seaventures resort at Mabul offering a mix of reefs, walls and muck diving between the three islands and an excellent house reef dive at Seaventures. Book directly with me.

 

www.seaventuresdive.com

 

Numerous Nudibranchs

The cold winter has produced a slightly later breeding season in the water, but now there is frantic activity for both nudibranchs and sea hares. I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight the variety of species we see here in the UK. Have a look here and dust off your macro lens before they disappear.

 

 

 

Getting Snooty

Snoots were very popular in the 80's and 90's for double exposures on film in photosub competitions. They are now making a comeback and the latest iteration is the fibre optic snoot which can deliver a very narrow beam of light if desired. Another option to consider for different lighting in your images. I got mine from Ken Sullivan (www.kensunderwaterphotography.com).

 

   

 

   

 

Spring Workshop Update

I have spent the last few months working in Norway with lots of travel to and fro. The water in the fjords looks very clear, cold and inviting but so far I have not managed any diving. But we have just had a superb Easter week her in Cornwall with unusually calm seas and plenty of sunshine. Although that means that the plankton is now thickening up the spring breeding season is most definitely here with plenty of nudibranchs, sea hares and cuttlefish and squid beginning to appear. I have put a few pictures up here

 

If you are thinking of warmer water diving we still have space on the two 2011 workshops:

 

7-14 October in the Red Sea departing from Hurghada and exploring some new sites south towards Safaga. Contact Ooonasdivers to book (info@oonasdivers.com)

 

3-10 December Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai based at the Seaventures resort at Mabul offering a mix of reefs, walls and muck diving between the three islands and an excellent house reef dive at Seaventures. Book directly with me - deposits due 1 August but let me know soon if you are interested and I will pencil you in on the list.

 

2011 Workshops

For 2011 we will have one workshop in the Red Sea and one in Malaysia diving at Sipadan, Mabul & Kapalai based at the Seaventures Dive Platform at Mabul island.

 

Red Sea Workshop

14-21 October 2011

For the 2011 workshop we plan to take a slightly different route from Hurghada to dive some of the sites along the coast towards Safaga to increase variety and perhaps introduce you to some sites that you may not have dived before.

 

Sipadan, Mabul & Kapalai Workshop

3-10 December 2011

 

For 2011 we have a new destination in Malaysia. This will be based on the Seaventures dive platform at Mabul island just a stones throw from the famous walls of Sipadan and the reef and muck diving at Mabul and Kapalai. The package will include unlimited diving on the excellent reef and muck right below the dive platform, with its unique dive lift access. If you are interested just contact me for further details and to get your name penciled in.

www.seaventuresdive.com

 

 

Seaventures Mabul Island

I returned in February from a successful trip to Mabul, Sipadan and Kapalai where I stayed on the Seaventures dive platform. The diving throughout this area is excellent and offers the perfect mix of coral, walls and big fish action at Sipadan together with shallow reef and muck diving at Mabul and Kapalai. If your focus is on time in the water then the Seaventures platform offers an excellent budget choice. Directly below the rig is an excellent reef and muck dive with everything from pygmy seahorses to frog fish and schooling barracuda. You are transported to and from the water on a lift, truly effortless diving! Watch this space for details of a Seaventures photo workshop in 2011.

 

2010 Workshops

Workshop planning is underway for 2010. So far we have one confirmed date in the Northern Red Sea on  Blue Planet 1 exploring the classic sites between Ras Mohammed and Hurghada - 1-8 October 2010. Contact Oonasdivers for further details: www.oonasdivers.com

 

2009 Workshops

The final 2009 workshop was held in the first week of November at Lembeh Resort exploring the extraordinary range of critters and marine life that inhabit the Lembeh Strait. As always there is a surprise on every dive here and we were blessed with sunny weather all week, despite the beginning of the rainy season looming. The competition was won by Lucy Proudfoot with a portrait of a pygmy seahorse taken with a Nikon D80 in a Sea & Sea housing.

 

The first 2009 Red Sea workshop was held in May on MY Blue Planet 1 diving some of the classic sites of the northern Red Sea - Abu Nuhas, Ras Mohammed, Small Passage, Shag Rock. We enjoyed some great weather and some great diving and produced some pleasing images. You can see some of my images here. The competition for the best image of the week (judged by the crew) was won for a second time by Alan Larsen with a D200 in a Subal housing.

 

The Second Red Sea workshop was also on the Blue Planet 1 between 2-9 September diving Fury Shoal, Ras Banas and Sataya. The competition for the best image of the week (judged by the crew) was won by Bartosz Strozynski  with using a Canon 1Ds II in a Seacam housing.

 

Macro with a 10-17mm Zoom

 

    

Read more here.

 

Marsa Shagra Eco Village

Susanna and I enjoyed a relaxed week of diving at the Marsa Shagra eco village in March. It was great to do some shore based beach diving again in the Red Sea. You can see my review of the trip in UWP49 (www.uwpmag.com) and see some of my images here. Book through Oonasdivers.

 

Beneath Cornish Seas events:

 

 

BBC Radio Cornwall have a book review and interview with Mark - follow the links from here: www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/nature/  

 

Darwin 200 Celebration

 

Pictures from Beneath Cornish Seas will be featured in three exhibitions celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin who had strong connections with the port of Falmouth in Cornwall.

Voyages of Discovery - 14 February to 18 April

Species - 25 April to 27 June

Expressions - 12 September to 7 November

www.falmouthartgallery.com

 

 28 and 29 March 2009 ExCel London Docklands

 

Copies of Beneath Cornish Seas will be available at the London International Dive show where the book will also be presented to winners of the winners of the BSoUP/Diver Magazine annual print competition. We will be on the Oonasdivers stand, BSoUP and retailer stands on 28 March.

 

Truro, Cornwall 26 May 2009

 

Mark will be hosting an evening event in Waterstones Truro branch in Cornwall on Tuesday 26 May. There will be a presentation centered on the book, a Q&A session and the opportunity to purchase signed copies.  See Waterstones website/events for details:

www.waterstones.com

 

2009 Workshops


For 2009 we have the two regular Red Sea dates and, by popular request, the return of Muck and Macro in the Lembeh Strait. This will once again be at Lembeh Resort, which was very popular for the 2007 workshop, so if you are interested just contact me to get your name penciled in.

 

Red Sea workshops in 2009:

15-22 May Red Sea - Classic sites in the North

2-9 September Red Sea - Fury Shoal, Ras Banas and Sataya

 

Lembeh Strait workshop 2009:

31 October to 7 November

 

As usual the Red Sea workshops are booked through Oonasdivers but the Lembeh Strait workshop will be booked directly with me. 

 

Beneath Cornish Seas -

Copies have now arrived from the printers and are available online from the publishers at www.alisonhodge.co.uk at on 10.95.

They will shortly be available through other distributors and retailers.

More book details here.

 

               

 

2008 Workshops

 

We have just returned from the final workshop of 2008 in Bali. Our base was the newly refurbished Tauch Terminal located in the centre of Tulamben Bay. Here we enjoyed some excellent wide angle and critter diving on the reefs and famous SS Liberty wreck. The trip also included excursions to Seraya, Amed and Kubu where the group captured some excellent images.

 

See a selection of images from the Bali Workshop here.

 

The first Red Sea workshop of 2008 was on board MY Blue Planet diving at Hurghada, Abu Nuhas and the Brothers. Some excellent diving was enjoyed by the group and some spectacular images were produced during the week despite some windy conditions. The competition for the best image of the week (judged by the crew) was won by Valerie Reid with a D200 in a Seacam housing.

 

See some of my images from the workshop here.

 

The second  Red Sea Workshop in October started off quite breezy but produced some fantastic photo opportunities during the week and closed with a memorable dugong encounter. The competition for the best image of the week (judged by the crew) was won for a second time by Valerie Reid with a D200 in a Seacam housing.

 

See some of my images from the workshop here.

 

Philippines

In February 2008 we returned from a pleasant and productive week in the Philippines based at the Atlantis Resort at Dumaguete on Negros Island. The resort and dive centre are excellent and the mix of diving and photographic subjects will keep your camera busy for a week or more. Look out for the trip report in Underwater Photography Magazine (www.uwpmag.com), read more here and see some pictures in the gallery here.

 

Ocean Optics Open Day

We held a successful second open day at Ocean Optics on Saturday 12 January 2008. The day included  two presentations on wide angle techniques and composition and a picture clinic.

 

We hope to hold more of these in the future - please e-mail Steve Warren for future dates:

optics@oceanoptics.co.uk

www.oceanoptics.co.uk

 

Under the Sea Exhibition

 

A new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has recently opened which celebrates and illustrates undersea exploration and diving. The exhibition includes a selection of my underwater photographs together with Alex Mustard and JP Trenque in an exhibit which charts the history of underwater photography. There are some milestone equipment examples on display including a Rolleimarine housing, an original Calypsophot and a Scoones MD600 Olympus housing.

Beneath Cornish Seas

A new book to be published in late 2008 or early 2009. This will be predominantly a pictorial presentation of the colourful and varied marine life to be found below the temperate waters  surrounding the south western peninsula of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The book will be of interest to snorkellers, divers, underwater photographers and anyone with a passion for marine life and natural history. The publication date will be announced later in 2008, but for the moment click here for a few sample images.

Publisher: Alison Hodge Publishers - www.alison-hodge.co.uk

Workshops

For 2008 we have three workshops planned two in the Red Sea and one at Tulamben in Bali, Indonesia:

13 - 20 June Red Sea

1- 8 October Red Sea

26 November to 3 December Tulamben, Bali

As usual the Red Sea workshops are booked through Oonasdivers but the Bali workshop will be booked directly with me.  You can find more details here. If you are interested in Bali please let me know and I will pencil you in early we expect this workshop to be popular.

2007 Workshops

We held a very successful workshop in in March in the Lembeh Straits in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This area boasts an incredible array of exotic creatures, mostly in the macro range, in very easy diving conditions. We stayed at the Lembeh Resort on Lembeh Island which is very comfortable, has excellent facilities for photographers and a first class dive centre with a team of very skilled spotters/guides. Our group of fifteen included clients from the USA, Germany, Austria and the UK -  mix which blended very well and produced some great images and lively discussion. You can see some of my images taken in 2006 and 2007 by clicking on these links.

 

The second workshop held in May in the  Red Sea was on board the MY Blue Waves. The group enjoyed some fantastic diving at the Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone. For the shark enthusiasts there were sightings of hammerheads, threshers, silky and grey reef sharks along with some very large tuna and all the regular reef species which kept the cameras busy all week.

 

The final workshop in September 2007 was in the Red Sea workshop on board the Blue Seas live aboard. Although the weather was unusually windy we still managed to enjoy some excellent diving and make the trip to St. John's Reef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-mail Mark: markwebster@photec.co.uk

1999-2009, Mark Webster, Photec. All rights reserved. These images are the sole copyright of Mark Webster/Photec and are for viewing only. No individual or company, for any reason, is permitted to copy the photographs, graphics or text on these pages without written permission from Mark Webster/Photec. In the event that an infringement is discovered you will be notified and invoiced for unauthorised usage and/or prosecuted for Copyright Infringement.