Pacificklaus Photo Courses at Salaya

Salaya Beach Houses, an inclusive resort
February 14, 2018
You are an Explorer
March 15, 2018
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Photo by Dr. Russell C. Gilbert

Individualized Underwater Photography Courses by Dr. Klaus „Pacificklaus“ Stiefel at Salaya Beach Houses!

Next  Course Starting Saturday, March 17th!

If you enjoy my writing on underwater photography (such as on camera choice, shutter speed, aperture and ISO), why not join me for some dives with your camera? I am offering individualized underwater photography courses for underwater shooters of all skill levels. Depending on my student’s interest and ability, we will dedicate our time and energy to a customized combination of these five modules:

1 – The Basics of Photography

Do you enjoy taking pictures but you are not completely sure what all of the buttons on your camera do? Are you not sure what is meant by shutter speed, aperture and ISO? Then we should get you up to speed about the basics of photography before we jump in the ocean with our cameras.

2 – Good Buoyancy, Good UW Photography

A diver with a calm and neutral position in the water will be able to approach marine animals without scaring them away before getting within photo range. If you are an experienced topside-photographer and want to transition into underwater shooting, it is worth to work on your buoyancy for at least one dive. This module can be done in combination with the PADI peak performance buoyancy specialty course.

My Tools!

3 – What am I looking at?

You will be able to take more interesting photographs if you know where to look for interesting marine animals, and if you know how and when they show interesting behavior. I can teach you all of that! This module will involve both presentations on land and pointing-out underwater.

4 – Post-Processing

Once you have pressed the shutter, the process of photography is not over. Just like an analog film shot had to be developed, a digital shot has to be post-processed. In this way we can turn good photographs into great ones. I personally like to use GIMP and RawTherapee for photo processing, but I am happy to use the software of your choice to work together on your images.

5 – Shoot, Critique, Rinse, Repeat

If we are both happy with our diving & photo skills and our knowledge of marine biology, we will shoot as many nice underwater pictures as we can, then spend classroom time discussing the merits or shortcomings of these shots, and then, after having learned something, dive & shoot some more!

Great Infrastructure for Underwater Photography at Salaya Beach Houses

At Salaya we have everything an underwater photographer’s heart could wish for: a well-lit, air-conditioned camera room with lots of bench space and individually locked gear drawers, an air-gun, and lots of rinse tanks even on our boat.

A Bit About Myself

I am a zoologist (University of Vienna & Max Planck Institute), scuba diving instructor (PADI Staff Instructor & Tec Deep Instructor) and underwater photographer. I have been shooting underwater since 2005, with a variety of camera systems (Olympus 8080, Olympus TG4, Olympus E-M1, Canon 350D, Canon 5DII) and I love how underwater photography sits at the intersection of photographic art and marine biology.

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

You wouldn’t want to take a photography course with someone who doesn’t take nice pictures, would you? Please take a look at some of my favorite underwater shots from the last decade, shot in many different corners of the Pacific Ocean:

Best Of Pacificklaus

And I believe I also understand all the theory behind light and lenses and cameras quite well, and am able to explain it to others … this is a book I wrote about photography, to be precise about the lessons brain research can teach the photographer:



  1. Eric says:

    Any UW photo/video courses in June?