I wanted to tell you all about our Photo Workshop with Alex Mustard in Grand Cayman.
As usual, click on the images to see them at a larger size (& they are copyright to Suzy Walker or Michael Toye so please do not use without permission).
Overall I enjoyed the diving very much. It’s not like Egypt where the reef goes right to the surface, the more interesting dives are quite deep with the interesting bits at the bottom so we used Nitrox to allow us more dive time. We went to cave areas with glass fish and great swim-throughs, we did an off camera strobe model shot that Alex set up for us, we saw sharks, we saw (lots of) sting rays and I even got my macro on for a dive or two. I did notice there wasn’t as much fish life as I’m use to (we usually spend time in Indonesia or Red Sea) but I think that’s a Caribbean thing rather than a Cayman thing since there seemed to be many more fish than we saw at Bonaire.
Alex provides an excellent level of photo workshop (He runs this trip every year and there are quite a few repeat trippers), he explained a lot about light this workshop during evening lectures (take a jumper for these – I was cold) & image critique and on the boat and during the day. He even spent all day in the freezing cold pool showing people strobe positions (I skipped out on that since I was too cold from the 26 degree sea water to brave the pool as well)! This was our 1st trip of the year but not the first workshop we have taken with Alex so we knew what to expect from the workshop.
The pace is quite fast, you couldn’t possible fit any more into this trip but it was so relaxed that you could decide to skip any of it if you wanted to just chill out and enjoy the holiday. We went specifically to dive for photos and learn from the workshop, however the cold water & rocky boat (take you sea sickness tablets with you!) got the better of Mike and I spent a lot of my time diving with a nice American lady, Ellen, who also found herself with no buddy too.
We stayed at Ocean Frontiers (Compass point) in the East End of Grand Cayman. I didn’t actually know it was self-catering until we got there (it came as a surprise since we’re so used to liveaboards now). I cannot say that I’m a great fan of self-catering – we’re spoiled and when we go holiday I don’t like to worry about going to the supermarket and feeding ourselves, but the facilities of the room were good and we probably
saved a bit of money (since everything on Cayman seemed very expensive even at the supermarket – and I live in London so that much be saying something!!) We ate out a lot at a ear by restaurant (5min drive) called Portafinos which was pricey but delicious. We had a teeny tiny white car included in the holiday price that drove like a go kart but it was enough to get us around the island – we worked out after a few days that the speed signs were Miles per hour and speedo was in Kilometres ;)
The dive centre was great – we didn’t have to take care of our gear at all the whole week (which is always good when you have so little time and so much camera gear to get ready).
Off Camera strobe Model shot
and you can see the rest of my images here: