Exclusive Photography Master Class in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba


Exclusive Photography Master Class in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

Expedition Details.

The warm waters around Cuba offer the best exotic diving in the Caribbean. The dive sites of Jardines de la Reina are a perfect photography classroom. This trip is a master photography class lead by two charming professional underwater photographers. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, amature or a professional, The nightly photo critiques and classes will improve your photography quickly.

These waters make a perfect photo studio because of the superb visibility and wonderful lighting. The unique wildlife is everywhere and includes sharks and crocodiles. More importantly, our expedition is a trip with a purpose. Each photo you take is an opportunity to further public understanding of misunderstood animals like sharks and crocodiles. Our visit is timed to take advantage of ideal diving conditions: fantastic visibility, warm water and the best animal interactions.

Imagine diving with sharks over healthy reefs in the morning, spending the afternoon in sunlit mangroves photographing crocodiles, and finishing the day with a beverage watching sharks play in the sunset. What better way to ring in the new year?

Join us for our eight-day photography course in Cuba. This trip will pay dividends in both the images you’ll capture and the memories you’ll make.

Cuba Diving - Croc and Shark Photography Master Class

Trip Details.
8-Day Photography Master Class Diving in Cuba

Dates 2017: December 30-January 6
Group Size: 16
Vessel: Avalon II
Temp Water: 75 – 82° F (24 – 28° C)
Temp Land: 60 – 85° F (15 – 29° C)
Price: $6,400 per person based on double occupancy
Registration: Deposit of $2,200

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Is this trip right for me?

Jardines de la Reina is an ideal underwater studio. The sharks, crocs and schools of fish are exciting subjects, and the clear, calm waters allow you to relax and compose the perfect shot.

During our photography course, guests will hone their skills shooting both wide angle and macro subjects. Photographers will also practice shooting in low light, ambient light and using strobes.

Internationally-recognized professional photographers Amanda Cotton and Ron Watkins will provide expert guidance and critique. Additional topics covered in the class include: dodging and burning techniques, curves, masking/adjustment layering, copyright protection, digital removal of unwanted items in the image, and other pro photo techniques.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this expedition is a chance for serious photographers to go beyond taking snapshots and capture images that start conversations. We encourage each guest to see themselves as a conservation photographer who can further public understanding of misunderstood animals like sharks and crocodiles.

Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) is a marine protected area in Cuba and home to the third-largest coral reef in the world. Jardines de la Reina’s natural and political isolation provides superb diving conditions: fantastic visibility, warm comfortable water and plenty of sharks and crocs.

If there’s one thing Cuba diving is known for, it’s sharks. Expect to see sharks on nearly every dive – up to 30 at once. And they’re not shy. Caribbean reef sharks and silky sharks are curious animals that will swim in for their close-up.

The crocodiles of Jardines live in the mangroves and shallow seagrass beds. They are accustomed to people and generally not aggressive. Despite their size (12ft / 4m), the local crocodiles typically feed on smaller creatures such as fish and birds. Our local guides are familiar with these animals and will explain how to approach them safely.

Our liveaboard, The Avalon II, gives us access to dive sites rarely seen by other divers. It’s far and away the best diving vessel in Cuba. Each stateroom has its own bathroom, air conditioning with individual thermostats, and a full + twin bed.

The spacious lounge area provides plenty of room for photographers to spread out and has both 220-volt and 110-volt outlets. For true relaxation, drop in to the 500-gallon hot top on the top deck. Take in the panoramic views with a beverage of your choice after a spectacular day underwater.

Expedition Leader

Amanda Cotton

Amanda Cotton is a professional underwater photographer, an avid scuba diver and ocean enthusiast.

Her goal is to help the general public embrace the beauty below the waves, in hopes that with awareness comes concern. Amanda runs a design/media company, A Cotton Photo Creative Works LLC, and also enjoys working with like-minded organizations that genuinely care about the planet and its inhabitants. Amanda is a member of many prestigious organizations and has received numerous photography awards with her images being featured in major publications and news sources worldwide.

Amanda is a wide-angle specialist with many years of experience photographing sharks and other big marine animals, making her an ideal trip leader for the kind of diving available in Tonga.

Expedition Leader

Ron Watkins

Ron Watkins Cuba Diving Expedition LeaderRon Watkins is a professional photographer, writer, explorer, trip leader and photography instructor specializing in underwater and topside nature photography. Through his imagery, Ron is committed to raising awareness of the challenges facing our fragile ecosystems and threatened marine life in hopes of promoting conservation.

Whether helping his clients capture a once in a lifetime photo of a transient pod of orcas in the Galapagos, crocodiles in Cuba, giant Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez, or rare salmon sharks in Alaska, Ron always has a focus on safety, organization, education, conservation and adventure.

Ron most recently received the prestigious Underwater Photographer of the Year, Our World Underwater, World Shootout and Ocean Art photography competitions.


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Happy Divers



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