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Do you want to advance your photography skills? Or are you new to underwater photography and want to learn quickly? Joining an Insider Divers workshop helps everyone with their photo skills. Anilao is one of the world's best places to photograph critters so everyone will have endless practice time for all learned techniques. Here you can find all the top bucket list critters - frogfish, ghost pipe fish and pygmy seahorses, and all manors of octopus - coconut, long arm, blue ring, mototi as well as flamboyant cuttlefish. 


February 2026

Anilao is also the undisputed world capital of Black Water diving. The best conditions are from January to April. The blackwater variety is immense and the top night time critters can be found here like papernauts, cuskeel, wunderpus and.... the Blanket Octopus. 


The Blanket Octopus is now clearly to top dream of all blackwater fans and we have timed this workshop for best possible sightings window which coincides nicely with Easter.

Anilao is the critter capital of the Philippines and home to the rarest critters of the underwater world. Macro subjects are perfect for photography training as the subjects do not tend to move much and give you time to work on your techniques and photography styles.

The workshop will be led by Tobias Friedrich a world famous and award-winning photographer and Simon Lorenz, founder of Insider Divers. They will be assisted by Mike Bartick who is a photographer and instructor. The group will be able to gain insights and learn directly from three photo pros.

black water photography

Blackwater diving as the latest and most exciting trend in Macro Photography!

What is Black Water Diving?
Black water diving is a night dive which focuses on life in the water column, ignoring the reefs around. The target of these dives are animals in larval or juvenile life stages, or permanently pelagic animals, meaning animals that never live on the reef. During these dives the variety of animal encounters is unreal and the diving sensation thrilling.

REAL blackwater (not bonfire)
We offer the real experience - divers swim around the light beam of the suspended flood lights searching for anything that moves. While you might find it slightly disorienting at first, as there is no surface or bottom , you will soon get the hang of it. There is a sense of excitement of the “hunt” paired with the weightlessness of space. Especially for seasoned photographers the richness of animals presented with automatic black canvas is immediately addictive.


What it is like on a workshop with us

Every day we will cover a variety of different topics for both advanced and beginner photographers. Sessions will be mixed or split depending on the topics and according to interest and experience. In detail you can expect to learn about the below topics.

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This workshop is co-hosted by world famous photographer Tobias Friedrich. He has brought home almost every award there is in the underwater space and was even being named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 - the most prestigious aquatic award. As highest possible achievement he was recently called to be on the judge panel of the UPY award as youngest ever panel member.

Tobias is also an author of various books and regularly hosts workshops on underwater photography. Tobias will teach various topics and share insights on his approach to underwater photography. He will also talk about the path and strategy on how to win photo awards.

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Simon Lorenz

Simon is an underwater photographer and journalist whose images have appeared in articles and competitions worldwide. He has been photo coaching for many years on numerous workshops, 1-to-1 coaching and on his Youtube channel. He has spoken at many dive events on photography topics and is widely considered a patient and thorough coach.

Simon is the founder of Insider Divers and has been running workshops since 2015. If you have any questions on this workshop he will be more than happy to help in a personal phone call.

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Mike is now a Full-time Marine Wildlife Photographer and Photo-Pro based in Anilao, Philippines. Named as one of the world’s most inspiring underwater photographers by SDOP in 2016 for his unhinged approach to shooting marine life. He conducts a series of workshops each dive season, helping shooters expand their portfolios and improve their underwater photography skills. Mike put in about 500 dives a year with 400-plus in the general area, which allows him to explore the peninsula for new dive sites and rare subjects. 

Mike is also a Global ambassador for Sea & Sea underwater imaging, Kraken Sports, Retra UWT and Ultralight Control Systems and works with various companies to bring quality products to market.

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the resort
Crystal Blue Resort is located in the heart of Anilao known as Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas, Philippines where you'll discover an exquisite blend of quality and relaxed ambiance amidst a stunning tropical setting. For avid divers, the world-class scuba diving opportunities will take you on a mesmerizing journey beneath the waves, unveiling a vibrant underwater world. Anilao is also renowned as The Mecca of Macro Fauna, where macro photographers gather to witness an extraordinary array of high-impact critters. 
So, prepare yourself for an unparalleled underwater adventure and an unforgettable experience in Anilao.

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Our resort

crystal blue resort

  • Huge camera room

  • Comfortable rooms with balconies and private bath

  • Fabulous Divemasters

  • Large Dive Deck

  • Open air dinning room and feature stunning sunset views

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