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Learn Underwater Photography in Swanage, Dorset the Fast and Easy-to-Understand Way

   BSOUP Best Beginner Portfolio by Daniel Norwood

Meet Daniel Norwood, now Editor of Dive PhotoGuide who came to me not knowing how to use a strobe.  One day helping him before his trip away, he went onto scoop Sport Diver's "Photo of the Month" competition a couple of months later, then the British Society of Underwater Photographer's Best Beginner with a Fuji Compact Camera using One Strobe the same month, and now has his own dive centre in the Bahamas working with sharks.  Just one of many incredible success stories.

Underwater Photography Course for Beginners  Meet Alex who recently came on a course to my new studio to master her Olympus TG6 and her Weefine Video Light.  This is what she had to say:

"I met Maria about 5 years ago at the Dive Show and she must have made an impression.  I have always been a bit of a point and press and hope for the best with my camera.  I decided to upgrade and thought this is the time to actually learn a bit more.

Communication was great and I sent some of my pictures so that Maria could see what I was doing and then she tailored the course around me focusing on settings, lighting and composition which is what I wanted to start off with.  I spent about 4 hours with her that flew by and I feel I learnt absolutely loads and finally had an understanding on how I could improve my pictures.

I can't wait to get underwater and start practicing.  All the way through Maria has been supportive and knowledgeable on my agenda.

I would highly recommend spending a few hours with her if you want to improve the way you use your compact camera underwater and even on land."


All images taken by Anna Kennedy

Anna came to me at the studio just before Christmas to prepare for her upcoming trip to Egypt with Emperor Divers.  She had been using her Olympus TG6 compact camera for a while but using just the custom white balance setting.  She had recently bought two INON Z-330 strobes but had no idea how to use them.

We spent the whole day, starting with coffee at nearby Chococcos of course, going through her existing images, settings she used and explained how ISOs, Apertures and Shutter Speeds work together to obtain the correct exposure and practiced techniques and a whole heap of composition angles whilst I showed her tips and ideas on the TV.

She left very. happy which made me happy and I was even more happy when I saw her images taken on her very first attempt.   Well done Anna!



Come and discover the fun of underwater photography with our newly designed courses based on over 20 years of experience with compact cameras in the beautiful surroundings of Swanage, Dorset.

Whether you are snorkelling, just starting out with your compact camera, or maybe you've purchased lenses or extra video lights or strobes and need some guidance as to how to make the most out of your equipment, there's a course for you.

Maria has completely renovated a studio space just steps away from the sea in Swanage and designed it full of images to inspire guests that they can take beautiful images with any kind of make, model of compact camera, with or without any additional accessories.  There is a 43 inch 4K, HD TV Screen to bring your own images and video to life as well as lots of tea and coffee :)

You can choose from the following:-

Two Hour Fast-Track Option - Cost £50 per person

An hour's prep early morning before your First Dive on Swanage Pier.  This could even be whilst you are waiting to queue up to park on the Pier.  I can even bring Tea & Coffee too.  We will go through your photos before your dive, making sure that you understand your settings before you leave.  This course is ideal for those just starting out who just want some quick guidance on how ISOs, Apertures and Shutter Speeds work as well as some tips on composition.  This can be run for either one or two guests. 

Four Hour Complete Set-Up Option - Cost £95 per person

This can be run the evening before your dive or the morning/afternoon of your dive.  All of the basic settings of your camera are explored as well as lighting techniques and exploring creativity using extra lenses. 

Full Day Course for Dive Clubs - Perfect for Beginners

Come and spend a whole day immersed in the wonderful world of underwater photography as a group and go from Auto Mode to Everything Mode in a few hours.  

Maria will share with you all of her hard-won knowledge and tips learnt as a complete beginner herself to share easy-to-understand information on ISOs, Apertures and Shutter Speeds, getting creative with macro and wide-angle lenses, lighting techniques as well as many varied composition techniques to use for either here in the UK or future trips abroad.

The day will start with either tuition in the new studio followed by the chance to practice with a dive at Swanage Pier.  Swanage Pier is ideal for beginners, allowing guests to practice both close-up and wide-angle techniques in a safe, shallow environment with easy access for kit via steps from the pier itself and parking is also available on the pier.  Just make sure that you arrive super early.  Maria will be on hand to review images after every dive on the pier and you can dive the pier again afterwards to practice. 

The group will all meet again later at the studio to go through images and have a fun, friendly competition to win prizes.

Each guest will receive a special gift on booking this course.

Cost £50-£75 per person depending on numbers.   Minimum 4 required.