Marine Wildlife Workshop

“Inspiring Photographers with Aloha and light”
— An authentic Nature experience.

Marine Wildlife Photography Workshop

big island hawaii photography map

  • dolphin
  • pool-of-sharks

“The techniques and methods of teaching you employ to bring out the compositions and the talent of the photographers is great. I had the impression that the photographers on your tour were seasoned professionals looking for backdrops.”

– Ted Kawahinehelelani Blake

The Hawaiian islands are the largest Mountains on the planet in the most remote location in the ocean from any major continent. Marine wildlife flourishes here in fantastic diversity. Every year the majestic humpback whale migrates thousands of miles from Alaska to give birth in these beautiful waters. Resident pods of spinner dolphins rest and play offshore. The endangered hawksbill turtle rests on warm black sand beaches. Majestic manta rays glide through the evening sea collecting their sustenance. Our local expert photographer guides will guide you through this marine world and offer instruction on marine wildlife photography techniques. The ocean is a dynamic medium that supports billions of organisms, from bacteria to blue whales. Its ever-changing design has attracted man since the beginning of time and continues to inspire artists of all kinds. With recent advances in technology, including sophisticated waterproof housings and strobe lights, we are able to capture the complex and variable system that thrives beneath the ocean’s surface. Participants will have the opportunity to create a truly once in a lifetime portfolio. Great wildlife photography requires many hour in the field. We will photograph marine wildlife from the boat and in the sea in the safest and most comfortable fashion. In the evenings we’ll have the opportunity to share in discussions topics about photography and Hawaii. We will review each other’s images and prepare our gear for the next day.


  • Day 1 Upon arrival in Kona we’ll ride down to Kaloka Honokohea, a white sand beach for a workshop introduction picnic and swim. Our naturalist will share information with the group about Hawaii Island and our afternoon photo shoot of humpback whales. From the 25 passenger vessel, Torpedo. We’ll catch our first Kona sunset with the whales and then head home to beautiful Ka’ula farm and retreat center in close proximity to the harbor with salt-water swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Day 2 We’ll head out early in the morning to photograph the whales and dolphins by boat in the morning light. After lunch and swim we’ll embark on our boat for an evening shoot with manta rays from the water.
  • Day 3 Another great morning of humpback whale photography from the boat. Then we’ll had North along the Kohala coast to the pristine inlet of Kiholo Bay where turtles are often resting on the shore of this black sand beach. We’ll visit a few locations along the Kohala coast for some shoots in beautiful shallow waters.
  • Day 4 We’ll have a land excursion to the Southern coast where we’ll do a snorkel shoot at the tranquil waters of Puu Honua o Honaunau which was the royal site of the Hawaiian Kings since the 17th century. Turtles, colorful reef fish. Starfish and anenomes stand out in great contrast to the black lava sea floor and white sandy shores. We’ll continue around the Southern shore and head up to the active volcano of Kilauea.
  • Day 5 We’ll get an early start out across the dramatic lava landscape of the Kohala coast to the sound, quiet Puako Bay where we’ll embark on kayaks to explore the dramatic rigid coasts by sea. We’ll travel in small inlets for our first shoot in the water. We’ll photograph turtles, tropical reef fish and occasionally dolphins. To acclimate ourselves to shooting in the water with masks and snorkels, scuba is optional. We’ll make a short visit to Puu Kohala to understand important aspects of Hawaii history and culture at this heritage site built by Kamehameha the first before his unification of the Hawaiian Islands. We’ll then head back to our retreat center for lunch and to prepare for another afternoon of photographing Humpback whales.
  • Day 6 We’ll have the extraordinary experience to swim with wild dolphins and photograph them in their natural habitat. Pods of spinner Dolphins and on occasion blue dolphins frolic offshore after a busy night of fishing before they retire in protected inlets off the Kona coast. We’ll join them for this special morning ritual and photograph them from the water truly an awesome experience. We’ll head back to the retreat center for a summary, overview and goodbye lunch.


Tour Details

Dates – February 23- 28, 2014 Fee- $XXXX.00

  • Includes Room and Board for 6 days and 5 nights
  • Based on Double occupancy
  • Includes Meals
  • Does not include airfare to and from Hawaii Island

Deposit- $1500.00 by February 1, 2014 Limit – 12 People (6 spots left) Special terms and conditions may apply.

Trip Highlights

  • Swim with Dolphins in their natural marine Habitat
  • Visit Royal Hawaiian cultural site of Puu Honua O Honaunau
  • Photograph Manta Rays gliding through the water on a night snorkel
  • Hear the Humpback whales sing their songs underwater

Workshop Leaders

brian ross maui hawaii photography Brian Ross has been shooting for over 25 years, and his work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, the Broadway Gallery in NYC, & the Hui No’eau in Hawaii. He has a degree in Communications & Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, and has done graduate work in Filmmaking at NYU. Brian has photographed noble laureates: HH the Dalai Lama XIV, Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and has explored contemporary expressions of spirituality and art. He has created successful fundraising art events to benefit the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund & the Tibetan Children’s Village in India. He is the author of “Lunch with Krishna”, a work of fiction examining spirituality and culture in contemporary society. Over the last decade Brian has been photographing and exploring Hawaii’s most scenic locations. Brian Ross Pic of Sian Sian Olsen Pic of Matthew Matthew Nall Pic of Madelynne Madelynne Nehl Pic of Joshua Joshua Lambus is a fine art and underwater photographer from Houston, TX. Now Living in Hawaii, Joshua once focused on the candid emotion of people, But now finds an even greater muse in the ocean. Joshua Lambus