Underwater Photography Workshops

  • 1 Tank Dive


    Private Underwater Photography Workshop that includes one dive.   This workshop teaches underwater photographers why neutral buoyancy is so important and how to manage light underwater.  Divers will practice skills which will help them create better photographs as they move forward.
    Time: 4 – 5 hours

  • 2 Tank Dive


    Private Underwater Photography Workshop for certified divers with at least 25 dives experience.  Instructor Douglas J Hoffman, has been creating photographs underwater since 1992, and has over 10,000 dives experience to go with his Master of Photography Degree.    Workshops are dedicated to teaching good buoyancy habits, and helping divers learn to manage strobe light and create photographs that evoke emotion.
    Time: 7-8  hours

  • Boat Charter Dive and Photography Workshop


    Private underwater photography workshop conducted from a local boat charter.  Sometimes conditions make it wise to dive from a boat rather than the shore. Boats have lots of sites to choose from and can select spots that have good visibility.  This is good because swell happens and sometimes the conditions along the shore are less than optimum.   We typically join a local dive boat out of the Kihei Boat ramp and do two dives. While underwater the participant will practice a variety of skills relating to buoyancy, setting the exposure, and managing light.  After the charter we will meet to download files and review images.  Time: 6-8 hours

Option - Rent a professional system.  Nexus Housing with Nikon D850 camera, 60 mm macro or 15 mm lens, with two strobes. The camera system is worth over $10K.  The rental fee is $225 and includes a SD memory card. This way you can simply take the media card with you.


Details 1 & 2-Tank Dive Workshops

All scuba diving workshops are private.  That means only the client. The reason is I want to dedicate the time to helping the client create the best possible photographs, and that’s best done if not serving as dive guide. Exceptions are made when the workshop is dedicated to creating images with models.  This activity is appropriate for divers with 20 dives experience, divers with new camera gear, divers with their own gear that want to improve their skill set, divers that want to try an underwater DSLR system. Must have valid scuba certification.

What's Included

  • Photography Guide PDF
    • Key elements of underwater photography
    • Discussions relating to camera modes
    • Tips on exposure, focus, depth of field, composition, managing light, managing buoyancy, proper finning, and more
  • GoPro highlights of our dive
  • Cold drinks and healthy snacks

How It Works

  1. The workshop begins with a detailed briefing on underwater photography specific to wide-angle or macro, which includes a special section about backscatter and how best to minimize it. 
  2. Next is a dive briefing to discuss underwater communication, and how the dive will go.
  3. Then, we do a one-tank shore dive. While underwater I will help spot subjects, adjust strobe position and use hand signals to indicate when to raise or lower strobe power.
  4. After the dive, we will have another briefing to discuss the dive and the photographs created.

Does not include dive equipment, tank, or weights.  Those that don’t have gear will be directed to a local dive shop to be fitted and pick up a tank.  A complete kit costs about $40.00.

Details 2-Tank Boat Charter Dive Workshop

Includes the cost of the boat for myself and client, gear, and workshop. We will go out on a dive boat from the Kihei boat ramp. Gear rental is included in the charter price.  

The workshop is private but there will be other divers. Currently, the boats are limiting capacity due to COVID and as a result, the cost of boat diving has gone up. The good news is that there will be plenty of space on the boat for us and that serves our purposes well. Boat charter fee is included in price.


Testimonials From Previous Clients

Having taken a variety of photography tours/classes, Douglas distinguished himself right away. Through conversation and a few questions, he learned that we knew enough to take our lens caps off before we shot. So instead of a canned lesson plan, we got exactly what we wanted. Which was a focus on the artistic side of photography.


San Jose, CA

What a great experience. Not only did I learn a lot about how to take great pictures Doug also took me to places I wouldn’t have seen. Can’t wait to put my new skills to good use.


I knew that my trip to Maui was going to epic but what I did not know was that my time spent with Douglas would turn this total newbie into an artist in just one day. Douglas was able to transform my abilities and skill level with a camera from just your average snapshooter into an actual photographer in just one workshop.

Shawn W

Doug’s techniques are so personalized to the lighting scenario. He stimulated my mind to re-think how I approach photography which I will put into practice!

Michelle R