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Como Maalifushi Launches First Luxury Underwater Photography Retreat in The Maldives

December 13, 2019 Resort News No Comments Email Email

The private island resort COMO Maalifushi – lying in the southern reaches of one of the Maldives’ most remote atolls – has teamed up with award-winning underwater photographer, Henley Spiers, to provide guests with an immersive underwater photography retreat in the Maldives.

The resort – a golden dot in a sea of blue – is surrounded by translucent waters teeming with colourful fish: rich biodiversity and rare topography that make for exceptional underwater images. Practical photography sessions submerged in this colourful world will be combined with on-land training and post-production sessions to ensure guests leave with a 360-degree understanding of underwater photography.

Guests will spend each day in the company of instructor Henley Spiers, a professional photographer known for his prolific series of winning images in multiple prestigious competitions, including the Underwater Photographer of the Year. He has co-authored Black is the New Blue Vol. II ­­– showcasing blackwater diving – and Guide to Diving and Snorkelling Cebu, which will soon be released. Despite a 15-year career in diving, Henley remarkably only started underwater photography in 2014. In just five years, he transitioned from Divemaster to award-winning marine photographer: something he hopes to help guests of the retreat achieve too.

“It’s hard to convey the magic of underwater photography through words,” says Henley. “It fills you with an immense calm as you spend hours marvelling at the life below the waves, teaching you to appreciate beauty in a way you never have before. This retreat will encapsulate a type of diving that is ideally geared towards photography – slow and practical, instead of rushing from one dive site to the next. The briefing and lessons that accompany guests will ensure they have the best possible opportunity to create striking images, no matter their level of experience.”

The retreat, which includes 10 half-day dives, is open to just eight participants, which means the instruction is highly personalised, whether guests are beginners or more experienced photographers. No prior photography experience is required – those new to the artform will learn the entire process, from setting up their camera gear and optimising their time underwater, to editing and post-processing images. For those more experienced, Henley will showcase new and unique skills, from capturing motion images to finding the kind of original angles he is known for – as well as learning advanced Lightroom and Photoshop editing techniques.

Alongside the daily instruction and dives, guests can also immerse themselves in COMO Maalifushi’s unique environment – a place that feels like how the islands used to be: natural and wild, with no noise or light pollution, just a ring of ice-white sand, an ocean bursting with marine life, and a scattering of rustic villas affording elegance, privacy and peace. In the evenings, they can make the most of the complimentary yoga sessions, as well as treatments at the island’s overwater wellness centre, COMO Shambhala Retreat, where massage strokes match the rhythm of the waves.

The purpose of the retreat is to equip guests with the tools they need to capture striking images. More than that though, it’s an opportunity for them to really slow down and notice underwater beauty in a way they probably haven’t before. All too often, divers glide through dive sites, eager to add as many as they can to their logbook. This retreat seeks to show participants that beauty can be captured in even the most unlikely of places, if they only take the time to look.

The workshop is running from March 22nd to 29th 2020 and will include:

  • Return shared seaplane transfers
  • Seven nights accommodation in a Beach Suite
  • Breakfast, three-course lunch and three-course dinner, daily
  • Ten dives with all diving equipment
  • Whale Shark night snorkelling experience
  • One 60-minute COMO Shambhala Massage

“COMO Maalifushi is excited to launch this one-of-a-kind experience for diving enthusiasts and adventure-seekers,” said Benjamin Kreuz, General Manager of COMO Maalifushi. “The serene private island resort allows for guests to connect with marine life like never before under the guidance of one of the world’s leading underwater photography experts.”

The underwater photography experience with Henley Spiers is priced from US$12,277.00 for single accommodation or US$9,982.00 per person for double occupancy.

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