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The Magic Photo Experience trip to the Philippines

This year in May I attended the Magic Photo Experience trip to the Philippines, a trip for the beginning photographer but also for the more experienced one. This trip was a combination of diving in Cebu and Moalboal at the beautiful resorts Magic Island and Magic Oceans. It was the perfect location for diving with lots of macro and also some great wide angle spots. With the help of professional underwater photographer Karin Brussaard you can work to make your photos better and develop yourself. On the basis of various presentations you are introduced to different themes like fish photography, macro photography, flash settings, wide angle photography and ideal composition.

Sandra Boerlage • PEN E-PL3 • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 45mm 1:1.8  • PT-EP05L

By attending these presentations, exchanging your experiences with the other participants and working actively during the trip I’ve grown in my photography. Not only that, I also had a lot of fun with everybody during the whole trip. We talked about the things we saw underwater, looked at each other’s photos and learnt more from the photos everyone made. The small diving groups were great, one guide on a maximum four people. A luxury I enjoyed a lot. I learned a lot during this trip and improved my photos. My goal for this trip was to work on my flash settings, macro photography and also to try out wide angle photography. Yes I know, it seems a lot for only two weeks, but I like to challenge myself. And a challenge it was! Especially in flash settings and wide angle I had and still have a lot to learn. People who know me, know that I sometimes take too much hay on my fork.


Sandra Boerlage • PEN E-PL3 • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 45mm 1:1.8  • PT-EP05L

So my first lesson was to do one thing instead of a lot of things and taking the time to take a picture is a main goal hereby. With the help and tips from Karin Brussaard I grew in my photography, especially with macro photography and flash settings. I got to enjoy taking photos even more and also got my buddy to be a model during some wide angle shots. I can tell you my buddy had a lot of patience with me during the wide angle dives. But also the guides we had during all the dives had a lot of patience and pointed us out beautiful things: from nudibranch to frogfishes and a lot of other great stuff.

Sandra Boerlage • PEN E-PL3 • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 45mm 1:1.8  • PT-EP05L

Because of them the whole group was smiling after every dive. During this trip I mostly used my M.Zuiko 45 mm 1:1,8 Macro lens and I even tried to take photos with my cmc wet diopter, as there were enough tiny things to take pictures of over there. I have to admit that the location and guides we had for this experience were great. So if you plan to travel to the Philippines, take a look at Moalboal and Cebu. They make you feel at home and listen to the wishes about what you would like to see. Even between the dives we were entertained by the local people at the different beaches and the staff of Magic Island and Oceans prepared a great BBQ. It was a big happening for us, but also for the locals.

Author and photographer: Sandra Boerlage

Sandra Boerlage • PEN E-PL3 • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm 1:4.0  • PT-EP05L