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Video Workshop at Blue Heron

May 11, 2017 thru May 14, 2017

The Reef Photo and Video Blue Heron Bridge
Video Workshops in Palm Beach, Florida

Video-intensive instruction at an easily
accessible, subject-rich location!

May 11-14, 2017


Plunge into one of the best shore dives Florida has to offer—our very own Blue Heron Bridge in West Palm Beach, FL. This 3-day clinic focuses on underwater videography, and there may not be a better setting to hold this kind of class. The bridge is located on the intracoastal waterway, inshore. This protected area has great tidal exchange, protection from two bridge structures, and an island (Phil Foster Park).

Seahorses are often sighted at the bridge, in a variety of colors. © elly wray
Seahorses are often sighted at the bridge, in a variety of colors.

The goal of our video workshop will be helping you create your own short film of Blue Heron Bridge, showcasing all of the wonderful marine life this site has to offer. We'll walk you through the process from pre-production planning to underwater filming and editing.

Blue heron bridge workshop participants. © christopher parsons

Workshop participants diving at Blue Heron Bridge.
We keep class sizes small to ensure you get the most out of your experience!

This course is designed to help you "think" like a videographer.
Here are just a few of the topics we will address:

  • Planning your storyline
  • Essential Dos and Don’ts
  • Optimum settings for your camera and your project
  • How to handle white balance with and without underwater lighting
  • When to use higher frame rates
  • Resolution and quality—1080 or UHD?
  • Tripod recommendations – when and how to use them
  • Focus strategies: auto focus, lock focus or manual focus – what is right for me?
  • Subject selection
  • Editing issues and solutions
  • Audience engagement—keeping it steady and keeping it interesting
  • Music and audio selection

Sharing is a big part of this event. On the last day each participant will have the opportunity to showcase their work for group feedback and inspiration.

The diversity of macro life at the Blue Heron Bridge divesite is unlike anything else in the tropical Atlantic. Unusual critters like seahorses, frogfish, pipefish, sea robins, batfish, stargazers, nudibranchs, and flatworms, are common sightings. A host of juveniles start their lives in this protected area before moving out on the reef. While the bridge is perhaps best known for its abundant macro life, a number of excellent wide-angle opportunities are also present. Tropical angelfish, spadefish,barracuda, and jacks are found amongst the bridge pilings. Eagle rays and stingrays feed in the sand flats, and manatees are even seen on occasion.

Seahorse © elly wray
Seahorses can be well-disguised.
Our dive guides will help you find them!
Banded jawfish © elly wray
Banded Jawfish. Let us help you
find one incubating eggs.

In addition to video instruction, this class includes a dive guide for every 2-3 divers. Our guides work for local dive operators or in the Reef Photo store, and are expert Blue Heron critter finders. This allows participants to focus on capturing footage—our guides will lead you from one subject to the next. No stress about dragging around a dive flag, navigation, or boat traffic; just relax and shoot!

We'll begin Friday night with a thorough briefing of the site including a short film introducing some of the subject matter you may find at the bridge, an equipment check, and some tips to help get you started before your first day of shooting.

Seaweed blennies are abundant. © elly wray
Seaweed Blennies are abundant
and make for excellent macro subjects.

Arrow crabs make for great subject to refine your focusing techniques. © elly wray
Arrow Crabs make good subjects to
refine your focusing techniques.

Striated frogfish. © elly wray
Capture footage of a Striated Frogfish
yawning or dangling its lure.

Pike blennies provide great action to try out slow-motion effects. © elly wray
Pike Blennies provide great action to
try out slow-motion effects.


Lodging and meals are not included.

Our partner dive operator, Pura Vida Divers, has an extensive list of recommended accommodations. Visit their "Where to Stay" page, and don't forget to contact Pura Vida before making your hotel reservations for special discount codes with their partner resorts, hotels, and motels.

Getting Here:

The dive site is around 20 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), and around one hour from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL). If you are flying in from out of town, a rental car will be necessary for transportation between the classroom, dive site, and hotel.

Click to see a Google map of the dive site, hotels, airports, Reef Photo retail showroom, and classroom location.

Questions? Send us an email!

Sample Schedule: Schedule will vary from workshop to workshop, based on tides. See workshop dates for more information.



Thursday Evening6:00- 9:00 PM
Equipment Check, Orientation and Divesite Briefing, Pre-Production Planning. Fort Lauderdale*

Friday08:00 - 5:00 PM

Dive/Film & Classroom

Saturday08:00 - 5:00 PM

Dive/Film & Classroom

Sunday09:00 - 4:00 PM
Classroom Session

*Thursday evening orientation will be held at the Reef Photo & Video Store, Fort Lauderdale. All other classroom sessions will be held close to the dive site.

To provide you with the best experience, this schedule may be modified due to weather, ocean conditions, or other factors. All divers will be required to carry a fishing line cutting device while diving.


This 3-day workshop is priced at $450, including instruction, diving, and the following:

What is included:

Workshop fee includes tanks, fills, and weights to be provided by Pura Vida Divers.

We will be using 80 cubic foot aluminum air tanks equipped with yoke valves.

For any other diving equipment needs, please contact Pura Vida Divers directly and tell them you will be participating in the Reef Photo & Video Underwater Videography workshop.

We take care of arrangements for the following which are included in your workshop fee (tips not included):

  • dive weights, tank rentals, & air fills
  • transporting tanks between dive shop and the workshop dives
  • dive guides, diver down flags; dive boat when applicable
  • classroom facilities


  • All of your dive gear other than weights & tank (if you need anything else, please pre-arrange for it through Pura Vida Divers.)
  • A cutting device (for fishing line) and a compass.
  • C-Cards - Please bring your c-cards. Checking certifications over the internet is time-consuming and not always reliable.
  • Laptop and External Hard Drive - Our instructor is proficient with Final Cut Pro X and will be teaching with this editing software throughout the class. However, other video editing software is welcome such as Adobe Premiere, I-Movie, etc. A free 30 day trial of Final Cut Pro X is available here for Mac users: http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/trial/
  • Your underwater camera gear.
  • Video Lights - These are highly recommended (particularly for Macro) but not required. We will cover techniques for using both ambient and video lights. For suggestions on video lights see our Knowledge Base article or please contact our staff for recommendations. If you are interested in trying a particular video light for the workshop, please contact us early as inventory may be limited.
  • Underwater Tripod - If you intend to film macro subjects during the workshop this is an essential piece of equipment. Please contact our staff if you’d like recommendations specific to your camera and housing, we’re happy to help!
  • Memory/Media card(s) for your camera.
Frogfish © elly wray
Frogfish offer great opportunities to
experiment with your lighting. 
Seahorse © elly wray
Our instructors will discuss
depth of focus and framing techniques.

Cancellation Policy:

Class sizes are limited and your workshop reservation is secured at the time of payment. We want you to concentrate on improving your underwater imaging, not worry about arranging your dives. Making these workshops as fun and productive as possible involves many contractual obligations on our part, therefore workshop fees can only be refunded if cancelled 14 or more days in advance.

Workshop participants under blue heron bridge © christopher parsons
Join us! We have several workshops throughout the year to fit yourschedule.

Click here to sign up for the May 11-14, 2017 Underwater Videography Workshop.

See the full listing of all Reef Photo & Video workshops and trips.

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