• Stingray City, coral formations, macro and shipwrecks, the Cayman Islands offer a vast array of underwater photography opportunities.
  • Stingray City, coral formations, macro and shipwrecks, the Cayman Islands offer a vast array of underwater photography opportunities.
  • Stingray City, coral formations, macro and shipwrecks, the Cayman Islands offer a vast array of underwater photography opportunities.
  • Stingray City, coral formations, macro and shipwrecks, the Cayman Islands offer a vast array of underwater photography opportunities.
  • Stingray City, coral formations, macro and shipwrecks, the Cayman Islands offer a vast array of underwater photography opportunities.

Join internationally renowned National Geographic underwater photographer David Doubilet for an intensive photography and diving experience at the Sunset House ↗on Grand Cayman Island. The seas surrounding the island offer diverse photographic and diving opportunities that combine to create a perfect underwater oceanic studio. Students will explore creative horizons, capture images and build their portfolios.

The intensive, one-week workshop is offered by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications ↗.


David Doubilet: one of the world’s most recognized and highly regarded underwater photographers will teach the workshop together with his partner, Jennifer Hayes, an accomplished marine biologist and photojournalist; along with digital post-production expert, photographer and diver Hal Silverman, adjunct instructor at the Newhouse School .


The workshop will provide students with a better understanding of the philosophy, theory, techniques and applications specific to underwater photography and post-production.

Each day will involve intense immersion in the practice and philosophy of underwater photography. The day will be divided into three sections: shooting, post-production and evening critiques. Student will have both class and one-on-one interaction with the instructors. This workshop is limited to sixteen participants.


  • $4,300 for matriculated students and $5,200 for non-students
  • May 16 – 23, 2015



  • Facility
  • Area marine life

 Photography: Focus and Goals

  • Pre-visualizing an underwater image, composition
  • Underwater lighting: available, strobe, mixed
  • Macro
  • Wide angle
  • Specialty techniques: half/half, shipwrecks, using models
  • Night diving and photography
  • Building a story


  • Editing for the story
  • Editing for editorial
  • Workflow: file naming, importing, archiving
  • Exposure and tonal correction in underwater photography
  • Color spaces
  • Retouching in underwater photography
  • Preparing images for printing: offset, inkjet
  • Printing for exhibition


  • Must be Open Water SCUBA certified prior to the start of the workshop.
  • Students must be accomplished divers comfortable in variable marine environments; this workshop is not designed for beginner divers.
  • Students must have at least intermediate experience with underwater photography; this workshop is not designed for beginner photographers.
  • Students must provide their own transportation to Grand Cayman.
  • The workshop is limited to 16 participants.


David Doubilet is a contributing photographer, author and speaker for  National Geographic Magazine. He is considered one of the magazine’s most prolific contributors with nearly 70 feature stories to his credit. Doubilet’s global coverage extends from the equatorial reefs to under the polar ice. He considers photography a universal language that creates a visual voice for the sea that he uses to showcase the beauty and the silent devastation.

His photographic portfolio includes editorial, conservation, commercial and fine art. Doubilet has been referred to as a “master of light” and “the Audubon of the sea.” He is a contributing editor for several global publications, author of 12 books and has had many international solo exhibitions. He has received numerous awards including POY, BBC, NPPA, RPS, Communications Art and World Press. Doubilet is a member of the Academy of Achievement, Royal Photographic Society, International League of Conservation Photographers and International Diving Hall of Fame. He is honored to be a Rolex Ambassador and recipient of the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award and Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography. daviddoubilet.com ↗

Jennifer Hayes is an aquatic biologist and photojournalist specializing in natural history and marine environments. She and Doubilet collaborate as a photographic team above and below water on project development, story production, feature articles and books. Hayes is the editor and author of numerous articles on marine environments, with images appearing in countless books, advertising campaigns and publications such as National Geographic Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Sport Diver, DIVE Magazine, Diver, People Magazine, Alert Diver and Ocean Geographic. She is co-author and photographer for “Face to Face with Sharks” by National Geographic Books and an honorary editor for Ocean Geographic Magazine. daviddoubilet.com ↗

Hal Silverman is an international award-winning commercial photographer and adjunct professor in the Multimedia Photography and Design Department at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. He works closely with Doubilet and Hayes, providing post-production services for their assignments and personal work. Silverman has received many awards from the American Advertising Federation and has been published in Communication Arts, Archive and Print magazines. silvermanstudio.com ↗



Do I need a passport?

Yes. A valid passport is needed to enter The Cayman Islands.

Can a non-diver attend this workshop?

No. This workshop is designed for experienced certified scuba divers with a solid foundation in photography and an interest in underwater photography.

How will I get to Sunset House from Grand Cayman Airport?

Round-trip transportation will be provided.

What equipment will I need to bring?

A laptop is required, and an external hard drive is recommended. Ideally, you should also bring your own underwater photography equipment and up-to-date scuba gear. You may also rent scuba and underwater photography gear from Sunset House at an additional cost. Contact the resort for more information.

Can I leave the resort grounds?

Yes. Grand Cayman is a very safe island, and taxis and car rentals are available. Local attractions include restaurants, shopping and scenic areas of interest.

Are all meals included?

Three meals a day at the resort are included. Beverages are not included. Although not a part of the package, you may also wish to visit some of the many great restaurants on the island.

How will the days be organized?

Each day will be divided into thirds, consisting of two tank boat dives (six days), post-processing and an evening show/critique. Unlimited shore diving will also be available at no additional cost.

Will I be able to arrive early or extend my stay?

Yes. You can make arrangements directly with Sunset House. Additional costs are not covered as part of the workshop.

How will rooming be organized during my stay?

You will be assigned a roommate, based on double occupancy, seven nights in a courtyard room (2 queen beds and mini fridge). You may upgrade at an additional cost.

Will all three instructors be involved in my learning experience?

Yes. Doubilet, Hayes and Silverman will each work with you one-on-one, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to share as they guide you through the workshop.

How do I reserve a space in the workshop? When is payment due?

Please forward an inquiry to Hal Silverman ↗ for registration information. A 50 percent deposit is required upon registration, with the remainder due before March 2, 2015.

Is there a refund policy?

A 50 percent refund will be given for cancellations made prior to April 1, 2015. No refunds will be given for any cancellation made from April 2, 2015 to the beginning of the workshop. Any cancellations made will result in a $250 processing fee, with a refund of the remaining deposit. Any cancellation notice must be received in either an email or written form.

Is trip insurance required?

Yes. Purchasing dive insurance through the Divers Alert Network, as well as trip insurance to cover cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances such as sickness or hurricanes will be required.

Will there be any additional fees for this workshop?

It is not mandatory, but it’s highly recommended that you tip the boat dive-masters at the end of the workshop. These individuals keep you safe and help make your diving experience a positive one.