epic tiger shark diving expeditions
shipwreck sugar wreck grand bahama

Sugar Wreck: Grand Bahama Island

The Sugar Wreck, off the West End of Grand Bahama Island, was an old sailing ship that sank while carrying sugar from the Caribbean.  It’s an all-time favorite of many divers because of its abundant fish life. Congregations of snappers, grunts, wrasse, gobies, angelfish and parrotfish are everywhere on the wreck. The remains of the ship that grounded many years ago, the Sugar Wreck is only 20 feet deep.

The wreck is in the vicinity of Tiger Beach and may be added on to our standard itinerary if divers are interested.  Because of it’s proximity to classic Tiger Beach, it’s possible to see reef, lemon, nurse, and tiger sharks lingering around the wreckage.

Contact us for details!


shipwreck sugar wreck grand bahama

bimini wild dolphin encounter

A Dolphin Day – Behind the Mask

….and the excitement continues in Bimini with Behind the Mask and A Cotton Photo!  Check out this awesome video shot on one afternoon with the dolphins of Bimini!

See more from Behind the Mask.

Epiphany Released

epiphany movie tiger beach cat island

Epiphany is a true story about love, autism, nature, passion, fear, determination, perseverance and making daunting choices in life. Ellen Cuylaerts, mother and award winning internationally renowned wildlife photographer, is afraid of water but sets out to conquer that fear over and over again to help the environment. Early in her marriage, Ellen — master in history and education, former Cisco engineer, and e-commerce founder — is trapped between the peculiar situation her children and husband are and the mainstream expectations of social peers. Fighting an exhausting battle, mainly against ignorance and prejudice, she finds relief in a piece of paper: the diagnosis of autism in her husband and two children. Armed with evidence and facts, she can start educating her surroundings. In search for the “key” to communicate with people affected by autism, she discovers similarities with animals in the wild. Could that key help her to navigate her loved ones through society? Will it allow her to connect to those large predators she welcomes in front of her lens?

The team at Epic Diving was proud to participate in this great production and thrilled to see the final product on the big screen.  Have a look for yourself today as it’s available for immediate download on  iTunes.

tiger shark attack

Tiger Shark: National Geographic Expedition

Make sure you take a look at the tiger shark article in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.  We were excited to work with Brian Skerry and Glenn Hodges over 2 seasons as they worked to construct the article.

diver and tiger shark at tiger beach

We had some amazing Tiger Shark encounters at Tiger Beach as well as some interesting lemon and reef shark interactions.  Here’s a sample.  Find the full article here: He Went Face-to-Face With Tiger Sharks

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.

We’re terrified of sharks, thanks to their reputation as vicious killers. Shark attacks are rare but appear to be rising: There were a record 98 unprovoked attacks worldwide in 2015, six  fatal. Less known are the crucial roles sharks play in ocean ecology. This summer, we’ll look at three species with notorious reputations: tiger sharks, great whites, and oceanic whitetips. We’ll meet scientists who are shedding new light on these enigmatic creatures that are vital to the seas, and not as scary as you might think.

deep look into the mouth of a tiger shark

Tiger Shark

adobe photoshop lightroom

Understanding the Difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom

“What’s the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom?”. While the two programs do share many similarities, and are both widely used by the photographic community, they each serve a unique purpose and are quite different in some very major ways. Understanding what makes them similar, as well as different, can help you make an informed choice when selecting the right software for your needs.

We really enjoyed this brief article from Digital Photography School explaining the essential differences between two of Adobe’s photo-editing programs, Photoshop and Lightroom. The programs are both powerhouses in their own regards, and this article explains some of the differences, as well as similarities, between the two.

lightroom workflow

adobe photoshop workflow

We’ve grown pretty used to the workflow through Adobe Photoshop at Epic Diving, but that may soon change. After having a good look at this article, as well as talking to a few photo pros, we’re starting to look at the advantages of Lightroom. Today, with growing file size and demands for storage, the idea of Ligthroom’s catalog file is pretty intriguing.

Source: Understanding the Difference Between Photoshop and Lightroom

shark photography competition

Shark Shot Photo Contest: Winner!

We’re thrilled to announce that Ken Kiefer won the first Shark Shot Photo Competition.

Ken has produced a number of incredible images during several expeditions with Epic Diving.

Ken will be receiving a limited edition of Souplesse by sculptor Victor Douieb.

Nauticam iPhone housing shooting a great hammerhead shark in bimini

Nauticam iPhone Housing – Review

The new Nauticam NA-IP4/5 is a great compact housing allowing you to turn your iPhone into an underwater camera.  I was lucky enough to have Chris Parsons from Nauticam deliver the housing during our season with oceanic whitetip sharks on Cat Island, in the Bahamas. The housing performed great and I was really happy with its versatility and the quality of photos I was able to get.

Loading and unloading the iPhone is a breeze and Nauticam’s locking system makes closing the housing easy and reliable, helping to get over some of the anxiety of brining my iPhone underwater.  The housing is negatively buoyant, so the included wrist lanyard is appreciated.  It can accommodate any of the iPhone 4 or 5 models with a simple adjustment of a few small rubber tabs inside the housing.  The lens face may need to be turned around 180 degrees depending on which phone you’re using to align the camera properly so there is no vignetting.  This lens face also has a 32mm thread so that you may add a variety of filters and adapters, such as color correction and wide angle, two things I’m really excited to try.

Nauticam came up with an ingenious shutter button which makes taking photos very intuitive, and allows for one handed operation.  The joystick style main button takes a bit of getting used to, but gives you access to other features such as changing the mode (single shot, continuous, video, and playback), as well a picture review, zoom, and power saver mode.  The power saving mode is important to conserve battery life and pressing any button will wake the camera up without any delay.

Nauticam’s app is very easy to use and has a few neat features to improve your experience.  The app is capable of tagging the photos with date, time, and location, and can display this information as an overlay on the main screen.  It also comes with dive log that has a really nice user interface to keep track of your experiences.  It’s important to place the Nauticam app in your dock.  In the event that the app crashes, you can only restart it if it is in the dock.

I must say, I was excited have the housing for this week.  It was a convenient way to capture some great images and be able to engage in social media with a few taps on my phone.  I would normally leave my iPhone at home but this housing kept it safe on the boat in between dives.  It performs great as both a still and video camera to take away and share great memories, and leaving the big SLR rig on the boat gave me a chance to enjoy my time in the water with much more freedom.  I’m sure there is even more potential for this idea, like lens filters and adapters that are already available, to potential app upgrades to integrate photo effects and social media connectivity.  I’m excited to dive with it again and will be trying it soon at Tiger Beach!

Check out this video captured with the iPhone while diving with Great Hammerheads in Bimini this year!

Interested in getting a Nauticam iPhone housing of your own?  Check out Reef Photo & Video to get yours!

oceanic whitetip shark diving silouhette

Photographing Sharks – Shark Diving Tips

Photographing Sharks

All of our shark diving expeditions are done in warm, calm, crystal clear water and offer incredible opportunities for the underwater photographer. Whether you’ll be diving with a point and shoot or a full DSLR rig with strobes, here are a few pointers to keep in mind while photographing sharks.

Selecting your equipment.

If you have a choice, pick the widest angle lens you can get on your camera and into your housing for photographing sharks. The key to most underwater photography is to get as close as possible to your subject. When photographing large animals such as sharks, this means getting close and going wide. The closer you are, the less water there is between the shark and your cameras sensor, which means less of a blue haze. In order to get close and capture the whole shark, wide angle is a necessity. Otherwise, many photos will have cut of tails or faces, which can be extremely frustrating and ruin an otherwise amazing photo.

Use external flashes.

Strobes will help to add color back into your photos and eliminate that blue haze that plagues underwater images. It will help especially when photographing sharks that move quickly. It will also fill in shadows and allow the photographer to capture images at higher shutter speeds, resulting in crisp detail. Most of our dives are shallow and full of ambient light, so it is possible to get great images without strobes. However, when the clouds roll over, you’ll appreciate strobes if you have them.

Stay calm and quiet at all times.

No one ever captured the perfect shot chasing after a shark. Your best bet is to stay calm, stay put, and keep patient. Sharks tend to be more comfortable when divers are more comfortable. Conversely, they seem to get fidgety and agitated when divers are as well. If you stay calm, you’ll find that the sharks come right up to your camera, time and time again and photographing sharks will be much easier.

No one ever captured the perfect shot chasing after a shark. Your best bet is to stay calm, stay put, and keep patient.

Look around at all times.

Sometimes when photographing sharks, the best picture is the one right behind you. Divers are warned not to focus too much on their camera settings and viewfinders while in the water. You have to remember that you are on a shark dive, surrounded by very large, and very capable predators. Keep your head on a swivel and be aware of all the sharks around you. If you see a great shot approaching, take a quick glance all around to make sure there isn’t another shark much closer to the back of your head.

Address any camera issues on the surface.

If you can’t switch your settings or solve a problem with you camera in less than 10 seconds, you should stop messing with it. If it’s truly a problem that needs to be addressed, signal the divemaster that you’re going to surface and get back to the boat nice and slowly. Once on the surface, there will be a fresh water rinse and towels available to wipe down your camera. Once the problem is solved, you can let the boat crew know you’ll be heading back in, and they will assist you so you can get back to photograph and sharks

Prepare your camera for the next day.

Make sure you download your images to a computer or hard drive after each day of diving and photographing sharks. Start each day with a blank memory card and fresh set of batteries. Bring spare batteries if you have them. Review your photos and pick out the good images from the bad, and see if you can identify ways to improve your odds. The crew will be able to help you with this.

Enjoy the show while photographing sharks.

Don’t forget that you’re on an exotic vacation having amazing experiences with incredible animals underwater. Once in a while, consider dropping your camera down by your side and just take it all in. Sometimes we focus so much on photographing sharks, seeing everything through that tiny viewfinder, we miss out on the bigger picture.

The crew at Epic Diving have years of experience with both underwater video and photography. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about photographing sharks, or are looking for a few tips and pointers. We hope that all our guests are able to capture breathtaking images that they take home to share with friends and family. We want everyone out there to see that these sharks are beautiful and, if done with an experienced crew, can be seen up close without any threat to our safety.   Learn more about our shark dives.

oceanic whitetip shark magazine cover

Amanda Cotton’s Oceanic Whitetip Shark Cover Girl

Amanda Cotton’s image of an oceanic whitetip shark taken during our annual A Cotton Photo expedition, has been selected as one of the top cover photos for Sport Diver Magazine. We are super proud of Amanda and the work that she does.

If you are looking for photo coaching from Amanda, we have several weeks in which she will be on the the boat to coach the guests. We can also set up private trips with her for a one on one photography workshop. Contact us for details.

oceanic whitetip shark magazine cover

Amanda Cotton’s image takes the cover of PADI Sport Diver Magazine

Interested in diving with this rare shark species? Click here to learn more about our oceanic whitetip shark diving expeditions.

Here’s a quick video of Amanda at work getting some of those magazine shots!

Take a look at another Epic Magazine Cover.

shark shot photography contest victor douieb

Underwater Photography Contest

Underwater Photography Contest – SharkShotPhoto.com

Epic Diving, one the Bahamas’ premier shark dive operations, has teamed with sculptor and underwater photographer Victor Douieb to create the Shark Shot Photo Competition, our first underwater photography contest.

Open to all amateur photographers who participate in an Epic Diving Shark Expedition between July 1, 2013 and June 31, 2014, the photo competition is designed to encourage divers to help communicate the profound importance of protecting what are some of nature’s top predators.

souplesse shark sculpture by victor douieb

The winner of the 2013-14 season underwater photography contest will receive Souplesse, a 1 of 27 stainless steel sculpture by the renown French sculptor.

Epic Diving’s week-long expeditions have historically been in Cat Island, home to the oceanic whitetip shark, but this year marks the first season in which they will also offer dives at Tiger Beach, known for its population of tiger, lemon and reef sharks.

underwater photography contest with victor douieb

Enter for a chance to win Souplesse, a 27″ stainless steel sculptor by Victor Douieb

UPDATE: see winner of the shark shot photo competition.