Words and pictures by Julie Ouimet & Michel Labrecque, N2Pix
When Ana and Miguel contacted us to host a video workshop at Siladen Resort & Spa, we were thrilled and immediately accepted. Memories from a previous stay instantly rushed back into our minds. The beautiful resort, the friendly and helpful staff, the tasty food and, of course, the amazingly diverse diving, all make it and ideal spot to host a video workshop.
Looking back into our footage and photos, Michel and I knew that participants would greatly benefit from having the opportunity to hone their skills in such a fascinating area. In one day, you can easily change your focus, shooting tiny macro critters during one dive and dramatically colourful walls the next. Switching from hard to capture mandarin fish at dusk, to muck diving, to bustling reefs often adorned with friendly turtles. They typically seem rather unimpressed with your presence as they lazily rest on the reef, almost posing for your camera in some instances.
Siladen’s location allows for perfect weather and warm blue water, with an average water temperature of 28°C with impressive visibility on most dive sites. Centrally located, over 50 dives sites are easily accessible and the resort’s comfortable and spacious dive boat allow for pleasurable transits, not to mention the surface intervals with plenty of room for all your camera gear.
More on diving
Siladen is located in the heart of Bunaken Marine National Park which arguably offers some of the best diving vistas in all of Indonesia with its mix of vertical walls, caves and overhangs, shallow reefs that surround the area’s five islands, not to mention the weird and, maybe a bit scary, creatures hiding in the muck. Needless to say that no matter what you fancy as a diver, you will be served, whether diving with or without a camera in hand.
Anemonefish, triggerfish, butterflyfish, Moorish idols, anthias, damselfish and angelfish are a short list of the many reef fish one can encounter. Macro critters include several species of nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, hairy squat lobsters and frogfish to name only a few and who know what you may observe during a night dive!
Thousands of species of coral, fish and invertebrates inhabit local water but Bunaken’s turtles are without a doubt the local stars. We have yet to dive in an area where you are likely to spot so many turtles on a single dive. Hawksbill and green turtles are the most common but loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback turtles can also be seen.
Guests at Siladen Resort & Spa lodge in spacious villas with garden or oceanside options available and can, after a fulfilled day of diving enjoy a leisurely swim in the pool, indulge in a relaxing massage or simply enjoy the island’s magnificent sunsets while sipping a delicious cocktail. For the eager beavers, the resort is also a fantastic place to better your land videography skills since any good diving video is always made better with compelling surface shots.
The week’s program
Set to run from November 19 to 26, 2022, the weeklong event will offer a balance of classroom sessions and in-water semi-private coaching.
The event is open to all levels of videographers and divers and is designed for participants to learn and better underwater video shooting techniques, as well as correcting and editing video footage. They will also learn the pitfall of filmmaking, even if only for fun.
Divers hoping to sharpen their video skills with any camera system, basic or more sophisticated, will benefit from this workshop. It’s also the perfect opportunity for photographers who like to dabble in video to learn how to adapt their techniques.
During the week, 4 seminars are scheduled as well as a movie night where participants will have the opportunity to show their week’s work. The large air-conditioned camera room is an ideal teaching location with room to safely store and charge all your gear while having direct access to fiddle around with camera setting and options during the in-class sessions.
About Julie & Michel from N2Pix
N2Pix’s award winning, underwater imaging pros Julie Ouimet & Michel Labrecque are explorers who have traveled to some of the most remote areas of our planet. They are accomplished technical, rebreather and recreational divers as well as seasoned dive training professionals.
Since 2014, they have devoted themselves to underwater imagery and exploration. They are the authors of a coffee-table book, write articles and are columnists with En Profondeur dive magazine. They produce short videos and documentaries that have aired on various TV networks including Discovery during Shark Week. Michel and Julie have developed skills for shooting in remote locations and harsh conditions. The team has filmed and produced over 20 short films screened and honored in film festivals throughout Europe and North-America as well as over 30 corporate and promotional videos.
Named Fellows of the Explorers Club and Associate Members of the Boston Sea Rovers in 2016, they have twice been bestowed the honor of carrying the Explorers flag to Clipperton atoll and the findings of their 2 scientific missions to the atoll contributed to the creation of a marine protected area. In 2018 they received the Explorers Club Citation of Merit in recognition of their “exemplary accomplishments in Field Science and Conservation”. In 2016, Michel was named a PADI Ambassador and in 2019, Julie was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Julie has both judged and acted as President of the video jury for the CMAS World Championship of Underwater Videography.
The number of workshop participants is limited to ten. Divers who are not carrying a camera are welcome to join the group during the dives and can either come on the same dive boat, or join one of the others going out.
For more information and to reserve a place on the workshop to be held visit: www.siladen.com/underwater-videography-workshop-with-julie-ouimet-and-michel-labrecque-of-n2pix/