Ultimate Blackwater - Aiyanar - February 2024

Black water week dancing in the dark

Dancing in the Dark - A Black Water Photographic Week

2 - 8 February 2024 at Aiyanar Dive Resort, Anilao, Philippines

A comprehensive and engaging event for enthusiasts seeking to elevate their skills and capture the enchanting beauty of the blackwater world.’ 

Dancing in the Dark Black Water Week is an incredible opportunity for enthusiasts of blackwater and macro underwater photography. The elite team of experts and hosts, with their extensive experience and accolades, promises a week of unparalleled learning and artistic growth. Organized by Aiyanar Beach Resort and Ocean Geographic, your successful pictures taken during this week will be published in the Small Exotic Animal edition of Ocean Geographic.

From USD 2188 - per person (deluxe room, twin share).

The masterclass is conducted by multi-award-winning underwater photographers - not ordinary experts but those that have won several awards from the most prestigious wildlife competition in the world – the UK NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Michael AW, together with blackwater specialistsWowie Cai will be conducting this special focus workshop at Aiyanar Beach and Dive Resort located in one of the best locations renowned for the most astonishing blackwater and macro critters.

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Hosts for Dancing in the Dark Week

Michael AW (Principal Presenter) – since 2007, Micheal have started shooting blue and blackwater pictures in the Philippines during the Inner Space expedition with National Geographic – this was way before blackwater photography became trendy. Michael has won the underwater category of the NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year five times and twice served as a judge for this prestigious competition.

Wowei Cai ((Guest lecturer)) – Wowie dedicated three years of unwavering exploration and shooting extensively in the blackwater environment of Anilao – the Eden of blackwater creatures. His blackwater pictures from Anilao have earned him over 30 international awards, including two in the Smithsonian and three at the 2020 NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Hsinya Lai (Guest performer) – Hsinya is an expert underwater model and dancer from Taiwan. She is the most sought-after performer by photographers seeking to capture enthralling pictures of the aquatic realm. She will be performing in the dark for you to capture a dancer in the blackwater environment.

Tessa Neri (Host & Organiser) - Tessa Neri, the co-owner of Aiyanar Resort in Anilao, Philippines, is a dedicated underwater photographer. She is one of the few female photographers in the Philippines who ventures into deep waters at night to photograph creatures in open water. Tessa is fully committed to hosting and organizing the event to help participants capture the magic of the night sea and macro critters of Anilao.

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For the last five years Wowie Cai and Michael have spent countless hours investigating safety aspects and the know-how for the best photo opportunities. While Blackwater exploration is the passion of Dennis and Wowie, Michael began shooting blackwater in 2007. This black water week with Aiyanar is a rare opportunity for you to learn from the experts with the experience and skills that have produced an array of successful multi-award-winning pictures.

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Host Resort - Aiyanar Beach & Dive Resort;

This boutique style resort is established by a couple of passionate underwater photographers so you can expect a well-appointed camera room with individual work stations and a clean and sleek dive centre where maintained, private boats are ready to send us to some of the most productive photographic dive sites in the world! This little piece of paradise is ideally situated and has been designed with both top class quality and the utmost sympathy for the sloping forest backdrop. This is undoubtedly the ‘go to’ resort in the area, with the type of accommodation and facilities you would expect from a five star resort. You can expect gourmet meals and a very comfortable bed. 

 Our Underwater Studio: Right at the foreshore of Aiyanar, is Aniloa, arguably harbours some of the top dive sites in the Philippines. The amazing array of critters frequently encountered are boxer crabs, frogfishes, harlequin shrimps, blue ring octopus, pygmy sea horses, tiger shrimps, zebra crabs, mimic octopus, nudibranch overload – just about anything is possible! Aniloa also harbours some big secrets – luscious reef with massive sponges, soft corals and hard coral meadows. Sites are researched thoroughly to ensure dives are conducted at the optimum time.

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Option 1

2 to 6 Feb 5Days 4nights USD 2188

5 nights twin share – full board deluxe accommodation

12 dives - 4 days: 1-day dive per day and 2 blackwater dives per night x 4 nights

Nitrox, Marine Park fees and group transfer included

Option 2  ( select 2 day extension option when booking)

2 to 8 Feb 7Days 6nights USD2688

7 nights twin share – full board deluxe accommodation

18 dives - 6 days: 1-day dive per day and 2 blackwater dives per night x 6nights

Nitrox, Marine Park fees and group transfer included

Special offers

OG Members discount of USD100 applies

*Group transfer provided on Day 1 to resort and Day 7 back to Manila Airport. Any other time, additional charges apply.

To express interest or if you need further information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are ready to book please go to booking link


CLICK HERE to book your spot

NB. Booking is not confirmed until deposit is paid. Payment details for payment of deposit will be provided once booking is completed. Booking username and password is not the same as your OG username and password. If you are new trip client you can leave the existing client login blank and complete the booking . If you are an existing trip client please email us using link below and we will book you in

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This is your chance to learn from practicing Masters with proven track records.
 All are published authors, editorial contributors, competition award winners, as well as jury members in major underwater photographic competitions. 




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