Underwater Photography Reboot
Alex Mustard has specially designed and updated this eight-part Masterclass to refresh all your core skills, reminding you of the best practice for wide-angle, macro, composition and lighting underwater.
Reboot is an extensive course covering the fundamental topics of wide angle, macro, composition and lighting underwater. Quite simply Alex has packed everything he feels is important to producing stunning underwater images into this course, it is a total course on excelling at underwater photography. The course is for photographers new to Alex’s teaching as well as who have attended his workshops in the past.
Alex Mustard wrote the Reboot course during 2020 and presented it live and interactive for 7 groups of photographers during 2021. The live Reboot course cost £245 GBP. In 2024, Alex refreshed and updated the Reboot materials and made these master recordings, which are now available for just £95 for 5 years of unlimited online access.
“There is a massive amount in this course,” says Alex. “The course covers 4 broad topics: Wide Angle, Macro, Composition and Lighting. Each topic is divided into two presentations, each an hour long. Reboot is based on research: I re-read my own books, articles and talks and also those of others, I looked at 100s of stunning images and noted down every nugget that I felt was important for stand out pictures. I then structured this advice into the Reboot presentations. The final part was more organic. I found that as I ran this masterclass for the 7 groups of photographers in the live sessions, the content evolved with their queries, and I added slides to answer their questions before they asked them. This meant that Reboot grew and with some updates from 2021 to 2024 tech it is now split into 8 presentations! I’d never try and teach so much in a talk on a workshop. But with Reboot I know you are watching a video and expect you to pause and re-watch the material, and really absorb all the advice.”
Alex uses beautiful images, stills of photographers in action, some underwater video and practical demonstrations with underwater camera gear to aid teaching.
Quite simply Alex has packed everything he feels is important to producing stunning underwater images into this masterclass, which is intended to help you reset your approach and truly excel at underwater photography. Reboot is a fresh take on these topics and the course is for photographers new to Alex’s teaching as well as who have attended his workshops. Reboot is divided into 8 hour long lectures that are packed with advice, detail and insight to transform your underwater photography.
Dates, availability and booking links are in the booking section below
Introduction & Welcome with Alex
Photography Experts will hold a short introductory event to give all subscribers a comprehensive introduction to how the Masterclass course will work. This will include a full tour of your subscriber features, your document and recording repository, and use of the forum features. There will also be tips on how to make the most of Zoom to fully participate in the live sessions, and engage with Alex and your fellow course members. Alex will lead a short round the room conversation, allowing each photographer to share what camera equipment they use and their photographic experience. Access to technical support by Photography Experts will continue through the duration of the entire course.
Wide Angle Reset Part 1
Great wide-angle photographs underwater rarely happen by accident. You don’t take them, you make them. In this first Masterclass session, Alex will deconstruction both the technical and artistic process behind taking stunning wide-angle underwater, allowing you to build up to producing photos direct from the camera that people just can’t keep their eyes off. The session will cover the big issues of shooting stunning wide angle. The presentation also goes into detail on your wide angle equipment choices and configuration, specifically covering lenses, ports, strobes and strobe arms. The message is that all gear has different strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to understand them. The sessions covers both jump settings and the range you will typically use for different shots, and how perfect your camera set up for the shot.
Wide Angle Reset Part 2
Wide angle photography underwater can feel task loaded. This presentation breaks down the key factors to consider underwater, so you can build successful images. This session covers subject selection, balancing lighting, viewpoints, feeding the fisheye and building depth through backgrounds. The aim is to help you appreciate the importance of optimising each to truly master this discipline. The session also discusses the importance of dividing wide angle into Close Focus and Big Scene and what is involved in switching between them. The final section covers a range of popular wide angle subjects, from dolphins to wrecks (and more), with specific shooting advice for each.
Macro Reset Part 1
Macro photography underwater is often regarded as easier than wide-angle, but producing really standout images is just as difficult. The key is usually capturing a visually appealing subject framed against a background that enhances the photo without outcompeting the subject. Alex will decipher the myriad of equipment available for macro and super macro, pointing out strengths of each and the value of owning more than one macro lens. This session also covers the optimal settings for macro shooting, how to use ISO to aid quick changes in depth of field. The final part of this presentation covers Alex’s views and approach to using autofocus on both his SLR and Mirrorless cameras.
Macro Reset Part 2
Macro photography challenges us in many areas. We need excellent diving skills, marine life knowledge, spotting skills, a sensitive approach to wildlife, a mastery of lighting and even good communication skills and etiquette. This presentation covers all this and more. The session also majors on appreciating a great subject as the starting point of a memorable shot, the work is in making the most of the rest of the frame. Alex presents a host of background options for macro shots. The final section covers a range of popular macro subjects, with specific shooting advice for each from abstracts to seahorses. The aim is to put you in complete control of your macro pictures to regularly produce stunning and satisfying work.
Composition Secrets Part 1
Art is subjective, but in the photographically challenging underwater world there are ideas that work and shots that don’t. Time is always limited underwater and the advice here is distilled to help you develop the instincts to make the right decisions when the action is unfolding. This session reveals the elements in underwater photos that catch the eye and dominate compositions setting you up to place these properly in the frame. It concludes by running through the major guiding principles of creating stunning looking underwater pictures, with Alex offering a range of compositional options to grab attention.
Composition Secrets Part 2
The aim of this talk is to arm you with solutions that work in the real (underwater) world. This talk steers away from principles like the ‘rule of thirds’ and instead focuses on compositions that can be put straight to work underwater. This session goes into detail on how to put together both wide angle and macro pictures underwater. Alex also explains why fisheye and non-fisheye shots should be composed very differently, even of the same subject matter, and why the lenses suit very different subjects. The presentation covers both classic and innovative advice for creating eye catching wide angle and macro pictures. The penultimate section invites you to remember that despite all this advice you should always be looking to break rules and break new ground in photography. The final part of this presentation looks at some classic underwater images (chosen by the original Reboot Group 6), discussing why they are so successful.
Light Fundementals Part 1
George Eastman of Kodak famously said “Know light, know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” Learning to master light underwater not only will allow you to work more effectively, but it will put you totally in charge of the look of your images. In this final session, Alex will explain how best to control light underwater with an emphasis on mastering the light on the subject provided by your flashes. This first session concentrates on the fundamentals, focused on creating the best quality of light in both wide angle and macro pictures. Alex stresses that there is no one size that fits all, but that you should select a lighting style that suits the subject and story of that image and then optimise it. The talk is illustrated with both underwater images and multiple shots of camera setups revealing exactly how different lighting is achieved.
Light Fundementals Part 2
Light has the power to completely transform any photograph and in this final session Alex teaches arguably the most transformative lighting solutions. His focus is also on practicality because these are also the techniques that he’s found are most easily implemented by photographers on his workshops. This presentation is a mixture of both the illustrated slides as well as a live ‘table top’ demonstration of strobe position, to help you master the details of these techniques. The final section reviews advanced techniques including using off camera lighting effectively and shooting panning shots and double exposures with snooted strobes.
This Masterclass Subscription costs £95 for access to 8 special lectures. Alumni of of the original Reboot live Masterclass receive a £60 discount. All material will be avialble for 5 years. Subscriptions to this plan are non-refundable.
Testimonials from the live course with Alex
It was a wonderful course, so much information packed in four lessons!
In countries like mine one would say: great value for money. But there is more: Great how Alex is willing to share his knowledge with us with so much energy.
The “Reboot on-line course” from Alex Mustard has been a fantastic experience – a real bonus to stay connected and refresh skills. Even on-line, Alex is so full of energy, passion to share his knowledge with the small workshop group on wide angle, macro, composition and lighting. Each session is fully packed with time for Q&A, with added bonus of course notes and recordings – so you can be inspired by four ” Alex Reboot” recordings or the rest of the year.
Alex also promoted the discussion and sharing experiences amongst the course group on the PE forum – as sharing images and experiences is known to be a valuable tool that Alex uses on his “live” workshops. Highly recommended for all UW photographers – those new to Alex then you are in for a real treat with this high energy on-line experience, and for those who need to refresh after time away from diving due to travel bans. For me personally, these four weeks have been a tonic for the soul in these very isolating times, and wonderful to be connected with Alex and a great group of equally enthusiastic underwater photographers.
The Alex Mustard Masterclass: Underwater Photography Reboot online course was simply AMAZING! It comprises 4 weekly sessions for Wide Angle, Macro, Composition and Lighting. Each weekly course was jam-packed with a ton of information during which you could actually ask questions!! Each session was done live but also video-taped for your future reference. There were also group forums created for the members to post images and discuss/share ideas with feedback from Alex.
I would highly recommend this course to any underwater photographer, from aspiring to professional. I’ve been truly motivated by Alex to produce better images in the camera. And I’ve learned a TON about proper lighting. Thank you, Alex, and your team for this wonderful production!!
Not being able to join Alex on one of his workshops, this format is perfect. Alex put so much information in each of the classes that it is hard to remember everything. The recordings of the sessions and the possibility to watch them again helps a lot. Also that everybody can ask questions any time. The Forum is also a great resource for everybody. Will definitely join again!