Serenity welcomes students to enjoy the best with Alex Mustard

Alex Mustard

Emperor Serenity recently had the pleasure of welcoming world-renowned photographer Alex Mustard MBE on board.

Alex was joined by 16 budding photographers looking to hone their skills and receive professional coaching from their multi-award-winning tutor.


We adapted our ‘Best of the Maldives’ itinerary to suit the needs of the group as deep and channel dives were replaced by shallow thilas to give the photographers the best possible light and conditions to capture that award-winning shot.

And it all worked to perfection as Alex and his students had the ideal trip.

“Photography trips are demanding because the guests don’t just want great dives, they want those dives to be photographically productive too,” Alex explained.

“The crew on Emperor Serenity worked so hard so that we could focus on our images and Thomas and the dive team really understood what we wanted from the dives. Exciting drift dives or hooked-in shark encounters tend not to work for photographers, as they don’t provide good snapping conditions.

Emperor Serenity

“But since we were a whole boat charter (with purposely-reduced capacity), Thomas could tweak the normal itinerary visiting a mix of classic sites and photographer friendly spots, ensuring we were all bagging quality images.”

Successful dives were repeated to allow a change of lens or camera set up so photographers could scope out the underwater topography and marine life then return with a scene or subject in mind to capture.

The dhoni crew really had their work cut with 17 very-expensive cameras to manage in and out of the water. Additional charging and rinsing stations were set up to cope with the requirements of so many cameras.


Alex hosted daily workshops, breaking down the technique and set-up required to capture his award-winning pictures. He explained various methods and produced stunning visual examples to push the creative boundary of the photographers onboard. The setup, pre-dive plan, marine life interaction and respect to the framing, composition and post editing of the pictures was all explained.

The photographers were in for a real treat with perfect conditions and the Indian ocean appearing more like a serene lake. A week of glorious sunshine gave the perfect light needed in all conditions from high sun to the golden hour before sunset.


Along with these conditions Thomas and the team put on a spectacular week of sightings! Reef sharks and turtles and the stunning topography of Seventh Heaven and Bathala thila to the schooling blue-line snappers at Kuda Rah and Fish Head. Not to mention mantas by day and night plus an incredible encounter with a whaleshark at the back of Serenity one evening. Nothing was missed, even a frogfish was on fine modelling form!

Alex added: “I love diving the classic atolls of the Maldives during the first third of the year.

“The sea is calm, the water is so warm you can never get cold and the marine life is rocking. This isn’t the easiest place to take photos because the currents can be strong and the visibility unpredictable.


“But it is one of the best places because, while photos might be harder to get, the Maldives gives us the chance to get images that will become lifetime favourites, featuring not just pretty reef scenery, but great creatures like mantas, sharks and turtles and masses of fish. It is what keeps me coming back for that perfect shot.

“I am already looking forward to my next workshop on the Emperor boats in the Maldives.”

If you would like to find out more about Alex’s work, and the different workshops he offers, go to

Fish, upon fish

Whale shark at night

Eagle Rays






May 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Peter published on April 25, 2022 10:41 AM.

No hidden extras. With Emperor liveaboards - what you see is what you pay was the previous entry in this blog.

We've moved in Marsa Alam! is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.