If you would like to learn more about how our training sessions are run or how we can help you take your photography to the next level, please take a few minutes to read about Manuel Cabanillas' experience with Roatan Underwater Photography and see how dramatically his work progressed in a series of our one-on-one personalized training sessions.


"For several years, I have been taking photographs during my dives with compact camera and housing and I could not get the color or quality I was hoping for." (see photos below)

"In 2014, I decided to buy some second-hand equipment from a friend…a Nikon D200 DSLR, macro and wide-angle lenses and one strobe. I tested it out on trip to Spain without any training other than some reading on the web. The colors of my photos were much better than in my previous "blue period", but pictures were still quite deceiving. I clearly had some gaps in my knowledge and underwater photography skills and was greatly frustrated about it!" (See photos below.)

"In January 2015, during a dive trip to Roatan, I decided to contact Francesca, whose photography I had been admiring through her regular Facebook posts to groups such as Underwater Macro Photographers and Wetpixel Underwater Photography. After chatting to Francesca, we set up a training program for the week. Francesca was very comprehensive and flexible. She adapted the training agenda to my holiday schedule and family constraints and designed a progressive and dynamic training program tailored specifically to my equipment and goals.

We spent our first 2 hour session reviewing and setting up my new equipment, learning how to care and maintain it and discussing the best manual settings for optimal results.  After that, Francesca joined me on two underwater training sessions - one for macro and the other one for wide-angle. Francesca is a professional diver and an accomplished photographer…but she is also a great mentor who is patient, kind, supportive and has amazing teaching skills, both above and under water.

I remember this very efficient session we spent on a tiny cleaner shrimp and a yellow frogfish where I would take shots, we would review them and Francesca would give me immediate feedback with her magic slate so that I can get perfect exposure and sharpness!

On my last day, we spent 2 hours reviewing my best shots and learning the basics of workflow in Adobe Bridge and post processing in Photoshop. This training session was a great investment, with much more results than I expected."

The following series of photos Manuel captured with a Nikon DSLR during his first training session with Roatan Underwater Photography.

"In August 2015, I went back to Roatan and scheduled another mentoring session with Francesca.  I had invested in a new camera set up (an Olympus OMDE-M5 Mark II Mirrorless camera, macro and wide angle lenses, and dual strobes) that I was excited to try out and learn how to use. Francesca showed up to our first session with a load of research about my gear including reviews, articles, and tips about the best settings.

We did several classes spread over 10 days, which was a very productive way to learn. After meeting to review my gear and its best settings, Francesca gave me a number of techniques to go and practice on my dives. Then every 2 days we would meet to review my work and discuss techniques to practice on my upcoming dives so that I could keep improving my skills.  In a very clear, patient and supportive way she corrected my mistakes and explained how to improve sharpness, light and composition on each of my frames. With this dynamic shoot-review-correct method, I made great progress over the week. Finally, at the end of my trip, we closed the training program with an advanced class for post-production."

Francesca is a wonderful person, and a great teacher and mentor. She efficiently shares her techniques, artistic knowledge, and passion for photography with everyone she works with. I highly recommend her training classes and, with no doubt, I will schedule another session with her on my next trip to Roatan."  - Manuel Cabanillas, Paris, France