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SUCCESSFUL EXPEDITIONS


Highlighted expeditions below

Below you find a selection of 16 out of at least 60 successful expedition destinations lead by Magnus Lundgren all around the world. The trips are created with different goals such as true exploring into new and unknown marine wilderness, or it can be destinations we return to as they deliver such great photography opportunities.

 

All trips set-up for photography

Everything around these trips is with underwater photography in mind when it comes to location, timing and local arrangements, guides and operators.

 
Diamond squid - Copyright Magnus Lundgren


BLACK WATER PHOTOGRAPHY
Balayan Bay, Anilao, Philippines

This week set-up for black water photography. And even if we did a "bonfire" shoot one evening, and day dives when we had energy, the overall focus was real black water photography with a serious light set-up and a great team of spotters. We had targets like blanket octopus, flying fish, diamond squid, oarfish and paper nautilus and more and we bagged pretty much everything expect oarfish and larger blankets.

The shoot was with the great and knowledgeable company Songda Cai and Jörgen Rasmussen. Most used set-up was Nikon D850s and 60mm macro lenses and Magnus had a Nauticam CMC-1 mounted on a flip holder. All used top-mounted focus light (like FIX lights) that last for 3 to 4 hours on lower output and a separate strong search light like the Scubalamp 4000 lumen.

Interested to join is next time then mail us.


 
Galapagos sealion - Copyright Magnus Lundgren
 
ONCE IN A LIFE TIME
Extra ordinary Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
 
Galapagos Islands is always an extraordinary destination and every year is a bit different. Usually I plan for the prime whale shark season with a top-of-the-line boat with great dive guides catering for underwater photographers. It is always an action packed and adventurous trip where we hope for whale sharks around remote Darwin's Arch and Wolf Island. This is also the best place for schools of hammerheads, eagle rays in formation, Galapagos sharks cruising in the curent and silky sharks in the blue.
 

Heading south towards Isabela we continue with dolphins, turtles, penguins, sea lions, fur seals, diving birds, Mola molas, bullhead sharks, sea horses, red-lipped batfish and endless schools of trevallies, tunas and marine iguanas. What a place! This is a world prime dive location for good reasons and for many people a "once in a lifetime destination" but everbody always want to go back again as soon as possible.


 
Tiger beach - Copyright Magnus Lundgren
 
SHARK PHOTOGRAPHY AT ITS BEST
Tiger Beach, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas

Just when we thought it can't get better then Tiger Beach twist the volume button to 11. Ouhaaa... People often ask me what is it that is so good about that place and I must admint that you can't explain it in full. It is a combination with Dolphin Dream, Scott, the crew, the location and setting and the photo possibilities through all this. We get so much time with the subjects. It is simply amazing.

Last expedition 2019 out of my four trips we had almost to many tiger sharks on some dives Three great hammerheads, and yes Patches came around every day all this spiced up with bull sharks, herds of lemons, Carribean reefies and an occasional nurse shark coming along. All I can say is that it is different every time and now the crew and I know how to set-it up for great photography, variety of shots and light, and  we do the workshop around shark photography and have time to venture into special shots as well.

Next trip 2020 or 2021. To be decided. Interested then mail us and we put you up on the interest list.


 
Azores - Copyright Magnus Lundgren
 
AMONG SHARKS, DOLPHINS AND WHALES
Pico, Faial or Santa Maria islands, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal

Magnus have been visiting Azores so many times on assignements or taking photographers and sea lovers there. The Atlantic has a magic blue water and usually we focus on blue shark diving, socializing mobula rays around of shore sea mounts, dives along the shores and dolphin snorkling and whale watching. A trip run from 7-12 days depending on the ambition level but even in the summer we can get weather days when we have to sit in.

Subject list: Blue sharks, dolphins (several species), sperm whales, eagle rays, sea horses, barracudas, trevallies, amberjacks, groupers and coastal marine life. If you are super lucky we can get bait balls, mako shark, mola mola and baleen whales as well.


 
Oceanic whitetip shark - Copyright Magnus Lundgren
 
WORKSHOP & GREAT DIVING ALL IN ONE
Live-aboard from Hurghada or stay at a dive camp around Marsa Alam

Red Sea is a great place to dive with stable conditions, good marine life and nearly always good visibility.

For decades Magnus used to bring Scandinavian divers to Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami's dive camps with great coral reefs, thrilling marine wide angle life and big players like sharks, dolphins, green and hawksbill turtles as well as a dugong once in a while. These places are perfect to develop and train UW photography techniques. The easy access just walking in and out of the water from the beach, unlimited dives and unlimited dive time in combination with reefs make it fun and creative.

Another way to do a workshop is on a live-aboard. There are many great coastal and off-shore reefs. Some of the favourites are Brothers, Daedalus, Elphinstone, Fury Shoals, St Johns and of course Rocky Island. Usually we have some freedom to stay in spots with a lot of action and skip the "at-the -moment-not-so-hot-sites" to make the trip as productive as possible.


 
Maldives - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

MALDIVES DEEP SOUTH & ADDU

On a luxury liveaboard from Male to Addu

Deep South. Onboard the luxury live-aboard Cape Diem with photo enthusiasts and ocean lovers. We cruised through a dreamy coral kingdom, diving our way down south. Magnus had a photography workshop onboard for the guests. We timed this trip for peak shark season and experienced walls of grey reef sharks, whale sharks at night, hammerheads, tiger sharks, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks and much much more. The whole trip was a great success.

Addu. We explored one of the best and most photogenic cleaning stations in all the Maldives with the Addu legend Marc Kouwenberg. The manta traffic is steady all year around, and with Marc we could tap into some real local wisdoms. Apart from manta trains Addu presented great reefs, a big wreck and thrilling caverns as well a great island feeling with real locals, small stores and restaurants. Diving around cleaning stations take a bit of practise and understanding how to use a reef hook and line for closer encounters with the mantas and to protect reefs from damage.


 

Blue whale, Sri Lanka - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

THE WORLD'S BIGGEST ANIMAL
Sri Lanka coastline

Together with an experienced team we went out far off shore to look for the biggest animal that ever roamed our planet. In small teams, 3 to 4 people in each boat, we were able to get close to the powerful and fast moving blue whale. What an experience to swim togeather with these whales. It was very tough with 6 to 10 hours in the sun, sometimes the sea was not very gently, and to say the least it was pretty easy to fall asleep in the evening.

Sri Lanka is a diverse and interesting destination with many options for topside wildlife safari in the national parks. It is the best place in the world to spot leopards. So it is highly recommended to extend the stay in Sri Lanka for other activites. We plan to go back so mail us if you are interested.


 

Stellar Sealion - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND WILDERNESS

We started out from Valdez on the trip into wild Alaska. What an exciting place for wildlife photographers. Glaciers, brown bear, black bear, Stellar sealions, spawning salmon species, bald eagles, otters all enjoyed from a lodge situated in a temperate rainforest. We actually went to Prince William sound to photograph the elusive salmon shark only to discover that the sharks left for the season due due two consecutive storms at the second half of the prime season. We were happy that there were som many other things going on apart from the missing sharks.


 

God's Pocket, Vancouver Island - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

COLD WATER EXTRAVAGANZA
Hurst Island, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Canada

This is considered to be one of the best cold water diving areas on the planet. And after Magnus visit there he can definitely agree with that statement. The resort is hidden in a small bay full of marine critters and the archipelago around Hurst Island is offering a marine life hard to compare with anything else with subjects like giant octopuses, wolf eels, hooded nudibranchs, chimaeras, Stellar sealions, coral gardens and much much more.


 

Cocos Island - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

THE PACIFIC'S SHARK ISLAND
Cocos Island, National Park, Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica

Cocos Island is tiny and remote island off Costa Rica ranking among the best dive destinations in the world due to the abundance of sharks. Cocos is famous for schooling scalloped hammerheads, sleeping whitetip reef sharks and a special night dive (rated best in the world) packed with hunting whitetips. Galapagos sharks and silky sharks are common and it happens that a tiger shark swims by.

The stingrays, eagle rays and manta rays and great sightings but the big schools of trevallies and tunas that enfold divers from time to time are even more impressive.


 
© Magnus Lundgren - Manta rays
          
BEST OF INDONESIA

Raja Ampat & Lembeh Strait on the same trip

Raja Ampat - The world's richest coral reefs. This is such a love place for photography. In Raja Ampat we are at the epicentre of the coral triangle with more coral and fish variety than anywhere else in the World. We ventured into wide angle photography in manta cleaning stations and over endless coral reefs and we met carismatic animals like mantas, wobbegongs and huge schools of colorful fish. Magnus have led trips to resorts and live-aboard and both versions are actually good in different ways.

Lembeh Strait - Outstanding muck diving. After Raja Ampat the flights often stop in Manado and it is great with a second week with great muck diving. The dive sites there have the most stunning critters like hairy octopus, mandarin fish, pygmy seahorse, harlequin shrimp, mimic octopus, boxer crab, Coleman shrimp, frogfish of all size from thumbnail-sized until giant hairy ones. Here we work on our creative macro photography skills.

Raja Ampat & Lembeh Strait is an irresistible combo of Indonesian dive locations spiced with top-notch diving from clear world class coral reefs to muck diving at its best!


 
© Magnus Lundgren - Common dolphins chasing a bait ball      
SOUTH AFRICA
Sardine Run & Shark Diving
 
South Africa is seasonal so you are always there at the right time for something and at the wrong time for other happenings.Over time Magnus have run 4 trips to South Africa focusing on big animal action.
 
Sardine run. This is a spectacle where humpback whales run, sardines gather in baitballs which common and bottlenose dolphins hunt together with gannets, sharks, sailfish, sealions and sometimes whales.
 
Shark diving. In the south there are blue sharks and makos in the blue. Far off shore. Great whites around the coast preferrably on the Pacific side and many other shark species around the Cape along with sealions and penguins. Up on the east coast around Umkomass Aliwal shoals has great dives and seasonally sand tigers. There are great shark dives from Umkomass as well with black-tip sharks and tiger sharks. Other hot-spots are Sodwana Bay north of Umkomass and Protea banks which never worked out for photography for us.
 

 
© Magnus Lundgren - Sailfish hunting     
THE WORLD'S FASTEST FISH
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Target was the elegant, fast swimming Atlantic sailfish, Istiophorus albicans. First was to find them and then we tried to stay close enough to get images of them when they were hunting. Either it was very hard work or siesta time.

We used the skipper and boat that was used for BBC "Blue Planet" and invested in five days to make a serious attempt. We had one "no-action-at-all" day, one day was barely OK, two days were good and our last day was fantastic. All images were shot while free diving. We arranged for small tanks with back packs to be available be we never used them.


 
Jardines de la Reina - Copyright Magnus Lundgren

CASTRO'S UNTOUCHED REEFS
Jardines de le Reina
 

Fidel Castro have protected a string of islands and reefs on the southern side of Cubas main island. Jardines de la Reina is exclusive to only a few divers per year. When we visitied the queen's reefs we realise that Jardines de la Reina is problably an example of how all Carribean reefs flourished a long time ago. Jardines de la Reina feels like a ancient  time capsule boiling with life .

Sharks are very abundant. It is mainly silky sharks and carribean reef sharks often seen in great numbers and close up on almost all dives. But it is the big picture, the overall scene, that is most impressive with Jardines healthy and unbleached reefs, the great schools of tarpons, huge groupers and barracudas. The overall diversity and biomass is striking. In the lush mangroves around the islands we got the opportunity to dive with a Cuban crocodile.


 
© Magnus Lundgren - A manta train     
MANTA MAGIC IN THE MALDIVES
Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives
 
Around Baa atoll in picture perfect Maldives one of the great spectacles in the sea take place. It has been going on for ages, but it was not so long ago since Hanifaru Bay was discovered as one of the main spots in the world for divers to see great aggregations of the world's largest ray - the manta ray. Sometimes 100, sometimes even more than 200 manta rays gather over a sandy bay smaller than a soccer field to feed on plankton. Even whale sharks are known to sometimes join in.

When the manta action picked up, same day as the full moon, then it was absolutely mind blowing experience. Trains of mantas, carousels of mantas, manta rays doing the washing machine-like roll, everywhere there were suddenly mantas and it kept going on for three days. The rays where behaving like flocks of gigantic birds in a underwater planktonic feeding frenzy. It was a unique trip, to a unique place on a very unique moment.


 
Norwegian fjords - Copyright Magnus Lundgren
 
DEEP, DYNAMIC AND COLD
Trondheimsfjord, Norway
 
I have been in Trondheimsfjord at least on 15 shoots and it is one of my favourite spots to dive. There are ship and airplane wrecks, cold water coral reefs, Lophelia, ghost sharks, coral sea fans, basket stars as well as minute subjects like colourful nudibranchs and waving ghost shrimps. Every time we dive new sites and last trip we photographed the deep water jellyfish Periphylla periphylla and a new shark species.