Blue Duck Photography Partners with RAID

Blue Duck Photography and RAID are pleased to announce their partnership for a new underwater photography course. It will be available to all who are interested in underwater photography; with everything from the important features to consider when thinking about buying an underwater camera to using it effectively alongside all the important accessories now available. Plus how to integrate camera and skills learnt out of the water with the correct emphasis on diving and environmental awareness.

Digital photography is advancing at a rapid pace, with more divers than ever before keen to record their aquatic adventures. So Blue Duck Photography needed a dive agency partner that placed emphasis on high quality in water skills from the outset. Great trim, buoyancy control and safety protocols were what highlighted RAID as the agency they wanted to hook up with. Looking around they found that there was a dearth of up to date information on how a budding underwater photographer could easily learn the underwater photo skillset in a safe and productive manner.

The course will initially be structured in a two part format. Part one will concentrate on starting out looking at the kit you need, plus the features and accessories that are important. It will then progress through shooting in available light, starting with automatic and program modes, and then on to shooting using fully manual controls. Understanding the light we have, the direction it’s coming from and how much of it there is available, is the cornerstone of all photography; so it’s vital that you get a good foundation in this to start off with. This will follow on to shooting using artificial light, as a way to enhance colours and illuminate your shots. Finally how to successfully mix both available and artificial light.

The ultimate goal is to get the sort of shots that you want rather than what the camera dictates. Once you’re armed with this fundamental skillset, we’ll look at the different types of underwater photography, from shooting reefscapes, coral gardens and stately wrecks using wide angle lenses, all the way down to shooting the smaller creatures, and on to the really teeny stuff like nudibranchs and weird crustaceans with add-on macro lenses. This will be underpinned at all times with environmental awareness and safety to the fore. We’ll even help you with guidance on how to find the marine life, and then finish off with a primer on digital photo editing to finesse your pictures for the web or to proudly put up on your wall.

Blue Duck Photography are Phil and Anne Medcalf in partnership with Paul ‘Duxy’ Duxfield. Phil and Anne are drawing upon their skills gained as keen underwater photographers active on the competition scene, alongside their professional lives as nurses and nurse trainers.

Duxy has been around in the world of underwater photography for 15 yrs working as a sales manager for the two of the biggest underwater photography retailers, and then onto leading trips and workshops all over the world, and is a regular contributor for dive magazines as a photo journalist. Together they realised that there was a gap badly needing to be filled in the correct tuition and advice given to new underwater photographers.

Alongside the tuition and training, Blue Duck Photography give talks to dive clubs the length and breadth of the country, and provide a bespoke retail service only selling equipment that they know and use themselves, utilising their mantra of ‘best advice’.

“RAID invites the best possible authors and co-authors to write and help write our training materials, whether its Jill Heinerth and Steve Lewis for our Cave courses or Paul Haynes for our Rebreather Core Knowledge manual we’re proud to have their expertise within our training platform. Paul (Duxy) and I have known and worked with each other two decades, that allows me to say, I’m excited by what this collaboration with the Blue Ducks team will bring to the industry. Their passion, knowledge and experience is the perfect fit for RAID and subsequently, all divers interested globally in starting or being better at underwater photography.”

James Rogers, Director, RAID UK & Malta

The online course will be available before the Summer to anyone, and then Part II which will cover in water skills and assessment by a RAID instructor will follow soon after.

Contact Blue Duck Photography via email at to express your early interest.

Barry McGill joins RAID

Barry McGill is an Irish based deep wreck photographer and technical diving instructor trainer with Indepth Technical, he specialises in teaching CCR and Mixed Gas CCR on both APD and JJ units. Barry started diving in 2000 aged 16 and became heavily involved in technical diving in 2003 and has been diving CCR since 2004. Barry became an advanced nitrox instructor in 2008 and has progressed to the level of CCR Trimix (100m).

Barry runs fully supported technical diving trips to the iconic wrecks of North Donegal (Malin Head), off the North coast of Ireland each summer. These trips allow technical divers to fully explore the breath-taking shipwrecks with the help and guidance of Barry’s experience diving in this area since 2003.

In his free time, Barry loves to focus on this passion for exploration of deep water shipwrecks around the Irish coastline and he has been fortunate enough to discover and explore many significant virgin shipwrecks. Exploring iconic shipwrecks such as the R.M.S. Justicia, H.M.S. Audacious and R.M.S. Lusitania left a significant impression on Barry, helping to develop his desire to discover and explore shipwrecks. Barry has organised and led many deep wreck expeditions exploring the deep wrecks off the North coast of Ireland, which included the S.S. Empress of Britain in 162m and S.S. Transylvania in 130m. Barry has also been part the teams that first discovered and explored the wrecks of HMS Curacoa in 125m (410ft), White Star Liner Carinthia in 116m (380ft), HMS Hurst Castle in 85m (279ft) and World War 1 German U-boats UB 124 and U45 in 65 m (213ft).

Barry will be helping RAID UK & Malta by supporting our dive centres in Ireland. He is also at the Dive Ireland International Expo, Limerick on 3rd & 4th March.

Bay Divers join RAID

RAID are pleased to announce another centre chooses the new RAID way; Bay Divers, led by Karl Kruger an experienced former military diver. Karl has dived extensively throughout the world and has developed a passion for wreck diving and exploration.

Karl is a multi-agency Recreational and Technical instructor, and likes what he’s seen, heard and learnt about RAID after taking the time to examine it.

“RAID’s rebreather, technical and ResEx platforms offers something different that I really like, with deep rebreather diving as my main focus ” says Karl, who has dived his JJ-CCR to depths in excess of 100 metres and has been involved in a number of exploration projects, one of which is still on-going.

James Rogers – Business Director (RAID UK) is quoted “With increasing organic growth like this within our RAID ranks, RAID’s fourth year under new ownership is looking bright, how much do you know about the fasting growth diver training agency in the world today?

Visit or for more information. Or contact the UK office to find out how to join RAID now.

RAID @ The Great Northern Dive Show

Meet the team who will be on the stand at The Great Northern Dive Show

James Rogers

James is the Director of RAID UK & Malta. He has many years of experience working in the diving industry. He is keen to spread the word about RAID and promote the benefits RAID has, not only to divers but to instructors and dive centre owners.

Robyn Black

Robyn has been diving she was 13 years old and is now an Instructor Trainer for RAID. After working around the world she has returned to the UK as the Membership Co-ordinator for RAID UK & Malta. Robyn is also a Marine Biologist and keen to promote marine conservation activities to dive centres.

Olivier van Overbeek

Oli started diving in 1998 on holiday in the south of France, where he instantly fell in love with the underwater world. He’s a RAID Recreational and Technical Instructor Trainer as well as a test diver for various manufacturers, and a technical consultant and course author for dive RAID International. Oli runs DiveLife, in Manchester and Diving Matrix.

Pete Black

Pete has been an Instructor since 2004 and has run Deep Blue Pirates, in Whitley Bay, for the past 10 years. He has a wealth of diving knowledge for the UK and around the world as well as being a RAID Recreational Instructor Trainer.

Garry Dallas

Garry is a well-known figure in the diving industry, both here in the UK and around the world. He is a recreational and cave Instructor Trainer for RAID, he is also the go-to-guy for sidemount diving. Garry will also be giving a presentation at the show – watch this space for more details.

Rob Mackins

Rob has worked extensively in Europe as a dive guide and Instructor. He is now a RAID Recreational Instructor Trainer and has written the RAID First Aid course. He has in-depth knowledge in first aid and diversifying a dive centres business with additional courses.