Diving in the Red Sea. Hamata, Egypt, November 2011.

Egypt: Hamata, between sea and desert

  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I'm coming back from Egypt. A vacation break in the south of the country, on the edge of the Red Sea, far from the troubles of the Tahrir Square... A whole trip dedicated to underwater photography!

Underwater photo

Once is not customary: I, the follower of the solo tripI went as a group ! But beware, not just any group : divers photographers, like me. The trip was organized by the Little forum of the photo-sub, which I have been seeing more and more since I invested in a waterproof case for my Canon Eos 7D.

We met on November 26, shortly before dawn, at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, Terminal 3.
Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, Terminal 3.

For once, I wasn't the only one to ruse myself in front of the check-in counters, to remove cameras, lenses, domes and portholes from the dreaded weighing of hand luggage... In groups, solidarity is at its best! We quickly and discreetly organised our little traffic of heavy objects towards the back of the queue, just to present a lighter bag to the scales... Hey, hey!


The plane took off over Paris in the glowing red sky. Five hours later, we landed at Marsa Alam. We had to endure another two hours in the minibus before we reached our goal: Hamata.

Take off at dawn ...
Take off at dawn ...

Cape Hamata

I come back delighted by this little stay of a week in Hamata, between the azure of the Red Sea and the ocher stretches of the desert.

On the program, two dives a day, under the radiant Egyptian sun. A pleasure that I savored fully, too happy to flee the winter greyness installed in our country ...

The coral at the water's edge in the Red Sea, off Hamata. (Egypt, November 2011.)
The coral at the water's edge in the Red Sea, off Hamata. (Egypt, November 2011.)

From Egypt, I would have seen only the seabed of the area called Fury Shoals. Beautiful coral reefs off the resort Wadi Lahmy Azur, where our little band was housed.

Mid-air half-water ... The coral and our boat. Hamata, Red Sea, Egypt, November 2011.
Mid-air half-water ... The coral and our boat. Hamata, Red Sea, Egypt, November 2011.

I'm sorting my photos ... I released my brand new fisheye lens, the Tokina 10-17, and its brand new mini-dome.

Thanks to these additions, I brought back images different from what I usually do when diving. As a foretaste, I'm proud to show you, here, my first half air half water picture !!!

I really enjoyed the philosophy of this trip-dive, focused on photography. The non-divers do not realize well, but under water, nothing is more pleasant than to be in a homogeneous team, evolving on the same tempo, with the same desires.

So I found myself with people who like as much as I do long, quiet, contemplative dives, where you can dawdle as you please to adjust the settings of your camera... In short, happiness!!! And then, back on the boat, we exchange tips and tricks, we see each other's photos, we glean ideas... It makes you progress!

I will come back very soon to tell you the rest of this little Egyptian experience, and, above all, to show you some pictures of the incredible underwater landscapes of Hamata ...


  Egypt: Hamata - Red Sea - November 2011

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  1. Egypt, group trip, so many firsts! And besides, it seems like you really enjoyed it! A lack of macro maybe, but I'm just as proud as you are of your half-air half-water photo! Bravo !!! 😉

  2. @Manta: In fact, it's not quite my first time in Egypt. I had been there a few years ago, as part of a press trip, to meet archaeologists and CNRS divers who worked in the Bay of Alexandria ... exciting!
    But this is my first time for diving in the Red Sea. And, as you say, I did very little macro. But you'll see, in the next posts, the fisheye photos are worth seeing. And then, we even had the chance to swim with schools of dolphins, Sataya ... I prepare the video. In short, really great, this small stay in Hamata!

  3. Ah, diving in the Red Sea ...
    And diving between photographers !!!
    That fun, finished the courses of the fighter, the pedaling and the race to the distance !!! Quiet, contemplative (I love this word), and less consumer of the coup. I am looking forward to the photos.

    Fortunately there is FB, because I can not subscribe to the blog!

  4. So how are the members of the P'tit forum?
    Are there any beasts in there, you had to learn some sacred stuff?
    But then, we're still a bit hungry, only one photo, how can we justify the purchase of a Tokina 10-17? 😆

    @bloc18: Excuse me, but I'm very late for the validation of the sites on my directory 😥.

  5. @ Bloc18: There, you've got it all figured out... Happiness!!!! 😀
    To subscribe to the blog, you have two possibilities:
    1 -> receive an e-mail alert for each new post, by registering via the form at the end of this link: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=petitesbullesdailleurs/blog&loc=fr_FR
    2 -> save the RSS feed at the end of this link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/petitesbullesdailleurs/blog

    @Laurence: I prepare the photos, patience... As it is also the resumption of work, I have little time at my disposal. But it will come... 😉

    @Alimata: I have to say it was a really great group. It's so good to feel understood at last, to share the same sub photographer's whims with others... For once, I wasn't considered as a curious beast, with all my stuff, on the boat... 😆
    I'm delighted with the Tokina 10-17. And I even have pictures to prove it (I'll show them very soon). By the way, I hardly ever left it. I took my macro lens only once during the whole stay !! 🙄

  6. All the technical side leaves me pretty indifferent, although I know that to make beautiful pictures (which is the case of small bubbles), it takes good stuff!
    But what I prefer, in all this, is the quiet, serene, calm, soothed and contemplative side, I use the same vocabulary when I walk! 😉

  7. @Robin: Very flattered... 😆
    The concern is that this period is a bit during the presidential election, you see. So I might have to work a bit at that time... 😡 I can't see myself being away from the duck, it's not the right time to ask for time off at all !!! So, no, I won't be taking part in this outing.

  8. I would be good for the next session: me too they treat me under the water and sometimes look at me with a strange air with my two flashes. how do you register for these group trips?

  9. @PJ: They are there -> https://petitesbullesdailleurs.fr/photo-fisheye-egypte-mer-rouge-20111207/

    @ Nadège: Hello !!! 🙂 I put some pictures online (follow the link I gave Robin, just above).

    @Ysbilia: Yes, diving in these conditions is soothing and serene, as I like!

    @Melissa: Yes, I did not, but apparently it's good for snorkelers too. The house-reef of the hotel is, it seems, very good.

    @Robin: It happens on the Small Forum of the sub photo. You have to register, then go to the section "Courses, courses and outings" -> http://forum-photosub.fr/forum/viewforum.php?f=15
    The next outing is organized with "Researchers of Water" and will take place in April-May -> http://forum-photosub.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5910

  10. @corinne: thank you for this information, but will you be the next release in April / May? ❓
    I admit that with my favorite blogger / mermaid, it would be even better!

  11. @corinne too bad ! I'll wait till next year then ! 😥
    I've got 8 weeks to pose every year, it's a hell of a way to do it, so I jump at every opportunity 😆
    by then, I will be able to fit my 5D in a box of opportunity (hope)
    in any case I am now convinced by the "photographes only" stays (even if I do not usually like to find myself in a monomaniac tribe ...)
    to try to make you jealous, I'm going to train this summer here: http://www.la-petite-kepa.com/Nah ! 👿

  12. pfff, I thought I had found the lost paradise and you already know: you're too strong for me 😡
    but I'm not defeated, I'll end up finding 😉 one day (I feel like I'm in the "palace" and the groupama ad...).

  13. Great report! 😀
    It comforts me in the idea that there is a need for this type of release ...
    Trips simply to be able to take photosubs quietly without running after a pack of divers eager for depth or km underwater ...
    For those who want to see or see the dolphins of Sataya and sites further south, a photosub trip in the same spirit will take place late 2012 => a combined cruise (a week half boat, half cruise) opinion to fans ... 8)

  14. @Thierry: Oops, your message was going to put in the undesirable, suddenly, I put a little time before seeing it and validate it!
    For what you say, I confirm. For my part, I do not dive at all the same way as before, I "choose" more depending on the conditions in which I can dive, and I even try to organize it. In Bali, for example, this summer (I have not told you that yet), I went back to Tulamben / Amed, to go back to the Liverty wreck. I had taken the trouble to contact an Australian photographer-sub who lives there, who arranged everything according to my wishes: I had my Indonesian guide for me alone, during the week that I spent there. low. It's really ideal !!!
    In any case, still a big congratulations for the organization of these outings oriented photo-sub. I could not be yours in May, but I intend to reoffend for future expeditions ...

    @Block 18: You will find information on these outings in the section "Internships, outings, courses and travel photo-sub" Forum Photo-sub. Here is the link :

  15. Hello Corinne,
    you can stop hurting us so much when the winter fog almost prevents me from finding the letters on my computer keyboard! No, but can you think a little bit about the depressions of January? 😀
    No, without laughing, by what agency did you go to go there, ABSOLUTELY must I check that you have seen THAT!
    Laurence (Komodo !!!!)

  16. @Laurence: Hey, hey!! 😆 I copy and paste below the answer I already gave you via Facebook, which will also be useful to others!!! 😉

    I already explain a little earlier, in my article, that it is a trip organized through the "Small forum of the photo sub". They organize like this several outings oriented "photosub" in the year, and regularly in Egypt. I believe that the next departure, in association with the magazine "Researchers of Water" is in April or May. You will find the useful links in the answer that I already made above to Robin, inside this comment:

    The tour operator who steals all this for them is Dive Spirit Travel.

    Otherwise, you can contact directly Thierry Rolland, who created the Small Forum of the Sub Photo, and who organizes all that.

    The link to the exit to Hamata to which I was: http://forum-photosub.fr/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5279

    The link to the next release in April-May 2012:

    The link to the exit in October 2012 (quite close to what I did in November-December, I think, with a little more cruising):

    Here !!! I think that with all that, you have something to take care of you !!!
    Enjoy !!!

  17. Hello Corinne, bravo for this site that I will dig. I'm a big fan of Bonaire (8 stays of one month there) and I'm trying to wean myself off this place that I recommend you. I am also a fan of photography but in "apnea". We go down (my wife is in the loop) between 15 and 20 meters and at random of our apneas we shoot as much as possible. I have a question about Hamata. I would like to know if, from the shore, without taking a boat, it is possible to find a little bit of bottom (not only the classic 2 meters of the reefs), of fauna and flora? Sorry to bother you with my question but nothing is worth the experience. Sincerely Jean Michel Brault

    1. @Jean-Michel: hello, my stay in Hamata (Egypt) goes back to november 2011, and we were going to do scuba diving only, not from the shore, but with a boat, always offshore. So I have no idea of the answer to your question... The best, I think, is to try to contact some structures on the spot and to ask them. You can also contact Thierry Rolland, of the site Forum-photosub.comwho had organized the stay, and who knows the place better than I do. He also his personal website and is on Facebook. Good dives without bubbles !