Surf Ocean and Lifestyle Workshop at Keramas Bali by Katherine Nielsen

Golden light Abstract

Hosted by Foto Frenzy at the Komune Bali we were treated to an eight-day immersive workshop at the world famous Keramas surf break. Our room overlooked the ocean, with a lap pool right at the door. This was the ideal destination for an amazing photography experience. With a backdrop of palm tress, black sand and the perfect reef break. We had a constant flow of WSL surfers available to shoot which included night surfing to provide some creative opportunities not available anywhere else.

Phil Thurston and Ted Grambeau were two of the best surf, ocean and lifestyle photography mentors you could ask for. Ted’s forty years of experience was evident in his teachings, and despite being in the industry for so long, the passion for his craft remains strong and unwaivering. This was really refreshing and inspiring to see, especially in the surf photography industry. He has a true understanding of the technical aspects of photography which he delivered perfectly during our workshop.

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Phil’s creative and fearless approach to ocean photography is nothing short of inspirational. Continually searching for light and big slabs to create magic with. His workflow and editing tips will give me on-going opportunities to improve my imagery. While his fun and relaxed approach to education made everything he delivered easy to comprehend.

Learning from both of these creative geniuses was an experience I will forever cherish. If you want to develop your own ocean photography, these are the only two people I would recommend to get you to that next level.

I have had trouble overcoming some anxiety with the ocean, and it had prevented me from getting out the back to shoot surfers. Ted taught me everything I needed to know about the channel and current at Keramas as well as how to position myself safely in order to get the shot. Coaching me in a little further each time. His patience and gentle approach to teaching, helped me get into the line-up, and this is something I will be forever grateful for. Being in the ocean and capturing images is the most surreal experience and to achieve something that has held me back with my photography is such a huge moment for me personally. Being able to relax and enjoy the ocean is a magical experience. It was easy to spend several hours in the water immersed in the beautiful surroundings of Keramas. Having the right mentors can make or break your learning experience and Foto Frenzy has set the bar so high I wouldn’t be going anywhere else to further develop my ocean photography.

R. Christie in the Barrel

When we weren't in the ocean we were discovering new photography opportunities that constantly presented themselves at Komune Bali.  Watching these photographers work was nothing short of amazing. During our eight days we got creative with speed blurs, night surfing, water portraits and chasing light. Ted taught us how to problem solve difficult photography situations and how to work with products, models and professional surfers. The Knowledge both Phil and Ted shared through mentoring, tutorials and practical assignments provided us with education from sun up to sun down. It felt like a little family, and it was literally the most rewarding learning experience I have ever had the privilege of being a part of.

Kip Ripcurl

Well organised and structured in a way that catered to each individual participant. The resources were endless and Jasmine, Phil and Ted continually pulled out all the stops to ensure we got everything we could out of our time with them. Professional, inspiring and truly rewarding. I would definitely return for this experience again and again.

If you are interested in learning more about the available photography experiences see the website FotoFrenzy for more information.

You can view more of Ted and Phils work on the links below prepare to be mind blown.

Ted Grambeau

Phil Thurston

PGYTECH Mavic Pro Platinum HD ND Filters by Katherine Nielsen


PGYTECH was born from a real passion for action photography. As a company they have been been developing some of the most advanced aerial platforms since 2010. During these last few years, they have been focusing on creating innovative accessories that enhance the experience of professionals and enthusiasts in the air, on the ground, and underwater. PGYTECH design, produce and test their products in-house to guarantee the highest product quality. They love capturing the most significant moments of life from unique perspectives.

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PGYTECH have kindly given me these filters to try under no expectation, for me to be able to review these without bias. 

I have a range of drone filters already as I am used to shooting in harsh lighting conditions,  I rarely fly without them.

PGYTECH has created some incredible products for drone enthusiasts, go pro users and videographers using the ronin-s or Osmo. While polar pro seems to be more visible in the Australian market, I firmly believe that as people become more aware of what PGYTECH  have to offer they will be impressed with their product catalog.

The filters come in cool little metal case with foam for protection, making them easy to transport safely, as these are really compact. The first thing I noticed was how easy these filters were to put on. The gimbal calibration was excellent on all four filters, I have read this was an issue on previous reviews but never had an issue personally.

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Designed to reduce glare and shutter speed while improving the colour saturation of your images. I enjoyed using these filters and think they are an excellent product for anyone who wants to get the best out of their drone imagery. You can create some really interesting long exposure images with these as seen below.

My only negative is that I prefer to have a CPL to intensify the colour’s with an ND for best results. These filters only offer the Neutral density feature. I am hoping that in the future this will be available as a combination filter.

Be sure to view more of what they have to offer on their website