Semporna Water World Photography Tour & Workshop

Semporna islands another name is the water world where people living on the water. This is one of the most interesting destinations for photographers. Semporna is located at the Southeast of Sabah, Malaysia. The Bajau people fled the Philippines to Malaysia, but they were not allowed to settle because of their immigrant status, So rather than return to their native country, they have decided to live their whole life in the ocean, similar to the 1995 film Water world which stars Kevin Costner. They live in wooden huts on stilts that they have built-in the crystal-clear waters, while children as young as four catch fish, octopus and lobsters from handmade boats off the eastern coast of Sabah.
This is the only destination in the world where meet the beauty and humanity so, in this expedition, you will discover not only Nature, landscape & seascape at the same time also explore humanities where people’s hardest life on the sea, their living condition with amazing photography opportunities.
We have designed the trip with our best location search & research, to give photographers the best opportunity to capture stunning images at the Semporna Islands. You will accompany and guide by an international award-winning professional photographer who has wide experience on Semporna islands.

  • Tour Highlights

  • World most crystal-clear water islands.
  • Nature, Landscape & seascape.
  • Fishing on sea & Fish village.
  • Traditional Local wooden boats.
  • Bajau people living conditions on sea.
  • Children on Wooden Plank Jumping in Sea
  • Gypsy village on sea at Maiga Tatagan Mabul island
  • Amazing Corals in the water at Omadal Island.
  • Top view of Bohey Dulang island.
  • Tun Sakaran Marine Park Sibuan Island.

Semporna Water World Photography Tour & Workshop

Let’s Discover the Semporna Islannds the Real Water World

DAY 01: Arrival  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Photo Travel’s representative will greet you at the Kuala Lumpur International airport then take you to the hotel for check-in. this afternoon Introduce with our Photo guide, Mr. Yousuf Tushar then followed by your first photo shoot street photography on Kuala Lumpur city & China Town. A special Welcome Dinner & Enjoy the slideshow presentation by Yousuf Tushar, interact with Tushar you will get more information and idea which will be helpful for your journey.

Photoshoot: Street Photography on Kuala Lumpur city & China Town.
Meals included: Dinner. ( Local Luxury Restaurant)

DAY 02: Kuala Lumpur- Semporna

This day we will take flight Kuala Lumpur to Tawau. upon arrival at Tawau airport, we will drive to Semporna city and check-in the hotel. After Lunch explore the little port city Semporna, local boat station where islands people come for daily shopping and fish market.

Photoshoot: Semporna city, Local boat station, Local market and Fish Market.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

DAY 03: Mabul Island

Discover Mabul island, it is also known as one of the best muck diving sites. its population of 2,000 consists mostly of friendly sea-gypsy families living in wooden houses on stilts. Mabul has neither vehicles nor roads on its 240,000-square-yard surface — and area that sounds huge until you successfully walk from one side to the other in full scuba gear and bare feet. Explore gypsy people’s stilt houses on the sea, their living conditions, children catching fishes, crabs, and lobsters.

Photoshoot:Gypsy people’s stilt houses on the sea, their living conditions, children catching fishes, crabs, and lobsters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 04: Bum Bum Island

This day we will discover to the southeast island Bum Bum the biggest water village where more than three hundred stilt houses are built on the water. On the way, we will expose sea fishing. We also stop our speed boat at seaweed farming.

Photoshoot: Sea fishing, seaweed farming and stilt houses on the water.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 05:Omadal Island

Another full day of seascape exploration located at East water. We will have opportunity to shoot in the shallow water and Bajau stilt houses are built in crystal clear water which full of seaweed. This day we also visit another island where Coconut palm trees on beach against blue sky with cloud, children are gaming climbing on coconut trees.

Photoshoot: Shallow water gypsy life and Coconut palm trees on beach.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 06: Houses & Living Conditions

This day we will touch two islands to explore Bajau gypsy peoples living condition including enter inside their houses,  theirs daily activities, how they take care their kids, cocking, washing cloths, entertainments and others.

Photoshoot: Birdseye view from the top of Bohey Dulang children playing at sea.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 07: Bohey Dulang island

This day we will explore Bohey Dulang island, Tun Sakaran Marine Park Sibuan Island. We will climb the top of the Bohey Dulang where you can see the birdseye view of islands. After that, we will spend more time on another small island where you can expose children playing at sea.

Photoshoot: Birdseye view from the top of Bohey Dulang children playing at sea.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 08: Semporna – Kuala Lumpur

This day we will take flight from Tawa to Kuala Lumpur. After Check in Hotel and Lunch we have chance to visit KL city and street photography and evening shoot of Twin Tower.

Photoshoot: Street Photography on Kuala Lumpur.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 09: Discover Zoo Negara

This day we will discover the world Zoo Negara, one of the famous open concept zoo in the world. It has a total of over 5137 specimens from 476 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Zoo Negara covers 110 acres, it has transformed itself to an open concept zoo with over 90% of its animals being kept in spacious exhibits with landscape befitting its nature.
End of the day you have free time for shopping nearby hotel and you will enjoy the special dinner,  review your images by Yousuf Tushar.
Photoshoot: Birds and Animals.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

DAY 10: Departure to Next Destination

After breakfast preparing to check out the hotel. According to your individual Flight departure time, we will drop you at the airport and bid a fond farewell. We hope your unforgettable memories call you again to this land and show up your Malaysia’s great images.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch (Packet) & Dinner.

Learn post-processing like a pro

We know what your images need

Bring the touch of perfection to your digital images

Our photography expeditions are not only a simple photo trip it’s a photography workshop. Whether you are a beginner, keen amateur or professional photographer we want you to get the best possible pictures on every our tour. Each of our participants will get the right infield guidance from understanding all camera settings, creating outstanding compositions, perfect exposer on the different light conditions, developing a personal style to finalizing ideas in image editing software.
We also put emphasis on Image Post-Processing which is extremely important nowadays. We will hold post-processing panels where we will teach you the workflows in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and some additional plug-ins we use to make your pictures stand well apart from the rest. We will try to allow enough time for you to post-process your pictures while on the tour, and hopefully, you will go home with your prime shots ready for the showcase.

You will learn how to

  • Organize your photos efficiently and speed up your workflow
  • Develop RAW files with Lightroom and Photoshop and apply initial adjustments
  • Use the selection, sharpening and retouching tools properly
  • Blend multiple exposures in Lightroom and Photoshop using various techniques (HDR, luminosity masks)
  • Stylize your images to give them your own artistic signature
  • Apply various image effects… and much more

Semporna Water World Photo Tour & Workshop

What is Included & Excluded in the Price


  • English Speaking Professional Photographer Guide.

  • Hotel Accomodations (3-star).

  • Speed Boat for Semporna Islands

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
  • Drinking-Water and soft drinks.
  • 2 Local Flights
    Kuala Lumpur-Tawa-Kuala Lumpur


  • International Flight.
  • Visa fee.
  • Personal cost & laundry services.
  • Gratuities for Photo Guides, and drivers.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Equipment and baggage insurance.

Yousuf Tushar,   Tour Leader

Tushar is a Travel & Art photographer as well as writer, organizer, and judges of National & international photography competitions. He has years of experience guiding photo tours & workshops.  He has excellent knowledge about perfect places to capture a photo of every island of Semporna. He loves to help hands-on experience in a Creative learning environment while out in the field, and he absolutely loves leading photo tours! Since 2000 he has been working full-time professional photographer, over this time he has traveled many countries as a travel photographer. His works published Times UK, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Forbes magazine, BBC, National Geographic, Daily Mail, Sunday Post, Express UK, The Sun, The Atlantic, USA Today, and renowned international photo agencies. His photographs exhibited different international photo exhibitions in Asia, Europe & USA. He has owned more than hundred National & International prestigious photographic awards including HPA-UNESCO china, Emirates photo contest, Asahi Shimbun Japan, United Nations IYC Singapore, People & Planet Australia, PX3 Paris, CBRE Urban photographer of the year, Link Lady, SIENA International, A Photo Reporter, New York-Manhattan, celebrating Life Bangladesh and numerous FIAP & PSA patronage Award.
Presently he is the Secretary-General & FIAP Liaison officer of Bangladesh Photographic Society. More Details about him