It makes sense that if you want to improve your photography skills in a tangible way then you would invest in a workshop where your leader is a seasoned professional landscape photographer. Local, intimate knowledge of the landscape gathered from many years of photographing in all seasons is what separates our workshops from the general photo tours so commonly available today. This invaluable knowledge gives photographers unique opportunities to photograph at incredible off-the-beaten-track locations. Each workshop program has been designed by pro landscape photographer Phillip Bartlett, who has shot extensively in the regions you will be visiting. By including specially selected wilderness locations in our itineraries you will end the workshop with a more diverse and exclusive collection of images to take home with you.
“Phillip took me to some incredible locations, many of them very remote. Phillip’s local knowledge is extensive and being a photographer he knows each location’s best time to be photographed.”
We are approved by the Department of Conservation to conduct our workshops in National Parks and Reserves. This means that we have been audited and meet the required criteria to become a licensed operator. In keeping with our concession we are required to follow operating guidelines, including Occupational Health and Safety, and submit annual accountability reports. We also care greatly for the pristine New Zealand environment and have a ‘Minimal Impact’ policy on our workshops.
Travelling with a small group on a photography workshop has so many advantages. One of the main ones, which is so important when out in the field, is that we are not tripping over each other’s tripods all the time. Also, there is more time for one-to-one photographic instruction, which allows photographers to improve and fine-tune their craft much quicker than in a large-group situation. On our workshops we are quick as a group to openly share tips, techniques and ideas, while at the same time trying to out-do each other with hilarious travel stories. Some of which actually happen while on the workshop. Like the time an Australian gentleman went exploring at a location where we were shooting, and ended up being asked to help an elderly lady round up her rambunctious sheep. The irony of an Australian herding sheep in New Zealand was not lost on us.
“The friendship we had with the people on the trip is certainly a highlight and made the time we shared during the trip special.”
Everybody is at different stages with their photography. Some photographers are just beginning while others are highly proficient and even professional. Our main goal is to give photographers the best opportunities to make great images during the workshop, and Phillip generously gives instruction based on individual requirements. Some photographers appreciate one-to-one coaching at every location, while others prefer to work using their normal methods and will request feedback from Phillip after the shoot. Where photographers regularly benefit most and see a marked improvement in their photography is with composition. Composition can make or break an image and training the eye for landscape photography often requires a different approach than other photographic disciplines.
“I could genuinely see the improvement in my photos throughout the tour thanks to Phillip.”
Landscape photography is an art which requires time to fine-tune the composition, patience to invite the possibility of some serendipity, and awareness of the influence that the light plays in making evocative, responsive photographs. This is why we allocate ample time for our major shoots, in the morning and evening, to allow you to work with your camera in a relaxed and creative way. We believe that having plenty of time to experiment with compositions is the only way to ensure photographers have the best possible chance to make great photographs. Also, as a small group we are very mobile and can quickly move if, for example, the weather dictates a change of location would work better for us.
“Phillip always made sure we were at the right place at the right time and that each person was getting the best out of every location.”
Taking a photography workshop with us will keep you sane, and give you the best opportunity to capture stunning images. We take care of all of the hassles and quirks associated with travelling in an unfamiliar country, from knowing where to stay, where to eat, to even what brand of muesli bars are the tastiest. With all the logistics, and peripheral snacking items, well taken care of you are totally free to relax and concentrate on your photography.
“Logistics during the entire trip was perfectly planned, great hotels, good food and absolutely comfortable.”
We realise that our guests may only get to visit New Zealand once in their life, and they are putting their faith in us to make it a magical and memorable experience. Great care has been taken in the preparation of each workshop so that we can all enjoy fantastic photography, good company and plenty of laughs together.
“I never did feel like I was a ‘tourist’ while in your care.”
We place great importance on the group’s safety, and your guide has completed an advanced driver training course, a four-wheel drive training course and is First Aid certified.