It makes sense that if you want to experience more than just following the same old tourist track, then you would invest in a workshop where your guide is a New Zealand professional landscape photographer. Local, intimate knowledge of the landscape gathered from years of exploring and photographing in all seasons is what separates our workshops, and gives our guests unique opportunities to photograph at incredible locations others don’t know about. Each workshop itinerary 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 of only six participants 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, by reducing the guide-to-guest ratio there is more opportunity to receive one-to-one photographic assistance, which allows guests to improve and fine-tune their craft much quicker than they otherwise might have. After a couple of days we begin to shoot together as a group of friends, sharing tips and ideas, and trying to out-do each other with hilarious travel stories. Some of which actually happen while on one of our workshops. Like the time that 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 had us all in fits of laughter.
“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 camera skills. Some guests are very new to photography, while others are highly proficient and even professional. Our main goal is to give guests the best opportunities to capture fantastic images during the workshop, and Phillip gives instruction based on guests’ requirements. Some guests appreciate one-to-one coaching at every location, while others prefer to work using their normal methods and will request feedback from Phillip once they have taken their photos. Where guests most benefit from Phillip’s advice, 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 photography disciplines. At each location on the workshop Phillip discusses compositions which will produce the best results, and what guests can do to create more impact in their photographs by controlling the various elements in the scene. Phillip also offers insights into what camera settings to use to achieve the desired effects, and which lens is best suited to the subject being photographed.
“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 creating 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 guests have the best possible chance to make great photographs. Also, as there are only six guests on each workshop, we are more mobile than a larger group, and can pack up and move on quicker 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. And being a photography workshop there is never any need to try and figure out where you should be for sunrise, or waste valuable time wandering around searching for good locations to photograph at.
“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.