Read guest reviews on TripAdvisor
“While having another look at the images taken on our voyage together and thinking about the excellent time we had with our group I cannot help my eyes welling with tears (again). It was indeed worthwhile to have taken the “plunge” to come to the other end of the world and to put the travel schedule into your hands. Your careful planning and knowledge of this beautiful island we explored together, paired with your professional know how has given us invaluable memories for a long time to come. I enjoyed the time together immensely, could take home pictures and experiences I could never have made without you. The tips you gave to me/to us were incredibly helpful, not just for my future undertakings, but already for the rest of my time here.”
Angelo B, Switzerland. South Island Masterclass May 2017.
“I also want to thank everyone, in a group we made this class an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot about camera settings, composition, light and right moment and much more. I also learned something about the difference between a good picture, a postcard picture, art and fine art – this is essential on my way to artist! It’s nice to return home with all these good feelings and memories.” Matti R, Finland. South Island Masterclass May 2017.
“I’m going over my images while waiting to depart from the Christchurch airport – what an amazing trip! Thanks so much for your instruction, sherpa and guiding, my images are so much better due to y’all. I really enjoyed my time spent with everyone, I could not have asked for better traveling companions.” Suzanne W, USA. South Island Masterclass May 2017.
“I have participated in a number of photo workshops both in the USA and overseas, and this particular trip is the best I have attended. Phillip has worked hard to develop a great itinerary for his guests, including good food and outstanding coffee. With only 6 participants, we were able to get to know everyone and develop a good camaraderie. Phillip is always ready with advice when in the field; I came home with a number of outstanding images. I definitely recommend Capture New Zealand.”
Eileen H, USA. South Island Expedition November 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“This was a great experience which had us visiting and photographing the best ‘authentic New Zealand’ locations utilising the best light. Phillip possesses a wealth of experience, skill and expertise which he is able to share with each individual photographer… a great deal of effort is made to ensure that each individual has their own needs and goals met; whether these be photographic or personal. Some people may ask is a trip like this worth the cost? My response would be if you are looking for a professional, impeccably organised way of photographing the South Island that provides the opportunity to improve your skills – all while travelling with fun, like-minded people; it is more than worth it and you would be hard-pressed to find better.”
Alan B, Australia. South Island Expedition November 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“I’ve attended multiple photography workshops in different countries, and Phillip is definitely one of the best photographers I’ve had the privilege to work with. Most photographers attend workshops to improve their compositional skills, as we’ve already mastered the use of our cameras. If this is what you’re looking for then you’ve found the right photographer/workshop. At each location Phillip gave individual attention to each photographer’s composition, giving advise and the rationale for it. Sometimes a small shift in the angle of the camera or stepping a little to the left or right can make or break your image, and a more experienced eye is needed to pick out the subtle nuances in your composition. I was amazed at Phillip’s compositional eye as he immediately saw what needed to be corrected when he looked at my LCD monitor. So if you’re looking for a photography workshop for New Zealand, look no further!”
Hilton C, USA. South Island Expedition November 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“This was one of the best photographic workshops I have ever attended any where in the world. Our leader, Phillip Bartlett, a professional Photographer from New Zealand, worked extremely hard to make sure we were at the most scenic vistas not known to the majority of tourists. He worked individually with each one of us to help get the best composition and taught us how to think outside of “the photographic box”. I highly recommend using Capture New Zealand with Phillip as your leader if you want to photograph the South Isalnd of New Zealand and improve your photographic skills at the same time.”
Dr Lawrence K, USA. South Island Expedition November 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“I had a delightful time travelling around the South Island with Phillip on the 2016 winter landscape photography workshop. Phillip is a superb landscape photographer; however, during the workshops, he almost never pulled out his camera. Rather, his focus was entirely on his guests to ensure that we got to the best locations at the best times to take the best possible shots of some pretty phenomenal landscapes.”
Mary Ellen C, Canada. South Island Winter Landscape July 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“We had a wonderful time with Phillip on the South Island of New Zealand, learning so much about taking landscape photography while enjoying ourselves immensely.”
Lorraine and Neil S, Australia. South Island Winter Landscape July 2016. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“Phillip Bartlett is an outstanding photography guide. He has in-depth knowledge of New Zealand and consistently took us to little known locations which enabled me to come home with many unique images of the stunning South Island landscape.”
Steve M, USA. Design Your Own, October 2015. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“In July 2015 I did my third trip with Capture New Zealand’s Phillip Bartlett and his assistant Cam. You can’t beat local knowledge and apart from seeing the many beautiful places which the average tourist never sees, travelling with Phillip and Cam was a lot of fun.”
Barbara K, Perth, Australia. South Island Winter Landscape, July 2015. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“First class all the way. Phillip Bartlett was outstanding in providing knowledgeable and valuable input to us on the landscape on the areas visited on the South Island.”
David M, Ontario, Canada. South Island Winter Landscape, July 2015. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“This was my second trip with Capture New Zealand Photography Tours, the first being two and a half years earlier. The guide is extremely knowledgeable with a keen sense of humor as well! From start to finish just a well run operation enabling a wonderful experience, highly recommended!”
David and Wipada, Bangkok, Thailand. South Island Winter Landscape, July 2015. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“Phillip Bartlett did a great job managing to provide a real kiwi experience and first class locations for those all important photographs. Whenever the weather looked like it was going to scupper us, Phil had a back up plan and a different location. This was my first photo tour so I having nothing to compare with. However I found the whole trip to be a great experience, most importantly I have improved as a photographer while having a great time.”
Philip Furr, North Island, New Zealand. South Island Icons, April 2015. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“My husband is the photographer and I am just learning. Phillip had suggestions for us both and I can honestly say that my pictures got better as the tour progressed. I am very happy with all aspects of this tour and really can’t recommend it enough to anyone who is interested in upping their photographic game in awe inspiring locales.”
Linda and Christopher Engell, Illinois, USA. South Island Expedition, November 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“I have to say this was one of the best photographic tours I have ever experienced. Phil’s love of his native country and his amazing photographic eye were obvious at every turn. He is down-to-earth, funny (even laughed at my jokes), and puts everyone at ease. My husband’s pictures are amazing and his composition improved daily due to Phil’s skill and patient suggestions while encouraging individual creativity to shine through.”
Nan and Greg Scott, Oregon, USA. South Island Expedition, November 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“I was looking for a photography tour that allowed me to learn and develop my photography skills in my own time, but also be able to draw on the experience of a professional photographer. Phil was more that… professional as well as patient and a genuine great guy! I could genuinely see the improvement in my photos throughout the tour thanks to Phil.”
Matthew Peters, NSW, Australia. South Island Expedition, July 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“Can’t rave enough! Great guide, great photographer and all around great guy.”
John Abramo, Florida, USA. South Island Expedition, July 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“My first trip with Phillip Bartlett from Capture New Zealand Photography Tours was the 12 day November/December 2013 South Island Photo Expedition. It was a fantastic trip. 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. His first and only priority was making sure we got the shots. His local knowledge, experience and advice were invaluable. I enjoyed my first trip so much I did the 8 day South Island Icons tour in April 2014 and it proved to be just as much fun. I have no hesitation in recommending Phillip to all who would like to see New Zealand with a top professional photographer, tour guide and genuinely nice guy who goes out of his way to make sure it is a happy and memorable experience.”
Barbara K, Perth, Australia. South Island Icons, April 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“New Zealand is one of the most photographically unique places in the world so why not tour it with photography in mind? This was our thought and we are glad we chose Phillip to do this. Not a tour for those wanting to sleep in because as every photographer knows, the best light is at sunrise and sunset, but if you want great photos, Phillip is your guy. Phillip knows where to go and when and tailors the trip to the weather to get the best from the tour. All accommodations are top notch. If you want great scenery and great photos, you can not do better in New Zealand.”
Bill McLaughlin and Barb Johnson, Oregon, USA. South Island Icons, April 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“New Zealand is truly an amazing place to visit if you are into landscape photography. You could spend days driving around looking for that iconic shot – why waste your time when Phillip has done all the homework for you. He knows exactly where to go and how to capture the perfect scene. Excellent accommodation, lots of yummy food and some great beer as well . Also having a small group made this trip a real treat, without any fuss. Looking forward already to catching up with Phillip again when I sign up for another tour!”
Sam Mariani, Melbourne, Australia. South Island Icons, April 2014. Sam’s Image Gallery.
“We took a tour with Phillip Bartlett of Capture New Zealand photography tours this past February 2014. This was definitely the best photo tour we have ever taken. We saw more than we could have imagined and got great images. However, the best part was the photo instructions, help, guidance….from Phillip. Not only does he know what and where and when to photograph New Zealand, he knows how to take photos and how to teach/help others get their best shots. We are planning on setting up another two week tour with Phillip in the coming year – Can’t wait!”
Lynette Kent and Rick Redfern, USA. Design Your Own, February 2014. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
My wife and I recently had the opportunity to experience Phillip Bartlett’s Capture New Zealand photography expedition of the South Island of New Zealand. Phil’s attention to detail and organisation was of a very high level, with nothing left to chance. The trip accommodated all levels of photographers, from amateur to very advanced. Phil’s local knowledge was invaluable as well as his ability to visualise a photograph. This ensured we had a high number of keepers. The friendship we had with the people on the trip is certainly a highlight and made the time we shared during the trip special. We had a great time and highly recommend any trip Phil is running.”
Jon and Carrie, Queensland, Australia. South Island Expedition, November 2013.
“This was without any doubt my best photography tour for the reasons described below. (a) I was looking at a combination of improving my photography and also sight seeing NZ, this tour delivered on both counts. First, being a local to NZ, Philip knew all the scenic places to visit in NZ (I did south island). Then with his photographic eye, he was able to get us at the right time of the day to enjoy the beauty. Philip was ready to share his expertise of photography and never held back on his knowledge of photography. I did see a marked improvement in my photography skill after this visit. (b) Was it fun? We had a great group of people which was well lead by Philip. He has a great sense of humour. As the leader of the troupe, he got the best of all of us (we were a group of 6 visitors). It was definitely a lot of fun with the group. (c) Logistics during the entire trip was perfectly planned, great hotels, good food and absolutely comfortable.”
Pankaj Rajurkar, Singapore. South Island Expedition, November 2013. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“I want to thank you for the South Island tour which you arranged for us. In addition to selecting spectacular locations, you knew just where and when we could capture the best photographs. While we would have certainly enjoyed New Zealand on our own, we would not have come home with outstanding images without your help. As you know, we hoped to combine our photography with a sampling of the luxury lodges and fine cuisine which are available in New Zealand. Thanks to your careful selection of accommodations and dining, our expectations in this regard were exceeded in every respect. We appreciate the effort you put into making our trip both memorable and productive. Your attitude was unfailing helpful, and we enjoyed traveling with you. In a world which generally over-promises and under-delivers, it is refreshing to meet an individual who does the opposite. We look forward to seeing more of New Zealand and to our next adventure with you.”
Robert Larson and Diana Barthauer, San Francisco, USA. Design Your Own, September 2013. Robert’s Image Gallery. Read the full review on TripAdvisor
“We’ve been photographing beautiful places around the world and have learned the value of having a professional photographer guide. We found Phillip Bartlett through the internet. The reviews on the site were positive, but you always wonder whether or not the guide will fulfill your expectations. Our expectations were simple: We wanted a guide to take us to great locations at the right time in good weather with magnificent light so that we could attempt to capture beautiful New Zealand. Phillip not only delivered, he exceeded our expectations. He knows New Zealand and he knows photography. In addition to capturing the beautiful land and seascapes of New Zealand with photos of which we’re proud, we learned more about photography from Phillip who was always ready to help without being overbearing. We highly recommend him as a photo guide when visiting the beautiful country of New Zealand. We not only left New Zealand with photos we’re proud to share, we acquired a friend. Thank you Phillip.”
Rainer and Julie Martens, Florida, USA. Design Your Own, March 2013. Rainer’s Image Gallery Julies’s Image Gallery
“Phillip was just great. Understands a photographer’s needs, knows the best times to be at a particular place for the shot, a real pleasure to be around, extremely well run operation. Look forward to returning and hooking up with Phillip again – very highly recommended!”
David Salmanowitz, Professional Photographer, Thailand. Dec 2012. Image Gallery
“Phillip’s knowledge of the best-secluded locations and best times to be at a location was invaluable; his knowledge was something you can’t get from a tour book. Phillip was willing to share his techniques on how to shoot a scene, which made an impact on my photography. His engaging personality, unique stories and information about the area kept us informed and made the time between shots enjoyable. I especially liked that he did not take his camera and devoted his time to assisting us whenever we asked for help. His knowledge of New Zealand and photography makes him an excellent tour guide. I hope to return to the beautiful country of New Zealand someday and will surely use Phillip as my guide.”
Pat Oberkfell, St. Louis, USA. Dec 2012. Image Gallery
“We rapidly came to appreciate Phillip’s quiet, but attentive style. He seemed equally content to stand back and let us do our own thing, or very willingly offer insights and guidance on how to approach the various photo opps that he presented us with. Our overall impression was that Phillip is first and foremost a fine photographer who really knows New Zealand and who puts a lot of thought into how he portrays the magnificent scenery of his homeland. He is also an effective mentor in the field. As a tour guide, we found him delightful – friendly and humorous, well organized and focused on our needs as his guests and clients. Phillip – thank you for a wonderful trip.”
David Wheeler and Anne Owen, USA. July 2012. Image Gallery
“The last shoot of the tour best describes my experience for the tour with Capture NZ. We hadn’t shot the sunrise like we usually did because Phillip wanted to take us to another place. We piled in the truck and off we went into the mountains. A couple of miles down the path, Phillip pulls to the side of the road and says “We’re here. Let’s set up for the shoot”. The rest of us looked at Phillip like he was crazy. “Here?”, we queried. “Are you sure?” He was adamant that this was the spot. We were quite skeptical because all around us was fog…thick fog. But we followed Phillip to the spot and set up our cameras, all the while questioning what we were here to photograph as we couldn’t see anything. About a half hour later, the sun burned through and revealed in front of us a mountain lake scene with wisps of fog lifting from the lake. And all of us got a gorgeous shot. With Capture NZ you’ll experience New Zealand with a personable and friendly guide who will always make sure your shots are spectacular. Trust him and you’ll always get your shot, even though it may not look like it at first. This guy knows what he is doing.”
Nancy C, USA. March 2012.
“He took us to several well off the track locations that there is no way I would have known about or ever found – but yielded spectacular photographs. The second is that he gave us room to work, but was always on hand for questions or queries. I like to work at my own methodical pace and don’t require photographic instruction – but I often did want to know how Phillip as a local saw the shot in his minds eye and where he felt it worked best based on his experience with the area. To this end he was extremely helpful and I owe him a debt of gratitude in this respect as it has contributed to the quality of shots I was able to get. Many photographers often think the best way to shoot a new location is on their own, but those of us who have been to a new area with a good guide know that there is no substitute for local knowledge. And that local knowledge saves a huge amount of time (and time is money) and contributes to images of far greater quality. To this end Phillip was nothing short of brilliant – a better guide could not be had.”
Joshua Holko, Professional Photographer, Australia. Read the full review on Luminous Landscape
“Your willingness to share your professional skills and talents, time and time again, was greatly appreciated. I know this was a BIG bonus to us, me in particular, over the entire three weeks. It took me more than a week to recuperate from the early mornings, late evenings, and go-go-go characteristic of the entire tour, but I have absolutely NO complaints. I never did feel like I was a “tourist” while in your care. Good food, outstanding wine, and exceptional companionship. We came, we saw, we did, we conquered (I think), and we returned home with real quality memories.”
Capt. Kirby Robinson, USA.
“I was particularly impressed by the care that Phillip took in encouraging me to ‘fine tune’ my choice of viewpoint in order to make the most of a location and maximise the impact of a shot. He was also very good at making sure my non-photographer partner was involved in everything (apart from getting up for the dawn) and made to feel included. His advice on the best wine to accompany a meal was also well worth following.”
Ken & Jean Prandy, UK.
“Over the last 30 years I have shot 35mm, medium format, and 4×5 large format films. I now shoot with a Canon 1Ds Mk III, and thus consider myself to be a fairly advanced amateur. It was therefore an added bonus that Phillip, a consummate professional, also taught me many new approaches to photography as I was capturing the stunning scenery of New Zealand. Phillip never tried to impose his own views on me, and probably would have kept his advice to a minimum if that had been my preference. But I encouraged the opposite, and it was an unexpected added bonus to the trip.”
Marty M, USA. Read the full review on Luminous Landscape
“With an exquisite countryside, photographic opportunities around each bend and a guide with a wonderful sense of humor we couldn’t have had more fun. We would unequivocally and without hesitation recommend Phillip to anyone looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in New Zealand.”
Ron & Donna Salett, USA.
“Phillip took me to some incredible locations, many of them very remote. The kind of stuff you don’t ever see in mainstream tour brochures. If I had tried to see all the places on the tour by myself with a rental vehicle I would have come up very short I think. Phillip’s local knowledge is extensive and on top of that, being a photographer he knows each location’s best time to be photographed. At certain points in the tour I felt rather overwhelmed with the sheer amount of photographic opportunities. I was definitely kept busy with shots to take.”
Dean Turner, Professional Photographer, Australia.
“Phillip’s organization was wonderful and the timing of the tides and light was just right. His knowledge of each area was very extensive. A fabulous guide!”
Wendy & Andy McIntosh, USA.
“I cannot imagine a better way to see New Zealand. Flawless.”
Prof. Chris Wills, USA
We currently have no negative feedback. Please check back again soon. Last updated 20 February 2019.