New Zealand Photography Workshops and Photo Tours

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CaptureNew Zealand


Did a recent trip with Phillip and top notch from start to finish, have been on many many trips with him and there is a reason--extremely well planned, top notch subject matter, and lots of fun. Highly recommended.

David and Wipada Salmanowitz , USA.

Capture New Zealand (Phillip Bartlett) workshops are excellent. They are meticulously planned and everything is taken care of. There is always a plan B should a change in weather cause a change of location. Phillip makes sure you are always at the right place at the right time for maximum photographic opportunities. You will see beautiful places off the beaten track that you would never find on your own. Phillip gives expert professional guidance to every individual and ensures everyone is getting the best out of every location. I highly recommend these workshops. I have done 7 trips with Phillip and they are always great fun and informative. You will go home with unique images and great memories.

Barbara Knott, Australia.

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, USA.

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Phillip leads amazing trips. We spent 12 days touring the South Island and saw many of the iconic sights. And saw some unique landscapes, and had some unique experiences, which is Phillip's specialty. I would highly recommend traveling with Phillip for a quality photographic experience

Dale Grosbach, USA.

Read the review on Trip Advisor.

Capture New Zealand Photo Expeditions is organised and run by Phillip Bartlett, and the secret to his success is not in advising photographers on technical issues, but in knowing where the most stunning scenery is where, even if you only took photographs with your phone, the images are spectacular. However, if you are in need of specialised advice he is only too happy to provide it.
Serious landscape photographers will not be disappointed in joining one of Phillip's photographic expeditions.

Graham Bell, Australia.

I appreciate the professionalism with which Philip runs his business. Phillip provides expert photographic assistance tailored to the desires of each client. I was grateful for composition instruction exceeding anything I have received before. From arrival to departure, Phillip ensured a smooth and enjoyable experience. The accommodations were terrific, the food plentiful and delicious. And the coffee! What a treat the coffee was. The trip was a magnificent experience in terms of photographic opportunities and results. I hope to be able to join Phillip on a future adventure!

Billee Metz, USA.

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The South Island of New Zealand contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and being led around by someone so experienced in the terrain as well as reading the weather (I swear that Phillip works as a part-time meteorologist) gives you the best possible opportunities to capture amazing photographs. Phillip tailors his teaching style to your abilities and he has helped me a lot to refine the way I compose an image on the field. Being able to discuss and share ideas with a professional photographer throughout the workshop was invaluable - I now have a better sense of the overall aesthetic and style that I would like to put across in my work. Phillip has curated a list of accommodations that are comfortable, clean and spacious. There is always good food along the way and he knows where the best coffee and hot chocolate can be had. This was my first trip with Phillip and certainly not my last. I hope to join him for other adventures in the near future.

Patrick Lau, Singapore.

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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.

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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, Australia.

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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.

View Anne's image gallery.

I could not have been more delighted with the entire experience. I have been on a number of Photo Expeditions and Phillip's was up with the very best. Knowledgeable about technique and happy to share and about the ideal locations how to get there and when for location after location. An experience of a Life Time that I thought might never happen. If you can go with him - Do not hesitate. You are guaranteed a superb time.

Tremaine C, UK.

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I just returned from a wonderful photo trip to Indonesia with professional photographer Phillip Bartlett. This was my second time in Indonesia and third overall trip with Phillip Bartlett. Like every time before, everything was planned with meticulous detail. As always. Phillip worked hard behind the scenes to make sure all the domestic airline trips, hotel accommodations and transportation services ran smoothly. Again this was my third trip with Phillip and definitely won't be my last.

Dr Lawrence K, USA.

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 Rajukar, Singapore.

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, Australia.

The best international trips that we have taken. Phillip led us on two weeks of some of the great locations in Indonesia. Nights sailing on the Sunda Sea, sunrise at Padar, visits with the Komodo Dragons and the Orangutans of Kalimantan. This was our second trip with Phillip and he exceeded our expectations both times.

Dale Grosbach, USA.

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 Barker, Australia.

Read the review on Trip Advisor.

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 advice 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 Chen, USA.

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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 and Donna Salett, USA.

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.

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.

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, USA.

The beauty of New Zealand’s South Island treasures revealed, renown and hidden. New Zealand guide was professional, insightful, helpful and friendly. Accommodations were top notch!

JD Luttmer, USA.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, Australia.