The workshop has been designed as the perfect introduction to the grandeur of the South Island, with every day carefully planned to give us the best opportunity to experience the quality of light photographers dream of. The variety of locations we photograph at includes Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, Central Otago, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Punakaiki, and the West Coast. Travelling by 4-wheel drive allows us to access remote backcountry areas well off the tourist track.
This expedition is suitable for all levels of photographer, from absolute beginner to seasoned professional. The emphasis of this workshop is to be out in the field photographing, which is why we do not have formal lectures or presentations, although we will have time for informal processing sessions as requested. The small-group environment allows plenty of time for one-to-one tuition and advice, making mastering new techniques and fine-tuning your skills a quicker process.
To ensure that we are well-rested after our day’s activities we stay in comfortable, modern lodgings which are well equipped. Meals are included as noted in the itinerary and are typical of New Zealand cuisine: fresh, local produce with choices to suit all tastes and appetites. If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
If photographing the majesty of the South Island with a small group of passionate photographers sounds like just what you are looking for, please use the links below to book your place or send us an enquiry. We look forward to sharing the wonders of the New Zealand landscape with you.
Day three TWIZEL – CROMWELL
Another very early start as we travel to a private-access location in the mountains for first-light photography. We then return to the township for breakfast. Later in the morning we depart Twizel to our next destination: the nearby town of Cromwell. A side trip along the way takes us offroad to a hidden mountain location and we spend the afternoon photographing here before continuing on to shoot the last light in the Lindis Pass, an area with rolling hills which glow in the afternon light as the native tussock catches the last rays of the day. We arrive at Cromwell in the evening. (BLD)
Day four CROMWELL – QUEENSTOWN
In keeping with tradition, we depart pre-dawn this morning to be up in the hills for sunrise on the expansive wilderness that surrounds us. After exploring this rugged location we return to the town for breakfast before departing for Queenstown, arriving in the early afternoon. We take a break before meeting up again for our evening shoot of the mountains over Lake Wakatipu. (BLD)
Day five QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND
Sunrise finds us up in the hills again as we shoot the first light of the day. After breakfast we travel south to the small town of Te Anau, which borders the Fiordland National Park, before travelling west through the park to Milford Sound. Along the journey we make stops to photograph dramatic mountain valleys carved out by glaciers, lush rainforest draped in mosses and lichens, and crystal-clear rivers. We arrive at Milford Sound in the afternoon and take a break before joining our late-afternoon boat cruise through the fiord. As well as shooting this incredible landscape of sheer mountains, cascading waterfalls and untouched coastline it is possible we will see seals and dolphins. At the end of the day we set up on the foreshore of the fiord hoping to catch a colourful sunset. (BLD)
Day six MILFORD SOUND – TE ANAU
After photographing Mitre Peak at sunrise we make our way back through the mountains to the lakeside township of Te Anau. After checking in to our accommodation we spend the rest of the day exploring the local area. (BLD)
Day seven TE ANAU – WANAKA
A pre-dawn start again to get us in position for sunrise in the mountains. We then continue to the Southern Lakes district and the town of Wanaka. After an early dinner we venture down to the lake edge to photograph the iconic Lone Tree. (BLD)
Day eight WANAKA – FOX GLACIER
We are down at the helicopter pad pre-dawn this morning for our private transfer up into the mountains to capture the spectacular sunrise views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. After breakfast we leave the lakes district behind us as we travel through the mountains and over to the West Coast, and our base for the next two nights: Fox Glacier. We arrive at the village of Fox Glacier in the late afternoon in time for the last light on the mountains. (BLD)
Day nine FOX GLACIER
This morning we will capture the first light at Lake Matheson, where on a still day the majestic Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Tasman and the Southern Alps are reflected in the tannin-stained waters. After breakfast we spend time in the rainforest photographing the luxuriant ferns and moss-covered trees found here. Following lunch there is time to relax in the village before we meet again in the afternoon to photograph the mountain surrounds as the sun sets. If the weather conditions are favourable we highly recommend taking an optional helicopter ride for some incredible aerial photography of the glacier’s seracs, pinnacles and the imposing peaks of the Southern Alps. (BLD)
Day ten FOX GLACIER – GREYMOUTH
Our last chance to photograph the first light in the mountains on the West Coast this morning. After breakfast we travel north to the coastal town of Greymouth. In the late afternoon we continue north to the Paparoa National Park and arrive at Punakaiki, where the force of the ocean has carved the coastline into fascinating rock sculptures. We set up at the Pancake Rocks area to shoot the last light of the day. (BLD)
Day eleven GREYMOUTH
We spend the day exploring the rugged Paparoa National Park coastline north of Greymouth, including a foray into the backcountry. This area is one of the best remaining examples of New Zealand coastal forest and is dominated by towering tree ferns and the endemic Nikau palm, giving a tropical feel to the landscape. Our sunset shoot finds us out of the coast again, capturing the last drops of light on this dramatic seascape. (BLD)
Day twelve GREYMOUTH – CHRISTCHURCH – DEPART
After breakfast we travel east through the Arthur’s Pass National Park to Christchurch, where our adventure began almost two weeks earlier. For those departing this afternoon we say farewell and safe travels. Accommodation for tonight can be arranged for guests who are leaving the following day. (B)
2018: SEPTEMBER 17 – 28
$9930.00 NZD per person double share
$1420.00 NZD single supplement
Deposit: $1000.00 NZD per person
All amounts are in New Zealand dollars.
Payments may be made by Internet Bank Transfer, International Bank Transfer, Visa or Mastercard credit cards.
Rebate Available: For payment made by direct bank transfer a one-time rebate of NZ$250.00 per person will be applied to the workshop fee balance invoice.
Photography guide services and in-field support
Accommodation for eleven nights
Milford Sound photography cruise
Doors-off helicopter flight at Fox Glacier
Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Department of Conservation National Parks and Reserves fees
All international air travel and domestic transportation within your home country
Any other travel services required to arrive at the workshop commencement location and all associated taxes, levies and insurances
Immigration, duty, passport and visa fees where applicable
Any personal items including alcoholic beverages, souvenirs and travel insurance
Click here for our Terms and Conditions.
▫ Aerial photography of Aoraki/Mt Cook
▫ Milford Sound photography cruise
▫ Lake Matheson and Fox Glacier
▫ 4WD access to remote backcountry areas
▫ Dark Sky Reserve astrophotography
▫ Queenstown and Glenorchy
▫ Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
“The best landscape photo experience I’ve had across four continents!”
J. Luttmer, USA
“Over the last 30 years I have shot 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 large format films, 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.”
M. McBroom, USA
“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.”
T. Cornish, UK
Just over twelve years ago I started guiding photographers and have been referred to as the most highly regarded landscape photography instructor in New Zealand. I believe this is because I know where the best coffee, and hot chocolate, is to be had no matter where we are.
The most valuable asset of digital photography, from a learning perspective, is being able to instantly assess each capture. This is immensely helpful when I am working with photographers to develop their individual style and master new techniques.
It is a privilege to share my enthusiasm for the New Zealand landscape with other passionate photographers. You are most welcome to join me on this awe-inspiring workshop.