On this very popular Landscape Masterclass we will be photographing in the style of a professional landscape photographer, setting ourselves up with ‘base camps’. This means we stay in areas which offer exceptional photography in all directions, allowing us to select our shoot locations based on the prevailing weather. This approach will give us the best possible chance to capture professional-quality imagery. To access the remote wilderness areas we will be photographing in we travel by 4-wheel drive vehicles and helicopters, to where few others, both visitors and New Zealanders alike, have been. Our shoots will be concentrated in the mountain regions of the MacKenzie country, the Fiordland National Park and the West Coast, with a side-trip to the East Coast.
This Masterclass workshop is about maximising our time photographing. There will be no formal classroom sessions or lectures and no formal instruction. Rather, the leaders and participants will work side by side, sharing their knowledge, vision, philosophy and experience together in the field. We want you to make great photographs and therefore the emphasis is on being out in the field when the light is best. We are always on hand for any advice or instruction you may need and we will work together as a team. This expedition is for dedicated landscape photographers who are willing to work for their images. The small group size of only six participants guarantees a more personal and intimate experience than bigger tours can provide.
This is a unique opportunity to travel and photograph with two highly experienced professionals who have a combined total of more than 30 years in landscape and nature photography. You’ll be spending 12 days with others who are just as passionate about photography as you are – having a lot of fun along the way!
The workshop runs for 12 days (11 nights). We will be staying in good hotels which are functional and clean. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included as detailed in the itinerary. However, this workshop masterclass is all about photography and we will be prioritising being out in the field shooting over eating meals at set times each day. We may, on occasion, need to take food and drink with us into the field, to ensure we are in position to take advantage of the light. There will be some moderate hiking on uneven ground and a reasonable level of fitness is recommended, so that you can carry your camera gear comfortably. There is no obligation to participate in any hikes and every effort will be made to accommodate any requests.
We welcome all levels of photographer to join us on this workshop, however guests who have an understanding of their camera and photographic technique will benefit the most from this trip.
Note: The weather in the South Island of New Zealand is subject to frequent change. We reserve the right to make last-minute changes to the itinerary to both avoid bad weather and to take advantage of good weather and light, as the elements permit. Our intention is to assess the prevailing weather and light conditions to determine where the best opportunities for dramatic images will be.
Day two TWIZEL
We leave our lodging pre-dawn and travel up into the mountains to be in position for the first light. We will work the landscape in this area as the sun rises before returning for breakfast. In the afternoon we drive deep into the heart of the MacKenzie wilderness to photograph where few others have ventured. This part of New Zealand’s South Island offers us incredibly unique photographic opportunities in a remote wilderness location. (BLD)
Day three TWIZEL – NORTH OTAGO
Another early start to shoot sunrise in this spectacular alpine area. After breakfast we depart for the open spaces on the east coast. We arrive in the afternoon and, after taking a short rest, load up our long lenses for photography of the endangered Hoiho (Yellow-eyed penguin), which come ashore in the late afternoon after a day fishing at sea. These fascinating and very rare birds are so-called by Maori because of their distinctive high-pitched call. (BLD)
Day four NORTH OTAGO – TE ANAU
Sunrise this morning finds us on the beach shooting the other-worldly and alien Moeraki Boulders, unusual spherical rock formations embedded in the sand. This peculiar natural phenomenon is contrasted beautifully by the wide-open expanse of the Pacific Ocean. We then leave the coast and make our way west to the lakeside town of Te Anau, located on the fringe of the Fiordland National Park. We arrive here in the late afternoon. (BLD)
Day five TE ANAU
We take a privately-chartered helicopter into the Fiordland National Park to photograph this incredible environment. Depending on the weather this will either be in the morning or afternoon. The area we will be visiting is only accessible by helicopter or by multi-day arduous mountain hiking and climbing, using only topographical maps as a guide. The landscapes we will experience here are only ever seen by a privileged few. We will make our shoot plans for the remainder of the day once we know the timing of our helicopter trip. (BLD)
Day six TE ANAU
We spend a full day in the Milford Sound area of the Fiordland National Park. We will be photographing dramatic mountains carved out by glaciers, lush rainforest draped in mosses and lichens, crystal-clear rivers and finishing with sunset on the Milford Sound foreshore, shooting Mitre Peak. We then return to Te Anau, arriving in the late evening. We will also take a cruise up the Sound to photograph cascading waterfalls and precipitous mountains that plunge hundreds of metres into the ocean. (BLD)
Day seven TE ANAU – WANAKA
A relaxed start to the day after a week on the go. For those who would like, there will be a sunrise shoot on the shores on Lake Te Anau. After breakfast we travel north through Central Otago as we make for another lake town: Wanaka. We arrive in the early afternoon and leave soon afterwards for our shoot location in the hills. (BLD)
Day eight WANAKA – FOX GLACIER
Dawn finds us on the shores of Lake Wanaka photographing the famous Lone Tree. After breakfast we leave the lakes district behind us as we travel over to the West Coast and our base for the next three nights: Fox Glacier. Along the way we will stop to photograph forest, waterfall and coastal scenery. We arrive at the village of Fox Glacier in the early evening. (BLD)
Day nine FOX GLACIER
At first light we are up in the helicopter, but this time it’s doors-off aerial photography. Prior to this shoot we will give a briefing on camera settings, lens choice and how to photograph successfully from a chopper. The flight path will run up the Fox Glacier, over the blue-ice formations of the upper glacier and seracs before continuing on to the majestic Southern Alps and the peaks of Mt Tasman and Aoraki/Mt Cook. After returning to base we enjoy a relaxed breakfast and then explore a nearby rainforest, the perfect place for contemplated macro photography. We then break until late afternoon, when we drive to our location to photograph the last light on Mts Aoraki/Cook and Tasman. (BLD)
Day ten FOX GLACIER
Another doors-off aerial shoot has been scheduled for today, so that the lessons learnt from yesterday’s heli flight can be used to improve the quality of the images you capture. We will make our day’s shoot plan once we know the timing of the flight.(BLD)
Day eleven FOX GLACIER – GREYMOUTH
This morning we will capture the first light at Lake Matheson, where on a still day the majestic Southern Alps are reflected in the tannin-stained waters. After breakfast we depart Fox Glacier and travel north towards the coastal town of Greymouth. We photograph the last light of the day at a nearby coastal location. (BLD)
Day twelve GREYMOUTH – CHRISTCHURCH
After breakfast we make our way coast to coast, journeying through the spectacular Southern Alps, and back into Christchurch. Along the way we will stop to photograph the mountain scenery. We arrive into Christchurch in the early afternoon. (BL)
2018: APRIL 30 – MAY 11
AUD$14,980.00 per person twin share
AUD$1310.00 single supplement
All photography guide services
Accommodation for eleven nights
Milford Sound photography cruise
Two Fox Glacier private helicopter charters (doors removed for photography)
Helicopter access in to the Fiordland National Park
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Department of Conservation National Parks 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
▫ Explore 6 National Parks
▫ Aerial photography of Southern Alps
▫ Helicopter into Fiordland wilderness
▫ Milford Sound photography cruise
▫ 4WD access to backcountry areas
▫ Dark Sky Reserve astrophotography
▫ Advanced landscape photography techniques
“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.”
A. Bulato, Switzerland
“I learned a lot about camera settings, composition, light and right moment and much more. I also learned about the difference between a good picture, a postcard picture, art and fine art – this is essential on my way to artist!”
M. Rauvala, Finland
“What an amazing trip! Thanks so much for your instruction, my images are so much better due to you both.”
S. Williams, USA
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 and many workshop participants have become friends and repeat clients. You are most welcome to join me on this workshop.
Joshua studied with distinction at the Australian Photography Studies College and the Australian College of Journalism. He is a fully accredited member of the (AIPP) Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and an awarded Master Photographer.
In 2015 Joshua was named Global Arctic Photographer of the Year with 5 medals across multiple categories. You are welcome to join Joshua on a photographic trip of a lifetime to one of the most magical destinations on this planet.