Join professional New Zealand landscape and nature photographer Phillip Bartlett as we photograph the spectacular South Island winter landscape on this exciting 12-day workshop.

South Island Winter Landscape 12 Day Workshop

With a maximum of only six participants, travelling in two modern four-wheel drive vehicles, this workshop has been timed to photograph the South Island in the peak of its winter beauty. Snow-draped mountain ranges abound and the soft, clear winter light offers excellent shooting conditions. The weather in the south at this time of the year is generally settled and temperatures are mild when compared to Northern Hemisphere winter conditions. We have planned every day to give us the best opportunity to experience the quality of light photographers dream of. We will be photographing at an extensive variety of locations including Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, Moeraki Boulders, Queenstown, Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Punakaiki, and Kaikoura. Travelling by four-wheel drive allows us to access remote backcountry areas well off the tourist track.

This workshop is suitable for all levels of photographer, from absolute beginner to seasoned professional. The emphasis of this trip is to be out in the field photographing, which is why we do not have formal lectures or presentations. Phillip is always on hand to assist with advice and instruction, and the small-group environment allows plenty of time for one-to-one tuition. A big plus with limiting the group size to only six participants is that we work together as a team, and there is an openness in sharing ideas and techniques. Non-photographer partners are most welcome to be a part of the workshop, with the option to join shoots as preferred.

The workshop runs for 12 days (11 nights). We will be staying in good lodgings which are functional and clean. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included as detailed in the itinerary. However, as this workshop is all about photography 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 may 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.

If photographing the magical winter scenery 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.

GUEST FEEDBACK from the July 2015 Workshop:

“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. 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. 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. Read the full review on TripAdvisor


Our adventure starts this morning as we depart Christchurch heading for Twizel, South Canterbury. The MacKenzie area is surrounded by spectacular mountains and lakes, and is adjacent to the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand’s highest peaks. We arrive at our lodging in the mid-afternoon and get settled in before going out for our evening shoot of the Southern Alps and Aoraki/Mt Cook. (L)

Day two TWIZEL
We leave our lodging pre-dawn to be in position for the first light on the mountains. We will work the landscape in this area as the sun rises before returning for breakfast. Following breakfast we are out in the field again exploring this rugged terrain. We return for lunch and a break, departing for the mountains again for the late afternoon light and sunset. (BL)

Another chance to photograph sunrise on the mountains before we depart, and travel south towards Wanaka. A side trip takes us offroad to a superb mountain location and we spend time shooting this area before continuing on to Wanaka, arriving in the early evening. (BL)

Day four WANAKA
We get down to the heli-pad pre-dawn this morning and are transferred up into the mountains to capture the spectacular sunrise views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. After breakfast we drive into the mountains for a morning of spectacular autumn-colour shooting. We return to the town for lunch before departing to a remote location for our last-light shoot of the expansive Central Otago countryside. (BL)

Just for a change we are up even earlier this morning as we drive up into the hills in time for the first light. This rugged environment is marked by other-wordly rock tors set amongst fields of golden tussock and provides expansive views of the surrounding mountains. After photographing here we travel to a nearby town for breakfast, before continuing on to Te Anau, to check in to our lodgings. In the afternoon we drive to a hidden wilderness location, where we will spend most of the afternoon photographing. We return to Te Anau in the early evening. (BL)

We spend the 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, and crystal-clear rivers. We finish the day with sunset at Milford Sound. (BL)

After photographing Mitre Peak at sunrise we take a boat journey along the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea. As well as shooting this incredible landscape of sheer mountains, cascading waterfalls and untouched coastline it is possible we will see seals and dolphins. After our cruise we make our way back through the mountains to Queenstown. We arrive at Queenstown in the mid-afternoon and take a break before setting up on the shores of Lake Wakatipu for our sunset shoot. (BL)

Our last pre-dawn start as we travel along the road to Glenorchy to photograph the spectacular mountain, lake and autumn landscapes found in this area. In the late morning we return to Queenstown to prepare for our travel home. (B)


Born in Nelson, at the top of the South Island, I am a professional New Zealand landscape photographer. When I first started photographing I worked with medium-format panoramic equipment. Anybody who has photographed with, or is still using, medium or large format analog cameras, where everything from film loading to scene metering is manual, will agree that mastery of field technique is essential for producing quality images. Learning the craft of landscape photography this way gave me a solid base which made the transition to digital imaging simple. My philosophy is to produce works from a single-frame capture, with the equivalent of traditional techniques, and minimal aesthetic adjustments if required, applied in post-process.
Since pioneering New Zealand’s first photography workshop company in 2005, I have been privileged to guide, and teach, photographers from around the world, from absolute beginners to respected professionals. In-depth knowledge of the New Zealand landscape, coupled with my understanding of seasonal conditions and weather nuances is the reason why our guests enjoy so many excellent photo opportunities. You are welcome to join this workshop as we photograph some of the South Island’s most spectacular landscapes.


2017: APRIL 17 – 24

NZ$6130.00 per person double share
NZ$830.00 single supplement
Deposit: NZ$1000.00 per person

Deposit payment may be made by Internet or International Bank Transfer, Visa or Mastercard credit cards.

Balance of invoice payment may be made by Internet or International Bank Transfer, Visa or Mastercard credit cards.

Rebate Available: For payment made by direct bank transfer a one-time rebate of NZ$130.00 per person will be applied to the workshop fee balance invoice.


Photography guide services and in-field support
Accommodation for seven nights
Helicopter transfer at Wanaka
Milford Sound photography cruise
Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch)
Department of Conservation National Parks concession 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.