Timed to photograph New Zealand in the peak of its winter beauty, this workshop covers an impressive variety of awe-inspiring South Island landscapes. We have allocated extended stays in key regions to allow an unhurried approach to our photography. Our bases are also strategically chosen to give us multiple shoot-location options based on the weather conditions. In July, snow-draped mountain ranges abound and the soft, clear winter light offers excellent shooting conditions. The weather at this time of the year is generally settled and temperatures are mild when compared to Northern Hemisphere winter conditions. Every day has been planned to give us the best opportunity to experience the quality of light photographers dream of. We will be photographing many of New Zealand’s noted iconic landscapes, including Aoraki/Mt Cook and the Southern Alps, Moeraki Boulders, Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Punakaiki, plus a selection of secret locations, which most tourists, and New Zealanders, do not know about. Travelling by four-wheel drive vehicles allows us to explore spectacular backcountry locations well off the tourist track, and the doors-off helicopter aerial shoot we will be doing at Fox Glacier has left previous participants overwhelmed by the images they captured.
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 easy and enjoyable.
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.
We look forward to sharing the wonders of the New Zealand landscape with you.
Day one CHRISTCHURCH – TWIZEL/AORAKI MT COOK NATIONAL PARK
We meet again this morning to begin our South Island adventure. After breakfast 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 early afternoon and get settled in before going out for our last-light shoot of the Southern Alps and Aoraki/Mt Cook in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. (LD)
Day two TWIZEL
We leave our lodging pre-dawn to be in position for sunrise on the Southern Alps mountains. We will work the landscape in this area before returning for breakfast. In the afternoon we are out in the field again to shoot the mountains in the late light. (BLD)
Day three TWIZEL – NORTH OTAGO
Another early start for our last sunrise shoot in this area before 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. After breakfast we 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 spend the entire day in the Milford Sound area of the Fiordland National Park today, photographing dramatic mountains carved out by glaciers, lush rainforest and crystal-clear rivers. A boat cruise through the fiord is also included. We then return to Te Anau, arriving in the late evening. (BLD)
Day six TE ANAU
Pre-dawn we depart for a hidden backcountry region, where the spend the day photographing lakes, mountains and high country tussocklands. We return to Te Anau in the early evening. (BLD)
Day seven TE ANAU – WANAKA
We set up on the shores of Lake Te Anau for our sunrise shoot and following breakfast we travel north through Central Otago as we make for another lake town: Wanaka. We arrive in the early afternoon and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy. (BLD)
Day eight WANAKA
We depart pre-dawn this morning and drive up into the hills to photograph the first light on the ruggedly-beautiful terrain found in this region. After breakfast we take a break before departing in the afternoon for our last-light shoot in the mountains. (BLD)
Day nine WANAKA – FOX GLACIER
Another very early start, so that we are in position well before sunrise to photograph the famous Lone Tree. After breakfast we leave the lakes district behind us as we travel through the Haast Pass, over to the West Coast and our base for the next two 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 ten FOX GLACIER
At first light we take a private-chate helicopter flight for doors-off aerial photography. We will fly up the Fox Glacier shooting the blue-ice formations of the upper glacier and seracs before continuing on to photograph the majestic Southern Alps. 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 eleven FOX GLACIER – GREYMOUTH
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 travel north to the coastal town of Greymouth. We take a short break to refresh before driving along the coast to the Punakaiki area for our last-light shoot. We then return to Greymouth to enjoy a relaxed farewell dinner together. (BLD)
Day twelve GREYMOUTH – CHRISTCHURCH – DEPART
After breakfast we depart for Christchurch. Our road takes us through the Southern Alps and we make brief stops along the way to photograph the stunning alpine scenery. We arrive at Christchurch Airport in the early afternoon in time for your departing flight. (B)
Note: The weather in 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 photographic opportunities will be.
2019: July 23 – August 2
$9930.00 NZD per person double share
$1270.00 NZD single supplement
Deposit: $1500.00 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.
Photography guide services and in-field support
Accommodation for eleven nights 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.
▫ Explore six National Parks
▫ Milford Sound photography cruise
▫ Aerial photography of Aoraki/Mt Cook
▫ 4WD access to wilderness areas
▫ Dark Sky Reserve astrophotography
▫ Lake Matheson and Fox Glacier
▫ Moeraki Boulders
“The trip with Phillip was extraordinary and delivered excellent value regardless of skill level.”
B. Pullein, NZ
“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.”
E. Hartmann, USA
“Phillip possesses a wealth of experience, skill and expertise which he is able to share with each individual photographer.”
A. Barker, Australia
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 incredible workshop.