New Zealand's South Island Summer Workshop Report

February 15 - February 26, 2014

Late February 2014 I returned home from a brand new Summer workshop to the South Island of New Zealand with my good friend Phillip Bartlett. Our workshop took us on a photographic journey into ‘Middle Earth’ – The spectacular South Island of New Zealand. In case you have not seen the Lord of the Rings movies, the South Island of New Zealand is home to some of the most spectacular scenery and landscapes in the world. It is no co-incidence that Peter Jackson chose the South Island of New Zealand to film the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings movies. Perhaps nowhere else in the world can one see and photograph precipitous alpine mountains plunging into temperate rain forest and wild ocean beaches in so short a space. New Zealand is home to an incredibly diverse range of subject matter in a small island. Glaciers, waterfalls, spectacular valleys, imposing mountain ranges and black pebble beaches. It is an island of ever changing weather and spectacular light conditions. It is a country made for photography. Our workshop took us on an eleven night / twelve day odyssey around the South Island to many of its iconic locations and some of its lesser known gems. During our travels we experienced some incredible weather and light as well as some fantastic landscape and wildlife photography opportunities. Two of the main highlights of this workshop included a privately chartered helicopter flight with the doors removed for photography over Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and the awe inspiring Southern Alps and a privately chartered boat in Kaikoura to photograph Albatross and playful Dusky Dolphins. Both of these experiences were regarded by all on this trip as once in a lifetime and not to be missed.