Dates

September 5 – 17, 2020

13 days / 12 nights

Tuition

$7,495 USD Single Occupancy

New Zealand. Aotearoa. Land of the long white cloud. No matter what you call it, New Zealand will leave you speechless with the beauty of its mystical fjords, pristine beaches, and glacier-carved mountains. Join seven other adventurous photographers on the trip of a lifetime through the dramatic landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island. From the stunning grandeur of Milford Sound and the soaring peaks of Aoraki National Park to the unreal blues of Lakes Pukaki and Wanaka, this 13-day New Zealand Photo Tour will provide photographic opportunities on an epic scale. The photography will be incredible, the scenery breathtaking, and the memories will last a lifetime.

What’s new for 2020:

On last year’s trip to New Zealand we added an overnight cruise through Doubtful Sound, one of the most remote and wild places in the world. This rare and unique experience was a lifetime highlight for many of our participants, and more than a few of us were crying with joy at the beauty of this special place. But I began to think, how can we make our 2020 NZ trip even better??? And the answer was really simple: why drive to Milford Sound when we can FLY THERE! That’s right, we’re going to add another scenic flight that takes you over the most beautiful terrain in the world on the way in to Milford Sound. That means this trip includes two scenic flights, two stunning boat cruises (one overnight), wine tasting, and more cute baby sheep than you can count. Plus, we’re going to include more meals, even nicer accommodation (wanna sleep in a castle??), and a few other cool surprises. So join us for 13 days, 12 nights of incredible photography, delicious food, and fantastic company.

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Trip Highlights

new-zealand-photography-workshop

Milford Sound & Fiordland

Part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, Fiordland National Park comprises over 4,800 square miles of glacier-carved fjords and sounds, deep river valleys, and rugged peaks. One of the high points of Fiordland, Milford Sound, has been called the 8th wonder of the world. From a deep, tranquil bay Mitre Peak rises straight up over a mile high to present a truly breathtaking view. Abundant precipitation and sheer-walled mountains create two powerful year-round waterfalls and hundreds of ephemeral ones.

Sealy Tarns, Mt. Sefton, and Mt. Cook, Aoraki National Park, South Island New Zealand

Mt Cook & Aoraki National Park

An instructor favorite location, Mt. Cook / Aoraki National Park showcases beautifully braided rivers, iceberg-dotted lakes, and more than 70 named glaciers, including the Tasman Glacier, the country’s longest. It’s also home to New Zealand’s highest peak, Mt. Cook, whose Maori name, Aoraki, means “Cloud Piercer.” But for all its ruggedness, Mt. Cook National Park is highly accessible, and a few short tramps will put us in position for some prime photography.

Queenstown

Near Queenstown we will find glacial valleys, vast lakes, and steep mountains. Here the opportunities for breathtaking photography are limitless.

New Zealand Photography Workshop

Wanaka

Wanaka is a land of rolling hills, pastures, and idyllic scenes. Not to mention an enormous, gorgeous lake, alongside access to tremendous scenery in Mt. Aspiring National Park.

What to Expect

Expect the trip of a lifetime. Photographers will find NZ’s South Island to be a land of stunning beauty and wonderful photographic opportunities. The landscapes are dramatic, varied, and accessible. In addition to the photography, you will find New Zealand to be a charming country that’s easy to explore. The Kiwis are an extremely friendly people who are in love with their wonderful land. Prepare yourself for incredible scenery, stunning photos, and memorable experiences with our New Zealand photography tour. We will take advantage of the most spectacular sights on the South Island which contains some of New Zealand’s most dramatic and varied landscapes. We will photograph marvelous glaciers, soaring snow-capped peaks, breathtaking fjords, lush rain forests, and rugged coastlines.

Our New Zealand photography tour is for photographers of all experience levels, from novice to experienced. In short, this tour is for anyone who wants to explore and photograph stunning scenery with a fun group of like-minded people. The trip is limited to 8 participants for a small, personal feel. And there are two leaders, giving the tour a 4-to-1 ratio.

What’s the difference between a photo tour and a workshop?

This is a photo tour, meaning that we are focused on getting you to the right places at the right times to create amazing images. We don’t have any classroom time, there are no lectures, and we don’t spend any time in front of the computer forcing you to learn the latest complicated processing techniques. This trip is about having the best possible experience of New Zealand. That means in addition to shooting we are also enjoying fine meals together, going wine tasting, and allowing for down time so that you can stay rested and excited. This trip is FUN, not bootcamp.

In the field your leaders are 100% available to you to answer questions, provide guidance and feedback, and give you ideas of how to approach your photography. The trip leaders will also be shooting their own photos so that you can see the scene through their eyes.

Itinerary and Logistics

Getting to the tour

This tour meets and disbands in Dunedin, the second-largest city on New Zealand’s South Island. Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from the Dunedin Airport.

Transportation during the tour

Transportation is provided throughout the tour, from our first hotel until our return to Dunedin. Transportation during the tour will be in a comfortable coach capable of holding the entire group plus our photo gear and luggage.

Lodging

The tour includes 12 nights of high-end hotel lodging throughout the South Island. Single or double occupancy lodging choices are available.

New Zealand Photography Tour Itinerary

Our itinerary is organized to visit some of the most spectacular locations on the South Island. The tour is 13 days total: 11 shooting days book ended by an arrival day and a departure day. We’ll set a relaxed pace on the trip, with emphasis on shoots during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, with breaks in the middle of day for meals, optional side-trips, or transit between locations. NZ is a small country and most of our locations are only a 3 or 4 hour drive apart. Also note that nothing is mandatory on this tour and if you feel like taking a break from one of our scheduled stops just let us know.

Day 1, Arrival Day

Arrive in Dunedin. Meet at our group’s hotel for orientation and introductions. We will plan to relax in vibrant Dunedin this night to prepare for the upcoming tour.

Days 2 – 12

Our tour follows a rough counterclockwise loop out of Dunedin, first heading up to the iconic Moeraki Boulders for a sunset and sunrise. Next we’ll set off for three nights at Mt. Cook National Park, where rugged mountains and azure-blue lakes dominate the landscape. We’ll enjoy incredible, glacier-sculpted scenery from easy hikes in the park as well as our own, private flight-seeing tour and glacier landing. Next we will venture to Wanaka for two nights to enjoy the incredible scenery and hospitality of Wanaka and the Matukituki Valley. Sheep, wineries, elegant trees, delicious food, and massive lakes are on the itinerary for this stop. Then it’s a short drive to our next stop of Queenstown. This hip city is in one of the most beautiful locations in New Zealand, with towering peaks, glacial valleys, picturesque lakes, and other secret finds within easy access. We will have a planned rest day in Queenstown. After Queenstown we’ll enjoy an epic scenic flight into one of the most incredible parts of New Zealand: Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. There we will spend two nights drinking in the spectacular scenery of New Zealand’s largest national park, both by land and by a cruise through majestic Milford Sound. Then we’ll head to Manapouri for our overnight journey into Doubtful Sound, an experience that will leave you breathless.

Day 13, Last Day and Departure

On our last day we return to Dunedin around 7 pm and get ready for departure. Bid your new friends and fellow photographers goodbye and reminisce about an awesome tour.

Note: all times and dates in this itinerary are given for New Zealand in September, which will be GMT+13. When making flight bookings, please make sure the date you arrive in Dunedin coincides with our itinerary. We reserve the right to revise this itinerary at any time. For detailed trip information please contact me.

Weather

Note: dates and weather may change. September is early spring in NZ and mark the beginning of New Zealand’s transition from winter. Days will be mild and nights may be cold. Kiwis often claim their country can experience all four seasons in a single day, so participants on this tour should be ready for a variety of conditions from rain and snow to warm sun. Average temperatures at this time range between 35°F lows and 65°F highs (2°C – 18°C). Temperatures throughout the South Island will be relatively similar, with perhaps +/- 10°F (+/- 5°C) differences.

What you Need

Camera Gear

  • Digital SLR camera
  • Lenses. 16mm-200mm equivalent recommended.
  • A sturdy tripod
  • Comfortable camera backpack you can hike with
  • Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizer)
  • Remote shutter release
  • Extra batteries, charger, and memory cards
  • Creativity and a positive attitude

Recommended clothing

Due to variable conditions, we recommend bringing multiple layers of non-cotton clothing (Merino wool and fleece are highly recommended), a warm jacket and pants, a warm hat, gloves, warm socks, and sturdy footwear (waterproof boots or hiking shoes are recommended), with lighter layers for warm days. We also recommend bringing a windproof rain jacket and rain pants. Light colored clothing is recommended as mosquitoes and sandflies are attracted to dark colors. A wide-brim hat, sunglasses, and a large water bottle will also be indispensable. New Zealand experiences strong UV so sunscreen is also a must. Bug repellent is a great idea but we recommend buying it in New Zealand.

Highly recommended items

  • Camera rain sleeve
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Trekking poles

Fitness level

Our New Zealand Photography tour is appropriate for photographers of most fitness levels. We will walk approximately 2-5 miles over the course of each day of the tour. This includes walking on hilly, uneven, and slippery terrain. Walking in the mountains can be strenuous. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the tour.

Costs

  • Tour Fee – $7,495 USD

    • Includes Single Occupancy Lodging in 4- and 5-star hotels.
  • Lodging is included in the tour fee

    • Inquire about a reduced price for double occupancy lodging.

A deposit of $1000 required to reserve your spot. The balance is due 90 days before the tour. Payment is made via check or bank transfer. Payments made via credit card incur a 3% fee.

Costs in New Zealand

While not as expensive as Europe, New Zealand is still a first world country and travel costs should be expected accordingly. Currently the New Zealand dollar is worth about 66 cents US. Conversely, a US dollar is worth about $1.50 NZ. To help you plan your trip, here are some sample items and their cost in NZ dollars:

• Coffee – $4 NZD
• Fish and Chips – $7-13 NZD
• Dinner – $15-40 NZD
• Domestic Beer – $7 NZD

You should expect your total daily budget for meals to be in the $30 – $80 NZD range depending on your choices.

Also note that the internet, while widely available, is slower than in many Westernized countries. We will generally have access to wifi at our hotels but expect that it may not be available everywhere. In some places there may be a fee to access the internet.

What’s Included

  • An incredible tour of some the most photogenic sights of the incomparable South Island of New Zealand
  • Quality, professional, 1-on-1 photography instruction on par with your level as a photographer
  • All transportation during the tour
  • 12 nights of comfortable lodging at 4- and 5-star hotels
  • All Department of Conservation concession, entrance, and permit fees
  • Milford Sound boat cruise
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise
  • Mt Cook Scenic Flight and glacier landing
  • Scenic flight into Milford Sound
  • Some meals as indicated
  • Secret surprises along the way
  • Delicious, endless Kiwi snacks throughout the tour (can you say TimTams???)
  • A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
  • Small group size of 8 photographers maximum
  • Memories of a lifetime

What’s Not

  • International Airfare to New Zealand
  • Domestic transport / airfare to Dunedin
  • Meals as indicated, though the group often eats together throughout the tour
  • Personal items, souvenirs, passport/visa fees as applicable, and gratuities
  • Optional activities such as gear rentals, bungee jumping, etc.
  • Trip insurance

Cancellation Policy

For this tour a deposit is required to reserve your spot. If you cancel at any time, this holding deposit is non-refundable; however if we are able to fill your spot before the tour we will refund your holding deposit. If we cancel this tour for any reason, your entire registration fee will be transferred to another tour or refunded to you at your discretion. We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover your costs in case of cancellation or withdrawal. If you have a personal emergency such as a medical emergency or a death in the family, please contact us. We are willing to work with you to reschedule or refund your fee on a case-by-case basis. This tour requires a minimum of 5 participants. In the case of under-subscription we reserve the right to cancel the tour, in which case your registration will be transferred to another tour of your choosing. Or we may conduct the tour with a single instructor.

Helping Mother Nature Through Photography

Fully Insured and Permitted, Leave-No-Trace Advocates

We take pains to ensure our activities are 100% above board. We obtain all the necessary permissions and insurances required in order conduct our workshops.

We are also strong advocates of Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness ethics. We teach responsible photography practices and never sacrifice the environment for the sake of a photo. Our goal is to leave our photography workshop locations in better shape than the way we found them.

Carbon Offset and Planting Trees

We partner with the Give Back to Nature Project to plant trees to offset the carbon emissions generated by this tour. But we don’t stop there. In fact we plant enough trees to offset a further 50% of our emissions so that the tour ends up net carbon negative.

Fiordland Undaria Weed Removal

Did you know that there is an underwater weed threatening the health of Fiordland’s waterways? We donate a portion of the tour’s revenue to help remove this pest (called Undaria), and keeping Fiordland as pristine as possible.

Milford Sound, New Zealand, April 1st, 2015

Testimonials

Lee, Florida

“I participated in multiple scenic workshops with various professionals…this was my first experience with Josh and Jim…wow…logistics were perfectly executed, personalized instruction commensurate to my knowledge level and safety was always a priority. I am unsure how Josh and Jim arranged perfect weather conditions with sunrises that were glorious, rainbows, dramatic clouds, mist, mirror-like water and sunsets that were dramatic…this didn’t happen just on one day – this occurred consistently throughout the trip. Josh and Jim kept us supplied with Tim Tams and other goodies..I would recommend not only New Zealand for wondrous scenic photography but Sea to Summit Workshop as the best way to photograph the South Island…

So specific to the most amazing days — I enjoyed the bus rides interacting with my fellow photographers, sharing challenges and learning from each other. I dropped lens caps and they were found amazingly by others. I learned not to be concerned regarding light rain and look at each condition as another way of finding different expressions in capturing my scenic images. Most dramatic was the changing light and conditions of Milford Sound and the surreal sunrise at Lake Moke. What was most impressive that within a 3 hour ride we traveled to arid areas, to the Southern Alps, to Glacier Lakes, to beautiful rolling landscapes, to craggy cliffs over water and ocean.”

John, California

“I knew New Zealand’s South Island would be unique as my plane from Auckland descended over Lake Wakatipu toward Queenstown. Wisps of clouds clung to the peaks of rugged mountains like none I’d ever seen. The explosions of sunrise color at Moke Lake and Tautuku Bay were beyond description, not to mention the rainbow! Then there were the waterfalls surrounded by mossy green forests, and the ever-changing moods of Milford Sound. The whole itinerary was well-planned and Josh, Jim, and our Kiwi driver Reg worked tirelessly to keep the whole thing running smoothly. I certainly hope to get back to New Zealand one of these days!”

Gail and Gary, Australia

“What an amazing experience we had with Josh and Jim on this workshop. These guys are so generous with their time and knowledge it’s almost impossible not to have some very special memories as well as some terrific shots of the places you get to experience. Combine that with their awesome talent and you could not be in better hands.

I went on this workshop with a very basic (and I mean basic) knowledge of photography and a new camera I had never used before, both Jim and Josh worked with me patiently and shared their skill so I was able to feel more and more confidant through out the trip.

If you’re looking for an adventure where you can break out your camera, learn something new or refresh some skills that may have gone a bit rusty or just meet some people who share your passion, then this is exactly the place to be.

I look forward to and can’t wait to join Josh and Jim on another adventure very soon.”

Elisabeth, Austria

“The New Zealand workshop was beyond my expectations. Josh and Jim, I was wowed every day, thank you so much! The way the tour was put together was simply fantastic, I could feel how much passion and effort went into the process of making this tour possible. With Josh knowing New Zealand really well, sharing so many great photography locations with us, combined with knowing wonderful people/locals (thank you for our coach driver Reg!), cafes, restaurants and best chocolates, made this whole trip an unforgettable memory. The moment when Jim suddenly started to see southern lights and told me to look up to see the Aurora Australis was definitely a special moment. I was fortunate to join the workshop with my best friend, and we both loved each location as well as the camaraderie with all the workshop participants. My absolute favorite and my most memorable moment was arriving in Milford Sound. I have no words for the magic of Milford Sound, I would say, and can only recommend to others, to go there yourself in order to understand and feel the magic!”

Walter, Australia

“I couldn’t ask for any more than what got from the NZ workshop- amazing scenery, superb organisation, delightful fellow travellers and inspirational teachers Jim and Josh.”

Your Tour Leaders

Josh Cripps

Josh Cripps has been visiting New Zealand since 1998 and has spent over a year of his life traveling in, exploring, and photographing this amazing island nation. He even lived for a short time in the far north town of Kaitaia. He’s been chased by seals at Arnott Point, eaten the best whitebait sandwich in the country, and explored ice caves in the west coast glaciers. Josh thinks New Zealand’s South Island is quite possible the most beautiful chunk of land on the planet and relishes every minute he spends there.

Special Guest Leader TBA

Stay tuned for our announcement on who this special trip leader will be. 🙂

Why Choose Us

Spectacular Locations
Our workshops combine the very best scenery we can find along with in-depth knowledge of the areas we’re visiting. From the coast to the mountains to the desert, our workshops visit some of the most breathtaking landscapes you can imagine. And with hundreds of hours spent scouting and shooting in each location, we know the best times to visit, the best things to see, and the best shots to get. Plus we’re constantly adding new and cool locations to our line-up so you can keep expanding your photographic horizons.

1-on-1 Instruction at Your Level
We take a three-tiered approach to our photography instruction: Philosophy. Theory. Technique. This means that no matter what level of photographer you are, you can expect to walk away from a workshop with your head bursting with ideas about how to refine your vision and find your own style, an understanding of camera techniques and composition concepts that will springboard your photography, and the actual “How-To” of nailing a shot in the field. And with our relaxed, casual, 1-on-1 approach, you can soak up just the information YOU need to become a better shooter.

Small Class Size
Our international workshops have a 12 person maximum to insure you get ample one-on-one time with the instructors. Our small groups also help us build camaraderie, plus we can go places big photography tours can’t. And with two instructos running every single workshop, there’s never more than 6 students for every instructor.

A “Go Happy or Go Home” Attitude
We believe that photography is as much about enjoyment as it is about scoring a keeper for your portfolio. We create a fun and dynamic environment where you can meet other photographers, learn at your own pace, enjoy the beauty of nature, and have a great time while doing it.

We Never Stop Scouting
We’re never content to rest on our laurels. Before and after every workshop we are scouting, scouting, scouting. Whether it’s to find new and exciting locations to shoot or to provide a different view of the old icons, we strive to show you the absolute best places for photography.

Fully Insured and Permitted, Leave-No-Trace Advocates
We take pains to ensure our activities are 100% above board. We obtain all the necessary permissions and insurances required in order conduct our workshops.

We are also strong advocates of Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness ethics. We teach responsible photography practices and never sacrifice the environment for the sake of a photo. Our goal is to leave our photography workshop locations in better shape than the way we found them.

Questions About This Trip?

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    Monitor Color vs Print Color
    Unless you own a color-calibrated monitor, chances are your print will look slightly different than the photo you see on your screen. Be assured that I make every effort to have each print look as beautiful as possible. If you need to match a print’s colors exactly, please contact me to arrange a test proof.

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    For your convenience I offer three choices for payment:

    • Credit Card
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    Positive SSL-Secured WebsiteYou will be invoiced after your order is received. All credit card and PayPal transactions are done via secure payment gateways to protect your personal information. And this site is secured with SSL encryption so that even your mailing address and email are transmitted securely.

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  • Order a Print

    Ordering prints is easy. Simply select a print type, then choose the size and your preferred payment method. Hit ORDER and your order is sent to me directly. I will invoice you for the order total and then get to work creating your print!

    ~Josh


    josh2-web2

    100% Satisfaction Guarantee

    I want buying art online to be a zero hassle, zero uncertainty experience, so I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all my prints. I personally inspect and sign every single print before it ships and I guarantee it will look amazing when you receive it. Nevertheless, if you don’t love your print, I will refund your payment completely and cover the cost of return shipping.

    FREE Shipping on Every Order

    I provide free domestic shipping to all orders placed within the continental United States. Depending on the size of the print ordered this often goes for Hawaii and Alaska as well. International orders will be charged shipping at the lowest possible rate. Any shipping charges will be shown on the order invoice for your approval.

    Monitor Color vs Print Color
    Unless you own a color-calibrated monitor, chances are your print will look slightly different than the photo you see on your screen. Be assured that I make every effort to have each print look as beautiful as possible. If you need to match a print’s colors exactly, please contact me to arrange a test proof.

    Payment and Security

    For your convenience I offer two choices for payment:

    • Credit Card
    • PayPal

    You will be invoiced after your order is received. All credit card and PayPal transactions are done via secure payment gateways to protect your personal information. And this site is secured with SSL encryption so that even your mailing address and email are transmitted securely.