New Zealand: Autumn in Landscape Paradise

Join Marc for a small-group, exclusive 10 day journey through one of the most beautiful places on the planet, New Zealand’s South Island. There will be warm autumn colors against stunning glaciated mountains, seacoasts, lakes, alpine meadows, towering peaks, waterfalls and more. The workshop will start in the Canterbury High Country, west of Christchurch, filled with remote lakes and rivers around Arthur’s Pass. The photographic journey will then move southwestward, to Wanaka and the Mackenzie Basin, a high-country landscape featuring glacial lakes, rivers, and the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps within Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park.  And we end in Queenstown, in the southwest corner of the South Island. This area is famous for its glorious display of fall colors, and is bordered by Fiordland National Park, a UN World Heritage area and home to the extraordinary natural wonder that is Milford Sound. Marc will be joined and assisted by New Zealand local pro photographer and guide, Neil Protheroe.

This is a photographic workshop, and you can expect to learn or reinforce techniques and skills in composition, the art of seeing, proper exposure in the landscape, shooting for natural HDR, panoramas, night photography, and more. We will be providing daily instruction both in the field and in the classroom. Expect to be up each morning before sunrise and out each evening after sunset. With dark night skies during our workshop, you can expect to be out late at night, too! We’ll feature our extremely popular image reviews and Lightroom processing tips as much as possible during the workshop. This workshop is for any level of photographer, and non-photographing significant others are welcome! There are no strenuous hikes or climbs on this workshop, but you should be able to walk a mile comfortably, and carry your photography gear.


New Zealand




May 2 - 12, 2016

Fitness Level:

Medium, some
short hikes

Your Pros:

Sold Out

To be able to take the photograph of a lifetime at Mount Assiniboine was an experience that I will never forget. As if that wasn’t enough, I picked up some extra tips from Marc and Andy on post processing that have helped me turn the photograph into an amazing piece of artwork. I will forever be grateful to them for making one of my photography dreams come true.
— Joe Filer, Canadian Rockies '14

Itinerary and General Information

Days 1-2:

We are based out of The Bealy Hotel, in the heart of Moa Country, a peaceful mountain setting in the heart of this area featuring Arthur’s Pass. Here we expect to photograph Lake Pearson, Castle Hill, the Waimakariri Valley, Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall, and more.

Days 3-4:

A scenic drive to Mackenzie Country, through Burke’s Pass, Lake Tekapo, and onwards to our base in Twizel. Our three days here will offer us the opportunity to shoot at Lake Alexandrina, the famous Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, and at night, the spectacular sky over Mackenzie Basin, the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve. We will photograph Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain peak, 3,724m/12,218ft) from a number of view points, including Hooker Lake, Tasman Glacier, Lake Tasman, and the Tasman Valley. Here too, we’ll be able to capture the beautiful autumn colors of Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park, against the turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki.

Days 5-6: 

A short drive from Twizel to Wanaka, stopping at Lindis Pass, a desolate alpine area of tall, tussock-covered mountains. Around Wanaka we will visit nearby Albert Town and photograph the glorious fall colors of the parkland trees around the Clutha River. We will venture into the back country towards Mount Aspiring National Park and along the Matukituki river, and visit Rippon Vineyard, with its unrivalled and spectacular views over Lake Wanaka. And no visit to Wanaka would be complete without photographing the famous ‘lone tree’ at Roy’s Bay. We will be based at the Grand Mercure Oakridge hotel.

Days 7-10:

A short drive across the Crown Range takes us to Queenstown, where we will be based at the Queenstown Mercure Resort hotel, overlooking Lake Wakatipu. From here, we will be well situated to get to the great landscape opportunities that are nearby.

We’ll shoot sunrise lakeside at Lake Wakatipu, and later get spectacular panoramas overlooking the lake from Bennet’s Bluff, with the snow-capped peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park in the background. We’ll visit and photograph in Glenorchy, a frontier village at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu that is surrounded by mountains, glacial rivers and beech forest. We’ll spend time at Paradise and Kinloch, famous for its lakes, forests and the Dart River, which were all featured in the Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy.

We’ll take our private helicopter excursion to Milford Sound, in Fiordland National Park. Part of a World Heritage site and described by Rudyard Kipling as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", we will have an exclusive opportunity to photograph the classic shoreline view of Milford Sound, including the famous Mitre Peak, which rises to 1,692m above the Sound. Our helicopters will then take us to two further landing sites above the Sound, offering a unique perspective of this fascinating landscape, and an unforgettable experience for us as photographers

During our time here, we will spend a morning shooting the autumn colors in Arrowtown, where we have several subject opportunities within the town, surrounding hillsides and along the meandering Arrow River. We hope to be there at the time of peak colors, the area should be alive with bright yellow, orange, and crimson leaves on the abundant trees.

We will photograph sunrise from Coronet Peak Road, with its dramatic view across Arrowtown toward Queenstown, dominated by the Remarkables mountain range. Later, we’ll take a private 4WD safari into Macetown, an historic gold mining settlement. Access is by 4WD vehicle only, we will cross the Arrow River at least 20 times to get there! Our afternoon on day 3 will be spent shooting at Lake Hayes and Speargrass Flat Road - majestic forests and lakes with mountain views.

We will feature in-depth image reviews and Lightroom tricks and tips this afternoon. In the evening, we’ll take a Gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, for a beautiful post-sunset view over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and The Remarkables.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! There will be an optional 5-day pre-trip, starting on the evening of April 27th, 2016, and we’ll base out of Kaikoura, staying at the intimate Manakau Lodge and another lodge nearby. Here we’ll have the opportunity to shoot fur seal colonies on the beach, get up-close and personal with whales and dolphins, as well as shooting the amazing landscape that surrounds this beautiful area. This extension is very limited—more details will be forthcoming soon. Contact us for info.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (Single available, just ask)
  • All meals during the workshop
  • All transportation within New Zealand
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
  • Image reviews, post-processing instructino
  • Fun, inspiration and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

  • Transportation from your home to Christchurch and from Queenstown back to your home.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in “what’s included”, above.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $5,000 will hold your space in this workshop. The balance of $6,995 will be due not later than January 15, 2016.

Additional Information

This workshop is sold out for 2016. But you can join us in New Zealand in April of 2017!