Our Astro Masterclass Workshop is based at Mt Cook village within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the world's second-best area for viewing the night sky. With highly acclaimed astrophotographer Mark Gee along with Joel Staveley as your tutors. Designed to extend your skills in skills in both Astro and timelapse photography, the workshop dates have been picked to ensure a new moon and winter offers the best conditions astrophotography. During the workshop we will visit a private observatory, to learn more about the night sky and photograph the constellations.
We will base for 3 nights in the comfortable Hermitage Hotel in Mt Cook Village, with the use of a conference room for tuition and post-processing sessions.
We can pick you up early on the first morning of the workshop from Queenstown and provide you with transport to Mt Cook, and drop you back to Queenstown at the end of the workshop to connect with late afternoon flights. Or you can meet us at Mt Cook.
Capture to Print Masterclass Workshop: Our Astrophotography Masterclass is designed to perfect the techniques of astrophotography, timelapse photography and panoramic photography; with dedicated tuition sessions and notes on these subjects. The workshop concludes with a processing printing two of your best images as 16x22" fine art prints using the latest Epson SC-P800 printer. We will also have a number of Samyang Ultra-wide lenses, Benro filters kits along with some additional Nikon cameras & lenses available for shared use during the workshop to help you capture some stunning Astro and timelapse images.
Astrophotography & Processing
Timelapse Photography & Workflow
Panoramic Photography & Stitching
Aoraki Dark Sky Reserve
Advanced Post Production Workflow
Night Tour at private observatory
We will pick you up early from Queenstown airport/hotel or you can meet us in Mt Cook at lunchtime. After assembling in our comfortable conference room at the Hermitage Hotel, we will run through an introductory programme of advanced camera setup for astrophotography and cover workflows on panoramic and timelapse photography. In the evening we will head out for our first sunset and night time shoot in the Dark Sky Reserve on the shores of Lake Ohau.
We will spend today exploring Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The day will be taken up alternating between locations in the park and covering and doing some timelapse and panoramic photography. We will have dinner at Mt Cook village, heading out after dinner to capture the Milky Way above the Southern Alps before a late return to our accommodation.
We will spend this morning in the hotel conference room to offer some group critique of the photographs from the last days and in-depth post-production to bring out the best in your Astro images along with a tutorial on making a timelapse sequence. This afternoon we will venture further afield to explore more of the beautiful Mackenzie Country including the shores of Lake Ohau and Lake Pukaki. Tonight we will visit a private observatory to learn more about the night sky and photograph the constellations. and maybe a stop for some light painting on our return to the hotel.
Depending on how late we stayed up last night, there might be an option for a sunrise shoot to capture some of the first morning light across the southern alps. We will help you process your two best images from the workshop and produce a finished 16x22" fine art print of them to take home. The workshop will finish after lunch today, with return transport then provided back to Queenstown to meet with late afternoon flights.
Please note: We keep the workshop itinerary flexible to allow for the best shooting and the order of each day's shoot may be changed due to weather, but we try and get to all of the locations over the 4 days.
Tuition by Mark Gee and Joel Staveley
Night Sky Tour at private observatory
3 nights accommodation at theHermitage Hotel in a twin Mt Cook view room (single upgrade available)
Maximum group size of 8. Groups of 3-4 will be led by only one tutor and groups of 5-8 will be led by two tutors. Limiting class sizes ensures we provide you with the best learning environment possible, including expert guidance, instruction and personal attention, according to your learning style.
Our exact schedule will be determined according to the whole group’s photographic objectives and the weather, we keep a flexible itinerary to accommodate this. We will spend the workshop instructing and shooting, often from before dawn until after dark. At some point, during the weekend the tutors will give a lecture on their photographic ability and how you can apply their systems and vision to develop your own unique style.
You can meet us at Mt Cook or we can provide return transport from Queenstown. Once at Mt Cook, we will provide transport for the workshop.
A minimum level of physical activity is necessary to enjoy the workshop. All locations we shoot will be within a short walk along the lake’s edge or formed tracks, but sometimes over rocky ground carrying your own equipment. One location at Mt Cook requires a 20-30min one-way walk on a well-formed track. If fitness or mobility is an issue please let us know.
Ideally, you will have a basic knowledge of photography and be comfortable adjusting camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed. The aim of our masterclass workshops is to cover more advanced creative camera control and help you to further develop your own style and vision.
If you are yet to master the basics, perhaps check out our 1-day Photo School workshops in Auckland and Wellington.
Camera Equipment: Our workshops focus on how to use your camera, not your type of camera. A basic list of recommended camera equipment can be found hereClothing: A list of recommended clothing to wear on the workshop can be found here
Booking & Payment
A non-refundable deposit of NZD$400.00 is required to reserve your space for the workshop. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to the start of the workshop. You may pay in full at time of booking, the balance (minus the deposit) will remain fully refundable until 30 days before the workshop.
Booking and Cancellation Policy: Please click here for our booking and cancellation policy.