Duration: WEEKEND (2 DAY)
Location: Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington
Price: $0

Next Date TBC

Join James Gilberd and Richard Young for an overnight trip to Somes/Matiu island, in the middle of Wellington Harbour. On this workshop, we will concentrate on documentary landscape and digital black & white photography. It will offer the chance to shoot a variety of subjects from different views of Wellington's harbour and surrounding landscape to the island's abundant wildlife.
Somes/Matiu Island has an interesting history, with gun emplacements remaining from a World War II heavy anti-aircraft battery to disused animal quarantine facility and a bullpen, built by World War I internees on the island for the then Department of Agriculture. We will cover photographically documenting and interpreting this interesting and historic landscape. Staying overnight on the island will allow is shoot a sunset/sunrise over Wellington harbour, capturing the first and last light and the city lights.


  • Overnight stay on Matiu/Somes Island
  • Maximum group of 6 with 2 tutors


  • Documentary landscape photography
  • Digital black & white Photography
  • Basic wildlife photography
  • Settings and composition
With its successful reintroduction, the sounds of the red-crowned parakeet/kākāriki can again be heard on the island. It offers a great place to capture these brightly-coloured birds, as well as a variety of seabirds, such as southern black-backed gull, spotted shag, and variable oystercatcher. Somes/Matiu is also home to other endangered native fauna.
Price include the return ferry crossing and we will catch a lunchtime ferry across on Saturday Moring and return Sunday afternoon.


  • 1 nights simple lodge accommodation on the island
  • Evening meal
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Tuition by James Gilberd & Richard Young
  • Return ferry trip from Queens wharf
  • DOC concession fees
  • Printed notes


  • Class Size

    Maximum group size of 6. 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.
  • Itinerary

    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.
  • Transport

    We will meet the group at Queens wharf at the start of the workshop and the workshop price includes ar return ferry trip to the island.
  • Physical Difficulty

    A minimum level of physical activity is necessary to enjoy the workshop. All locations we shoot will be within an easy walk around the island, carrying your own equipment. If fitness or mobility is an issue please let us know.
  • Equipment & Experience

    Ideally, you will have a basic knowledge of photography and be comfortable adjusting camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed. An aim of the workshop is to give you more confidence in the creative control of camera settings and shooting in manual mode. We will have a brief session at the start of the workshop, covering camera settings and controls, to be sure everyone is up to speed.
    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 here
    Clothing:A list of recommended clothing to wear on the workshop can be found here
  • Booking & Payment

    A non-refundable deposit of NZD$200.00 is required to reserve your space for the workshop. The remaining balance is due 14 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 14 days before the workshop.
    Booking and Cancellation Policy: Please click here for our booking and cancellation policy.