Wedderburn: Winterlight Workshop June 2013 (all levels)


Maniototo, from little Mt.Ida

Maniototo, from little Mt.Ida


















Winterlight 2012 William Wright

Winterlight 2012 William Wright

Winterlight was an enjoyable week of learning, image making and camaraderie in a special part of NZ.

The course was a mixture of theory and practical (mostly practical) and took us to some great locations where we were able to explore the landscape and create images. Tony was always happy to answer questions, provide assistance and offer advice. The feedback from the critique sessions was especially valuable.

I came away from the week with lots of useful tips, new friendships and memories, ideas for future projects and the inspiration to develop my photography further.

Thanks Tony for an awesome week !”





The Maniototo district in Central Otago, New Zealand, has to be one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and in winter it is an extraordinary landscape which begs to be photographed. With snow along the Hawkdun mountains and crystal-clear sunny days, being out there with a camera is more than just an experience; it is a celebration. Photographing the Maniototo landscape offers enormous opportunities to make unbelievably beautiful photographs.

The Maniototo basin spans an area approximately 46 x 25 km, surrounded by mountain ranges and with a vast expanse of sky which is continually offering new vistas. With only 1000 people in the district, the landscape dominates life in the district. It is a landscape photographer’s paradise.

I am passionate about the Maniototo. Well, I should be. I was born here. In 2006-7 I spent time here as artist-in residence, and produced a highly-successful exhibition, looking at the relationship between the  weather and its effects upon the timeless landscape.  Each year, when I return, I discover new things to say about it. it has many moods: silent, serene, threatening, jaw-droppingly beautiful, harsh and always spectacular. Because I am a “local”, I know many of the people in the district, which means we go to places the tourists will never see. Many of these require us to use a four-wheel drive to get to them.

I would love to share these secret and iconic places with you.

The workshop

At the Winterlight workshop  we will focus on landscape photography, and making images which evoke the beauty and serenity of the area.

Topics to be covered will include:

1.       Landscape photography as a genre, and its place within the archeology of photography. This will include lectures on the history of landscape photography and its place within the wider art-historical context along with an exploration of the panorama and photomontage, and the influence of both Impressionism and Expressionism.

2.       Reading the light and getting the best possible in-camera capture. This will include lectures and practical sessions on using raw and obtaining the optimum histogram.

3.       Optimising the image by using post-production techniques. The Winterlight workshop will focus on the use of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and will include technical sessions introducing post-production techniques such as selective sharpening and the use of layer masking to fine-tune  the image.

4.       Developing a personal approach to photographing the landscape. This will include visualisation techniques such as the use of the visual diary and learning how to approach a landscape. This will be covered in both lectures and practical sessions in the field.

5.       Evaluating your own work. Each day will include an evaluation session where work from the day will be opened up for discussion and comment.


This workshop is suitable for people at all levels. Beginners will get help and encouragement; intermediate-level photographers will gain knowledge and insight; and experienced photographers will be challenged as well.s is

Accommodation and meals


We will stay at the iconic Wedderburn Lodge and Cottages in Wedderburn. Each course participant will have his or her own en-suited room. The Lodge consists of a series of Settler-style cottages set up on the hill above the valley, each with a view that stretches for miles.

Meals will be at the Wedderburn Tavern. Steve and Cheryl, our hosts, prepare beautiful meals and take real care of us. After rising before dawn and photographing across the day, to come back to the Tavern to a roaring fire, beautiful food and wine and talk about the day is a wonderful experience.



There is one workshop available in 2013. It is limited to a maximum of ten participants, to ensure there is time for plenty of individual attention and tuition, in th classroom,  around the fire and in the field.

Winterlight Workshop: June 23 to June 28, 2013



The fee for the workshop in 2013, including tuition, meals and accommodation, will be $NZ 2115. A deposit of $500 is required to secure a place. Wives/husbands/partners are more than welcome, and there is a special rate for non-participating partners.  Please note that a 10% discount is available for participants doing both WinterLight and The Painterly Landscape.

Please contact us for details.


To register for the workshop, please fill out the form here or e-mail us on

We look forward to seeing you there.


Is it going to be cold?

Of course. The Maniototo is between 1500 and 2000 feet above sea level and the climate is the closest thing to continental that we have in this country, so the temperature can range from -20 C to +20 C in a single day. We can experience both sunshine and snow on the same day, so it’s important to dress warmly. Course participants will be sent a more complete list of things you should bring.

What do we need to bring?

You need to bring your camera equipment and a sturdy tripod. Bring plenty of memory cards and a spare battery for your camera. You will also need a laptop or desktop computer, card reader, memory stick (Flash drive), and suitable processing software. More advice about that when you register.

Are there any extra costs?

Yes. Getting yourself there, and your bar bill ! We are happy to help you sort out your transport needs. We can arrange a pick-up from Dunedin or Queenstown for a nominal fee. Contact us for more details.

Is there a priority queue for registration?

Yes. First in, first served.

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