This is the first time I (James Gilberd) have co-tutored a photo workshop with Richard Young (of New Zealand Photography Workshops), and the first time either of us has run a workshop on this historic island in the middle of Wellington Harbour.
We advertised the workshop in the Wellington Photography Meetup Group which provided a good bunch of keen photographers who were also both tough and philosophical enough to put up with the late autumn weather on the island. Actually, it wasn't that bad (although, personally, I could've done without the "dawn" shoot on Sunday). From what we could see, Wellington City was copping worse weather than we were, despite our exposed location. The ferry trip over was smooth and the Saturday afternoon conditions pleasant, while Sunday was less ideal but still good for photography. Perhaps the most memorable scene was something we couldn't photograph (without IR/night vision equipment) - the procession of little blue penguins coming ashore in the dark after their day's fishing in the harbour.
It's fair to say that Richard is more of a landscape photographer than I am, and so I learned quite a bit about how he does things and approaches his photography a little differently to the way I do. But we were basically on the same page and everyone enjoyed the workshop.
This is a good place to thank my wife, artist Denise Durkin, who prepared the meals we all enjoyed on the island and generally helped look after stuff.
We expect to run this workshop again in future, but it's difficult to book a DOC house on the island in the warmer months as the demand is high. Still, if you can put up with cooler conditions, the photographic opportunities make it worthwhile.
I took two cameras along, the old Nikon D40 as a spare in case anyone else's camera died, but that didn't happen so I used it myself. I also took my 'work' camera, a D600, which I use for much of my commercial photography at Photospace and Courtenay Studios. Next time I might leave it behind and take a film camera, 35mm or a medium format.
I haven't edited the D600 photos yet but here's a selection from the old D40.