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11 Day Kimberley Coast Photography Expedition

  • mitchell_falls_roderick_eime_flickr

11th to 21st of July 2023

Join pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions and WildNature Photo Expeditions, on a thrilling in- depth exploration of Australia's world-famous Kimberley Coast. This area is one of the world's most pristine and untouched wildernesses, and you will experience it onboard the luxurious, 140-guest expedition ship Heritage Adventurer, as well as plenty of landings.

Forged by nature and spanning more than 400,000 square kilometres, Western Australia's wild and remote coastline marries a treasure trove of towering, fractured iron-tinged red cliffs, torrential waterfalls, azure waters, hidden coves and caves, secluded white sand beaches, magnificent reefs and rare and endangered wildlife with indigenous customs and connections to an ancient land, and rich history.

Best explored by expedition vessel, our Kimberley cruises allow an up close and intimate exploration and immersion of this rugged wilderness dwarfed by nature on an unfathomable scale. Highlights of our voyage include the unforgettable spectacle of King George Falls cascading 80-metres down 2,000 million-year-old towering cliffs, the outdoor galleries showcasing the 60,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art of the Gwion Gwion and Wandjina people, World War II relics and early explorer history.

At Talbot Bay we will experience the power of the region's massive tidal movements and the world's only Horizontal Falls described by David Attenborough as "one of the greatest wonders of the natural world", and marvel as the world's largest inshore reef system at nearby Montgomery Reef 'rises' out of the water with the falling tide.

Hidden among jagged sandstone monoliths, the final resting place of the remarkably preserved skeleton of a WWII Douglas DC-3 Aircraft awaits discovery at Vansittart Bay, while a glimpse into Australian colonial history can be found carved into the trunk of the centuries old Mermaid Boab Tree at Careening Bay. Enjoy astounding wildlife encounters and observations from the region's iconic saltwater crocodiles through to the birding paradise of the Lacepede Islands and one of the world's largest and most pristine mangrove systems along the Hunter River home to White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Red-headed Honeyeater, Blue- spotted Mudskippers, Fiddler Crabs and more.

Discover an ancient landscape like no other as we expedition cruise the untouched beauty of Australia's iconic Kimberley and experience the truly epic scale of this magnificent region by ship and Zodiac on this unforgettable Australian adventure.

We will have a maximum of 9 photographers on this expedition, led by professional nature photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic

Photographers of all experience levels are welcome. Michael will be guiding you and supporting your photography during the expedition. Not just in taking photographs in the field, but also in reviewing and refining your photos along the way.

 

horizontal_falls_tourism_western_australia_@aeroture_au

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Your 
photography 
leader and tutor - Michael Snedic

On this expedition, Michael Snedic is there to help you photograph the stunning scenery and wildlife we will encounter. He will be conducting a series of classes throughout the voyage, as well as being on-hand throughout the outings.

As well as being a professional wildlife and nature photographer, Michael is an experienced photographic tutor (19 years). He is an experienced (26 years) and widely published wildlife and nature photographer and writer. Michael's articles and images have featured in many magazines, calendars, diaries, books, brochures, billboards and many other publications, across Australia and the world.

He is the author of two books on Australian wildlife, and is a Nikon School tutor for Australia. Michael regularly presents audio-visual presentations at photographic organisations, and has been conducting photography workshops and tours across Australia for many years. He also conducts photography tours across Australia and the world. Michael loves sharing his photographic knowledge and passion with workshop participants, helping them improve their photographic skills.

 

Itinerary:

Please contact Michael to receive a detailed daily itinerary.

Health and Fitness

Anyone in normal good health can join us on this adventure. There are no special fitness requirements, although we will be often climbing into and out of the inflatable Zodiac boats, and walking on shore. Out on the ocean and exposed to the elements it can get quite cold. But it is summer and at times in the sun it can be quite warm.
The ship has a doctor and basic medical facilities on board. If you have specific health concerns or dietary requirements the staff at Heritage will be able to advise you. There’s also a gym on board if you feel the need to get extra workouts. Actually, with the excellent meals provided on these trips it’s not hard to put weight on, so some people like this option.

mitchell_falls_roderick_eime_flickr

Our Ship

The 'Heritage Adventurer' is one of Heritage Expedition's latest additions to its fleet. Although we won’t be seeing ice on this voyage, the ship regularly visits both polar regions and is a very capable vessel. She also has plenty of vantage points for scenic and wildlife photography from all around the ship.

 

Heritage Adventurer

Inclusions

  • Photography tuition throughout the expedition with Michael Snedic.
  • Shipboard accommodation onboard 'Heritage Adventurer'.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners onboard.
 Coffee, tea and cocoa is available around the clock.
  • All zodiac and land excursions, guided by an experienced expedition team.
  • Pre- and post-departure materials.

Exclusions

  • Airfares and other travel expenses
  • Personal/travel insurance coverage.
 Heritage will discuss with you the required insurance coverage (due to the remoteness of our destination).
  • Onboard bar, laundry, and telecommunications charges. Internet access is not available onboard.

humpback_whales_tourism_western_australia_@mattfrommilesaway

Prices

The trip is being put together with our partners at Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch, and they take care of the bookings and travel arrangements for us, while Michael runs the photography program.

There are a variety of cabin classes. As usual with these ships your choice of berth/cabin type directly impacts the price of your ticket.

Prices are in Australian dollars

Early bird discount currently available until 31st August 2022.

montgomery_reef_tourism_western_australia_and_credit_@aeroture_au

Cabin Category Price Discounted Price
Main Deck Triple $9 950 pp $8160
Superior Deck 4 $12 450 pp $8510
Superior Deck 5 $12 950 pp $10 560
Main Deck Single $15 995 pp $12 996
Superior Single $16 475 pp $13 380
Worsley Suite $16 475 pp $13 380
Heritage Suite: $20 475 pp $16 580

*Prices are in AUD. A 25% deposit is required to secure your place.

PRICE INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHY TUITION FEE BY MICHAEL SNEDIC, WHICH WILL BE INVOICED SEPARATELY.

NB: THE PRICE SHOWN IS THE TOTAL YOU WILL PAY.

king_george_falls_tourism_western_australia_@aeroture_au_-_edit

How to book

To reserve your place or just to ask more questions about this photo expedition, please contact Michael either via his Contact Form or by calling +61 408 941 965.

 

freshwater_crocodile_heather_paul,_flickr

17 Day Japan Islands Photography Expedition

18th of May to 2nd of June 2023

The ultimate exploration of Japan’s wilderness, beyond its national parks and last frontier – Hokkaido. Translating in English to ‘Northern Sea Circuit’, Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost and least developed island, and a world away from the country’s more traditional and contemporary cities.

Cruise_A.Russ

WildNature Photo Expeditions and Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, invite you to join them on the ultimate exploration of Japan’s wilderness, beyond its national parks and last frontier – Hokkaido. Translating in English to ‘Northern Sea Circuit’, Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost and least developed island, and a world away from the country’s more traditional and contemporary cities.

Bordered by the Sea of Japan, Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, Hokkaido’s rugged landscape features a mountainous centre, complete with volcanic plateau, and is rightly famous for its volcanoes and hot springs. Among its multiple plains is Kushiro, the largest wetland in Japan and home of the Red-crowned Crane, one of the world’s largest and rarest cranes and iconic symbol of Japan where it is also known as the ‘bird of happiness’.

shibazakura_ben&gab

During our semi circumnavigation of this remarkable island we plan to explore to the outlying Rebun and Rishiri Islands, venture into national parklands, observe wildlife and experience traditional cultures and the swathes of colourful flowers Hokkaido is renowned for. Our voyage also includes a day in South Korea’s Ulsan visiting the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site Gyeongju – the ‘museum without walls’ among other highlights. We’ll also visit the incredible UNESCO registered Global Geopark Dogojima Island, world famous gardens, the serene lakes and forest of Juniko (12 Lakes) park, observe wildlife and discover the fascinating art of Japanese paper making on our visit to the historic town of Matsue with its impressive 17th Century castle.

We hope you can join us for this rare opportunity to join this voyage including Japan’s most enchanting isle as we explore the unspoiled nature, primeval wilderness, astounding rare wildlife, limpid lakes and alpine flowers during this unforgettable adventure.

shiretoko_bears_yuichi_hayakawa

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Your 
photography 
leader and tutor - Michael Snedic

On this expedition you will have access every day to a professional nature photographer and instructor. Michael is there to help you photograph the stunning scenery, wildlife and culture we will encounter. Michael will be conducting a series of classes throughout the voyage, as well as being on-hand throughout the outings.

Michael is a professional wildlife and nature photographer and an experienced photographic tutor (19 years.) He has been photographing wildlife and nature for 26 years and is widely published writer. His articles and images have featured in magazines, calendars, diaries, books, brochures, billboards and many other publications, across Australia and the world.

He is the author of two books on Australian wildlife, and is a Nikon School tutor for Australia. Michael regularly presents audio-visual presentations at photographic organisations, and has been conducting photography workshops and tours across Australia for many years. He also conducts photography tours to Africa (including Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Namibia, Sabi Sabi, Madagascar and the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda), Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands, the Arctic (Svalbard) and the Subantarctic. Michael loves sharing his photographic knowledge and passion with workshop participants, helping them improve their photographic skills.

 

Itinerary:

Please contact Michael to receive a detailed daily itinerary.

Health and Fitness

Anyone in normal good health can join us on this adventure. There are no special fitness requirements, although we will be often climbing into and out of the inflatable Zodiac boats, and walking on shore. Out on the ocean and exposed to the elements it can get quite cold. But it is summer and at times in the sun it can be quite warm.
The ship has a doctor and basic medical facilities on board. If you have specific health concerns or dietary requirements the staff at Heritage will be able to advise you. There’s also a gym on board if you feel the need to get extra workouts. Actually, with the excellent meals provided on these trips it’s not hard to put weight on, so some people like this option.

Shrine_A.Russ

Inclusions

  • Photography tuition throughout the expedition with Michael Snedic.
  • Shipboard accommodation onboard Heritage Expedition's 'Heritage Adventurer'.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners onboard.
 Coffee, tea and cocoa is available around the clock.
  • All zodiac and land excursions.
  • Pre- and post-departure materials.

Exclusions

  • Airfares and other travel expenses
  • Passport/visa expenses.
  • Personal/travel insurance coverage.
 Heritage will discuss with you the required insurance coverage
  • Onboard bar, laundry, and telecommunications charges. Internet access is not available onboard.

Rurikogi Temple_A.Russ

Prices

The trip is being put together with our partners at Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch, and they take care of the bookings and travel arrangements for us, while Michael runs the photography program.

There are a variety of cabin classes. As usual with these ships your choice of berth/cabin type directly impacts the price of your ticket.

These prices below are in US dollars . 

 

Superior Deck 4 US$13 475 pp
Superior Deck 5 US$13 975 pp
Main deck Single US$16 295 pp
Superior Single US$17 475 pp
Worsley Suite US$18 495 pp
Heritage Suite: US$21 500 pp

A 25% deposit is required to secure your place.

NB: PRICING SHOWN ABOVE INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHY TUITION FEE BY MICHAEL SNEDIC, WHICH WILL BE INVOICED SEPARATELY. THE AMOUNT SHOWN IS THE TOTAL YOU PAY.

Geisha_A.Russ

How to book

To reserve your place or just to ask more questions about this photo expedition, please contact Michael either via his Contact Form or by calling +61 408 941 965.

 

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11 Day Antarctic Photo Expedition – November 2023

  • Amazing whale encounter in Antarctica

11th to 21st of November 2023

 

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT NOW AVAILABLE UNTIL 31ST OF JULY 2022

In November 2023, Michael Snedic will again be taking photographers on an 11 day photography expedition along the Antarctic Peninsula.

The trip runs from the 11th to the 21st of November 2023, starting and ending in Usuaia, Argentina. We will travel across the Drake Passage to Antarctica, spending  time exploring the peninsula before heading back to Ushuaia.

There are never any guarantees with Antarctic weather, so the exact itinerary can always change at the last minute.

Antarctica midnight sunset

Chinstrap Penguin

The days are long (the sun will hardly set most days) and most days will usually involve at least two opportunities to get off the ship and either go ashore (usually amongst penguin colonies), or cruise amongst the ice in Zodiacs photographing amazing ice formations and wildlife. Through all of this Michael will be there to help you make this a trip of a lifetime, letting you come back with new images and new skills.

Antarctica 2023 - trip map

Cruising the Antarctic waters with my WildNature Photo Expedition participants

Antarctic ice

There will be many opportunities to photograph from the ship also. Landscapes, icebergs, and wildlife as we sail amongst them.

Close up encounter with penguins in Antarctica.

With the landscapes changing almost every second, it can be surprising how many different scenes you can photograph in a day! All the images on this page were made on previous visits to this area.

Our ship - The Ocean Endeavour

We will be travelling on the Ocean Endeavour, operated by Intrepid Travel. This comfortable and stable ship will be your home for the entire voyage, with most cabins being twin-share and all with private facilities. The ship is faster than most, and this can give us a quicker-than-average crossing of the Drake Passage, giving us a little more time in Antarctica than other ships.

The ship will also have non-photographer passengers on it, and while we will be sharing the ship and the general Antarctic experience with them, the photographic advice/instruction will be for our group. For example, on outings we will usually operating as a group with our own Zodiac. WildNature works closely with the Intrepid expedition team throughout (and before) the voyage to optimise operations on both sides to help everyone.

Antarctica-Ocean Endeavour

Your Tutor: Michael Snedic

Michael is a highly experienced and widely-published wildlife and nature photographer, writer and tutor. His articles and images have featured in magazines such as Australian Photography +Digital, Australian Geographic, Wildlife Australia, Australian Birdlife and the UK’s BBC Wildlife, to name but some. His images have featured in numerous calendars, diaries, books and many other publications, including billboards and he has had two books published on Australian wildlife. Michael is a Nikon School tutorr for Australia and regularly conducts photography workshops and tours across Australia and the world.

Michael Snedic

Costs and booking

The following prices are per person, in Australian dollars. A non-refundable 20% deposit will be needed within 5 days to secure your booking. Because most of the cost of the trip is taken up with the mechanics of getting you to Antarctica and back, the price will vary depending on the cabin type you select. Please note that there are a limited number of each cabin type available. Twin-share is the most numerous.

Prices are in Australian dollars.

Category Cabin Type Regular Price Discounted
2 Triple Interior: $12 110
3 Twin Interior: $13 540
5 Twin Window: $15 690 $14 291
6 Comfort Twin: $16 260 $14 804
4 Twin Porthole: $14 970
7 Select Twin: $17 110 $15 569
8 Superior: $18 830 $16 261
9 Junior Suite: $20 260 $17 476
1 Single Interior: $18 690
10 Owner's Suite: $21 970 $18 930
5A Single Window: $22 830 $20 717
4A Single Porthole: $21 970
Earlybird Discount Now Available Until The 31st Of May 2022

Prices are per person twin share, or triple share

All cabins have private facilities. See further below for detailed inclusions/exclusions.

If you’re considering joining Michael on this truly 'Bucket List' trip, please register ASAP via our contact form

To ask any questions about the workshop or to book a place, please:

ocean endeavor deckplan

The trip is being put together with our partners at Intrepid Travel.

Intrepid Travel will be able to arrange flights and accommodation for you (including any other South American activities you want to include at either end of the trip) as part of a package, but you’re free to make other arrangements.

Intrepid logo

Group size and expertise levels

There are space for 9 photographers on this Antarctica Photo Expedition. Michael is an experienced nature photographer and tutor and will be on-hand to provide photographic advice throughout the trip. He also encourage all participants to take advantage of the image critique sessions provided throughout the trip.

Photographers of all experience levels are welcome. Whether you’re a seasoned professional with expensive gear, a beginner with simpler equipment (or in fact any combination of those) Michael will be there to provide value for you.  Michael not only work to get you to “the right places”, he's there to help you make photos you’ll be proud of. . Each landing is different: there are always constraints on where we can safely go, but there are many opportunities to spread out.

antarctica photo expedition 2017

Health and fitness

Anyone in normal good health is welcome to join us on this adventure. There are no special fitness requirements, although we will be often hiking on shore several times a day. We will be living on the ship which is sailing in unfrozen water, and the outside temperatures are often close to freezing. We’re not going inland where the temperatures would drop significantly. For example if you visit any of the Australian snowfields you’ll have probably been in colder conditions than we’ll usually see. And if you want to test out any gear in snow before the trip, the 2015 snow season might be a good time to visit the mountains!

The ship has a doctor and basic medical facilities on board. If you have specific health concerns or dietary requirements the staff at Peregrine will be able to advise you. There’s also a gym on board if you feel the need to get extra workouts. Actually, with the excellent meals provided on these trips it’s not hard to put weight on, so some people like this option.

Orca whale with calf

Equipment to bring

On these expeditions most photographers bring DSLRs and/or mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. Sometimes even medium-format cameras. You should bring at least two cameras (one as a backup: there are no nearby camera stores!) and often at least 2-3 lenses. Zoom lenses are a popular choice, although some photographers use primes as well. In general at the telephoto end you’ll want something that reaches at least 200mm, although 300 or 400mm are often popular. Being able to pick out details within a landscape, or a group of penguins on a passing iceberg is something you’ll probably miss if you only have shorter lenses. But you’ll usually also want a wide-angle lens to deal with some of the massive icebergs up close as well as some of the majestic skyscapes. For example many people end up with three basic zooms: a wide-angle such as a 16-35mm, a general-purpose 24-70mm, a 70-200mm (or sometimes a 70-300mm, 100-400mm, etc). But in the end everyone usually ends up with a slightly different combination of gear. Of course, these figures are in terms of 35mm “full frame” cameras: you can convert with the appropriate “crop factor” for other systems.

Photographing Penguins in Antarcitca

On clear days there’s a lot of sunlight, but sometimes a layer of cloud rolls in and we can sail through a spooky grey world with yellow sunlight around the horizon, and blue and green icebergs around us.

Having a camera and lens that can cope with a broad range of brightness conditions without too much grain/noise will let you take advantage of more of these situations. But no matter what you have sometimes it’s just too dark, such as when we encountered a large pod of Orca late at night in overcast conditions and it was too dark for most people to get photos that weren’t just dark smudges. But putting the camera down and just watching them with your eyes was still a magical experience.

Tripods are usually not useful on the ship. They can be useful onshore, but if you’re going to take one we favour smaller models due to issues such as simplifying getting into and out of Zodiacs. Spare batteries, polarising filter, and enough memory cards to at least last for each outing completes the basic camera gear requirements.

Stunning Antarctica

A backpack to help you carry your gear onshore and withstand the odd splash of water is also essential. You need to have hands free while getting in and out of the Zodiacs, and when you’re dressed for Antarctic conditions a photo vest with enough pockets to hold your gear just wouldn’t work!

As well as that photography gear, you should bring a laptop and hard drives to download and review the photos every day. Most people use software such as Lightroom to do this. You’ll have a limited stay in Antarctica, and while we don’t want to miss the photographic opportunities by spending all day sitting in front of a computer, it’s important to not only regularly backup the photos (and free up the cards for the next outing) but also review your work and identify how you can do things better on the next outing.

Zodiac iceberg cruise

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia - Argentina

Your adventure begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia boasts many shops, museums, restaurants and cafes that you can enjoy before your voyage. This Argentine town is the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. If you feel adventurous, the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park offers plenty of outdoor activities.

Antartic Whale encounter

Day 2: Departing Ushuaia

Following your embarkation onto the Ocean Endeavour in the late afternoon, begin your Antarctic journey south, passing through the infamous Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds.

Gentoo penguin diving

Day 3-4: The Drake Passage

Sail into the Drake Passage. This wide channel separates the bottom of South America from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, and was named after the English explorer, Sir Frances Drake. We hope for smooth sailing through the waterway, but be prepared for possible rough seas. On-board presentations and safety briefings by the expedition team will provide you with an insight into the locations you'll be visiting.

Antarctica cruising

Days 5-8: Antarctica

Your Antarctic adventure truly begins once you have left the Drake Passage behind and the South Shetland Islands come into view, a region that has long captured the attention of explorers. Every visit to Antarctica reveals something unexpecting or new, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other – a unique and personal experience. During your time aboard the Ocean Endeavour, your expedition team and captain will scout for whales and seabirds and alert you to any new sightings. Enjoy in-depth explanations and lectures from your expedition team on the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region as you explore.

Even more exciting will be your first land excursion – something you will never forget! Daily Zodiac cruises and shore excursions take you to explore local bays, channels and landing sites with wildlife opportunities always at the forefront of your expedition team's mind. Walk on beaches dotted with penguins, visit penguin rookeries and search for southern seal species, including the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal. Each day and each landing is different, but every day presents new photo opportunities and sightings, so it won't take long until you know the difference between an Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.

Michael will be with you every step of the way, making sure you accomplish the best possible photos from this truly wonderful photographer's paradise.

Gentoo Pengion with chick - Antarctica

Days 9-10: The Drake Passage

Wind down your Antarctic adventure with a voyage back across the Drake Passage. This is another great opportunity to look out for wildlife from the deck with a hot drink in your hand. You will also be able to attend more presentations by onboard experts focusing on the history and wildlife of the Antarctic region.

Seal encounter

Day 11: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

You arrive in the port of Ushuaia in the morning and your expedition team will gather on the deck to farewell you as you disembark the Ocean Endeavour after breakfast. Your transfer to Ushuaia airport is included for all flights departing today.

Inclusions

  • Photography tuitionary pro photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic, throughout the expedition. This includes image review and critique throughout the trip.
  • One night's accommodation in a comfortable hotel
  • Shipboard accommodation.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners onboard. Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock.
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
  • A waterproof expedition parka is supplied on board for you to keep.
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance (up to US$100,000) is provided to get you back to Argentina in the event of an emergency, although you will still need your own insurance (with Antarctic cover) to get you home.

Exclusions

  • Airfares and other travel expenses to/from Usuaia, Argentina.
  • Passport/visa expenses.
  • Personal/travel insurance coverage. Peregrine will discuss with you the required insurance coverage (due to the remoteness of our destination).
  • Onboard bar, laundry, and telecommunications charges. Onboard internet access is available.

Booking

If you’re considering joining us, please register with us ASAP via our contact form.

To ask any questions about the workshop, either:

Contact Michael via his site’s contact form or via phone at +61 408 941 965.

Adelie Penguin

7 Day Lord Howe Island Photography Tour

View to Mt Lidgebird - Lord Howe Island

Sunday 11th to Saturday 17th of June 2023

7 Days/6 Night

Location:

World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island

$AU3795 (plus GST) per person twin share. Single supplement ($945 plus GST)

Please note: WildNature Photo Expeditions will endeavour to find someone to share with you, from the photography group. If no one is available to share, then a single supplement will be added and you will have your own room.

 

 

Lord Howe Island

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Dates:

Sunday 11th to Sunday 17th of June 2023

Participants:

Maximum of 9 participants

Lord Howe Island Woodhen

Bookings:

For more information, or make a booking for this fantastic Lord Howe Island photography workshop, please contact Michael via his Contact Form or call him on +61 408 941 965

About Lord Howe Island

Rising majestically out of the Tasman Sea 550km off Australia, World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island is a photographer's paradise.

Fed by a mix of warm and cool currents from The Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia, this crossroads in the South Pacific is a treasure-trove of fauna and flora housed on a 7 million year old extinct volcano.

At the southern end of the island, the often cloud-covered twin peaks of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgebird rise perpendicular form the sea. To the north, the sheltered coral lagoon (one of the most southerly coral reefs in the world) arcs around the tiny settlement of Lord Howe. Ancient rainforests cover the slopes, and kilometre after kilometre of white sandy beaches and rocky shores await exploration by you and your camera.

Spring has been chosen not only for its favourable weather and warming seas, but particularly for the incredible bird-life, which descends on the island for the breeding season. Many exotic sea-bird species nest on the rocky shores, including terns, shearwaters, gannets and tropic-birds, along with the famous Lord Howe Island Woodhen in the forested areas.

View from Malabar Hill - Lord Howe Island

About the Lord Howe Island Tour

This week-long workshop will be presented by professional wildlife and nature photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic. Upon arrival at Lord Howe you’ll be transferred to our workshop base, the centrally-located Ocean View Lodge, only a short stroll from the beach. Your package includes fully-cooked breakfasts (with coffee/juice) each morning, a fresh fish barbecue dinner, dinner at the renowned Coral Restaurant as well as a picnic lunch at North Bay. It will also include a blend of structured lectures including informal discussions and one-on-one tuition time as well as a boat cruise with snorkelling. These sessions will be interspersed with free time to make up your week of photographic learning.

Photographing Rays on Lord Howe Island

Photographic Prerequisites

This workshop is suited to the beginner, intermediate or serious enthusiast. A digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera is recommended, however, any camera that has manual functions would also be suitable. A wide-angle and telephoto lens (and a macro lens if you own one) is recommended. A sturdy tripod is also necessary, especially for our landscape photography sessions.

Flights

You can book return flights via Qantas link from Sydney (I can recommend a travel agent who can help you with your flight booking, if required).

White Tern

Equipment

One of the wonderful things about visiting the island at this time is the abundance of birdlife and their relative fearlessness. Unlike some other locations you won't need 800mm lenses to make full-frame portraits of the birds. Telephoto lenses up to 200 or 300mm can be fine, although there'll always be times you want more. For landscapes, a decent wide-angled lens is recommended. A tripod is also essential for our sunrise/sunset shoots and they can be packed into your main suitcase.

When capturing photos of action such as birds in flight, the optical viewfinders and fast autofocus of DSLRs really shine. We will be helping you take advantage of all these features. Some of the "CSC"/mirrorless cameras can do good work here too. Compact cameras make reasonable backup cameras, but their reduced image quality and sluggishness would make them frustrating as primary camera bodies.

Rainforest Lord Howe Island

If your luggage allowance allows, we encouraged you to take a laptop computer to help you review and safely store your photos. Reviewing your images is an important step in improving your techniques for the next photo session and making the most of your limited time on the island.

Many of the locations we will visit on the island are a short walk from our accommodation, for some we'll travel by bus but some can require uphill climbing on uneven paths. It's not highly-technical climbing though, and we will have rests along the way. As far as your gear goes this does mean that not only do you need to be able to get your gear to the island, you'll need to be able to carry it along bush tracks. There's not much scope for roller camera bags in the field!

Internet access

There is web access available via WiFi at our accommodation and at various locations around the island.

Photographing Sooty Terns_Lord Howe Island

Some of the topics that will be covered:

  • Birds (including birds-in-flight0
  • Sunrises
  • Sunsets
  • Landscapes/seascapes
  • Composition
  • Aperture/Depth-of-Field
  • Lighting
  • Exposure and metering
  • Focusing points and styles
  • Filters
  • Image critique
  • And much more!

Valley of the Shadows Lord Howe Island

Highlights include:

  • Sunrise shoots at Ned’s and Blinky’s Beaches
  • Seascape shoots at Malabar Sea Cliffs and Signal Point
  • Cruise and snorkelling at North Bay
  • Old Gulch, Mt Eliza and North Bay
  • Mt Gower and Mt Lidgebird photography from sea level
  • Bird photography including LHI Woodhens, Sooty Terns, White Terns, Tasman Boobies, Red-tailed Tropicbirds and many more

Providence Petrel chick Lord Howe Island

Inclusions:

 

  • Photography tuition by Michael Snedic, as per itinerary
  • Accommodation (twin share) at Ocean View Apartments
  • Transport to photographic locations around the island
  • Cruise across lagoon to North Bay, which includes snorkelling and a picnic lunch
  • Fully-cooked breakfasts including coffee/tea (except on last morning)
  • Dinner at Coral Restaurant
  • Fish barbecue and salad dinner

Ball's Pyramid

Exclusions:

 

  • Flights to and from Lord Howe island (from Sydney)
  • Meals not indicated on the itinerary
  • Any extra personal expenses (extra hot drinks, alcohol etc)

Sample itinerary

About Michael

Michael is an experienced and widely-published wildlife and nature photographer, writer and tutor. His articles and images have featured in magazines such as Australian Photography +Digital, Australian Geographic, Wildlife Australia, Australian Birdlife and the UK’s BBC Wildlife, to name but some. His images have featured in numerous calendars, diaries, books and many other publications, including billboards and he has had two books published on Australian wildlife. Michael is an Accredited AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) photographer and a Nikon School tutor and regularly conducts photography workshops and tours across Australia, including Lamington National Park (Queensland), Lord Howe Island, Tasmania (Cradle Mountain, Tarkine and East Coast), Carnarvon Gorge and Kakadu. Overseas Photo Adventures he conducts include Africa (Kenya, Botswana, Gorillas in Rwanda), Morocco, Sri Lanka, Antarctica, Arctic, Subantarctic (including Macquarie Island) and the Russian Far East.

Mmichael Snedic on Lord Howe

Sample itinerary

NB – The sample itinerary provided may be subject to change or variation due to prevailing weather conditions and/or other localised circumstances, that are out of the control of Michael Snedic.

Bookings and Contact:

To find out more about the Lord Howe Island Photo Workshop, or to book your spot, you can contact Michael using the contact form or phone 0408 941965.

Your position on the tour will be guaranteed immediately upon payment of non-refundable deposit of AU$700.00 (plus GST) The balance will be due up to 60 days prior to the start of the workshop.

Red-tailed Tropicbird

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation up to 60 days before departure non-refundable or transferable. Cancellation between 60 and 30 days before departure - 50% of total workshop price forfeited. Cancellation less than 30 days before departure or during tour, no refund available.

WildNature COVID 19 Cancellation Policy:

In the event of the cancellation of a workshop or tour by WildNature Photo Expeditions, or you are unable to travel to the state of the workshop or tour due to Government-imposed travel restrictions, specifically due to COVID 19, you will be eligible for the following:

 

  • A full refund OR
  • A full credit of monies paid towards the identical photography workshop/tour that was cancelled (at a future date) OR
  • A full credit of monies paid towards any other WildNature Photo Expeditions workshop or tour (no expiry date)
Use of Perspective In Wildlife Photography – Part Two

Use of Perspective In Wildlife Photography – Part Two

Close Up Polar Bears

Creating A Three-Dimensional Look

Over the many years I have been a wildlife and nature photographer, I have enjoyed experimenting with different lenses for capturing wildlife. This has made it possible to capture so many different types of wildlife images and has kept my photography ‘fresh’ after 26 years of shooting. Using a wide-angle lens such as a 14-24mm on a full frame camera, for example, can help you create interesting and unusual images with a totally different perspective. By getting down at eye level and close to a subject (if it allows you to get close) has created many pleasing images for me over the years. The image of the baby Common wombat featured here, was one of the examples. The use of a wide-angle lens up close exaggerates the three-dimensional look of the image. To me, this close-up wide image creates more of an impact than a nice portrait shot taken from a distance with a longer focal length lens.

Exercise Patience When Getting Close

I am often asked “how do you get close to wildlife subjects” when using a wide-angle lens. One answer I give is “lots of patience”! With the shot of the pair of Tasman Boobies sitting on a cliff top at Norfolk Island, I spent a couple of hours each morning, over many days, sitting with them, talking calmly and basically letting the birds see that I wasn’t a threat. I would always approach very slowly and quietly and sit, then edge a little closer over time. Wild birds will often let you reasonably close, as long as you don’t make sudden, jerky movement and make lots of noise. With the Tasman Boobies, I was eventually at a stage where the pair sat calmly on the hill, while I was quite close with my wide-angle lens. For this particular shot, I was incredibly fortunate to have the clouds part slightly and the crepuscular rays shone through. All I needed to do was sit still and press the shutter.

During a trip to Macquarie Island in the Subantarctic, we came across some quite mellow Royal Penguins. Not having any predators on the island, after a very successful vermin eradication project over a number of years, the penguins were very chilled indeed! I was sitting on rocks surrounded by these delightful birds and waited. I had a wide-angle lens on my camera and as this pair started interacting, I was able to hone in and focus on that pair, while the other penguins were distant in the background.

Using A Trigger Remote

You may not always be able to get close to your subjects, like some of the examples I have mentioned. Another way to capture wildlife using wide-angle lenses is to set your gear up on a tripod and use a trigger remote. I have done this a few times in situations where the animal regularly does a courtship display or where there is a bathing, feeding or preening spot. You will need to ‘guesstimate’ where the individual may be (or you hope it to be) and pre-focus using manual focus. If you don’t do this and try and use automatic focus, you can’t necessarily control where the focus point will end up in your scene. I use a wireless remote release which allows me to sit a distance away and trigger the shutter, without spooking the subject.

Shoot At Eye Level

Even when using a larger focal length lens, you can achieve a completely different image by getting down at eye level with your subject. By using your widest aperture (smaller number) and focusing on a distant animal, you will often blur out the background and foreground. This blur helps exaggerate the subject. By being low down, the image you shoot can give greater significance to the subject. The viewer of the image therefore ends up having a stronger connection with the subject.

Abstract Wildlife Images

You can also achieve a completely different perspective by focusing in on one particular part of an animal. This could be the feathers of a bird, the fur of a mammal or the scales of a reptile or the eye(s) of a frog. These images are known as abstracts and again, can expand the repertoire of your wildlife images. They can be quite artistic and once you start experimenting, you have endless possibilities. If you can get close to your subjects and are using a macro lens, please remember that depth-of-field can become an issue when shooting so close. Make sure you use a small aperture (in size) to get as much of the detail you are photographing in focus.

Fit More In – Using A Fisheye Lens

Even fish-eye lenses can be used for wildlife photography and will definitely show a different perspective. In the image of the lone penguin standing on a small iceberg, I wanted to show the massive and stunning Antarctic landscape, while showing how tiny a penguin was. It again gives a sense of scale – this tiny bird on a tiny iceberg, in a massive landscape. Having a single zodiac with people in the background emphasises scale even more.

To add a different perspective to a well photographed subject, try also shooting in different light conditions. This may be a silhouette, a reflection or even a shadow of an animal. It often makes the viewer needing to look twice at an image before realising exactly what it is.

The best part of trying new ways to photograph wildlife it is that it is up to your imagination. Do some research as to where you may find certain wildlife subjects, head on out with all the appropriate camera gear and start experimenting. You may ‘fail’ with many shots but you will also succeed with others. As the old saying goes “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”.

If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.

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