New Zealand Photo Adventure

Join us for a New Zealand Photo Adventure

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Landscape and Travel Photography Workshop

You’re invited to New Zealand for a once-in-a-lifetime photo adventure of epic proportions! You’ll end up with great photos and stories, no matter your skill level.

We’ve prepared a pretty intense plan for your time here. You won’t get much rest. At the end of the adventure, your head will be full of awesome new skills and your computer will be full of beautiful photos. When it’s all done, you’ll sleep as long and peacefully as a Hobbit in the Shire!

Watch a Preview and Hear from Past Attendees

Everything gets started the first evening with a group dinner and casual sunset shots. This will be an informal gathering where we can talk about the adventures to come…

What things might I see?

This is a small glimpse of the epic landscapes you’ll see while on this photo adventure! You should also check out the many New Zealand photos Trey has here on his blog.

Put on your headphones and turn up the volume to get the best experience!

What’s Included?

You’ll be part of an intimate group with plenty of one-on-one time instruction by Trey Ratcliff.

  • Registration covers your food, hotel, and transportation AFTER you get yourself to the hotel in Queenstown, NZ
  • You will be staying in beautiful private rooms at the Rees Hotel
  • All the amazing adventures and personalized instruction in the multi-day event outlined below
  • Personalized portfolio reviews by Trey and the other instructors
  • Many new friends, lifelong memories and a collection of portfolio quality photos
  • Plus, since we’ll be together for so long, we’d be happy to do anything else we can… just ask… anything within reason we can probably get done for you! 🙂
  • Bonus! Some of our best selling video tutorials are included so you can watch them before the event and arrive with a bit of a head start!

Day 1 – Your Arrival

  • You get yourself to Queenstown, NZ and arrive at the hotel
  • Clear off your memory cards and charge your batteries!
  • Meet for a group dinner and first sunset location
  • Be ready to take some fun, casual sunset shots (but very chill… no hardcore instruction yet)

The View From Above Here is a good example of a daily image. I went to the top of the gondola with Tom Anderson to look down on Queenstown, New Zealand from above.I want to sleep up here one night to get the sunrise… if anyone can hook me up with that, drop me a note! :) I’ll bring the hot chocolate!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Day 2 – Early to Rise

  • Wake up early (get used to it!)
  • Travel to an awesome location for the sunrise in Queenstown
  • In-field instruction and tutorials
  • Return to hotel for breakfast/coffee
  • Hands-on, step-by-step, Post-Processing session
  • Lunch and more Post-Processing
  • Sunset shooting, then dinner in Queenstown together

The Tolkienesque Bridge I normally don't put two photos from the same city (or even country!) back-to-back in consecutive days, but I decided to award Queenstown this honor.  It is very high on my list of cities to move to!  I just need to check on a few things like broadband availability and a good spot to plop the family down, and I'll be in business!This is from the main park in Queenstown.  It was as quaint as could be.  The evening light made everything a little bit extra-colorful, and some clever little hobbit-engineer, found it fitting to put this nice little stone bridge across the pond.  It is all quite nice, no?- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Day 3 – Sunrise to Sunset

  • Get up early for another sunrise at a new location
  • In-field instruction and tutorials
  • Return to hotel for breakfast/coffee
  • Detailed Post-Processing session
  • Lunch and more Post-Processing
  • Sunset shooting in new location then dinner

The Most Beautiful Road in the World I found it!I've looked at travel guides and driven on a ton of beautiful, scenic roads all over the world, but I think this road to Queenstown (on the way to/from Glenorchy) is the most beautiful in the world.  The road winds down one side of a perfect, fjord-like lake, and every few kilometers, the mountain views change dramatically.  Depending upon the time of day you travel it, the entire landscape transforms before your eyes.Wonder what it looks like on the other side of the lake?  You won't believe that it is in the same place!  See this photo called Mountainstorm that I took on a previous trip to this location.  It was shot later in the evening, so I wasn't able to properly capture the road that time.What's the prettiest road you have ever found?  I've seen conflicting guides of the most beautiful roads in the US... I'm sure everyone has their opinion... I'd love to know what you think!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Day 4 – Sunrise, Sheep & Stars

  • Rinse, Sunrise, Repeat – new location, new light!
  • Get up early for another sunrise at a new location
  • In-field instruction and tutorials
  • Return to hotel for breakfast/coffee
  • Post-Processing session, more advanced concepts
  • Lunch and more Post-Processing
  • Shoot late, well after dark, to practice shooting at night
  • Dinner and some much needed sleep

The Soft Hills on the way to Paradise, New Zealand Just beyond Glenorchy, which is just a shade beyond Queenstown, lies a little place called Paradise.  The road gets tinier and tinier as you get closer.  A few miles before the road becomes all dirt, I pulled over to these soft rolling hills.  They were covered with little sheep families, walking to and fro.One the rare occasion when I am in the field with students, I have them notice a bunch of things.  I've touched on this before, and this is another good example.  It has to do with the location of the sunlight.  There are three elements that can be lit here - the hills and/or the mountains and/or the clouds.  Every combination looks dramatically different in the final shot.  When you are there on the scene, the light changes so gradually, you don't notice.  So you have to teach yourself to be mindful of the untimely flow of light. - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Day 5 – More Shots and Dinner at Trey’s Home

  • Wake up painfully early for another sunrise at a new location!
  • In-field instruction and tutorials
  • Return to hotel for breakfast/coffee
  • Post-Processing session, even more advanced
  • Lunch and more Post-Processing
  • Celebration dinner at Trey’s home and final sunset shoot

Morning Scramble in Queenstown

Day 6 – Return or Continue on…

Your adventure can end and you can go home… OR… you can stay longer in New Zealand and we’ll give you an itinerary of must-see places to go!

A Sunset Over Central Otago

What should I bring?

  • Your camera and gear (tripod, memory cards, etc.)
  • Your laptop so you can join us in the post-processing sessions (You’ll need Lightroom, Photoshop or equivalents)
  • Your own personal backup situation (we don’t provide ANY equipment at all…)
  • A headlamp (one of those flashlights that goes around your forehead)
  • Warm clothes for the day and a coat for the night… (layers, layers). View average temperatures
  • Good shoes for hiking, although we don’t anticipate any multi-kilometer hikes
  • A sense of fun and curiosity; Those two elements will be key to getting the most out of the workshop


A once-in-a-lifetime experience with tons of hands-on photography instruction from Trey Ratcliff. Perfect for any skill level, from beginner to advanced.


An all inclusive New Zealand experience in beautiful Queenstown with hands-on instruction by one of the foremost Landscape photographers in the world.

  • 5 days. 5 nights.
  • Several exclusive locations
  • Breathtaking sunrises
  • Epic landscapes
  • Awe-inspiring sunsets
  • Crystal clear, star-filled nights
  • One-on-one Photography guidance and step-by-step Post-Processing instruction by Trey Ratcliff
  • Unforgettable memories and new close friends

Note: We are only taking a small group of people; So the spots will go quickly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Sign-up to be notified of future workshops

Autumn and Spring are magical times of the year in New Zealand! Amazing colors abound! To be the first to hear about future events be sure to sign-up for our newsletter.


Some photos from past New Zealand Workshops

Bendemeer Estates This is the final place we ended up on the final night of the New Zealand Photo Adventure. Thanks again everyone that came! We’ll get a group photo up very soon so everyone can see. We took it in the woolshed at the bottom of this hill… it was really a remarkable place. I should have gotten a little video of these red-gold grasses blowing in the breeze. I think Curtis Simmons got that… I’ll ask him to put it in the comments! :)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Day of PhotographyAnd speaking of the subject matter at large – I decided to spend one day out of my birthday weekend out on a little photo adventure. I jumped in the car and drive towards Pyramid Lake just past Glenorchy.I was probably out for 10 hours, and I came back with 3 photos I really liked. That seems like a lot of time for just 3 photos… and, on the other side, I’m glad I came back with 3 photos! :)All in all, I took about 70 photos (many were brackets of 9 because I was out in the snowy conditions at one point. There is one more set still unprocessed… I have my fingers crossed that it will come out okay!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Jack’s Point in Queenstown I went out with Eden Brackstone the other night to take some photos. After he decided to wade callously into this crystal clear water and ruin the placid reflection, I had about five minutes to contemplate life while the ripples settled down. And then I took this one!Man, I do love this Sony NEX-7. And no, Sony didn’t pay me to say that or give me my camera…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Unbelievable Colors in Queenstown and Arrowtown in the Autumn

Lupins in New Zealand Along the way to Moeraki, these Lupins are growing and blooming everywhere! It’s spring down here in NZ, and I think these flowers are great. I’ve met a few locals though that turn up their nose and call them annoying weeds!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The View From The Barn At Lake Hayes

Walking Down To The Lake

  • Martin Tyler

    This sounds awesome Trey. Having been in Queenstown only this May I’m not really due back again that soon – but it is certainly tempting!

    For anyone that hasn’t been and hasn’t been convinced by Trey’s photos so far – this place is amazing. Definitely worth staying longer too!

  • Alistair Nicol

    Wow – Trey this sounds incredible. I can only imagine the cost though. Wish it was in my budget.

  • appdaptation

    Okay, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Wow!

  • Sounds like an amazing experience, though well out of my price range no doubt. But for those with the vacation time and means, this would definitely be an incredible experience.

  • Sign me up!

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks – yes this is gonna be fun! 🙂

  • Peter Sherriff

    If you need a group to test this on a group of Melbourne G+ photographers arrive in Queenstown in a couple of weeks!

    What a fantastic looking trip.

  • Sounds amazing and would love to travel back to New Zealand, was there in 2003 – it was amazing and I am sure it still is … but looks like this time I won’t be making it – I think this workshop is more appealing to people living in NZ and AU due to the long distance just to get to Queenstown

  • Michael Tristram

    Just paid the deposit, going to be great. Can’t wait as I love the mountains.

  • We are blessed to have such an amazing adventure offered here in Queenstown! Truly unique and very exciting. I mentioned to Curtis that if you are looking for volunteers to assist I would love to put my hand up. All the best and hope you are enjoying life on this side of the world.

  • hmmm im thinking about an xmas present to myself for once 😀

  • I cant wait! NZ has been on my places to visit for years. What better way to enjoy it with a bunch of photographers! 😉

  • Trey Ratcliff

    It’ll be so fun! 🙂

  • Trey Ratcliff

    wooo! 🙂

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks Gwen! 🙂

  • Trey Ratcliff

    See you soon Michael ! 🙂

  • except i made an enquirey and never received a response 🙁 (as of yet)

  • Casper van Zyl

    waiting in anticipation to hear from Curtis

  • Sounds great, and co-incides with me hitting the big five-zero which probably means that I’ll have to stay at home with the kids. 🙂

  • Haley – I apologize, I’m not sure what happened but I cannot find your email. Which address did you send it from? Or simply send me another email and I’ll be watching for it.

    – Curtis

  • disqus_w35gNRgTQI

    Trey, can’t make it on those dates but if you do another one in the the Spring (Southern Hemi) and give sufficient warning, I am in!

  • I would be very interested, Trey!

  • I am going to stay a few extra days after Trey’s workshop and will be leaving on the 14th. I was looking into some touristy things to do with my extra time in Queenstown area. I seen something called Sunrise Ballons. Sounds like an awesome thing to do. Has anyone done this, or have a recommendation? A lake cruise or whale watching excursion out of Christchurch might be fun too. Looking for some recommendations so I can plan my Post Trey Ratcliff

  • Michael Hare

    I get slightly nervous when Trey doesn’t put a price on the main site….but , what the heck , we only live once; but

    our photos can live beyond us !

  • Should be a great time as I am looking forward to spending 4 weeks in New Zealand.

  • Brian

    Fox Glacier for an awesome adventure:

  • Thanks Brian, Ill look into it.

  • Nick

    Hi..If you’re staying in Qtown, for the extra days I would suggest go to Catlins. That place is also CRAZY.. Wait there for sunset to see the famous yellow eyes penguin coming home from sea…or if you’re planning driving to Chc then drop by to Lake Tekapo.. The color of the lake is stunning and words can’t describe it.. or other option go to Fox Glacier.. Oh how I miss South Island (I’m now in North Island ;p)…

  • Thanks for all the great Ideas.

  • Trey, please tell me that you will do this again in the next very few years. This is a trip of a lifetime for sure, but I am already signed up for a trip that very weekend.

  • Paula McManus

    Would it be possible to know a price before having to email Curtis? thanks

  • Hi Paula,

    Emailing Curtis is the way to get the pricing information for this one. It’s not going to put you on a spam list or anything if you decide against it; we just prefer personalized one-on-one service for this one.

  • Trey Ratcliff

    I hope to do it again yes – there was a wonderful sell-out response to this one… and I may do one or two a year in different places (not sure yet) and I’m sure one of them will be here in NZ again! 🙂

  • Eric

    More than 1,500 usd per day. Sounds a bit expensive to me. Trey, yu will have to make an effort or your target is only rich people… Let us know what you think about that. Eric

  • Eric, we chose to make this particular event a high-end experience with first-rate private accommodations and some exclusive activities. As we have in the past and will in the future, we will offer future workshops at various price points and locations to accommodate as many people as we can.

    – Curtis

  • Paul

    Wonder who the lucky brats are….and how many??

  • norman jaillet

    As I’ve just relocated to Singapore from Boston this would have been ideal in terms of timing etc. Hopefully Trey you have plans for other opportunities planned on this side of the world??

  • Hi there. Sunrise Balloons is a spectacular activity to do here – amazing views unlike any other that you can experience. Towns like Glenorchy, Haast, Fox/Franz Glacier, Mt. Cook and Kaikoura are always on my “must visit” list if you have the time (stunning scenery at every turn). Have a wonderful trip Mike!

  • treyratcliff

    I will do that! 🙂

  • Jon

    Comes in around AUD $1,500 per day for 4 days. Yes 4 days, as day 1 and day 6 is arriving and leaving, I find it very very expensive. I would expect a student to teacher ratio of no more than 1:3, 5 star accommodation, all meals, all drinks and a few helicopter flights thrown in. However good luck to those that go.

  • Jonathan

    Hi Trey Wondered if you do the workshops without the accommodation as my wife and I live just over the Crown Range near Wanaka, NZ. Love your pictured on your website and so nice to recognise where some of the NZ ones are taken. Cheers, Jonathan

  • Hey Jonathan — sure we can do about anything and Curtis can customize it for you. One thing to think about though is we often start early and the group leaves the hotel together, so it may be a long way to drive all the way over every morning before sunrise. Also it’s just kinda fun to keep the group together, eat together, etc! 🙂

  • Jonatha Borzicchi

    it’s a robbery. unbelievable people ready to spend 20000 dollar for nobody while magnum photographer workshhop cost less than 4000 dollar. a it’s internet era. in addiction this guy take pretty common photo, cliche, copied of photos seen thousand dog time, over process it and voila. zero consideration in photography world outside this blog, zero prize or recognition. solitude of internet.

  • Susan Parker

    Hi, Trey, congratulations on the fantastic success of your photo bag on kick starer! can’t wait to get mine!! was wondering if you know the dates of the photo adventure offered as the reward? thanks, sue

  • You can choose either one, Fall or Spring! 🙂

  • Susan Parker

    thank you for the reply. I have signed up for the reward but just checked the requirements and wonder if i would be qualified to attend? i am 70, have a sony NEX3 and have no experience with photoshop etc but am keen. Is the photo adventure designed for experienced photographers only?

  • Oh no ! We get all levels… NOTHING to worry about… and that camera is fine! 🙂

  • Yes, it is expensive. We’ve always sold them out and no one has ever asked for their money back — so that’s a good thing. No, seriously, everyone seems to love them. It’s a bit higher-end, yes! 🙂

  • taylor landon

    Hi Trey — There’s no question that I’m going to get the photo bag on kickstarter. However, I’m seriously considering getting the option with the New Zealand Photo Adventure. I’m currently active duty in the US Navy and any/all international travel for me has to be approved. I don’t doubt a trip to NZ would be a problem, especially far in advance, but you also never know. Would there be any recourse for me if I was somehow not allowed to go?

  • Sarah Remund

    Hi Trey! I’m beyond interested in the NZ workshop! However, I’m only 17 and was wondering if that may be problematic?? Let me know! Thanks!

  • Hi Sarah,

    Best to contact curtis @!

  • Hi Taylor –

    Drop a line to curtis @ about this – in most cases we’re able to help you out, especially if there is ample notice.

  • Steve Meier

    Hi there
    Would be interested in attending.
    I live in the south island of NZ zealand.(christchurch)

    What is the cost for NZ’er as price is in US dollars

  • Best to talk to [email protected] about these specific things! 🙂

  • Ken Day

    What an amazing coincidence My wife and I arrive in Queenstown 1 week earlier with our focus being to take heaps of photos in the area over 5 days. Pity we couldn’t meet up but I wish you all the best the scenery will be incredible.

  • Peter Fauland

    NZ was and still is very high up on my “HSTV”-list (hot spots to visit) … Let’s make it happen 🙂