Filtering by: workshops
East Coast Astro
Mar
29
to Mar 31

East Coast Astro

  • Pakiri River Rd Pakiri, Auckland, 0972 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

East coast astro, our first of the season!  Sorry it has taken so long. I had a little operation on my leg, but I’m all good now :)

Steve Clifton Photography will again be co-hosting on this workshop.  Steve's knowledge of shooting the night sky and on how to read "Sky apps" is up there with the best!  Make sure you quiz him if you have any queries.  Don't miss this VERY reasonably priced opportunity to extend your photography skills in this exciting genre!

Let’s get out into the dark of night and shoot the stars!

Astrophotography is a most rewarding genre. Staring in amazement at NZ's beautiful night sky is truly pleasurable. This event is for any level of photographer, but beginners are especially catered for. Both Steve and I will spend time with you, helping you setup and become comfortable with the settings required to shoot at night. Attending a workshop can also help with your motivation to go out and shoot at ungodly hours, lol. This is another plus about signing up for an event - it will give you that extra little push you need to head out in the dark. Furthermore, these workshops also provide you a safe environment in which to shoot in the middle of the night alongside other photographers.

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Image courtesy of Steve Clifton

Get in early this year to hone your astro skills.  Summer outings are the easiest to plan for as we're almost certainly guaranteed clear skies.  I shouldn't say that too loudly though, hehe.

The Milky Way will start to move above the horizon around 11pm. Jupiter, will be by far the brightest planet/star in the sky, and it will be almost centered in the Milky Way core, which will be awesome because Jupiter gives great reflections on the water/wet sand. Saturn will race into our shots after 1 am, and the Moon will follow shortly thereafter. This will give us some nice light to harness as we search out compositions in the waterways along the beach.

Location:  Pakiri (the actual meet location will be given on registration), the waterfront here is nice and wide and gives us a lot of room to spread out to enjoy shooting.  It also has a nice water outlet that can provide a leading line for our imagery or provide reflections of the stars on a still night.  Come along and enjoy shooting with like-minded folk in a safe environment.  You'll always pick up a few tips and well, practice makes perfect.

Gear: A wide lens works best if you want to capture the Milky Way in a single frame. If you have some panoramic experience then a mid-range lens (around 24mm) is ideal. The wider the F/ stop on your lens the better, i.e., if your lens can open up to F/1.4 or F/2.8 all the better. A sturdy tripod is needed. No filters necessary, although I will have a Nisi Night Filter on hand if anyone would like to give it a go. Let me know what diameter your lens is prior to the night or I may not have that size available.

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Terms & Conditions:

Susan Blick Photography and Steve Clifton Photography are NOT responsible for your equipment or your travel to and from the event. We ask that you take special care on the drive up to Pakiri and with your camera gear as we are shooting at a beach location. In order to sign up for the event we request that you make yourself available for both evenings - Friday AND Saturday from 11pm, in case Friday is too cloudy. If the weather isn’t playing ball on the Friday evening we will reschedule the event for Saturday evening. Please add yourself as “going” to the facebook event on FB @susanblickphoto in order to stay up to date with the discussion surrounding possible date changes and weather.

Pay In Full
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Mt Eden Crater & Sunset - CXLD
Mar
8
6:30 PM18:30

Mt Eden Crater & Sunset - CXLD

A fabulous opportunity for beginner photographers who want to learn to use manual settings. It’s an easy location to shoot with three dimensions to this workshop - golden hour, sunset, and finally blue hour when the city’s lights come on. This is my last workshop before heading off with some intrepid travellers to India once again, so join me here before Summer is done and dusted!

Mt Eden is an iconic place to shoot golden hour and the sunset in Auckland. We will meet at the top of the crater and photograph the lovely afternoon light first before moving to a tried and true location to shoot the sunset over the harbour bridge as the city lights come on. This location provides a good opportunity to practice your long exposure skills for more intermediate/advanced shooters and will give you the chance to get familiar with using filters.

If you haven’t photographed from atop Mt Eden before, I can definitely recommend it! This is a must shoot location for anyone living in Auckland.

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Gear: A tripod is a must. A telephoto lens will best serve the sunset & city shots. A wider lens will work well for the crater.  As usual ND and ND Grad filters will be of use.  I will have a few Nisi on hand for you to test run.

Fabulous golden light comes through from the West

Fabulous golden light comes through from the West

Please wear a  jacket, it can get cold up there, and bring a plastic bag to throw over your camera if a shower passes through.  It is Auckland after all :) There is parking about halfway up, but it may be full, otherwise street parking on Mt Eden Road is available. Allow about 15-20 mins for the walk up.

A storm rolls through at golden hour

A storm rolls through at golden hour

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Reflections and City Lights
Feb
1
7:30 PM19:30

Reflections and City Lights

  • 79-85 Westhaven Dr Auckland, Auckland, 1011 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Westhaven is a great place to shoot the setting sun's reflection across the marina while getting some lovely shots of the yachts in the harbour.

I will have a demo set of Nisi Neutral Density Filters on hand for attendees to try - this will provide you with a great opportunity to see what all the fuss is about regarding Nisi Filters.

Gear: a tripod, a polariser filter will be useful for the reflections and an ND filter and a ND graduated filter, if at all possible.  These aren't completely necessary, but will certainly improve your imagery.  A wide to standard zoom works best at this location.

Pay in Full
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Piha Sunsets
Dec
8
7:00 PM19:00

Piha Sunsets

  • 19 Marine Parade S Piha, Auckland, 0772 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Summer is on its way guys, so we need to take advantage of this improvement in weather.  Therefore, it's time to catch a West Coast sunset at New Zealand's most famous beach Piha.

piha beach

Let’s meet near the surf club car park and we’ll take it from there. Depending how the sky is looking we’ll shoot first down on the beach looking for reflections and some nice arty images, OR up on the cliff from the lookout to get a good overview of Piha. And then once sunset is on its way we’ll head up to a nice dune to capture the dune grasses in the golden light and finally a nice sunset.

piha sunset

Gear: Bring your tripod, filters, remote trigger and even a jacket as it's sure to be somewhat windy at least.  The tide will have turned by the time we get there and a high tide will be on its way.  A wide lens is going to work best here. If you have any questions, please ask. NB: I’ll have an extra Nisi Filter set on hand if anybody would like to see what all the fuss is about :)

Piha Sunsets
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Bayswater - City Lights (Rescheduled)
Dec
2
8:00 PM20:00

Bayswater - City Lights (Rescheduled)

One of the best locations in the city to shoot the city skyline.  Bring your tripod!  We'll go for a wander around the marina first if you arrive early enough, then we'll setup on the pier as we watch the sunset and the city lights come on.  Auckland city is so beautiful by night.  The colourful city lights reflect in the shallow harbour waters and if there's little wind the effect is awesome.

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This is also a great location to try your hand at panoramic photography.  You don't necessarily need your widest lens here, a regular kit lens is fine - I usually shoot this location with my 24-105mm.  A solid tripod is necessary as it can be windy.  The usual warm jacket is a must.  We won't be getting wet, high and dry on the pier this time :)

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No refund unless cancelled
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Muriwai Seabirds & Sunset
Nov
16
6:30 PM18:30

Muriwai Seabirds & Sunset

  • Takapu Refuge Walk Muriwai, Auckland, 0881 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Muriwai is an iconic location for seascapes.  It's a great place to practice your wildlife (seabird) and long exposure photography.  Please park at the gannet colony as we will photograph the birds from one of the main platforms atop the cliffs and from Fisherman’s Rock.

gannets

Gear: You will need a tripod, a wide lens works best for the landscape shots, and if you want to focus on wildlife (the gannets), then a zoom will be useful. If you have an ND filter and/or graduated ND bring it too.  If you'd like to test run a Nisi filter I will have some on hand for you to try.  A warm jacket is also advisable as standing by your tripod can get rather chilly, and bring a plastic bag to throw over your camera in case a shower passes through.

muriwai
Pay in Full
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Flowers in Summer
Nov
4
10:00 AM10:00

Flowers in Summer

Macro photography is a popular genre and a great form to practice your manual focussing skills and your compositions.  It's fun and easy too, you can shoot macro anywhere, but one of the best places is at the Wintergardens in Auckland.

macro

The beauty of learning a few macro tricks is that you can practice this art in any location, even your own backyard.  There is nothing more beautiful than a well-shot flower or more creepy than a super close up of an insect.  We'll also hone our eye looking for the patterns and symmetry to be found in nature.

fern symmetry macro

The most important technique when shooting handheld macro is learning how to focus.  There is a trick to it and I am happy to pass on that skill when you attend.  Also, this is a time when a crop sensor camera is an advantage.  You want to magnify the subject as much as possible.  If you don't have a dedicated macro lens, that's ok, just use your kit lens or the lens that lets you get a focussed shot as close as possible to your subject.  There isn't any need for a tripod or filters on this workshop.

Pay in Full
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For Astro Fans - FULL!
Sep
14
to Sep 15

For Astro Fans - FULL!

  • 1189 Awhitu Road Pollok, Auckland, 2684 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Oh no... the astro season is coming to a close shortly, so this will be our last small-group hands-on workshop for 2018! So please join me and one of New Zealand's best astrophotographers, Steve Clifton Photography, for a nice, early evening out under the stars.  And with a little bit of God's divine intervention we should walk away - just shoot and walk away lol - with some stunning foreground shots of this quaint little church with the Milky Way above it.

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With a start time of 9.30pm astro doesn't get much more user-friendly :)  We'll start the evening with a chat about settings and star apps, and we'll also spend some time discussing how to shoot a panorama.  I will be shooting panoramas for much of the night, using a pano head, and we can have a chat about the importance of finding the no parallex point of your lens - so please join me for some pano work if that's where your photography is heading next.  Steve and I will circulate as always and offer any tips if you require assistance.

Kohekohe_Astro-1.jpg

As usual Friday night will be our main shoot night with Saturday night as the back up.  Please ensure, before you sign up and pay, that you are available for both nights.  We're sorry, but there won't be any refunds if you can't make it.  Unfortunately, these are the constraints Auckland's fickle weather puts on us.  Come and join us for a fun evening in a safe and supportive environment.  Don't worry if you're a beginner, you're not the only one - we love supporting anyone with a passion for photography.

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Gear: a wide to medium focal length lens.  Anything from 10mm to 24mm works really well.  And 24mm is preferential if you're shooting panoramas as it helps to compress the distance between the foreground subject and the Milky Way.  A tripod is a must.  You can't photograph long exposures without a tripod.  A shutter release is also handy to have.  Remember to bring plenty of charged batteries.

Kohekohe_Astro-3.jpg

 

*Disclaimer - Susan Blick Photography and Steve Clifton Photography (your hosts) are not responsible for any damage to your gear or injury to yourself that may by chance happen when you are on the workshop.  We will be shooting on flat to undulating ground, suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, and we encourage you to drive safely to the location and always be aware of your gear while out shooting.  A safe shoot is a happy shoot :)

 

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Understanding & Using Lightroom
Aug
23
2:30 PM14:30

Understanding & Using Lightroom

  • 145 Nelson Street Auckland, Auckland, 1010 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This workshop is all about Lightroom CC.  I will lead you through a number of skills from importing to exporting, but we'll also work on cataloging and exporting a catalog including all your history steps.  Many people use LR, but few truly utilise its full potential.  Some just use it for minimal processing and exporting, others struggle to keep their catalogs up to date and in order.  And well, heaven forbid you need to store your catalog and take it from your computer onto an external drive.  Many don't do this correctly and lose all their history steps and/or can't locate images after the transfer has been done.  In the end your catalog looks a mess and you wish you'd never used it.  It doesn't have to be like that.  Lightroom is very intuitive once a few solid steps are followed.  Plus it's a great tool to use to process your images and to create presets for shoots where you've taken tonnes of images and need to get them out to clients.  I will walk you through LR beginning to end:

1. creating a catalog

2. importing images

3. synchronising folders - locating lost images

4. presets & basic processing

5. exporting images for web and print

6. transferring a catalog from a computer to an external drive without losing your history steps

LR workshop.jpg

Note: This workshop will be held indoors and as such is not weather dependent.  This workshop is for a maximum of 4, yes only 4, attendees.  You need to have a laptop with Lightroom CC installed, a full battery and/or the power cord for your laptop.  It is preferential if you bring an empty external drive to practice moving a catalog.  You also must have at least attempted to use LR before.  This is NOT an absolute beginners workshop.  A little experience using LR is necessary even if you're not confident or very good at using it.

The workshop will be held at 145 Nelson Street in the Auckland CBD; paid hourly parking is available at the YMCA on Pitt Street (a 7 minute walk) and at City Works Depot on Wellesley Street (a 10 minute walk).

Lightroom Workshop
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Astro Made To Order
Jul
7
5:00 PM17:00

Astro Made To Order

Well guys, astrophotography doesn't come any more convenient than this.  With a Saturday afternoon start time of 5pm with sunset, leading straight into our stars and Milky Way shoot till 8pm, getting you home in time for a nice evening.  This is an iconic location to shoot the Milky Way and our last chance to do so this season as the Milky Way is turning Westward and away from the East Coast - the actual address will given in the days leading up to the event.

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Steve Clifton Photography will again be our guest host on this workshop.  Steve's knowledge about shooting the night sky and on how to read "Sky apps" is up there with the best!  Make sure to quiz him if you have any queries.  Don't miss this VERY reasonably priced opportunity to extend your photography skills in perhaps one of the most challenging of genres.

Astro_Warkworth-2.jpg

We've set Saturday evening as the main shoot night, but if it's deemed too cloudy or it's going to rain we will reschedule for Sunday evening (the following day).  If you sign up to this workshop it is imperative that you add yourself as "going" to the Facebook event - otherwise you won't get the updates on whether the shoot date has changed.  You can find the link to Facebook here: Susan Blick Photography

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Gear: A tripod is essential, a wide angle lens, but also a zoom lens will work well for this workshop as we will probably start shooting from behind the fence first and will then later jump the fence and entered the field.  A headlamp is also required.

Pay in Full - *backup date: Sunday evening 5pm
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Seascapes
Jun
30
3:00 PM15:00

Seascapes

  • Takapu Refuge Walk Muriwai, Auckland, 0881 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This workshop will give you the opportunity to practice some long exposure seascapes leading up to and during sunset.  When we arrive the tide will be receding and low tide itself will be exactly at sunset.  This will provide a safe environment to explore the rocks and beach at the far end of the bay.  Generally, at low tide there are hundreds of starfish visible which also make great foreground interest for your seascape. 

MaoriBay-1.jpg

Firstly, we will discuss what settings are required for a long exposure of a seascape, and then we’ll venture off to find ourselves a nice spot that includes some a foreground for our shot.  Thinking about our composition is key to taking a good seascape, otherwise the image can look a little empty.

Secondly, if you have a set of neutral density filters, and even more importantly a graduated filter, this is the workshop to give it a whirl.  It’ll improve your chances of capturing an interesting seascape and will bring the sky’s brightness back inline with the darker foreground of your image - so very useful on this workshop.

MaoriBay-3.jpg

Thirdly, a nice wide lens will work best.  You will also need a sturdy tripod that you don’t mind putting in the sand and possibly the sea water. Dress warmly, but you may need to wear sandals or Wellys as there is a good chance your feet will get wet.

We will meet at the car park at the gannet colony and from there walk down to the beach.  Please don’t be late otherwise you may have to catch up to us down on the beach.

MaoriBay-4.jpg
Seascapes
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West Coast Astro - Full!
Jun
16
3:30 AM03:30

West Coast Astro - Full!

  • 211 Bethells Rd Muriwai, Auckland, 0781 New Zealand (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

It's ASTRO season!  So it's time to get out and do some Milky Way shooting as it doesn't last all year.  There is really only a small window to shoot astro in Auckland particularly.

Come and join Steve Clifton Photography and myself at one of my all time fave locations, Bethell's Beach.  It always seems to come clear at the right time out there - unlike Piha, lol - and the great expanse of the beach means it's easy to run off a few different compositions through the night.

A panorama shot on May 6th last year when all those meteors came.  It was a fabulous night and I was the only one on Bethell's

A panorama shot on May 6th last year when all those meteors came.  It was a fabulous night and I was the only one on Bethell's

Let's meet near the toilet block, sounds dodgy doesn't it? :)  However, it's in the best location and is right beside the entrance to the beach pathway; on the far righthand side of the carpark.  Start time is 3.30am, please try not to be late.  Remember there is infrequent cell phone reception out there, so google maps, texting, etc might not work out there.  

This is what makes it so great to run these 'middle of the night' workshops, because the workshop provides a safe environment for us all to shoot in, especially the females among us.  It's hard to go out alone, and it's not easy to find someone to accompany you - so this fits the bill nicely.  Just as importantly, come out and learn some tips on settings and compositions for astro, and through Steve's knowledge how to read astro apps, like Photopills, and how to find the Milky Way.  Feel free to ask either of us any questions at all.

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It'll be an informative and fun night.  I'll have a NISI night filter on hand if anyone would like a spin.  There's been plenty of talk that these are an enhancement to astrophotography, come and try for yourself.

Gear:  Naturally you will need a tripod.  A wide to mid lens is best.  Wide if you want it all in one shot and anything from 24-50mm works well for panoramas.

NOTE: The workshop is on in the very early hours of Saturday morning, so that essentially means Friday night.  If there is bad weather - a real possibility in the Auckland area - the event will automatically be rescheduled for the next morning, Sunday morning 3.30am.

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Street + Blue Hour
Jun
2
3:00 PM15:00

Street + Blue Hour

Let's get stuck into Winter’s round of workshops and practice a heap of photography skills all in one evening.

  • street/urban/architecture
  • panning
  • long exposure sunset + blue hour

We will start at Britomart focussing on detailed-architectured-shots and leading lines and wander up to Queen Street. From here we'll do some panning, and look for cool compositions at the Queen St/Customs Street intersection.  There is always plenty going on here and we’ll continue making our way towards Wynyard Quarter.

StreetMotorbike.jpg

Panning is an exciting technique that allows you to freeze a moving object while giving the background a nice blur. It's famously used by sport photographers to show movement. Here's one I took a while back, once you've got your exposure and focus set it's all about timing your pan with the movement of the subject.  Easier said than done!

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Next up, we'll walk along the waterfront stopping at a few interesting points and at Karanga Plaza for sunset. And on the way back to Britomart as blue hour sets in, we'll squeeze in some trail lights once lights are on.

KarangaPlazaSunset.jpg

** You will need a tripod, a wide to mid-range (kit) lens works best, and a warm jacket! An ND filter (especially a graduated ND) is always good to have for sunset. However, if you don't have one that's fine.

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