Wanaka Photography Classes

Objective: The course aims to assist in the development of necessary skills and knowledge to exert control over the camera by use of its differing functions and settings, appropriate to the subject / scene. Along with predominantly technical tuition, additional content will touch on compositional rules and post-processing techniques, with the aim of improving the overall quality and impact of images produced. 

Participants: The course will suit complete beginners with appropriate gear (see below) and a strong desire to learn as well as those with a general understanding of their camera and photography that want to move to the next level in producing striking images. 

Maximum Group Participants: 6

Location: Various locations around Wanaka, depending on weather and group progress.  


All classes are now finished for the winter - please register your interest in a future class here.


  • A camera that supports manual settings for Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO


  • A camera that supports RAW files
  • Editing Software that supports RAW files from your camera – the course will cover basic RAW processing concepts, demonstrated in Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements so access to one of these programs would be beneficial 

If you are unsure if your camera supports either of the above, please ask before signing up and I’ll help you find out.  

Topics covered (this is a guide and may vary depending on group progress): 

  • Camera Setup
  • RAW vs JPEG
  • Units of Exposure (Stops)
  • Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO and their relationship
  • The different Shooting Modes available and when to use them
  • Light Metering & Exposure Compensation
  • High Key / Low Key shots
  • Drive Modes
  • Focusing – methods and functions available to get the sharpest shots
  • Colour Theory & White Balance – achieving accurate colour representation
  • Understanding Dynamic Range and your camera’s Histogram
  • Introduction to composition and how to take better photos
  • Post-Processing, simple methods to get more out of your photos 

Bonus: Course participants will also be invited to a private Facebook group to continue and supplement learning outside the formal sessions by discussing course content and sharing and reviewing images.

What previous students say:

I went into this course as an absolute beginner and now feel that I have enough understanding of my camera to be able to really enjoy using it and learning to take great photos. The group size was perfect and we continue to get together after the course has finished to practise what we have learnt and discover more about photography. I found that the theory side of the course was very interesting; the information was easy to understand and take into a practical setting. I would definitely recommend Stu's course and I look forward to seeing what else he has to offer in the future.


Stu is a very knowledgeable man and we were lucky to get taught by someone that has such a great depth of knowledge. I definitely recommend it if you are like me who knew absolutely nothing going into it, and I have come out the other end definitely understanding my camera more. The small class sizes are good too.


This was a fantastic course. Far more informative than previous courses I’ve done including at uni. A great beginner/intermediate introduction for those interested in digital photography. Stu is very knowledgeable and a great tutor.


This course was aimed at the beginner and intermediate photographer so everyone had a  firm understanding of how to use different modes of their camera. It had a good balance of theory and practical, so you could have a go at taking shots of the topic covered at each session. Stu is extremely knowledgeable and very helpful throughout the course. He would critique images that were posted to a private facebook page, associated to the course, which was helpful and good to see how others were developing their photography. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in landscape photography and wishes to develop their skills using their camera and wanting to take great photographs.


Great course taught by someone who has a great passion for photography. Small groups so very personal too. I will certainly be looking for further education with Stu if he does anymore courses.As a total novice to DSLR photography I wanted to learn how to use my camera out of 'Auto' mode. This course gave me the grounding to do that and to develop an interest in photography that my previous 'point and shoot' approach hadn't. To live in such a beautiful part of the world and not be able to capture that accurately in photographs was a real shame so I look forward to honing my skills enough to allow me to take photos that I'll enjoy looking back on in years to come.


The course was very informative and I have learnt a great deal. I used to use my camera in Auto mode only but now I understand settings more and am more comfortable changing them to suit my needs. Also this course has provided an incentive for me to use my camera more.


This was an awesome course! Stu did a great job of explaining things and encouraging us along the way. I finished the course feeling confident and raring to go out shooting. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to figure out their camera and improve their photography.


Stu's passion of photography and teaching created a course where I personally gained knowledge and skills, that I believe would have taken years of trying by myself. 


The course was very informative. My aim was to learn how to use functions other than automatic, which I done. I also learnt things like bracketing and how to take night shots. :)            

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