7 Day “Lord Howe Island Birds & Nature Photography Odyssey”


Tropicbird from above

A LuminOdyssey photography workshop/tour conducted by Michael Snedic and David Burren


7th to 13th of May 2017


The World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island! Rising majestically out of the Tasman Sea 550km off Australia, 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.

Lord Howe Island

At the southern end of the island, the often cloud-covered twin peaks of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird rise perpendicular from 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. 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.

About the Workshop and Tour

One of our workshop participants getting up close and personal with a tern.

One of our workshop participants getting up close and personal with a tern.

This week-long workshop will be presented by professional wildlife and nature photographers and tutors: Michael Snedic and David Burren.

Your ‘Lord Howe Island Photography Odyssey’ commences when your QantasLink flight departs direct from Brisbane. In fact you’ll probably have met up with fellow participants and Michael or David during your transit to Brisbane. 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 a welcome dinner as well as a picnic on the island; a blend of structured lectures including informal discussions and one-on-one tuition time; and a boat cruise with snorkelling. These sessions will be interspersed with free time to make up your week of photographic learning.

Highlights include

  • Sunrise shoots at Ned’s and Blinky Beaches
  • Sunset shoots at Malabar sea cliffs and Signal Point
  • Cruise and snorkelling at North Bay
  • Old Gulch, Mt Eliza and North Bay lookout
  • Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird photography from sea level
  • Bird photography including Woodhens, Sooty Terns, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, White Terns and many more
Looking through the roots of a huge Banyan fig

Looking through the roots of a huge Banyan fig

Some of the topics and subjects that will be covered

  • Birds
  • Macro
  • Sunrises
  • Sunsets
  • Landscapes
  • Composition
  • Aperture/Depth-of-Field
  • Lighting (natural/flash/reflectors etc)
  • Exposure and metering
  • Focusing points
  • Filters
  • Image critique
  • Managing your images with Photoshop/Lightroom.
    This is not an intensive Lightroom course though: we use these tools to maximise our time on the island.
  • and much more!


We have a planned daily itinerary (which can be read at Michael’s site). Be aware that this is always subject to weather issues (or other such issues which are out of our control). Even the wind direction can change the bird behaviour, and on Lord Howe Island we sometimes end up having to shuffle the daily activities.



Maximum of 11. With two instructors you’ll get plenty of access to each of us, learn new skills, and maximise your Lord Howe Island experience.

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 and macro photography sessions.

Workshop Price

$4149 per person (twin-share) ex Brisbane.
(single occupancy price available upon request)


Bookings will be made through “The Travel Centre” on Norfolk Island. To discuss a booking please [easy-contactform id=3166 modal=”contact David.”]


  • Return economy class airfare to Lord Howe Island from Brisbane (we have a group flight direct from Brisbane to the island)
  • All pre-paid airline taxes
  • Return airport transfers on Lord Howe Island and all other bus transfers
  • Accommodation (twin share) at Ocean View Lodge
  • Photography tuition by Michael Snedic and David Burren, as per itinerary
  • Welcome dinner
  • Cruise across lagoon to North Bay, which includes snorkelling and picnic

Flights from Melbourne/Sydney/etc to Brisbane are not included, but as the eastern airports are major destinations for multiple carriers many budget options are available.


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.

If your luggage allowance allows, we encourage 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. Throughout the week we will be backing up our photographs through the laptops, and it’s not unusual for some people to bring back hundreds of gigabytes of new work.

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!

Lord Howe Woodhen

A young Lord Howe Woodhen up close and personal

Getting there and back

We will be flying direct to the island on QantasLink Dash-8 aircraft via Brisbane. Because of the size of the plane and the short length of the airport runway, the baggage allowance for these flights is smaller than normal Qantas flights and this can seem like a challenge to many photographers. But don’t let that hold you back: it is a challenge but not a problem. We have both done this trip quite a few times and have been able to take 300mm/2.8 and 500mm/4 lenses along with decent tripods without problems. You do need to choose your equipment and pack carefully, and we will try to help you with this in the lead-up to the trip.

Internet access

There is no mobile phone service on the island. There is web access available via WiFi at our accommodation, although it is relatively slow. It is at least fast enough for email access.


Your instructors

David and Michael are both wildlife and nature photographers and tutors. They’re both Accredited AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) photographers, but with slightly different backgrounds.



David has been photographing since the 1970s (professionally since 2002). As well as winning awards for his photography, and teaching the field craft to hundreds of people, his IT background has provided important tools in managing the photography workflow.

He is an Adobe Certified Expert, and has spent years teaching Photoshop and Lightroom at a tertiary level and to individuals and groups. As the principal of LuminOdyssey Photo Expeditions, David regularly conducts photographic workshops and tours to destinations around Australia and the globe.


Michael Snedic

Michael is an experienced (20-years) and widely published photographer, writer and photo expedition leader. His photography articles and images have featured in numerous publications in Australia and across the world.

He is owner of WildNature Photo Expeditions and presents exciting photography workshops and tours to many wonderful photographic and travel destinations. These include Australia, Antarctica, the Arctic, SubAntarctic, Africa, Galapagos, Peru, Amazon, Japan, and many more. He is also an Australian Ambassador for both Lowepro and Lenscoat. Michael loves sharing his photographic knowledge and passion with workshop participants, helping them improve their photographic skills.

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