Bay of Fires landscape & night sky photography workshop

5 days of photography in the Bay of Fires and the Blue Tier

Join Rob Blakers and Loic Le Guilly for 5 days of landscape and night sky photography, staying at the famous Bay of Fires Lodge in northeast Tasmania.

Enjoy delightful Tasmanian cuisine, elegant accommodation and some of the finest landscapes in Australia.





Take your photography to the next level

The Bay of Fires landscape & night sky photography workshop includes:

– Sunrise and sunset photography on deserted beaches and granite shorelines
– Night sky, and with luck, aurora photography
– Rainforest and rivers
– Instruction tutorials on equipment and settings, composition, image processing, exposure blending, focus stacking, stitching, 360 panoramas, medium format digital and more
– Small group discussions and relaxed information-sharing
– One-on-one instruction
– Time to explore the landscape and for quiet reflection

Beginners welcome !

Night-sky photography

Loic Le Guilly is an expert in night-sky photography, including the elusive aurora.

He will share his techniques and enable you (weather permitting) to capture great night-sky images… and with a bit of luck an aurora !

The Bay of Fires Lodge is located away from city lights so the conditions for night-sky photography are ideal. The Milky Way image on the right was shot from the balcony of the lodge during our first workshop in May 2015 !





I have taken photos for as long as I can remember! I have a Diploma of Photography but really hardly any formal training. In 2015 (May), I attended the Bay of Fires 5 Day photography workshop. As we approached the Lodge a pod of dolphins surfed, we photographed ‘cotton wool’ water that night as well as an AURORA and milky way at 7.30 pm. I saw sunrises that would bring a tear to your eye, rivers more beautiful than I have ever seen before. I saw the moon rise as the sun did. This beauty combined with the expertise of of Rob and Loic and no other commitments provided the PERFECT combination to grow, learn and improve no matter what your level. Rob and Loic were fun, informative and helpful and I can’t wait to do another workshop with them.



Medium format digital photography

You will have a unique chance to try the 80 megapixel medium format system that Rob Blakers uses to produce incredibly detailed wilderness images.

Rob will share the techniques he has refined over the last 30 years to capture the best possible images, including focus stacking.



Learn the secrets of 360 imaging

Loic Le Guilly has been producing 360 panoramas for the last 15 years. He will teach you his workflow to get the results he shares on Tasmania 360.


A 360 panorama of Eddystone Point near the Bay of Fires Lodge
where we will be staying

Additional information

Accommodation at the Bay of Fires Lodge

Accommodation at the Bay of Fires Lodge is twin share. Single travelers may be required to share a twin room with someone of the same gender. To guarantee a single room for the duration of your stay a supplementary price of 75% of full fee will apply. Please request this at the time of booking.

The workshop price includes:

  • Blue Tier enchanted forestreturn transfers between Launceston and the Bay of Fires Lodge
  • all meals and non-alcoholic beverages. A selection of Tasmanian beer and wines will be available for purchase whilst at the Lodge.
  • National Park pass for the Mt William National Park
  • full participation in the workshop, including all tuition
  • The workshop price does not include insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, travel accident or delay, baggage delay or baggage theft, medical or hospitalization expenses. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance to cover these unlikely possibilities, as well as coverage for loss or damage to personal items including photographic equipment.

Please note

Workshop participants are responsible for making their own way to the Workshop meeting point in Launceston.

Is the workshop suitable for me?

  • The Bay of Fires Photography Workshop will cater to a wide range of interests and levels of experience. With the Lodge as our base-camp there is considerable flexibility regarding where and how far we explore each day. That said, walking is our mode of transport. Participants should be in good physical condition and general health, capable of comfortably negotioating bush tracks and rocky foreshores whilst carrying camera equipment and warm clothes. Please contact us if you are uncertain in this regard.
  • LLG_6063-2Workshop participants will be required to complete a comprehensive registration form at the time of finalising the booking. Information on any medical conditions that might have a bearing on your capacity to successfully complete the workshop should be provided at that time.
  • The workshop is recommended for people aged 16 years and over.

What to bring

  • warm clothes for 5 days – remember, this is spring in Tasmania and we will be out early and late, at night-time and also in mountain rainforest at the Blue Tier. A detailed gear list will be made available at the time of booking.
  • comfortable walking boots
  • comfortable large day-pack or voluminous camera bag with room for warm clothes, water bottle and snacks
  • camera kit, including tripod
  • light-weight shoes/runners for use at and around the Lodge
  • light umbrella for inclement weather
  • personal items including water bottle, tooth-brush etc


To secure your place for the Bay of Fires Photo Workshop a deposit of $790 is required. This deposit is non-refundable. In the event that a workshop is cancelled due to inadequate enrollment or other circumstances beyond our control, all payments will be refunded in full.

Final payment may be made by direct deposit, cheque or credit card 60 days before the start of the workshop.

For further information please contact Wild Island at 03 6224 0220 or Rob Blakers 0427 232 539.

Tasmanian Landscape & Nature Photography Awards

Wild Island is excited to announce the inaugural Tasmanian Nature and Landscape Photography Award – a photographic competition and exhibition that celebrates wild and natural Tasmania.

The competition winners will be announced at Wild Island on April 29 at 6pm.

Shortlisted entries and competition winners will be part of the Tasmanian Nature and Landscape Photography Award Exhibition, to be held at Wild Island in Salamanca from April 29th to June 1st 2016.

view images online

Categories include Wild Landscape, People in Nature, Animals, Plants, Natural Design, Tarkine, Portfolio, Junior, People’s Choice and Overall Winner.


1. Junior (Age 15 and under)

First prize: Jonathan Rose. $200

Second prize: Rafael Bol. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island

2. Wild landscape

First prize: Luke Tscharke. $500

Second prize: Nick Monk. A local day tour with Roaring 40s Kayaking for 2 people (Nick gets to choose which tour!) www.roaring40skayaking.com.au/all-hobart-tours

Third prize: Luke Tscharke. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

3. People in nature, including nature based sport and adventure (rock-climbing, surfing, cycling, canyoning, rafting etc)

First prize: Grant Dixon. $500

Second prize: Matt Newton. A tour for two people with Cradle Mountain Canyons (Matt gets to choose which one!) www.cradlemountaincanyons.com.au/tours

Third prize: Charles Chadwick. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

4. Animals

First prize: Bob Wickham. $200 plus two nights accommodation and wildlife viewing at Inala on Bruny Island. www.inalanaturetours.com.au

Second prize: Ian Wallace. Bonorong Private Premium Night Tour for 2 people (valued at $698). bonorong.com.au/private-premium-night-tour/

Third prize: Jason Stephens. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

5. Plants

First prize: Andy Townsend. $200 and a single night for two at Tarkine Wilderness Lodge (valued at $410). www.tarkinelodge.com/lodge.html

Second prize: Jonathan Esling. $200 gift voucher from Wild Island

Third prize: Arwen Dyer. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

6. Natural design

First prize: Terence Munday. Maria Island Landscape, Wildlife and Night Sky Photography Workshop with Wild Island, (valued at $1490).


Second prize: John Hodgman. $200 gift voucher from Wild Island

Third prize: Nick Monk. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

7. Tarkine

First prize: Hillary Younger. Tarkine Rainforest Walk with

Tarkine Trails, (valued at $1699). http://tarkinerainforestwalk.com.au

Second prize: Andy Townsend. $200 gift voucher from Find Your Feet. http://www.findyourfeet.com.au

Third prize: Grant Kench. $100 gift voucher from Wild Island.

9. Portfolio of 6 images – Nick Monk. $500 cash prize

8. Overall winner – Matt Newton. $500 cash prize

9. People’s choice – $200 gift voucher from Wild Island plus Ocean and Seal Trip with Wild Ocean Tasmania, (valued at $175). http://wildoceantasmania.com.au/seal-swim/

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Our amazing sponsors

Bonorong logo

Cradle Mountain Canyons BLACK




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Interwoven – Exhibition by Trauti Reynolds

“With this exhibition I want to celebrate the beauty of Tasmania’s natural world. When walking in the bush with our small sons I learned to look at the often unobtrusive, small details of Tasmania’s forests, mountains and shorelines. Textures, colours and patterns catch my attention and imagination. I hope that this body of work reflects this.”

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Opening 6pm, Friday 1 April
Exhibition continues until Wednesday 27 April

Trauti Reynolds Wet Eucalypt Bark (detail), 36.5x35cm, tapestry weaving with cotton threads, 2015

Tarkine Lodge Rainforest and Aerial Photography Workshop

Join Rob Blakers and Loic Le Guilly for four extraordinary days of photography within and above Australia’s biggest rainforest wilderness!

We will combine ground-based rainforest photography at the superbly sited Tarkine Wilderness Lodge with big picture aerial photography over the rainforests, ranges and coastline of the magnificent Tarkine, using chartered helicopters.

There are spaces for just six people at this unprecedented event, which will be closely customized to the interests of participants.

Enjoy luxury accommodation, some of Tasmania’s largest rainforest trees at our doorstep and fantastic sunrise and sunset aerial photography across the Tarkine.

The Tarkine Lodge Rainforest and Aerial Photography Workshop features:

  • Intensive rainforest and autumn fungi photography at the iconic Tarkine Lodge
  • On-site helicopters for tailored flights across the Tarkine wilderness
  • Tasmanian Devil viewing from the on-site ‘Devil Hide’
  • Instruction tutorials on equipment and settings, image-making and processing, focus stacking and stitching, 360 panoramas, medium format digital and more
  • One-on-one instruction and small group discussions
  • The opportunity for images from the workshop to be used in the ongoing campaign for protection of the Tarkine.
  • Night sky and, with luck, aurora photography
  • Discounted rates for couples and non-participating partners

Cost – $3950 – NOW FULLY BOOKED



Workshop details

With the iconic Tarkine Lodge as our base we will explore Australia’s biggest rainforest wilderness, on the ground and from the air.

Photographic opportunities abound, and will include on-ground rainforest exploration, Tasmanian Devils and other wildlife and extraordinary aerial photography of rainforest, rivers, mountains and wild coast.

What to Bring 

Warm clothes for 4 days. Remember, this is autumn in Tasmania and we will be out early and late, at night-time, in mountain rainforest and in an open helicopter! The following list details clothing and other equipment that is required for the workshop.

  • Lightweight lace-up walking boots, walking shoes or robust runners with treaded soles and with ankle support if preferred
  • Goretex or other good quality rain jacket
  • Waterproof over-trousers for rainforest photography
  • Thick polar-fleece jacket (preferred) or thick woolen jumper
  • Polar fleece pullover (for wearing under the polar-fleece jacket)
  • Polypropylene thermal underwear – 2 long sleeved tops and 2 pairs of long johns
  • Beanie and/or balaclava
  • Thick thermal gloves/mitts
  • Thin thermal gloves
  • Shorts and/or light cotton trousers for daytime walking in dry weather
  • Warm comfortable clothing for evening lodge wear
  • Shirts / t-shirts – 2 recommended
  • Socks – 4 pairs of warm socks recommended
  • Underwear – 4 sets
  • Lightweight footwear – suitable for lodge and surrounds
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle – at least 1.5 litres
  • Lightweight umbrella – essential for rainforest photography!
  • Tripod (essential to bring although not always required)
  • Camera/s, lenses, spare batteries, memory cards, cables, lens tissue, blower brush and other photographic accessories.
  • Camera bag rucsac that is large enough to also fit spare clothes, water bottle and snacks, or camera bag that will fit within a larger rucsac. In this case, the larger rucsac should also be included.
  • Laptop for processing your photographs if desired
  • Walking poles if desired
  • Small but powerful torch and spare batteries
  • Binoculars (for wildlife spotting)
  • Personal items – toothbrush etc
  • Large rucsac and/or duffle bag to contain your clothing and equipment during transport.

What we Provide

  • A desktop computer for processing images
  • A laptop computer for processing images
  • A small selection of camera gear for loan during the workshop
  • Return transfers between Hobart and Launceston and Tarkine Wilderness Lodge
  • Up to 4 hours helicopter aerial photography
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages. A selection of Tasmanian beer and wines will be available for purchase whilst at the Lodge.
  • Full participation in the workshop, including all tuition


We will collect guests from Hobart then Launceston early in the morning on Thursday 31st March 2016. We will contact each workshop guest in the week prior to the workshop with specific meeting times and places.

We will return to Launceston by 5pm and Hobart by 8pm on Sunday 3rd April.

Tarkine Wilderness Lodge 

Imagine a superbly appointed Lodge, constructed from beautiful Tasmanian timber, nestled on 200 acres of privately owned land within the majestic Tarkine wilderness. Set on a hilltop that is surrounded by marsupial lawn, and encompassed by the great Tarkine rainforest, the Tarkine Lodge is unique! It is a sustainably designed building constructed of massive timber beams that have been placed at unusual angles, and set with a plethora of windows to catch the views in every direction. Rain water (some of the cleanest in the world!) is collected from the roof and supplies all internal taps and showers. The Lodge utilizes Solar Power as its main source of electricity.

At the Tarkine Wilderness Lodge you’ll enjoy delicious meals prepared with the freshest local produce. Food and wine are sourced from local suppliers and growers wherever possible, and supplements produce from the substantial on-site organic garden.

The Lodge offers luxurious accommodation and complete seclusion from the outside world.

Dietary Requirements

Food will be fresh and local. Please let us know as early as possible if you have dietary requirements or preferences that we can cater to.


Please inform us well ahead of time if you have a medical or health condition that may impact your ability to fully participate in the workshop. Guests over 70 years of age will require a doctor’s certificate.


The workshop price does not include insurance coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, travel accident or delay, baggage delay or baggage theft, medical or hospitalization expenses. We strongly recommend that you obtain travel insurance to cover these unlikely possibilities, as well as coverage for loss or damage to personal items including photographic equipment.

About the Guides

Loic Le Guilly has been a professional photographer for 20 years, focusing on nature, landscape and commercial photography. He is also a specialist in night photography and 360 degree imaging.

Rob Blakers has photographed in Tasmania’s wild places for 35 years. He is an enthusiastic advocate for nature and wilderness and is interested in the evolution of photographic values and techniques in the age of digital photography.

For More Information

Please contact either Rob Blakers (0427 232 539) or Loic Le Guilly (0414 612 716) if you have questions regarding the workshop, or email Wild Island at info@wildislandtas.com.au.

Intermediate Photoshop Workshop with Simon Olding

Following on from the Beginners Photoshop course, join Simon Olding to explore more features and applications of the worlds most used photo editing application. This session will cover:

  • Colour settings and the basics of colour management
  • Colour Modes and mode changes including B&W conversions
  • Raw file processing
  • Recap on image sizing
  • Using Layers for adjustments and retouching
  • Creating and using Layer masks
  • Blending modes
  • Using channels and alpha channels as masks
  • Sharpening images in Photoshop

This 2.5 hour course is an excellent follow on for those who have attended “Introduction to Photoshop” or for those wishing to add to their basic Photoshop skills. Demonstrations will be performed using the current CC version of Photoshop. Q&A session will follow.

Simon Olding has been using Photoshop for over 20 years going back to Photoshop v2.5. He runs a successful fine art printing business in Hobart where Photoshop is his daily workhorse.


Passages – Exhibition by Cate Blackmore

Passage: a journey by sea or air; a privilege of conveyance as a passenger.

European history records Abel Tasman’s expedition of 1642, seeking the Great South Land. From that point in time, how many men, women and children have had passage along Tasmania’s coast; seen the granite, the sandstone and the dolerite from the sea, looking in. How many convicts, settlers, officers, merchants and now tourists have gazed upon the painted rocks, the luscious turquoise water and pristine white sand of land’s edge. How welcome was landfall…

(A tribute to the many passengers seeking to find a home in Australia.)

view the exhibition online

Gondwana on Fire Q&A

Gondwana on Fire – the ecology of Tasmania’s ancient evolutionary lineage vegetation.

Click here to view the video recording of this event

Wild Island is hosting a Q&A at the Dechaineux Theatre, Centre for the Arts in Hunter St with Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick, Professor David Bowman and Associate Professor Greg Jordan, who will share their insights into the fire ecology of Tasmania’s alpine areas and rainforests, and the threats posed by a warming and drying climate.

About the speakers

Distinguished Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania.
Professor David Bowman, fire ecologist, University of Tasmania.
Associate Professor Greg Jordan, evolutionary ecologist, University of Tasmania.

All are welcome to this free event, however to ensure entry, please RSVP online (SCROLL DOWN TO BOOK YOUR TICKET)

NB We will ask for $5 donation to cover the costs of hiring a bigger venue.

Wednesday March 2nd, 7:30 to 9:30pm at the Dechaineux Theatre, Centre for the Arts in Hunter St.

Introduction to Landscape Photography with Rob Blakers

This short workshop aims to set the scene for nature and landscape photography, as well as provide practical, hands-on advice and tips that will be relevant to those new, and not so new, to photography.

Come armed with questions and feel free to bring your camera.
Wednesday February 10th, 7:30 – 9:30pm. $29.50


Rock, ice, rainforest + Topophilia

Rob Blakers    Rock, ice, rainforest

Landscape photography takes us out of the studio and away from the situations that we control. It is the engagement of thought and planning, strenuous travel and intuition. It is the art of finding ourselves in places where we are drawn into subtle nature, and of seeking images that convey that experience.

This exhibition presents moments from wild landscapes in Tasmania. It comes from fine winter light on ice and mountains, elegant sand-dunes and sand-stone, and ephemeral mist in quiet forest. It is the amazing Tasmanian endemic gondwanan flora and lingering twilight over the western sea. It is a collection of encounters, mostly recent, from three decades of pursuit.

Read Rob’s opening speech below.

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Olivia Hickey    Topophilia

Artist statement: I am an explorer of the outdoors with a deep and long held connection to the wild places. I am often drawn to the hidden details within the land and find myself captivated by the complexity and beauty in the small. I collect natural treasures mindfully, transmute them into silver and return them to place.

This process ensures that they are still part of the land and highlights the magic of the hidden details. I strive to capture the intangible moments and create talismans that connect people to the ephemeral elements of place so they can be worn on the landscape of the body.

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Opening speech by Rob Blakers

Rock, Ice, Rainforest
Wild Island, February 5th 2016

“Almost half of the images on display tonight are in the direct line of the fires that continue to burn in western Tasmania.

The 100 and more fires that were lit by lightning strikes on 13th January have had a devastating impact on the Tasmanian natural landscape, and in particular on rainforest and alpine communities, which have no tolerance for fire. Fire has burnt at the edge of Australia’s largest rainforest wilderness in the Tarkine, and rolled around the western end of the Central Plateau, and at Lake Mackenzie and the February Plains, for more than 3 weeks. Trees, plants and organic soils that were upwards of a thousand years old have been killed. In a warming and drying climate this is a one-way process – those communities will not come back.

The loss of the highland Gondwanic endemics – pencil and King Billy pines, cushion plants and other alpine species, has been ongoing since white colonization of Tasmania. Less than half of the pencil pines that grew here 200 years ago now remain. Most of that loss has been caused by people, through fires that were deliberately lit and also through fires started inadvertently.

The fires of the last several weeks are different and mark the era in which we now find ourselves. We still have direct human folly, but the consequences of indirect human folly have, for the first time in history, eclipsed those. The fires that began on the 13th are not natural fires but are one terrible way in which climate change now manifests in Tasmania.

In the decade from 1993 to 2003 there were 17 wildfires ignited by lightning strikes in Tasmania. In the decade that followed there were 30. In the last month alone there have been upwards of 130. This, coupled with the driest summer ever recorded in western Tasmania, makes a critically dangerous situation. It is precisely what the climate change modeling predicted.

Pencil and King Billy pines are wonderful things; they have been my favorites since I first came to Tasmania. The highland Gondwanan landscapes are unique in Australia, and corresponding high altitude long lived trees are globally rare and diminishing. In light of these fires, however, I now see the alpine pine communities differently. I saw them before as an incredibly special and beautiful feature of the Tasmanian highlands. I still see them as that, but now see them also as fragile relicts that need our utmost protection. These plants have been around for 65 million years yet today face unprecedented threats. To lose them in the wild in coming decades, a very real prospect, would be a hideous indictment.

In their destructive spread the fires have cast a pall of smoke over Tasmania. They have also cast a pall over the collective mood of most of the people that I know – people who understand and care for wild places. It’s grief at the specific loss of ancient pines and deep rainforest, but it is more than that. For many of us this event has touched a dread that we have carried, not always consciously, for decades. It’s the understanding that humans have plundered the planet for selfish ends for a long time and that the inevitable consequences of that abuse are now in play.

Climate change has landed on our shores and today’s fires are a part of that, but plainly the crisis affects more than our beautiful pencil pines and rainforests. We are in a fight for the life of the planet.

The dread that we feel, and the events that are becoming increasingly apparent globally, can be powerful motivators. Faced with dire questions of our own survival, there has never been such incentive for positive change. To not fight is to plunge further into denial and despair. Our past cannot be our future.

We need to reduce our own impacts and help those either unable or unwilling, to also do so. We need to cultivate our vegetable plots and cultivate our resourcefulness, creativity and intuition.

Let’s hope that in a hundred years we can all look around and see the places in these pictures – flourishing groves of pencil and King Billy pine at Mt Anne, the Arthurs, and in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, verdant rainforest in the Weld and the Northeast, (and of course in the Tarkine National Park), all being rained bountifully upon in a repairing Tasmanian climate.”

Contours of Tasmania – Summer Exhibition

Group exhbition with works by Tasmanian artists Peter Dombrovskis, Michael Weitnauer, Rob Blakers, Chris Bell, Jenny Burnett, Simon Olding, Barbara Tassell, Julie Stoneman, Fyona Storer, Kelly Gerdes, Deborah Wace and Loic Le Guilly.

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Win a print by Rob Blakers, Loic Le Guilly or Simon Olding (random draw every 3 months).

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