Become a friendDonateContact

Matariki 2018

Universal Scale

Matariki 2018
11 - 15th June
Workshops run by internationally renowned astrophotographer: Mark Gee

Join us at Orama Oasis for a unique photography event leading into Matariki, (a season of potential and flourishing growth).

In 2017 Aotea / Great Barrier Island was recognised as a Dark Sky Sanctuary by the International Dark Sky Association. The honour of obtaining “sanctuary status” recognises the outstanding night sky environment of the Island as well as the commitment of the Island community to preserve and protect the quality of the Aotea night environment.

To celebrate Matariki in 2018, Orama Oasis is hosting a week long event featuring renowned astrophotographer, Mark Gee. This will include workshops, one-on-one guidance, and feedback from Mark.

The program is designed to capture the essence of the Aotea / Great Barrier community and lifestyle, and will include a Marae visit with a traditional Māori powhiri (welcome). During this visit kaumatua and kuia of Ngāti Rehua Ngāti Wai ki Aotea will share the story of Matariki and explain the significance for Māori.

There will be time provided for self-directed work during the week long program, and the opportunity for your work to be viewed and feedback given by Mark and his team.

Places limited to 20 participants, please contact Orama Oasis for registrations: +64-9-429-0063

Mark Gee is an award winning photographer,
time-lapse filmmaker & visual effects supervisor
based in Wellington, New Zealand. He has worked on many high profile and Oscar award winning feature films, and his love of the New Zealand landscape is a big part of the inspiration for his photography.
Mark Gee Mark’s short film, ‘Full Moon Silhouettes‘ also gained him international acclaim after going viral online, and has been broadcast all over the world by the likes of CNN, The BBC, NASA and various other mainstream media.

In 2013, Mark won the prestigious Astronomy  Photographer of the Year. Not only did he win it  overall, but Mark also won the Earth and Space category, and the People and Space category which had never been done before in the competition's history.
Wholly self-taught, Mark’s style of photography is influenced by his many years of experience in the feature film business, & with an eye for detail he strives to produce creative images of exceptional quality, no matter what the subject.

While his images can portray a wide variety of subjects, astrophotography is Mark’s specialty. He often ventures out to the darkest, most remote skies all around New Zealand and the rest of the world, enjoying the challenge of capturing striking landscapes with the ethereal beauty of the night sky in new, creative ways. This has led to international success with Mark being shortlisted in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year every year from 2012 onwards, a finalist in the 2012 World Open of Photography, and 4th place in the 2014 International Earth and Sky Photo Competition, as well as having images published in various books and magazines.
Since then, Mark has gone onto to sharing his passion and knowledge through workshops and on the public speaking circuit. One of the highlights of that was his well received TEDx talk in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2014.

  View from Above
Astrophotography techniques and processing covered during the workshop.
1. General techniques required to  photograph the night sky - this will cover such topics as equipment required, camera settings, calculating the correct exposure, focusing at night.
2. Planning an astro shoot - location  scouting, composition and planning, making the most out of the Milky Way season.
3. Post Processing - techniques and workflows for processing your astro photos in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
4. Shooting an Astro Panorama - a practical guide to shooting a multiple image astro panorama and stitching the image
5. Shooting an Astro Time-lapse - a practical guide to shooting an astro time-lapse,  processing and outputting a video.

Minimum requirements for the workshop.
1. A DLSR or mirrorless camera.
2. A wide angle lens - anywhere between 14mm and 24mm is ideal.
3. A tripod
4. A knowledge of how to operate your camera manually. This includes setting the  shutter speed, aperture, ISO and white balance and shooting in RAW.
5. A torch/head torch preferably with a red light function.

Additional equipment, although not necessary.
1. Laptop computer with Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop.
2. Intervalometer for shooting time-lapses
0900 arrival into Okiwi Airstrip
1030 Introductions and first workshop: General Astrophotography and Camera Techniques
1400 Trip to Kawa Marae for powhiri and Matariki narrative.
1800 Dinner at Marae
2000 > late stars at Katherine Bay

0930 review of photos with Mark / free time for post processing + photo taking
1300 lunch
1430 topic #2: post processing
1800 dinner
1930 stars at Owhitu / Leys’ jetty / Orama

0930 free time for photo taking / post-processing
1300 lunch
1430 workshop for review of post-processing work
1800 dinner
1930 > late topic #3: Astro time-lapse

0300 stars at Forestry Bay, Port Fitzroy
0800 picnic breakfast
1300 lunch
1730 dinner at Currach Pub in Tryphena
1930 stars at Medlands beach
2300 return to Orama

0930 workshop for review of photos with  Mark
1300 lunch
1530 flights to Auckland
(inclusive of all accommodation, meals, and transfers):
  • cabin single $1200
  • cabin twin share $1100
  • lodge single $1240
  • lodge twin share $1120
  • self contained unit $1450
  • self contained unit share $1240


Orama Oasis is a dynamic Christian community based on Great Barrier Island with a vibrant history of restoring and equipping people for life’s journey. Every year more than 2500 visitors come to enjoy a holiday adventure, a spiritual retreat or a training school at Orama ... Read more

Friend us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter