Lizz Fitt – Bristol, UK
“Coming on one of Stella and Jurgen’s Wet Tropics Photography Workshops is so much more than a lesson in photography. The learning is second to none – Jurgen’s many years of experience as a wildlife photographer allow you the rare opportunity to tap in to knowledge and expertise built up over decades, tailored to your own needs, while Stella’s impeccable organisational and observation skills mean smooth running and a whole world of creatures you never even knew existed. As well as learning about photography, you get to do it. With all that that involves in terms of the unexpected, the challenging and sometimes the odd thunder storm! I found the opportunity to get out there and practice in real life conditions extremely useful, not to mention fun. Stella and Jurgen’s knowledge of people, plants and creatures of the Wet Tropics, great and small, is vast. Even if you had absolutely no interest in photography, a workshop day with them would be fascinating. They really know their stuff, both in terms of the art of photography and equipment usage and in terms of the environments in which they operate. Add to this what they bring to the table personally (they’re just such lovely lovely people) and you really do have a very unique and enriching experience. I honestly do not think there is anyone else out there offering anything comparable to this. I highly recommend you do it and very much hope I will be able to go back for more some day. Thank you both so much!!”
Ollie Campbell – Bristol, UK
“Stella and Juergen are really the most wonderful people to take you on a journey into wildlife photography. I simply could not see how it could be bettered. Their attention to detail and sincere desire to make sure you have the most fulfilling and rewarding time is just incredible. Their knowledge of the area is second to none, and they know anyone who is anyone. From the secret spots, to the best bits of the well known sites, they can make sure you find wildlife like no-one else. And once there you are taken care of to an incredible degree. Stella would be exploring the area, finding bugs, or fungi, or animals, or plants or views or just about anything that would make you realise the depth of opportunities available in the area. So much of this type of photography is the observation, skills and knowledge of the wildlife itself. We would go to a place that was public and I would see things that most people would walk on by. Glowing fungi… well. You just have to wait. And Juergen would make sure you made the most of it. He can take your style and work with it, help you develop it. He really made me concentrate on the importance of some fundamentals that even with over 20 years of photography under my belt, I could still make errors with. He knows so many ways to make sure the photo is better or different… or possible! And he knows his kit. What to use when. When to improvise. Not to get stuck in one way of doing things. What the minimum kit is. What the best kit it. How to modify stuff. Which programs to use, how and why. Basically there is simply not enough time to absorb all that a lifetime of photography has given Juergen. You just have to take what you can. Suck it all up, try it out and revel in the experience.You will be pampered, cared for, pushed and guided. And long long after, the things will come back to you. I am still realising how much I learnt. And remembering with huge affection my new friends Juergen and Stella. Just awesome. There are few photographers of any level who would not totally love and learn from this. And maybe win awards with the photos! Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Jenna Rumney – Port Douglas, QLD
“What an incredible workshop! I learned so much about wildlife, camera equipment, techniques and postproduction. Yogi is a fantastic teacher and a remarkable human being. His soft spoken but expert coaching improved my photography immensely and this course was as inspirational as it was informative. I will forever have the memories and skills (and let’s not forget photos!) that I picked up during this workshop. Thanks so much for a truly amazing experience.”
Dave Mainwaring – Port Douglas, QLD
“I took Yogi’s photo class with a bunch of friends and family of various different skill levels. Yogi has a lovely, gentle approach to teaching with no ego or B.S. Everyone in the course got something awesome out of it and it was a heap of fun playing with all his toys and gadgets. He was great at explaining complex stuff and made sure no one got left behind.”
Annette Corsi – Innisfail, QLD
“An enjoyable and entertaining fun-course of expertly organised subjects and venues, inspired by Yogi’s enthusiasm and generous sharing of his photographic knowledge and experiences. Thanks Yogi, Stella and Tai.”
Jorge Martins – Cairns, QLD
“It was exciting, refreshing, educational, inspiring and quite entertaining. Juergen’s extraordinary experience made the long days, not long enough for everyone. I have been a photographer for years at a professional level. And as an amateur, I highly recommend this Masterclass.”
James Binkley – Bendigo, VIC
“I hadn’t originally planned to do the course, but I attended the welcome dinner with my wife and was taken with the presentation by Yogi and Stella. The course promised to be informative and interesting on many levels including photography skills and techniques, local areas of interest for native flora and fauna, and organisational/business skills for professional photographers, Yogi and Stella delivered on these and more, arranging accommodation surrounded by abundant wildlife, organising unique reptiles and insects for us to photograph, and taking us on a special tour of the lake with the owners of the tour service. They provided a relaxed learning environment and personalised help for each of the course participants and I would wager everyone would jump at the chance to do another course with Yogi and Stella. I know I would.”
Stacey Clark – Bendigo, VIC
“This masterclass was absolutely brilliant and it was obvious that a great deal of planning and preparation had been done prior to the course, making it run extremely smoothly. The locations were amazing with great opportunities for photographing a huge range of wildlife. The skills I developed over the duration of this course have improved my photography immensely. Yogi and Stella are warm friendly people with great patience and knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and was sorry when it came to an end.”
Gresham Clapham – Cairns, QLD
“Take a small disparate group of individuals, from a variety of geographical and workplace backgrounds; shake gently in a minibus, pour into a variety of magnificent tropical photo venues; add good food, company and accommodation, and you have the starting blocks for Yogi and Stella’s Masterclass in Nature Photography.
Some essential didactic advice and suggestion smooths the way for the main focus on individual mentoring and hands on learning. The advantages of digital imaging in allowing trial and error testing of techniques and parameters, coupled with personalised guidance from the Photo-Guru Yogi makes this course the peer of any that could be sourced globally. Managing the daily schedules with flair, flexibility and calm in the face of the unpredictable, Stella with years of experience in planning photo shoots in challenging environments makes it all happen. Tai Inoue completes the team – his photographic and wildlife knowledge is generously shared to the benefit of all, his intimate knowledge of Canon equipment a major bonus.
Good teaching is a rare and precious art – Yogi and Stella have this talent in spades, as anyone lucky enough to register for one of their courses will attest. Very few of the elite in any field are so generous with their time and skills.
If you have an interest in Nature Photography, do yourself a serious favour, sign up for this masterclass, it will in many ways open your eyes, and even better, allow you to capture those times when you think – ‘wouldn’t it be great to be able to shoot that!’”
Robert Prettejohn – Cairns, QLD
“Juergen Freund is a master at his craft and he tailored his response carefully to each of the participant’s personal skills. He never became impatient even with questions that to him must have appeared inane. I personally benefited greatly from his instruction. I would also like to emphasise that Stella was also a pillar of strength and she contributed greatly to the overall success of the program.”
Chico Birrell – Brisbane, QLD
“I was inspired to take pictures and to improve my eye for capturing a special moment in nature… The course is so well planned to provide opportunities for that special picture in that special place, and each day we were challenged to apply new techniques to get the shot. Unforgettable and such solid step in my learning experience.”
Philip Michael – Gold Coast, QLD
“This was more than a course. Not only did I learn a lot from an experienced, patient, knowledgeable tutor and guide, I had to stretch my limited knowledge and came away with a head and notebook full of tips, tricks and information.
The course was well organised and run capably by Stella and Yogi, and the inter-action with the other group members ensured strong friendships were made. The willingness to share experiences and knowledge made for a very pleasant learning experience in an area full of interest.”
Dennis Tannenbaum – Perth, WA
“The method was Rogerian with a lot of personal responsibility for learning and largely apprentice mode of instruction. This method suits me. It’s the first face-to-face course I have done and Yogi was a true gentleman. I would do further courses without hesitation as it was an outstanding learning experience.”
Chris McKinnon – Tamworth, NSW
“I had the best time and learnt so much from both Jürgen and Stella… and the others! And visited a beautiful part of the world I had never been too… what a bonus! Thank you! This will go down in my memories as one of my best holidays EVER!!!”
Bruce Terry – Sydney, NSW
“The JCU Nature Photography Masterclass was a wonderful (indeed sublime) experience – a direct result of the effort that Juergen & Stella put into the preparation. Juergen & Stella were the perfect team to lead the Masterclass. Between the two they have just the right blend of enthusiasm, willingness to teach, organisational ability, drive, sense of humour and generosity of spirit. They demonstrated energy and passion during the week with Juergen imparting very generously the technical photographic skills that truly sets him apart as a master.
This Masterclass is all about getting out and taking pictures. Certain interesting techniques were explained early on, and then we were taken to the most marvellous locations to put them into practice. As a learning experience this was key. Only by actually doing were we likely to understand and remember the skills that had been imparted – with the invaluable ability to seek on the spot advice from Juergen.
Juergen and Stella left us with a powerful sense that all of us are capable of creating special photographic images. As a measure of success of the Masterclass, that seems to me to be a pretty good outcome!”
Carol Hall – Ballarat, VIC
“This was far and away the best in-the-field photo course I’ve done: dedicated, well prepared instructors and organisers with a great sense of humour whose approach showed real interest in us as individuals, and the group responded accordingly. I’d have no hesitation in recommending others to participate.”