Photography Heroes

Life through the lens with Dennis and Rob of Hero Workshops

For Christchurch based X-Enthusiasts Dennis Radermacher & Rob Dickinson, nothing drives photography like passion.

From this passion came the Hero Workshops; giving like-minded creatives the opportunity to join the duo of award-winning photographers for a hands-on learning experience in New Zealand's most beautiful locations - dubbed the "colossal classrooms" to learn where you shoot.

Dennis gives us an insight on how they turned their love of photography and the great outdoors into an opportunity to share the same experience with others.

A long-haired Brit from Liverpool and a greying German with an attitude walk into a landscape. What sounds like the beginning of a joke is actually a good summary of how Hero Workshops came to be. Rob and I share quite a bit of history. We love photography, both of us have a background in computer engineering, we both won at the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year awards, and we live in the same corner of Christchurch.

One fine morning I decided to drag him outdoors by his flowing mane. We took a few pictures, had coffee, and decided that we needed to find a way to channel our creative energies in a more productive manner. We were clearly not going to cut it as underwear models, so we decided that setting up our own photography workshops would be a good way of sharing our passion with others.

To this day I am every teacher's nightmare. It takes me about eight minutes to fall asleep in a classroom. Drawing from that experience we decided to stay outdoors as much as possible, move around, and keep our students on their toes. We carefully combine lessons with practical exercises and games until our students have mastered their cameras, know how to plan, shoot and finally edit their own hero images. That, by the way, is where the Hero in our name comes from. Aren't we clever?

It's so much fun to see our students progress individually and as a group. What starts off as a polite group of strangers will turn into a grinning crowd of photography nuts after a few days. Our student group on Facebook helps us to maintain that bond. It's a great way for people to stay in touch, get advice, and share their work.

Our next big adventures will take it us to Queenstown. We will explore the region for four days and shoot autumn colours, sunrises and sunsets. Not bad for another day in the office!
Since sleep is strictly optional on these trips we decided to call them, tongue-in-cheek, a 'Hero Holiday'. Sneaky plug: We still have a few spaces available for our trip in April.

People can check out our amazing new website . Our Facebook page at is a great place to stay up-to-date on events like our free Hero Meet-Ups. Those are a great way to meet like-minded people, ask questions and take photos together. For those who can not get enough of Rob's good looks, an Essentials workshop is the best way to spend another half-day with him, while learning how to use a camera in manual mode.

We are currently working on offering a greater variety of workshops. It will be exciting to see what the future holds. I am certain that it will involve a lot of walking into stunning New Zealand landscapes.


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