20th - 24th MARCH 2017


5 inspiring days to explore & develop your photographic creativity

This autumn treat yourself to a week away at the Creative Lens workshop in the spectacular Myall Lakes National Park

Less than three hours from Sydney discover a vast wilderness of freshwater lakes, roaring seas and endless rolling dunes.  Wildlife abounds in this tranquil coastal paradise.  Breathe in the fresh sea-salt air and be inspired by the many moods of this inimitable landscape. 

The Creative Lens workshop is devoted to unlocking your intuition, exploring your creative process and discovering the art behind the craft.  We study and explore photographic composition, so that you can learn to take better photographs. Enjoy Lens gentle, supportive teaching style as you participate in lessons and shoots designed to nurture and develop your creative potential.  You will receive valuable feedback on your photographs from your group in daily tea-and-critique sessions.  These insights help you take your photography to new heights of excellence.

NB: This workshop includes day workshops but not accommodation, so you are free to choose accommodation that meets your needs and budget.  Read on for more information on local options.  If you would prefer a small boutique tour with accommodation included, please consider Lens Blue Mountains Photography Tour.


Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
— Scott Adams


20th - 24th March, 2017



Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens

Myall Lakes National Park



To join this workshop Len asks that you have basic camera handling, operations and processing skills.  This means you can take photographs, download them to your computer and do some basic editing, such as changing the exposure and cropping. If youre not sure if thats you, please contact Len.

If you are a complete beginner and would like to participate in one of Lens Blue Mountains tours you might like to consider his Blue Mountains Photography Tour.


The creative adult is the child that has survived.
— Ursula Le Guin


 By Car

Approximately 2.5 hours from Sydney.  From Wahroongah in Sydney’s north, follow the Pacific Motorway and Pacific Highway to Myall St in Teagardens.  Follow Myall St to Tuloa Ave in Hawks Nest.

Photograph the ordinary and create the extraordinary © Len Metcalf 2014


 By train

From Sydney, take the train to Broadmeadow (Newcastle).  From Broadmeadow a Busways coach service will take you to Hawks Nest.  For more information please visit Countrylink.  If you would like to travel by train, please contact Len to discuss options for a pick-up at the bus stop and daily carpools to and from the workshop venue.



Our classroom is located walking distance from the Ocean Side at Hawks Nest, which is hotel / motel, restaurant & bar located just 50 meters from the beach.

Accommodation is not included in this workshop so feel free to tailor yours to your needs and budget.  As a minimum you will need four nights accommodation.  We recommend five nights so you can settle in on the Sunday afternoon and finish up on the following Friday afternoon.

The Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens area has a range of lovely accommodation options.  You may like to book a room at a waterfront B&B or choose from a range of comfortable hotels and motels.

For something a little different you could consider renting a holiday house or even camping at one of the local camp grounds, which offer options from free camping to cosy caravans.

* note: venue options are based on the attending number of clients


Topics covered

Dancing couple, Myall Lakes, © Len Metcalf

Drifting sands, Myall Lakes © Len Metcalf

Creative photography is about learning to see differently © Len Metcalf 2016 Creativity Workshop

  • The secrets of creativity
  • Luminance and the dance of the highlights
  • Practical exercises
  • What is fine art photography, and how you create it
  • RAW workflows
  • Practical exercises / shoot
  • Six basic compositions you must know
  • Depth and atmospheric perspective
  • Design and the modern photograph
  • Intentional blur and sound photographic composition
  • Lessons from the masters of art and photography
  • Colour composition
  • Principles of division
  • Power of projects and presentation
  • Principles of post processing
  • Digital black and white photography theory and practice
  • Techniques for digital conversion to black and white
  • Toning and duo tones for added depth and printing ease
  • Full day photographic excursion / shoots
  • Practical exercises to be completed during day
  • Advice and rules for photography (our own lessons)
  • Critique of weeks work
  • Presentation of projects and work created during the week
  • Where too now, a photographic look at where to next
  • Review of week


Sunrise shoot - personal photographic shoot

8.00 am breakfast (not included)

9.30 am - Download and process previous shoots

10.30 morning tea (included)

11.00 am - 12 pm - Group critique of work

12 pm - 12.30 pm presentation

12.30 - 1.30 lunch (included)

1.30 - 3.00 afternoon session

3.00 afternoon tea (included)

3.30 - 5.30 break

5.30 to dusk - evening group sunset shoot


This is a gentle workshop, which requires a low level of fitness.  There will be a small amount of walking to and from shooting locations, occasionally on uneven surfaces.  If you have any doubts about your ability, please contact Len directly.  He is a qualified wilderness guide and will assess your fitness and mobility and find a solution for you.   

Autumn temperatures in Myall Lakes generally range from 18ºC-25ºC.  The mornings are usually brisk, warming through the day with crisp cool evenings.  Err on the safe side and come prepared for wind, rain and chilly temperatures.

When you book you will receive a detailed packing list to help you plan for the workshop.    



Mungo Brush, Myall Lakes © Len Metcalf - Creative Lens Workshop 2016

  • Freshwater coastal lakes
  • Sand dunes
  • Windswept coastlines
  • Gum trees  
  • Coastal rain forest
  • Rivers
  • Snowy white beaches



All of your tasty morning teas, afternoon teas and lunches are provided by Len.  We can cater to dietary needs such as gluten free and vegetarian, please let us know in advance.

Breakfasts and dinners are not included in the workshop and can be enjoyed at your accommodation or at one of the many cafes, restaurants, and pubs in and around Hawks Nest.  

On the last evening of the workshop we usually all go out for dinner together and enjoy a glass of wine and a lovely meal together.



Participants are requested to provide their own transport from their accommodation to the workshop located in Hawks Nest.  Courtesy transport is provided from our classroom to all daytime shooting locations. We are able to provide transport from Sydney if required.

Participants in the past have often car pooled to give themselves a greater degree of flexibility.

If this will be a limiting factor for you, please contact Len directly to discuss your options. 



There are a few things you will need to get the most out of the week:

  • Camera equipment
  • Tripod
  • Laptop with image processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One etc)
  • Wet weather clothing
  • Clothing for cold temperatures
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Day pack/camera pack 

Len Metcalf is a qualified and experienced trekking guide with 30 years of experience guiding groups to remote destinations.  He knows what you need to keep yourself comfortable in the harshest environments on earth.  Click here to see his packing list.



  • All lunches and one dinner
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Free access to Lens School forum and notes
  • Courtesy transport from Workshop Centre to shooting locations
  • Your National Park fees
  • Qualified, experienced wilderness guide, Len Metcalf
  • One-on-one instruction and guidance from fine art photographer and veteran educator Len Metcalf (see his bio here)
  • Lens unique and gentle teaching style, which supports you and helps you develop as an artist. 
  • Gain valuable insights into computer processing software that will make your photos sing
  • Plenty of time to shoot at each location
  • Calm, relaxing atmosphere, encouraging engagement and connection with the landscape
  • Suitable for all levels from absolute beginners to professionals
  • A positive environment, which encourages group learning, advice-sharing and support



  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts and evening meals
  • Photographic equipment (cameras, lenses, tripods etc.)
  • Weather-specific clothing
  • Travel insurance.   Click here for more information. 


I wanted to thank you for an absolutely fabulous Workshop.

Great workshop leader, great group of people. It was such a pleasure to shoot alongside photographers who were willing to share information, skills, ideas, tips and tricks - and even shooting spaces.

In many ways, it is the dynamics of the group that help make a workshop work so well - and I agree with Thea when she said the nicest of people always do Len’s workshops.

And for me, quite a number, not just one or two, of the building blocks fell into place. It all seems to be coming together and I am really happy with most of the shots that I captured. Roll on the next chunk of building blocks!
— Pam Handyside
I was attracted to the Creative Lens Workshop at Myall Lakes because it combined learning about composition and creativity with the opportunity to photograph stark and appealing landscapes (which I find challenging). I arrived at the workshop full of self-doubt about my ability to take good photos. But within a couple of days, with Len’s encouragement to allow my artistic desire and my love of blur and painterly images to take flight, my photos and confidence soared. I learned some valuable technical tips that changed the way I thought about photography and came home with some cracker landscape images that I’m keen to pursue. Thank you Len. On the other side of our experience, I have to also praise the fabulous support provided by Carolyn. Every day we were greeted with tantalising smells from kitchen which were matched by truly delicious and healthy meals at lunch and morning tea. Thank you Carolyn. A wonderful week. We’ll be back.
— Jenny Fisher
What can I say? Having attended three other photography tours in Morocco, Kerala and Venice, Len and Carolyn provided by far the best. Passionate, patient and approachable.
Len truly is the consummate teacher whose field happens to be photography. His ability to communicate the intricacies of what he considers an art form in an easy manner to his students is exemplary. No experience level is judged, no opposing view is rejected. Your opinion, style and views are nurtured and encouraged.
You not only feel you learn so much about your camera and photography, you come away from the experience having benefitted from contact with two outstanding human beings.
Thank you Len. Thank you Carolyn.
— Bruce Allen


Click here to read more testimonials.





Deposit AUD500

Full payment is required eight weeks prior to the workshop commencing.