Blue Mountains Photo Tour - simply the essentials

A tour lead by Len Metcalf

19th - 23rd September 2016

 

Join Len's School for five full days of landscape photography and learning on this group tour in the beautiful Blue Mountains. 

 

This is Len's School most economical photography tour. Your group gets picked up from Katoomba Street daily and you get taken to the best spots, in one vehicle.  Lunch, snacks and refreshments are included each day. We leave out breakfasts, dinners and your accommodation, so you can choose to suit your own budgets and tastes.

 

Take a week away from daily life and treat yourself to a nurturing photographic journey. 

 

During the week we will retreat into Len's Studio in Katoomba to critique our work and look at your photographic techniques and composition.

 

Less than two hours from Sydney, the Blue Mountains is a world heritage listed wilderness area where you can explore windswept sandstone escarpments, ancient valleys, quiet eucalypt stands, temperate rain-forest and pretty creeks and waterfalls. 

 

Take a deep breath of crisp mountain air and relax.  Varied and vast, the Blue Mountains is a wonderful region to visit and photograph.  

 

DATES  

19th - 23rd September 2016

 

LOCATION 

Start and finish daily at 1/55 Waratah Street Katoomba, Blue Mountains, New South Wales  

 

GETTING THERE

 

Driving

 

From Sydney, head west along the M4 towards Penrith.  Join the Great Western Highway and follow the road as it weaves its way up into the mountains.  You might like to stop for a cup of tea or coffee in lovely Glenbrook on your way! 

 

 

By Train

The train ride from Central to Katoomba takes approximately two hours and offers some beautiful views as you climb into the mountains.   You can see the Sydney Trains timetable online here.

 

 

ACCOMMODATION

There are many varied accommodation venues in Katoomba, from caravan parks and camp grounds, through back packers, and B&B's to amazing exclusive hotels.  All within a short walking distance from Katoomba Street. We pick up along the complete length of Katoomba and Lurline Street. Here are some convenient suggestions to suit any budget.

CLOSEST ACCOMMODATION (within easy walking distance - maximum five minutes walk):

ACCOMMODATION A LITTLE FURTHER (moderate walking distance 10 - 20 minutes)

 

GUEST LIMIT

8 participants

 

A TYPICAL DAY 

We start 8 am daily so we are on site early to capture the morning light.

Once we arrive on location you will have plenty of time to arrange yourself, shoot, explore and receive individual guidance from Len's School staff.  Morning tea in the field will keep us going until late morning when we stop for lunch in the field and a rest.  

In the afternoon, feeling refreshed after our healthy lunch, we will wander out to experience more photographic goodness in search of the ultimate image. We continue shooting until the last rays of the golden hour.  We will return you back to Katoomba just in time for dinner. Katoomba has an amazing plethora of fabulous restaurants and eateries. The true home of the slow food movement. 

All of the shoots are in amazing locations, and you will be rewarded with a wide variety of environments to shoot in, all at the best time to photograph each of them.

On some days we will retreat to Len's Studio in Katoomba and work on your photographic technique, your photographs, with critiques of your work, demonstrations of post processing and presentations on technique and composition.

 

WALKING AND WEATHER

This is trip requires an average level of fitness.  There will be a reasonable amount of walking to and from shooting locations, regularly on uneven surfaces with steps and inclines.  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.    

 

Katoomba is on a high plateau about 1000 metres above sea level. Temperatures are generally lower than Sydney. Spring days in the Blue Mountains regularly begin with a misty morning that burns off by mid-morning. This is caused by cold air sinking into the valleys overnight and rising as the day begins and can make for very atmospheric (but chilly!) morning shoots.  During spring, temperatures generally rise through the day, with crisp cool evenings.  Err on the safe side and come prepared for wind, rain and temperatures from 10˚C- 20˚C.


What to bring each day

  1. Camera and lenses
  2. Tripod
  3. Neutral density filters (3, 6 & 10 stop recommended)
  4. Camera back pack
  5. Water & refreshments
  6. Raincoat & wet weather pants
  7. Warm jacket
  8. Warm head ware and gloves
  9. Sun protection (sun hat and block out)
  10. Sturdy shoes
  11. Usual medications

When you book you will receive a detailed packing list to help you plan for the mountains.  Click here to see the packing list now.  

POSSIBLE LOCATIONS AND SHOOTS

  • Rainforest
  • Tumbling creeks
  • Small and large waterfalls
  • Green moss covered scenes
  • Alpine gum trees (yes the Blue Mountains has stands of snow gums)
  • Ferns
  • Board walks
  • Old rustic and historic buildings
  • Gum trees
  • Mosses and lichens
  • Cliffs
  • Waterfalls
  • Canyons

 

DISCUSSION TOPICS

 

During the tour we will meet regularly as a group to review our work and learn together.

Discussion topics include composition, camera technique, self-critique, and camera use..  Discussion topics are guided by the needs of the group and through the learning opportunities found at each location. 

You will also receive valuable feedback on your photographs from your leaders.  Often these insights help you take your photography to the next level.

 

MEALS

 

Your meals will be a combination of picnic lunches such as soups, sandwiches and other surprising delights.

We can cater to dietary needs such as gluten free and vegetarian, please let us know in advance.

 

TRANSPORT

 

You will be picked up daily along Katoomba Street, from the Three Sisters end, right the way through to the railway station in our comfortable mini bus.  If you have any questions or concerns about transport please contact Len.

Pick up starts at 7.45 am and continues through until 8.00 am

You will be dropped off at your pick up location just after dark each day.


WHAT TO BRING


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

  • Camera equipment
  • Spare batteries and memory
  • Tripod
  • Wet weather clothing
  • Clothing for cold temperatures (warm jacket and thermal under ware is recommended)
  • Sun protection (hat and long sleeve summer clothing)
  • Travel and medical insurance + Ambulance cover for duration of tour
  • Day pack/camera pack
  • Water bottle
  • Umbrella or weather proof camera cover


Leonard 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 Blue Mountains packing list now.



WHAT’S INCLUDED?


  • All lunches plus nutritious snacks, hot & cold drinks, morning & afternoon tea
  • All transport ex Katoomba
  • Your National Park fees
  • Small groups limited to 8 participants
  • Qualified, experienced wilderness photography guide Len Metcalf
  • One-on-one instruction and guidance from Len Metcalf
  • Len’s unique and gentle teaching style, which supports you and helps you develop as an artist.  
  • 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


NOT INCLUDED

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts nor evening meals
  • Transport to and from the Katoomba prior to and after the tour
  • Miscellaneous drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance (required).  Click here for more information.


TESTIMONIALS

Thank you, Len. It’s been a wonderful week in your beloved mountains. You’ve been the perfect Pied Piper - a mine of information, freely given, a knowen of beautiful places, an unobtrusive and supportive teacher, sensitive to everyone’s needs, one of life’s truly good people.
— Sarah Fitzherbert
Thanks again for a very enjoyable and informative workshop and the individual assistance you gave me during the week. I’ve received nice compliments on the photos you printed for me. I’ve said to people that while it was a landscape photography course, I see being in the Blue Mountains, seeing and experiencing it close-up as a bonus from the workshop.
— Graeme Masterman
Thank you for a wonderful week of enrichment and immersion into the environment of the Blue Mountains. As a visitor to the area I would never have had the opportunity to visit so many out of the way places without your expert local knowledge. Your gentle approach to all activities allowed me to move at my own pace both physically and photographically. I had a truly wonderful week and know I learnt so much about my photography in all aspects. I believe I have improved some of my skills and hope to continue to use and develop those techniques you have assisted me with. Thanks for the opportunity to use your equipment and experiment with various lenses etc. My week in The Blue Mountains has inspired me to get out more frequently and use my camera at any opportunity.
— Michelle Thomas

 

Click here to read more testimonials.

BLUE MOUNTAINS - The essentials PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR INVESTMENT

AUD 1950

Includes five full days shooting, delicious lunches, courtesy transport, national parks fees

Strictly limited in numbers

AUD 500 deposit will secure your place.

 

NB: Full payment is required 6 weeks prior to the tour.

Click here to see Terms and Conditions