The Sand Dune Photography Workshop


The Sand Dune Photography Workshop

from 500.00

Five magnificent days studying and photographic the majestic sand dunes around Port Stephens. Within easy reach are the 70 km stretch of Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Sand Dunes) and Myall Lakes.  In this workshop we will look at photographic techniques so you can capture those magnificent sand photographs. Each day we will have two shoots on the sand dunes in the morning and evening light, with the rest of the day in our classroom, studying and critiquing our work.

7th - 11th August 2017 


"I just wanted to tell you how wonderful the trip to the Flinders Ranges was for me.  I can not thank you enough for your patience and tutoring during the trip. Every time I look at those photos I remember how many times you stopped and waited for me to get the photos I wanted and helped me with composition and techniques." - Kerri

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7th - 11th AUGUST 2017 




This winter, why not escape the cold and head north and spend some time with Len Metcalf on the beach photographing our own amazing sand dunes just three hours north of Sydney?

Sand dunes are a popular photographic subject offering endless fine art photography opportunities.  

In our workshop, we will have two sand dune location shoots and two classroom sessions every day. This is a true photographic workshop, where you learn, develop, practice and produce stunning sand dune photographs under the careful guidance and tutelage of Len Metcalf.  Len is Australia's leading photographic educator with his innovative and copied workshops.

Winter is the ideal time to visit Port Stephens.  With fewer tourists, the place is much quieter than in the peak summer months. Port Stephens is surrounded by sand dunes. In the South, you have the Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Bight Sand Dunes), which are the longest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere with over 32 kms in length, and covering 4200 hectares. In the North, you have the magnificent dunes at Myall Lakes.

By the end of the workshop, you will have printed a small exhibition of stunning images captured during the week.

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. 




7th - 11th AUGUST 2017

Plus an evening get together / briefing on Sunday 6th August 2017



Port Stephens



To join this workshop we ask 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.

Beginners, intermediate and advanced photographers are all welcome. 

If you are a complete beginner and would like to participate in one of Lens other workshops, they may be a better starting point. Len recommends his one day workshop as a great place to start. The Technical Lens Workshop is specifically designed to teach photography technical skills.



 By Car

Under three hours from Sydney CBD (2hrs & 45min).  From Wahroongah in Sydney’s north, follow the Pacific Motorway and Pacific Highway to Kempsy.  Just after Kempsy, turn off to South West Rocks.


 By train & bus & plane

Newcastle Airport hosts flights to and from Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Gold Coast, Ballina and a host of regional NSW destinations. For more information on Newcastle Airport call 02 4928 9800 or click here. 

Bus & Coach

Port Stephens Coaches depart daily from Sydney via Chatswood, Pymble, Hornsby and Raymond Terrace to Port Stephens (including Soldiers Point, Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay). Phone 1800 045 949 or visit


TrainLink provides services in and out of Hamilton Station, Newcastle from all over New South Wales. Phone 131 500.


  • Newcastle Airport Information Services is your one-stop shop for transfers. Book a door to door transfer to meet any flight in or out of Newcastle or Sydney Airport. Phone 02 4928 9822 or visit
  • Port Stephens Coaches provide a pick up from Hamilton Railway Station and Newcastle Airport to Port Stephens on a regular basis. Phone 1800 045 949 or visit



Our classroom at Port Stephens is yet to be confirmed.

Accommodation is not included in this workshop so feel free to tailor yours to your needs and budget. 

We recommend six nights so you can settle in on the Sunday afternoon before the workshop, finish up on the following Friday afternoon and travel home on the following Saturday. We will start the workshop on Sunday evening with a little get together so that we can hit the ground running for sunrise on Monday morning.

The Port Stephens region 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. There are also amazing luxury hotels and resorts at Port Stephens for those who are inclined to spoil themselves.

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.

Photograph Copyright © Len Metcalf



  • Sand dune photography composition
  • The secrets of sand photography
  • What makes a great sand dune photograph
  • Finding your own voice in the sand
  • Managing your equipment in sandy environments
  • Post processing sand photographs in Lightroom
  • Post processing in the NIK &/or MacPhun plug in collections
  • All of your photography questions answered (Len will ensure your personal learning needs are met throughout the workshop)
  • Daily critique sessions, feedback, encouragement & support
  • One on one tuition when requested in the field and at your computer on your images
  • Review of the week

Photograph Copyright © Len Metcalf


6.00 am Sunrise shoot

10.00 am morning tea (included)

10.30 am - 12.00 pm - Presentations, lessons, exercises, Q&A time

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm lunch (included)

1.30 pm - 3.00 pm Download, process images with support and critique images 

3.00 pm afternoon tea (included)

4.00 pm to 6.00 pm - evening group sunset shoot



This is a gentle workshop, which requires a low level of fitness.  Walking on sand can be tiring and difficult. 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 who can assess your fitness mobility and find a solution for you.   

Winter temperatures at Port Stephens generally range between a high of 18ºC and low of 8ºC.  The mornings are usually brisk, warming through the day with crisp cool evenings.  Low rainfall is typical of August. Please 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.    



  • Sweeping beaches
  • Shipwrecks stranded on sandy beaches
  • Sand dunes
  • Trees and plants swamped by sand
  • Buildings with encroaching sand dunes
  • Rocky points that meet sand dunes and the magnificent ocean



All of your morning teas, afternoon teas, and hot lunches are provided by Len's School. 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 Port Stephens.  

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 for the workshop located in Port Stephens.  Courtesy transport will be provided from our classroom to all daytime shooting locations in 4WD vehicles.

We are able to provide transport from Sydney if required.



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 
  • Large clip lock plastic bags for your camera equipment to keep the sand out

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
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Free access to Lens School forum and notes
  • Courtesy transport if required
  • Qualified, experienced wilderness guide, Len Metcalf
  • One-on-one instruction and guidance from fine art photographer and veteran educator Len Metcalf
  • 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 beginners to professionals
  • A positive environment, which encourages group learning, advice-sharing and support






AUD$500 deposit secures your spot

Returning customer, you will automatically receive our discounted rate.


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



“ 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.  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 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.”

— Bruce Allen


Click here to read more testimonials.