Frequently asked questions
Q: Will my landscape photography course or workshop still run if it’s wet, windy and cold?
Yes. Our courses go ahead under all but the most exceptional of conditions. Sometimes the most challenging conditions yield the most dramatic and enigmatic photographs. They also provide many unique learning opportunities, such as how to care for yourself and your equipment in inclement weather.
If you have any concerns about the weather leading up to your course, please contact Len. His detailed equipment lists, personal tips and extensive experience in the outdoors will ensure that you enter the wilderness with confidence.
Q:What is the difference between your workshops and tours?
A workshop is centred around a themed classroom environment with deliberately designed teaching and learning activities included. Our tours are run in richly visual locations and the emphasis is on being out in the environment taking photographs at every opportunity.
- Be out photographing all day
- Be guided to fantastic photographic locations for the best shots
- All delicious healthy meals included (some home cooked and others at restaurants)
- All accommodation included (always your own private room)
- All transport included from the nominated airport
- Tea and critique sessions over lunch or dinner
- Support and instruction when you need it
- Safe and supportive location shoots
- Tuition sessions provided by request
- Small groups (3 - 6 clients per tour)
- Just turn up, relax, learn and enjoy
- One price includes everything
- Classroom / education based (approx. 5 hours per day)
- Daily location shoots timed for the best light (approx. 5 hours per day)
- Each workshop is different and is structered around a specific theme & location
- Daily critiques and feedback
- Home cooked lunches, morning and afternoon teas included
- Enjoy your own breakfasts and dinners with down time from the group
- Set your own accommodation budget (camp, camper-van, motel or hotel)
- Real photography training to take you to the next level
- Supportive learning environment
- Includes individualised tuition
- Peer and professional support and learning
- Develop, print & share your photographs while on the workshop
Q: Do I need a DSLR to do your courses?
No. In fact Len uses a mirror-free camera for most of his work.
You’re welcome to attend our shoots and workshops with your current camera, even if it is an iPhone or a point and shoot. Film cameras are also welcome.
For some workshops you will need a tripod - if you are shooting on an iPhone you will need an adaptor mount.
Some of our most successful students started with small point and shoots and have gone on to become professionals. If you are planning on upgrading your camera, we recommend that you attend some training first so that we can help you purchase the best camera for your needs.
If you have any questions about your camera please contact Len.
Q: What kind of camera does Len use?
Len prefers to use either an ‘Mirrorless’ digital camera (a micro four thirds system with an electronic viewfinder) that is light, very easy to use and is at a good price point (lenses are also cheaper for these cameras) or a range of large format view cameras that use 4 x 5 & 8 x 10 inch films.
Q: Which lens should I bring?
If you only have one lens, make it a 50mm (or equivalent) prime lens, or a standard zoom (24 - 70 or 24 - 105mm 35mm equivalent).
Len recently spent three whole years shooting with a fast 50mm equivalent and had four successful exhibitions during that time. He says it was a ‘fantastic experience . . . highly recommended’. This is his ‘go to’ lens that he falls back on every day. If he had one lens to choose from to use for the rest of his life, this would be it (currently a Voitlander 25mm f0.95 micro four thirds lens).
Full frame: 50mm f 1.2 / f1.4 or f 1.8
APS cropped sensor: 35mm f 1.4 or f 1.8
Micro four thirds: 25mm f 0.95, f 1.4 or f 1.8
If you prefer a zoom then the best one is the standard zoom.
Full frame: 24 - 70mm f 2.8 or 24 - 105 f 4
APS cropped sensor: 15 - 85mm f 3.5 - 5.6
Micro four thirds: 12 - 40mm f 2.8
If you have several lenses, we would recommend . . .
For flowers or insects: Macro lens, e.g. 100 mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent)
Wide landscapes: Wide angle lens, e.g. 16 - 35 mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent)
Portraits: Short telephoto, 85 mm f1.4 (35mm equivalent)
Figure studies or nudes: Normal lens 50 mm f1.8 (35mm equivalent)
Birds and animals: 200 - 500mm (35mm equivalent)
Q: Why do I have to fill out a medical form?
In the rare event that one of our students requires first aid, it is essential that we have all the relevant information so that we can provide the best care possible. This is particularly important as many of our programs take place in remote or wilderness settings. Rest assured our guides are trained in Wilderness First Aid.
Q: Why do I have to fill out a waiver of liability?
Many of our programs venture into remote and wilderness areas. It is important to us that you understand the inherent risks in these environments and how they may influence your shoot, workshop, tour or course.
The waiver of liability is our way of ensuring that you have read, understood and acknowledged those risks, your responsibilities as participants and our responsibilities to you. It also gives you a chance to ask questions about how Len’s School manages risk.
This absolutely does not diminish our commitment to actively caring for you throughout your time with us.
Q: What happens if I need to cancel my workshop or tour?
Contact us as soon as possible and explain what is going on. We try hard to help people and understand that things go wrong.
Our refund policy is there to protect us and you. It guarantees your spot. When you book you are stopping someone else booking. We pay deposits, book classrooms, make financial decisions based on your booking.
If you cancel your tour up to two months before the start date you will forfeit your deposit.
If you cancel within two months of the start date you will forfeit the full fee. Partial refunds will be considered on a case by case basis. Part of your fee may also be transferable to another workshop, course or person at the discretion of Len’s School.
We require that all tour participants take out travel insurance for all of our tours.
For more information on cancellations please see the full Terms and Conditions.
Q: What if Len’s School cancels my course, workshop or tour?
If we cancel your course, workshop or tour we will endeavour to reschedule the program on a date that suits all participants. If this is not possible we will offer you an alternative program to the same value. Credits and refunds will be given at the discretion of Len’s School.
Q: How do I book and pay?
Select the payment type and click on the book now link (which is just below the prices). Once you click on this link you will be taken to a details page and once you complete that you can continue to browse our website. To complete your payment select the shopping cart in the top right hand corner and complete your transaction. You can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal. Len's School uses a authenticated and secure system to process your payments. Short courses require a full payment, longer courses require a deposit. You can make your final payment by credit card or by direct deposit into our account. We also accept cheques.
Q: Where is your phone number?
We prefer if you email us, as Len is usually teaching and can't answer your calls.
As Len's fan base continues to grow, so does the number of unhealthy phone calls, so Len has taken the unprecedented step of removing his phone number from the public.
If you would like to speak to Len Metcalf, please email us your phone number with a brief description of what you would like to talk about and Len will call you back at his earliest convenience.