Meet Len Metcalf

Leonard Murray Metcalf is the founder and head teacher of Lens School.  Len is renowned for his exquisite photographs and supportive, gentle teaching style.  His broad experience both as an art educator and photographer makes him an ideal mentor as you develop your own photography.

Selfie © Leonard Metcalf 2014

Selfie © Leonard Metcalf 2014

Len’s journey towards photographic education began long ago, with the gift of his first camera as a young boy in the Blue Mountains, and his first teaching experience in a local Scout troupe at fifteen years old.  After graduating from High School, Len took a job as an outdoor educator in Kangaroo Valley to support himself through a Visual Arts degree, majoring in Photography.  This was the beginning of a lifelong quest to combine his passions for adventure, education and photography.

While studying Fine Art, Len had the opportunity to learn from fine teachers such as George Schwartz, Eardly Lancaster Julie Brown-Rrap and Lynn Roberts Goodwin at the City Art Institute (now Faculty of Fine Arts at NSW University). 

He graduated with straight distinctions and received the coveted award for ‘Most Outstanding Advanced Colour Photographer’.  Turning down two corporate photography sponsorship offers, Len instead pursued a career in education and outdoor adventure.  Photography became his unbridled passion and his escape from work.

During his 30 year career in the education sector Len worked with numerous schools and businesses as an experiential educator, facilitating learning outcomes through experiences in the outdoors. 

In the tertiary education sector Len worked at the University of Technology, Sydney in the Faculty of Adult Education as course coordinator and lecturer in the Bachelor of Teaching program.  Later, he took on a role in the TAFE system as a vocational trainer designing, developing, coordinating and running some of the best industry courses in the world for over twenty years.

After 30 years as a facilitator, educator and trainer, Len was ready to pursue a new direction. He completed a Graduate Diploma in Art Education at Sydney University and a Masters Degree in Adult Education at the University of Technology, Sydney.

In 2000 Len founded Len's School.  Since then he has been teaching, mentoring and guiding photographers in some of the most spectacular landscapes in Australia, from arid deserts and windswept coasts to his backyard in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

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Len's qualifications


Master of Education (Adult Education), University of Technology, Sydney

Graduate Diploma in Education (Art Education), University of Sydney

Certificate IV Workplace Trainer and Assessor, University of Technology, Sydney


Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts - Photography major), City Art Institute, Sydney

Diploma in digital imaging, Western Sydney TAFE NSW

To find out about Len’s Photography Exhibitions and Publications, please read on.


Diploma (Outdoor Recreation), Blue Mountains College, Western Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW)

  • Alpine bushwalking guide
  • Adventure based Learning
  • Adventure tourism
  • High and low ropes course supervisor
  • Search & rescue
  • Basic Canoe Skills Instructor
  • Cross Country Ski Teacher



Wilderness First Aid

Certificate IV Small Business Management

Statement of Attainments:  

  • Indigenous studies
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Suicide Assist

Exhibitions,  publications etc

Solo exhibitions

  1. Landscapes of the mind, Hat Hill Gallery Blackheath 2007

  2. The Northern Territory in Black and White’ The Smoke House Gallery Yerrinbool 2006

  3. Intimate Landscapes, Redbank Gallery, Picton 2005

  4. Canyons of the Blue Mountains Wilderness”, an exhibition of Ilfochrome prints at the Leonard Metcalf Gallery, 2000

Group exhibitions

  1. Abstracted, Judy Warburton, Thomas Buckwalter & Len Metcalf, TAP Gallery, November 2014

  2. Beauty, Mike Stacey, Ian Brown & Len Metcalf, Gallery in the Park, NPWS Cultural Centre Blackheath October 2014

  3. Naked Lens, fine art nudes organised and curated by Len Metcalf, featuring: Jock Sturges, Anthony Browell, Gordon Undy, Peter Stanton, Roberto Duran, Garth Knight, Zelko Nedic, Edmond Thommen, Thea Tulich, Nicole Bordes, Yaz O'Brien, Dawn Webb, Murray Austin, Scott Hartog, Mandy Harvey, Vivian Ward & Len Metcalf May - June 2013, Gallery Mercure, Darlinghurst 2013

  4. Atmospheres, Mike Stacey, Ian Brown & Len Metcalf, Gallery in the Park, NPWS Cultural Centre Blackheath September 2013

  5. Over exposed, Nicole Bordes, Thea Tulich, & Len Metcalf - TAP Gallery Darlinghurst 2012

  6. Slow Photography, Mike Stacey, Ian Brown & Len Metcalf, Bramier Gallery, Springwood, 2011

  7. Blue Mountains Photographers Exhibition - 2003/2002/2001

  8. Break O Day - Tasmanian Wilderness Photography Exhibition - The Wilderness Gallery, Tasmania, 2004

  9. Beardies Festival, Glen Innes, Lyre-Bird Dell & Coachwood Forrest photographs, 2000

  10. Graduating Students Exhibition, Ivan Dohety Gallery, , Handmade book of photographs, drawings and lithographs & Belmore Falls series of photographs, 1987

Collaborative exhibitions

  1. Queer, Christine and Len, Mardi GRAS fringe exhibition, TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst, 2012

  2. The Angle and the Cross, Christine and Len, Mercure Hotel, Potts Point, 2012

  3. Accidents of Beauty, Christine and Len, TAP Gallery, Darlinghurst, 2011

  4. You + Me = LOVE, Christine and Len, Ambo Ars, Newton, Head On Photo Festival, 2011


  1. Olive cotton portrait awards - finalist 2011

  2. 5th Annual Lloyd Rees Youth Art Award, Awarded Second Prize, Open Section, photo-realistic watercolour “Autumn Leaves”, 1984

  3. Graduating Students Exhibition, City Art Institute, NSW Institute of the Arts, awarded Best Overall Advanced Colour Photography, photographic installation, 1987

  4. Willoughby Municipal Art Exhibition, Highly Commended, “Belmore Falls Series”, Kangaroo Valley. 1988


  1. Journeys of the heart, Jody Rose, Arbon Publishing 2015

  2. Photography Compendium, Australia, Bob Kersey & Mary Meyer, Daylight Productions, Sydney

  3. XOXO Magazine Issue #1 Nov 2013

  4. Better Photography, regular contributor, 2013, 2014 & 2015

  5. Australian Photography, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

  6. Camera Review, 2014

  7. Australian photography and gallery compendium 2011, Bob Kersey, Daylight Productions, Sydney

  8. Mediapedia, creative tools and techniques for camera, computer and beyond, 2009, Kit Laybourne, The Global Pequot Press, Connecticut,

  9. Studio Bambini 2005

Photographic competition judge

  • Willoughby Heritage Awards, 2014

  • Southern Highlands Camera Society, Annual Photography Awards 2011

  • Inter club competition 2011, 3 Western Sydney Camera Clubs

  • Australian Climbing Festival Photographic Competition - Judge 2007

  • Blue Mountains Photographers Exhibition / Competition - Judge 2006/2005/2004

  • Blue Mountains wilderness photography competition - Judge & Sponsor 2012

Photography workshops and presentations

  • Upper Blue Mountains Camera Club

  • Lower Blue Mountains Camera Club

  • Highlands Camera Society

  • Northside Creatives Camera Club

  • Blacktown Camera Club

  • Inner West Camera Society

  • Hawksbury Camera Club

  • Blackheath Art Society


Len has worked on many projects over the years, as either writer, project manager, facilitator and designer.
The following list is a small sample of his work:

  • Outdoor Recreation Operations Manual, TAFE NSW, Version 3 & 1
  • Diploma in Outdoor Recreation Recognition of Prior Learning System & Manual
  • Major Holistic Client Based Assessments for TAFE NSW Outdoor Recreation, Fitness and Community Recreation
  • Certificate IV in Adventure Based Youth Work – Course designer, write, facilitator and deliverer
  • Curriculum Development for the Curriculum Centre, Health, Recreation and Community Services, TAFE NSW
  • Training Needs Analysis of the Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Service
  • Volatile Substance Abuse Prevention Program, Northern Territory Government, Health Department, Justice Department and NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services
  • Northern Territory Indigenous Policing Strategy at the National Inaugural Indigenous Policing Conference Alice Springs
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment for the Northern Territory Library
  • Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training for Mission Employmen, Katoomba
  • Bachelor of Teaching, University of Technology, Sydney for the Kuwait Ministry of Defense, Kuwait Naval School Project
  • English Language Training for IELTS for the British Council, Kuwait
  • PAET Review, Kuwait Vocational Training
  • Active Employment Training Organisation (AETO) for InnerSkill, Rozelle Skillshare
  • Competency Record Book for Recognition of Prior Learning
  • “Train the Trainer” for Innerskill
  • SCECGS Redlands Outdoor Education Program (year 4 – 11) for Adventure Education Pty Ltd
  • Safe Practices in Adventure Activities for The Outdoor Professionals (TOP)
  • Corporate Adventure Training Review of current practices in Australia
  • Interpersonal Process Recall in facilitating experiential activities

Clients that Len has trained / facilitated

  • AAHRM National Conference
  • Allen Keogh and Associates
  • Anderson Consulting
  • ANZ Management Training Division
  • Australian Airports Commission
  • Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW)
  • Australian Museum Society
  • Australian Real-Estate Institute
  • Bankers Trust
  • Bayer – Pharmaceutical Division
  • Blue Mountains Council
  • Bras & Things
  • Catholic Education Office
  • Civil & Civic Constructions
  • Compac Computers
  • Corporate Vision
  • Cull Enet
  • Eli Lilly
  • Federal Emergency Association
  • Financial Wisdom
  • Four Seasons Hotels
  • Insight
  • Kandos Cement
  • Kennards Hire
  • Kuwait Air Defense
  • Kuwait Naval School
  • Kuwait Ministry of Defense
  • Lend Lease Interiors
  • Lend Lease Finance Department
  • Learning by Design
  • MacDonalds – Accounts Division & Operations Managers
  • MYST – Mountains Youth Services Team
  • Neuro Linguistic Processes
  • Northern Territory Government
  • Northern Territory Library
  • Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services Training College
  • Nursing Faculty – UWS
  • Paddy Pallin
  • PE Applied Biosystems
  • Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • REEBOK – Sales Department
  • Rhone-Poulenc Animal Nutrition
  • Self Transformations
  • State Rail
  • Sun Valley Fruit Juices
  • Sunglasses Hut
  • Tiwi Design – Aboriginal Art Co-operative – Ngui, Bathurst Island
  • Uncle Tobbies
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • Westpac Corporate Division
  • Zurich Insurance – GIS Division


  • Abbotsleigh School for Girls
  • Burns Unit- Camperdown Children’s Hospital
  • Canberra Grammar School
  • Central Coast Grammar
  • Chatswood High School
  • Epping High School
  • Glenaeon School
  • Hills Grammar School
  • Juvenile Diabetics Association
  • Kambala Church of England Girls School
  • Katoomba High School
  • King Kopal College
  • Korowal School
  • Loreto College
  • Massada College
  • Monte Sant Angelo College
  • Newington College
  • Oakhill Grammar
  • Penrith High School
  • Plumpton High School
  • Presbyterian Ladies’ College
  • Pymble Ladies College
  • Springwood High School
  • St Vincents College & School
  • Sydney Co-Educational Grammar School
  • The Emmanual School
  • Waverly College
  • Willoughby Public School
  • Wyvern College

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