Creative Lens Workshop


Creative Lens Workshop

from 500.00

A five day photographic workshop exploring the nature of creative photography. Lessons, presentations, learning activities and shoots are intertwined into a magnificent week of growth and development. Designed to take your photography to the next level.

Run in the stunning Myall Lakes area from Hawks Nest in NSW.

8th - 12th May 2019

"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." - Bruce Allen


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8th - 12th May 2019



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 Len’s 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. 

Myall Lake Copyright © Len Metcalf

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

— Scott Adams



8th - 12th May 2019



Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens

Myall Lakes National Park

Classroom venue to be announced.



AUD$2950 per person

AUD$500 deposit required to book your place


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 you’re not sure if that’s you, please contact Len.

If you are a complete beginner and would like to participate in one of Len’s other workshops.

“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.

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 close to 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 night’s accommodation.  We recommend six nights so you can settle in on the Tuesday afternoon before we start and finish up on the Sunday. I prefer travel home on the Monday.

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


  • 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

  • Photographic excursion / shoots every day

  • 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



6.00 am Sunrise shoot

8.00 am breakfast (not included)

10 am - 12.30 pm - presentations

12.30 - 1.30 lunch (included)

1.30 - 3.00 afternoon session - Download and process previous shoots

3.00 afternoon tea (included)

3.30 - 4.30 - Critique of your photography

6.00 to dusk - evening group sunset shoot

  • Times subject to actual sunrise / sunset times



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.    



  • Freshwater coastal lakes

  • Sand dunes

  • Windswept coastlines

  • Gum trees

  • Coastal rain forest

  • Rivers

  • Snowy white beaches

  • Fishing village

  • Singing bridge



All of your tasty morning teas, afternoon teas and lunches are provided by Len's School. Len cooks us a light hot fresh home cooked meal every day. Soups, risottos and the like. 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.

We are able to provide transport, from Sydney, for the whole workshop 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

  • Morning and afternoon tea

  • Free access to Len’s School forum and notes

  • 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)

  • Len’s 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

  • Transport

  • 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.

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