The Hidden Blue Mountains Photography Workshop


9am Sat  –  8pm Sun  – Aimed at the enthusiastic and passionate photographer who wants to fine tune their skills in composition, chasing light, new location hunting and advanced techniques such as 360, fine processing and astro. The workshop will focus on amazing locations that are off grid so to speak, away from the normal car park tourist lookouts alongside work will be on voice and storytelling – the best ways to personally express the wonderful landscape of the Blue Mountains.

Gary has been exploring and documenting the more accessible photo hotspots since 2003 when he first ventured into the mountains. There are over 100 spots where most visiting and local photographers regularly shoot but there are many more only explored by a few. Although less travelled photo locations in themselves are not going to produce great landscape images, Gary has picked ones for the advanced photographer that are as good if not better than the more popular locations.

This two day workshop will explore excellent photographic vistas outside of the main Jamison Valley and venture into the Capertee, Wolgan, hidden Grose, Gardens of Stone, Newnes Plateau, Ben Bullen State Forest and Wollemi regions and offer the keen photographer something a little different but still with that ‘wow’ factor.


We will begin at Gary’s Training Gallery on the first morning and study and agree on the areas to visit and explore (this will depend on how fit the group is). Some post production techniques will be discussed and demonstrated so we are all capturing good raw material when out and about. A few midday locations will be visited along with a special sunset spot. Returning in early evening we will assess each others work and do some post processing. You will then be taken to your overnight accommodation. (Camping overnight will be in the months from Sep-April for good sunrise and sunset opportunities).

A very early start and walk in the morning for a stunning sunrise location followed by more unique spots around the areas mentioned above and a final post processing and printing session – before returning to cars/hotel.

Note: potentially some river hiking, pagoda climbing, walks over 40 mins and some rocky steep walks will be required for this workshop depending on locations, also as we will be 4WD trailing and off normal track walking, weather may play a factor. A pre-workshop series of emails and chats will cover all of the likely requirements.


  • Personal instruction from Gary in the field and in his Training Gallery.
  • First day group dinner and late evening snacks/drinks. Breakfast after dawn on 2nd day and lunch on all days
  • Transportation from your hotel/vehicle to location and Gary’s Mt Victoria, Pulpit Rock Gallery in single 4WD car
  • Use of laptops for post processing instruction if required.
  • Workshop certificate and exposure of your best image (optional) on Gary’s social site/s


Cost: $850 per person. In the event of only one booking on a workshop 1 week out, a full refund will be given or the participant moved to an agreed future workshop.

Sat/Sun 17/18 Mar 2018  ‘Hidden Blue Mountains’

  • Full amount $850 (incl: Sat eve camping)

Sat/Sun 13-14 May 2018  ‘Hidden Blue Mountains’

  • Full amount $850 (incl: Sat eve camping)

Note: workshops will only take place with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 3 participants so as much personal attention can be given to each photographer and we are more flexible in moving between locations. Full payment for workshops are due 2 weeks before the workshop date. Gary has full public liability insurance covering the group in Blue Mountains NP and his training gallery, an EcoPass for commercial workshops in the Blue Mountains so all appropriate permissions prior to the workshop will have been setup with NSW NPWS office. 

Pre-requisites for all workshops

Note:  photographers without all of the camera equipment below will be instructed in how to get the best out of what they have and see the advantage of extra equipment.

  • PASSION: It is inspiring to Gary and the other photographers if you have a great attitude and can make the best of whatever the weather throws at us or your expectations of the workshop. We will come away with great pictures regardless.
  • BRING: A good quality hiking tripod and familiarity with using it.
  • BRING: A decent quality DSLR or Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and have a working knowledge of it.
  • BRING: Two or three lenses. Suggest an ultra wide (14 to 20 ish), wide (24-35 ish) and medium telephoto (60-100 ish). Or combinations in zoom lenses.
  • BRING: Filters. Any combination of – neutral density, 5 or 10 stops. Graduated neutral density 2 and/or 3 stops. Polarizer circular. It is not critical to have filters as we will explore blending and/or HDR techniques without using them.
  • DO YOU: Have a moderate level of fitness and able to walk confidently on rocky terrain with camera equipment (this will vary on each workshop but call for information if in doubt).
  • BRING: Comfortable hiking shoes, good camera back pack and waterproofs/warm clothes in case the weather goes south.
  • "The Event at Asgards Head" No 2 of 10

    READ: It is recommended that you orientate yourself with the mountains by reading my introduction post A Landscape Photographers Guide to Visiting the Blue Mountains Australia which helps break down the geography and refers to many of the locations we will be exploring.

14 Responses to The Hidden Blue Mountains Photography Workshop

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Gary. I’m unclear. Do you provide camping gear for this trip? Is there definite abseiling? How many locations can we expect to shoot from over the two days?

    • Gary Hayes says:

      Hi Karen,

      Good questions and I will add more detail to this workshop. But I can provide camping gear but some folk have their own, so it is up to them. There is no abseiling and any canyons are walk in walk out. The location numbers will depend on fitness of group, hike based vs lookout based and so on. Generally one each at sunrise/sunset (4) and two or three in middle of day. Hope that helps?

  2. Peter Hickey says:


  3. peter hickey says:

    All paid Gary ,look forward to it Woohoo!!!!!

  4. Tarren says:

    Hi. Is there room for two ppl on this course? Thanks

    • Gary Hayes says:

      Hi Tarren – yes there are two places available on this workshop but due to clashes I have had to move it to 17/18 Oct. Does that work for you?

      • Tarren says:

        Oh darn I dont think I can do the 17/18, I could do the 10/11 or the weekend before the 3/4th of Oct

        • Gary Hayes says:

          Hi Tarren – thanks for that. There is another workshop on the 3/4 Oct which may be of interest or the Secret Hotspots has moved again to 24-25 due to further clashes… Best Gary

  5. lisa says:

    Hi Gary,
    I live up in Wentworth falls just wondering if you do a price without the accommodation component?

    • Gary Hayes says:

      Hi Lisa – thanks for commenting. The price only includes the camping component in the warmer months of oct-apr. Outside of that you will have to sort your own accommodation on the Sat evening – but of course you will be dropped off and picked up from there if required both days.

  6. Alice says:

    Hi Gary,

    The hidden blue mountains workshop on 7-8 Oct – are those dates warm enough for camping? Preferably not having to book for accommodation.

    Is the price $795 or $850? There’s two prices on the website.


    • Gary Hayes says:

      Hi Alice – sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

      Yes the October dates will be fine for camping, I supply winter sleeping bags, matts and tent and a warm breakfast in situ. The price is $850 and the site is updated now.

      I have someone booked on the October date already with another making enquiries, so it should go ahead

      Best Gary

  7. Katrina says:

    Hi Gary, I’m interested in the workshop 16-17 Dec. Is this likely to go ahead? Thanks.

    • Gary Hayes says:

      Hi Katrina – sorry for the delay in getting back. Yes this will be going ahead, 1 or 2 spots left. Sent an email too.

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