So you want to learn to shoot travel photos worthy of an Australian Traveller cover, but the idea of sitting in a classroom bores you to tears?
These out-in-the-field travel photography tours and courses take you to some of the most gorgeous places in Australia, all in the name of getting ‘that shot’. Well, actually we found a few other reasons to go along too…
The grandest outback (flying) tour
Imagine photographing just about every outback icon you can imagine in 15 days – with no driving at all!
Personable Ewen Bell, in conjunction with Air Adventure Australia, hosts flying tours that land near some of this country’s Big Landscapes from Mary River Wetlands and Parachilna in the Flinders Ranges to the Tiwi Islands and the Kimberley.
The private jet, which holds a maximum of eight people, does contribute to a fairly steep price tag ($17,990), but the trip will put a serious dent in your bucket list.
More: What’s it actually like? See Is this Australia’s greatest air adventure?
Grand gorges and whale sharks
National Geographic regular photographer Chris Bray offers a week-long Western Australian bonanza, commencing with the impossibly deep reds of the Pilbara’s fantastic Karijini National Park and then on to the deep blues of Ningaloo.
Photography aside, the highlight of this trip for many will be a swim with whale sharks. And even though this is deep, deep outback, you don’t rough it, glamping at Karijini Eco Retreat and Sal Salis at Ningaloo.
Chris also covers crab season in Christmas Island and Cradle Mountain in autumn.
Fraser Island style
Danielle Lancaster’s four-day workshop uses the true diversity of the island’s landscapes – rainforests, lakes, frisky wildlife and, naturally, the beaches – to hone skills.
Driving is taken care of, with numbers limited to those who can restfully fit into two 4WDs, and your comfy digs at the end of a hard day’s snapping is Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Blue Dog courses also extend to Stradbroke and Heron islands.
Red Centre with the landscape master
Ken Duncan is the prince of the Australian panorama. You’ve almost definitely seen his work somewhere in the past 30 years; not least the iconic Burra Homestead image on Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust album cover.
Ken, who’s worked with Australian Traveller extensively, offers plenty of interesting local and international trips, the highlight of which is the seven-day Uluru to Alice Springs ‘Red Heart Tour’, which promises to take you to spots Ken’s “indigenous friends have shown him” where tourists don’t venture. All this on board an air-conned 4WD, of course.
A (Sydney) towering experience
You won’t get a better aerial view of Sydney city’s sunrise unless you hire yourself a helicopter.
Half of your two-hour Cityscapes Masterclass from Nikon School takes place outside on Sydney Tower Eye’s Skywalk – which you and your fellow pupils get all to yourself.
It’s probably best to have the basics of SLR photography down pat if you want to get the most out of this short course, but the instructors are there to help with exposures, techniques and light questions as you take your pick of city, harbour or mountains outlooks.
Don’t worry, acrophobics, you are strapped onto a railing the entire morning. Dress warmly!
Walking with the Lord
Photographically, World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island has pretty much all the landscapes you dream of in a very walk-friendly environment.
Pinetrees Lodge tries to harness these with its annual Walking and Photography weeks, where local guides and photographers usher you around the island’s go-to secret photography spots.
Just to up the ante, there is a daily ‘best photo’ competition for those who capture that special Mount Gower moment or one of the 200 quirky varieties of birds in action.
The package includes six nights’ accommodation with BBQ hamper lunches.