Balingup Autumn Photography Workshop

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Dates: 19 - 21 May 2017 (Friday to Sunday)
Instructors: Seng Mah and Craig Franke
Location: Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages
Cost: $698 (Workshop only). Accommodation at Balingup Heights is available. See below for details.
Maximum participants: 10


Balingup Autumn Photography Workshop


Come and join us for a weekend of photography in beautiful Balingup, learning, seeing and shooting great images! This weekend workshop will make the most of brilliant colours of Autumn in Balingup as we shoot landscapes, portraits and macro photography amongst the burnished gold, reds, oranges and yellows of the autumn foliage.

Whether you're a beginner or a little bit more experienced, you love the workshop sessions we have in store for you - you'll explore everything photographic -- from looking for the best light for landscapes, getting up close and personal with macro photography, night photography and natural light outdoor portraiture -- all in the beautiful surrounds of Balingup.

Balingup is one of the hidden gems of the WA South West. Surrounded by undulating green hills and tranquil vales, you will marvel at the amazing views and photo opportunities that this location has to offer. The workshops take place at Balingup Heights, the highest point in Balingup and affords majestic vistas of the surrounding countryside. This means misty mornings, gorgeous sunset hues and time to explore the forests, orchards and trails on the property with your camera.

Accommodation will be at the beautifully appointed Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages. Owners Brian and Deb Vanellen have offered rooms at very reasonable prices, starting at $180 for two nights (see below for more information). The workshop will run out of Gumnut Cottage, which will serve as our Workshop Central for the weekend, where we can all hang out in-between shoots to review our images and talk photography.

So, what can you expect from this wonderful weekend away with a group of photographers?

  • Sunrise and sunset landscape photography at Balingup Heights and the stunning Golden Valley Tree Park with Seng Mah. Discover the best tips and techniques for shooting landscapes; learn how to make the best use of natural light, to compose and to create depth in your landscapes.
  • Macro photography at Balingup Heights with the macro-man himself, Craig Franke. Find out how you can get up close and personal in your photography of small things and learn macro photography techniques that will help you gain control of focus, composition and lighting.
  • Natural light portraiture on location with Seng Mah. Join in a location photo shoot with Seng and learn how to use your camera in Manual Exposure mode with spot metering, to take beautiful natural light portraits. You'll be working with our models at Balingup Heights and discovering great tips for posing and for using silver and white reflectors.
  • Night photography: when it gets dark, we'll get out cameras, tripods and lights out and create some sparkling images at night.
  • Seng and Craig will be available to you, so you can ask questions, seek help with your photography and use this opportunity to really ramp up your photographic understanding and skills.
  • Many hours of inspiration, laughs and great deal of fun as you hang out with like-minded photographers who share your passion and drive for photography.


What you need

To get the most out of this experience, we recommend that the following equipment:

  • Your digital camera (we recommend a DSLR or similar interchangeable lens camera with fully manual controls) with a wide angle lens (eg. 10-20mm, 18-55mm, 16-35mm etc), a mid-range telephoto lens (70-200mm) and a dedicated macro lens (60mm, 90mm, 105mm etc), if you would like to maximise on your macro photography experience with Craig Franke.
  • A sturdy tripod (we recommend tripods with thick, sturdy legs and with heads that will lock your camera firmly and allow you to tilt and pan easily).
  • A remote shutter release.
  • A sturdy camera bag that is easy to carry around (backpack or a sling bag).
  • Spare batteries, battery charger, lots of spare memory cards.
  • A large plastic bag to protect your camera gear from moisture or drizzle.
  • Lens cleaning fluid and cloth.
  • Warm, weatherproof clothing.
  • Flashlight and insect repellant.
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes suitable for walking in wet grass.



This weekend workshop is based at Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages at 65 Nannup Road, Balingup. Cottages on the property are available for your accommodation during the workshop weekend, at additional cost.

The cottages at Balingup Heights have already been pre-reserved for the workshop weekend, so all you need to do is call Brian or Deb at the details below and let them know the kind of accommodation that would most interest you:

  • Twin share in a 2 room, 4 bed cottage: $180 for two nights.
  • Queen bed room in a 2 room cottage: $260 for two nights.
  • Single occupancy in a twin room in a 2 room cottage: $260 for two nights.
  • Private cottage (queen bed room) suitable for a couple or a single person: $460 for two nights.

All prices include a breakfast hamper (enough for two breakfasts per person).

To book your accommodation for this workshop at Balingup Heights, please call Deb or Brian Vanallen on (08) 9764 1283 or e-mail

Note: If you visit the Balingup Heights website, online reservations will show all accommodation booked out for this weekend because Brian and Deb have reserved the cottages for participants of this workshop. If you would like to stay at Balingup Heights in one of the cottages, just call Deb or Brian on the telephone number above.


The fine print (please read):

There’s always the fine print, so please make sure you read the following to make sure you’re aware of other details pertaining to this retreat:

  • You will need to organise your own travel to and from Balingup and the photographic locations during the retreat (we will car pool as much as possible to reduce the number of vehicles taken to the locations).
  • You will need to cover the cost of your own meals and refreshments during the weekend (except for breakfast, which is supplied by Balingup Heights).
  • This workshop runs from 3pm on Friday 13 May to 12pm on Sunday 15 May.
  • The workshop organisers reserve the right to change sessions, venue and locations during the workshop (subject to weather, access and availability).


Safety points (please read):

Your safety is our concern, but it is your own responsibility, so please read the following safety points that will give you a better picture of the types of terrain we will be exploring at this retreat:

  • You are fully responsible for your own safety and the safety of your equipment during the workshop, and should always observe your own health and safety first.
  • Some photographic excursions will require physical travel on sloping or wet surfaces including gravel trails, steps and walking through wet grass and on river banks. You will need to have a fairly good level of mobility in order to participate in this workshop.
  • Each participant will be required to sign a standard waiver at the beginning of the workshop.



Note: For information on refunds and late cancellations, please refer to our Workshops Terms and Conditions.

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