Immerse yourself in and capture unbelievable natural phenomena such as the Northern Lights and ice caves with this eleven-day Winter in Iceland photography workshop. This tour will take you all around the ring-road of the country, exposing you to spectacular landscapes and features, all the while radically improving your shooting skills.
Few wonders will be missed over the eleven days. You will get to see the unbelievable Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the diverse Lake Mývatn region, the remote East Fjords, as well as a wealth of glaciers, volcanoes, hot-spring-areas and waterfalls.
This tour is conducted by experienced, esteemed photo-guides throughout, who know all of the iconic shooting locations as well as many lesser-known spots, where you can capture unique images of the Icelandic nature far from any crowds. They are also experts in locating and shooting the aurora borealis.
Do not miss your chance to photograph the crystal blue ice caves and dancing northern lights of Iceland, amongst many other sites. Check availability by choosing a date.Part of the appeal of this tour is that everything is arranged for you prior to arrival. Your transfers to and from the airport, all your accommodation, and the driving from destination to destination will all be already organised, allowing to focus simply on your camera-work and the beauty that surrounds you.
You will arrive at Keflavík International Airport on day one, and use the Flybus ticket provided to you to transfer to your hotel in Reykjavík. Once here, you may want to relax until the evening, or else drop off your possessions and use the opportunity to explore the quirky, vibrant capital city.
When the evening swings around, however, you will return to your hotel lobby to meet your guides and group, before setting off for dinner. You will get to know each other and your plans for the next eleven days over a delicious meal, before retiring for the night.
On day two, you will set out to your first shooting locations, which line the famous South Coast. Many of these you may recognise from images of Iceland you have seen before arrival, as their beauty is known around the world.
First, you will visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This narrow, 60-metre tall cascade tumbles from a concave cliff, meaning there is a vast open space behind it, allowing for some unique perspectives. Next up, Skógafoss, is much more classic in its shape, but a similar height and much more powerful, already providing you with an opportunity to capture the dramatic forces at work in Iceland’s nature.
With these waterfalls shot from every available angle, you will head to the black-sand-beach Reynisfjara for your sunset shoot, and hopefully your first opportunity to photograph the Northern Lights.
Reynisfjara is a haunting, beautiful place of dramatic contrasts; the dark sands make the crashing, violent waves of the North Atlantic gleam, and the colours of the evening sky never disappoint. Your main subjects in the area, however, are sites of geological interest. Standing tall from the waters, you will be able to shoot the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, ominous structures said to be trolls petrified in the light of the rising sun.
Nearby, you will find the Dyrhólaey rock-arch and cliffs, the scale of which are mesmerising. Up close, you will find no shortage of subjects, as there are features such as hexagonal basalt columns waiting to be photographed.
After enjoying and capturing these sites, hopefully beneath the auroras, you will retire for the night in the scenic village of Vík.
On your third day, you will cross the rest of the South Coast to reach three incredible shooting destinations in the country’s beautiful south-east.
The first of these is Skaftafell Nature Reserve, considered so beautiful and important to the country’s heritage that it was once its own National Park before the greater Vatnajökull National Park enveloped it. Here, you can find a concentration of the features that make Iceland so internationally famous: glacier tongues and lagoons, mountains and volcanoes, lava-fields and forests, waterfalls and river systems. For several hours, you will work on capturing them all.
Following that, you will continue to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This spectacular lake is filled with great icebergs, some taller than houses, which slowly swirl through the waters before reaching the ocean. They will not be your only subjects, however; wildlife photographers will rejoice at how many seals call the lagoon home.
For your sunset shoot, you will reach the adjacent Diamond Beach, where the icebergs wash up on the shore, many retaining much of the grandeur. The contrasts between the blue ice, black sands, and white surf make for some great compositions, particularly beneath a colourful sunset or dancing aurora borealis.
You will spend the night in the Jökulsárlón area.
On day four, you will visit a site that will no doubt stay with you for life: a crystal blue ice cave. These caves, under Vatnajökull glacier, are safely accessible for just a few months of the year, and even then only under special circumstances, so the opportunity to enter one is extraordinary. To enter one with a professional, helpful photoguide, however, makes the experience truly once in a lifetime.
After capturing the colouration, scale, and textures within the ice cave, you will continue shooting the sites of the south-east. Which you head to will depend on the conditions, but you will have all day in the area tomorrow to catch those you missed.
You may, for example, head to one of Iceland’s few gabbro mountains, Vestrahorn, sometimes nicknamed ‘the Batman Mountain’ in honour of its two, jagged peaks. This feature is barren, dark and haunting, particularly when captured with the churning surrounding ocean and ominous black sands.
You may also head to a lesser-known glacier lagoon, Fjallsárlón, where you can more easily see the glacier tongue feeding into it, and are less likely to have many tourists blocking your shots.
You are likely to finish your day, however, back at Jökulsárlón and the Diamond Beach, in the hope of capturing the Northern Lights dancing above them.
Your fifth day will be spent better photographing any areas in the south-east that you may have neglected over the past few days, or that will be looking different under different lighting or weather conditions. These included Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón, Fjallsárlón, the Diamond Beach and Vestrahorn.
Your photoguides will also use the opportunities this day to take you to lesser known spots around Vatnajökull National Park, where you can take excellent panoramas of the south-east wrapped in its winter colours, and of Vatnajökull itself, Europe’s largest glacier.
You will spend a final night in the south-east, but not before hunting for the auroras once more.
On your sixth day, you will head through the little-travelled East Fjords. This region is remote even in summer, yet in winter, you are unlikely to encounter even a single crowd at your shooting destinations.
These destinations will be as diverse as the fjords themselves. There are beautiful seascapes to be captured; enormous, dramatic mountains; views of Vatnajökull glacier; and sleepy, idyllic fishing villages that are steeped in hundreds of years of history. Wildlife photographers should keep their eyes both on the coast and inland, as seals and reindeer are both common sights in this region at this time of year.
You will make many stops as you wind up and down the fjords, travelling north. Eventually, you will reach your destination for the day, the largest settlement in East Iceland, Egilsstaðir. If the aurora forecast seems promising, you will head out to try and shoot them, over the lake Lagarfljót or from Iceland’s largest forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur. If you stop at the former, keep your eyes on the surface of the water; sightings of the Lagarfljót wyrm, a legendary serpent records of which date back to the 13th Century, are not unheard of.
You will head to Iceland’s North on day seven, to the great Lake Mývatn area. En route, however, there are many spectacular sites to stop at and photograph. We will try to get to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, where you can attempt to capture the sheer force of the furious waters.
Nearby Dettifoss, you can find two other waterfalls within the same canyon and river, which if not as large, are similarly impressive: Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss. You will reach Mývatn in time for your sunset shoot. There are a huge wealth of places to visit and capture while you are here, but thankfully, you will have the next two days to seek them out. For now, you will simply find the area that looks best in the evening conditions, where you will have the best shot of capturing the auroras.
Day eight will be better spent exploring and shooting the Lake Mývatn region. The lake itself warrants some time, due to its serenity and bizarre geology; basalt stacks rise tall from the water, and it is one of the few places in the world you can find the unusual moss-balls. It is but one feature in the area, however.
Game of Thrones fans will find delight at photographing many of their favourite shooting locations. Mance Rayder’s Wildling Camp, for example, is shot at the ‘lava fortress’ of Dimmuborgir, a place where the rock formations are so large they look like they were built as a defensive fort. The love scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte took place in the ethereal hot-spring cave, Grjótagjá.
In the Lake Mývatn area, you will also be able to photograph the seething geothermal areas at Mnt. Námaskarð, and see more examples of Iceland’s volcanism across many of the lava landscapes, pseudo-craters and dormant peaks.
Mývatn is an incredible place to witness Iceland in Winter for its sheer diversity. Being far north, with longer nights than the rest of the country, it is also an ideal place for shooting the northern lights.
On your ninth day, you will better explore other regions of North Iceland. The northern fjords are incredible, the towns and villages incredibly picturesque. The mountains of the Tröllskagi Peninsular are some of the most beautiful and dramatic in the country, while the waters of Eyjafjörður are wide and scenic.
On this day, you will also get to visit the rest of the waterfalls on the Diamond Circle route, namely Goðafoss and Aldeyjarfoss.
The former is as fascinating historically as it is scenically beautiful; it was here that Iceland marked its departure from the old Norse religion for Christianity when the Lawspeaker of the time tossed his idols of the old gods into the raging waters. The latter is surrounded by fascinating geology, and by far at its most beautiful when surrounded by snow and caked in ice.
You will retire to Mývatn for a sunset shoot.
Sadly, day ten is your final full day of this winter in Iceland photography workshop. Still, however, you will have a wealth of new sites to photograph.
The day will mainly consist of driving, completing the full circle of the ring-road as you make your way back to Reykjavík, but your stops will be numerous. You will, for example, locate the bizarre rock formation of Hvítserkur, which stands tall from shallow waters off the coast, and looks like an elephant, troll or dinosaur, depending on the angle from which you capture it.
You will also drive through plenty of farmland and be able to get some shots of the beautiful Icelandic horse; these photogenic creatures are very friendly, often approaching those who come to see them, and their playfulness and curiosity can be captured as they interact. Icelandic horses are also particularly sturdy animals and are unbothered by the winter weather.
As you reach West Iceland, if there is still enough light, you will see sites such as the neighbouring waterfalls Hraunfossar, serene, wide and gentle, and Barnafoss, raging and violent. Nearby is the highest-flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver, and the historic towns of Reykholt and Borgarnes.
You’ll reach Reykjavík at night, and have a final meal with your guides and group. No doubt, by this point, you will all be good friends with a wealth of new skills learnt together, and can reveal to each other your brand new portfolios.
Join us on this 10-day Winter Landscape Photography Tour, as we seek some of the best light and impressive landscape that Iceland has toRead more
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip.
If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour is always dependent on weather, as the Icelandic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable. Likewise, visits to ice caves are dependent on favorable conditions, and indeed the ice caves themselves are not permanent. When it comes to the Northern Lights, while they are most likely to be seen between September and April, there is no guarantee that they will appear on a given day.