Over the course of ten magical days, this photography tour around Iceland takes in the very best that the land of ice and fire has to offer - all under the mystical glow of the Northern Lights. Aurora hunting with a camera in hand is serious business, so we’ve prepared our very own modified 4X4 vehicle, which is ready and able to take you into the heart of Iceland’s remote highlands. Under the guidance of our award-winning photographers, you’ll shoot Iceland’s most iconic natural sights and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
This highland and south coast photography tour is an epic adventure at any time of year, but across September and October you will also have the opportunity to capture some of the world’s most staggering landscapes illuminated by the aurora borealis. This is a photography pilgrimage, an experience you will never forget.
Have a look through the itinerary below for day-by-day information, bring your gear, and pack a sense of adventure - leave the rest to us! Landmannalaugar, Vatnajökull and much more are all waiting under the glow of the Northern Lights.
Today the tour really gets started. Our first move will be to leave Reykjavik behind and head out into the Icelandic wilderness. The highlands offer plenty of stunning photography opportunities, and the lack of light pollution makes the area perfect for aurora hunting. Highlights on our first full day will include the majestic mountains of Kerlingarfjoll, which are formed of rhyolite and, as a result, seem to radiate differing shades of red and yellow. We will also make a stop in the geothermal area of Hveravellir. There we can photograph the local hot springs, smoking fumaroles and multi-coloured sinters.
For an unforgettable Northern Lights session, we will visit the nearby waterfall of Gygjarfoss. Located on the Jokulhvisl river and with dramatic white peaks looming on the horizon, there a few better places in Iceland for aurora hunting.
Our accommodation on day two will be in the Kerlingarfjoll area.
On our third day aurora hunting in Iceland we’ll leave Kerlingarfjoll behind and venture south towards Landmannalaugar. This mountainous area in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve can only be reached with a 4x4 such as ours, so you can bet that our Northern Lights photography session will be unspoilt and uninterrupted.
Closer to the ground there’s plenty more to capture under a glowing sky, from more rhyolite peaks to black lava fields and the figure of the Hekla volcano to the west.
Our aim is to stay in the Landmannalaugar area for a full three days. There’s plenty to see and photograph, including the mystical crater lake of Blahylur, the waterfalls of Haifoss and Hjalparfoss, and the lake of Frostastadavatn.
The two crater lakes of Blahylur and Ljotipollur are without doubt a couple of Iceland’s best kept natural secrets. Ljotipollur offers a vivid assortment of colours, with its red sand slopes and tranquil blue water; both of which will hopefully be under the spellbinding light display of the aurora borealis.
We will also take the time to shoot the Haifoss waterfall. It’s name translates to something like “The Tall Falls”, and you’ll understand why when gazing up at the torrent cascading down from over 122 meters high.
Other highlights will include Hjalparfoss, another epic waterfall on the river Fossa. Under the Northern Lights the twin basalt divides the river into two, and the whitewash the descent creates offers a great contrast in terms of texture and splash. A backdrop of a glowing sky above the rolling hills makes this a fine spot for a shoot.
The highland region of Landmannalaugar is among Iceland’s most photogenic. And that’s really saying something. There are hot springs, natural baths, glittering rhyolite mountains, unearthly lava and rock formations, not to mention plenty of flora and fauna for us to shoot. Among all of this there will be two points of focus for our photography: The first is the ridge over Frostastadavatn lake, which offers a great vantage point over the water and surrounding landscape. The second is Sigoldugljufur canyon, a scenic spot where many waterfalls merge. It goes without saying that it’s going to take a lot of work to capture all of the above as we chase the Northern Lights, so it’s only fair that we take a dip in Landmannalaugar’s natural baths too.
Our accommodation will be in a specially selected highlands hotel.
On day six of our aurora hunt around Iceland, the group will follow the South Fjallabak highland route to the north of Myrdalsjokull glacier. This ice cap sits on top of Katla, one of Iceland’s many active volcanoes. The result is a dramatic landscape brimming with photographic opportunity.
There’s plenty to capture under the eerie glow of the Northern Lights, including the black lava sands and statues that have gradually formed over thousands of years. One highlight in particular will be Oldufell, a pointed mountain that makes for a spectacular subject given the right light and weather conditions. The green flatlands at its base look like a cheerful alpine scene, but the mountain exudes an air of something more mysterious.
We will also make a point of stopping at the Axlarfoss waterfall. Here there is plenty of contrast to capture, with a vivid green landscape alongside volcanic cliffs that rise up to either side of the water.
Our final photography session on day six will be a visit to the canyon of Eldgja. It’s 600m wide and 270m deep, stretching all the way from the Myrdalsjokull glacier to peak of Gjatindur. It’s one of the many places we will witness that leaves you feeling in awe and helpless at the same time. Our accommodation for the night will be in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
On day seven we will start with a trip to another Icelandic canyon wrth shooting: Fjadrargljufur. Admittedly, it’s not on the same scale of Eldgja, but the spectacular rock formations that run along its border make it a landscape photographer’s paradise.
Next up the group veers to east into the Vatnajokull National Park. There we will photograph volcanoes and glaciers, appreciate the natural wonders of Skaftafell and the Svartifoss waterfall. Today is probably the day that you will realise, if you haven’t already, exactly why Iceland is one of the world’s finest photography destinations.
Our accommodation for the night will be in the Vatnajokull National Park.
Day eight is pretty straightforward. We want to make the most of our time in Vatnajokull, and shoot as many incredible scenes as we can. The interplay here between ice and fire perfectly demonstrates why the two elements have become Iceland’s calling card. Having said that, for much of the day we’ll be focusing on the former: Ice.
The park’s most famous attraction is arguably the glacier lagoon of Jokulsarlon. There you shoot scenes that you simply can’t encounter anywhere else. Black sand beaches glisten with washed up ice crystals, and serene icebergs of all shapes and sizes float out toward the open ocean. After capturing the lagoon in all its glory, our plan is to head further east to Stokksnes beach. There we will wait patiently for the Northern Lights to illuminate the rugged peaks of Mt. Vestrahorn.
Again, our accommodation will be in the Vatnajokull National Park.
The penultimate day of this aurora hunt around Iceland will see us beginning our journey back to Iceland’s capital city. The most scenic route back to Reykjavik is via the south coast, and we will make plenty of stops in order to take in the brooding shorelines, powerful waterfalls and rock formations. There are countless potential locations we could visit, so we will see what the conditions are like and select a few according to the preferences of the group.
Our accommodation for the night will be back in Reykjavik.
If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $150 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 60 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $150 fee.
45 days or more: 75% refund
30 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 30 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.