There’s not a lot you can say that will do justice to Iceland as a natural spectacle. Luckily there are plenty of pictures to whet your appetite for photography below! To truly appreciate the incredible landscapes, epic waterfalls, mystical northern lights and glacial wonders, your best bet is to hop on a plane and come on over... The autumn months are the perfect time to do exactly that.
Being a period of natural transition, October brings with it a series of changing forms, lights and colors, in a last hurrah before the coming winter. It’s true that by this time of year the days are growing fairly short, but it’s also around October that the wondrous northern lights begin to show themselves, so that’s something of an upside.
This tour will primarily focus on capturing some of Iceland’s finest sights when the conditions are at their best - in the golden light of the sunset and sunrise. Of course though, we will spend plenty of time hunting the Aurora Borealis as well. Joining a group of photography enthusiasts will be two world-leading photography instructors, who know all of the locations in detail, and have mastered the ins and outs of making the most of Iceland's beautiful landscapes.
In terms of locations, the group will focus on the rugged sights of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland, the popular Golden Circle near the capital, and the breathtaking wonders of Iceland’s southern shores. Expect to see one of Europe’s most imposing glaciers, photogenic ice and rock formations, dynamic coastlines, volcanic black sand beaches, thunderous waterfalls, and much more besides.
On the morning of the second day we will pick you up from your hotel bright and early. To begin with, the group will head north to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west of Iceland. On the southern part of Snæfellsnes we will photograph the rugged wilderness of the coastline, where jagged cliffs and unusual rock formations act as spectacular foregrounds for potential shots of the northern lights. Even if the Aurora Borealis don’t show themselves on this day, the sights of Arnarstapi and the bewitching black church near Budir will definitely be enough to keep us occupied.
Next up, we will explore the peninsula a little more with a trip to the rocks of Londrangar, a collection of volcanic basalt rising dramatically from the ocean. After just a day here, you’ll begin to understand why Snæfellsnes is often described as “Iceland in miniature” - so many incredible natural spectacles can be found, and there are endless opportunities for patient photographers. Accommodation: Snæfellsnes
On day three our adventures on the peninsula of Snæfellsnes continue. The aim will be to cover the sights and locations that we didn’t manage to fit in yesterday, skirting along the quaint coastal villages and taking in the mighty Snæfellsjökull glacier.
As we head to the northern end of the peninsula, one of the highlights of the entire trip will come into view. With its almost-perfect cone shape, the mountain of Kirkjufell is a fairytale sight in a fairytale location. We will shoot it with the charming Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall in the foreground, and Grundarfjordur Bay right behind. If we’re lucky enough that our visit coincides with the northern lights, the whole group will get shots that will last a lifetime. Accommodation: Snæfellsnes
On day four our journey continues, as we head back inland toward Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. First up, a stop at the blue waterfall of Hraunfossar. It’s not so much a single waterfall as a series of cascading falls, which during the autumn months are surrounded by the many shades and tones on the season.
Next we will explore the Golden Circle. Oddly for a circle, it has three points. The first is Thingvellir National Park, an area of incredible historical and geographical significance. The park marks the spot where the original Icelandic parliament was founded, and its giant fissures signal the meeting point of two continental plates. We will then take a drive up to the mighty Gullfoss, a spectacular waterfall that offers plenty of vantage points, a picturesque setting and fine mist to add some texture to proceedings. The final point of the Golden Circle is the Geysir geothermal area. Here there are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for photographers patient enough to capture Strokkur, which shoots steam high into the air every ten minutes or so. Accommodation: Geysir area
Day five marks a change of direction for the group, as we head south toward some of Iceland’s lesser known, but arguably more impressive, natural scenes. The scenic south coast is home to dramatic black sand beaches, amazing rock formations and a number of mighty waterfalls. We will photograph the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has an opening behind the water to allow for some extraordinary shots from the stony recess at its back. Another waterfall, Skogafoss, is nearby too. The group will also explore some of Iceland’s finest coastline, taking in the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, the magnificent views from the stone walkway of Dyrholaey, and the breathtaking stretches of black sand beach as we head for Vik. Accommodation: Vik
When many people think if Iceland, they will probably picture scenes that can be found within the Vatnajokull National Park: Fire and ice. That’s where we will head on day six. The group will spend three days in the area, which gives you a good idea of just how many sights and scenes there are to capture and enjoy. The Vatnajokull National Park is most famous for its combination of volcanoes, glaciers and icy lagoons. Vatnajokull is actually Europe’s largest glacier, and Iceland’s highest summit, Hvannadalshnjukur, can also be seen in the area. It’s a place of magnitude and pure natural theatre - In honesty, three days probably isn’t enough.
Aside from the glacial lagoons, mountains and extremes of ice and fire, there are waterfalls too! Skaftafell and Svartifoss will both be on our list to shoot. Accommodation: Glacier Lagoon
Picture the scene: Glistening, miniature ice sculptures wash up on a black sand beach as the sun begins to rise. You’re probably starting to understand why the Vatnajokull National Park is a photographer’s dream, full of different lights, contrasting textures and an array of natural wonders. On day seven the group will concentrate on the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. There we will observe as enormous icebergs break free from Europe’s largest ice cap and float silently out to sea. We will visit the volcanic, black sand beaches and marvel at the crystal clear ice washed ashore, and hopefully the elusive aurora borealis will come out to meet us. Accommodation: Glacier Lagoon
As you’ve probably guessed by now, there is so much to explore in the area that we will largely spend our time moving from one incredible sight to another. The exact itinerary will be flexible, depending on the group’s preferences, the light and the weather conditions. One thing’s for sure; few places in the world exhibit such a wide range of natural phenomena as Vatnajokull National Park,so you can be assured that your expert guides will be constantly on the hunt for the best possible photographic opportunities.
Eventually though, all good things must come to an end. We will drive further east to Stokksnes Beach, where we will capture the dramatic peaks of Mt. Vestrahorn alongside the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. If the northern lights make an appearance, this could be the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Accommodation: Glacier Lagoon
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.