11 Day Northern Lights Photo Workshop around Iceland

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Duration:
11 days
Languages:
English
Difficulty:
Easy
Available:
January
Minimum age:
18 years old

Capture unbelievable natural phenomena such as the Northern Lights and ice caves on this eleven-day Winter in Iceland photography workshop. This tour will take you around the country's Ring Road, 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, 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.

Regardless of whether you are an amateur photographer merely seeking to improve your skills, or a professional photographer aspiring to greatness, this tour will be of immeasurable value, both in what you shall learn and in how much your portfolio will expand.

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.

Included

Professional Photo Guide
Transportation in a comfortable vehicle.
Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.
All breakfasts; Group dinner on day 1 and day 10.

Activities

Sight Seeing
Northern Lights
Photo Tours
Photo Workshop

Attractions

Reykjavík
Seljalandsfoss
Skógafoss
Reynisdrangar
Vatnajökull National Park
Vík
Vestrahorn

Daily itinerary

Day 1
Harpa Concert Hall in the Reykjavík's city centre is well worth a visit when one comes to Reykjavík.

Arrival

You will arrive at Keflavík International Airport on day one and take the fly bus or taxi to deliver you 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.

Day 2
According to legend, the Reynisdrangar seastacks are meant to be greedy trolls petrified by the sunlight.

Vik i Myrdal

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. If the sun hits this natural attraction you can expect to see a rainbow or two.

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 sunset rarely 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 is 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 Northern Lights, you will retire for the night in the scenic village of Vík.

Day 3
Hundreds of icebergs litter Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

Vatnajokull National Park

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. 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.

Day 4
A visit to a mesmerising blue ice cave is something that will stay with you for a lifetime

Ice Cave

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.

Day 5
Mount Vestrahorn stands tall over the Stokksnes peninsula and it is particularly charming when covered in snow.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Vestrahorn Mountain

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 glacier lagoon, Fjallsárlón lagoon, the Diamond Beach and Mount 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.

Day 6
If you're lucky, you might spot some wild reindeer during your time in the Eastfjords.

Eastfjords

On your sixth day, you will head through the little-travelled Eastfjords. 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.

Day 7
Europe's most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, in the winter.

Mývatn

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. Depending on the conditions, this may include waterfalls, geothermal areas and other spectacular winter sights.

You will reach Mývatn in time for your sunset shoot. There is a 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 aurora.

Day 8
Goðafoss waterfall takes on the appearance a gnarled frozen monster in the wintertime.

Myvatn Region

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.

In the Lake Mývatn area, you will also be able to photograph the seething geothermal areas at Mount Námaskarð, and see more examples of Iceland’s volcanism across many of the lava landscapes, pseudocraters 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.

Day 9
Adleyarfoss waterfall is not far from Goðafoss waterfall and it is known for its fascinating geology.

Godafoss Waterfall

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 Peninsula 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.

Day 10
The rock formation Hvítserkur makes for an interesting and dynamic photo subject.

Back to Reykjavík

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 with one another. 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.

Day 11
In the wintertime, the pond, Tjörninn freezes over completely and some locals like to go skating on it.

Departure

Day eleven is your departure day where  you can either take the fly bus or taxi to Keflavík airport for your journey home. If you have some time before you go, however, you can use your newly developed skills to get some urban landscape shots of Reykjavík, completing your new and extensive portfolio of Iceland in winter.

Good to know

- We are a local tour operator and travel agency authorised by the tourism board of Iceland.

- We offer small group tours with a maximum group size of 10-12. This way, you’ll get to know your photography guide and we can take you to shoot in unique places that aren’t suitable for larger groups

- All our guests get a free collection of post-processing videos from our award-winning photographers worth over $1,500

- On our tours we use comfortable vehicles to safely transport you to amazing locations.- We are using only the best hotels available in Iceland.

- Our photo tours and workshops are guided by award-winning professional landscape photographers.

- We provide crampons and rubber boots for free to all our guests throughout the tour.

- During the tour, we give highly informative and easy-to-follow photography and post-processing lectures.

- Our photo guides will always help you in the field to make sure you will bring home stunning photos of Iceland.

Disclaimer

We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic 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.

Departure Schedule

12 - 22 Jan 2021

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Video

Guides

Siggi the Viking

Siggi the Viking

English, Icelandic
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Siggi was born in Iceland and has spent most of his photography career in this paradise.During his time as a photographer, he early on found that his passion lies with photographing the beautiful landscapes and nightscapes of Iceland. One of his favorite activities is being out, chasing the northern lights and thinking of new ways to top his shots.

He has won multiple awards for his work, both locally and internationally, especially for his photos of the Aurora Borealis. Sigurdur has also written a book on the subject to aid everyone in getting the perfect shots of Lady Aurora and held nightscape photography workshops in Iceland since the beginning of 2012 with great success.

When the days get longer and the northern lights fade into the daylight, he turns his eyes towards the sun and the amazing midnight sun that Iceland has to offer with the golden hours that seem to stretch on forever.

Siggi was born in Iceland and has spent most of his photography career in this paradise.During his time as a photographer, he early on found that his passion lies with photographing the beautiful landscapes and nightscapes of Iceland. One of his favorite activities is being out, chasing the northern lights and thinking of new ways to top his shots.

He has won multiple awards for his work, both locally and internationally, especially for his photos of the Aurora Borealis. Sigurdur has also written a book on the subject to aid everyone in getting the perfect shots of Lady Aurora and held nightscape photography workshops in Iceland since the beginning of 2012 with great success.

When the days get longer and the northern lights fade into the daylight, he turns his eyes towards the sun and the amazing midnight sun that Iceland has to offer with the golden hours that seem to stretch on forever.

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