10 Day Iceland 2019 Summer Photography Workshop
Develop your skills as a photographer, build an incredible portfolio, and immerse yourself in the vivid colours of Iceland’s Summer turning to Autumn. This ten-day Iceland photo tour in September 2019 is for amateur, aspiring and professional photographers alike, and promises to expose you to some of the world’s most spectacular nature under ethereal lighting conditions.
You will get to see many of Iceland’s most iconic sites over the duration of this photo tour, such as the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the waterfalls of the South Coast, the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, and, with any luck, the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights.
Your guides are not just expert landscape and aurora photographers; they are experts on Iceland and will be able to guide you to some of its best kept secret locations and little-known subjects, allowing you to take fascinating, unique images far from the crowds. At each destination, your photography guides will be on hand to ensure that you are making the most of the lighting and subjects available, so that you return home with incredible images you can be proud of. Post-processing is an important part of creating enviable photographs, so your guides will be able to lead you through post processing to ensure your Iceland images are the best they can be.
Dates: 9 September to 18 September 2019
Total Price: $5700 AUD
Day 1 - Arrival into Reykjavik
Making your own travel arrangements to Iceland, on arrival into Keflavik International Airport you will be greeted by one of our friendly tour leaders and taken to your hotel in the capital of Reykjavik. You will have the remainder of the afternoon to relax or explore Reykjavik at your own pace. This vibrant , colourful city is home to a beautiful harbour, iconic monuments and delicious local flavours to try.
At 7 pm, your guides and group will meet in the lobby of your hotel, before heading out to a local restaurant for dinner. Here, you can learn your itinerary in more detail, get to know your fellow photographers and ask any questions you have about the next ten days ahead.
As the Aurora is unpredictable, we need to take advantage of it when it's on display. So if it is present this evening we will head out and try to photograph the lights from a near by location.
You will spend the night in Reykjavík.
Day 2 - Seljalandsfoss,Bruarfoss, Reynisfjara, Vik
After exploring and photographing Reykjavik on the first day, you will set off early, ready to discover the wonders of the South Coast.
Iceland's South Coast is one of the country's most popular tourist routes because it's home to more incredible landmarks than any other part of the island. If you've heard of anyone mention the Golden Circle before, this is it. The majority of the major sights are visible from the main Ring Road, or a stone's throw from it, making it easy to visit and photograph multiple sites in a fairly short amount of time. This region is especially beautiful at the end of Summer when the verdant landscape becomes crisp and stained with the oranges and reds of Autumn, and patches of snow and ice are beginning to settle in parts.
The first of subject you will reach is Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This narrow but powerful cascade falls in from a height of over sixty meters before a concave cliff. In decent conditions, albeit with a raincoat and camera protection, it can be fully encircled for some beautiful, unique perspectives.
Skógafoss, arguably the most famous waterfall on the Golden Circle route, is just a little further down the road from Seljalandsfoss, And although it's the same height, is far more powerful. You cannot go behind the water here but can ascend an adjacent staircase for a unique angle, or make the most of the stream in front of the waterfall for your foreground leading lines.
After enjoying these waterfalls, you will head to the famed black-sand-beach of Reynisfjara. This stretch is as mysterious and haunting as it is spectacular. Your main subjects will be the Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, two ‘trolls’ said to have been frozen in the light of the sun, standing tall from the choppy waves. The inky black pebbles and imposing rocky cliffs also provide excellent contrasts to the ocean for unique images. As the golden hour rolls into nighttime, and after dinner, you will, depending on the conditions head out again to capture the sites beneath the aurora borealis.
You will spend the night in the quaint village of Vík, home to just 400 locals, but the most important town on the South Coast serving Iceland's tourist trade.
Day 3 - Vik -Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
On your third day, you will leave Vík and finish journeying along the South Coast to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Vatnajökull National Park.
Keep your eyes peeled along the way as you pass through the Skaftareldrahraun lava field, formed in 1783, and believed to be one of the largest lava flows from a single eruption in recorded history.
Before reaching the glacier lagoon, you will divert to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Part of the Vatanjokull National Park, which is in fact one of the largest ice caps in the world, this is a paradise for photographers. There are a wealth of diverse sites contained within a relatively small area here, where you will spend the majority of the day finding unique subjects to shoot, including glacial tongues, lakes, waterfalls, forests and lava landscapes.
After making the most of this spectacular place, you will head over to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon to catch the incredible icebergs and glacier as the sun sets, and hopefully have a chance to shoot it beneath the Northern Lights.
Jökulsárlón is often considered to be Iceland’s most beautiful location, and you will have no doubts as to why it is held in such high esteem when you begin your shoot. Here, vast icebergs break from a glacial tongue, then sail across an enormous lagoon towards the ocean. Their coloration is vivid, scale mesmerising, and the fact you can practice your wildlife photography on the seals who live in the area only adds to the magical experience.
You will retire for the night in the south-east of Iceland.
Day 4 - Jökulsárlón, Vatnajokull National Park
You will return to Jökulsárlón for a sunrise shoot on your fourth morning. Under the many different lighting conditions you will experience on Iceland’s autumn days, the landscape's appearance, colour and beauty are forever changing.
You will not only be shooting the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon however. You will also head to the adjacent Diamond Beach, where the icebergs are washed upon the shore and glitter in the surf and sun. This is one of the best places in the country for photographers to practice with exposure and light effects, the black sand contrasting with the crystallised icebergs and heaving sea.
Your photo guides will also take you to a much lesser-known glacier lagoon, Fjallsárlón. Here, you will be able to take more time with your shots, as there will be far fewer crowds. Though not as vast as Jökulsárlón, Fjallsárlón is still a spectacular site, and you will, in fact, get a better view of the glacial tongue leading into the lake.
If the aurora borealis did not show the previous night, you and your guides will keep an extra keen eye out for them tonight; capturing them above the lagoons or beach is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
You will spend another night in the Jökulsárlón area.
Day 5 - Vatnajokull National Park
Your fifth day will be your final full day in south-east Iceland; you will, therefore, use it to shoot at the sites you have thus far missed.
The main one of these is Vestrahorn, on the Stokknes Peninsula. This is one of Iceland’s few gabbro mountains, and stark and dramatic as a result. It stands alone, surrounded by black sands and the seething waters of the North Atlantic, with barren, ashy slopes and jagged peaks. It is a fascinating subject, and you will be able to capture it from a variety of different angles.
Your photo guides will take you from here to some more unique destinations within Vatnajökull National Park, where you will attain excellent vantage points from which you can photograph the region’s incredible landscapes and Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull.
You will return to Jökulsárlón for your final sunset shoot in the area.
Day 6 - Vatnajokull National Park - Pingvellir and Husafel
Day six will largely consist of traveling from Vatnajökull National Park to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. You will, however, make multiple stops en route, where you can stretch your legs and continue to build your photography portfolio.
You will, for example, make stops back at Skaftafell Nature Reserve, Reynisfjara Beach, and the waterfalls along the South Coast, time and conditions depending. At different times of the day and in different weather, these sites will all attain a distinct kind of beauty, and allow for some unique photographs.
After leaving Vik you will make your way to the Pingvellir National Park. Again there are waterfalls and incredible canyons here to photograph, some of which are famous for appearing in the Game of Thrones series. The national park is where the European and North American tectonic plates meet. In some areas you can see up to 40 metres down between the earths crust.
You will spend the night in Husafel home to one of the most picturesque waterfalls found in Iceland. Hraunfosser is a waterfall formed by glacial water that travels beneath a massive lava shelf and enters the river at this point. Stretching one kilometre in width, it is an incredible waterfall to photograph. If the Northern lights are on display we will top the night off and head out for a final evening of Aurora hunting.
Day 7 - Husafel to Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Kirkjufell
You will wake in Husafel a quiet little Icelandic summer holiday village, famous for its natural hot springs and wooden cabins nestled on a glacier fed stream. We will make a stop at Hraunfosser for a sunrise shoot and then make out way onto the northern coastline of the peninsula.
Your focus today will be on the northern coastline of the Peninsula. The seascapes here of Breiðafjörður fjord are stunning, particularly in clear weather when you are able to see all the way across to the massive mountains of the Westfjords. If you are lucky, you might even spot orcas in the water; this is where they are most commonly found, and autumn marks the beginning of the season with the most sightings.
The highlight, however, will be Mount Kirkjufell, a standalone peak that rises sharply from the coastline above the charming waterfall of Kirkjufellsfoss. You will spend a considerable amount of time finding the perfect angles to shoot it from, waiting for the opportunities that come with the golden hour. Once again you also have the opportunity to capture it beneath the northern lights if they come into fruition this evening.
You will spend a second night on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula
On your eighth day, you will wake up on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, often nicknamed ‘Little Iceland’ due to the wealth of diverse sites and landscapes in the area. You will continue your exploration of Snæfellsnes. There is so much to seenhere, it would not do the sites justice to rush through them all in one session.
Throughout the day, you will make stops to shoot many of them. You will focus, for example, on the dramatic, craggy coastlines around Arnarstapi, where you can find hexagonal basalt columns, and Lóndrangar, the site of two mighty sea-stacks which resemble a fortress. You will also capture the haunting Buðahraun lava field, contrasted with the quaint, historic hamlet of Buðir.
Of course, you will also have the chance to use the crown jewel of the Peninsula, Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano, as your subject throughout the day.
Snæfellsnes is incredible in all seasons, yet has a special magic in its autumnal colours. What only adds to this is the chance you have to witness and shoot the Northern Lights when you finally retire on the Peninsula for the evening, after a full day of adventure.
Day 9 - Return to Reykjavik
On your ninth day, you will wake up on Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where will head out for sunrise and capture some more of the amazing sights
You will then make your return to Reykjavik where we will stop at a number of sights along the way like Akron's Lighthouse, the various ship wrecks on the beach and also a few more iconic locations along the Golden circle leading back into Reykjavik.
Once we arrive in Reykjavik we will check into our hotel and grab our camera gear to photograph some of the local landmarks in and around the harbour.
Day 10 - Explore Reykjavik and it's surrounds
On your last day we will visit a number of locations around Reykjavik. Depending on if the Northern lights were kind to us, a final sunrise shoot will be made before we back into town.
We do have one more highlight in store for you, you may need to bring your swimmers for this one. For those of you who do not want to get in the water, don't be alarmed we have something lined up for you too.
Sadly, today is your final day. You will need to take the bus back to the airport in time for your flight. If you have a few hours, however, you can use it to capture some urban landscapes around Reykjavík. Comparing them to those you took on your first day will no doubt show a marked improvement in your techniques.
When on the plane back home or to your next destination, you will no doubt still be in awe of your new talents, your massive portfolio, and the amazing places you have seen in Iceland, let alone the incredible time you've had with new photographers and friends.
Included in your workshop
Two professional photography guides
Transportation in comfortable, spacious Icelandic 4x4 bus with plenty of space for you and all your photography gear
Comfortable accomodation located within close proximity to shoot locations
All breakfasts, plus group meals on night 1
Post processing sessions with workshop leaders
Transport to and from Iceland
Lunches and dinners from day 2 to 10
Alcohol, beverages and snacks (some snacks and fresh Icelandic glacier water will be provided)
Below are some of the amazing locations you will visit throughout your workshop in Iceland.
2019 Iceland Summer Workshop Tour Leaders
Cancellation policy and refunds
Full payment required 120 days from workshop start date
91-120 days: 50% refunded
Less than 90 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
The tour is always dependent on weather, as in the arctic weather can be highly unpredictable. 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 at a given time. There is however always plenty to see and do if conditions do not favour any part of our original plan.
A medium level of fitness is required for this trip, as we will be operating in the arctic circle we may experience snow, ice, wet weather and extremely windy conditions. As with all landscape photography we will spend a fair amount of time outdoors, Due to the extreme nature of the arctic we recommend winter clothing that is water proof and well insulated.