Workshops: Iceland 2015 New Years 9-day Photo Tour

 Iceland New Year's Northern Lights, Ice Caves and Winter Landscapes 2014-15 Photography Workshop and Tour

9 days, 9 nights, December 26-January 4, 2014
0 of 6 spaces available; sold out!   (last remaining trip of the season with open spaces is March 18-28 - sign up today!) 
$3100 USD all inclusive 

This unique 9 day/9 night photography tour and workshop around Iceland, the legendary land of fire and ice, is meant for outdoor photographers and nature-goers who desire to see and photograph Iceland's winter beauty and the Aurora Borealis and crystal ice caves. And what better way to bring in the New Year than in Iceland photographing and experiencing Reykjavik's unique New Year's celebrations?   This hybrid trip focuses on bringing you to outstanding rural locations in Iceland, away from all the day-tours from Reykjavik, and finding photographic crystals in the wintery landscape during our daylight hours. We will especially search for ice caves to explore and photograph inside, which have stunning transluscent blue colors, with a local ice guide for one of the days!  Then, in the dark hours of each day, hundreds of kilometers away from the city lights of Reykjavik, we'll search the skies and wait to photograph the Aurora Borealis - with phenomenal landscape backdrops. We will be based out of cozy rural guesthouses along the south coast and in the spectacular and remote East Fjords, allowing a comfortable schedule yet filling our days and nights with rewarding photography opportunities all around the region.  We return to Reykjavik city for New Years celebrations and city photography, then spend the first 2 days of the New Year exploring the Snæfellsness Peninsula, and our last day photographing the famous Golden Circle sights as well as some secret gems. 

Special for this trip:
Reykavik is reknown for its New Years celebration, where most Icelanders set off their own fireworks in a wild and spectacular hours-long extravaganza - a New Years you won't forget!  Photograph the city erupt in fireworks city-wide from the best hill in town, or simply enjoy being in the middle of it all.   This trip will spend New Years eve in Reykjavik in an nice hotel (included), before starting off New Year's Day with another couple days of photography on the Snaefellsness Peninsula.   What better way to spend the holiday than photographing in an epic location that has it all- landscapes, Auroras, ice caves, city life!?  

Photography Instruction: A maximum group size of 6 photographers ensures you will receive ample personal photographic coaching in the field from a full time working pro, and provide a small group adventure experience. This photo workshop is all about in-the-field field photography and situational instruction working alongside your leader, although we can also do image critiquing on client's laptops in the guesthouse in the evenings. Each day the group will photograph diverse landscapes and natural wonders of Iceland, in the quiet and peaceful setting of the Icelandic wintertime. Then, each evening and night the group will enjoy home-cooked meals and a cozy guesthouse, while always being prepared to go out and photograph the Aurora Borealis should it occur. The chances of us photographing this phenomenon are very high, given that we're out for six nights, and way away from the city of Reykjavik and the southern coast of Iceland. Photographic topics that will covered while shooting include nighttime and austral photography, Aurora Borealis photography, classic landscape photography composition and technique, HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery, panoramic photography, adventure and travel photography, tilt/shift focusing, and slow shutter -speed effects. Our full 8 days and 8 nights of photography potential allow us to see a variety of well-known Icelandic natural wonders of the South Coast and East Fjords, ice caves of the Vatnajökull glacier region, the glaciers and icebergs of Jökulsarlon lagoon, and combined with austral photography, enable each participant to get the most out this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Pro Leader: Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC in the USA will be leading the trip. Johnathan is a full time photographer and international photo trip leader, and has a unique background and an intimate knowledge of Iceland from living out of a car, exploring and photographing Iceland intensively for months at a time, and he specializes in wide panoramic landscapes and adventure photography in Iceland and the Adirondack region in the USA. Johnathan is also very experienced in leading workshops, having led 16+ very successful photography workshops around Iceland since 2011 which are often sold-out, and also sometimes works with the very best native Icelandic photographer, Örvar Þorgeirsson. Örvar will join us as a special guest photographer on one of the days which will be a highlight for everyone, and his images are seen on

Trip Details: The cost of this tour is $ 3150 USD (or Euro equivalent) (small discounts available for couples and early bookings), all inclusive, and includes all photographic opportunites and professional instruction, guiding, all ground and 4x4 transportation, all meals and food (breakfast served in our guesthouse, lunches sourced from local cafes or bagged lunches, and hot dinners at our places of accomodation and/or restaurants including a special New Year's Eve meal in Reykjavik), and accommodation for 9 nights (in cozy rural authentic Icelandic guesthouses and hotels; accommodation is based on double occupancy, and will be comfortable, clean, sometimes with shared bathrooms; single supplement may be requested for an additional fee; New Year's night in an upscale Reykjavik hotel).
A $800 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due by the trip start date. Refunds are possible, with a mix of cash refund and future trip credit, depending on cancellation date. This tour is recommended for digital photographers. There is a maximum group size of 6, and a minimum of 2.  If you have additional questions, the trip leader will be happy to answer them over the phone or email.


day #dateitineraryaccomodation
012/26/2014Arrive to Iceland. Pickup at airport. Day on your own in Reykjavik. Night shoot at Þingvellir if clear weather. (It's possible, but not recommended, to fly from North America overnight on the 26th arriving on the 27th early morning, but no refunds given).included Reykjavik hotel
112/27/2014Depart Reykjavik in early morning. South coast waterfalls, farm scenes, etc; sunset at Vik. Long drive to Skaftafell National Park.  Possible aurora over glaciers. Skaftafell NP area
212/28/2014All Day with Einar ice cave guide, possible aurora over glaciers or JökulsarlonJökulsarlon area
312/29/2014Jökulsarlon lagoon area all day, possible aurora over Jökulsarlon, iceberg beach, more icebergsJökulsarlon area
412/30/2014Sunrise at Jökulsarlon, rest of farm and waterfall sights back till Vik, Vik headlands, possible aurora from DyroleyVik area
512/31/2014south coast waterfalls and remaining south coast sights; back to Reykjavik; New Years Eve in Reykjavik incl firework celebrations photographyReykjavik 3-4 star hotel
61/1/2015Snæfellsness Peninsula sea cliffs, churches, and mountains;  Probable day with Icelandic guest photographer ÖrvarGrundarfjorður, Snæfellsness Peninsula
71/2/2015sunrise Kirkjufellsfoss, Grundarfjörður, drive to Reykholt for farm scenes and Hraunfossar springs, with possible aurora over HraunfossarReykholt area
81/3/2015Golden Circle sights of Þingvellir National Park including Öxararfoss and Silfra, Bruarfoss, Geysir, and GullfossFluðir area
91/4/2015Return to Reykjavik around noontime, in time for all departing flights in afternoon, or stay on your own in Reykjaviknot included (Reykjavik)


Johnathan A. Esper
Wildernesscapes Photography LLC
PO Box 326, Long Lake, NY
United States
phone: 001 518 354 3983 (USA) or +354 844 5033 (Iceland)   or 

Special guest native Icelandic photographer:
Örvar Þorgeirsson


Silfra tectonic crack Aurora reflection
Aron Franklín,Einar Rúnar Sigurðsson,Iceland,Johnathan A Esper,crampons,exploration,explorer,guide,ice,ice guide,mountaineer...
Svinafellsjokull glacier
Aurora Borealis,Hvítá,Hvítá River,Iceland,Icelandic,Northern Lights,aurora,geomagnetic storm,ice,river,storm...
JsᲬ󮠬agoon iceberg pattern
Fjalljökull,Fjalljökull glacier,Iceland,blue,cave,ceiling,clear,crystal,glacial,glacier,ice,ice cave,icecave,melting,otherworldly...
Ocean surf and icebergs near Jokulsarlon
New Years 2014 celebrations in Reykjavik
  • To book your space on this trip, please pay a deposit payment of $500 USD per person. Until payment is sent, your place is not guaranteed.  You may conveniently pay your deposit here on this website, securely with your credit which will be processed by Paypal payment processor.  The deposit portion may also be paid via personal or bank check for USA and Canadian clients; contact me for further instructions.  
  • Cancellation policy:  In the unfortunate case if you need to cancel, cancellation policy is: Deposit payments are refundable as 100% future scheduled trip credit up to 120 days before trip start, 50% future scheduled trip credit if cancellation is 120-60 days before trip start, and non-refundable less than 60 days before start. Final payments for the full trip balance are 100% refundable as cash until the trip start, and non-refundable after the trip start. If I am able to fill your empty spot on the trip, half of what you'd lose will additionally be returned to you, for all the above situations.   If I cancel the trip for some major reason, such as overwhelming volcanic activity, trip leader health crisis, etc, then I fully refund everything in cash or Paypal, or a pro-rated amount if the trip must end early for the same reasons.   I am not responsible for reimbursing you for travel or other ancillary expenses you incur in prep for the trip.  
  • Final Payment. The final payment for the balance due on the trip (after your paid deposit), is due one week prior to the trip start. Payment options include bank transfer to my Icelandic bank account (details on request), cash in person at the trip start (with prior permissin), personal or bank checks (preferred for USA and Canada clients), and credit cards (a 2% credit card fee will be added for final payments with card) conveniently on the payment page.