Workshops: Iceland Autumn Color In Myvatn Region: September 2015

Iceland Autumn color in Myvatn and Highland regions, September 2015:    photographing the autumn foliage among lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula and Myvtan geothermal areas, autumn snowfalls of the Highlands region, and the fall equinox aurora borealis.  

Dates: 09-16 September 2015  (7 full days, 7 nights)  Brand new trip for 2015!

$2600 USD or Euro equivalent,  all inclusive incl. domestic flight

Status: FULL

This unique 7 day/7 night photography tour and workshop covering both northern and southern Iceland, the legendary land of fire and ice, is meant for outdoor photographers and nature-goers who desire to see and photograph Iceland's autumn color and nuances of the fall seasons. Highlights of the fall season in Iceland the colorful birch scrub bushes among the starkly contrasting black lava flows of the Myvatn region, autumn color among lush green mossy lava fields, dustings of snow on the peaks in the Highlands region which is all but deserted at this time year, and the strong probability of seeing the aurora borealis in the night sky.  

Being in remote areas gives us unparralled chances and locations to view the Aurora Borealis.  Aurora Borealis viewing depends on 2 main factors: solar activity, and clear weather; a week-long trip like this gives you very good chances to be in Iceland during these periods of typically strong autumn equinox solar outbursts and in various parts of the country should cloudy weather persist over a part of Iceland.

The main emphasis of this workshop is the Icelandic autumn color of the scrub birch, in both southern and northern Iceland, set amidst unique backdrops of moss and lava.   Low-angle sun at these northern latititudes allows us to capture extended magic light periods. Of course we'll also photograph a plethora of other scenic and rural distinations including country churches, waterfalls, farms, and horses. We will also spend 2 days in the Highlands region of Iceland, experiencing the stark fall climate of this region, and hopfully being witness to an early fall snow dusting on the peaks which is very impressive.  Connecting from the south to the north of Iceland, we take the famous Kjolur Highlands route via 4x4 van.  

Then, we transition to northern Iceland - some say the best region in the country for viewing the Aurora Borealis, during the height of the fall soltice, which statistically has the most frequent occuring aurora borealis activity.  Also, northern Iceland's Myvatn region is undoubtedly most beautiful in the fall.  We will especially photograph the famous geothermal areas of Lake Myvatn Godafoss waterfall, as well as the Tröllskagi Peninsula mountains, based in Iceland's second largest town, Akureyri. The Akureyri region is ideal to view the Aurora Borealis due to it's more northerly latitudes perfectly situated under the Auroral Oval region of greatest auroral activitiy. We will be based out of cozy rural guesthouses in Akureyri and Myvatn regions, allowing a comfortable schedule yet filling our days and nights with rewarding photography opportunities all around the region.   Included in the trip price is an internal domestic flight back to Reykjavik at the end of the one-way itinerary. 

Photography Instruction: A maximum group size of 8 photographers ensures you will receive ample personal photographic coaching in the field from a full time working pro, and provide an intimate 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 good restaurant 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 seven 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 around Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, and the central Highlands, and combined with austral wonderment, enable each participant to get the most out this once-in-a-lifetime trip. In good daytime weather and clear night skies, September days can long; sometimes our groups are putting in 15+ hour days! 

Pro Leader: Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC in the USA will be leading the trip, his 27th in Iceland. 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 numerous 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 hopefully join us as a special guest photographer on one of the days or nights which will be a highlight for everyone, and his images are seen on

Trip Details: The cost of this tour is $2600 USD (or Euro equivalent), all inclusive, and begins in Reykjavik on the evening of 09 September 2015 and concludes in Akureyri with your return evening flight to Reykjavik on 16 Sept 2015.  The trip cost includes domestic airfare from Akureyri to Reykjavik at the end of the trip (to be booked on your behalf once your international flights are booked on our own). Also included is all photographic instruction and 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), and accommodation for 7 nights (in Icelandic guesthouses or country hotels; accommodation is based on double occupancy, single supplement fee may be added.  Most but not all rooms have in-room bathrooms). Accomodation and potential night aurora shooting starts on the evening of 09 Sept,  and the trip concludes with a evening flight on the 16th without accomodation for that night in Reykjavik. A $600 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due by the trip start. Refunds are allowed at the discretion of the trip leader, with a mix of cash refund and future trip credit, depending on cancellation date. This tour is open to photographers of skill levels, with rural country and landscape and austral photography interests, and a detailed suggested packing list will be provided. We'll be so immersed in the Icelandic countryside for our entire time as a group, that we have left no time to enjoy the sights of Reykjavik, so we encourage you to stay in Reykjavik for a couple days on your own, either before or after the tour. If you have additional questions, the trip leader will be happy to answer them over the phone or email. 


day #dateitineraryaccomodation location
109 Sept 2015Arrival to Iceland, (Dinner on your own.) Night/aurora shoot with Icelandic photographer Orvar weather permittingReykjavik (included)
210 Sept 2015Photography around the Reykjanes Peninsula, and the Golden Circle area including Thingvellir, Geysir, and Bruarfoss. Fludir
311 Sept 2015Gullfoss, then onto the Highlands Kjolur 4x4 route. Afternoon spent at Kerlingarfjoll geothermal area in the Highlands.  

Saudarkrokur area

412 Sept 2015daytime photography Trollaskagi Peninsula region of fjords and fishing villages. Evening in Iceland's main northern townAkureyri
513 Sept 2015 Myvatn lake and craters, Krafla,  Dimmuborgir, and other geothermal areas. Possible nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formations


614 Sept 2015 Dettifoss, and Jokusargljfur canyon, and Asbyrgi canon birch foliage. Possible nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formationsMyvatn
715 Sept 2015Myvatn lake and craters, Krafla,  Dimmuborgir, and other fall foliage areas among the lava. 


8 16 Sept 2015Godafoss waterfall, Aldeyjarfoss.  Included evening domestic flight from Akureryi to Reykjavik. 

(Reykjavik) not included



A tranquil setting on the way to Aldeyjarfoss
Myvatn region birch color among lava flows
Myvatn region birch color among lava flows
Myvatn region birch color among lava flows
Myvatn region birch forests in fall
Myvatn region birch forests in fall
Myvatn region birch forests in fall
Modrudalur farm autumn sunset
Modrudalur farm autumn sunset
Modrudalur farm autumn sunset
Modrudalur farm autumn sunset
Modrudalur farm autumn sunset
Icelandic birch stand in autumn, Myvatn
Icelandic birch in autumn, Hverfjall
Holuhraun volcanic eruption, Iceland
Icelandic aurora borealis and the Holuhr
  • To book your space on this trip, please pay a deposit payment of $600 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).