Workshops: Iceland Circumnavigation Photo Tour: February 5-16, 2016 (via Snaefellsness Peninsula)

Dates:  05-16 February 2016  (12 days, 11 nights)   

Cost:  $3500 USD or Euro equivalent, including domestic flight. Spouces/partners/friends get $200 off. 

Availability:  Trip full!   Spaces still available on March 19-26 and March 28-April 4th trips!   

Shorter Trip Option: There is an option to take an abbreviated version of this trip, spanning 6 full days and 6 nights from day #1 till afternoon of day #7 returning to Reykjavik.  Includes all the classic south coast, glacial, and Jokulsarlon iceberg highlights.  Price: $2100. Contact for details, or book instantly with deposit payment via link at bottom of page.  

This exciting 12 day / 11 night tour features the classic itinerary of the south coast till the Vatnajökull glacier region including icecaves and Jokulsarlon icebergs, combined with a Northern Iceland and Aurora Borealis photography tour visiting the Myvatn and Akureyri region.

Explore the legendary land of fire and ice, through both northern and southern Iceland. Meant for outdoor photographers of all skill levels who desire to see and photograph Iceland's beauty in winter, on this tour you will experience glacier and ocean landscapes, waterfalls, crystal ice caves, icebergs and glacial lagoons, and above all, unparalleled chances to view the Aurora Borealis in all regions of the country. We'll have a comfortable schedule, days and evenings filled with rewarding photography opportunities around the island, and cozy stays in rural guesthouses at night. Read below for a detailed itinerary and further trip information.


Day 1 - Reykjanes Peninsula

February 5, 2016

After arriving in Iceland, the trip begins with a sunset shoot on Reykjanes Peninsula, followed by a delicious group dinner. Later, and weather permitting, we'll go on a night/aurora shoot with Icelandic photographer Orvar. Accomodation in Reykjavik is included.


Day 2 - Skaftafell

February 6, 2016

We depart from Reykjavik for a longer drive to the Skaftafell glacier region, with plenty of photo stops at farms, waterfalls, Eyjafjallajokull, and rural country sights. During daylight hours, we utilize the low-angle sun to capture magic light even at midday. In the evening, we'll stay on the look out for a possible aurora over Svinafellsjokull glacier.


Day 3 - Eastfjords & Hofn

February 7, 2016

On day 3, we'll explore the Vestrahorn mountains and black dunes classic landscape, Eastfjords coastal scenery, along with wild reindeer herds, and out-of-the-way glaciers. 


Day 4 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoons & Iceberg Beach

February 8, 2016

This will be a full day spent at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and iceberg beach areas, as well as other nearby glacial lagoons. In the dark hours of each day, with epic glacial backgrounds and in dark places away from any artifical lights, we'll search the skies and wait to photograph the Aurora Borealis - always with phenomenal landscape backdrops and reflection potential.


Day 5 - Jokulsarlon Ice Caves & Glacier Lagoon

February 9, 2016

We'll trek through ice caves with a local guide, experiencing and photographing this phenomenon unique to Iceland -- exploring the stunning transluscent blue interior. We'll then spend the rest of the day in the glacial lagoon regions photographing ice and icebergs.


Day 6 - Skaftafell & Vik

February 10, 2016

The morning will be spent at Jokulsarlon for our last sunrise photo opportunity in this location. We'll then visit Skaftafell glacier vistas, followed by Vik seastacks and the Dyroleay headland area for sunset and possible aurora locations.


Day 7 - Snaefellsness Peninsula, Grundarfjordur

February 11, 2016

We'll visit the Vik seastacks and Dyroleay headland area for sunrise. The rest of the day will be spent at Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and additional farm scenics, finishing up our time on the southern coast of Iceland. We'll watch for an aurora display at Kirkufellsfoss in the evening.


Day 8 - Snaefellsness Peninsula & Skagi Peninsula

February 12, 2016

As we travel up the west coast of Iceland, we'll experience the Snaefellsness Peninsula volcanic and ocean sights including Arnastapi and Budir. We'll then drive to Skagi Peninsula in afternoon and photograph Kalfamarsvik Lighthouse.


Day 9 - Skagi Peninsula, Trollaskagi Peninsula & Myvatn

February 13, 2016

As we transition into northern Iceland, we'll photograph Skagi Peninsula and Tröllaskagi Peninsula region of fjords and fishing villages during the day, spending the afternoon in Iceland's main northern town. Some say this is the best region in the country for viewing the Aurora Borealis, during the height of the spring soltice, which statistically has the most frequently occuring aurora borealis activity.


Day 10 - Myvatn Geothermal Areas & Dettifoss

February 14, 2016

On day 10 we'll visit the Myvatn areas of Krafla and Namafjall geothermal areas. We'll also see Dettifoss (roads permitting), and then go out for possible nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formations.


Day 11 - Myvatn Lake, Craters & Lava Formations

February 15, 2016

We will photograph the famous geothermal areas of Myvatn lake and craters, Dimmuborgir and other lava formations, 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 its more northerly latitudes perfectly situated under the Auroral Oval region of greatest auroral activitiy. We'll do nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formations.


Day 12 - Godafoss & Flight to Reykjavik

February 16, 2016

On our last day, we'll visit Godafoss waterfall and go on a possible hike to Aldeyjarfoss. The trip will finish up with an included domestic flight from Akureryi to Reykjavik.


General Trip Information

Group Size:  Maximum size of 8; minimum size of 3.

Start/End:  Accomodation and potential night aurora shooting starts on the evening of  05 February 2016, with depature from Reykjavik early the next day, and the trip concludes with an afternoon flight on the 16th without accomodation for that night in Reykjavik. 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). 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.


  • All photographic instruction and local guiding
  • All transporation in a 4x4 van
  • Airport pickup on 05 Feb
  • Ice cave visit with local glacier guide
  • Internal domestic flight back from Akureyri to Reykjavik
  • All breakfasts (breakfast served by our hotels)
  • Any entry fees to various areas or attractions
  • Accommodation for 11 nights (in Icelandic guesthouses and country hotels; accommodation is based on double occupancy, single supplement fee may be added for $70/nt; most rooms include private bath).

Not Included: 

  • All lunches and dinners (we'll eat meals as a group, but you can order and pay for what you like)
  • International flights and airport departure
  • Your time in Iceland before and after the trip
  • Trip insurance
  • Drinks
  • Souvenirs
  • Anything else not listed as being included

Experience Needed:  This tour is open to photographers of skill levels, with rural country and landscape and austral photography interests.  If you have additional questions, the trip leader will be happy to answer them over the phone or by email.

Photography Instruction

This photo workshop is all about in-the-field field photography and situational instruction, working alongside your trip leader. Each day, the group will photograph diverse landscapes and natural wonders of Iceland, in the quiet and peaceful setting of the Icelandic wintertime. In the evening, we'll occasionally have image critiques and editing sessions on clients' laptops. We will always being prepared to go out to photograph the Aurora Borealis should it occur. Aurora Borealis viewing depends on 2 main factors: solar activity and clear weather. A long trip through various parts of the country gives us the best chances to see and photograph this phenomenon.

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 shutterspeed effects. Our full 12 days and nights of photography potential allow us to see a variety of well-known Icelandic natural wonders around Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, and the Snæfellsness Peninsula, 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, February days can long; occasionally our groups are putting in 15+ hour days! 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. 

Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC, based in the USA, will be leading the trip, his 35th+ 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. He specializes in wide panoramic landscapes and adventure photography in Iceland and the Adirondack region in the USA. Johnathan also sometimes works with the very best native Icelandic photographers, Örvar Þorgeirsson and Iurie Belegurschi.  Örvar will hopefully join us as a special guest photographer for a session which will be a highlight for everyone. His images can be seen on

Trip Terms

Deposit:  A $1000 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due by the trip start.  Until payment is sent, your place is not guaranteed. You may conveniently pay your deposit here (near bottom of page) securely with your credit card, processed by Paypal payment processor.  The deposit portion may also be paid via personal or bank check for USA and Canadian clients. Refunds are allowed in the form of future trip credit, depending on cancellation date. Please contact me if you need any assistance in signing up!

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).

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.