Dates: 11-20 March 2018 (10 days, 9 nights)
Cost: $4250 USD or Euro equivalent, all inclusive including domestic flight.
Availability: Not available for new signups
This epic 10 day / 09 night photography workshop features Northern Iceland visiting the snowy Myvatn and Akureyri regions and superior chances of viewing the aurora borealis, and then continues through the remote Eastfjords, and spends the final half of the trip in the classic southeast coasts and Vatnajökull glacier region including ice caves and Jokulsarlon icebergs.
Wild Watch Tours Ltd of United Kingdom and Wildernesscapes Photography LLC are co-leading trip, from the classic south coast waterfalls and glaciers to the snowy North. This tour features two photography guides with decades of combined experience leading trips, for outstanding coaching and learning opportunities in your photography! Co-guiding is Peter Jones, founder of WildWatch Tours Ltd from the United Kingdom.
Come explore the legendary land of fire and ice, from northern Iceland's Myvatn area, to classics of the South Coast waterfalls and the Vatnajokull glaciers, to the remote East Fjord region away from the tourist crowds and providing new exciting photographic destinations! 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 dramatic mountain scenery, iceberg lagoons, black sand beaches littered with clear ice chunks, geothermal areas, ocean landscapes, waterfalls, and of course, unparalleled chances to view the Aurora Borealis in remoter regions of the country. We'll have a busy schedule, filling our days and nights with rewarding photography opportunities around the island, while staying in excellently situated quality accommodations at night. Read below for a detailed itinerary and further trip information. Read below for a detailed itinerary and further trip information.
Day 1 - Flight to Akureyri and Northern Iceland; begin tour of the North
March 11, 2018
The trip begins with your included late morning time domestic flight from Reykjavik (city airport - not Keflavik) up to Akureyri, Iceland's 2nd largest town with just 10,000 people. You will be greeted upon arrival to the airport and picked up, and then head straight out on tour! We'll first swing through Akureyri Iceland's 2nd largest town for an overview and visit an Icelandic country church on the arctic ocean shoreline of Eyjafjordur, Iceland's largest fjord. Later in the afternoon we'll photograph the cirque-shaped waterfall of Godafoss, for several different perspectives. Our sunset shooting location will be around the famous geothermal areas of Myvatn lake and craters, Dimmuborgir and other lava formation. At night, weather permitting we'll do possible nighttime or aurora photography over the Myvatn formations. Accommodations in Myvatn.
Day 2 - Myvatn Geothermal Areas & Dettifoss
March 12, 2018
On day 3 in the Myvatn region we'll photograph Krafla and Namafjall geothermal areas. We'll also see Dettifoss which is Europe's most voluminous waterfall (roads permitting), and then go out for possible nighttime or aurora photography over the Myvatn lava formations or Godafoss. Some say this is the best region in the country for viewing the Aurora Borealis, during the height of the spring solstice, which statistically has the most frequently occurring aurora borealis activity. Accommodations in Myvatn.
Day 3 - Northern Iceland to the Eastfjords
March 13, 2018
After wrapping up our Northern Iceland photography, we transition over to eastern Iceland. We have a longer drive to the Eastfjord region, across desolate and barren snowy highlands, which hold their own photographic charm. Here, we'll take telephoto shots of the road winding through white wilderness. Accommodations will be in Djupivogur or a similar town.
Day 4 - Eastfjords waterfalls and coastlines
March 14, 2018
As we travel down the east coast of Iceland, we'll explore the Eastfjords coastlines, secret waterfalls, old abandoned bridges too narrow for modern cars, and more. The eastfjords offers many locations that are rarely visited by photographic tour groups, offering us the best chance for solitude and harkening back to years past before the current Icelandic tourist boom. Sunset at Stokknes Peninsula and the famous Vestrahorn mountains. Vestrahorn would also serve as our foreground for any possible aurora photography. Accommodations will be in Hofn.
Day 5 - Vestrahorn, Hofn, and Glacial Lagoons
March 15, 2018
In Hofn, the morning will be spent at more spectacular glacial lagoons such as the remote Heinabergsjokull. We may revisit Stokksnes area and Vestrahorn. Then we wrapup our time in the Eastfjords, stop along the way to photograph friendly Icelandic horses and abandoned farm houses, and finally reach many photographers' favorite destination in Iceland, the famous Jokulsarlon iceberg lagoon. Sunset and possible aurora borealis night photography over Jokulsarlon. Accommodations near Jokulsarlon.
Day 6 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoons & Iceberg Beach
March 16, 2018
This will be a full day spent at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and iceberg beach areas, as well as other nearby glacial lagoons such as Fjallsarlon. 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. Accommodations near Jokulsarlon.
Day 7 - Breidermerkurjokull Ice Caves & Glacier Lagoon
March 17, 2018
Today is our 2nd full day in the Jokulsarlon glacial area, featuring a visit to the otherworldly glacial ice caves with a highly seasoned local guide, experiencing and photographing this phenomenon unique to Iceland -- exploring the stunning translucent blue interior of the ice caves. This ice cave trip is included in the trip price. We'll then spend the rest of the day and possibly night in the glacial lagoon regions photographing ice chunks washed up on the black sand beach, and icebergs in Jokulsarlon. Accommodations near Jokulsarlon.
Day 8 - Skaftafell Glacier region
March 18, 2018
Even more glaciers await us around 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. Accommodations in Skaftafell.
Day 9 - Skaftafell to Vik
March 19, 2018
There's many little photographic gems on this section of Iceland's Ring Road, including authentic and abandoned grass-roofed turf farm outbuildings showcasing the old style of building. Also several waterfalls like Thorufoss are worthy or our time. We'll arrive at the Reynisdrangar Vik seastacks and Dyroleay headland area for sunset and possible aurora locations. Accommodations in Vik.
Day 10 - South Coast Waterfalls, Vik & Dyroleay
March 20, 2018
On our last day, we'll enjoy our last morning photographing around the Vik area black sand beaches such as Reynisfjara, before all the day-tourists arrive in busses, and then continue now westward to Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, which are among Iceland's most famous and visited waterfalls, our last stops of the trip. Midday we'll return to Reykjavik, in time for afternoon flights of 2pm or later today. Included airport dropoff. End of Trip. No accommodations are included tonight in Reykjavik, but you may choose to stay on longer on your own in the city.
General Trip Information
Group Size: Maximum size of 12 photographers; minimum size of 4.
Start/End: The trip starts morning on March 11, 2018, with a late-morning domestic flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri, and the trip concludes on March 20th at 12:00 noon upon return via vehicle to Reykjavik or direct to Keflavik airport, your choice. The trip cost includes domestic airfare to Akureyri from Reykjavik at the beginning 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 transportation in a 4x4 van
- upgraded Ice cave visit with local glacier guide to a more photogenic, more remote, less touristy cave than the standard overcrowded 'crystal cave'
- Internal domestic flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri to start the trip
- All meals and food (breakfast served in our guesthouse, lunches sourced from local cafes or bagged lunches, and hot dinners at our places of accommodation and/or restaurants)
- Any entry fees to various areas or attractions
- Accommodation for 09 nights (in Icelandic guesthouses and country hotels; accommodation is based on double occupancy, single room upgrade may be requested for an additional single supplement fee of $75/night; roommate matching service included. In the event no suitable like-gender rooming partner works out and you get upgraded to a single room automatically, then you will be asked to pay a 50% subsidized single supplement fee of $38/nt.) (Most rooms include private bath but a couple may not).
- International flights and transfer between KEF and domestic airport at start of trip
- Your time in Iceland before and after the trip
- Trip insurance
- Single room upgrade (available for extra)
- Anything else not listed as being included
Experience Needed: This tour is open to photographers of skill levels (because the guide can work with you at your own level), with a passion for being outdoors for long days and for rural country and landscape and austral photography interests. You will be sent a packing list and to get the most out of the trip and for your's and the instructor's sake it is requested you bring the listed photography gear. If you have additional questions, the trip leader will be happy to answer them over the phone or by email.
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, and slow shutter speed effects. Our full 09 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, March days can be long; occasionally our groups are putting in 15+ hour days, but the average is 10-12 hrs! 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 trip features two guides, Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC (USA) and Peter Jones of Wildwatch Tours Ltd (UK). Johnathan Esper is the principal location guide on this trip, his 60th+ 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. Peter Jones is the founder and MD of Wildwatch Tours Ltd., a photo tour company based out of the United Kingdom. Peter has a lifetime interest in Natural History. Peter is the past Chairman of The Royal Photographic Society Nature Group and past President of the Leicester & Leicestershire PS, and now a member of Eastwood PS and Claycross PS, and now lives in Nottinghamshire. Peter has visited many countries as a naturalist and wildlife photographer. He is an excellent organiser and communicator with a delightful sense of humour, which makes him a popular tour leader.
Deposit: A $1000 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due three weeks prior to 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 at the discretion of the trip leader 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 three weeks 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 permission), personal or bank checks (preferred for USA and Canada clients), and credit cards (a 2.5% 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 80% 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.