Dates: 11-20 February 2018 (10 days, 9 nights)
Price: $3900 USD, all inclusive including domestic flight
Availability: 5 of 8 spaces available; trip confirmed to go
Experience all the winter classics for photography around Iceland: ice caves, Jokulsarlon, icebergs, glacial lagoons, waterfalls, aurora borealis (weather dependent), glacier and ocean landscapes, reindeer, fjords, and geothermal areas!
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 - Arrival to Reykjavik, Iceland
11 February 2018
Arrival to Iceland in late morning or early afternoon, with included airport pickup and transfer to Reykjavik. Afternoon on your own. Pre-trip meeting at hotel. Group dinner (included). Sunset shoot on Reykjanes Peninsula, or night/aurora shoot if clear weather. (Blue Lagoon visit opportunity on your own if you arrive early enough this day).
Day 2 - South Coast Waterfalls, Vik & Dyroleay
12 February 2018
The classic South Coast region of Iceland offers many iconic and oft-photographed waterfalls and ocean scenes. Traveling east on Iceland's Ring Road, we'll visit Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, which are among Iceland's most famous and visited waterfalls. We also spend a short time around the Reynisdrangar seastacks and Dyroleay headland area around Vik. Sunset shooting locations include a little gem of a waterfall Thorufoss, and/or Eldhraun lava fields. Overnight in Kirkjubaejarklauster
Special note: While many tours spend an overnight or two in Vik to allow more time in this region of Iceland, this tour opts to spend less time around Vik and continue eastward. This is for two reasons. First, our overall objective for this trip as a whole is to take a balanced approach to our itinerary and include northern and eastern Iceland locations for a comprehensive sampling around Iceland, all while keeping the tour reasonably short at 10 days. Secondly, due to the massive numbers of day tourists visiting the south coast locations, as photographers we are now putting less emphasis on these over-crowded areas and instead exploring further afield.
Day 3 - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoons & Iceberg Beach
13 February 2018
First stop today are some authentic and abandoned grass- roofed turf farm outbuildings showcasing the old style of building. Then we get into the Vatnajokull icecap region, where Skaftafell and Svinafellsjokull glaciers offer great views over their impressive ice seracs. Midday through the day we finally arrive to the famous Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and iceberg beach areas, as well as other nearby glacial lagoons such as Fjallsarlon. Jokulsarlon will be our sunset location shoot. In the evening, we'll stay on the look out for a possible aurora reflected over Jokulsarlon. Accommodations near Jokulsarlon.
Day 4 - Breidermerkurjokull Ice Caves & Glacier Lagoon
14 February 2018
Today is our 2nd 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. In the dark hours, with epic glacial backgrounds and in dark places away from any artificial 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 5 - Vestrahorn, Hofn, and Glacial Lagoons
15 February 2018
Sunrise and one last chance to photograph over Jokulsarlon. Then we'll visit more spectacular glacial lagoons such as the remote Heinabergsjokull. On the way to the Eastfjords, we'll stop along the way to photograph friendly Icelandic horses and abandoned farm houses, and in the evening we finally reach another of photographers' favorite destinations in Iceland, the black sand dunes and mountains of Vestrahorn. 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 6 - Eastfjords waterfalls and coastlines
16 February 2018
As we travel up 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. Accommodations will be in Djupivogur or Breiðdalsvík.
Day 7 - Eastfjords through Northern Iceland
17 February 2018
Morning drive and additional photography in the quiet Eastfjords coastal region. Then we'll have a longer drive to the Myvatn region in northern Iceland, across the desolate and barren snowy highlands, with their own photographic charm. Telephoto shots of the road going thru white wilderness might be had. As time allows, we'll photograph sunset along the road, or around Myvatn region. Overnight Myvatn region.
Day 8 - Myvatn Lake, Craters & Lava Formations
18 February 2018
Myvatn Lake region in northern Iceland is well known among photographers for it's bizarre lava formation and hundreds of psuedo-craters. Here we'll also 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 9 - Myvatn region and Godafoss
19 February 2018
We will spend the morning continuing to photograph the famous geothermal areas of Myvatn lake and craters, Dimmuborgir and other lava formations. Then we spend several hours photographing various angles of the horseshoe-shaped Godafoss waterfall. Depending on the light, we'll either photograph sunset here or around Eyjafjordur fjord, were the 2nd largest town of Iceland lies, Akureyri. In the evening, we'll do possible nighttime or aurora photography over Eyjafjordur. Last dinner and evening in Akureyri.
Day 10 - Flight Akureyri back to Reykjavik
20 February 2018
Fly back to Reykjavik from Akureyri in morning (included in cost), in time to catch any afternoon flights, or stay on your own longer in Reykjavik. Transfer between Rvk domestic airport and KEF international airport( not included), but easy to take bus or taxi vans(s). Allow 1 hour to transfer between airports.
General Trip Information
Group Size: Maximum size of 8; minimum size of 3.
Start/End: The trip starts midday on 11 February 2018, with pickup/shuttle voucher from Keflavik airport that day. The trip concludes with a morning domestic flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik on 20th February, and then upon arrival to Reykjavik you're on your own. 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.
- mini-bus vehicle rental and fuel (probably Mercedez Benz Sprinter van, but may change based on group size),
- driver (myself) and assistant photo guide (myself) (I do share information about Iceland and the geography as we drive, and I've been on more roads and know Iceland geography better than most Icelanders, but I am not Icelandic myself),
- accomodation in country hotels and nice guesthouses with ensuite bath and double occupancy (single room upgrade is $75/nt extra)(if non-elective, forced upgrade to single due to no suitable rooming partners, then a 50% subsidized single supplement fee is still charged),
- all meals (2-course dinners, lunches bagged or self-choose at convenience store stops or cafes along the way, breakfast always provided at hotel)
- all bookings and arrangements services made on group's behalf
- a premium special private ice cave visit with a local ice guide (typically valued at $300/person, or optional downgrade to an easy-access ice cave for persons with poorer fitness, but with the disadvantage of more people in the cave making photography more difficult
- occasional entry fees when required example to Vestrahorn site, or the occasional museum/indoor activity especially if it's really inclement weather outside, but museums are generally skipped if it's decent weather.
- pickup at KEF airport on day of arrival 11 Feb 2018
- Airfare from Akureyri to Reykjavik one-way, including one checked bag and one carry on.
- airfare to Iceland,
- airport transfers back to KEF on return,
- extra days or nights in Reykjavik on your own before/after the photo tour, any and all drinks,
- alcoholic or non-, at sit down meals of all dinners and some lunches, when good pure Icelandic water is always offered,
- gas station snack/coffee stops,
- bathroom entry fees if applicable,souvenirs, e
- extra luggage charges on Akureyri flight,
- and anything else not listed or that I can't think of.
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, featuring two experienced photographers that are very accessible to clients. 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 one-way itinerary allows us to see a variety of well-known Icelandic natural wonders from waterfalls to iceberg beaches to geothermal areas , 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, Feb days can be long; occasionally our groups are putting in 15+ hour days, but an average day is 10-11 hours. A maximum client:guide ratio of 8:1 ensures you will receive ample personal photographic coaching in the field from experienced trip leaders, and provide an small group adventure experience.
Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC in the USA is organizing 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 exploring and photographing Iceland intensively for months at a time on his own and is also very experienced in leading workshops, having led 65+ very successful photography workshops around Iceland since 2011. He specializes in wide panoramic landscapes, adventure photography, classic landscapes, and aurora borealis austral photography in Iceland and the Adirondack region in the USA.
Deposit: A $600 deposit is due at the time of registration, and the remaining balance is due three weeks prior to the tripstart. 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% 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.