Workshops: Iceland 2015 Winter Circumnavigation + Aurora Workshop (via Snaefellsness)

Iceland wintertime circumnavation  -  featuring the classic itinerary of the south coast till Vatnajökull glacier region including icecaves and Jokulsarlon icebergs, combined with a Northern Iceland and Aurora Borealis photography tour visiting Myvatn and Akureyri region

Dates: 7-17 March 2015  (11 days, 10 nights)  Brand new trip for 2015!
0 of 6 spaces available; fully booked!  (last remaining trip of the season with open spaces is March 18-28 - sign up today!) 
$3330 USD or Euro equivalent,  all inclusive incl. domestic flight

This unique 11 day/10 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 beauty in winter, including glacier and ocean landscapes, waterfalls, crystal ice caves, icebergs and glacial lagoons, and above all, giving ourselves unparralled chances and locations to view the Aurora Borealis in all regions of the country.  Aurora Borealis viewing depends on 2 main factors: solar activity, and clear weather; a long trip like this gives you the best chances to be in Iceland during these periods of solar outbursts and in various parts of the country should cloudy weather persist over a part of Iceland.

During daylight hours, we utilize the low-angle sun to capture magic light even midday, and photograph a plethora of scenic and rural distinations including glaciers, country churches, waterfalls, horses, and iceberg lagoons. Ice caves unique to Iceland are extraordindary to explore and photograph inside, which have stunning transluscent blue colors, which we'll do with a local ice guide for 1-2 days!  Then, 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. We will be based out of cozy rural guesthouses along the south coast, the spectacular Vatnajökull glacier region, allowing a comfortable schedule yet filling our days and nights with rewarding photography opportunities all around the island. 

Then, we transition to northern Iceland - some say the best region in the country for viewing the Aurora Borealis, during the height of the spring soltice, which statistically has the most frequent occuring aurora borealis activity.  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, and in the spectacular Tröllaskagi and Snæfellsness Peninsulas, 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 6 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 6 days and 6 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 long; sometimes our groups are putting in 20+ hour days! 

Pro Leader: Johnathan Esper of Wildernesscapes Photography LLC in the USA will be leading the trip, his 10th 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 $3330 USD (or Euro equivalent), all inclusive, and begins in Reykjavik on the evening of 7 March 2015 and concludes in Akureyri with your return flight to Reykjavik on 17 March 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, ice cave local guide, 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 10 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  7 March 2015, and the trip concludes with an afternoon flight on the 17th without accomodation for that night in Reykjavik. A $800 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. There is a maximum group size of 6, and a minimum of 3. 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
107 March 2015Arrival to Iceland, optional afternoon or sunset shoot on Reykjavik Peninsula. (Dinner on your own.) Night/aurora shoot with Icelandic photographer Orvar weather permittingReykjavik (included)
208 March 2015Longer drive to Skaftafell glacier region, with plenty of photo stops at farms, waterfalls, Eyjafjallajokull, and country rural sights. Possible aurora over Svinafellsjokull glacierSkaftafell
309 March 2015Full day at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and iceberg beach areas, and other nearby glacial lagoonsJokulsarlon
410 March 2015Ice caves full day exploration with a local guideJokulsarlon
511 March 2015last sunrise photo op at Jokulsarlon. Skaftafell glacier vistas. Vik seastacks and Dyroleay headland area for sunset and possible aurora locations.Vik
612 March 2015Vik seastacks and Dyroleay headland area for sunrise. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, and additional farm scenics. Possible aurora location at Kirkufellsfoss tonight. Snaefellsness Peninsula, Grundarfjordur
713 March 2015Snaefellsness Peninsula volcanic and ocean sights including Arnastapi, Budir. Drive to Skagi Peninsula in afternoon and photograph Kalfamarsvik LighthtouseSkagi Peninsula (north Iceland)
814 March 2015daytime photography Skagi Peninsula and Trollaskagi Peninsula region of fjords and fishing villages. Evening in Iceland's main northern townAkureyri
915 March 2015Myvatn, Krafla, and other geothermal areas.
possible nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formations
1016 March 2015Myvatn lake and craters, Dimmuborgir and other lava formations,
possible nighttime or aurora photography over Myvatn formations
1117 March 2015Godafoss waterfall, possible hike to Aldeyjarfoss,
Included domestic flight from Akureryi to Reykjavik
(Reykjavik, Not Included)



Skaftafell winter grasses abstract
Ocean surf and icebergs, Iceland
Fjalljökull,Fjalljökull glacier,Iceland,blue,cave,ceiling,clear,crystal,glacial,glacier,ice,ice cave,icecave,melting,otherworldly...
Jokulsarlon Aurora Borealis reflection
  • To book your space on this trip, please pay a deposit payment of $800 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).