Highlands / South Coast
Iceland Photography Workshop
31st August – 7th September 2021
Price: $4,250 USD
2/10 Places Left
This workshop is covering some of the best parts in the Icelandic interior like Landmannalaugar (above) and the southern part of the highlands which holds the green pointy mountain Mælifell. On top of that we have included the South Coast which holds by far many of Iceland's most picturesque locations like Vik and the surrounding area, black sandy beaches, majestics waterfalls and more.
This time of year also marks the beginning of the Aurora season and we will be hunting them whenever the conditions will be favourable.
Since the weather can be changeable in Iceland we always take it into account when we decide which location to shoot at any given time.
In early September we have sunrise around 5:30 am and sunset around 8:30 pm so the days are long and wherever possible we’ll have a rest break around midday for feedback and post processing.
Included in the tour price:
- Accommodation and breakfast (all rooms have a private bathroom)
Single supplement will add $800 USD
- All photography tuition and mentoring
- Transport during the tour and entry fees to national parks and other locations.
- Welcome dinner
- Breakfast daily
Not included in the tour price:
- Travel and equipment insurance
- Meals (other than breakfast)
- International travel to and from Iceland
- Overweight and additional baggage
Price: USD $4250 (based on double occupancy)
Deposit: USD $1000
Number of participants: 10 Max
Day 1 (31st August)
Arrival day. When you arrive in Iceland at Keflavik International Airport we recommend you take the Flybus service, which will take you quickly to your hotel in Reykjavik: Fosshotel Reykjavík. The Flybus service from the airport is the most cost effective way to get to the hotel. Taxis are also available. We will meet at the Hotel Bar at 6.00 pm and go for a welcome dinner where we can get to know each other and have a chat about what we’ll be doing during the coming 6 days.
Overnight in Reykjavík.
We leave Reykjavík early and head towards the highlands. Hotel Hrauneyjar will be our base camp for the time we spend up there.
From there we will be travelling to several locations in the highlands, and as always we base our decision on the weather forecast and conditions each time.
The destination on this leg of the tour is the unspoiled highland nature. This is an exceptional place for photography where we encounter lava fields, jet black volcanic sands stretching for miles, mountains covered with bright green moss and colourful craters filled with water.
The highland is covered in geothermal hotspots and previous volcanic activity is often evident, a tell tale sign of the gigantic forces at work, some a few hundred years ago and others only decades old.
The best known location in the highlands is probably Landmannalaugar where we will photograph colourful rhyolite mountains.
This place is like nothing else you‘ve seen before. In Landmannalaugar we have the option of several short hikes, like into the canyon Grænagil (green canyon) or even hike up to Brennisteinsalda which is a Sulphur mountain/hill. Also there are good photo opportunities right from the parking area.
On the 4th of September we go for a sunrise shoot before we check out of our hotel in the highlands and head down to the south coast.
Overnight in highland area.
- Háifoss (above)
Along with less visited locations.
Not only will we cover some of the most popular locations but we also have a few hand picked lesser known locations we want to bring you to.
We will be staying here for 2 nights and one of the days we plan to go up to the southern part of the Icelandic highlands where we plan to photograph for example the famous Mt. Mælifell which is kind of like Kirkjufell of the highlands due to it’s cone shaped form.
Where we go exactly will depend on weather conditions.
- Vík area
- Majestic waterfalls like Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss
- Mælifell (Green Point Mountain)
While located in the south of Iceland we’ll also make our way to the interior of the southern part of Icelandic highlands which holds green lush canyons and less visited locations.
Overnight in Vík area.
We’ll shoot sunrise before heading for breakfast and check out. This is our last day on the road and depending on the conditions we might visit the famous Golden Circle or head to Reykjanes peninsula before we go and check into our hotel in the afternoon.
Overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 8 Departure day (7th September)
All good things have to come to an end and so must this adventure. With memory cards full of great images it’s time to leave, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Say goodbye to the land of fire and ice, or if you want to extend your stay and seek more adventures it’s up to you.
Again we do recommend using the Fly bus to get to Keflavík international airport.
To reserve a place
We request a $1000 USD non-refundable deposit* or payment in full. Final payment on or before 1st June 2021.
* Deposits will be refunded in full if we do not meet our minimum of 8 participants by 1 June 2021. Please DO NOT book flights before we confirm by email.
Your Guides and Tutors
Thorarinn Jonsson (left) known as ‘Thor’ is an Icelandic landscape photography expert. With his huge knowledge of low light and night photography, Thor is a gold mine of post production tips and tricks to help you get the very best from your Aurora images.
Thor’s an experienced photography tour guide. His knowledge of the best locations, Aurora hunting, the environment and safety within that environment are invaluable. He has a wicked sense of humour and if he offers you an Icelandic delicacy to try – take a small experimental nibble first!
Mike Browne (right) is a Youtube Photography guru with @13 million views. Ranked number 8 in the world’s best photography educators by Petapixel, Mike’s approach focuses on training the photographer to pre-visualise the image they want, then think through the steps needed to achieve it in camera.
Mike runs photo workshops and training around the world and his photography / consultancy clients range from private individuals to companies such as Jet Aviation in Switzerland who design and build luxury private jets.
Strangely, he often refers to Thor as ‘Wifey’! Oh, and he’ll protect you from anything potentially hazardous Thor tries persuading you to eat!
Training and Skill Level:
All levels of photographers are welcome. We have had everyone from complete beginners to some very advanced photographers with us on this tour. At each location direction will be given to help you get the best from that location and instructions on how to assemble and think your images through, one step at a time.
By booking this photography course workshop you are agreeing to the terms and conditions at the end of this document. Please read them.
As far as we know, visas are not required to visit Iceland but PLEASE CHECK because things can change and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed. Visas are not included and it’s the responsibility of participants to find out if they need a visa and obtain one if you do.
You will need a valid passport for the duration of your intended stay in Iceland.
It is the responsibility of participants to arrange their own Travel and Equipment insurance for the trip. Neither Travel nor Equipment insurance is included in the price. Please see terms and conditions below for details.
The workshop will involve a few short hikes of maybe 20-30 minutes carrying your camera equipment. You may need to climb a hill for the best vantage point.
Surfaces may include sand or rocky ground so a small level of fitness is recommended.
Weather / Temperature
Weather conditions in Iceland can change from sunshine to rainstorm in a few minutes (perfect for dramatic skies). Average temperature in Sept is around 10° centigrade but it can range from +3° to +15° centigrade and be very windy so chill factors can make it feel a lot colder.
We will be spending a lot of time outside in the elements waiting for light to change or photographing the Aurora. You won’t enjoy the experience if you’re cold and with wind chill there are potential health risks as well. It’s very important to bring warm rugged clothing including...
- Thermal underwear, socks and gloves.
- Sturdy waterproof hiking boots. (Light shoes will not be sufficient to keep your feet warm and dry)
- Over shoes or gore-tex waders are good to have when we are shooting at the beaches.
- Waterproof jacket and over trousers
- Scarf and woolly hat.
- A change of clothes is important so you always have at least one set that’s warm and dry.
Money and Credit Cards
Local currency is the Icelandic Krona and it’s worth bringing some with you. Krona may need to be ordered in advance from banks and post offices. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Iceland. Some card providers charge more for international transactions than others so please check with yours if you need to.
Budget around 85$ USD per day for food, snacks and souvenirs.
Transport between the Airport and Hotel
The FlyBus Service is located right outside the terminal building. Cost is around 50$ USD each way. Book online using the FlyBus + (Plus) service which will drop you off at the Fosshótel Reykjavik. You can book a round trip to take you back to the airport after the tour.
Book FlyBus Online:
- Visit http://www.re.is/flybus
- Choose the FlyBus+ service which will ask you which hotel you want to go to
- Pay online
Taxis are also available if you prefer.
We will be travelling to some remote areas but facilities are excellent and of a very high standard. All are clean, secure, have excellent food and friendly helpful staff.
Important parts of Icelandic cuisine are lamb, dairy and fish due to Iceland's proximity to the ocean. Produce is usually local and of very high quality.
If you fancy trying some traditional Icelandic fare Hangikjöt (Smoked Lamb) is delicious – whilst Hákarl (Fermented Shark) is an acquired taste.
Vegetarians can usually be catered for, but please bear in mind the range of vegetarian cuisine may be limited outside of the city.
You will need the following equipment.
- A Strong Sturdy Tripod is Vital. Lightweight carbon fibre is OK - but it MUST BE STURDY so it won’t wobble and you can hang your heavy camera bag on it to add weight. A plastic tripod head is useless. Please ensure you have a strong, solid head which does not vibrate when your camera and lens is mounted on it. Iceland is a windy place and you’ll be making long, slow exposures and your images will all be soft and useless if there’s even the slightest movement in your tripod or tripod head during the exposure. There is not time for us to visit a store during the workshop and once we leave Reykjavík, there aren’t any.
- Digital SLR (recommended) or mirrorless camera system
- Lenses offering a focal length from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (70 - 200mm or longer)
- Laptop computer loaded with photo editing software. Shooting RAW is advised for the Aurora so Adobe Lightroom is a good option for processing the files.
- We strongly recommend a back-up device such as an external hard drive.
- Filters: A polarising filter makes a world of difference for landscapes
- ND filters x4, x8 x10 will help you capture blurred water and clouds.
- *Spare batteries (2 or 3), battery charger and travel adapter
- Sufficient memory cards
- Camera bag, preferably a backpack type
- Rain sleeve and several lens cloths
*Spare batteries are very important because you don’t want the camera to die just as the Aurora makes an appearance or the perfect light breaks through the clouds.
Camera batteries have a shorter charge life in cold weather so keep spare batteries in a pocket near your skin so they stay warm which will prolong their charge.
This is particularly important if you have a mirrorless camera or use live view a lot which uses more power.
We look forward to meeting you...
If you'd like to speak to me, leave your details and I'll call you back.
Signup is on my partner Thor Jonsson's website, Thor-Photography.com
31st August – 7th September 2021
In association with my partner
Some homework before you come
The Workshop Prep page has a few specially chosen videos for you to watch to ensure we go straight to work and everyone gets the most out of our location and the training. If we all have a basic understanding of camera controls it helps everyone get the most out of the photo training.