Summer in Iceland means the advent of longer days and an abundance of life as wildflowers bloom and puffins return to their nesting grounds beneath the glorious glow of the Midnight Sun. It is a wonderful time for landscape photography, allowing for endless hours of shooting and the possibility to traverse parts of the country previously made inaccessible by the snow.
During this 12 day summer photography workshop, you’ll have the chance to develop your photography skills and to expand your landscape photography portfolio whilst travelling around the best locations in Iceland. Capture all of the pristine sights that the country has to offer, from the sweeping coastline of Snæfellsnes in the west to the magical geothermal areas of the Vatnsnes Peninsula in the north. Explore the mysterious Eastfjords and marvel at the incredible beauty of Iceland’s south coast on this summer photo adventure of a lifetime.
Total price: 6200 USD
New 2019 Dates
10 - 21 Jul 2019
Day 1 - Arrival
The adventure begins when you arrive at the Keflavik airport and make your way by Flybus to our hotel in the capital city of Reykjavik. From there, you’ll be able to relax or explore the city at your leisure before meeting your photo guides and the rest of the group for dinner. You’ll get to know one another as you sample the local food and go over the itinerary for the next few days.
Day 2 - Snæfellsnes peninsula
The next two days will be spent exploring the magical scenery of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This windswept western tip of Iceland has everything from vast lava fields to volcanoes, glaciers, beaches and staggeringly high cliffs.
You’ll hunt for compositions at the small fishing village of Arnarstapi, situated at the foot of Mt Stapafell. The extraordinary columnar basalt rock formations here make for epic landscape photographs. Of note is Gatklettur, the giant rock arch that stands between the beach and the sea.
Nearby at the small hamlet of Budir in the Budahraun lava fields, you’ll have all the time in the world beneath the golden glow of the Midnight Sun to photograph the black church, a popular subject amongst landscape photographers. The small distinct church stands out with the magnificent Snaefellsjokull glacier as a backdrop.
Day 3 - Snæfellsnes peninsula
There is so much to shoot at the Snaefellsnes Peninsula that you’ll be glad to be covering more of it on this day. We’ll travel along the magnificent coastline, capturing the remarkable diversity that the area has to offer.
One of our highlights will be Lóndrangar, a pair of rock pinnacles that have been hewn out from the surrounding rock by erosion. These uniquely-formed remnants of ancient basalt volcanic dikes rise from the sea like a huge castle reaching out to the distance.
The other highlight of the day will be the majestic Kirkjufell mountain. This distinctly shaped mountain makes for stunning photography beneath the pink and yellow hues of the Midnight Sun, resembling a conically shaped jester’s hat surrounded by both water and wildflowers. Rising high above the town of Grundarfjörður like a king, it is no wonder that Iceland’s most famous icon with its small waterfalls has been used as a filming location in Game of Thrones!
Day 4 - Hvitserkur
On day 4, we will make our way further north, from Snaefellsnes towards the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This mountainous area is a place of great natural beauty, featuring one of the largest and most accessible seal sanctuaries in Iceland. You’ll be able to spot seals and sea birds all along the coastline, with a magnificent view of Strandir towards the Westfjords.
However, our main subject for photography today lies just offshore, on the eastern side of Vatnsnes. Standing at 15 metres high, the Hvitserkur sea stack stands proudly with two holes at its base, which give it the appearance of a dragon drinking from the water. At low tide, you’ll be able to capture the ripples in the sand stretching towards Hvitserkur in bold leading lines.
Day 5 - Lake Myvatn
From Vatnsnes, we’ll make our way towards the Lake Myvatn area. This place is incredibly special, boasting numerous photographic opportunities from wildflowers to bird life and huge, powerful waterfalls. Located right on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Myvatn Basin is one of the most volcanically active regions on earth, seething with geothermal activity in the form of boiling mud pots, steaming fumaroles and pock-marked with craters. The lake itself is surrounded by fascinating lava formations which have stood for over a thousand years. With so much on offer, we’ll spend two days in this area to give you time to capture it all.
Day 6 - Lake Myvatn
On day 6, we’ll head towards the foothills of Námafjall, a spectacular geothermal field that is home to an expanse of hot springs known as Hverir. You’ll feel like you’re on another planet as soon as you step into this dreamy landscape that resembles the surface of Mars. Here you will be able to photograph many solfataras, mud pots and steam vents rising from the earth, as well as Krafla – a caldera of about 10 kilometres in diameter with a 90 kilometre long fissure zone. This cauldron-like geological feature is perched on the edge of the Eurasian and American tectonic plates. It is home to Viti, a huge explosion crater filled with crystal blue water that changes shades with the lighting.
When the golden light of the Midnight Sun takes hold, we will spend the evening practicing wide-angle photography at the spectacular Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Our second subject for the evening will be the extraordinary Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in the Highlands, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Iceland. This waterfall is a little more off the beaten path, standing out with basalt columns amongst the bare landscape. Its symmetrical features make it perfect for panoramas, particularly when bathed in the warm glow of the Midnight Sun.
Day 7 - East Iceland-Djúpivogur
On day 7, we will begin our journey towards the little-travelled eastern side of Iceland. Along the way, we will make a stop at the epic Dettifoss, which is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. Its water comes from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier and is referred to by some as ‘The Beast’. When surrounded by wildflowers in summer, it becomes more of a beauty.
From there, we will drive through the Highland desert and mountain pass towards the lush splendid Eastfjords, eventually reaching the Vatnajökull National Park. Along the way, you can expect to see striking scenery, characterised by hauntingly beautiful fjords, steep mountains, highland farms, clear mountain streams, bird cliffs and waterfalls. You’ll have the chance to photograph the frothy Rjukandi waterfall, before we eventually arrive at the charming village of Djúpivogur, where we will settle for the night.
Day 8 - Vatnajökull National Park
From Djúpivogur, we will continue on our journey within the Vatnajökull National Park towards the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. This protected wilderness area is the gem of the south coast of Iceland. Defined by massive glaciers, snowy mountain peaks, active geothermal areas and vast lava fields, there is so much to photograph here that we will spend the next two days capturing as much of it as possible.
The rest of our day will be spent shooting the glorious icebergs that have calved off the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull glacier to float in the still, blue waters of the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. The luminous-blue icebergs drift serenely through the tidal lagoon on their way out to sea, before being reshaped and washing back ashore as smaller pieces of ice that resemble diamonds onto the adjacent ice beach. The Diamond Beach is the perfect place for you to practice your long exposure skills as the waves surround each sparkling piece of ice, like long fingers trying to drag them back into the ocean and away with the golden-hued horizon.
Day 9 - Vatnajökull National Park
The light is ever-changing at Jökulsárlón, so we will head back there in the morning to capture it in different conditions. The compositions here will be endless and you will find yourself wanting to stay for hours more at the glacier lagoon as well as the ice beach. We’ll have to get going though if you want to see the rest of Vatnajökull National Park so when our compositions have been exhausted, we will make our way towards the sweeping landscape of Mount Vestrahorn on the Stokksnes Peninsula.
We’ll travel around Stokksnes, shooting Vestrahorn from different angles for a wide array of compositions. At the small headland of Ingólfshöfði, you’ll be in prime position to photograph puffins and other sea birds as they nest amongst the rocky cliffs.
The evening will be spent at Skaftafell, a veritable treasure trove of photographic opportunities. From huge glaciers to woodlands and rivers, this nature reserve will keep you occupied until the Midnight Sun takes hold overhead. Our main subject for the evening will be Svartifoss, one of the most popular sights in the reserve. The narrow waterfall is surrounded by dark lava columns, which are absolutely stunning when bathed in a golden glow.
Day 10 - Vik
On day 10, we will leave the Vatnajökull National Park and make our way towards the small fishing village of Vik on the south coast of Iceland. On the way, we will stop at the impressive Eldhraun lava field, which was created during one of the greatest eruptions in Iceland’s history. These lava fields are covered with moss, seeming like something straight out of a fairytale.
There will be another chance to photograph puffins at the small promontory of Dyrhólaey, with its fascinating cliffs and massive sea arch that has eroded away from the headland. The highlight of the day though will be the extraordinary black sand beach of Reynisfjara, where huge waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash onto the shore against cliffs of tall basalt columns. With the Midnight Sun circling overhead, the Reynisdrangar sea stacks that lie just by these cliffs will be illuminated with a gorgeous light, making for absolutely stunning photos.
Day 11 - Heading back
This will be our final day of shooting and we will make use of it by exploring the cliffs of Dyrhólaey. At the very top, we’ll have a stunning view towards Reynisdrangar and of course, another opportunity to photograph puffins.
As we make our way slowly back towards Reykjavik, we’ll stop at the famous waterfalls of the south coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. There will be a chance for you to photograph Seljalandsfoss from all angles, taking a path that goes all around and beneath the waterfall itself.
On the way back, we will pass two active volcanoes – Hekla, a stratovolcano that stands at 1.49 metres tall, as well as Eyjafjallajökull, which most recently erupted in 2010 and caused massive air traffic disruptions with its enormous plume of ash. Depending on the conditions, there is the possibility of stopping at Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of the mighty ice-cap Mýrdalsjökull where mighty cliffs and mountains meet the glacier tongue.
Day 12 - Departure
This will be your final day in Iceland and when the time comes, you will use your Flybus ticket to return to Keflavik airport, where you will head onwards towards your next destination. With memory cards full of photos taken during your summer journey around Iceland, new friends and a range of well-honed photography skills underneath your belt, you’ll have experienced the adventure of a lifetime beneath the wondrous beauty of the Midnight Sun.
Two Professional photo guides.
Transportation in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photography gear.
Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses. Rooms with private bathrooms.
All Breakfasts and Group Dinner on day 1 and day 11.
FlyBus tickets for transfer from and to Airport.
Lunches and Dinners from day 2 to 10
Alcohol, snacks and beverages
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour is always dependent on weather, as the Icelandic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable. Likewise, visits to ice caves are dependent on favorable conditions, and indeed the ice caves themselves are not permanent. When it comes to the Northern Lights, while they are most likely to be seen between September and April, there is no guarantee that they will appear on a given day.