LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
8 DAY IN ICELAND
ICELAND IN WINTER - EDITION 2021
Iceland is surely near the top of almost every photographers bucket list of places to shoot, and rightly so. The landscape here is utterly unique and offers the kind of scenes that you simply can’t witness anywhere else on earth. Glaciers and waterfalls, black pebble beaches and jagged mountain peaks, the diversity is seemingly endless and it’s the kind of trip where you can’t fail to be inspired by the epic nature of the scenery.
Iceland in winter, with the landscape blanketed in white snow, the country is even more breath-taking. There’s an almost monochromatic nature to the landscape with smooth white snowscapes interrupted by black volcanic rocks or black sand and almost every where you look the view is ripe with photographic possibilities.
A UNIQUE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE IN ICELAND
When we created this workshop we wanted include not only some of Iceland’s most iconic locations, but also to take people to spots that are rarely seen at this time of year, but are among the most beautiful and jaw-dropping places in the country. So we start the workshop by heading into the Highlands and the Fjallabak national park. The only way to access this area is with a specially converted 4×4 Super Jeep with huge tyres that can comfortable drive us across deep snow. We work with a highly experienced driver and guide who’ll be with us for this stage of the trip as we spend two nights exploring these astonishing winter landscapes. We’ll visit waterfalls and crater lakes, and spend time in the incredible Landmannalaugar valley, and for most of our time here we’ll rarely see another person as almost no other photography groups come here. In the summer months being up here feels other-worldly, but in winter time there’s a feeling of remote beauty that is indescribable.
From here we’ll head east along the coast to our next destination in the Skaftafell national park. Once again we’ll stay in 4 star accommodation close to the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. During our time here we’ll spend some time at the lagoon where we’ll hear the eerie sound of the ice creaking as it moves across the lagoon, as well as the neighbouring “Diamond beach” where many of the icebergs wash up on the black sand. We’ll also visit an ice cave beneath the Vatnajokull glacier here. Our group will have a private guided tour, getting to the ice cave hours before other tour groups arrive to give us plenty of time to shoot these incredible caverns.
Finally we’ll head to the southeast to our last base near Höfn where the Vestrahorn’s peaks rise impossibly from the black sand beach of Stokksnes and are mirrored in the tidal lagoons. Vestrahorn isn’t the only incredible peak in the area though, we’ll also spend time at the neighbouring Eystrahorn, where waves crash against the rocks infront of the jagged peaks. Throughout all of these locations we’ll be constantly amazed at the scenes that unfold with every kilometre of the road. Tiny waterfalls frozen into ice and unnamed peaks covered in snow, every few minutes brings a new and incredible view. And of course wherever we go there’s always the possibility of the aurora appearing at night, and if it does we’ll be ready.
All our photography workshops are designed to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else. From the ideally located and comfortable accommodation, dinners in our favourite restaurants and of course a tour that’s structured to maximize your opportunities to get great images whilst improving your skills as a photographer. We use all our experience and knowledge to get you to some of Iceland’s most beautiful locations in the best light, and in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want.
WATCH THE VIDEO "ICELAND IN WINTER" TRAILER
DETAIL ABOUT THE ICELAND IN WINTER WORKSHOP
where we'll shoot
exclusive tour guide
1-to-1 editing sessions
1 – to – 1 post-processing sessions in Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One, with screen recordings which the participants can keep
All accommodation in local hotels, most of which are 4 star
our favorite restaurants
DAY 1 - REYKJAVÍK
17h onwards we’ll welcome guests to our overnight accommodation in Reykjavik, spend some time getting to know each other over dinner and drinks.
DAY 2 & 3 - THE HIGHLANDS
After breakfast, we’ll get our stuff together to check out and head to our first base on the edge of the northern part of the Fjallabak region of the highlands. We’ll be staying in a hotel on the edge of the region and each day we’ll head out exploring with a local driver and guide in a 4×4 Super Jeep, specially converted to travel on deep snow. Because of constantly changing conditions our itinerary here will be very flexible but we’ll make sure we spend some time at many of the locations in the area:
- The Landmannalaugar valley covered in snow
- Sigöldufoss waterfall & Sigöldugljufur canyon
- Haifoss waterfall
- Hnausapollur crater lake
- Hekla and the incredible lava formations nearby
DAY 4 & 5 - THE SOUTH
- Vík church and beach
- Reynisfjara black pebble beach
- Dyrhólaey rock arch
- Skógafoss waterfall
After settling into our hotel we’ll head out again to shoot in the local area. There are a lot of options here so we’ll base our choice on the conditions. The different locations here offer a wide variety of shooting, and are also different from what we’ll been doing on the previous days in the Highlands. The black sand beach at Reynisfjara with it’s iconic sea stacks standing just off the coast offers us practice at seascapes. We can shoot wide to capture the whole scene with the waves rolling up the beach, the white surf contrasting with the black pebbles, or we can use a telephoto to pull the rock stocks closer and make a more minimal composition with them surrounded by waves. We can play around with exposure times, blurring the water as it races up the beach, or faster shutters that freeze the waves in action.
At Skógafoss waterfall, where the water crashes into a shallow river allowing people to walk really close the bottom of these incredibly powerful falls, there are again lots of different ways to capture the scene, and Skógafoss isn’t the only waterfall we’ll capture. Along the south coast there are countless smaller waterfalls that look wonderful when frozen with ice, and duding our stay here we’ll also visit Dyrhólaey, a kind of plateau with wonderful views across the coast and the picturesque church at Vík.
After our first evening session here we’ll have dinner in Vík in one of our favourite restaurants in Iceland. The following morning we’ll do a sunrise session, which is wonderful at this time of year as the sun rises above the ocean often creating moments of really dynamic light. We’ll have a beak after breakfast for some rest and then heave lunch locally and also on day 5 we’ll have our second post processing session in the hotel, once more working with small groups that are tailored to the specific needs of the participants and designed to be able to push your knowledge forward. With post processing sessions, the aim is to focus not on a particular style of processing, but outlining who editing an image requires understanding what the mood of the image is, and which direction you want to take the processing. We aim to give you a toolbox of skills that you can use on your images that will enhance your overall ability to get the best out of your images.
In the afternoon we’ll head out for our second session of the day, shooting through to the sunset before returning to our favourite restaurant for dinner and a chance to try something else from their menu.
The following day we’ll head out again for sunrise, before having breakfast at the hotel and checking out. We’ll spend the rest of the morning driving through some stunning landscapes on the south coast of Iceland, passing the fingers of the glacier and certainly stopping along the way for lunch and to take images as we enter the Skaftafell national park beneath the mighty Vatnajökull glacier.
DAY 6 - VATNAJÖKULL
We’ll arrive here sometime in the afternoon depending on how many times we stopped to take photos on the way here. Once again the accommodation here is in superb a 4 star hotel which gives us easy access to some incredible locations.
- Jökulsarlon iceberg lagoon
- Breiðamerkursandur “Diamond beach”
- Ice caves beneath Vatnajökull glacier
After settling in to the hotel and having a break to unwind after the long journey we’ll head out for our evening’s shoot. We’ll visit Jökulsarlon ice berg lagoon which give us a range of choices to shoot. We can visit the lagoon itself, where we can play around with creating abstract shots of the icebergs or shoot the scene wide angle, or we can head behind the beach to the capture shots of the vast expanse of snow covered hills leading towards the mountain and glacier. We can also visit the black sand beach next to the lagoon where much of the ice washes up. Here we can create wide angle sea scapes or change the pace entirely and focus on close up abstract shots of the pieces of ice. Every piece of ice is different, and the more you look the more you see countless abstract compositions.
DAY 7 - THE SOUTH EAST
We’ll arrive in our hotel around lunchtime and get something to eat while having a little time to settle into our rooms. Once again the accommodation here is in superb a 4 star hotel which gives us easy access to some incredible locations.
- Stokksnes headland beach and the peaks of the Vestrahorn
- The peaks of the Eystrahorn
After a short break we’ll head out to one of the nearby locations. In this part of Iceland there are two stunning locations with mountain peaks to shoot. We’ll decide when to shoot each depending on the weather conditions. Nearby we have the incredible peaks of Vestrahorn which rise above the ocean seemingly out of the ocean and black sand beach at the very south eastern tip of Iceland. Here we can find a composition with the ocean infront, or see if we can make reflections of the peak in the wet sand caused by the retreating waves. We can head up into the dunes, topped by grass which the days first light turns golden, and look for shapes and lines to act as a foreground. We can shoot the whole scene capturing the whole sweep of the peaks, of narrow our focus to capture just a part of the scene.
Not far away we have the lesser know sister peaks, the Eystrahorn, which again seem to rise up on the above the waves. Here we’ll focus on shutter times and capturing moving water with the peaks in the background, or look for compositions that capture the long lagoon here. In his area we also have some wonderful views of the other side of the Vestrahorn peaks and some wonderful snow covered mountains near the road which make beautiful austere winter scenes. While we stay here we’ll have dinner at another of our favourite restaurants and the after the sunrise shoot we’ll have breakfast before starting off on our drive back to Reykjavik
DAY 8 - REYKJAVÍK
It’s quite a long drive back to Reykjavik so we’ll set off after breakfast and aim to arrive at Vík for lunch, giving us one last chance to eat one last time at the restaurant there. There’s also a good chance that we’ll stop along the way for photography, either of scenes we see as we drive or portraits of Icelandic horses
We’ll arrive in Reykjavik later in the afternoon, check into our hotel and have a final dinner together. In the evening there should also be time for an informal review and talk about some of our favourite images from the trip
The following morning we say our goodbyes and drop people off at the airport.
WHAT WE DO (AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS)
Our aim is to take you to beautiful locations and give you every opportunity to get great images while improving your technique over the course of the workshop. From the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, and attempt to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field and in the post processing sessions. We’ve carefully timetabled this workshop to ensure that while you get to experience some the most beautiful locations the country has to offer, from the iconic spots on the south coast to visiting the Highlands, one of Icelands most beautiful regions, which few people get to visit at this time of year.
We’ll make sure that you get plenty of time in the field with long sessions you’ll quickly get into a shooting rhythm where you can put into practice new skills as they are learned. Early March is a great time to visit Iceland as we get all the best of winter, the snow covered landscapes and ice caves, but the days are long enough to enable us to have longer shooting sessions and drive from one base to another and still have plenty of time to go out shooting when we arrive. There’s also a very good chance of seeing the aurora in March.
Our timetable is highly flexible and having a number of fantastic locations all very close to our base of accommodations means we can adapt to the weather and go where the conditions are best for shooting. This adaptability also extends to the post processing sessions. We believe that editing is an integral part of getting the absolute best out of an image but we understand that the range of participant’s skill levels and familiarity with post processing techniques varies greatly.
Because of this we make the most of having small groups to provide 1-to-1 editing sessions in the afternoon that are tailored to each participant’s skill levels, and which can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop.
We’ll also have one post processing seminar where both both workshop leaders will take you through all their post processing techniques and complete workflow. We make screen recordings of our editing sessions, which are then shared with all the group so you go home with a record of all the post processing techniques we’ve used. Not only this but you’ll also have access via a webpage to all the post processing screen recordings we’ve done from our other workshops, which we believe gives participants the ability to continue to apply the techniques we discussed long after the workshop has finished.
Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible place. Travelling in such small groups means we can quickly build a great learning environment where people feel comfortable together and at ease with asking questions and making the absolute most of the trip. We aim to make your experience here in the beautiful landscape of Iceland a memorable one and a trip from which, as well as getting some great images from amazing locations, you’ll also go home having had a true adventure with great company in a very special place.
SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP
IN THE FIELD
- Understanding the light and choosing the best exposure
- Composition. Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.
- Lens choice. From the wide-angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens
- Long exposures for blurring moving water and clouds and using neutral density filters
- Shooting waterscapes, waterfalls and mountain peaks
- Shooting the night sky (and the aurora if we’re lucky)
- Shooting multiple image panoramas
- Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
- Photographing snow
- Shooting in the blue hour and overcast weather
- Shooting ice caves
- Creating abstract images and intimate landscapes
- Deciding which direction to take post processing according to the mood of an image
- Using Lightroom to apply contrast locally
- Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
- “Shaping” the light using contrast tools in Photoshop and Lightroom
- Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
- Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
- Using CaptureOne for RAW conversion
- Stitching multiple panoramas together
- Finishing touches for processing to give images dramatic punch
- Sharpening images
Freezing cold weather and some long days in a vehicle mean that we want people to be really comfortable when we are back in the hotel. For this workshop we really wanted to stay at some of the best hotels available in the areas where we’ll be based and make this workshop even more memorable. In Reykjavik, Vík, Vatanjökul and Höfn we’ll stay in 3 or 4 start hotels where each participant has their own private room, in hotels which are located close to where we’ll be shooting to cut down the amount of time we spend in vehicles. The hotel we use in the Highlands is the only one in the area which gives us access to the Fjallabak national park, but it’s really comfortable and clean with hearty food and a cozy atmosphere.
One of Iceland’s best kept secrets is how great the food is. Since I first visited the country over 10 years ago an incredible array of restaurants have appeared and we’ve found in previous workshops that meals are always a highlight and a memorable part of the trip.
We include all dinners in the workshop prices and theres nothing better than a great meal in a fantastic restaurant after a day spend shooting the snow. Throughout the workshop we’ll be eating in some great places, particularly in Vík and Höfn, which are home to two of our favourite restaurants in Iceland, Sudur and Pakkhús.
We love the food in Iceland, and we’re sure you will too.
Throughout the photography workshop we’ll be travelling in two 4×4 SUVs equipped with snow tyres that will allow us to be comfortable on Iceland’s roads. With our small groups size it ensures that there’ll be a maximum of three passengers per vehicle which gives everyone ample space.
However in this workshop we really wanted to spend some time visiting places that are well off the beaten track and head into the Highlands. The landscapes here are quite simply breath-taking and unlike anything you can see almost anywhere in the world. There’s a feeling of genuinely being out in a wild and remote landscape, far away from civilisation and we’ll see very few other people while we’re here. Getting here however requires a specialised vehicle and driver, so we work with a local guide and a converted 4X4 Super Jeep which allows us to travel over deep snow and access areas like Landmannalaugar, Haifoss and Hekla. Driving this kind of terrain is incredibly specialised and our driver Eddi, has years of experience driving across glaciers and snowfields in Iceland. The vehicle has 7 passenger seats and will comfortably get us to some of the most incredible landscapes in the country.
WHAT TO BRING
Andrea is a Venice based professional photographer, educator, musician, and a spirited adventurer. He started exploring the photography medium by capturing images of fellow musicians, their families, and other friends and acquaintances in the music industry. As he continued honing his craft, he merged his love for photography and exploring the outdoors, amassing a body of photographic work featuring exhilarating landscapes and rugged mountains capes from around the globe, He also leads photography courses, workshops & tours to teach other photographers his method and help them to bring out their own vision. His work has been published in Landscape Photography Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Plus Magazine, Digital Camera, Popular Photography and Fuji X Passion Magazine, among others.
Andy is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer. Andy grew up in the UK loving nature and travel and took up landscape photography over a decade ago. Since then he has travelled extensively photographing all over the world and his photography and articles have featured in publications and books worldwide. He is a passionate photographer teacher and has been leading both group and one-to-one workshops for six years. He is a Fuji X Photographer and a brand ambassador for Fujifilm in Portugal, although he also has extensive experience with Nikon and Canon cameras.
We partner with F Stop Gear backpacks and Capture One Pro software, leaders in their respective fields and can offer the discounts on their products for any of our workshop participants.
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL PLEDGE
We aim to make our workshops as close to carbon neutral as possible and partner with Sustainable Travel International to ensure that our carbon footprint is offset and our environmental impact is reduced. Sustainable Travel International works with local communities, governments and businesses, and invests in projects which aim to conserve ecosystems, reduce tourism’s carbon footprint and lesson the amount of waste and pollution from tourism.
We also believe in working with local suppliers as much as possible so the costs of our workshops go towards supporting the local economies, and we also practice a “leave no trace” policy to ensure that the beautiful landscape and natural environments that we spend time in are left exactly as we find them.
To register for the Iceland in Winter photography workshop we require a €1500 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information, or for any other questions you have about the workshop.