Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop
ICELAND Northern Lights
January 21st - 28th, 2017 - Workshop Full!
Biennial Workshop - Our next Northern Lights in Iceland Workshop will be held in Winter, 2019.

Iceland is an ideal destination for photographing The Northern Lights. Why? Because if it's cloudy in one part of the country, it's usually clear in another, the leeward side of the island usually has clear weather. Also, while it is cold and often windy, typically it does not have the bitter cold of other aurora locations such as Alaska and Canada.

It goes without saying that one cannot photograph the auroras if it's cloudy. Therefore, it's essential to be flexible and go where there is the best chance for having clear skies. In order to maximize our chances of seeing the auroras, we have created 5 different photo location scenarios that we can exercise depending upon the weather. This ensures we'll get the best possible light and the clearest skies at amazing locations.

Andy Cook will be the instructor on this photo workshop for Nature Explorer in Iceland. Nature Explorer is a top rated, off road, adventure company staffed by photo enthusiast Icelanders with extensive local knowledge and the ability to access locations not available to other visitors.

This is a guided photo workshop for nature and landscape photographers above beginner level. Andy will be available to help participants create the most appealing compositions of each location we visit and he will discuss equipment, exposure, metering, filters and post processing with participants as needed. This is a workshop environment, the instructor is present to aid in the field and teach his techniques for landscape photography. If you're an advanced photographer he is happy to help or stay out of the way. On this workshop we anticipate having some time to provide post processing assistance. If you desire post processing aid, please bring your laptop with Photoshop installed. This workshop is different from our others in that Andy will also be photographing. Many of these locations Andy may be seeing for the first time, the best way for him to make compositional recommendations is to also photograph the scene.
Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Not only will we be photographing The Northern Lights, we will be photographing during the 7-8 hours of daylight.

Aurora Photography Workshop
Itinerary Outline

Most flights (Icelandair) from the US are overnight flights that land in Iceland about 6:30 AM. NOTE: To rapidly adjust to the time zone change with as little issue as possible we recommend sleeping on the plane and staying awake on the arrival day (Saturday).

Saturday, January 21st, 2017: Usually participants arrive in the morning and head to the hotel. We can't check-in early to our rooms, but we can meet at the hotel and leave our luggage there while we take an introductory photo tour around Reykjavik. Helpful Idea: It is somewhat difficult to find breakfast early on Saturday morning. If your flight lands in the 6 - 7:30 A.M. range and you are hungry, consider heading to the hotel, drop off your luggage and eat breakfast at the hotel (charge it to your room; part of workshop fee).

On Sunday morning, January 22nd, we'll have breakfast, then we're off to our first shooting location.

During the week we will continue to shoot and relocate to new hotels (several times). We will remain flexible to follow the weather. This means that it's possible our first choice for a hotel may not have space to accommodate our group so we'll stay in our 2nd or 3rd choice, participants will have to be open to a variety of possible hotel accommodations.

Find a detailed itinerary with specifics on Nature Explorer's website.
Iceland Photo Workshop
Small groups - Big adventure

Our final hotel on Friday evening will be back in Reykjavik or the Northern Lights Inn adjacent to the Blue Lagoon. On Saturday, January 28th, 2017 shuttle to airport and fly home.

Please note: This itinerary is based on Icelandair's 2016 winter flight schedule. If the winter flight schedule changes in 2017 it may necessitate a small change to our workshop dates. If it is more convenient or affordable for you to arrive or depart on a different day, then please contact Nature Explorer and they will help you with hotel and other necessary arrangements.

Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop

COST: Approx. $4,450.00 per participant. (non photographer, significant others may attend at same price.)
Includes hotels*, breakfast, lunch, group dinners**, and ground transportation*** during the workshop.
*Hotels with private facilities, breakfast, lunch and group dinners. Price is for dbl/twin occupancy. Single supplement available; about $610.00. Price excludes flights to and from Iceland, other food & drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic).
**We stay at hotels in quite remote locations; hours to a market. It is normal for these hotels to offer a very limited menu. Because we will be there during the slow season it is customary for groups like ours to make a dinner choice for the entire group.
***Participants are responsible for getting themselves from the airport to our 1st hotel in Reykjavik and then back to the airport upon departure. The Flybus is a very popular and affordable way to travel the 45 minutes from the airport to the Reykjavik bus depot and then to the hotel. To find the Flybus, use the main airport exit and look to the right; the large buses that usually say Reykjavik Excursions are the Flybus.

This is a workshop being held by Nature Explorer, a highly rated, off road, adventure, photo tour company, please click on the logo below to visit their website and register for the workshop.

Small groups - Big adventure

Normally Nature Explorer tours are confirmed with a 25% deposit but they will not charge anything until the workshop has filled (8 participants); for now, enter 1 in the field for the amount and they will contact you when the min. number has been reached.

How to Create a Nature Explorer Booking #: The booking numbers are made with the initials of the client and the starting date of the tour - so Andy Cook's booking number would be AC210117 (Andy Cook on the tour starting 21 of January, 2017)

Feel free to contact Nature Explorer via e-mail to ask Iceland specific questions or for registration assistance:
Note: You can easily extend your stay in Iceland and Nature Explorer will gladly help with this.

Alternative Registration Process: Send an email to with your name, billing address and phone number. Andy will place your registration with Nature Explorer, they will contact you when a payment is required.

Northern Lights Photo Workshop

During this workshop we'll be traveling by very capable off road vehicles, however, some hiking and exploring locations on foot may be part of this workshop.

Be prepared for possible temperature extremes and sudden changes in weather.  Be aware that it can be very cold and rain is a possibility. We will be out in darkness before sunrise and after sunset, please bring a flashlight. Also, please be prepared for very cold weather. We strongly advise that participants have winter and waterproof clothing including pants and boots. Batteries tend to drain faster in cold weather, please make sure you bring plenty of camera batteries.

Sunrise: Approximately 10:00 A.M.
Sunset: Approximately 5:00 P.M.

We wish to provide about 8 hours of sleep per night (about 10 hours of rest). If we get lucky with the auroras during an evening we may adjust our wake up time the following morning, this may impact how much daylight shooting we have on that day.

Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Aurora Photography Workshop

More Information

Driving Conditions: We will be driven by experienced off road drivers during this workshop in enclosed vehicles.

Luggage: Nature Explorer does not have luggage quantity or weight restrictions.

Power: To use US electrical products liken a hair dryer in Iceland requires two small pieces of equipment. 1st is a converter for 230V, 2nd a 2-plug adapter. To charge items such as camera battery, laptop or cell phone the 2-plug adapter may be all that is required. Please check the fine print on the transformer for each device to see if it indicates an input range such as 120v - 250v is allowed. It is easiest to buy the 2-plug adapter in the huge duty free store at the airport upon arrival in Iceland, The duty free store is the last room walked through before leaving the secure area.

Aurora Photo Workshop
Aurora Photography Workshop

Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. We recommend using a polarizing filter with some photographs on this workshop. Andy combines images of various exposures in post processing. Andy will be happy to teach participants his field and post processing techniques for doing so (requires a cable release with some cameras).

A lens range from 17mm to 300mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses.

One should shoot with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from standing height without cranking up a center post, to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments connecting the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs can move independently. Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera's timer delay to avoid camera shake. Unless your camera has a built-in level, we recommend having a 2 axis flash shoe bubble level, it is the easiest way to make sure photos are level. Please buy these at a reputable dealer; they run about $35.00.

The Fine Print

Group size is limited to 8 participants.

Please be wary of making airline reservations until the minimum is achieved. Nature Explorer will notify participants when the minimum has been reached. Minimum has been reached, workshop will proceed.

Our itinerary does fluctuate year to year. We may not visit every location visited in previous years.

In the event Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography, Inc. (RMRPI) cancels a workshop due to unforeseen circumstances such as inability to obtain permits, instructor injury, death... Then, RMRPI will refund fees collected by RMRPI for the affected workshop. In the event of a natural disaster, government closure or other happening of this nature that causes a workshop to be canceled, RMRPI may be unable to refund workshop fees. If this happens then funds collected by RMRPI will be applied as credit toward a future workshop of the participant's choosing. RMRPI will not be held responsible for other expenses (airline tickets, hotel deposits, rental car...) that may be associated with any canceled workshop.
Aurora Photography Workshop



Spare Camera Batteries
Camera's Manual
Lots of Memory
Extra Shoes and Socks
Very Warm Boots
Very Warm Clothes
Aurora Photography Workshop

Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop
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Call 719-635-6268

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Northern Lights Photography Workshop

"I wanted to say thanks for such a wonderful workshop and an "over-the-top" adventure.  As we all said, it was above all expectations..." Debbie Milburn, Colorado

Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Northern Lights Photography Workshop

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"Thank you all for making this trip such an awesome experience.  It was fantastic!"
Kerry H. Col

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