Iceland Photography Workshops
Contact Nature Explorer for a modified version of this workshop.
Enroll in Part One, Part Two or Both
Instructor Andy Cook
Andy Cook will be the instructor for two of Nature Explorer's, Iceland photo workshops. Each workshop will visit many wonderful photo locations. Many of our previous Iceland participants felt one week was not enough time in this amazing country. Therefore, we now offer two full workshops back to back with a rest period between. Join us as we capture the unique, stunningly beautiful landscapes found only in Iceland. We'll photograph many of it's numerous waterfalls, cascades, mountains, glaciers, rolling tundra, beaches, churches, steam vents, lava fields, tectonic plate boundary areas and more. Andy has completed many Iceland photo workshops with Nature Explorer and they have been amazing. The group photographs the usual hot spots, the ones that other workshops know about and visit, but we also see and photograph so much more. Because the guides are locals and avid photographers who have scoured the island for decades they know countless, little visited, breathtaking locations. Join us to get off the beaten path, see more of the beautiful island and have more photo ops than one can imagine. Nature Explorer is a top rated, off road, adventure, company staffed by Icelanders with extensive local knowledge and the ability to access locations not available to the average visitor.
Most Icelandair flights from the US are overnight flights that land in Iceland between 6:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M.
North Iceland - Part One
8/25/2018: Saturday, August 25, 2018 arrive and stay in Reykjavik. 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 walking tour around Reykjavik (walking tour departs from hotel lobby at 10 A.M.). We will visit Harpa, the old harbor, Sun Voyager... Helpful Idea: It is somewhat difficult to find breakfast early in the morning. If your flight lands in the 6 - 7 A.M. range and you are hungry, we recommend heading to the hotel, drop off your luggage and buy breakfast at the hotel, if you see Andy eating breakfast feel free to join his table. We usually buy our own lunch somewhere in Reykjavik during the walking tour.
Our Reykjavik hotel is most likely Hotel Odinsve.
8/26/2018: Start of workshop: Sunday, August 26, 2018, after breakfast, at 9 A.M. we will assemble and depart with Nature Explorer - Photograph Pingvellir, Hraunfossar and on Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Accommodation: Hotel in Snaefellsnes.
8/27/2018: Photograph on Snaefellsnes Peninsula for sunrise and sunset - Accommodation: Framnes in Gurndarfjordur
8/28/2018: Photograph on Snaefellsnes Peninsula sunrise, then Stykkisholmur, and a small canyon for sunset - Accommodation: Gauksmyri Lodge
8/29/2018: Photograph Hvitserkur Rock sunrise, then Dettifoss & Selfoss (east side), sunset Lake Myvatn - Accommodation: Hotel Gigur by Lake Myvatn
8/30/2018: Photograph Namaskard sunrise then a waterfall and Godafoss sunset - Accommodation: Fossholl Guesthouse
8/31/2018: Photograph Godafoss sunrise and Kerlingarfjoll sunset - Accommodation: Kerlingarfjoll Mt. Resort
9/01/2018: Photograph Gygjarfoss at sunrise, then Gullfoss and return to Reykjavik - Accommodation: Hotel Odinsve, Reykjavik
End of Workshop
9/02/2018: Departure day for part 1 only participants. Participants who are staying for part two should use the 2nd and 3rd to rest, do laundry (Andy can guide you to a laundry mat with a full service bar and restaurant near the hotel; 12-14 minute walk, bring soap)... Also, one may consider spending a day at the Blue Lagoon, there is bus service from town to the spa.
If you are staying for part two, Nature Explorer will book you into Hotel Odinsve until we depart on the southern route.
South Iceland - Part Two
9/04/2018: Tuesday, September 4, 2018, participants only doing part two will arrive and stay in Reykjavik. Usually participants arrive in the morning and head to the hotel. You can't check-in early to your room, but we can meet at the hotel and leave your luggage there while we take an introductory walking tour around Reykjavik (walking tour departs from hotel lobby at 10 A.M.). We will visit Harpa, the old harbor, Sun Voyager... Helpful Idea: It is somewhat difficult to find breakfast early in the morning. If your flight lands in the 6 - 7 A.M. range and you are hungry, we recommend heading to the hotel, drop off your luggage and buy breakfast at the hotel, if you see Andy eating breakfast feel free to join his table. We usually buy our own lunch somewhere in Reykjavik during the walking tour.
Our Reykjavik hotel is most likely Hotel Odinsve.
9/05/2018: Start of workshop: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 after breakfast, at 9 A.M. we will assemble and depart with Nature Explorer - Photograph two waterfall areas and a canyon of waterfalls. No sunset photography, we are positioned for other subjects, but not near a good sunset location. Accommodation: Hotel Highland
9/06/2018: - Leave very early for sunrise in a lake district or visit Hrafntinnusker in Fjallabak, possible sack breakfast on this day, no sunset available post processing aid is part of this day. Accommodation: Hotel Highland
9/07/2018: - Leave very early for sunrise in Landmannalaugar. Today we will have a sack breakfast and lunch and spend the bulk of the day in Landmannalaugar. Sunset photography from trails behind hotel. Accommodation: Hotel Skaftafell
9/08/2018: - Sunrise from trails behind hotel. midday and sunset at a glacier lagoon, late dinner. Accommodation: Gerdi Guesthouse
9/09/2018: - Sunrise on an icy, black sand beach, midday Stokksnes, Sunset at a glacier lagoon, late dinner. Accommodation: Gerdi Guesthouse
9/10/2018: - Sunrise on an icy, black sand beach, midday photograph waterfalls cascades and a canyon. Sunset of Reynisdrangar from the beach in Vik, late dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Edda Vik
9/11/2018: - Sunrise of Reynisdrangar from the beach in Vik. Midday Vik church, and several waterfalls. Accommodation: Hotel Odinsve, Reykjavik
End of Workshop
Photography and lodging locations may change if Nature Explorer deems it advisable. Above is an abbreviated shooting location itinerary, without doubt it will be modified to respond to weather and circumstances. Some of the locations we visit are not well known and therefore not usually crowded. We've excluded mentioning these locations by name to help keep it that way.
NOTE: To rapidly adjust to the time zone change with as little issue as possible we recommend sleeping on the plane and staying awake upon arrival, do not sleep until Saturday evening (North Iceland) or Tuesday evening (South Iceland).
South Iceland Workshop Location
During this workshop we'll be traveling by very capable off road vehicles, however, some trail hiking, sometimes over a mile in each direction, and exploring locations on foot is part of this workshop. Walking surfaces tend to be uneven, waterproof, hiking boots are recommended.
Be prepared for possible temperature extremes and sudden changes in weather. Be aware that it can be very cold. We may be out in darkness before sunrise and after sunset, please bring a flashlight. Also, please be prepared for wet weather. We strongly advise that participants have very good rain gear including rain pants and are prepared to shoot in the rain.
Sunrise: Approximately 6:00 A.M.
Sunset: Approximately 8:30 P.M.
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 techniques for doing so (requires a cable release with some cameras).
A lens range from 18mm to 400mm after the lens multiplication factor is recommended. However, we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses. To blur water motion during the day, consider bringing a 6 stop or higher neutral density filter, this filter can be the screw on type.
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 the 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.
General Notes: Some of our hotel choices place us near wonderful photo subjects that are not particularly sunrise or sunset material, often the subjects do best with overcast skies, something common in Iceland. Therefore we may not have a sunrise or sunset scheduled for each day. Additionally we do consult local weather forecasts, which are usually quite good, especially in the short term, to decide what is appropriate to photograph.
Trip Notes: Many of our accommodations are charming, two story hotels without elevators. Andy is happy to aid in getting luggage to your room. If you prefer to carry your own luggage then consider packing in 2 smaller suitcases instead of one large one. Bring soap for showering, not usually provided by hotels. If laundering clothes during break for your convenience consider bringing laundry soap. If your hands tend to be cold consider bringing hand warmers.
Arrival Day: Feel free to join Andy for breakfast in hotel in advance of 10 A.M. meeting. Meet in hotel lobby at 10 A.M. for walking tour of city with or without camera. Please let Andy know if you do not expect to meet group at 10 A.M.
"Had the time of my life in Iceland. So many stories to tell and pictures to show.... I am still in the experience, reliving it and finding shots I forgot we had taken. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I am so delighted that I was able to participate. Thank You!" Bob, Hart, California
South Iceland Workshop Location
To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:
Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.
For this workshop we recommend that participants:
*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.
*Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)
*Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs
*Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on your smart phone.)
*Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)
*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or are considering a tripod purchase.)