22nd Feb - 1st March 2020
Iceland's popularity for photography is growing strong, and we all know why with its beautiful locations, hidden waterfalls, dramatic weather which allows us to develop our skills and of course the thrill of the chase of the Northern Lights. What better way to start than in the North of Iceland, this area is far less photographed and ready for us to discover new images together. It's a 4x4 orientated trip which gives superb access to some of the more remote locations which would otherwise be inaccessible to other vehicles at this time of year. This opens up new potential for photographers seeking something different from this incredible volcanic island.
Based in Myvatn, the trip begins in Reykjavik with an internal flight to Akureyri. From here we pick up our vehicles and head an hour east to Myvatn. This superb lakeside location gives us access to some incredible vistas and frozen waterfalls like Godafoss, Detifoss, Sellfoss and Aldeyjarfoss, as well as some truly remarkable and quirky subjects like Krafla Geothermal Power Station. We will extend our visits both East and West as well as incorporating some of the lesser known north east coast line. There is a crashed plane, just like the south coast as well as some interesting farmland and coastal scenes to explore. It's an intimate landscape that we can discover in solitude, away from the workshop groups and tourists, and experience which puts the originality back into Iceland once more.
The light this time of year is absolutely sublime. With low sun angles giving what seems like an eternal sunrise and sunset combined, expect the very best of shooting conditions at any time of day. Twilight will linger for what seems like hours, as the day gives way to night and the adventures continue beneath the stars. Our activities will also concentrate day and night-time with equal importance, the group seizing any opportunity to shoot aurora and learn night photography skills.
For an Iceland trip with a difference, North Iceland is definitely the winter workshop to experience.
8 nights, 9 days.
First night in Reykjavik hotel, 6 nights in Sel Hotel Myvatn, last night in Reykjavik hotel
all single occupancy ensuite rooms
Max Group number 3 using 4x4 vehicles. (3 clients & 1 driver per vehicle)
We have teamed up to coincide this tour with David Clapp Photography so the overall group size will be 12.
Easy-Moderate, due to snow and ice a possibility with it being winter, Yaktrax are highly recommended to help provide extra grip.
All accommodation, all breakfasts, all transport in 4x4 vehicles once on location in North Iceland, all tuition.
All meals not mentioned, insurances and transportation to Iceland.
bus fare from airport to city hotel.
On arrival into Iceland as long as you are travelling on the same recommended flight we will all travel from the airport to our hotel in Reykjavik for the first evening, the following morning we will catch our flight internally up to the North ready to collect our hire vehicles to travel to the hotel which is a little over an hour away. We will have time to unpack and get our equipment and ourselves ready for our first shoot together, this may possibly be at night if the Northern Lights should decide to show. On the following morning we will be right on location, we can grab some breakfast first as sunrises are not early at this time of the year! In the arctic during the winter months, nature dictates our every move. Daylight hours are short but the light can be simply sublime so we will try and spend the maximum amount of time out shooting. This does give us plenty of evening time for the potential of the Northern Lights.
Safety is a paramount concern on this tour. The cold is an ever-present problem. The ground may often be covered in ice and snow so falls are a constant risk. You must ensure that you are adequately dressed for the conditions (see Clothing section below) to avoid the more direct effects of the cold.
Provided the conditions are safe, when the forecast looks promising we will go out at night to try and photograph the Northern Lights. If we are fortunate we will have calm and clear conditions around our base make ideal locations for this kind of photography. We may, on occasion, need to go a little further afield to find clear skies so please bear this in mind. We will ensure this is done as comfortably and safely as possible. The road conditions can often be treacherous so we will constantly assess whether it is safe to proceed. If we encounter bad weather we will use this to our advantage and look at images and editing techniques.
What camera kit?
An array of focal lengths benefit us, a wide angle lens (16-35), medium zoom (24-70) and a longer (70-300) will all be ideal to cover a variety of possibilities. The most used will be the 24-70. The bags will be near by the vehicles for lots of the trip so we don't expect you to carry it on your backs all day long! A lens with a F2.8 aperture and ideally something along the lines of a 16-35mm or 24mm will be perfect for night skies, if you do not own one this is not a problem as there are plenty of hire companies available.
Filters and a polariser.
Waterproof cover to protect from rain/sleet/snow.
Footwear is the most important factor here - I use North Face Chillkats, which are fleece lined snow boots with a good tread and warm. Iceland doesn't tend to get as cold as mainland Sweden or Finland (-40) but i suggest merino wool base layers/leggings or snow/ski trousers, these are great at keeping warmth in whilst stood around with our cameras. A waterproof/windproof jacket, fleece layer, or puffa, hat, gloves are important too, but mostly its layering - if you get too hot you can always remove a layer!
A more informative set of tour notes will be released closer to the trip.
Where to meet?
Meeting place is Keflavik Arrivals on Saturday 22nd February 2020, or you are welcome to join the recommended group flight to Iceland from Heathrow to Keflavik.
Flight times are yet to be released - please wait before booking flights as they will be set flights.
Why is there an Internal Flight?
The internal flight Is an essential part of the trip, because it avoids very long six hour drive from Keflavik to Akureyri / Myvatn. It can be impassible in the winter if heavy snow falls. The airport is based at sea level in Akureyri and this eliminates the complexity of driving back in bad weather. The hotel in Myvatn is only an hour from the airport.
Do i need to bring a computer?
Its not essential, it does help if the weather should turn against us, we can cover processing techniques together, this being said, you are welcome to watch anything i do. Its great for reviewing images that day and checking you are getting sharp images and happy with the performance so it does to help to bring it.
Any other questions please ask!