Iceland's Wild West 2019

6th January - 10th January 2018

The Icelandic coastline in the west is as beautifully dramatic as anywhere on the planet, with its rugged exterior it encourages us as photographers to explore and create stunning images.   

 

This breathtaking scenery that surrounds us on the Snæfellsnes Peninsular:

the waterfalls, lava fields and stunning traditional fishing towns and churches are all within easy reach of our hotel where we are based for 4 nights.  

On either side of the mountains we will be exploring some of Iceland’s most stunning areas, including the famous church at Búðir which sits on a lava field and of course Kirkjufell one of the most famous mountains with the beautiful waterfall!

 

Weather allowing on this tour, we will drive around this peninsular and explore as much as we can every day and are in no hurry so we can pick our times with the light, staying so close by to these amazing locations means we can be out for as much as possible with our cameras and NOT be spending hours driving to locations.  During the evenings we will enjoy dinner together, discus images and hopefully head out for some night photography and the chase of the Northern lights!

Iceland is stunning at any time of the year, however i've chosen to visit during the darker nights of January to co-inside with less moonlight in the skies so that if we do get clear skies and head out to chase the aurora it is not dampened by the strong full moon. Although at this time of the year the daylight hours are more limited to 4-5 hours per day, this will be no problem because the sun doesn't rise high above the horizon, so it creates long sunrise and sunset lit skies with warm colours for longer periods and gives us amazing light opportunities!

Duration:

4 nights, 5 days.

 

Accommodation:

Based within minutes from the famous Kirkjufell, Single room occupancy with private bathrooms. Kitchen facilities to make tea/coffee/snacks.

Max Group number 8 using 4x4 vehicles.

 

Fitness level: 

Easy-Moderate, due to snow and ice a possibility with it being winter, Yaktrax are highly recommended to help provide extra grip.

 

Included:

All accommodation, all transport in 4x4 vehicles, all tuition.

 

Excluded:

All meals, insurances and transportation to Iceland. On arrival we will visit the supermarket for some light breakfast items, snacks etc, all within close distance to the accommodation there are cafes and restaurants we will frequent as well.

 

 

Trip Plan:

On arrival into Iceland you will be met at the airport, we will collect the vehicles and make our way West, our hotel is approx. 3 hrs 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, a typical sunrise will be at 11am, meaning we do not need to leave our hotel until 09.30 - 10am! With sunsets earlier at the beginning of January we will have shorter days but we are in no rush to go anywhere, the time is our own, we have no set itinerary for this tour. 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, editing techniques and frequent the local coffee & cake shop!!

Additional Information:

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.

Tripod

Filters and a polariser.

Waterproof cover to protect from rain/sleet/snow.

Spare battery!

Suitable clothing?

Footwear is the most important factor here -  I use North Face Chillkats, which are fleece lined snow boots with a good tread and warm. Norway doesnt 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?

Arrivals hall Keflavik Airport, you will see a Joe & The Juice bar (Pink Sign) to the left of the arrivals hall, if i've not found you before then meet here at 3-3.30pm, hopefully most of you will be on the same or similar incoming flight.

I will be booking the following flight, i would suggest you book something similar, there isn't much to do at the airport so id advise you try and get a similar flight time.

Sunday 6th Jan 2019

BA London Heathrow 08:20 am arrival Keflavik 11:40pm

Thursday 10th Jan 2019

For clients flying home please book flights to leave Keflavik after 3pm, you will not be arriving to the airport until 12pm on the 10th Jan 2019.

For Clients combining both trips, we will be dropping you at a hotel in Keflavik, we will base ourselves here for 1 night, we have some amazing locations on hand and we can then head South first thing the following morning for the South Coast!

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!