Iceland is one of the most exciting places to visit for a nature photographer. The landscapes are absolutely wild -- active volcanos, thunderous waterfalls, crystalline glaciers, rugged coastlines, geothermal pools, powerful geysers, and sculpted blue ice caves that are among the most incredible subjects to photograph. In addition, the Icelandic horses make awesome subjects, and isolated churches and quaint villages are also photogenic. In winter, this incredible island nation is even more dramatic. The cold climate allows us to safely explore ice caves, the snow shrouded waterfalls are partially frozen, and the reduced hours of daylight allow you to capture the stunning aurora borealis in all its glory. Join Jim for a most remarkable experience in photography. You will learn a lot about correctly exposing for snow and ice, shooting the night sky, using HDR, and post-processing your images to get the most out of each shot.
Day 1, March 20, Wednesday. Arrival in Iceland
You arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland (airport code KEF) and transfer to our hotel. We meet at the centrally located hotel at 6pm and go out for a group dinner in Reykjavik where we briefly go through the tour itinerary, safety and some practical things before we start our adventure in Iceland. This is a good time to ask Jim about any photography questions you might have. If you arrive early in town, you can photograph some of the attractions such as Harpa Concert Hall (fantastic architecture), Hallgrimskirkja (a stunning ultra modern Lutheran church), Sun Voyager (a remarkable work of art) or Perlan (an incredibly designed restaurant). Overnight Centerhotel Arnarhvoll, Reykjavik.
Day 2, March 21, Thursday. Thingvellir National Park and Vik
We start early in the morning and travel from Reykjavik to the south coast of Iceland, starting our photography within the first hour's drive. Our sunrise location is Thingvellir National Park. From Thingvellir we travel to the southern most point of Iceland which is Vik. We stay one night in the Vik area which has many of the most iconic frozen waterfalls and dramatic seascapes in the country, such as Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Reynisdrangar and Dyrholaey. We explore the black volcanic beach, Reynisfjara, which offers brilliant opportunities for seascape photography with the Reynisdrangar sea stacks and Dyrholaey rock arch. Overnight Icelandair Hotel, Vik.
Day 3, March 22, Friday. Vik - Skaftafell - Glaciers and Ice caves
After our sunrise at the coastline of Vik, we continue east to the glacier area of Vatnajokull. We will be based in a great hotel with a glacier view and just a few kilometres from the famous and very beautiful Glacier lagoon. For the next 2 days we explore and capture glaciers from all angles, even from under the glacier, inside a crystal ice cave. We visit Fjallsarlon glacial lagoon and Vestrahorn mountain. Many different shooting locations allow us to move around as the weather dictates and we can find a worthwhile shot in any direction. Should the Northern Lights decide to make an appearance, our options for foregrounds are truly endless. Overnight South-East Hotel, Smyrlabjorg.
Day 4, March 23, Saturday. Glaciers and ice caves
Today we travel in super-trucks into some remote glacier areas to visit ice caves. After our breakfast we capture the sunrise on the famous Ice Beach on the south-east coastline, and then we will photograph the Glacier Lagoon area. We will find many great locations and vantage points to be able to take stunning landscape shots. We lodge close to the Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon) to take advantage of the best light, and when sky is clear and aurora is active we shoot the Northern Lights dancing over the lagoon. We will go into at least two ice ceves on the tour, the best available ice caves, deep under the Vatnajökull glacier. You will be provides all safety gear such as helmets and crampons. Overnight South-East Hotel, Smyrlabjorg.
Day 5, March 24, Sunday. The east fjords
The picturesque east fjords are calling us today. We will stop at the more jagged coastal peaks of Eystrahorn as well as numerous locations to photograph sea stacks, the winding roads and cascading streams down the steep terraced mountains. East fjords are very quiet and isolated in winter, so for this part of the tour we will feel like we are the only people on the island. Our hotel is located in an old fishing harbour with spectacular snowy mountain view. Overnight Djupivogur Hotel, Framtio
Day 6, March 25, Monday. From east to north
We have a fairly long traveling day from eastfjords up to Myvatn in north Iceland, but the drive is very scenic and we stop at numerous locations to brake up the drive and enjoy the winter landscape. We arrive in Myvatn to capture sunset in one of many spectacular locations in the area. Overnight Myvatn Hotel, Reynihlid.
Day 7, March 26, Tuesday. Full day in Myvatn
We have a full day in the Myvatn area. Depending on the weather conditions we choose Lake Myvatn, the geothermal hot springs, or Crater Hverfjall. Myvatn area is the perfect location for aurora photography as there is no light pollution and beautiful foregrounds include a reflection in the lake. If we have some down time in Myvatn area, between sunrise and sunset, we can visit the Myvatn Nature Baths to relax and charge our batteries for the next shooting session. The Myvatn basin sits squarely on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and many of the dynamic sights you'll see are volcanic or geothermal. The last major volcanic eruption in the Myvatn area was quite recently, geologically, in september 1984. Overnight Myvatn Hotel, Reynihlid.
Day 8, March 27, Wednesday. The majestic waterfalls of the north
We take our super-truck and head up to three of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, Godafoss, Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargarfoss. These waterfalls are amazing in winter, and two of them are quite remote. All of these spectacular waterfalls take on a special mood in winter. On this day you'll most likely not see a footprint in the snow around the falls because they are off the beaten track and only occational local photographers will visit these locations in winter. Overnight Myvatn Hotel, Reynihlid.
Day 9, March 28, Thursday. North coastline back to Reykjavik
After a final sunrise and breakfast at Myvatn, we head to the north coastline and travel back to Reykjavik. We will stop at Godafoss or some other great locations on our way. We'll enjoy our final Icelandic dinner and share our memories from the adventure together. Overnight Centerhotel Arnarhvoll, Reykjavik.
Day 10, March 29, Friday. This morning everyone will check out in time to board the flight home. Our hotel is centrally located in Reykjavik, so if you need to do any last minute shopping for souveniers or sightsee in Reykjavik, you are within walking distance from the main shopping streets.
Land cost: $7695 USD. Includes nine nights best available lodging based on double occupancy, all ground transportation including tours in super-trucks, all meals starting from welcome dinner to breakfast on day 10, services of an Icelandic guide throughout the tour, services of special guide for the ice cave, safety equipment for entering ice cave, photo instruction, and critiques on demand.
Not included: International airfare, travel insurance, alcohol, and items of a personal nature.
Single supplement: $950 USD.