Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop
Iceland Northern Lights
Enroll in Part One, Part Two or Both
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. During part 1 we remain flexible and go where there is the best chance for having clear skies. 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.
Iceland displays a breathtaking, winter landscape and certain locations appeal to photographers more than others. During part 2 we spend time at some of the most requested winter photography locations, and we visit a few, other, lesser known ones. We'll travel the south and south east coast. Yes, during this workshop we will also photograph the auroras if they appear.
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.
Most Icelandair flights from the US are overnight flights that land in Iceland between 6:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M.
Iceland Northern Lights - Part One
Sunday, January 6th, 2019: 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 tour around Reykjavik. 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, 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 Monday morning, January 7th, 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.
Our final hotel on Saturday evening will be back in Reykjavik.
Sunday, January 13th, 2019 part 1 only participants will shuttle to airport and fly home. Participants who are staying for part 2 should use the non-workshop days 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.
Nature Explorer will book part 1 participants staying for part 2 into a Reykjavik hotel until we depart on the Iceland Winter Workshop.
Iceland in Winter - Part Two
1/15/2019: Tuesday, January 15th, 2019: Usually participants arrive in the morning and head to the hotel. Arriving participants can't check-in early to their rooms, but we can meet at the hotel and leave our luggage there while we take an introductory tour around Reykjavik. 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, consider heading to the hotel, drop off your luggage and eat breakfast at the hotel (charge it to your room; part of workshop fee).
1/16/2019: Relocate to Hali, photograph icy beach and more.
1/17/2019: Relocate to Hofn, photograph Stokksnes and Mt. Vestra-Horn.
1/18/2019: Relocate to Djupivogur, photograph Hvalnes, Mt Eystrahorn, Pvottarskriour and more.
1/19/2019: Stay in Djupivogur, photograph more in this area.
1/20/2019: Relocate to a hotel on way back to Reykjavik, have a second chance to photograph earlier locations.
1/21/2019: Return to Reykjavik
1/22/2019: Shuttle to airport and return home.
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.
Please note: This itinerary is based on Icelandair's 2017 winter flight schedule. If the winter flight schedule changes in 2019 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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
"Thank you all for making this trip such an awesome experience. It was fantastic!" Kerry H. Colorado
Northern Lights 2016 Group Photo