Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop
Iceland Northern Lights
Iceland Winter

Part One -  Iceland Northern Lights
January 6 - 13, 2019

Part Two - Iceland in Winter
January 15 - 22, 2019

We did not meet our minimum participation level.
Please contact Nature Explorer for a modified version of this workshop.

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.

This is a guided photo workshop for nature and landscape photographers above beginner level. Andy will be available to help participants create the most appealing compositions of each location we visit and he will discuss equipment, exposure, metering, filters and post processing with participants as needed. This is a workshop environment, the instructor is present to aid in the field and teach his techniques for landscape photography. If you're an advanced photographer he is happy to help or stay out of the way. On this workshop we anticipate having some time to provide post processing assistance. If you desire post processing aid, please bring your laptop with Photoshop installed. This workshop is different from our others in that Andy may also be photographing. Some of these locations Andy may be seeing for the first time, the best way for him to make compositional recommendations is to also photograph the scene.
Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Not only will we be photographing The Northern Lights, we will be photographing during the 7-8 hours of daylight.

Aurora Photography Workshop

Itinerary Outline

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.

Iceland Photo Workshop
Northern Lights

Find a detailed itinerary with specifics on Nature Explorer's website.
Iceland Photo Workshop
Iceland Winter

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.

Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop

Part 1
- approx. $5,890.00 per participant
Part 2 - approx. $6,690.00 per participant
Non photographer, significant others may attend at same price. Participants booking both workshops will receive the two nights of lodging between workshops at no additional cost; free. If the exchange rate between USD and ISK changes +/- 15% or more, then Nature Explorer reserves the right to adjust the price.

Includes hotels*, breakfast, lunch, group dinners**, and ground transportation*** during the workshop.

*Hotels with private facilities, breakfast and group dinners. Price is for single occupancy. Double occupancy discount of about $400.00 (part 1) $440.00 (part 2) may be available; consider bringing a friend to share a room and ensure receiving the discount. Price excludes flights to and from Iceland, other food & all drinks.
**We stay at hotels in quite remote locations; hours to a market. It is normal for these hotels to offer a very limited menu. Because we will be there during the slow season it is customary for groups like ours to make a dinner choice for the entire group.
***Participants are responsible for getting themselves from the airport to our 1st hotel in Reykjavik and then back to the airport upon departure. The Flybus is a very popular and affordable way to travel the 45 minutes from the airport to the Reykjavik bus depot and then to the hotel, and after the workshop, from the hotel back to the airport. If you buy the bus ticket online, print the emailed confirmation and bring it to show when you get on the bus. When you arrive in Iceland, after collecting luggage go directly outside to the bus. To find the Flybus, use the main airport exit and look to the right; the large buses that usually say Reykjavik Excursions are the Flybus.

This is a workshop being held by Nature Explorer, a highly rated, off road, adventure, photo tour company, please click on the logo below to visit their website and register for the workshop.

To book a tour, please send an email to and indicate which tour(s) and options you wish to book. Also, please include dates and for how many people. They will calculate the total cost, then send you a booking number and link to their secure booking page.

Normally Nature Explorer tours are confirmed with a 25% deposit, but they will not charge anything until they have reached the min. number (7) of participants.

Feel free to contact Nature Explorer via e-mail to ask Iceland specific questions or for registration assistance:
Note: You can easily extend your stay in Iceland and Nature Explorer will gladly help with this.

Alternative Registration Process: Send an email to with your name, billing address and phone number. Andy will place your registration with Nature Explorer, they will contact you when a payment is required.

Northern Lights Photo Workshop

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.

Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Aurora Photography Workshop

More Information

Driving Conditions: We will be driven by experienced off road drivers during this workshop in enclosed vehicles.

Luggage: Nature Explorer does not have luggage quantity or weight restrictions.

Power: To use US electrical products liken a hair dryer in Iceland requires two small pieces of equipment. 1st is a converter for 230V, 2nd a 2-plug adapter. To charge items such as camera battery, laptop or cell phone the 2-plug adapter may be all that is required. Please check the fine print on the transformer for each device to see if it indicates an input range such as 120v - 250v is allowed. It is easiest to buy the 2-plug adapter in the huge duty free store at the airport upon arrival in Iceland, The duty free store is the last room walked through before leaving the secure area.

Aurora Photo Workshop
Aurora Photography Workshop

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.

The Fine Print

Group size is limited to 8 participants.

Please be wary of making airline reservations until the minimum of 7 participants is achieved. Nature Explorer will notify participants when the minimum has been reached. Deadline to reach the minimum participation level is June 1st, 2018.

Our itinerary does fluctuate year to year. We may not visit every location visited in previous years.
Aurora Photography Workshop

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.



Spare Camera Batteries
Camera's Manual
Lots of Memory
Extra Shoes and Socks
Very Warm Boots
Very Warm Clothes
Aurora Photography Workshop

Aurora Borealis Photography Workshop
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Northern Lights Photography Workshop

"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

Northern Lights Photo Workshop
Northern Lights Photography Workshop

Northern Light Iceland

"Thank you all for making this trip such an awesome experience.  It was fantastic!"
Kerry H. Col

Northern Lights Workshop Group Photo