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'LAND OF ICE' - SOUTH ICELAND WINTER PHOTO WORKSHOP - DEC 9th-16th, 2014 / JAN 5th-12th, 2015






Just south of the Arctic circle lies a magical island - the land of fire and ice, the ever mesmerizing Icelend.

Iceland in winter is a very different place to Iceland in summer. Sub-zero temperatures, bone-chilling winds and harsh conditions are prevalent, but the photographic rewards are accordingly immense. From ice fields as far as the eye can see, through glaciers and blue ice caves to the mind boggling northern lights, winter is THE season for photography in Iceland, for those who dare.






Join professional nature photographers Erez Marom and Iurie Belegurschi for the photographic journey of a lifetime.
This 8-day photo workshop is the first winter 2014 workshop (the second, 'Winter Paradise', takes place 2 days after this workshop concludes, so you can join either or both), and it will take you to the most fascinating locations in Iceland's south coast, including pitch-black volcanic beaches adorned with countless diamond-like glaciers, hidden crystal-blue ice caves, snow-covered volcanoes, frozen lakes and colorful lagoons. We'll cross icy rivers, explore the insides of immense glaciers, take a monster-truck ride into the depths of the frozen land and behold the incredible Aurora Borealis.


MAIN FEATURES
  • Stunning locations such as Thingvellir and Skaftafell national parks, the glacier lagoon, several waterfalls and volcanic beaches
  • Magical low light throughout the day, enabling us to shoot non-stop for over 6 hours (weather permitting)
  • Visits to hidden ice caves
  • Opportunity to witness and shoot the Aurora Borealis
  • Super-jeep ride into Mýrdalsjökull glacier
  • Professional photo guidance
  • Two seats per participant in the bus, to make access to your photo gear easy and safe
  • Very good hotels, superior rooms where possible, wonderful food throughout the workshop

Late afternoon in Reykjavik
Late afternoon in Reykjavik
ITINERARY

Day 1 Reykjavík area

We'll meet at the lobby of our centrally-located hotel at 17:30, to visit the local store for proper boots, ice-spikes and other winter equipment. After that, we'll head out for a meet and greet over a heart-warming Icelandic dinner, right by the hotel. During dinner, we will get acquainted with the guides and participants, and discuss the plans for the days ahead.



Aurora Borealis in Thingvellir national park, close to Reykjavik
Aurora Borealis in Thingvellir national park, close to Reykjavik



Day 2 Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Vík í Mýrdal

Early in the morning, about 2 hours before sunrise, we'll hop on our bus and head out to see two of Iceland's south coast's thundering waterfalls. For sunset we'll head east, shooting the renowned coastline of Reynisdrangar, later spending the night in a comfy hotel near the village of Vik. In the hotel we'll eat a delicious Icelandic dinner, to fill us after spending the day in the cold.
Beautiful wintery conditions in the volcanic beach near Vik
Beautiful wintery conditions in the volcanic beach near Vik



Day 3 Monster Truck Ride to Mýrdalsjökull Glacier

After having breakfast early in the morning, we'll hop on a monster truck (also known as a super-jeep) and start a full-day extreme journey on terrain impassable otherwise. Mýrdalsjökull Glacier is ever surprising with its diverse scenery, elusive ice caves and wintery atmosphere. When we return, a beautiful, filling dinner will be waiting at the hotel. By night, there is a chance of shooting the aurora borealis.


An angel-shaped ice cave in the outskirts of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This ice cave was accessible only through the use of super jeeps - but it was well worth it!
An angel-shaped ice cave in the outskirts of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This ice cave was accessible only through the use of super jeeps - but it was well worth it!


Svínafellsjökull Ice Cave
Svínafellsjökull Ice Cave

Day 4 Skaftafell - Jökulsárlón

We'll head out early in the morning and shoot the sunrise in the beautiful Skaftafell national park, where immense ice fields, glaciers and ice caves await. After spending a few hours there, we'll drive to Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, where we'll settle for 3 nights.

the Jökulsárlón area is one of the most scenic in Iceland, and perhaps in the world. Ever-changing ice, soft pink light, mountains, lagoons and much more. It's also is a fantastic spot for shooting the northern lights, so if there are good conditions, we'll drive back to the lagoon for an awesome night-time experiecne.


A stunning, spiral-shaped ice cave in Vatnajokull
A stunning, spiral-shaped ice cave in Vatnajokull



Can you spot the ice shark on Iceberg Beach?
Can you spot the ice shark on Iceberg Beach?

Day 5 The Glacier Lagoon - Jökulsárlón

after a big breakfast, we'll head out to the glacier lagoon, perhaps Iceland's most iconic site. The lagoon holds endless photo opportunities, and we will be able to achieve fascinting results under various conditions. Every day here is something different, be it clear, cloudy, snowy or any other weather. Truly a magical place.

For sunset we'll head to the glacier beach. The beach is an amazing sight to behold, pitch-black sand with thousands of crystal-clear icebergs spread all over it. After shooting the sunset, we'll get back to the hotel for another satisfying dinner. Again, if there are good aurora conditions, we'll head to the lagoon and make another effort shooting this wonder of nature.


The first 2014
The first 2014 'Land of Ice' group shooting an amazing Aurora show over the Glacier Lagoon. Image courtesy of Lorenzo Riva

Dima enjoying a frozen Jacuzzi in Breiđamerkurjökull glacier, just above Jökulsárlón
Dima enjoying a frozen Jacuzzi in Breiđamerkurjökull glacier, just above Jökulsárlón


Day 6 Jökulsárlón area, Fjallsárlón

After breakfast, we'll head to the mountain lagoon, Fjallsárlón. This glacier lake is close to the glacier lagoon, but offers mountainous scenery and a closer view of the blue glacier. This lagoon is sometimes frozen solid, which will enable us to walk all the way to the glacier wall, experiencing its immensity from a very close range.
We'll shoot a few more locations in the area, and get another opportunity for the sunset in the ever-changing glacier beach.

A stunning double rainbow right by Fjallsárlón
A stunning double rainbow right by Fjallsárlón

Jökulsárlón Sunrise
Jökulsárlón Sunrise

Day 7 Jökulsárlón - Reykjavík

After breakfast we'll return to the black beach close to Jökulsárlón for the sunrise. You'll be surprised to witness how different the conditions can be after just a day or two. After that, we'll continue our drive back west, stopping on the way to shoot more spots of interest and icy scapes. We'll stop at Vik for a meal and another angle for the sunset, and by night we'll be back in our lovely Reykjavík hotel.



The volcanic, pitch black iceberg beach at Jökulsárlón offers astonishing dynamics, allowing to capture mesmerizing motion in our shots.
The volcanic, pitch black iceberg beach at Jökulsárlón offers astonishing dynamics, allowing to capture mesmerizing motion in our shots.

Wonderful light over lake ţingvallavatn
Wonderful light over lake ţingvallavatn

Day 8 Ţingvellir National Park, transfer to Keflavik Airport

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll head out to shoot the sunrise in the beautiful Ţingvellir (Thingvellir) national park. With its snow-covered peaks and remarkable red vegetation, Ţingvellir, and especially lake ţingvallavatn, are well known photo-sites, and for a good reason! An especially beautiful spot is Öxarárfoss Waterfall.
After that we'll drive to Keflavik Airport, for a goodbye and your flight home.


PRICING AND DETAILS
Total Price: 3190€ (Euros) per person in double room for participants registering by September 1st, 2014. 3290€ for participants registering afterwards.


If you're a large group (8-12 people), let me know for a special group price.

I can also accomodate larger groups, but this has to be scheduled seperately. Contact me for details.


Single room supplement: 390€


Deposit: 490€


Maximum Number of Participants: 12


Spaces Available:
Group 1 (December 9th - 16th, 2014): 12
Group 2 (January 5th - 12th, 2015): 8


Physical Difficulty: Mostly Beginner. There will be no difficult climbing, but rarely there might be a short hike (up to 30 minutes) to get to a location. Winter conditions in Iceland are a bit harsh, so you must be prepared to withstand temperatues as low as -10 degrees centigrade in addition to strong winds. On average, the temperature is likely to be around zero degress centigrade.


Special offer: Sign up to both 'Land of Ice' and 'Winter Paradise' workshops, and receive a 300€ discount!



WORKSHOP PRICE INCLUDES

  • Hotel accommodation. We won't be sleeping in 5-star hotels, but they are welcoming, clean and comfortable, and the food is great!
  • Dinner the first day
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on days 2-7. Since we'll be shooting in the field most of the light hours, lunch will be served in the form of nutritious sandwiches, fruits and/or soup with bread and butter.
  • Breakfast on day 8
  • Professional photography guidance by two esteemed landscape photographers
  • Professional supervision by qualified mountaineers including full safety gear during any stay on glaciers and other locations which can be risky unless supervised.
    NEVER VISIT GLACIERS WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE, AS THIS CAN PROVE FATAL.
  • Post-processing assistance when and where possible.
  • Super-jeep (monster-truck) tour
  • Transfer to Keflavik Airport on the last day
  • Travels in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photoraphy gear, and two seats per participant
  • Entrance fees if applicable
  • Taxes on all services listed above

WHAT TO BRING
Photography Equipment
  • A digital camera, preferrably a DSLR camera with a full-frame sensor, since these cameras have better low-light capabilities. However, a crop-sensor DSLR will also completely suffice. A compact camera can be used, as long as you understand its limitations.
  • A heavy, sturdy tripod. That is a definite must in Iceland's windy conditions. A flimsy tripod will simply prevent you from being able to shoot most of the time.
  • Recommended: an ultra wide angle lens. For example, a Canon 17-40 on a FF sensor camera, or a Nikon 10-24 on a crop sensor camera.
  • Recommended: a wide aperture ultra-wide angle such as the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 for night photography.
  • Recommended: a telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 or 70-300. Doesn't have to have a wide aperture or a stabilizer - an f/4 is more than enough.
  • Recommended: A filter set for landscape photography. I personally use Lee and Heliopan filters. A good filter set is worth its weight in gold for a landscape enthousiast. If you need to consult about buying a filter set, I'll be happy to help.
  • Recommended: A camera remote.


Clothing
  • Full thermal gear is absolutely essential. I typically wear a thick thermal base layer, a heavy fleece coat and a down coat.
  • Good quality warm gloves. It's important to use gloves which enable you to operate the camera while wearing them.
  • Thermal long-johns
  • Water resistant trousers (preferably thermal)
  • Thermal socks. I recommend bringing at least 2-3 pairs.
  • A neck-warmer or a scarf
  • An alpine mask to cover the face
  • A good warm hat which covers your ears. Otherwise, they'll simply fall off!
  • Water-proof rubber boots, preferably thermal (available in Reykjavik).
  • Ice spikes are MANDATORY to protect yourself from slipping on icy surfaces. We'll have a chance to buy good spikes on the first evening.

Shy modeling winter gear in Svínafellsjökull. Ponpons are optional!
Shy modeling winter gear in Svínafellsjökull. Ponpons are optional!


YOUR TOUR LEADERS

Erez Marom

Born in 1980, Erez Marom is a full-time nature photographer, photography guide, writer and traveler-adventurer based in Israel. Specializing in wildlife and landscape photography, Erez spends much of his time in the field shooting the wildlife and scenery of his favorite locations in Israel and overseas.
In addition, Erez publishes articles and instructional texts in leading magazines and websites, and dedicates a considerable amount of his time to sharing his experience and knowledge by lecturing worldwide and traveling several times a year to guide his unique photography workshops.






Iurie Belegurschi

Iurie Belegurschi is a landscape photographer based in Iceland, where runs photo tours and workshops. He was born in Moldova and has been living in Iceland for 7 years. He has a Bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hospitality. His photos have been published world wide in books, calendars, greeting cards, magazines and some of the most popular newspapers like: Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph etc. His photos had a good success in contests too.




OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

PAYMENT PROCEDURE

In order to secure your spot, you are required to transfer a deposit of 490€. This deposit will be refunded only in case the workshop gets cancelled for some reason. For your comfort, the deposit can be payed through PayPal.

The full amount (after discounts if applicable) must be payed via wire transfer 75 days prior to the workshop starting date.

In the case you need to cancel your participation, a 75% refund (not including deposit) will be given up to 45 days prior to the workshop starting date.

I reserve the right to increase the price of the workshop if costs rise due to unexpected changes in fees, taxes or exchange rates.


DISCLAIMER

The tour plan above is subject to change. Weather in Iceland can be extremely unpredictable, and so in case of harsh weather, we may have to divert from our plan and do something else. There's always something to do though, wherever we are.
Visits to ice caves depend highly on weather conditions. If conditions are unfavorable we might not be able to enter some or all of the caves.
Important: In order to join the workshop, you will be required to sign a contract that establishes that the tour leaders are not responsible to physical or proprietary damages, and that you understand and accept several behavioral standards (including not taking excessive risk), necessary to ensure the workshop's success and your safe return.
Aurora is, of course, not guaranteed. We do promise to pray for it though!