'LAND OF ICE' - SOUTHERN ICELAND WINTER WORKSHOP - JANUARY 16th-23rd 2014
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 photographer Erez Marom and Icelandic mountaineer/pro photographer Skarphéđinn Ţráinsson 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.
- Stunning locations such as Thingvellir national park, 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
Late afternoon in Reykjavik
Day 1, JAN 16th Reykjavík area
We'll meet at Keflavik International airport at 16:00, a time fitting most flights to Iceland. After taking a ride to Iceland's capital of Reykjavík, we'll settle in our rooms in our centrally-located hotel and head out for a meet and greet over a heart-warming Icelandic dinner.
For those of you who need winter gear, we'll visit a local shop where proper boots, gloves, crampons and other items can be purchased.
Aurora Borealis in Thingvellir national park, close to Reykjavik
Wonderful light over lake ţingvallavatn
Day 2, JAN 17th Ţingvellir - Vík í Mýrdal
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll meet our favorite Icelander (and guide) Skarphedinn Thrainsson, also known as Skarpi, and 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!
After the sunrise ends (which can be quite a long affair in Iceland's winter - over an hour!) we'll head out to see some of the other attractions of the area, especially its thundering waterfalls. For sunset we'll head east, shooting the renowned coastline of Reynisdrangar, later spending the night in a cosy 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.
Öxaráfoss waterfall, Thingvellir National Park
Silence after a snow storm in Reynisdrangar, near Vík
Day 3, JAN 18th Vík Area, Monster Truck Ride
Straight after breakfast we'll hop on a monster truck (also known as a super-jeep) and start a 6-hour extreme journey on terrain impassable otherwise. We'll visit Mýrdalsjökull glacier and its black ice, possibly exploring hidden ice caves and waterfalls. 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!
Svínafellsjökull Ice Cave
Day 4, JAN 19th 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 our next station of Svínafellsjökull for more crazy ice scenery. By evening we'll be arriving at the glacier lagoon, where an amazing buffet traditional dinner made of local products will await to satisfy our hungry bellies!
Jökulsárlón is a fantastic spot for shooting the aurora, so if there are good aurora conditions, we'll drive back to the lagoon for an awesome night-time experiecne.
A stunning, spiral-shaped ice cave in Vatnajokull
Aurora over the Glacier Lagoon
Day 5, JAN 20th Jökulsárlón, Fjallsárlón
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 incredible results whatever the 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 volcanic, pitch black glacier beach at Jökulsárlón offers astonishing dynamics, allowing to capture mesmerizing motion in our shots.
Dima enjoying a frozen Jacuzzi in Breiđamerkurjökull glacier, just above Jökulsárlón
Day 6, JAN 21st 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.
The mountain lagoon, Fjallsárlón
Day 7, JAN 22nd 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.
Sunrise on the glacier beach, Jökulsárlón
Geothermal activity in the Blue Lagoon
Day 8, JAN 23rd Reykjavík Area
After breakfast at the hotel, we'll pack our things and head for a hot dip at the geothermal waters of the blue lagoon. After that we'll drive to Keflavik Airport, for a goodbye and your flight home.
PRICING AND DETAILS
2800€ (Euros) per person in double room for participants registering by September 1st, 2013. 2850€ 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 of up to 20 people, but this has to be scheduled seperately. Contact me for details.
Single room supplement: 350€
Maximum Number of Participants: 12
Spaces Available: 12
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.
Special offer: sign up to both 'Land of Ice' and 'Winter Paradise' workshops, and receive a 250€ discount!
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES
- Lodging. We won't be sleeping in 5-star hotels, but they are welcoming, clean and comfortable.
- 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 and/or soup.
- Breakfast on day 8
- Professional photography guidance by two esteemed landscape photographers
- Professional supervision by qualified mountaineers during the 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 where possible.
- Super-jeep (monster-truck) tour
- Transfers to and from the hotel on first and last days
- Travels in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photoraphy gear
- Entrance fees if applicable
- Taxes on all services listed above
TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Airfare to and from Iceland
- Airport pickup and dropoff at times other than specified
- Winter clothing and winter gear. On the first day we'll have an opportunity to shop for high-quality winter gear. It is highly recommended to be ready in advance, though.
- Insurance. It is MANDATORY to insure yourself against physical injury, and highly recommended to insure your photo gear. Tour leaders will not be responsible in case of any personal injuries or damage to photographic gear as a result of an accident during the workshop. A good insurance policy can make a big difference should something happen, and ensure a safe return home.
- Alcoholic drinks
- Non-meal-time snacks
- Non-meal-time soft drinks (Iceland's tap water is fantastic and highly recommended)
- Single room supplement (350€)
WHAT TO BRING
- 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, Heliopan and Singh-Ray 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.
- 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-resistant boots, preferably thermal.
- Ice crampons are MANDATORY to protect yourself from slipping on icy surfaces. We'll have a chance to buy good crampons on the first evening.
Shy modeling winter gear in Svínafellsjökull. Ponpons are optional!
Born in 1980, Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer based in Israel. A musician since his youth and an engineer, Erez started his way in the photography world in 2008, and has since then become a world renowned nature photographer, publishing images, articles and instructional texts in numerous Israeli and international websites, magazines and forums.
Erez specializes in macro and landscape photography. To him, both these fields are all about capturing the intricacy and beauty of our natural world. He travels as much as possible to shoot the most fascinating landscapes of Israel, from the incredible Dead Sea to the shores of the Mediterranean, and often travels overseas on photography missions.
In addition to shooting, Erez dedicates a considerable amount of his time to teaching, lecturing in Israeli institutes and traveling several times a year to his favorite locations overseas to guide photo workshops.
Skarphedinn Thrainsson (Skarpi), is a mechanical engineer and nature photographer native to Iceland. Skarpi's images have been published world wide on book covers, magazines and many of the largest newspapers. To name a few: The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill, USA Today, Discover Magazine, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Merde, Digital Photo Magazine, Metro, Extrabladet, The Sun, Museum of Natural Sciences, The Independent, Hamburg Abend Blatt, Mare, Suomen Kuvalehty.
OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS
In order to secure your spot, you are required to transfer a deposit of 250€. 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 60 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 30 days prior to the workshop starting date.
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.
Aurora is, of course, not guaranteed. We do promise to pray for it though!