Iceland in Winter

Iceland in Winter

Join us on this winter adventure to explore and capture the natural wonders of Iceland’s South Coast and Vatnajökull National Park in one of its most beautiful seasons.

During this 7-day photography workshop, we will visit the iconic locations that Iceland is known for. With his passion for showcasing his home country, your local guide Siggi will also take you off the beaten path to some of his favorite photography locations – sites familiar only to those who have intimately explored Iceland.

The days will be spent capturing frozen waterfalls, majestic mountains, black sand beaches, epic canyons, and volcanic coastlines. We will explore the frozen underworld of the ice caves hidden within Europe’s largest glacier – for many photographers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We’ve timed this workshop to coincide with the Spring Equinox – a time when geomagnetic activity is typically high, and so at night, we will go on an unforgettable chase of a lifetime for the spectacular Northern Lights!

Aimed at photographers of all skill level, you’ll be sure to come away from this photography adventure with new composition techniques, improved photography skills, wonderful memories, and a diverse portfolio of images of Iceland in one of its most beautiful seasons.

Please note that this is a drone-friendly workshop.
We have a limited number of drones available for hire if you do not have your own and wish to learn – please contact us at info@vip-llc.com for information and rates.

Dates

18 - 24 March, 2023

Group Size

Maximum of 12 participants

Price (USD)

$3,850 (Double Occupancy)
$4,350 (Single Occupancy)

Workshop Highlights

  • Improving your Landscape, Seascape, Golden Hour, and Northern Lights photography skills with our master photographers
  • Capturing the diverse landscapes and iconic sights of Iceland in winter such as the Reynisfjara, Diamond Beach, Vestrahorn, countless magnificent waterfalls, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, and many more!
  • Exploring ice caves hidden within Europe’s largest glacier
  • Going on the chase of a lifetime for the Northern Lights!
  • Learning new photography skills and composition techniques to transform your photos into compelling, creative, and engaging images
  • For beginners, learning technical skills in the field such as setting exposure (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture), and how lens choice and depth of field can be used to capture different compositions and lighting scenarios
  • Learning how to bring your images to life through post-processing (beginner through to advanced techniques such as exposure blending)
  • Introduction to drone photography, assistance with drone setup, and if it’s your first time or in-field instruction for how to fly one and use this new tool for photography
  • Learning advanced photography techniques to make the most of lighting and locations such as bracketing, focus stacking, and panoramas – from shooting the images in-field to the post-processing workflow
  • Receiving support and mentoring for both in-field and post-processing techniques customized to meet individual goals
  • A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guide and fellow photographers

Included

  • 7 day workshop with 6 nights accommodation
  • Award-winning, professional Photo Guide who will provide a combination of instruction, masterclasses, and in-field guidance
  • Transportation during the workshop in a comfortable vehicle with ample room for you and your photography gear
  • Breakfasts at hotels
  • Post-processing and digital workflow masterclass/es
  • Entry to a natural Ice Cave in one of the Vatnajökull outlet glaciers with a certified glacier guide, with all necessary safety gear
  • Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners
  • Lots of fun, bragging rights, and amazing memories!

Excluded

  • Flights to and from Iceland
  • Airport Transfers to/from Reykjavik
  • Food and beverages (other than breakfasts)
  • Items of a personal nature, including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email, or phone charges
  • Personal Travel, Medical, Equipment or Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Gratuities for Photo Guides, local guides, and/or drivers

Book Now

To secure your spot on this workshop, select from the below to either pay a deposit or in full.
Completing your payment confirms acceptance of the Terms and Conditions as outlined.

Please note that the full amount is due 90 days prior to the start of the workshop.
A 3% charge is added using this service. Please contact us if you prefer other payment options.
Occupancy Type is subject to availability - please refer to Your Accommodation Selection in the Important Workshop Information section below.

Itinerary

You can find more information about what to expect during this workshop below. However, to give you the opportunity to capture the best images possible, this itinerary will be kept flexible.

On a typical day, you can expect long hours. As this workshop focuses on landscape photography, to take advantage of the best light you will be up early to capture the sunrise and out past sunset. Daylight hours will be spent shooting and/or traveling to the next destination. If the weather isn’t ideal, we will use the time for post-processing.

Our Photo Guides will monitor weather forecasts, road conditions, northern lights, and any other factors and plan the days to optimize shooting conditions.
Our goal is to put you in the best locations at the right time with the best light so you can capture fantastic images.

Day 1: Vatnajökull National Park

We will be picked up early in the capital city of Reykjavik and start our photography adventure by driving across the country to the East of Iceland. 

Today will be our longest day of travel; however, we will break up our journey along the way. We will stop at several places to capture the incredible vistas, such as Fjaðrárgljúfur – a magnificent canyon with deep, unusually shaped walls that twist and turn. For drone lovers, it is especially epic from above, resembling a zipper ripping along the earth.
We will also visit Svínafellsjökull, an immense glacier tongue almost 800 meters wide that stretches down from the ice cap towards the sea like fingers. You can walk close enough to the sharp ice ridges to hear the otherworldly sounds of the glacier – creaks, fractures, and deep cracking. From here, you’ll capture the fascinating textures in the ice made from deposits of black ash and rubble dispersed among the deep blue ice – the scars left by previous volcanic eruptions.

We will make it to the East by sunset, where our final destination will be Jökulsárlón. At this beautiful lagoon, icebergs in an array of shapes and sizes break off from the nearby glacial tongue and slowly drift toward the sea. It is a magical experience to see them float by in their palette of colors – turquoise, frosted white, deep blue, and even black.

Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park

Winter over Fjadrargljufur Canyon in Iceland
Icebergs floaring in Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

Day 2: Vatnajökull National Park

Our day will start with sunrise at one of the most extraordinary locations in Iceland, Diamond Beach – the final resting place for the icebergs that made their way out to sea through the channel at Jökulsárlón. The icebergs get tossed around in the rough waves until they smash into smaller chunks of ice that wash up onto the black volcanic sand where they lay, glistening like diamonds.
We will have plenty of time to photograph this spectacular beach – the memories of watching the ice glow in the sunrise light will last a lifetime.

We will then continue along the Ring Road to Vestrahorn – the iconic mountain that sits alone on the shore of the wild Atlantic Ocean. This famous landmark is even more spectacular in its winter coat, surrounded by ice shards that have formed over the shallow pools at low tide and the undulating black sand dunes capped with snow.
We will spend the afternoon exploring the many composition options, staying to photograph the jagged peaks against the backdrop of a winter sunset.

We will also keep an eye on the Northern Lights forecast so that we are ready to capture the reflection of the aurora blazing above the mountain on the wet sands.

Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park

Midnight Sun over Diamond Beach in Iceland
Northern Lights over Vestrahorn in Iceland

Day 3: Ice Caves

Today is sure to be one of the highlights of our adventure! 

We will travel by super-jeep, followed by a hike over Europe’s largest glacier, to arrive at a special site – the frozen underworld of the ice caves.
We will spend a few hours exploring – you’ll be amazed by the intense colors, remarkable caverns, and the textures in their glistening walls. Sadly, the caves will melt by summer, and new ones will form in a different location the following year – but this provides an opportunity for us to capture some truly unique images.

After our early start in the morning, we will enjoy a more leisurely afternoon. If the skies are looking clear for the evening, then we will have some downtime to rest – as it is the Spring Equinox today, we may have higher-than-normal aurora activity and spend a long night chasing the Northern Lights!

Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park

Ice caves in Iceland
Capturing Ice Caves in Iceland

Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park & South Coast

The landscapes of Iceland can appear dramatically different under different weather and light. To ensure our portfolios are varied and practice our long exposure skills, we will return to Diamond Beach in the morning.

We will then start our journey back along the Ring Road to the South Coast – the home of many iconic sites in Iceland and many lesser-known secret gems known to our Guides.
Along the way, we will stop to capture sites such as the dramatic Lómagnúpur mountain, the historic Hofskirkja turf church, and the impressive Eldhraun lava field, which is the largest lava flow in the world!

The seaside town of Vik will be our base for the next two nights as we explore the area. Before we check into our accommodation, we will stop to shoot Víkurkirkja – the picture-perfect white church that sits atop the hill overlooking the town.
From here, we will also have a fantastic view of the famous seascapes we will spend the next day capturing.

Accommodations: Vik

Diamond Beach in Iceland
Sunset over the sea stacks at Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland

Day 5: South Coast Seascapes

We will rise early to spend sunrise capturing some incredible seascapes at Reynisfjara – an infamous beach well-known for its dangerous ‘sneaker’ waves. It’s a photographer’s dream, with imposing basalt columns, dramatic black volcanic sand, and impressive sea stacks.

The sea stacks are one of our favorite subjects to photograph! 
Legend says two trolls were pulling their ship into the shore when daylight broke, turning them into these impressive stone towers!
Whether you see trolls or rock towers, the giant sea stacks are certainly a wonderful subject to photograph, capturing the receding waves using long shutter speeds or freezing the moment as massive waves crash violently into them. 

After returning to our hotel for breakfast, your Guides will host a post-processing Masterclass. Whether you are brand new to editing or have extensive experience, you are sure to learn new techniques for your workflow to help you return home with great images of Iceland.

In the afternoon, we will head back out to the promontory of Dyrhólaey to photograph the massive sea arch and historic lighthouse. This is an excellent spot for sunset, as from here, there are spectacular panoramic views of the Vik coastline, with the black sand beach stretching into the horizon.

Tonight will be our last opportunity to chase the aurora. As always, our Guides will be watching the forecasts closely. There are many fantastic locations nearby where we can photograph the Northern Lights, should they appear.

Accommodations: Vik

Admiring sunrise at Reynisdrangar in Iceland
Northern Lights corona in Iceland

Day 6: Chasing Waterfalls

Today will be our final day of shooting, and we will spend it chasing waterfalls!

Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s most recognizable waterfalls – and it is so mighty you will feel the mist before you reach it. Here the water roars over a moss-covered, tall cliff, crashing 60 meters below into a shallow stream. Snow and glittering icicles will add an extra touch of wonder, and if the lighting is right, we will be able to capture rainbows in the spray!

One of our favorite spots to photograph is Kvernufoss, a magical waterfall often considered a hidden gem due to being partially hidden at the end of a moss-coated, narrow gorge. It is a lesser-known site, and we may have it to ourselves if we are lucky.

We couldn’t think of a better place to finish our workshop than Seljalandsfoss – a unique waterfall with a path that takes you behind the veil of water! Capturing this waterfall from behind the cascade is a challenging but unforgettable experience (particularly during winter, as the icy path can be so treacherous that parts of it need to be closed). However, it is worth it for those willing to don all their wet-weather gear and brave the icy spray, especially if you can capture the sun shining through the cascade.

We will start our drive back to Reykjavik in the afternoon. There is a scientific theory that waterfalls make people happier and boost energy. If this is true, we will be overflowing with positive vibes by the time we arrive in the city early in the evening.

Accommodations: Reykjavik

Skogafoss Iceland
Seljalandsfoss

Day 7: Departure

After breakfast you will make your way to the airport to fly home, with memories to last a lifetime, new friends and memory cards full of amazing images of Iceland as a winter wonderland.

Sunset over Reykjavik Iceland
Sunset at the Sun Voyager Reykjavik Iceland

Important Workshop Information

A mild to moderate level of fitness is required for this workshop.

Most shooting locations are easily accessible via a short hike. However, sometimes this may be across rough, uneven, icy or muddy terrain that includes elevation changes. Our Guides will let you know if a photography destination involves a long hike, steep incline or particularly challenging terrain, and provide alternative shooting locations or other options if you don’t feel comfortable.

Participants should also be able to carry their own camera gear while hiking.

Sometimes we may remain in a location shooting for a few hours. Participants should be comfortable outdoors for extended periods of time in various weather conditions such as wind, rain, sun and extremes of temperature. Wherever possible, our Guides will keep the vehicle available nearby so participants can rest and take a break.

All participants should be in good physical shape with no mobility issues. If you have any concerns about your suitability, then reach out to us and we will be happy to discuss the particular location details of the workshop with you.

You must advise Viking International Phototours in advance and in writing to info@vip-llc.com of any illness, injury, or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your participation during the workshop.

Our workshops require a minimum number of participants to proceed.


We will confirm if your photography workshop will be proceeding 90 days before the start date, at which point full payment of any remaining balance will be required.


Viking International Phototours reserves the right to reschedule or cancel workshops due to low participant numbers.


We will do our best to reschedule the workshop within two years of the original date. 
If this happens, we will offer you the choice between:

    • Retaining your spot on the rescheduled workshop;
    • Transferring to the same workshop on a different date if there is availability; or
    • Canceling your spot on the rescheduled workshop: No refund – your funds will be held as credit which can be transferred or used towards our other photography workshops, self-drive packages, or tours for up to 2 years from the date of cancellation.

In the improbable event that a workshop is canceled altogether rather than rescheduled, we will offer you the choice between:

    • Applying your funds towards a different workshop, tour or self-drive experience; or 
    • Receiving a full refund minus a $300 USD fee and any non-refundable fees paid to third parties.

Please note that Viking International Phototours are not liable for travel expenses incurred to reach the workshop destination or any other personal expenses incurred in preparing for your workshop. For this reason, we require that you obtain Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking with us.


We also recommend you do not book travel or make any trip-related purchases before the workshop has been confirmed.

Accommodation options on our photography workshops may include:

Double Occupancy where you will share a room with your traveling companion;
Double Occupancy where you are paired with another workshop participant of the same gender; and/or
Single Occupancy in your own room.

Your accommodation selection is made when you book the workshop.

 

During this workshop, we will be staying in clean, comfortable accommodations that include hotels, guesthouses, and apartments.
Please note that if you select Single Occupancy, this may include your own bedroom within a multi-room apartment or Guesthouse (shared bathroom/kitchenette).

 

Solo Participants wanting Double Occupancy
Solo participants are welcome to select the Double Occupancy rate at the time of booking. If Viking International Phototours is unable to pair you with a roommate of the same gender from the workshop group, we will notify you ahead of the workshop and request you to pay the supplementary cost for a Single Occupancy room.

 

Single Room Availability
On some photography workshops, Single Occupancy rooms may be limited. If this is the case, single rooms will be assigned on a first-booked, first-served basis. If you booked a photography workshop at the Single Occupancy rate and we are unable to provide you with a single room, we will notify you ahead of the workshop, place you into a Double Occupancy room paired with a workshop participant of the same gender, and refund you the difference.

We cannot delay or change a workshop in the event of travel disruptions that cause a participant to arrive late.


If this happens, participants are responsible for arranging their own transport to catch up with the group - which can be a very costly expense. In addition, no refunds will be made for any time missed on a workshop due to the late arrival by the participant.


For this reason, we highly recommend you arrive the day before your workshop is scheduled to start at the latest.
At the very least, you will be more refreshed and relaxed for the start of your adventure.

Participants will be collected from Reykjavik City Hall.

As buses are restricted in large parts of Downtown Reykjavik, we are unable to collect individuals from their hotels.

We recommend you book a place to stay nearby – there are a number of decent hotels and guesthouses within walking distance.

One of the major goals of this workshop is hunting and photographing the Northern Lights.

While the Northern Lights season typically runs from September to March, to view them there needs to be sufficient solar activity and clear skies.

As such, while we cannot guarantee that you will catch the lights, our Guides will check daily for Northern Lights activity and weather forecast and plan the day based on these predictions.

Ice Cave tours are not often canceled due to rain or snow, so it is important you are prepared with adequate clothing.

However, as the safety of our participants is our main priority, if the Ice Cave Tour operator feels at any point that conditions are not safe, we will cancel the tour. In the event this occurs, we will do our best to reschedule to another day with more favorable conditions - as long as our itinerary and pre-booked accommodation allows.

Our workshop's itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on factors including but not limited to weather, road conditions, transportation delays, and other factors beyond our control. We will check the weather forecasts and road conditions and plan our day to optimize shooting conditions.

We cannot guarantee that we will be able to visit all the locations on the itinerary.

Iceland is stunning from the ground, and just as amazing with a birds-eye-view of the landscape. There are drone-friendly places, so if you own a drone, you are welcome to bring it along to the workshop.


Please note that you are solely responsible for your equipment, and are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations as specified by the Icelandic Transport Authority.


Viking International Phototours and our Photo Guides will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to equipment, environment, or people caused by you operating your drone during our workshop.

Please also note that the wind and weather in Iceland can be sudden and hazardous, so use your judgement and be mindful of conditions.

If you are traveling with a partner/friend who is interested in joining you on this workshop but they are NOT a photographer, we may be able to accommodate them. In some instances, this may be at a reduced price.

Please note that this will be at the discretion of Viking International Phototours – contact us at info@vip-llc.com for information.

Your companion would need to understand that this is a photography workshop and not a typical ‘tourist’ tour – long hours will be spent photographing locations outdoors rather than visiting attractions.

If you are interested in this workshop but would prefer a private experience or to attend with your own group of people, we can arrange that for you – contact us at info@vip-llc.com to discuss.

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Booking with Viking International Phototours indicates acceptance of the Booking Terms and Conditions as outlined.

We know that plans can change, and unforeseen circumstances can happen. 

You need to advise us in writing via email to info@vip-llc.com as soon as possible if you need to cancel your workshop. Your cancellation is not official until you have received a return email confirmation acknowledging your cancellation.

If you cancel and we can fill your spot on the workshop, you will receive a full refund minus a $300 USD fee.
If you cancel and the workshop does not fill, cancellation requests and refunds will be processed according to the following:

    • More than 90 days from the start date of the workshop: Full refund minus $300 USD fee*
    • Less than 90 days: No refund – your funds will be held as a credit which can be transferred or used towards our other self-drive packages, tours, or photography workshops for up to 2 years from the date of cancellation*.

*Please note that some of our workshops with partner companies/third parties may have non-refundable deposits, which will not be refunded or credited to you.

If you have any questions about this workshop, please get in touch with us at info@vip-llc.com.