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Iceland Summer Photo Workshop - Kirkjufell Mountain Sunset

Iceland Summer Photo Workshop:
South Coast & Highlands

Join award-winning photographers John Weatherby & SiggiPhoto as they showcase the best of the land of fire and ice during our 10-day Iceland Summer Photo Workshop!

During the summer months, the landscapes of Iceland come alive with wildflowers, waterfalls flow abundantly, and the Icelandic moss takes on lush shades of green. The Midnight Sun arrives, with golden hours that can stretch for hours, painting the countryside in warmth from the rays of the low-lying sun. It’s the best time for spotting wildlife, including Arctic foxes, Icelandic horses, sheep roaming free, and of course, the cutest birds in the world, puffins.
This magical time of year is a photographer’s paradise!

During our summer adventure, you will learn new composition techniques and improve your photography skills as you capture the iconic locations of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, South Coast, and rugged Highlands – from stunning waterfalls to majestic mountains, black sand beaches, quaint coastal villages, and volcanic crater lakes. John & Siggi will also take you off the beaten path to some of their favorite photography locations – sites familiar only to those who have intimately explored Iceland.

Aimed at photographers of all skill levels, you’ll be sure to come away from this workshop with fabulous memories of your time in Iceland and incredible images from this colorful season.

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

12 - 21 July, 2024

Group Size

Maximum of 12 participants

Price (USD)

$5,495 (Double Occupancy)
$6,495 (Single Occupancy)

Workshop Highlights

  • Improving your Landscape, Seascape, Golden Hour, and Drone photography skills 
  • Capturing the unforgettable, iconic sites of Iceland under the long golden hours of the Midnight Sun – Kirkjufell, Búðir, Diamond Beach, Black church of Búðir, Vestrahorn, waterfalls, Jökulsárlón, and many more!
  • 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 are used to capture different compositions and lighting scenarios
  • Photographing the delightful Atlantic Puffins
  • 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
  • For new/amateur drone flyers, assistance with drone setup, practical tips, and guidance in the field for how to fly and use this new tool for photography
  • Exploring the unique, diverse landscapes of Iceland – from the volcanic Snæfellsnes Peninsula region to the magical Vatnajökull National Park of the southeast, the iconic South Coast, and the rugged Highlands
  • Receiving support and mentoring customized to meet individual goals
  • Learning new photography skills and composition techniques to transform your photos into compelling, creative, and engaging images
  • Traveling Iceland’s infamous ‘F-Roads’ to remote areas without crowds to experience Highland jewels, including the turquoise waters of the Valley of Tears, the rainbow rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar, and hidden sapphire and emerald crater lakes
  • Learning how to bring your images to life through post-processing (beginner through to advanced techniques such as exposure blending)
  • A small workshop, so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guides and fellow photographers

Included

  • 10 day workshop with 9 nights accommodation
  • Award-winning, professional Photo Guides 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
  • Post-processing and digital workflow masterclass/es with Photo Guides
  • Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners
  • Lots of fun, laughter, bragging rights, and amazing memories!

Excluded

  • Flights to and from Iceland
  • Travel to and from the workshop’s designated pick-up/drop-off points in Reykjavik
  • Food and beverages (some breakfast included)
  • 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 4% 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, the itinerary will be flexible.

This workshop is timed to take advantage of the Midnight Sun – a phenomenon in far Northern countries where sunsets merge into sunrises with very little darkness in between, and Golden Hour stretches for hours.
Typically in late July, you can expect golden hour to start at around 9:30 pm and finish around 5:00 am.
To capture this light, we will shoot from late afternoon until morning and sleep throughout the day (whenever we are not using the time to travel to the next destination).

Our Photo Guides will monitor weather forecasts, road conditions, and 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: An introduction to Iceland in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula

We’ll meet our Guides in the morning at Reykjavik City Hall.

We will then start our photography adventure by heading north to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula- an area fondly known as ‘Iceland in Miniature.’ From stunning waterfalls to glaciers, majestic mountains, and volcanic coastlines, this region will provide a taste of what will come during our 10 days together!

After checking into our hotel in the afternoon, we’ll explore the peninsula.
We will stop to shoot the picturesque white church of Ingjaldshólskirkja, perfectly situated at the end of a long, leading road atop a small hill. In the summer months, it is surrounded by lush green countryside and vibrant purple lupine. The Ingjaldshóll farmland surrounding the church is historically significant, dating back to at least the 10th century. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus wintered here in 1477 and learned about the western voyages of the Vikings before his own journey to the New World! While here, we’ll also keep our eye out for the elusive Arctic Fox – we’ve been lucky enough to spot them in the area several times during the summer months.

We’ll visit our first waterfall, Svöðufoss. We like to shoot this one with a long lens from a distance – on a clear day, you can capture the impressive Snæfellsjökul glacier looming behind the stunning falls.

For those bringing along drones, there will be an opportunity to capture the legendary Viking Sword Road.

We’ll finish our day at Mount Kirkjufell – one of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. Distinctively shaped like a church steeple, it sits by itself on the edge of the sea, towering above its surroundings. We will spend sunset here, with the nearby waterfall, streams, and ponds providing us with endless options for creative compositions.

Accommodations: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
Weekend in Iceland - Kirkjufell waterfall

Day 2: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

We will rise early this morning for sunrise at the Black Church of Búðir.
This picture-perfect building sits alone on an expansive lava field, framed by the incredible backdrop of the Snæfellsnesjökull glacier on one side and the sea on the other. We’ll stay here through the golden hour, shooting as the light changes, before returning to our hotel for breakfast and a rest.

In the afternoon, we will visit the coastal village of Arnarstapi. There is much to capture here, from its quaint harbor of colorful fishing boats to the black lava coastline scattered with arches and columnar basalt rock formations.
For birdwatchers, the sea cliffs are home to a variety of seabirds, including thriving colonies of arctic terns, kittiwakes, and falcons.

At Lóndrangar, we will photograph the remains of a crater that eroded into a magnificent pair of rock pinnacles rising 60 meters above the waves! These towering geological wonders are one of our favorite spots for dramatic seascapes in Iceland!

Our Guides will closely monitor weather conditions for sunset. We will finish our day with a golden hour spent at either Kirkjufell or Búðir to ensure you have the best opportunity to master your shots at these iconic locations.

Accommodations: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Golden hour at Budir black church on Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland
Sunset at Londranger sea stacks in Iceland

Day 3: Volcanic Eruption or Kerlingarfjöll

Today will be an epic day!

We will say goodbye to the peninsula and head to the volcanic eruption site on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This will undoubtedly be an experience to remember, as we will hike out to the area in daylight, then witness magic as the surrounding landscape transforms under dusk and the rivers of lava start to glow!

IMPORTANT. This hike is long and challenging (up to 13 miles/20 km round trip) across rough gravel paths, uneven lava fields, and steep hills. You should be in good physical fitness, including the ability to carry your camera gear and supplies for long distances/hours. Please get in touch with us before booking if you have any concerns or health issues.

Volcanic eruptions occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula during 2021, 2022, and 2023. Unfortunately, we cannot predict or control what nature has planned for 2024. If there is no active volcanic eruption during the workshop, we have a backup plan to show you the active forces of earth and fire!

We will take you off the beaten path and deep into the rugged Highlands to Kerlingarfjöll, a young mountain range of volcanic origin wedged between two glaciers. This is an area of extremes where you can truly observe the dynamic nature between ice and fire in Iceland – mountains with snowy ice caps, valleys with hissing steam vents, and boiling rivers. 
There is a palette of colors – minerals that have emerged from the hot springs color the ground yellow, red, and green, while the glacier looming overhead adds shades of blue and white. 

Kerlingarfjöll is one of Iceland’s most unique photography locations – it’s so unreal that many images taken here resemble watercolor paintings! Due to its remoteness and rugged terrain requiring 4×4 vehicles, it is also an area many visitors don’t get to see, making it even more special if we end up spending our day here due to no eruption.

Accommodations: Reykjavik or Golden Circle area

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024

Day 4: Golden Circle

We’ll enjoy an easier morning with a rest, then post-processing training at our hotel. 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.

We will then spend our day exploring the sites of the Golden Circle, including Haukadalur – a geothermal area shaped by the forces of earth and fire, with bubbling mud pits, hot springs, and steaming fumaroles. The highlight here will be capturing the extraordinary activity of Strokkur – a geyser that spouts jets of scalding water over 20 meters into the air every 4-10 minutes. It’s a blast to shoot using super-high shutter speeds to freeze the motion as the bubble of water explodes from the ground!

For golden hour, we will travel to the edge of the Highlands to Háifoss – one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Translating to ‘High Falls,’ the waters here plunge 122 meters into a deep gorge in the beautiful Þjórsárdalur valley, resulting in breathtaking panoramic views.

Accommodations: Golden Circle area

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024

Day 5 : Highlands

The Highlands form the heart of Iceland – an uninhabited wilderness that is home to some of the most surreal landscapes. Their remoteness and harsh terrain make them challenging to access, with only skilled drivers in 4×4 vehicles venturing here. 

Amongst the desolate, rugged deserts and volcanic mountain ranges of the Highlands are areas of exquisite diversity, color, and beauty – many of which rarely see visitors. We will spend our first day in the Highlands exploring some of these unique sites, including turquoise and emerald crater lakes, moss-covered explosion craters, colorful river braids, and cascading waterfalls.

Note: We highly recommend a drone for the Highlands. Even though they are stunning from the ground, some of these locations are even more incredible with a birds-eye view! Contact us if you want to hire a drone during the workshop (limited supply available).

Accommodations: Highlands

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024

Day 6: Landmannalaugar and Southern Highlands

We are halfway through our photography adventure – time flies when you are having fun!

We will rise early this morning for sunrise at Sigöldugljúfur, a hidden gem known as the Valley of Tears.
This gorge is a photographer’s paradise, appearing out of nowhere in the barren, black volcanic desert, with countless turquoise waterfalls flowing from the canyon walls, lush vegetation, and vibrant carpets of green moss. The magical views will enchant you.

We’ll return to our hotel for breakfast before driving to Landmannalaugar in the Central Highlands. 
The landscape here is incredible – a volcanic oasis of rhyolite mountains dispersed with rising steam vents, geothermal pools, and shimmering streams. The mountains are shaded in colors of yellow, brown, green, blue, and pink – and they continually transform as the light changes throughout the day! Exploring this paradise will be an experience you will never forget.

We will spend the afternoon exploring the Southern Highlands, We’ll see lava flows, incredible waterfalls, and moss-covered volcanic mountains that rise like pyramids out of nowhere, with colors so vivid they look radioactive!

Accommodations: Highlands

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024

Day 7: Vatnajökull National Park

Today we will make our way to the southeast of Iceland. Along the way, we will stop to capture sites such as the dramatic Lómagnúpur mountain, Hofskirkja – the last turf church built in Iceland, and the immense Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue. For drone lovers, the glacier is especially epic from above, with tendrils reaching down from the ice cap towards the sea.

We will arrive in Vatnajökull National Park in the afternoon, check in to our accommodation, and then head out to explore.

One of the highlights of our day will be capturing the majestic mountains of the East: Vestrahorn, the iconic mountain that sits alone on the shore of the wild Atlantic Ocean, and Eystrahorn – an incredibly steep mountain that has been battered over eons by wind and waves, creating jagged peaks and rugged formations from the dark lava rock.
The weather around these mountains is dynamic – it is common to witness clear skies, fog, and clouds within the same hour. The scenery constantly shifts as the light changes providing endless composition options. These famous landmarks are even more spectacular under golden hour light, surrounded by wildflowers, shallow pools providing reflections, and undulating black sand dunes.
We will spend the evening exploring the many composition options, staying to photograph the jagged peaks against the sunset.

Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
Lupines at sunset at Vestrahorn Mountain, Iceland

Day 8: Vatnajökull National Park

We will begin the day early with sunrise at one of the most extraordinary locations in Iceland, Diamond Beach – the final resting place for the icebergs that have calved from the nearby glacier and made their way out to sea. The icebergs are pounded by the waves and smashed into smaller chunks of ice that wash onto the black 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 golden hour light will last a lifetime.

The landscapes of Vatnajökull National Park are diverse and almost surreal, dotted with waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, forests, snowy mountain peaks, and dramatic beaches. It is a photographer’s paradise, and we will spend today exploring these unique sites.

We will finish with sunset at Jökulsárlón. At this beautiful lagoon, icebergs in an array of shapes and sizes calve 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.

After a busy day of exploring and following Golden Hour, we will make the journey back along the Ring Road to the South Coast.

Accommodations: Vik

Midnight Sun Photo Workshop in Iceland (Photography Workshop in Iceland)
Winter Wonderland Iceland Photo Workshop

Day 9: South Coast

After a busy few days of exploring, we will enjoy a sleep-in today!

In the afternoon, we will head to the promontory of Dyrhólaey to capture its massive arch, historic lighthouse, and remarkable panoramic views of the black sand beach stretching into the horizon.

More importantly, this area is home to a colony of adorable Atlantic Puffins. These comical birds are called the ‘Clowns of the Sea’ because of their technicolor facial markings and awkward, clumsy antics. They are incredibly entertaining to watch and amazing to photograph due to their expressive eyes and striking colors. They will be sure to capture your hearts and lenses.

We will end our day at Seljalandsfoss. With a path that leads into a cavern behind the 60-meter-high veil of falling water, this is one of Iceland’s most recognizable waterfalls! Not only is this an invigorating, unique experience (don’t forget your waterproof clothing for this stop!) – but during the summer months, the sun setting on the horizon is in the perfect position to radiate through the cascade of water, creating stunning compositions. It will be an incredible last sunset together!

Accommodations: Vik

Puffins in Iceland
10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024

Day 10: South Coast & Return to the City

We’ll spend sunrise at Reynisfjara Beach, an infamous beach well-known for its dangerous ‘sneaker’ waves. It’s also a photographer’s dream, with its 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! You can experiment and practice your seascapes here – capturing the receding waves as a foreground subject using long shutter speeds or freezing the moment as massive waves crash violently into them.

Sadly, today will be our final day of shooting. We will spend it exploring some of the wonders of the South Coast, including the Yoda Cave, the picture-perfect white church Vikukirkja, and many lesser-known secret gems known to our Guides. We will also stop to capture the incredibly photogenic Icelandic horses.

Our last stop will be at Skógafoss. This mighty waterfall is so powerful you can see the mist churning in the air from the Ring Road! You can also walk right up to the wall of water if you dare – though you will feel the spray well before you reach it.
We love this spot for its array of composition options – reflections and summer wildflowers are abundant. If the lighting is right, we can even capture rainbows in the spray!

We will arrive in the city early in the evening, with memories to last a lifetime, new friends, and memory cards full of amazing images of Iceland.

10 Day Photography Workshop - Iceland Summer 2024
Skogafoss with Lupines Iceland

Important Workshop Information

Level of Fitness and Medical Requirements

A 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 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 via email of any illness, injury, or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your participation during the workshop.

Important - Minimum participants required

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.

 

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

Your accommodation selection

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.

When to arrive at the workshop destination

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.

Workshop meeting point

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.

Itinerary

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.

Aerial Photography & Drones in Iceland

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.

Traveling with a Non-Photographer

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 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.

Arranging as a private workshop experience

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 to discuss.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Please refer to the Terms and Conditions.

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

Cancellation & Refund Policy

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

 

You need to advise us in writing via email 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.

How to contact us

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