Midnight Sun in Iceland
Join us on this 7 day summer workshop to capture the iconic locations of Iceland – from stunning waterfalls to majestic mountains, black sand beaches, epic canyons and volcanic coastlines.
During this photography adventure we will experience the phenomenon of the Midnight Sun, capturing the Icelandic landscapes under an ethereal palette of golden colors.
Aimed at photographers of all skill level – beginner, amateur or professional – you’ll be sure to come away from this workshop with a diverse portfolio of images of Iceland.
- A focus on Landscape, Seascape and Golden Hour photography
- Experiencing the diverse landscapes and iconic sights of Iceland under the midnight sun
- The magnificent, powerful waterfalls of the south coast
- Learning new skills and advanced photography techniques to make the most of lighting and locations such as bracketing, focus stacking and long exposures
- Visiting the unforgettable Diamond Beach
- Capturing the delightful Atlantic Puffins
- Vestrahorn & Eystrahorn – the dramatic mountain ranges of the south
- A small workshop so your experience is truly personal, and you get to know your guide and fellow photographers
- 7 day workshop with 6 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 sessions with Photo Guides
- Complimentary use of boots for the Diamond Beach
- Access to exclusive discounts on gear from our partners
- Travel to and from Iceland
- Airport transfers
- Food and beverages
- Items of a personal nature including (but not limited to) laundry services, clothing, Wi-Fi, email, or phone charges
- Gratuities for Photo Guides, local guides, and/or drivers
Day 1: Golden Circle & South Coast
The workshop begins in the capital city of Reykjavik, where we will meet over a welcome lunch to get to know each other and discuss our itinerary.
We will then start our photography adventure by heading to the geothermal area within the Golden Circle.
Here you will witness the forces of earth and fire that are still actively shaping the landscapes of Iceland – you’ll be amazed by the bubbling mud pits, hot springs and steaming fumaroles. We’ll spend time capturing the extraordinary activity of Strokkur – a geyser that spouts jets of scalding water over 20 meters into the air every 4-10 minutes.
We will then make our way to the south coast of Iceland where we will settle into the hotel that will be our base for the next two nights.
This workshop has been timed to take advantage of the Midnight Sun – a phenomenon that occurs in far Northern countries where sunsets merge into sunrises with no darkness in between, and Golden Hour stretches from around 10 pm until 5 am.
These Golden Hours are a fascinating time to be photographing Iceland, as the landscapes can be painted in an ethereal palette of soft pinks, warm yellows, deep oranges and dreamy purples from the rays of the low-lying sun. However, to capture this light, we will be reversing our sleep cycles – shooting from late in the afternoon until late morning as weather allows, and sleeping throughout the day.
After some rest time and a late dinner we will head out for our first Midnight Sun shoot at two of Iceland‘s most iconic landmarks: Reynisfjara – a beach with enormous basalt columns, dramatic black volcanic sand and impressive sea stacks, and Dyrhólaey with its massive sea arch, historic lighthouse and spectacular views over the coastline.
We will stay out shooting for as long as we can last before heading back to the hotel to sleep until the afternoon.
Day 2: Summer Solstice on the South Coast
Today we celebrate the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year in Iceland!
We will start our day in the late afternoon by visiting an area that is home to a colony of adorable Atlantic Puffins. These comical birds are often called the ‘Clowns of the Sea’ because of their technicolor facial markings and their awkward, clumsy antics. They are incredibly entertaining to watch, and amazing to photograph due to their expressive eyes and their striking colors. They will be sure to capture your hearts and lenses.
As the golden hour begins, we will turn our attention to the landscapes of the South Coast.
We will explore the nearby Víkurkirkja – a picture-perfect white church that sits atop a hill overlooking the village of Vik í Mýrdal. During the summer months, the surrounding area is covered in vibrant blooms of purple lupine, making this quaint church even more picturesque.
From here you can also capture remarkable panoramic views of the valley, stretching from the village below to the stunning coastline including the Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
We couldn’t think of a better place to spend the Summer Solstice than at two of Iceland’s most recognizable waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss – with its path that leads behind the veil of falling water for unique compositions, and Skógafoss – a waterfall so mighty you will feel the mist before you reach it.
Day 3: Vatnajökull National Park
Today we will make our way to the south-east of Iceland, travelling along the foothills of the Vatnajökull glacier.
During the journey, we will stop at Svínafellsjökull, an immense glacier tongue almost 800 meters wide that stretches down from the ice cap towards the sea like fingers. You will be able to 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.
After some rest time and a late dinner, we will head out for what will likely be one of the highlights of the workshop.
Our first stop 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 towards 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. You may also spot seals swimming, feeding and playing among them.
Our day will finish at one of the most extraordinary locations in Iceland, Diamond Beach – the final resting place for the icebergs that we just saw floating in Jökulsárlón. The icebergs are pounded by waves and smashed into smaller chunks of ice that then 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 golden light will last a lifetime.
Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park
Day 4: Vatnajökull National Park
In the afternoon, your guides will run post-processing training. 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.
Following dinner, we will continue along the Ring Road to Vestrahorn, the iconic mountain that sits alone on the shore of the wild Atlantic Ocean.
Located on the next headland is Eystrahorn – an incredibly steep mountain that has been continuously battered on all sides 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 all within the same hour.
The scenery constantly shifts as the light changes – making these mountains a photographer’s dream!
These famous landmarks are even more spectacular under the golden light of the Midnight Sun, surrounded by wildflowers, shallow pools providing reflections, and undulating black sand dunes.
We will take our time exploring these many composition options.
Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park
Day 5: Vatnajökull National Park
The landscapes within the Vatnajökull National Park are diverse, dotted with waterfalls, rivers, lava fields, and mountain peaks. We will spend our last late night of golden hour light exploring the unique sites and capturing them in a variety of conditions.
To ensure our portfolios are varied and practice our long exposure skills, we will also return to Diamond Beach today.
Accommodations: Vatnajökull National Park
Day 6: Return to the City
Today will be our final day of shooting, and we will travel back along the beautiful south coast towards Reykjavik, stopping at several places to capture the incredible vistas.
One of these will be Eldhraun, where you will find endless opportunities for abstract images amongst the fascinating formations and natural pillars of this moss-covered lava field. Another will be Kvernufoss; a magical waterfall often considered a hidden gem due to being partially hidden at the end of a moss-coated, narrow gorge.
Along the way, we will keep our eye out for wildlife. At this time of year, it is common to spot herds of wandering reindeer, free-roaming Icelandic sheep, Arctic foxes and the beautiful Icelandic Horses.
We will arrive in the city early in the evening.
Accommodations: Reykjavik Area
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 under the Midnight Sun.
Meet the Guides
Important Workshop Information
We will be staying in clean, comfortable accommodations throughout this workshop including hotels and apartments.
For an additional cost you may request a single room - please note this is subject to room availability, and at the discretion of Viking International Phototours based on workshop attendee numbers.
Single rooms may include your own bedroom within a multi-room apartment (shared bathroom/kitchenette).
One of the major goals of this workshop is to take advantage of the Midnight Sun - a phenomenon where sunsets merge into sunrises with no darkness in between.
In order to capture this light, we will be aiming to reverse our sleep cycles – shooting from late in the afternoon until late morning and sleeping during the day where possible.
Iceland is extremely rugged and harsh. Strong winds, rain, mud and the terrain are real dangers when photographing on location. You will be expected to follow instructions to ensure you are kept safe and out of harm’s way.
You must also advise Viking International Phototours in advance and in writing of any illness, injury or pre-existing medical conditions that might reasonably be expected to affect your attendance and participation during the workshop.
The itinerary for our workshop is subject to change at the discretion of our Photo Guides depending on the Icelandic weather, which can be highly unpredictable. 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.
A recommended list of gear will be sent out as soon as you book to give you ample time to prepare for your adventure.
Iceland is absolutely 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 (which can be accessed here). 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.
Please refer to the Booking Terms and Conditions.
Booking with Viking International Phototours indicates acceptance of the Booking Terms and Conditions as outlined.