Iceland Photo Tour
July 6 -15, 2021
Iceland's surreal beauty is almost other-worldly. Lava fields, glacial lagoons, ice beaches, active volcanoes, and geysers offer you unparalleled landscape photography. This land is a stunning destination in summer because you will have close (really close!) puffin encounters who have mouths full of fish, access to waterfalls that are hard to get to in the winter, incredible scenes bathed in golden light from the midnight sun, and portraits of beautiful Icelandic horses. Our photography will be done all night long because the sun sets about midnight and rises at 3 am. We sleep in the day so we can take advantage of hours and hours low angled sunlight. Each photo location is chosen for maximum drama -- you definitely won't be disappointed!
Tour Policies (please read)
Visit the photo gallery
Day 1, July 6, Tuesday. Arrival in Iceland
You arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland (airport code KEF) and transfer to our hotel by the local tour operator. We meet at the centrally located hotel at 6 pm and go out for a group dinner in Reykjavik where Jim will discuss the upcoming tour. This is a good time to ask him about any photography questions you might have. If you arrive early in town, you can photograph some of the attractions such as Harpa Concert Hall (fantastic architecture), Hallgrimskirkja (a stunning ultra modern Lutheran church), Sun Voyager (a remarkable work of art) or Perlan (an incredibly designed restaurant). Overnight Hilton Nordica, Reykjavik.
Day 2, July 7, Wednesday
After breakfast, we begin a tour of the fabulous Golden Circle of Iceland. This is a route that includes some of the most spectacular waterfalls and landscapes in the country including Bruarfoss, Gullfoss, and Haifoss. Haifoss is a 400 foot high (122 meters) -- the fourth highest in Iceland -- and a favorite amoung photographers. It's spectacular. This is a great time to use neutral density filters to smooth out the falling water, and Jim will explain how to do HDR with moving water. Overnight in Hrauneyjar.
Day 3, July 8, Thursday
We continue our exploration of Iceland's most photogenic locations in the Highlands. In the winter, some of the most beautiful landscapes are not accessible in this region, but in summer we can drive to these awesome places. Landmannalaugar offers dramatic mountain vistas with strong graphic shapes, and Ljotipollur Crater is fascinating because the deep blue color of the lake contrasts with the red minerals in the crater rim. Thjofafoss Waterfall is another hidden gem. The turquoise colored water and the huge expanse of the falls make an outstanding shot. Overnight Hrauneyjar.
Day 4, July 9, Friday
Millons of years of volcanic activity have left much of Iceland covered in black lava. This morning we begin our landscape photography at Eldhraun Lava Field. Green moss has grown over the lava, and this has created one of the most unique, and bizarre, landscapes on the planet. We then drive to Skaftafell National Park where we photograph a waterfall surrounded by impressive basalt columns. Also on the agenda today is a visit to Svinafellsjokull Glacier where we can capture remarkable designs in nature of the blue ice. Overnight Smyrlabjorb Hotel, Skalafell.
Day 5, July 10, Saturday
In the beautiful light of low angled sunlight, we visit a puffin nesting area on private property. Here you can get extremely close to the birds where a 200mm focal length fills the frame with these beautiful birds. Capture their beaks full of fish, freeze the birds in flight with a fast shutter speed, and do intimate portraits to reveal the colorful markings on their faces. It is a thrill to see puffins so close. We then visit the glacier lagoon to photograph huge chunks of blue ice in this small body of water. At the same location, there is a black sand beach with chunks of ice littered on the shore. Some of the pieces of glacial ice look like diamonds while others are intensely blue. Long shutter speeds will blur the surf beautifully as it swirls around the ice. Overnight Smyrlabjorg Hotel, Skalafell.
Day 6, July 11, Sunday
We have another encounter with puffins, and then we drive to the southern tip of Iceland to photograph the famous arch with a large hole in it at Dyrholaey. It is an iconic shot. Nearby is Reynisdrangar where we photograph a group of sea stacks just offshore. Their graphic forms against the ocean make compelling seascapes. We then drive to a black sand beach with a remarkable basalt rock formation that offers stunning imagery of shapes, bold designs, and remarkable textures. Overnight in Vik.
Day 7, July 12, Monday
We drive back towards the Reykjavík. We will cover the area around Vík í Mýrdal. We overnight in town before continuing to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
The group will get to photograph many of the better-known sights of Iceland. This area is known for Reynisfjara Black Beach, Waterfalls Seljalandsfoss & Skógarfoss, Dyrhólaey sea arch and the beautiful lupin fields around Vík church. Overnight Langaholt Guesthouse, Snaefellsnes.
Day 8 - 9, July 13 - 14, Tuesday and Wednesday
After Vík we continue to West Iceland or the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The next two days will be spent at this mystical peninsula, known for the Snæfellsjökull Glacier, made famous by Julies Verne in the Journey to the Center of the Earth. The whole peninsula is a photographers paradise, with many different seascapes, rock formations, glacier, lava field, birds and even whales.
Snæfellsnes is a 90- km long peninsula comprises a world of diversity. Friendly towns and villages, spectacular mountains, a multitude of bird species nesting on treacherous cliffs, beaches of sand and pebbles popular among horse riders and rock skimmers, remnants and relics scattered here and there of times and ways of life long past. The Snaefellsjokull National Park is at the westernmost part of the peninsula and includes unique sites such as Djupalonssandur, Thufubjarg and various Lighthouses and churches.
One of the main highlights of Snæfellsnes is Mt. Kirkjufell (463m) and its waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss. The mountain is often referred to as the guardian of Grundarfjörður’s northwestern vista, and possibly one of the most photographed spots in Iceland. It has appeared in Game of Thrones and is one of Iceland best-known mountains. We end our second day back in Reykjavik and overnight at the Hilton Nordic.
Day 10, July 15, Thursday
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our international flight home.
Tour cost: $7850
Includes all lodging based on double occupancy, all ground transportation, services of a local guide, all breakfasts, welcome and farewell dinner, photo instruction and critiques on demand.
Single supplement: $950
International airfare, trip cancellation and medical evacuation insurance, items of a personal nature, and alcohol.