Hone your photography skills with this summer photo tour. For 10 fulfilling days, you’ll be in the company of professional photographers who will guide you through the country’s Highlands, which are only accessible during the summer months.
Photographers who want to practice their craft in the land of ice and fire won’t be disappointed with this tour, whether you are a beginner or expert.
You’ll master not only landscape and nature photography, capturing dramatic shots of Iceland’s volcanoes, waterfalls, valleys, and canyons, but you’ll also learn a bit about Arctic photography, exploring glaciers that extend miles into the distance.
From day one, you’ll cut straight to the heart of the country: the Highlands. You’ll improve your skills at the best locations in Iceland; everywhere from the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar to Veiðivötn, a cluster of over 50 lakes in the Highlands; from the famed Svartifoss waterfall to Vatnajökull glacier, the largest ice cap in Europe.
You’ll even have the exciting opportunity to capture the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the adjacent Diamond Beach before heading down the South Coast, to its beautiful beaches and falls. You’ll also see some of the sites that only our photo guides know about, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.
You will spend each night in accommodation with a private bathroom, travel in comfortable vehicle with two seats per guest, and be given incredibly useful lessons in shooting and post-production.
Book now to secure your place on this photography workshop. Check availability by choosing a date.
Your adventure begins at Keflavík International Airport. Once you’ve retrieved your bags, you’ll board a bus that will take you to your hotel in downtown Reykjavík. After you’ve had a chance to unwind and put your feet up for a few hours, your guides will meet you at your hotel lobby. At that point, you’ll go with them to a restaurant to enjoy some local food with your group.
At dinner, you’ll have a chance to get to know your cohort for the week, a mixture of professional and amateur photographers. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your guides questions about the days to come, and they’ll give you some tips and tricks regarding nature and wildlife photography in Iceland.
After dinner, you’ll head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep to prepare for your journey to some of the best sites of Arctic photography in the world.
You’ll start the day right with a quick breakfast before you leave the city. You'll head straight into the heart of the country: the Highlands.
The first stop on your tour are the mystical Kerlingarfjöll mountains, which are composed of rhyolite and seem to shimmer with reds and yellows in the sparkling summer light. These red mountains, against a backdrop of neon green moss and blue rivers, provide an exquisite crash course in playing with contrasts.
The next spots on the agenda is Hveravellir, where you’ll find a vast geothermal field. Iceland is famous for its widely-used geothermal heating, and Hveravellir is a prime example of how the whole process works. You’ll be mesmerised by the moving bodies of steam that line your path, as you make your way through smoking fumaroles and bubbling mud pots.
Toward evening, you’ll move onto Gýgjarfoss waterfall, which is fed from the Jökulfall river, which is, in turn, meltwater from the glacier Hofsjökull. The waterfall is about five meters high and 20 meters wide, but in the summertime, the flow over the waterfall increases exponentially.
After an active day in the Highlands, you’ll already begin to see improvement in your photographs. You’ll head for a bite to eat before retiring in a hotel in the Kerlingarfjöll area.
On the third day of your photography trip to Iceland, you’ll head to an area called Landmannalaugar, which is a stunning mountainous region within the confines of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.
Landmannalaugar is also primarily composed of rhyolite mountains, the near-luminescent type of rock. It’s dotted with lava fields, with the volcano Hekla towering in the background. Hekla is still active, and earned the nickname Gateway to Hell for its medieval eruptions.
Through your camera lens, you’ll discover shapes, colours, textures, and contrasts that you can hardly see with the naked eye, giving you a fresh look at the most astonishing countryside in the world. You'll retire in the Landmannalaugar area.
Landmannalaugar, with its waterfalls, glaciers, lava fields, and lakes, is a compositional dreamland, so you'll spend another morning shooting here.
After getting acquainted with the finer points of landscape photography, you’ll move onto the crater lakes Bláhylur, Frostaðavatn, and Ljótipollur. These features are well-known, but infrequently accessed, lakes in Iceland. Ljótipollur is particularly notable, a sky-blue lake framed by rusty red slopes. Shooting it is an excellent exercise in capturing colour for the budding photographer.
You’ll also spend some time in the Veiðivötn area, which is a lake cluster in the Landmannalaugar highland pasture. Within Veiðivötn, you’ll find 50 lakes of various sizes, many of which are volcanic craters that were formed during the Veiðivötn eruptions in 1477.
You’ll further take advantage of your three days in the area by visiting the waterfalls Háifoss and Hjálparfoss. Háifoss is known as the 'tall falls' because it is Iceland’s second tallest waterfall. A surge of water cascades down its 122-metre height, crashing into a deep gorge along the longest river in Iceland, Þjórsá.
You'll spend another night in the Landmannalaugar area.
On your final day at Landmannalaugar, you’ll visit a view final sites, before returning to the ridge over Frostaðavatn lake, where you’ll see incredible views of the area’s many bodies of water.
In addition to this dazzling sight from a high elevation, you’ll also spend time on the ridge above Sigöldugljúfur canyon—the Valley of Tears—where, as the name implies, a series of waterfalls meet, cascading into the river below. You’ll get an extraordinary bird’s eye view of the area.
After five days of photography, you'll no doubt want to relax, so you can finish the day with a visit to Landmannalaugar’s natural baths where you can take a dip in the geothermal waters.
On day six of your Highland adventure, you’ll take South Fjallabaksleið, a route through the highlands that leads to the north of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which covers Katla, an active volcano sometimes referred to as the mother of Eyjafjallajökull, which is to the west.
Katla erupts every 40 to 80 years, but some volcanologists believe that it erupted 'secretly' under its glacier several times throughout the last century—most recently, in 2011. The ice cap atop Katla, Mýrdalsjökull, however, is so enormous that lava couldn’t force its way through.
Not only will you have to an opportunity to photograph this incredible volcano and its crowning glacier, but you’ll also visit Öldufell, a conical and imposing mountain. In the right light, the greenery that runs down its sides seems to phosphorescent.
Other subjects for the day include the area’s black lava sand deserts and impressive lava pillars.
Axlarfoss waterfall is the next stop on our tour. Axlarfoss’ flow pours over hexagonal basalt columns into the Hólmsá river, and the waterfall is enclosed by blooming vegetation. Though the waterfall only drops eight metres, it is stunning to behold.
At the end of the day, you’ll stop off at the world’s largest volcanic canyon, Eldgjá. Eldgjá was formed by an enormous eruption around the year 939, which was allegedly prophesied in the medieval Icelandic poem Völuspá. The poem documents the eruption in menacing clarity.
You’ll be able to capture the beauty of this place with the help of your guides.
You’ll spend the night at Kirkjubæjarklaustur village and wake up fresh to spend day seven in Vatnajökull National Park.
You’ll kick off day seven with a visit to a breathtaking canyon: Fjaðrárgljúfur, through which runs the Fjaðrá river. Fjaðrárgljúfur is a narrow canyon lined with spectacular rock formations, its high walls covered in soft green moss. This site is one of the best locations to take photos, due to the range of subjects on site.
After a short stop off at the canyon, the tour will head further east to the mystical Vatnajökull National Park. Here, you will pass alongside a number of volcanoes topped with majestic glaciers, ultimately stopping at Skaftafell Nature Reserve.
There, you’ll photograph Svartifoss, a waterfall surrounded by hexagonal basalt columns. Svartifoss is so beautiful, it inspired much of the art and architecture found around Iceland.
You’ll spend the night in Vatnajökull National Park after a day exploring Skaftafell’s wooded trails on foot.
Day eight will begin early, and will continue to focus on Vatnajökull National Park. The park is one of Iceland’s most photographed sites because it is of its dense forests, glaciers, geothermal areas, and waterfalls. Despite its popularity as a tourist site, it is incredibly vast so surprisingly serene.
A few things you might want to photograph in this day are Vatnajökull glacier and its surrounding glacier lagoons; Hvannadalshnjúkur, Iceland’s highest peak; Skaftafellsjökull, a glacier tongue jutting out of Vatnajökull; and the valley Morsárdalur. The National Park is a paradise of mountain peaks, black sand beaches, and glacial formations, and photography lovers certainly won’t run out of interesting subject matter.
In the latter part of the day, you’ll turn your camera to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the adjacent Diamond Beach. The lagoon is the deepest lake in Iceland, renowned for the great icebergs that cruise through it. They wash upon the Diamond Beach, making both sights a photographer's dream.
Camera in hand, you’ll capture the interplay of light within the ice’s crystalline structure, mastering landscape photography techniques that seemed lofty goals at the start of your tour. After a visit to the lagoon, you’ll head east to Stokksnes Beach, where you’ll photograph the ominous Mount Vestrahorn from this sandy shore.
You’ll conclude your day at Vatnajökull National Park with a restful night’s sleep in a nearby hotel.
On day 9 nine, as you head back to Reykjavík, you’ll see the island’s picturesque South Coast. You will make the most of the many sites en route.
The South Coast is noted for its lush grassy areas, embellished with tall purple lupine fields, and for its dramatic coastlines, with volcanoes in the backdrop. Features of note include Seljalandsfoss waterfall, a narrow cascade that it is possible to photograph from behind; Skógafoss waterfall, which is much more powerful; the dramatic Dyhólaey rock arch; and the spectacular Reynisfjara black sand beach.
Once you make it back to Reykjavík, you’ll return to your hotel for the evening.
On day ten, you will board the bus that will take you back to Keflavík International Airport with a memory card full of images that you’ll keep for a lifetime, and a host of new skills.
If your flight departs in the afternoon or evening, you will have the day to explore the city of Reykjavík with its many iconic landmarks, giving you a chance to practice urban landscape photography.
This tour is led by award-winning instructors:
11-20 Jul 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
22-31 Jul 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
2-11 Aug 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
13-22 Aug 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
24 Aug - 2 Sep 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
4-13 Sep 2019 - Guided by Alban Henderyckx
Please note that the tour is always dependent on weather, as the Icelandic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable.