Iceland‘s diverse make-up of fire and ice is unlike anywhere. During our time here in Iceland we will immerse ourselves in this amazing culture. By limiting this workshop to a maximum of 10 attendees, you will receive personal instruction and guidance from Jack and Jack’s long-time assistant Greg Duncan as well as Icelandic resident and photographer Tim Vollmer.
We start and end our workshop in Reykjavík. However we will be leaving the city to make stops in the Hengill geothermal area, see geysers, the multi-coloured rhyolite area of Landmannalaugar and the Hekla volcano. Then we drive through the highland on the route Fjallabak nyrðri or “behind the mountains” to the south coast. Here in the highland we’ll see what Iceland is all about – fire and ice.
On the tour we see beautiful canyons, waterfalls, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, filled with icebergs as well as basalt sea stacks and the black sand beaches of the south coast.
Departure: 11 – 21 July, 2014
Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Minimum number of participants 8, maximum 10 participants.
Day 1, 11 July, 2014: Arrival
Arrival at Keflavík Airport. Please note that most US-flights arrive early in the morning, which means a departure from the US on the day before.
Transfer to a hotel in Reykjavík. We will photograph in the afternoon in the city. There is a lot of subject matter!
Optional whale watching in the evening is possible as well.
Dinner and overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 2, 12 July, 2014: Reykjanes peninsula
The lava scarred Reykjanes peninsula lies on one of the world’s major plate boundaries, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. We will walk across a small footbridge between the two continents; see craters and an old lighthouse, Reykjanesviti.
We travel through lava fields to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in 38°C therapeutic geothermal water. The Blue Lagoon is surrounded by a moss-covered lava field dating back to 1226. After a refreshing bath in the lagoon, we return to Reykjavík.
Dinner and overnight stay in Reykjavík.
Day 3, 13 July, 2014: Mt. Hengill Geothermal Area
The mountain Hengill geothermal area is one of the largest high-temperature fields in Iceland situated on an active volcanic ridge in SW Iceland. We visit Hellisheiði the geothermal power plant and surroundings. The area is situated on Hellisheiði heath just outside of Reykjavík. It is rugged, colourful and full of interesting spots to capture photos.
Dinner and overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 4, 14 July, 2014: Þingvellir, Geysers, Gullfoss waterfall & the Highlands
We leave Reykjavík and make our first stop of the day near the Nesjavellir geothermal power plant. Afterwards, we visit Þingvellir, Iceland’s first national park and UNESCO World Heritage site, established in 1930. It is the site of the Viking age parliament started in 930 AD and is located in a rift valley. Þingvellir is therefore of great importance to Icelanders in a geological and historical sense.
In the late morning, we visit Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. The waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, and Geyser geothermal area is known for its spouting hot springs. Strokkur (the Butter churn) spouts every 3–8 minutes up to a height of 30 m / 100 ft. We continue to the guesthouse in the highlands.
Dinner and overnight in a highland guesthouse for the next two nights.
Day 5, 15 July, 2014: Landmannalaugar
Landmannalaugar literally means people’s pools and is situated in the southern highlands close to the volcano Hekla. The name refers to the natural geothermal pools which travellers can bathe in. There are some unusual geological elements in the area such as multi-coloured Rhyolite Mountains and lava fields. The mountains display a wide spectrum of colours including pink, green, brown, yellow, purple, blue, black and white.
Day 6, 16 July, 2014: The highland route “behind the mountains” - Fjallabak
Today we leave Landmannalaugar and make our way to our guesthouse in Southeast Iceland. We will travel on the highland route Fjallabak nyrðra which means “northern road behind the mountains”. Among the sights on the way is Eldgjá canyon (“fire canyon”), the largest volcanic canyon in the world, 40 km / 24.8 mi. long, 270 m / 886 ft. deep and 600 m / 0.4 mi. wide at its greatest. The magnificent Ófærufoss waterfall is within the canyon.
We will stay at a guesthouse south of Vatnajökull glacier, which is an ideal choice for photographers who want to be near Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the glaciers in order to capture Iceland’s truly magical light that makes already extraordinary landscapes even more striking.
Day 7-8, 17 – 18 July, 2014: Vatnajökull National Park
Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, towers over this region and has immensely affected the landscape. We will visit many of Vatnajökull's outlets and outwash areas and the Jökulsárlón lagoon, a famous glacial lagoon full of icebergs where we can take a short boat tour and sail among the huge icebergs, an unforgettable experience! The glacial scenery continues with a visit to the stunning Skaftafell, Iceland’s second largest national park where the landscape has been formed over thousands of years by different influences of fire and water (volcanic eruptions and the glaciers).
Day 9, 19 July, 2014: Lónsöræfi Tour
A tour to Lónsöræfi is a combination of a nearly two hour drive and then a 45-minute walk to a mountain hut. Lónsöræfi wilderness is one of the largest nature reservation areas in Iceland. The area is famous for its colourful mountains and ravines, mostly made of Rhyolite; in spite of the rugged landscape the area is still abundant in vegetation.
Day 10, 20 July, 2014: South coast to Reykjavík
Today we head back along the south coast to Reykjavík. We stop at Kirkjubæjarklaustur village, which became well known in Iceland during the Laki volcanic eruption in 1783 were a huge lava flow streamed from the craters in what became known as the “Skaftá Fires.” This is believed to have been one of the greatest lava flows in a single eruption in the history of the world.
Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks situated very near to Reynisfjara coast and the village Vík. According to legend the Reynisdrangar needles were formed when two trolls were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land. When daylight broke they turned to stone. The Needles can be seen clearly from the village of Vík and are 66 m / 216 ft. above sea level at their highest.
Next stop is Dyrhólaey which is a 120 m / 394 ft. high promontory, not far from Vík and is the southernmost part of the country. From the top you have a great photographic view of the black sand coast and the glaciers.
After Dyrhólaey we drive to Skógafoss which is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 m / 82 ft. and a drop of 60 m / 197 ft. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces a single or double rainbow which is normally visible on sunny days. Next stop is Seljalandsfoss, another spectacular waterfall, one of the most famous and very picturesque. You can walk behind this waterfall and get a different photo angle. Arrival in Reykjavík in the late afternoon.
Dinner and overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 11, 21 July, 2014: Departure
Transfer to Keflavík Airport in time for your departure from Iceland. Most US flights depart late afternoon offering us time in Reykjavík in the morning.
We will cover all locations on this itinerary. If weather conditions and light changes, the order of days may change.
Price per person sharing a double room USD 5,490
Single supplement USD 500
- 10 nights including breakfast, there of 8 in rooms with private facilities
- Full board from dinner on day one to breakfast on day eleven.
- Airport transfers.
- Private bus from day two to day ten.
- Professional photo guides (Jack Graham/Greg Duncan/Tim Vollmer)
- Meeting facilities in the evening.
- Boat tour on the glacier lagoon.
- Tour to Lónsöræfi.
- Lodging tax.
International airfares – available upon request from Esja Travel, optional tours, entrance to the Blue Lagoon, drinks, tips and anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary.
ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT: Besides camera gear (Having an extra camera body…just in case might be something to think about) I carry lenses from 24-300mm plus a 1.4 teleconverter
Extra camera body if you have one
Lenses ranging from 24-200mm (if you have wider, bring it.)
Graduated Neutral Density Filters I carry a 2 and a 3 stop “soft” Galen Rowell graduated filters (in X-Pro Size) by Singh Ray (If you order from them tell them you are doing my workshop and they will give you a 10% discount!)
Back up Batteries & Chargers
Lens shades & Cable release
Non Abrasive cloth
Be prepared to keep the sun off your head. Be sure to bring proper outerwear for the weather/temperature. Good hiking boots are helpful, though any hiking will be very moderate at most. Most of the areas we go to are very close to the roads.