8 DAY LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

2 - 10 JULY   2018

In a country of truly amazing landscapes the Icelandic highlands offer perhaps the most incredible scenery of all.  The vast interior of this beautiful country has some of the most diverse and jaw-dropping landscapes imaginable.  Surrounded on all sides by glaciers, this is an area of black sand deserts, snow covered peaks and mountains of every colour imaginable, from the vivid green moss covered hills of the Hvanngil and Mælifellssandur, to the deep oranges and red rhyolite valleys of Landmannalaugar.  Lakes and rivers, lava fields and waterfalls, landscapes that change every few kilometres, there is simply so much to see in the highlands and yet despite all this it’s relative inaccessibility means it is far less visited than many of the well known locations around the country.  The few roads that do exist are dirt tracks, often with multiple river crossings, which can only be traversed with a sturdy 4x4.  On top of that accommodation is limited to mountain huts with campsites so usually the only people who get to fully appreciate the highlands are the hikers who visit for the various trails and treks in the area.  

However, our workshop is designed to get you to these incredible areas and give you time to explore and experience them with your camera without the need for camping.  Hiking and carrying tents and food can mean less energy and time to spend on actual shooting, as well as limiting where you can shoot on any given day.  To avoid this we base our workshop in comfortable hotels right on the edge of the highlands and use rugged 4x4s to get us to and from the locations ensuring we have lots of time in the field when the light is at it’s peak, and giving us the freedom to go wherever conditions look best.  It also gives us a comfortable base in which to stage our review and post-processing sessions and ensures everyone gets a relaxing night’s sleep ready to go out shooting the next day.

Early July is the best time to visit the Icelandic highlands as we have both the best chance of good weather as well as having the best access to the highlands with the snow having retreated from the valleys. This time of year also sees the sun set a little before midnight and rise again around 3am, giving around 3 hours of twilight in which we can shoot and a golden hour that starts between 9pm and 10pm.  We structure our itinerary to get the absolute most out of these conditions and split the workshop across two bases; one in the southern part of the highlands for access to the black desert and green peaks of Emstrur, Hvanngil and Álftavatn, and the other to the north for access to the areas around Landmannalaugar and the waterfalls of Haifoss.

All our workshops are organised to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else.  Airport transfers, ideally located and comfortable accommodation as well as all meals are all part of the package, and of course the tour is structured to maximize your opportunities to get great images whilst improving your skills as a photographer.  We use all our experience and knowledge to get you to some of Iceland’s most beautiful locations in the best light, and in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want.  Having three professional photography guides helps us to ensure that each participant gets plenty of one-to-one tuition and allows us to better tailor each session to your needs, as well as being able to optionally split the group, for example if a few participants want to climb a hill but others prefer to stay below and shoot from the valley.  It also means we can accept range of experience levels from beginners to professionals and comfortably cater to each.

 

PRICE

€3800 (price based on single person sharing)  

GROUP SIZE

6-10

EXPERENCE

Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.  Some hiking and hill walks that should be well within the capability of anyone with average fitness. 

WORKSHOP INCLUDES

Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable wild locations

Three professional photographers & guides who know the area

4x4 transport to access shooting areas that most photography groups don’t get to see

Post-processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop

All accommodation in local hotels

All meals provided 

Airport pick up and drop off


ITINERARY

We visit the highlands by basing ourselves at two locations, one in the southern part and one in the north.  While the dates that we’ll be in the bases are fixed, our time at each is flexible so we can decide which locations to visit while we’re there depending on the local weather and conditions.  We will however ensure that we visit all of the locations in each area.  At this time of year the golden hour starts around 21h30 and sunset around 11h45. There’s then a period of twilight and blue hour before sunrise at around 3h30 so to make sure that participants get the best conditions for shooting we’ll concentrate our shooting in one long session between around 21h30 and 3h30.  Shooting at this time also means we have the locations pretty much to ourselves.  After the shooting session has finished we’ll head back to the accommodation and sleep, and to ensure people have plenty of time to rest and stay as fresh as possible throughout the course of the workshop there won’t be anything timetabled until brunch/lunch at 13h, and then in the afternoon we’ll have the post processing workshops.

DAY 1 (JULY 2)

Arrive in Reykjavik.  

17h onwards we’ll welcome guests to our overnight accommodation in Reykjavik, spend some time getting to know each other, and in the evening either head out to shoot some of the local landmarks around town like the Harpa concert hall, or if people aren’t too tired, make a longer excursion to shoot the powerful waterfalls at Gullfoss.

DAY 2 to 5 - THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS  (JULY 3 - 5)

9h-11h After breakfast, we’ll get our stuff together to check out and head to our first base near the town of Hvolsvöllur on the edge of the southern part of the highlands.  From here we’ll be able to access a part of the highlands with an incredibly diverse landscape as well as taking the opportunity to capture the nearby waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.  Typically we’ll be travelling around 1h30 to get to our shooting destinations. During our time here our itinerary will vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we spend some time at all of the locations in the area:

  • The area around Emstrur, including the peaks of Hattfell and Stóra-Mófell
  • The area around Hvanngil and Alftavatn lake, including the peaks of Stórasúla
  • The remote black desert of Mælifellssandur
  • Skogafoss waterfalls
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfalls

For example, a typical itinerary could be:

DAY 2  (JULY 3)

13h30 -14h30 Arrive and settle in at the hotel and have lunch

15h - 17h30  Processing session. An introduction to post processing with both Lightroom and Photoshop to ascertain people’s levels and requirements while looking at some of the images taken the previous evening

19h-20h Dinner in the hotel

21h30 - 3h30 Shooting session at a range of nearby locations:

  • Sunset at Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Twilight and blue hour at Glúfrafoss, a small waterfall hidden in a canyon near Seljalandsfoss andKvernufoss, a little known waterfall near Skogafoss
  • Sunrise at Skogafoss waterfall

DAY 3  (JULY 4)

We’ll have all morning to relax and catch up on sleep

13h30 -14h30 Lunch

15h - 17h30  Our second post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we took in last night’s session. Once again, this can range from Lightroom basics through to Photoshop Luminosity Masks and more advanced techniques, and will be tailored to your needs

19h-20h Dinner in the hotel

21h30 - 3h30 Shooting session in the Emstrur region:

We’ll head out to Emstrur, a black sand desert interspersed with conical moss-covered mountains like Stóra-Mófell and Hatfell, with the snow covered glacier of Mýrdalsjökull in the background.  We’ll spend our time here from last light and sunset, through twilight and back to sunrise exploring the different trails in the area and looking for views and compositions that really capture the austere beauty of this stunning landscape.  The best way is often to scramble up the side of one of the peaks here, an altitude gain of around 200m or 300m, which will give us panoramic views over the area and a sense of depth as we see the peaks receding into the distance.

DAY 4   (JULY 5)

We’ll have all morning to relax and catch up on sleep

13h30 -14h30 Lunch

15h - 17h30 Post-processing session. Once again we’ll look at getting the best from the images we took in last night’s session. We’ll look at how we can increase participant’s knowledge and skill with Lightroom and Photoshop, and introduce more complex techniques like Luminosity Masks

19h-20h Dinner in the hotel

21h30 - 3h30 Shooting session in the Hvanngil / Alftavatn region:

Once again we’ll make the drive into the highlands, this time a little deeper than last night to the edge of Mælifellssandur, a wilderness of black sand and rock, and into the Hvanngil and Alftavatn area of the highlands.  Once again we’ll explore the area from sunset golden hour to sunrise and find elevated compositions from which we can look out over the peaks of Stórasúla and the surrounding hills, lakes and river.  Like last night, we’ll be doing some walking across the the landscape and scrambling up hills to get to the best vantage points from which to capture this unique, other-worldly landscape.

    DAY 5 to 7- LANDMANNALAUGAR & THE NORTHERN FJALLABAK  (JULY 6 - 8)

    12h  After getting plenty of sleep and breakfast, we’ll check out and head to our second base on the edge on the edge of the northern part of the Fjallabak region of the highlands.  Typically, it will take us around an hour to get to and from our shooting locations.  As before, during our time here the itinerary will vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we spend some time at all of the locations in the area:

    • The Landmannalaugar region, including the colourful rhyolite hills and the peak of Blahnukur, the “blue mountain”
    • The lava fields of Austurkròkur
    • Haifoss waterfall
    • Sigöldugljufur waterfalls
    • Hnausapollur crater lake
    • Kýlingavatn lake

    For example, a typical itinerary could be:

    DAY 5  (JULY 6)

    13h30 -14h30  Arrive and settle in at the hotel and have lunch

    15h - 17h30 Processing session. We’ll look at getting the best from the images we took in last night’s session. We’ll be putting into practice the skills we’ve picked up with Lightroom and Photoshop, and look at the best way to stitch multi-image panoramas

    18h-19h30 Dinner in the hotel

    20h30 - 3h30 Shooting session in the Landmannalaugar region:

    • Late light on the rhyolite peaks in Landmannalaugar valley
    • Last light and sunset from the peak of Blahnukur.  It takes around an hour to hike to the top but the views once there are worth it offering everything from 360º panoramic views of the lakes, rivers and peaks of the entire region to intimate abstracts of the snow and colourful mountains
    • Twilight and blue hour, explore the Brennisteinsalda valley and Laugahraun lava fields

    DAY 6 (JULY 7)

    All morning to relax and catch up on sleep

    13h30 -14h30 Lunch

    15h - 17h30 Processing session. Another session aimed at getting the best from the images we took in last night’s shoot. We’ll be putting into practice the skills we’ve picked up with Lightroom and Photoshop

    18h-19h Dinner in the hotel

    20h30 - 3h30 Shooting session at a range of nearby locations:

    • Sunset at Haifoss waterfall.  A breath-taking location where the river splits and plunges into the 150m canyon in two massive falls.
    • Twilight and the blue hour in the Austurkròkur lava fields and Kýlingavatn lake a little north of Landmannalauger.
    • Sunrise from the lower slopes of Sudumamur, a peak that overlooks the whole of Landmannalaugar and the multiple strands of the Jökulgilskvísl river valley

    DAY 7 (JULY 8)

    All morning to relax and catch up on sleep

    13h30 -14h30 Lunch

    15h - 17h30 Final post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we’ve taken so far on the trip and putting everything we’ve learned into practice

    18h-19h Dinner in the hotel

    20h30 - 3h30 Shooting session at a range of nearby locations:

    • Sunset at Hnausapollur crater lake, with views over the surrounding lunar-like landscape.
    • Twilight and the blue hour in the Landmannalaugar area discovering new compositions or re-visiting any locations we’ve shot before in different lighting conditions.
    • Sunrise above Sigöldugljufur, a little known waterfall where the water cascades into a valley facing the rising sun.

    DAY 8- REYKJAVIK (JULY 9)

    12h  After getting up and having breakfast we’ll head back to Reykjavik.  We’ll stop for lunch along the way to break the journey and be on the look out for Icelandic horses so we can stop and do some portraits.  

    16h We’ll arrive in Reykjavik later in the afternoon, check into our hotel and have a final dinner together.  In the evening there’ll be time for an informal post-processing session before we head out for a final shooting session at some of the local Reykjavik landmarks like the Hallgrímskirkja church or the Sun Voyager sculpture.  

    The following morning (July 10), we say our goodbyes and drop people off at the airport.


    WHAT WE DO (AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS)

    Our aim is to take you to beautiful locations and give you every opportunity to get great images while improving your technique over the course of the workshop.  From the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, which combined with having three professional photography tutors allows us to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field and in the post processing sessions.  

    We’ve carefully timetabled this workshop to ensure that while you get to experience some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes the planet has to offer, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort or sleep despite the fact that we’ll be travelling at a time when there’s no night.  We’ll make sure that you get plenty of time in the field when the light is at it’s absolute best, and with long sessions you’ll quickly get into a shooting rhythm where you can put into practice new skills as they are learned.  The dates of our workshops are carefully selected to try and make sure we are in each location at the time of year when conditions for photography are at their best.  In the Icelandic Highlands for example, too early in the summer can mean some of the trails are impassable due to snow not having melted, but much later and the melting snow can raise river levels and make them impossible to cross.  Early July gives us the best chance to access the highlands but there’s still plenty of snow left on the peaks to give another dimension to compositions of the mountains, particularly when shooting abstracts.

    Our timetable is highly flexible and having a number of fantastic locations all very close to our two bases means we can adapt to the weather and go to where the conditions are best for shooting.  This adaptability also extends to the post processing sessions.  We believe that editing is an integral part of getting the absolute best out of an image but we understand that the range of participant’s skill levels and familiarity with post processing techniques varies greatly.  Because of this we once again make the most of having three tutors to provide editing sessions in the afternoon that can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop.

    Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible place.  We aim to make your experience here in the beautiful landscape of Iceland a memorable one and a trip from which, as well as getting some great images from amazing locations, you’ll also go home having had a true adventure with great company in a very special place.

    Landmannalaugar Valley Portrait.jpg

    SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP

    IN THE FIELD:

    • Understanding the light and choosing the best exposure 
    • Composition.  Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.
    • Lens choice. From the wide angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens
    • Long exposures for blurring moving water and clouds and using neutral density filters
    • Shooting multiple image panoramas
    • Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
    • Shooting in the blue hour and overcast weather

    PROCESSING:

    • Using Lightroom to apply contrast
    • Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
    • Photoshop masks for local adjustments
    • Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
    • Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
    • Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex and Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers
    • Sharpening images

    WHAT TO BRING

    A dSLR or mirrorless camera

    The criteria for the kind of work we’ll be doing is a camera that can be operated completely manually to ensure we get the best exposure with interchangeable lenses allowing us to cover a range of focal lengths

    A wide angle lens

    For some of the locations a wide angle lens really is essential if you want to get those epic landscapes with a foreground that feels you can almost step right into it.  16mm or 17mm on a full frame camera (10mm or 12mm on an APS-C sensor camera) is ideal. 

    A telephoto lens

    In the highlands we’ll often find ourselves shooting distant landscapes or abstracts, which a telephoto is ideal for.  A telephoto also compresses the landscape and is great for mountains when shooting from elevation.  A range that covers 70-200mm (55-135mm on a crop sensor) is ideal.

    A mid-range zoom lens

    While these lenses are often the least useful for shooting landscapes, for the kind of locations we’ll be encountering in Iceland there will certainly be many occasions when the zooms listed above are too wide or too long and a mid-range zoom in the 24-70mm (18-55mm on a crop sensor) is perfect.

    Tripod

    We’ll often be shooting in low light so a tripod is an absolutely essential piece of equipment.  A lightweight carbon fibre model is ideal for this kind of trip.

    Filters

    We’ll be shooting at least a couple of waterfalls and a neutral density filter of at least 3 stops will help slow down the exposure to blur the water.  There may also be times when a graduated filter will help control the brightness of the sky.

    A cable release

    This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, avoiding movement blur during longer exposures.

    Comfortable waterproof walking boots

    We’ll certainly be walking over rocky and uneven ground, as well as some scrambles up the side of hills.  We’ll also often find ourselves in muddy conditions so warm boots with good support and grip are essential.

    Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes

    Even though it’s summer it can still get quite chilly in Iceland so warm clothes will help keep you comfortable while we’re out shooting.  It’s best to layer, with a base layer next to the skin and then a fleece or thicker layer on top.  An insulated jacket on top of that will keep you warm, and also a waterproof or windproof shell as a final layer in case the weather turns bad..

    Camera Backpack

    When moving your camera gear for any length of time a backpack can really save your back.  A good backpack, one with sturdy hip straps, can safely distribute the weight of your gear and really save you from aches, pains and potential injury.

    Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW and Photoshop

    We’ll be shooting RAW, and as part of each day will be dedicated to post processing images a good RAW converter like Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW is essential.  Other converters like Capture One are also fine.  Adobe Photoshop is great for more advanced processing as it allows us to be much more subtle and creative in it’s use of layers.

    If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.


    THE GUIDES

    ANDY MUMFORD is a Lisbon based professional landscape and travel photographer.  Andy has travelled all over the world taking pictures and his work has featured in various publications such as Practical Photography UK, Australian Photography and Progresso Fotografico amongst others.  Andy is the author of the travel photography guide Photographing Burma and has co-authored the soon-to-be-published Beyond Lisbon, a walking guide to the coast and countryside of the Lisbon region.

    Andy grew up in the UK loving nature and travel, and originally came to Lisbon as a teacher in 1998.  He started his journey in landscape photography over a decade ago and since then has travelled extensively photographing all over the world.  He has been leading both group and one-to-one workshops for five years.

    He is a Fuji X Photographer and a brand ambassador for Fujifilm in Portugal, although he also has extensive experience with Nikon and Canon cameras.

     

    KONSTANTINOS VASILAKIS is an award winning Greece based professional landscape and mountain photographer.  His work has been published and exhibited around the world, and he has been organising and leading workshop for over five years.

    Konstantinos’ work stems from his passion for nature and his drive to capture images that are a personal representation of the scene in front of him, and living in Greece’s northern mountains provides him with much of his inspiration.

     

    KOSTAS PETRAKIS is a Holland based professional landscape photographer who has travelled extensively and photographed some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes.  He has over a decade of photographic experience shooting in iconic locations from Italy to Iceland, Scotland to the French Alps, and has been leading workshops for over five years.

    Kostas’ is inspired by the wild landscape, by the untouched wilderness and by the adventure of exploring new places.

    Andy.jpg
     
    konstantinos.jpg
    Kostas copy.jpg

    For more information, including an overview of the weather, tips on how to get to Iceland, as well as all the terms, conditions and payment information please download the workshop PDF.

    For any other enquiries or bookings, please fill out the form below.

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