- Icelandic culture
- Camera Gear
- Shooting and Processing agenda
- Arriving in Iceland/Flights
- Luggage Guide
- Ice Caves
- Blue Lagoon
- Trip interruption and cancellation insurance
We are thrilled you have chosen to join us in an amazing photography journey and trip of a lifetime to Iceland this December. The intention of the workshop is to have a blast discovering a new place, walk away with amazing memories and at times challenging, yet educational experience of shooting landscapes in Iceland as we are likely to encounter diverse landscapes with diverse conditions. The main photography goal is to instruct you in getting the best from each of these. For these reasons we have decided that 4 guest per instructor is an optimal number to ensure good photographic opportunities and experiences for all guest.
This document is designed to help you prepare for the upcoming workshop. Please, let us know if you have questions. We want to help everyone feel as relaxed and excited as possible as we embark on this wonderful adventure together.
We found the Icelandic natives to be extremely friendly, helpful and genuine. The area is very safe for travelers. We will be travelling mostly along the West coast and South shore of the island. Most areas that we drive through and visit are in rural areas. As we drive to our destination points we will be traveling through small towns from time to time. These are nice stops to use the restroom, grab coffee, snacks and meals when needed. Due to the long-lasting “Golden Hour” light, we have plenty of time to stop when needed.
- Minimum of one DSLR Camera Body
- Wide angle lens (16mm or wider for full frame cameras, approximately 12mm for crop sensor) - 2.8 is very helpful for night and aurora borealis images. This is not required however. F4 will do the trick, but 2.8 will be better.
- Mid-range lens (24-70)
- Telephoto (70-200)
- Reliable Tri-pod with a ball head (Required, snow, sand and wind require a sturdy tripod)
- ND and Graduated ND Filters -
- European wall and car electricity converters
- Rain sleeve for camera and lens
- Battery charger
- Extra batteries and memory cards
Shooting and Processing agenda:
Here is a list of the specific destination locations that we plan on photographing (we will also pull over and photograph scenes along the way which have nice light and subject matter)
- ‘The black church’
- Gatlklettur Arch
- Arnarstapi (fishing town)
- Mt. Kirkjufell
- Reynisfjara Beach
- The diamond beach
- Ice Cave
- Blue Lagoon
In October, Iceland has an average low temperature of 37°F (about 3°C) and highs of 45°F (7°C). Rain is a common occurrence in Iceland so we will want to be well prepared for such events in order to stay comfortable and protect our camera gear in the event that we are shooting in those sorts of conditions. Wind storms can exist on the island and we may need to prepare to be flexible in our shooting agenda and lodging itinerary.
Arriving in Iceland/Flights:
In order to account for the possibility of flight delays or luggage delays and a bonus of having time to recover from travel and time change, we are requiring everyone to fly in the day before the tour starts:
For the December 2-9 workshop: You will need to fly in on December 1, 2017.
For the December 12-19 workshop: You will need to fly in on December 11, 2017.
The airport to fly into is the Keflavik International Airport, KEF, also known as Rekjavik-Keflavik Airport. Most flights from the United States arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland between 6:15 AM and 6:45 AM. We recommend taking the day to explore Rekjavik.
Its important that you book a room at “Airport Hotel - Aurora Star”. It is very convenient, located just across the street and offers a shuttle to and from the hotel. This is where we will be staying . We can meet the morning the tour starts, load into our vehicles and go straight from there.
For those who are considering spending additional time in Iceland outside of the workshop, we do recommend spending those days after the workshop. This will be helpful as after experiencing the workshop you will be familiar with which areas you liked the most and will give you opportunities to photograph those areas again.
During the workshop we will be doing a combination of eating out, and having family style meals which will be prepared by us. We are not world class chefs, but we will get the job done. For anyone desiring to participate in the cooking, you are more the welcome, but we do not expect or require this. As we are staying in vacation rental properties throughout the workshop, it will be most convenient to eat where we are staying. Many lunches that we eat can be pre-made for our day in the field. However, as with dinners we may eat out from time to time based on convenience. Both Kate and Seth will be taking care of this. For the times that we eat out, Iceland’s staples are lamb and fish. The more exotic foods include horse, shark and puffin. From our experience the lamb is quite wonderful! After we receive everyone's questionnaire, we will construct a meal plan and send that out to everyone.
During the workshop we will be staying in vacation rentals almost exclusively. These rentals can accommodate 5 individuals. Most lodging arrangements are for double occupancy for each rental, so you will likely have a roommate. For those needing single occupancy arrangements please contact us at: email@example.com
Expect Arctic conditions. It is quite important that you bring a decent amount of synthetic clothing, it is very important to layer adequately. Some cotton is ok, but in the event that we receive rain you will definitely want synthetic layers. Cotton will stay wet and will make you cold. Synthetic clothing dries faster and keeps you relatively warm. Icelanders dress with 3 or 4 thin layers, starting with wool and ending with Gortex (or similar).
What is synthetic clothing? Fleece, nylon, polyester. Even though wool is not synthetic, it will keep you warm even while wet.
To get specific, here is what we recommend bringing:
- Fleece pants or long johns
- Outdoor hiking pants (not Jeans)
- Synthetic rain pants (a light rain pant should be adequate)
- One or two fleece tops
- Rain jacket and rain pants
- Eye protection (sunglasses)
- Sturdy shoes for light hiking (water proof is best), wool socks.
- Hat and gloves, scarf and balaclava
- T-shirts for underlayers
- Spare gloves - spare shoes.
5 people will be in one vehicle so it is important to bring only one medium size suitcase under 23”-26”, one camera bag and one tripod each.
The Ice caves are a natural amazing phenomenon that can change with in days depending on weather conditions, so we never know what to expect, but we always hope for the amazing turquoise blue color. In the past few years Ice cave visits have become very popular, not only by photographers but by all travelers. There are groups going inside the caves from first daylight until darkness daily. This means it’s getting harder for photographers to set up their tripods and photograph to their likings. So taking tours to the Ice caves as we used to do is no longer a good option. We therefore need to hire a local glacier guide half the day that has been scouting and looking for other ice cave options with photographers needs in mind and hope for better cave opportunities. This will involve some more hiking to get to these caves.( approx.1-2 km).
We will spend the morning relaxing at the Blue Lagoon, Iceland's most famous geothermal spa. Reservations are required. Please take a look at the website http://www.bluelagoon.comIto determine which spa package you are interested in. Let us know what you'd like t o book and we will take care of the final reservation. If you'd rather skip the swim, you can take a walk on the lava field, which surrounds the Lagoon and offers some interesting photo opportunities.
Trip interruption and cancellation insurance:
We strongly recommend taking out trip interruption and cancellation insurance. There are many companies that provide trip interruption or cancellation insurance . We also recommend medical travel insurance, to ensure you are covered for any health issues that occur abroad. Enlighten Photography LLC cannot be responsible for any medical treatment, or cost associated with returning home.
Here are several review sites. We recommend starting with the following sites which contain highly-rated companies:
There are certain companies that continually, year after year, make the top-ten list (in alphabetical order):
***In reviewing, make sure the company is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. As of this update, all four companies above have the coveted A+ rating. Always get a quote and do not decide on price alone. Because selecting the right insurance for you can be confusing, we recommend speaking with an agent to understand the ins and outs of travel and/or travel medical insurance.