March 29 – April 6, 2013 in Iceland
with Lance Keimig, Tim Vollmer and Scott Martin
Iceland is a popular destination for so many reasons. This trip will be special in that it comes at the end of winter at what is essentially the best time to photograph the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis in the next decade. We’ll have 8 days and 7 nights to explore and photograph this amazingly beautiful country, and all expenses except airfare, gratuities, and alcohol are included. The trip will be co-led with Lance Keimig and Tim Vollmer (whose photographs illustrate this page). Having three instructors promises lots of one-on-one attention with participants!
If you have ever wanted to see or photograph the northern lights, this is your last best chance for the next 11 years. This winter is the period of Solar Maximum, or greatest solar activity in the Sun’s 11 year cycle. This year is predicted to be great for viewing the Aurora, and there are already great reports of almost nightly sightings in Iceland. The best time for viewing them is at night from October to April.
Our itinerary will focus on the south of Iceland, and we’ll make the most of our time with a balance between seeing as much as we can, and not being constantly on the move. The proposed itineray below will be modified to fit the weather and interests of the group.
Leave on a short overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city. Plan to arrive in Reykjavik by 8 am on March 30. The three of us will meet you at the airport and get everyone checked in to our guest house, and then give you a walking tour of the capital city. Overnight in Reykjavik.
Leaving Reykjavik this morning, we drive to the south coast and then eastwards to visit the spectacular Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls, and then on to see Reynisfjara black sand beach and Reynisdrangar sea stacks. Dinner and overnight in Smyrlabjörg
Vatnajökull glacier towers over this region and has immensely affected the landscape. We will visit many of Vatnajökull’s outlets and outwash areas, the stunning Skaftafell, Iceland’s second largest national park were the landscape has been formed in thousands of years by different influences of fire and water (volcanic eruptions and the glaciers). The glacial scenery continues with a visit to the Jökulsárlón lagoon, a famous glacial lagoon full of icebergs were we can take a short boat tour and sail among the huge icebergs, an unforgettable experience!
Dinner and overnight in Smyrlabjörg
Continuing around the east coast and northwards today, we drive through the breath taking landscapes of the remote Eastern fjords to the town of Egilsstadir. We continue over the barren highland areas to Lake Mývatn.
Mývatn is one of the country’s most fascinating places, and we’ll spend a couple of days exploring the area. The unique ecology of the lake and its unusual environment has made it one of northern Iceland’s greatest attractions. Lake Mývatn is famous for sea birds, and for the beautiful landscape influenced by volcanic activity and boiling sulfurous springs.Some of the places we’ll see and photograph are:
Skútustaðargígar pseudo craters: A cluster of colourful and beautifully formed pseudo craters situated close to Skútustaðir and easily accessible from there by foot.
Höfði, Nature Park: With rich flora, fauna and a beautiful view of the lake.
Dimmuborgir: Translated as “Black Castles”, a landscape of rugged crags and strange lava formations.
Hverfjall: A huge explosive tuff crater.
Námafjall: A mountain ridge singed and boiled by sulphurous vapours.
Grjótagjá: One of Iceland’s most well known chasms, half full of hot water, which made it a popular bathing spot for a long time, but has recently become too hot for bathing.
Krafla: A high temperature field with active volcanic craters, where a steam-powered electricity generating station has been built.
Leirhnjúkur: Part of the Krafla fissure complex. It is one of the most interesting sights in the Mývatn area. A highly active volcano and a small but very colorful high-temperature geothermal field.
Dettifoss waterfall, Europe’s most powerful waterfall.
Hólmatungur Nature Reserve, with colourful rock formations and rich flora.
The Nature Reserve of Hljóðaklettar (The Echo Cliffs)
Ásbyrgi, a natural horseshoe-shaped rock enclosure sheltering fertile and lush vegetation.
We leave Lake Mývatn and drive to Akureyri, and then complete our circumferential journey around the coast of Iceland, arriving back in Reykjavik for our last night in Iceland. Akureyri boasts some beautifully restored timber buildings. Because of its excellent natural harbor and good communications, Akureyri has become the northern center of education, culture, trade and industry. After a short stop, we will pass Goðafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most beautiful and renowned waterfalls before continuing through the farmland of North Iceland back to Reykjavík.
We leave Reykjavik and head to the Blue Lagoon, for a relaxing dip in 38°C therapeutic geothermal water before we head to the airport for the afternoon flight home. Most flights depart around 5 pm, please schedule yours for 4 pm or later.
This photo tour will feature long days and nights with intense periods of photography. It’s not a workshop- there is no formal instruction, lectures or critiques. There won’t be time, as we’ll be photographing day and night. This is not to say that it won’t be a learning experience, but the first and foremost goal of this trip is to provide you with a comfortable and organized opprotunity to create images of the dramatic landscapes of iceland and of the Aurora. You’ll be working closely with people of varying levels of photographic experience, and we’ll all learn from each other and making friends along the way. The three of us will be available to work with you in the field offering both creative and technical advice, but again this is primarily a working tour, not a workshop. There may be time for casual sharing and review of images, especially if there is some weather.
Expect temperatures just above freezing day and night. It may rain, snow, be windy, or all three. It may be sunny and dry. It’s best to be prepared for everything from wet days in the upper 20′s to sunny days in the upper 40′s. Waterproof gear, gloves, hats, and boots are essential.
We will be staying in guest houses and hotels that are simple, but absolutely clean and comfortable, and used by photo tour groups led by Tim and others. All meals through breakfast on the last day will be included during the tour, with breakfast and evening meals generally being taken at our hotel or guest house, and lunches being mostly packed lunch picnics on the go. There will be lots of seafood- but other choices as well. Alcohol, especially wine, is expensive.
The price of this trip includes:
* Transfer from/to airport upon arrival and departure
* 4 nights in a hotel in the country
* 3 nights in a hotel in Reykjavik
* Full board from dinner on day one to breakfast on day 8
* Flight from Reykjavík to Höfn
* Boat trip on the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
* Entrance to the Blue Lagoon and towel
* One on one time with professional photographers Lance Keimig and Tim Vollmer
* Day and night photography
* With a little luck, the Aurora Borealis
The price of this trip does not include:
* International airfare from your home city
* Travel insurance
* Equipment insurance
* Alcoholic beverages
The minimum group size is six, the maximum is ten.
The base price of the trip is $3995 based on two people sharing a room.
The price for couples is $7695 (a $300 savings)
The supplement for a single room is $300. If you wish to share your room, but we cannot find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.
If you have a group (six or seven people), there will be a small group surcharge of $400.
Your deposit of $300 guarantees you a spot on the tour. (use button below)
A payment of $1000 will due December 1, 2012
A payment of $2000 will due January 1, 2013
A final payment of $695 (plus any supplemental fees, when applicable) are Due February 1, 2013.
Credit card deposits are accepted for the initial deposit. Further payments are requested to be paid by check. Credit cards will be accepted for any balance due, but subject to a 3.5% credit card transaction fee.
Money handling for this workshop is provided by Lance Keimig Photographics. Photos on this page are © 2012 Tim Vollmer