I’m back in Iceland, one of my favorite countries. I’ve been here dozens of times and always find it full of great locations for photography. Luminous-Landscape was one of the first back in early 2000’s to offer workshops in Iceland. Things were a lot different then.
Today Iceland is booming with a strong economy, and this is supported greatly by the popular tourism rage. The stats are pretty amazing in that tourism in Iceland has been climbing at around 30% for the last several years. New hotels are being built, and one can’t help but notice the throngs of tourists with selfie sticks all around town.
Most of the tourists stay within a few hours of Reykjavik. There’s a lot to see close to town, and these folks keep tour operators happy doing the infamous Golden Triangle route. There are certainly some cool spots to see on this route, but you’ll find parking, lots of full buses, and tons of people.
For our Winter Workshop, we do the best we can to leave these tourists in the dust. We plan to circumnavigate Iceland, and our first stop will be the Glacier Lagoon area. This means we leave the city at 8:30 am and drive straight along the southern part of Iceland to the lagoon. Here, we will stay in a very nice hotel and focus our photography on the numerous locations around here. We will be shooting at sunrise and sunset. This is a time when there are not that many tour buses, and crowds are a bit lighter. There is the iceberg beach as well as glaciers, ice caves, and some majestic landscapes.
We’ll then drive further north, spending one night at a location along the east coast and then heading to the northeast region. Here, we will find some spectacular waterfalls as well as geothermal fields. All of this should provide us with some magnificent images.
Then, we will work our way west again doing a few overnights along the way until we return back to the airport on the 30th.
I have been doing this workshop with Daniel Bergmann, an Icelander who is not only a great photographer but a wealth of information about this country that he loves so much. He’s got a great sense of humor, and he makes photographing in Iceland fun. He knows just about everyone that we come across. He also knows how to read the weather and light and always manages to put us in the right spot at the right time. This is something many others offering workshops in Iceland can’t do.
We have a small group on this trip, and this is the way I am beginning to like to work these days. We get to know each other faster, and we can spend more time focusing on getting the right shot for the location we are at. We travel in Daniel’s super-bus, which is outfitted to deal with just about any condition we may encounter.
During each trip I make to Iceland, I try to look at the landscape differently. This trip I am going to focus on (when possible) long exposure photography. I’ll be using the Wine Country filter system mounted on my Sony a7R II. I just did a review of this system, and I like it and feel that it will help me get some different images.
I will also shoot with my iPhone a lot. I have been working on seeing differently and have been shooting a project Being Square – Seeing Double for a few years now. There is a special app I use, and it allows be to get a different view of things. See the images above. I will be showing this work in my gallery the last weekend in April, in Indianapolis. I’ll publish a story about this next month.
So I hope I can come home with some new and different images as a result.
I tend to take a lot of gear with me to Iceland. I have a duffle full of clothes and cold weather gear. This includes long underwear, waterproof outer shells, waterproof boots, and a super winter parka by Arcteryx. My favorite duffle is the large Osprey Shuttle 36 inch.
I have a tripod case that holds my Real Right Stuff 24xl Tripod with BH55 Ball Head. I have both the rubber feet for it and the rock feet that can be quickly interchanged. The tripod is wrapped in my Arcteryx waterproof shell. I also have gloves, glove liners, hand warmers, tools, flashlights, power adapters and more packed into this case.
I am using the Dakine 30L Backpack Camera Bag and my main gear bag. This has become my backpack of choice over the last year. It has lots of space, and it’s comfortable to carry. Inside, I have packed a Sony a7 II as a backup. The a7r II will be my main camera with the 24-70mm G-Master lens. This G-Master lens, as well as the other G-Master lenses, are incredible. They are pretty expensive, but are also super sharp, fast and are weather sealed. They are supposed to handle up to 100MP (resolution) files, so I can only hope that means that Sony has plans for a larger chip camera soon.
I have a 14mm Rokinon lens that is also manual focus and has a stop for the infinity mark. This is my northern lights lens. It allows me to know I can focus at infinity-which the focus by wire AF lenses makes it very hard. I have a 16 mm fisheye too. The 85mm G-Master is also part of this kit, as well as the 90mm Macro and 70-200mm G-Master f/2.8 zoom. Plus my pocket RX100V Sony camera.
Throw in chargers, cable releases, lens wipes and I have a formidable kit.
I also carry the Really Right Stuff Urban Disguise as a briefcase for external hard drives, laptop, iPad, and cables as well as a Sony A6500.
I know it seems like a lot of stuff, and it probably is but, I have to. Everything I need for clothes, gear, and a computer to run Luminous-Landscape while traveling.
Follow This Trip
While I won’t be posting on the main site during this trip, you can follow me on kevinraber.com where I’ll attempt to post a few images each day, as well as Facebook on the Luminous-Landscape page. Many of the folks on this trip have been with me on other workshops. If you are interested, we still have two spots open for our Summer Iceland Workshop. Sign up and be part of the fun. This may be the last time for a while that I do an Iceland workshop, so it will definitely be a good one.