The 2016 Iceland Winter Workshop Highlights

March 23, 2016 ·

Kevin Raber
The 2016 Winter Iceland Workshop Group
The 2016 Winter Iceland Workshop Group

We recently finished the Winter Iceland Workshop and what a great adventure it was.  Luminous-Landscape has been holding workshops in Iceland since 2004.  Each trip brings its own surprises.  Even after visiting many of the locations as often as I have, I always find something new, from the small details of the landscape to the changes caused by the weather, the light or the time of day.

Battling snow and high winds didn’t stop us from making some great captures

We have been working with one of the finest Icelandic photographers I know, Iceland’s own Daniel Bergmann.  Over the years we have become friends and he has been our guide for all our trips.  Daniel’s knowledge of Iceland always means we will be at the right spot at the right time to get the shot.  This year was no different and now he has a large 4-wheel drive monster bus to make sure we get to the best locations.  This beast can go through everything.  We went off road several times to remote spots with no other photographers or tourists anywhere near us.

Snowy days make for some interesting BW images
Snowy days make for some interesting BW images

A large part of a great workshop is the attendees; we had a great group of sixteen photographers to share this adventure with.  These seasoned photographers brought equipment from an iPhone to the latest in Phase One 100mp camera systems.  We even had one photographer who was still shooting film using a Pentax 6×7.  The workshop has less to do about gear and more about seeing the shot in the immense landscape.

A different image of the Black Church made on an iPhone
A different image of the Black Church made on an iPhone

As is typical with all our workshops, we were up early and out late.  During winter workshops it makes it a bit more civilized with late sunrises and early sunsets.  But if the weather was good we’d be out from night to early morning shooting the Northern Lights.

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Winter is a special time to visit Iceland as it defines what the word ICE means.  We had high winds and blinding snow for the first day of our workshop.  That didn’t deter anyone from venturing out to capture interesting images.  After that weather became more cooperative we had good days for photography the rest of the trip.

Stockiness never disappoints, always a great image to be made here

Although it took a few days, we finally had good icebergs on the beach at Jökulsárlón Iceberg Lagoon.  We got some stunning images as the ice was blue and the skies were just this incredible yellow color with layers of clouds.

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It’s hit or miss at the iceberg beach. This year we hit it.

The trip seemed to go quickly; we had to go back through our images and look at a map to realize the ground we covered and the scenes that were photographed.

Shooting on the beach at Vic
Shooting on the beach at Vic

Iceland has become very popular for photography workshops.  We were aghast at some of these groups as they barged their way in front of us and others to get images that were clearly being made by someone else already.  I actually watched one workshop where the instructor set up a shot and then everyone did the same shot.  He would set up the camera, compose the image and then let the attendee push the shutter.  Also, many of these workshops stick to the tourist routes and don’t use guides.  So they miss out on some of the real Iceland.  If there is one thing that Daniel and I do, it is to get away from others.  This is possible except in one or two iconic locations. I suspect I may post a rant in the future regarding photographers who barge in front of others.

Going where others can't
Going where others can’t

The bottom line is that we had a great workshop.  Next year Daniel and I will be doing two workshops together.  These workshops will be March 20-30, 2017 and July 26th through August 5th, 2017.  The winter workshop will be an around Iceland trip and our summer trip will cover a   number of locations, particularly the Highlands.  The details on these workshops will be published soon. I strongly suggest that you sign up right away, as they may be the last ones we do in Iceland for awhile.

You can see more about the workshops on the Rantatorial Page.

Sunrise at Vic

Kevin Raber
March 2016


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Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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