July 26 – August 5, 2017
With Daniel Bergmann and Kevin Raber
This Iceland expedition is co-lead by Kevin Raber of Rockhopper Workshops, the exclusive provider of Luminous-Landscape workshops and Daniel Bergmann, native Icelander, and photographer.
The itinerary includes some of the most iconic locations in Iceland, along with many lesser-known jewels. It will be a circumnavigation of the island, starting in the southern highlands, then north through the barren volcanic center, east to reach the south coast and eventually west to complete the circle. In late July all of the highland roads have opened up, allowing us access into areas that are snow free for just three months of the year. We will use specially modified 4×4 vehicles on large tires that can ford deep rivers to get us into the highlands (Iceland’s interior).
Our trips are always fun and are all about getting the best images that this magnificent landscape has to offer. Together we have been doing this tour for over ten years. There are a lot of workshop options in Iceland these days but very few with the experience we have of the region as well as the expertise we have of photographing Iceland. We’ll get you to the right locations at the right time for the best light. And, speaking of light, we will be working in some of the most beautiful light there is. With almost 22 hours of daylight, we’ll be shooting around the clock and sleep when we can. The best light typically is between 10PM and 4AM in the morning.
In the beginning of August sunset is around 22:30 and sunrise at about 04:00. The period between sunset and sunrise is therefore short. We will therefore work hard when the conditions are optimal and rest when we feel the need to or when the weather does not cooperate. Flexibility and a fluid plan are the key elements to make the most of a summer photography trip in Iceland and the local experience and knowledge of the native Icelandic guide ensures we will make the most of any given condition.
As always in Iceland, the weather will be unpredictable and variable and we’ll have sunshine, rain and wind and probably a bit of everything else. But the dramatic weather is just what makes for fantastic photographic opportunities.
July 26th is the designated arrival day. You will be picked up from the Keflavik airport and taken to Reykjavik City, where we’ll spend the night. We’ll have an introduction in the afternoon, followed by dinner and after a good nights rest we’ll depart the city in the morning of July 27th.
Our first day of travel will be to the Hrauneyjar highland base at the edge of Iceland’s uninhabited interior – an area commonly known as the highlands. We’ll stay for two nights at Hrauneyjar and will make excursions into the Fjallabak nature reserve to locations such as Landmannalaugar where we’ll photograph the otherworldly volcanic landscape. We’ll also trek to the Raudufossar waterfall and drive up to the nearby Haifoss waterfall.
On July 29th we’ll leave Hrauneyjar and travel north on the infamous Sprengidandur highland road. This rough track leads between glaciers through Iceland’s barren middle. Traveling this route is an experience in itself and our point of entry to northern Iceland is at the Bardardalur valley, where we are greeted by Aldeyjarfoss, one of its most amazing waterfalls that falls into a canyon of basalt column walls. Further, down river is Godafoss – one of the country’s iconic photography locations. We will be staying in a four-star hotel at the nearby lake Myvatn for three nights. From there we’ll do a sunrise trip back to Godafoss, will be at the mighty Dettifoss for sunset and will do a full day excursion into the Askja highland area where we’ll visit Holuhraun lava field from the 2015 eruption of Bardarbunga volcano. The geothermal fields near our hotel at Myvatn will also be visited.
From Mývatn we’ll travel east on August 1st and will overnight in one of the eastern fjords at Breiddalsvik. This will give us an opportunity to explore some of the coastal areas of the fjords and photograph impressive mountains of Breiddalur.
The following day we’ll continue west to the region of the Vatnajokull glacier, Europe’s largest icecap. Once there we’ll spend three nights the Smyrlabjorg hotel that is about 20 minutes away from the iconic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and it’s nearby “iceberg graveyard”. Even though this is probably the most photographed location in Iceland it’s still one that excites me after hundreds of visits. The ice on the beach changes twice a day with the currents and this is one of the most dynamic landscapes on the island. The many outlet glaciers in the area also make for a wonderful subject matter. Our extended stay gives us repeated opportunities to photograph at the lagoon and iceberg beach and also allows us to visit the Stokksnes peninsula where the Vestrahorn mountains tower over a black beach with sand dunes and pools of water.
On August 4th we’ll travel further west and overnight at the south coast. We’ll have opportunities to photograph along the way at some of the iconic locations of the south coast, such as Reynisfjara near Vik and Dyrholaey and will most likely be at Seljalandsfoss waterfall for sunset.
On August 5th we’ll drive to the Keflavik airport where the workshop will officially end early afternoon, in time for outbound flights.
This photography workshop is about improving your photography as well as experiencing unique and exciting locations. The leaders will be out photographing with you every day, helping you to realize the images you’re after and encourage you to explore and see the landscape in new ways. We are as passionate about photography as you are and participating in an intense photographic journey, with a group of like-minded individuals, is a sure way to grow as a photographer. As leaders and instructors we’re always at hand to assist and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the philosophical aspect of our art.
Accommodation and Food
We will be staying in single “en-suite” rooms at six different hotels and guesthouses – all comfortable with good food. Even at the remote Hrauneyjar highland center the accommodation is quite good, although the establishment is basic in nature. Wi-Fi internet will be available at all locations. All meals are included. If you have a special dietary requirement you will be accommodated – just be sure and let me know when you make your booking. Lunches will be taken on the road, either at service centers or cafés or as packed lunches.
July 26 – August 5, 2017
Duration: 10 days/10 nights
Cost: $8,950 USD (a $750 discount per person available for shared accommodation)
Includes: Transportation in modified 4×4 vehicles, single occupancy accommodation, all food and drink (except alcohol), guidance and tuition
Excludes: International flights, insurance, alcoholic beverages
Group size: 14
Leaders: Daniel Bergmann and Kevin Raber
Please contact me (Daniel Bergmann) for further information and booking.
I see the world through the lens and a frame. Photography for me is an extension of who I am. I have gone through many stages in my career. At one time I was a portrait photographer with many prestigious clients. Over time I grew restless for something else in the field. I truly enjoy my current work as a fine art landscape photographer. There is something special about examining and photographing everything from grand scenes in nature that are there for a moment and then gone to industrial landscapes and focusing on the incredibly minute details of peeling paint and rust. I am most fortunate to be able to travel to many wonderful places.
I have fond memories of nights and weekends spent in the darkroom creating prints. The stereo blasting. It could be fun and it could be tedious. You didn’t always know what you were going to get and, at times, it required extensive hands-on darkroom manipulation. I can still smell the chemicals. I was taught by masters of the darkroom.
Today, that has all changed thanks to the advent of computers, digital cameras and Photoshop. The darkroom is the computer. Some things are still unpredictable, but the tools to achieve the final result allow you to see them immediately on the screen in real time and right in front of you. Digital allows you to capture a range of tonalities and exposures that were impossible with film. Variables such as emulsion, temperature, chemistry and exposure are taken out of the equation. What you see on your computer monitor is what you will get when printed. One thing that hasn’t changed is the music. It goes along with creating and working on images. Thank God for iTunes.
I embraced digital early on. It continues to evolve and provide flexibility to all who embrace it. The digital age is still young and has completely transformed our industry. Never before has a switch from analog to digital been so prevalent as in photography. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next ten years takes us.
My career in photography has evolved since 1972 when I first began making a living with photography. Today I am also CEO of the Luminous-Landscape.com, one of the most visited and prestigious websites for the photographers on the internet, with over 1.5 million visitors a month. I lead photography workshops to edge of the planet locations as well provide instructional videos to photographers on how to improve their craft.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that can dampen my passion and enthusiasm for photography. It has opened doors to the world for me and I am most grateful I can share my experiences with others.
I was born and raised in Iceland and developed an interest in photography as a teenager. Combined with a strong interest in nature and travel it soon led me into the field of nature photography, which has been my passion ever since. Over the past two decades I’ve build my reputation as a nature and landscape photographer and in 2009 I was invited to participate in the distinguished Wild Wonders of Europe project. I’ve authored four books and the latest one, Iceland Landscapes, is a collection of landscape photographs with text that is written with photographers in mind.
About ten years ago I started guiding photography tours and workshops in Iceland. Due to growing demand it has become my main occupation. While anyone can come to Iceland and travel on his/her own to some of the main photography destinations the experience is more relaxing, rewarding and productive with local guidance. And I enjoy nothing more than introducing travelers to this country that I’m continually so fascinated with.
My photography tours and workshops are run by Natura Travel, a fully licensed travel agency by the Icelandic Tourist Board.