Iceland 2016 Workshop

Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland - Photo by Jim Harmer
Where else can you get an amazing mountain, a river, an icy waterfall, a lake, the rising moon, stars, the northern lights, AND a shooting star all in one photo?  Probably nowhere… except Iceland 🙂  Photo by Jim Harmer.

All 14 spots have now filled up–in less than a week!  This workshop is sold out.

Photo nerds, let's go to Iceland!  I went to Iceland last year and it was absolutely amazing.  Iceland is an excellent destination for photography because the frequent storms make for epic landscape photography, and the long-lasting light is tremendous.

Dates/Itinerary

The dates of the trip are April 25-30, 2016.

You should schedule your flight to arrive in the AM of April 25, or else arrive a day early to rest and relax before we start.

Monday

  • We'll likely shoot the Blue Lagoon in the morning since it is near the airport.
  • Lunch in Reykjavik (pronounced RAY-ka-vik) and meet each other
  • Check in to the hotel and drop off bags
  • Explore the city on your own.  There are a few good locations in Reykjavic.
  • 3PM – Head out to Kirkjufellsfoss (2 hour drive from Reykjavic)
    • Probably the best location in Iceland!
    • We'll stop along the way and shoot Icelandic horses and other scenic spots if there is cloud cover
  • Drive back to the hotel in Reykjavic

Tuesday – Friday

  • Morning shoot at Glymur Waterfall
  • Pack up your bags.  We're headed OUT of the city and INTO the heart of the best Icelandic photography locations.
  • We'll be staying in Kirkjubæjarklaustur
    • Few workshops stay in locations other than the city.  I think it's worth it.  We'll reduce driving time significantly, and Kirkjubæjarklaustur is closest to my favorite locations in Iceland.
  • I have many of the best locations all mapped out, but the order in which we visit them depends on weather/clouds.  So each night we'll sit down together and plot a course for the next day.  Some of the locations for Tuesday to Friday:
    • Skógafoss
    • Dyrhólaey
    • Reynisfjara
    • The amazing wreckage of an airplane on a black sand beach
    • Thórsmörk
    • Bruarfoss
    • Gljúfrabúifoss
    • Svartifoss
    • Jökulsárlón
    • Vestrahorn
  • Friday evening – Make our way back to Reykjavic.  Stay in Reykjavic overnight.

Saturday

  • Meet for a final breakfast with everyone.
  • Depending on your flight time, head back to the airport or shoot in the morning on your own and then head to the airport.

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Price

$1300 includes your guiding fees only (All prices in US Dollars.  Reserve your spot below.)

I think you could reasonably budget $3,000 (US Dollars) for the entire trip.  Here's how I figure.

  • $1,300 workshop fee
  • $420 hotel (This is $80/night for a single room.  You could save if you get a roommate)
  • $750 flight (Depending on where you're coming from.  I'd guess the cheapest fare rates will be in January.  Don't book your flights until you're in the Facebook group and we can talk out details.)
  • $340 car/gas (Assuming you share a car with another attendee to split the cost.  Gas is pricey in Iceland!)
  • $190 food (It'd be more if you eat out each meal for sure, but I usually eat breakfast at the hotel and just pack some granola bars/snacks for lunch)

I obviously can't guarantee your travel prices other than the workshop fee, but those are the estimates of what I consider reasonable having been there before.

So to be clear, you'll be paying Improve Photography the $1,300 workshop fee ONLY.  Everything else is on your own, but we will all be staying at the same hotels, sharing rental cars, etc.  We'll all just make our own reservations so you have the flexibility to extend your stay in Iceland, choose who you room with (or get a room yourself), pick if you want to join someone else to split a rental car, etc.  We'll give you all the info soon after you have you purchase your spot in the workshop.  You'll be given a link to a special Facebook group for attendees after checkout.

The workshop fee for a non-photographer accompanying spouse is $750.

WE ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED in how many people we can take on this trip, so if you're considering the trip, do NOT delay booking.  I expect this trip to go quickly.

SOLD OUT

Your payment of $1,300 is NON-REFUNDABLE!  The payment is not a deposit, but is a payment to reserve our time in leading your workshop.  If you need to cancel your attendance at the workshop, Improve Photography may advertise the opening to others.  IF someone else signs up to take your spot, we may refund you your $1,300, but only if the spot sells to another in time.

Bruarfoss, the most difficult waterfall to find, but we found it!
Bruarfoss, the most difficult waterfall to find, but we found it!

Group Size

We will have a student to instructor ratio of 1:7.  After leading many workshops, I've found this is a good balance of having an instructor who is there for you, but not “breathing down my neck, looking over my shoulder every second.”  🙂

The instructors are myself (Jim Harmer) and my good friend and incredible photographer Nick Page.  I really feel like having two workshop instructors for a trip like this is a huge benefit because you get to see two very different opinions of photography and techniques, so you can learn different styles and have the opportunity to pick up what you like.

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What the Trip is Like

Before the trip, we'll start a new Facebook group just for attendees.  You'll meet everyone in the group (virtually) before we leave and be able to ask questions and prepare.  This will be where you can find someone to split a car/room with, etc.

This is not a lazy vacation.  This is serious sleep-when-you're-dead style photography.  Expect the alarm clock to go off EARLY.  We'll grab a bite to eat together (if something is open yet) and then we'll head off in caravans.

and then head out for the day.  Each day is different.  If we have good clouds during the day, we can sometimes stay out almost all day shooting.  Other days, the clouds clear out, and a clear day spoils the photography, so we may only shoot morning and evening and night.  We'll do our best to give you a plan of what each day will bring the night before, but everything depends on weather.

We'll stay together for the trip.  We'll pick restaurants so we can all group up and enjoy each other's company and review photos.  But since we're all purchasing our own accommodations, you're certainly welcome to venture off on your own a bit if that's what you prefer.

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Physical Abilities/Photography Skill Levels/Equipment

From a physical standpoint, if you feel comfortable walking 1 mile on uneven terrain, you should be in fine shape for this trip.  The rocky ground in Iceland is very uneven, but we won't need to go on any hikes over 2 miles.  If any location is out of your comfort zone, you're more than welcome to shoot another location, stay at the hotel and rest, or wait in the van until we get to another more comfortable location for you.

From a photography skill level point of view, anyone is welcome.  There is no need to be an advanced photographer by any means.  We usually have a good mix of mostly intermediate photographers, a few advanced, and a few beginners.  But if you haven't yet mastered shooting in manual mode, I HIGHLY recommend going through my Photography Start online course before the workshop.  You'll get MUCH more out of the workshop if you at least get that foundation under you before the trip.

You definitely don't need fancy photography gear to shoot in Iceland.  If you have any camera capable of shooting in manual mode, a tripod, and a wide angle lens, you're good.  If you don't have that, then just rent it for a week.

Important Legal Information

By attending this workshop, you agree to hold Improve Photography LLC and its employees and owners harmless for all personal injury or loss that may occur during or in connection with this trip.

This is a self-led travel trip.  You are responsible for your safety in the car you choose to travel in, with the roommate you select, and as you move about through Iceland.  Do not push your physical abilities past what you are healthy enough to do.  You are in charge of deciding if a location is safe for you to travel to.

Improve Photography LLC's only roll in this workshop is to teach photography in Iceland and help you find great locations.  You are responsible for your safety as you travel.  Improve Photography LLC makes no effort to vet the other attendees of the trip and you need to make sure you are safe in their companionship.

In the event of extraordinary events, governmental instability, extreme weather, or other condition, Improve Photography LLC reserves the right to cancel this trip and return all workshop fees to participants.

Nick Page is not an employee of Improve Photography LLC but is an entirely independent subcontractor.  Jim Harmer is the owner if Improve Photography LLC and his participation is not as an individual.

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