Iceland’s Highlands Photography Workshop
With Daníel Bergmann – August 9–19, 2018
The Highlands (interior of Iceland) still retain the feeling of untouched nature and form one of the largest area in Europe, south of the Arctic Circle, which has never been inhabited or cultivated. This unique landscape, renowned for its unparalleled geology and geomorphology, is considered one of the last great wildernesses in Europe. Most of the Highlands are only accessible by road for three months during the summer and can then be explored via the mountain routes Kjölur and Sprengisandur, that cross the middle of the island. This is where we’ll be exploring and photographing in August 2017.
I can not hide the fact that the highland part of Iceland, especially the Fjallabak Nature Reserve and its immediate surroundings, are my favourite parts of the country. This is an area I know extremely well from over twenty years of exploring the reserve, mostly on foot and recently during a two year period where I photographed it exclusively for a book on the region, published by ITA (Iceland Travel Association). I never tire of introducing people to the beauty and uniqueness of the Fjallabak reserve.
This photography workshop is about improving your photography as well as experiencing unique and exciting locations. I 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. I am as passionate about photography as you are and participating in an intense photographic journey, with a group of like minded individuals, is a good way to grow as a photographer. As an instructor I’m always at hand to assist with specific techniques and welcome the opportunity to discuss the philosophical aspect of our art.
As always, as a native Icelander, I am there to make the tours as successful as possible by using my local knowledge and experience to get us to the best locations in good light. It is my intention to give you an exciting and unforgettable journey through Iceland’s dramatic Highlands landscape. And also to give you an opportunity to grow and expand your photographic vision.
Accommodation and food
We will be staying in single en suite rooms at five different hotels. If you are traveling with a partner or a friend and want to share accommodation then the cost will be $900 less per person. Your comfort is taken seriously so all the hotels will offer a good standard of comfort and excellent food. Internet access 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 in the field.
Some of the areas that we’ll be visiting will require walking over uneven and rough terrain so a decent level of fitness is recommended. It can be cold and windy in the Highlands at the end of summer. The daily schedule can become irregular as sunset and sunrise are not far apart. We’ll rest when we can and photograph whenever possible, but will of course pace ourselves so that we don’t burn out, physically and mentally.
To move freely about and reach even the most remote locations, where glacial rivers need to be forded, we’ll be using a specially modified Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 truck with high clearance.
August 9th is the designated arrival day to Iceland. We’ll overnight in Reykjavik City, which is included in the cost of the tour. The day is free to roam around the city and we’ll meet in the evening for dinner. The following morning we’ll leave the city and start our adventure.
On August 10 we’ll head up to the north coast and will spend the first night at the Gauksmyri lodge near the Vatnsnes peninsula. We’ll explore some of the nearby coastal locations, including the Hvitserkur sea stack. The following day we’ll then travel further east to Lake Mývatn, where we’ll be based for 3 nights. From there we’ll explore nearby highland areas, including the waterfalls of Jokulsárgljúfur (Dettifoss and Selfoss) along with geothermal areas closer to the lake. We also plan to do a day long excursion into Askja.
On August 14th we’ll leave Mývatn and journey south the Sprengisandur highland road to Hrauneyjar, which will be our next main base for 3 nights. Hrauneyjar Highland base that is conveniently located close to the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Veidivotn, Háifoss and other rewarding locations. We’ll make a number of excursions into nearby areas by car and do some hiking. One of the highlights will be the golden rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar.
From Hrauneyjar we’ll then travel south through the mountains of Fjallabak on August 17th, photograph some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Highlands and eventually find our way to the Stracta hotel, where we’ll spend the last two nights. Our last day we’ll make one more excursion into the Highlands and now through the South Fjallabak area. August 19th will be the departure day and we’ll end the workshop at the Keflavik airport for afternoon flights out of Iceland.
I am a native Icelander, a professional landscape photographer and have been leading photography tours and workshops in Iceland since 2003. You can read more about me here.
Date: August 9–19, 2018
Duration: 11 days/10 nights
Cost: $7,850 USD – ($6,950 per person for shared accommodation)
Includes: Transportation in a modified 4×4 vehicle, single occupancy accommodation, all food and drink (except alcohol), guidance and tuition
Excludes: International flights, insurance, alcoholic beverages
Group size: 10
Leaders: Daniel Bergmann