The Westfjords of Iceland

Adventure Series Night Photography Tour

Iceland is a photographer's paradise. Come explore with Lance and Gabe.

August 27- September 5, 2017 

This is an 8-night, 9-day photo tour.
The adventure begins with an overnight flight on August 27, and ends with an afternoon flight on September 5.

The cost is $5295 in shared accommodations, plus an additional $600 single supplement if you require your own room. Non-photographer spouses are welcome on this tour, but will pay the full cost. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will attempt to find you a roommate. If we cannot, you will be responsible for the single supplement. Group size limited to 9.

Workshop leaders: Lance Keimig & Gabriel Biderman (learn more about your teachers)

Included:

  • Eight nights in shared accommodations
  • Single rooms available on a first come, first served basis
  • All transportation in Iceland in a comfortable AWD Sprinter van
  • Transfer to and from the international airport in Keflavík
  • Ferry transfer from Brjánslækur to Stykkishólmur
  • Full board from dinner on August 27 to breakfast in Reykjavík on September 5

Not Included:

  • International flights to and from Reykjavik
  • Breakfast and lunch on the first day
  • Alcohol

Payment:

  • A $1295 deposit will secure your place in this workshop. 
  • You may pay the $600 single supplement at any time up until the payment in full due date (June 28), but singles are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.
  • The balance of $4000 is due 60 days before the trip on June 28, 2017.
  • There are no refunds after the payment in full due date (June 28), but you may send someone in your place if you are unable to attend. You will still be responsible for full payment and being reimbursed by your surrogate. All other terms of our cancellation and refund policy remain the same. We strongly recommend trip insurance.
  • See our cancellation and refund policy.

This workshop is sold out. Really interested? Please sign up for the waitlist. 
Or check out another workshop for 2017.

 

The Experience

This photo tour will be special in that it occurs at the end of the brief Icelandic summer. The idea is to visit the Westfjords before the area becomes inaccessible for the winter, but late enough in the year that we might see the Aurora Borealis.

We will spend our time in the most remote and least traveled part of the country—the Westfjords. We’ll have nine days and eight nights to explore and photograph the northwestern corner of this amazingly beautiful country. Because of the wildly indented coastline of the Westfjords, we will be doing a lot of driving. As the crow flies, the distances are not that far, but the roads follow the undulating contours of the northwestern peninsulas. It will be worth it, as amazing seascapes await around every bend.

This will be a journey of exploration and discovery. NPAN is working with an Icelandic travel agency that focuses on photo tours, so we will have the benefit of their experience as we discover this remote area together. Iceland is expensive, and prices practically double in the short summer months, as much of the country’s economy is based on tourism. Most of that tourism is concentrated between June and August. All expenses in Iceland from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last day (except gratuities, snacks, and alcohol) are included. Airfare from your home city to Reykjavik is not included.

This is not a workshop—there is no formal instruction, no lectures or critiques. There won’t be time, as we’ll be photographing constantly. This is not to say that it won’t be a learning experience, but the first and foremost goal of this trip is to provide you with a comfortable and organized opportunity to create both night and daytime images of the dramatic landscapes of northwest Iceland.

You’ll be working closely with people of varying levels of photographic experience, and we’ll all learn from each other and make friends along the way. Gabe and Lance will be available to work with you in the field offering both creative and technical advice. There may be time for casual sharing and review of images, especially if there is some weather bad enough to keep us indoors.

PREREQUISITES & TOPICS

Participants must have at least basic photo skills, know their cameras well, and be comfortable shooting RAW in manual mode with a DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera.

You will go home from the workshop with a solid grasp of night photography in a dark-sky environment, and a good foundation in light painting techniques. Topics covered will include scouting and planning, composing and focusing in low light, light painting, and optimizing exposure for RAW capture and development with Lightroom.

Those with more experience are welcome, and we will offer guidance in the field if you mainly want to concentrate on creating portfolio images or more advanced techniques.

The workshop is limited to 9 participants.

Food and Lodging:

We will be staying in a range of accommodations that are accustomed to photo tours and photographers’ odd hours. We’ll stay in simple country hotels, guest houses, some with shared facilities, and in Reykjavik at the wonderful Hotel Holt with its excellent art collection hung throughout the facility.

All meals from dinner on the first night through breakfast on the last day will be included during the tour, with breakfast and evening meals mostly being taken at our hotel, and lunches being picnics in the field. There will be lots of fresh seafood, but other choices as well. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated, although gluten intolerant people will have to be vigilant.

Itinerary:

August 27: Depart from home on an overnight flight to Reykjavik, where you will  be greeted the next morning. For those wishing to go a day early to recover from the jet lag or to see Reykjavik, we have secured lodging for the night of August 27. This is completely optional, and not included in the cost of the tour. Our itinerary will be take us to the northwest of Iceland, and we’ll make the most of our time with a balance between seeing as much as we can, and not being constantly on the move.

August 28-30: Hótel Djúpavík. Travel to Strandír and settle in at Hotel Djúpavík for the next couple of days. Locations include Gjögur, Trékyllisvík and Norðurfjörður. Seascapes, mountains and houses. Djupavik was the favorite stop on my last tour of the Westfjords, so we’ll spend a bit longer here than the other locations.

You can take a dip in the coolest swimming pool in Iceland at Krossnes. The pool itself is warm and nice! The days at Strandir will be flexible according to the group’s interest. At Djúpavík there is an old herring factory owned by the good people at the hotel. Magnus will give us a guided tour and then we can photograph this surprisingly fascinating place. Great night photography and light painting opportunities. (Meals: B,L,D)

August 31-September 1: Hótel Horn in Ísafjörður. We head further north, explore the enormous waterfall Dynjandi, and then drive the famous “Vesturgata” road that goes from Arnarfjörður to Dýrafjörður. Part of this road is submerged at high tide. This route has magnificent scenes, dramatic mountains, cliffs and old farms. (B,L,D)

September 1-2:  At Patreksfjörður, we'll visit Látrabjarg, a perfect place for birdwatchers and photographers. The seabird colonies at Látrabjarg are enormous, and they include the world’s largest known Razorbill colony at Stórurð, with scree beneath the cliff. The puffins, which dig their burrows in topsoil at the cliff’s edge, will be mostly gone by late August, but we might see a few. Other auks that breed at Látrabjarg are Razorbills, Common Guillemot and the Brünnich Guillemot, a high arctic species that is at its southern breeding limit in Iceland, and is one of the target birds for any serious birdwatcher visiting the country.

Hnjótur Museum is located on the grounds of our base for the next two nights, the Hnjótur Guesthouse. The previous farmer of Hnjotur spent a large portion of his life collecting various items and articles of local and national historical importance for his museum. His interest and emphasis was for many reasons oriented toward the aviation history of the country. This museum will provide us with lots of opportunities for night photography and light painting, including a biplane and the fuselage of a WWII U.S. army plane. (B,L,D)

September 3: We travel to Stykkishólmur, our base to explore the Snæfellsnes peninsula before heading back to Reykjavik the next morning. Fransiskus Hotel. (B,L,D)

September 4: To Reykjavik via the ferry Baldur across Breiðafjörður bay where we will spend the evening in the city for our traditional final-night supper at the Fish Market. Hotel Holt, Reykjavik. (B,L,D)

September 5: Spend the morning on your own in Reykjavik, or we can go to the Blue Lagoon (not included) before heading to Keflavík airport about 2 p.m. for the late afternoon flights. (B)

Considerations:

Demonstrations and image review will be conducted in Lightroom.

There will not be any strenuous hiking involved, but there are plenty of walking options for those who want a little exercise or a different perspective. Most sites are within a 5 minute walk from the van. Weather may be pleasant, or it may be stormy. Temperatures should be between 30° F and 55° F, with the possibility of wind, rain, snow, and the probability of all three. Don't be discouraged, there will be something to photograph in all conditions!

Please read our FAQs section for more information about skill and gear requirements, and other information that pertains to all our workshops.

If you have questions, please contact us—we're happy to talk it over with you.


Enter a different world

The Westfjords—solitude, tranquility, grandeur, beauty. This dramatic landscape and its indented coastline will capture your imagination.
— Lance

Iceland has been an increasingly popular destination for photographers for the last decade or so, and by 2016 there were more tourists in the country during the high season than Icelanders. (There are only about 320,000 Icelanders in all–– so few that they have an incest prevention app!) I led my first Iceland tour in 2013, and have led seven more since then. In those few short years, there has been a noticeable increase in tourism, especially at the best known sites. In an attempt to get away from the crowds, I decided to bring a group to the least visited and least populated part of the country in 2016. I suspected that the Westfjords would be special, but I wasn't prepared for just HOW SPECIAL a place it is. I've always been drawn to islands, and an island off the coast of an island just had to be good. With an indented coastline as dramatic as what you see in the map below, "As the crow flies" takes on a whole new meaning. Every winding mile up an down those fjords will open new horizons of jaw-dropping beauty. bring your bathing suit- and your parka–– Iceland awaits you.

 

Map

 

Sun and Moon during the workshop: Full Moon November 2

27 August 28 August 29 August 30 August 31 August 1 Sept 2 Sept 3 Sept 4 Sept 5 Sept
Sunrise 5:56 am 5:59 am 6:02 am 6:05 am 6:08 am 6:11 am 6:13 am 6:16 am 6:19 am 6:22 am
Sunset 9:01 pm 8:57 pm 8:54 pm 8:50 pm 8:46 pm 8:43 pm 8:39 pm 8:36 pm 8:32 pm 8:29 pm
Moonrise 1:38 pm 2:56 pm 4:10 pm 5:17 pm 6:15 pm 7:01 pm 7:35 pm 8:00 pm 8:18 pm 8:32 pm
Moonset 10:26 pm 10:41 pm 11:02 pm 11:32 pm n/a 12:12 am 1:06 am 2:13 am 3:29 am 4:52 am
% Illumination 35.1% 44.8% 54.7% 64.3% 73.3% 81.6% 88.8% 94.4% 96.8% 98.2%