‘WINTER PARADISE’ - NORTH ICELAND WINTER PHOTO WORKSHOP

Price: €3390 pp (valid until August 1st, 2014) / Deposit: €490 pp

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AVAILABILITY

1st - 9th December 2014

14th - 22nd January 2015

Just south of the Arctic circle lies a magical island - the land of fire and ice, the ever mesmerizing Iceland.
Iceland in winter is a very different place to Iceland in summer. Sub-zero temperatures, bone-chilling winds and harsh conditions are prevalent, but the photographic rewards are accordingly immense. From ice fields as far as the eye can see, through glaciers and blue ice caves to the mind boggling northern lights, winter is THE season for photography in Iceland, for those who dare.

Join professional nature photographers Erez Marom and Iurie Belegurschi for the photographic journey of a lifetime. This 9-day workshop is scheduled right next to both 'Land of Ice' and 'Northern Spirits' workshops, to make it comfortable for participants to join two or even three workshops, while still getting some much-needed rest between them. In this part of the journey, we'll head to the wilder, less-visited western and northern parts of Iceland, where weather is more stable, chances of witnessing the Aurora are higher, killer whales and seals roam the waters hunting herring and towering mountains join frozen blue waterfalls to make some of Iceland's most amazing scenery.
Naturally, no Iceland workshop is complete without a super-jeep ride, so we'll take a monster-truck tour into the frozen highlands, to visit some incredible waterfalls and locations unreachable otherwise.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Stunning locations such as Kirkjufell (Pyramid Mountain), frozen waterfalls Aldeyjarfoss, Godafoss and Hrafnabjargafoss, Lake Myvatn, Crater Mountain (Hverfjall), geothermal areas and more.
  • Increased chances of witnessing and shooting the Aurora Borealis
  • Magical low light throughout the day, enabling us to shoot non-stop for over 6 hours (weather permitting)
  • High probability of amazing snowy conditions
  • 3-hour boat sail to shoot Orcas (killer whales) and dolphins from a close range
  • Super-jeep ride into the central highlands, two otherwise-inaccessible ice-crusted waterfalls, some of the most beautiful in Iceland!
  • Professional photo guidance
  • Two seats per participant in the bus, to make access to your photo gear easy and safe
  • Very good hotels, superior rooms where possible, wonderful food throughout the workshop

ITINERARY

Day 1 Reykjavík area

We'll meet at the lobby of our centrally-located hotel at 17:30, to visit the local store for proper boots, ice-spikes and other winter equipment. After that, we'll head out for a meet and greet over a heart-warming Icelandic dinner, right by the hotel. During dinner, we will get acquainted with the guides and participants, and discuss the plans for the days ahead.

Late afternoon in Reykjavik

Day 2 Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Pyramid Mountain

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll head north early to arrive at Kirkjufell (the famous Pyramid Mountain) for a sunrise shoot. In this season, chances are the mountain will be beautifully covered with snow.
We'll spend the day traveling the peninsula, shooting at several locations before settling in our nice hotel in the town of Grundarfjörður. At night, if conditions are favorable, we'll attempt to shoot the northern lights at one of several locations near town.

Mount Kirkjufell reflects on the calm waters of the lagoon below it
Kirkjufellfoss and Pyramid Mountain
Aurora over mount Kirkjufell

 

Day 3, JAN 16th Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Killer Whale shoot

After breakfast at the hotel, we'll head to Grundarfjörður's port and take a special whale-watching boat. We'll spend the next few hours shooting Orca whales, who gather in great numbers to feed on the plentiful herring in the fjord's waters. After returning, we'll eat lunch and spend the rest of the day shooting at other interesting locations in Snæfellsnes, such as the black church of Búðir.

Shooting Orca whales from a boat - one of the unique features of the workshop
Beautiful moonrise over mount Kirkjufell

 

Day 4 Hvitserkur, Kálfshammarsvík, Arrival in Mývatn

We'll get up early to take a ride to the Dinosaur Rock, a courious, dinosaur (or yak, depends on who you ask!) shaped rock formation, to shoot the sunrise. After spending time discovering the area, we'll head east, shooting the beautiful basalt columns of Kálfshammarsvík, and later arrive at our hotel at dark, where a beautiful, filling dinner will await.

Spectacular light over Dinosaur rock, Hvitserkur
Basalt columns in Kálfshammarsvík

 

Day 5 Goðafoss, Lake Mývatn

After a big breakfast at our hotel, we'll head a short way back west and visit the frozen waterfall of Goðafoss. With its horseshoe shape, crystal-blue water and sheer size and beauty, this waterfall is one of the most impressive in Iceland, especially during winter time. For sunset we'll head out to lake Mývatn. Under good weather, this lake can be truly magical.

A beautiful pink sunrise over Goðafoss
Lake Mývatn is a true winter wonderland!

Day 6 Super-Jeep ride, Aldeyjarfoss, Hrafnabjargafoss

First thing in the morning, we'll hop on Monster trucks and take a wild ride into the central highlands. While we'll visit several snowy locations, the pinnacle will be Aldeyjarfoss. This location is hard to access during winter, hence the need for super jeeps, but the photographic reward is a wonderful ice-covered waterfall with an amazing, circular, crystal clear blue pool at its feet, surrounded by hexagonal basalt columns. In other seasons, the water and the pool are brown, but we'll reap the rewards for coming at the right time.
Anothre magical waterfall we will see is Hrafnabjargafoss. Surrounded by snow and full of icy columns, this waterfall is pure magic.

Harsh, snowy terrain is no match for our rugged monsters!
The ice-crusted Aldeyjarfoss
Astounding winter atmosphere in Hrafnabjargafoss

Day 7 Mývatn, Geothermal area

We'll take a short ride to one of the most curious locations in the Mývatn area: the geothermal vents. Protruding from a sheet of snow, colorful vents spout never-ending steam clouds, rising high into the sky and serving as a perfect foreground.
After spending a few hours there, we'll climb the iconic Hverfjall - Crater Mountain, for a panoramic view of the volcanic, snow covered land. Other location in the area include frozen lagoons, mini-craters and more.

The Mývatn geothermal vents
Amazing Aurora lightshow over lake Mývatn
Wintery sunset on lake Mývatn

 

Day 8 Mývatn Area, back to Reykjavik

We'll shoot another sunrise in the wonderful Godafoss. After concluding the shoot around noon, we'll take the bus back to Reykjavik.
We'll have a last dinner together, to conclude the workshop and share contacts and images.

Snow turns bushes into magical-white spectacles
Wonderful winter silence in lake Mývatn

 

Day 9 Departure

After breakfast at the hotel, we will say our goodbyes and depart to Keflavik airport for your flight home.

PRICING AND DETAILS

Total Price: €3390 (Euros) per person in double room for participants registering by September 1st, 2014. €3490 for participants registering afterwards.

Single room supplement: €450

Deposit: €490

Maximum Number of Participants: 12

Spaces Available:
Group 1 (December 1st - 9th, 2014): 10
Group 2 (January 14th - 22nd, 2015): 5

Physical Difficulty: Mostly Beginner. There will be no difficult climbing, but on occasion there might be a short hike (up to 30 minutes) to get to a location. Ascent to Hverfjall is a bit harder, and you can choose to stay in the bus during it. 
Winter conditions in northern Iceland can be harsh, and you must be prepared to withstand temperatues as low as -15 degrees centigrade in addition to strong winds.

Special offer: sign up to both 'Winter Paradise' (Northern Iceland) and 'Northern Spirits' workshops, and receive a €300 discount!
Sign up to 'Land of Ice' (Southern Iceland), 'Winter Paradise' (Northern Iceland) and 'Northern Spirits' workshops, and receive a €500 discount!

WORKSHOP PRICE INCLUDES

  • Lodging on days 1-8. We won't be sleeping in 5-star hotels, but they are high-level, welcoming, clean and comfortable, and the food is absolutely wonderful!
  • Dinner the first day
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on days 2-8. Since we'll be shooting in the field most of the light hours, lunch will be served in the form of nutritious sandwiches and/or soup.
  • Breakfast on day 9
  • Professional photography guidance by two esteemed landscape photographers
  • Professional supervision by qualified mountaineers during the stay in locations which can be risky unless supervised
  • Post-processing assistance where possible
  • Killer whale boat-shoot using a whale watching boat
  • Super-jeep (monster-truck) tour to the central highlands
  • Travels in a spacious, comfortable bus offering ample room for you and your photoraphy gear, and two seats per participant for maximal comfort
  • Entrance fees if applicable
  • Taxes on all services listed above

WORKSHOP PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Airfare to and from Iceland
  • Airport pickup at times other than specified
  • Airport dropoff (easy and fast using the Flybus system)
  • Winter clothing and winter gear. On the first day we'll have an opportunity to shop for high-quality winter gear. It is highly recommended to be ready in advance, though.
  • Insurance. It is MANDATORY to insure yourself against physical injury, and highly recommended to insure your photo gear. Tour leaders will not be responsible in case of any personal injuries or damage to photographic gear as a result of an accident during the workshop. A good insurance policy can make a big difference should something happen, and ensure a safe return home.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Non-meal-time snacks
  • Non-meal-time soft drinks (Iceland's tap water is fantastic and highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (450€)

WHAT TO BRING

Photography Equipment

  • A digital camera, preferrably a DSLR camera with a full-frame sensor, since these cameras have better low-light capabilities. However, a crop-sensor DSLR will also completely suffice. A compact camera can be used, as long as you understand its limitations.
  • A heavy, sturdy tripod. That is a definite must in Iceland's windy conditions. A flimsy tripod will simply prevent you from being able to shoot most of the time.
  • Recommended: an ultra wide angle lens. For example, a Canon 17-40 on a FF sensor camera, or a Nikon 10-24 on a crop sensor camera.
  • Recommended: a wide aperture ultra-wide angle such as the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 for night photography.
  • Recommended: a telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 or 70-300. Doesn't have to have a wide aperture or a stabilizer - an f/4 is more than enough.
  • Recommended: A filter set for landscape photography. I personally use Lee, Heliopan and Singh-Ray filters. A good filter set is worth its weight in gold for a landscape enthousiast. If you need to consult about buying a filter set, I'll be happy to help.
  • Recommended: A camera remote.

 

Clothing

  • Full thermal gear is absolutely essential. I typically wear a thick thermal base layer, a heavy fleece coat and a down coat.
  • Good quality warm gloves. It's important to use gloves which enable you to operate the camera while wearing them.
  • Thermal long-johns
  • Water resistant trousers (preferably thermal)
  • Thermal socks. I recommend bringing at least 2-3 pairs.
  • A neck-warmer or a scarf
  • An alpine mask to cover the face
  • A good warm hat which covers your ears. Otherwise, they'll simply fall off!
  • Water-proof rubber boots, preferably thermal (available in Reykjavik).
  • Ice spikes are MANDATORY to protect yourself from slipping on icy surfaces. We'll have a chance to buy good spikes on the first evening.

 

Other

Pills against sea-sickness for the boat ride

WORKSHOP LEADERS

Erez Marom

Born in 1980, Erez Marom is a full-time nature photographer, photography guide, writer and traveler-adventurer based in Israel. Specializing in wildlife and landscape photography, Erez spends much of his time in the field shooting the wildlife and scenery of his favorite locations in Israel and overseas.
In addition, Erez publishes articles and instructional texts in leading magazines and websites, and dedicates a considerable amount of his time to sharing his experience and knowledge by lecturing worldwide and traveling several times a year to guide his unique photography workshops.

Iurie Belegurschi

Iurie Belegurschi is a landscape photographer based in Iceland, where he runs photo tours and workshops. He was born in Moldova and has been living in Iceland for 7 years. He has a Bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hospitality. His photos have been published world wide in books, calendars, greeting cards, magazines and some of the most popular newspapers like: Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph etc. His photos have had good success in contests too.

OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Payment Procedure

In order to secure your spot, you are required to transfer a deposit of 490€. This deposit will be refunded only in case the workshop gets cancelled for some reason. For your comfort, the deposit can be payed through PayPal.
The full amount (after discounts if applicable) must be payed via wire transfer 75 days prior to the workshop starting date.
In the case you need to cancel your participation, a 75% refund (not including deposit) will be given up to 45 days prior to the workshop starting date.
I reserve the right to increase the price of the workshop if costs rise due to unexpected changes in fees, taxes or exchange rates.

Disclaimer

The tour plan above is subject to change. Weather in Iceland can be extremely unpredictable, and so in case of harsh weather, we may have to divert from our plan and do something else. There's always something to do though, wherever we are.
Important: In order to join the workshop, you will be required to sign a contract that establishes that the tour leaders are not responsible to physical or proprietary damages, and that you understand and accept several behavioral standards (including not taking excessive risk), necessary to ensure the workshop's success and your safe return. 
Aurora is, of course, not guaranteed. We do, however, have the best possible conditions to see it in the north.

BOOK NOW

AVAILABILITY

1st - 9th December 2014

14th - 22nd January 2015