Day 4 – Vatnajokull National Park
Your sunrise shoot on day four will be conducted back at Jökulsárlón; this beautiful area changes under different lighting conditions, so you’ll be able to capture some unique images while working on your landscape photography. You will also head back to the Diamond Beach for another shoot here.
Your main focus for the day, however, will be ice cave photography. Ice caves are only accessible from very few places in the world, and even then only at certain times of the year under specific conditions. The chance to explore one is an incredible, rare opportunity, and the chance to shoot within one with expert photoguides even more so.
The ice cave you will explore will be beneath Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull glacier. The otherworldly blues, deep tunnels and unusual formations within the cave will help make for some awe-inspiring photographs, which tell the story of the wonders to be found here.
You’ll spend another night in the Jökulsárlón area, with the hopes that you will get a chance (or, preferably, another chance) to practice your northern lights photography.
Day 5 – Vatnajokull National Park
On day five of this winter photography expedition, you’ll have a sunrise shoot at the Diamond Beach. Following that, you will head even further east along Iceland’s South Coast, out of Vatnajökull National Park, to Vestrahorn mountain on the Stokksnes Peninsula.
This feature is often called ‘the Batman mountain’ due to its ‘horned’ twin peaks, and it is a favorite subject amongst landscape photographers.
The dramatic, imposing mount is surrounded by ominous black sands, allowing you take pictures revealing the stark, barren and often haunting nature of Iceland’s landscapes. There are several angles you can picture it from, which may also include the churning Atlantic Ocean.
You will stay here throughout the sunset when Vestrahorn becomes shadowy and even eerier. As night falls, you can hope once more to capture the northern lights, this time with the mountain as your foreground.
After a day of shooting at Vestrahorn, you’ll return to your accommodation. Of course, if the auroras are dancing when you return, you’ll visit Jökulsárlón to capture them.
Day 6 – Skaftafell, Vik
On your sixth day, you will visit the spectacular Skaftafell Nature Reserve. This area is so beautiful it was once a National Park in its own right before the newly formed Vatnajökull National Park absorbed it.
You will spend the majority of the day shooting its many sites, continuing to practice your landscape photography; by this time in the tour, you will no doubt notice a marked improvement in your skills. Your subjects will include glacier tongues and lagoons, mountains, ice caps, forests, river systems and waterfalls.
After capturing the magic of this beautiful reserve, you will head back to the South Coast, returning to Reynisfjara beach for another sunset shoot. If the Northern Lights did not show the first time you were here, you can hope they will tonight.You’ll retire at accommodation in Vík.
Day 7 – Geyser , Gullfoss, Thingvellir national park, Reykjavik
Day seven is your final full day of photography, and you will spend it shooting three of Iceland’s most famous sites: Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall, all on Golden Circle Route.
Þingvellir is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland, being where the early residents formed their first parliament in 930 AD. While the history of this place is inspiring, it is the landscapes that you are likely to find most captivating.
Located in a valley between the tectonic plates, you can shoot the walls that mark the edges of the continents, the lava fields that fill the area from eruptions in centuries past, and the many ravines filled with crystal clear spring water, opened by earthquakes in the area. Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn, also makes for a beautiful subject with its surrounding mountains.
The Geysir Geothermal Area is the prime location on this photo workshop to photograph Iceland’s seething geothermal activity. The area is dotted with many fumaroles, hot springs and mud-pots, the earth is vividly colored by the elements rising from the crust, and, of course, there are geysers on site.
The largest of these, Geysir itself, is inactive, but you will have plenty of chances to shoot Strokkur, which erupts every five to ten minutes to heights which exceed twenty meters.
Your final subject on this workshop will be one of Iceland’s most recognizable and renowned sites: Gullfoss waterfall. This incredible feature, the name of which translates to the ‘Golden Waterfall’, is immensely powerful, thundering in two tiers into a dramatic, ancient canyon. There are several platforms from which you can capture it.
In winter, the rocks around Gullfoss are caked in ice, and snow covers the surrounding landscapes. In cloudy weather, therefore, your photographs can tell the story of the waterfall’s ominous strength, whereas when the sun is shining, and rainbows are cutting through its spray, they will depict how much of a winter wonderland Iceland can be. With any luck, you will finish your shoot with the northern lights overhead. You will then return to Reykjavík for your final night.
Day 8 – Transfer to Keflavik Airport
Sadly, the tour ends on day eight. When it is time to hop on the Flybus back to the airport, however, the bittersweetness of departing will hopefully be outweighed by the pride taken in your developed skills, gratefulness for the chance to participate in northern lights and ice cave photography, and awe from the pictures you have taken.