LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
SOUTH COAST, ICELAND
September 14-21, 2018
Welcome to the Intensive Landscape Photography Workshop in Iceland. Designed for nature lovers and those who are drawn to powerful and remote landscapes as well as rich geology. For those seeking to take their skills to the next level.For adventurers eager to explore the world and its dramatic locations.
Iceland is without a doubt a photographical paradise, given to its great variety of landscapes that form a perfect balance with its exceptional light. We’ll come face to face with impressive views, pristine landscapes, an infinite amount of waterfalls, spectacular coasts and dramatic weather.
Autumn is an excellent time to visit Iceland, mainly because of the Icelandic nature, which is dramatically changed, as well as the possibility of enjoying the Northern Lights during the season. The main focus of the workshop is landscape photography, which is why we’ll be in constant search for the best light, so prepare yourself for long days hunting sunrises and sunsets as well as the magnificent Aurora Borealis. During this tour we’ll explore and photograph Iceland’s west, travelling along the southern coast until we reach the west zone, covering a great amount of the country’s territory and landscapes.
You’ll explore wild and rugged coasts, the greatest glacier in Europe, majestic waterfalls of every shape and size, glacial lagoons with iconic floating icebergs, summits, impressive hills and mountains as well as never-ending black volcanic beaches with emblematic marine pillars. Accompanied with theoretical and practical photography lessons given by the professional guide photographers that will be leading the workshop.
Live a different experience and explore Iceland with us, the volcanic land of ice and fire.
Come and join the adventure!
We’ll land in Keflavík International Airport and we’ll arrive to the hotel in the centre of Reykjavik, taken there by a shuttle service called “Fly Bus”. We’ll meet at 7PM in the hotel’s lobby and we’ll open the workshop by going out for dinner, where we’ll get to know each other and speak about the itinerary as well as about the thrilling journey ahead.
We will start our workshop by traveling directly to the Snæfellsnes peninsula on the west coast of Iceland where we will spend 2 days exploring. In the southern part of Snæfellsnes we will experience the wild coastline of the peninsula, the basaltic columns and epic cliffs, the windy lava fields and the beautiful black wooden church.
We will get to know the captivating basaltic and volcanic dykes with their unique shape that stands out majestically from the ocean and resembles an enormous medieval castle. Snæfellsnes is often called Iceland in miniature, as many places of national tourist interest are located there giving endless photographic opportunities.
Snæfellsnes’ coast has several small villages that are separated by a short distance from each other. The North and South coasts are divided by pointy mountains, including the mystic glacier Snæfellsjökull. We’ll continue our trip through Snæfellsnes given we’ll still have impressive wonders to photograph and explore. We’ll cover all the locations we didn’t visit the previous day and we’ll explore the northern part of the peninsula.
The culminating point of this area is Mount Kirkjufell with its dramatic formations and unique form. Kirkjufell is considered as one of the most beautiful mountains in Iceland and is, without a doubt, very iconic, with the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss in the frontal part and Grundarfjörður bay as its background. We’ll be chasing the light around this magnificent mountain as well as the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.
Today we’ll travel to Iceland’s spectacular South Coast, known for its black sand beaches, impressive basaltic columns and rocky formations, as well as its legendary waterfalls. We’ll photograph Seljalandsfoss, the famous waterfall where we’ll be able to take unforgettable photographs inside the cave behind it.
We’ll also visit the majestic Skógafoss waterfall, where we’ll have the chance of walking around it in the search for dramatic and impressive angles. We’ll explore the emblematic marine pillars where the wild waves and the coast await. Dyrhólaey offers countless of opportunities in terms of landscape photography with coasts and rocky cliffs that have impressive views over the never-ending black beaches.
Vatnajökull National Park
We’ll travel further east towards the beautiful Vatnajökull National Park, where we’ll stay for 2 days photographing natural wonders and remote landscapes. This national park is famous for its spectacular set of volcanoes and glaciers, frozen lagoons, glacier mouths, majestic mountains and Vatnajökull, the greatest glacier in Europe. The highest elevation in Iceland can be seen from these area.
Skaftafell with its scenic nature is part of Vatnajökull National Park, where the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall can be found, surrounded by its basalt lava walls that make it unique and iconic.
Vatnajökull National Park is one of the best photographic zones in Iceland, with exceptional light and locations, unique in its range of mighty natural wonders where glacial whites join the black volcanic sand. We’ll be based in Jökulsárlón, the famous glacial lagoon where we’ll explore the impressive floating icebergs that come from the biggest ice cap in Europe. We’ll also focus in photographing the black sand beach covered in crystalline ice chunks that create an otherworldly surreal scene, especially when the ice comes to life during sunset and sunrise. We’ll also chase the spectacular Aurora Borealis in this zone of shocking contrasts.
Accommodation: Glaciar Lagoon
Vatnajökull National Park
There’s lots to explore in this region with its wide range of natural phenomenons where ice and fire still fight each other. Our itinerary will be flexible, always in the search for the best light and photographic opportunities.
We’ll travel further east towards the Stokksnes beach with its sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean’s power. Mount Vestrahorn’s great peaks create a spectacular scene, being a very remote location, extremely representative of southeast Iceland.
Accommodation: Glaciar Lagoon
In our trip back to Reykjavík, we’ll drive along the South Coast and in our journey we’ll explore the waterfalls that pour out of impressive cliffs, mountains’ summits, glaciers, large lava fields covered in moss, wild Icelandic horses, and other places that we were unable to photograph previously. The South Coast is filled with photographic wonders so we’ll choose our locations accordingly.
End of Workshop
After breakfast, we’ll have the opportunity of getting to know a little bit more the beautiful city of Reykjavik and then we’ll travel to Keflavík International Airport to board our flight carrying with us spectacular photographs as well as a unique and unforgettable experience.
- Two professional photographers
- Theoretical and practical photography lessons
- Private ground transportation in a luxury bus with enough space for luggage and photographic equipment
- Accommodation in double bedrooms with a private bathroom
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Ground transportation from and to Keflavík International Airport via FlyBus
The workshop is designed for photographers of all levels. Workshop participants must know and manage basic concepts of manual photography (aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, focal range). Once you reserve the workshop, we’ll give you access to the Guide to Iceland, a document with every requirement and recommendation for you to go as prepared as possible to enjoy this unique experience.
- Digital camera with interchangeable lenses (DSLR or Mirrorless)
- Wide angle lens for landscape photography with F2.8 aperture or brighter
- Standard lens and telephoto lens/span>
- Stable tripod
- Solid and gradual neutral density filters for landscape photography
- Extra camera batteries
LUIS SOLANO POCHET
Costa Rican photographer, blogger, speaker and expert traveler. Founder and Director of ToTheWonder®, the adventure photography blog and the most important photography tour operator in Costa Rica and Central America. Brand ambassador in his country for Patagonia, Petzl, La Sportiva, Sea To Summit and Trangoworld. He leads international photography workshops with the educational programme ToTheWonder Workshops, based in Costa Rica. Luis is known for capturing the spectacular landscapes of the world with an original emotional approach.
Photography is his passion and the pictures he takes become tangible trophies of his life experiences. They’re a glimpse to that moment in time, charged with emotions and with the power to evoke the feelings he had when taking them. It’s his way of owning and sharing some of the spectacular world we live in.
Wildlife photographer and naturalist guide graduated from the National Institute of Biodiversity of Costa Rica. He uses photography as a conservation tool. National Geographic collaborator in their blog Wild Bird Trust and one of the 5 finalists in the Smithsonian Institute photography competition. He has been a TEDx Speaker in Costa Rica and has been an international exhibitor. He now dedicates some of his time teaching new photographers the art of photography and he is the Leader of Wildlife Photography of ToTheWonder®.
His greatest goal is, without a doubt, to interlink the art of photography with conservation, and through this, help people gain consciousness when being struck by the emotional impact that his photographs emanate. The adventure is just beginning!
ToTheWonder® Explorers in Iceland
Pictures of our previous workshop participants:
Elke Heinrich Bettoni
This week I’ve lived a dream and I’ve shared it with a group of people that proved to be so nice, so funny and so great travel partners that I’m already sad about our adventure ending. Together in our bus, we’ve traveled hundreds and hundreds of kilometers, getting to know the most spectacular landscapes, in the search for the best locations, the best light, the most beautiful photographs, and we had the blessing of seeing our dreamed auroras. We’ve eaten deliciously and enjoyed so much. I would repeat this experience a thousand times more! Thank you Luis, for this wonderful week! Thank you Alvaro, and thank you my travel partner friends. I carry with me memories that will accompany me all my life as well as very pretty pictures.
Luisana Velasco Zeledón
There are no words to describe this wonderful trip! Luis’s and Alvaro’s professionality. The warm friendship between all of us made this new experience something very hard to forget. The friendship that was born from this trip is something we need to nurture! We didn’t only learn, we also had a great time. That thrill and excitement we felt with the first aurora and the music that made us cry when seeing it. Thanks for so much!
“We’ve traveled to Iceland and Norway with this company and it went VERY well! Wonderful trip, impeccable organisation, guides with deep photographical knowledge and great disposition to teach. Also, very enthusiastic! 100% recommended.”
“Taking the decision of participating in the Iceland Photography Workshop with To The Wonder was an EXCELLENT idea. It’s hard putting into words what a great time I had, and beyond that, the excellent service the company provided. I’m very grateful with Luis Solano Pochet for all his attention, and his collaborators, who were all very professional and of great help in improving in the field of photography. The place is by itself a paradise, but it was so much better with the company of a good work team and great companions. Highly recommended, so don’t think too much about it and book the next one.”
“Without a doubt, the Iceland Workshop is one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Participating was the best decision I could’ve made. I couldn’t be more grateful for how amazing it was. The place is stunning and ToTheWonder’s service was excellent. A thousand thanks to Luis for all the attention, patience and professionalism. 100% recommended.”
“This trip was an epic experience. I think the best way to describe it is by comparing it to Christmas when I was a child and the excitement and expectation I felt that wouldn’t even let me sleep. Amazing place and travel companions. Excellent tour and very professional guides. Thank you very much for your advice and organisation of the workshop.”
“I, who always wanted to know everything in advance, decided to take a chance with this group of photographers in this adventure. Upon entering the restaurant the first night, we found a table reserved for us:”Aurora Hunters” said the sign. Then I understood that we were going to travel the country looking for sunrises, sunsets, good weather, auroras, water and ice, reflections, beautiful hotels and delicious meals. We were going hunting!
These were the days when we drove from Snæfellsjökull Park in the northwest to Vestrahorn in the south-east of Iceland passing through Reykjavik, Vik, Vatnajökull and Jökulsárlón, more than 700 kilometres between churches, cliffs, lagoons, glaciers, ice caves, lonely houses at the base of huge mountains, small villages, beaches, and so on.
We had just arrived from dinner and we hadn’t had time to take our shoes off when the guides knocked on our doors. And there she was: Majestic. Indescribable. Dancing to the music of “Tierra de Osos” and “Rapsodia Bohemia”, part of the playlist that Luis and Álvaro have to call them. No picture shows what we’re going through. We screamed, jumped and even cried. For me, it was to feel the Creator playing with our Mother Earth, drawing with paintbrushes as he thought of it, blowing the clouds to make a field in the canvas that was that wonderful starry sky. I went looking for Auroras Boreales and found more than that that day. Something miraculous touched me deep inside!
Having had three nights with auroras was more than I expected. Sharing them with this incredible group and under the guidance and enthusiasm of Luis and Alvaro was too much. Thanks to them we took amazing pictures. They made us look for what we were not used to seeing: lights, reflections, crystals and shapes.
There’s no way to describe the experience! A group of acquaintances left Costa Rica. A group of confreres, full of knowledge and with a terrible desire to continue learning, to go out to practice and to see each other again, returns to Costa Rica. Laughter, support and affection were always the order of the day. Thank you Luis Solano Pochet, Alvaro Cubero and all the kids for a spectacular week!”
“This was my first time participating in an International Photography Workshop and I’m certain it won’t be the last time. Thank you ToTheWonder, for making this a unique and gratifying experience. Thanks to you we managed to capture the right moments in the optimal conditions, always in the search for the magical moment. Simply spectacular!”
Eddy Garcia Villalobos
“The Photography Workshop in Iceland was simply epic!, one of the best experiences of my life.”
Terms and Conditions
Cancellation and Refunds Policy
In case the participant cannot attend the workshop and cancels his participation, refunds will be handled the following way:
- The reservation deposit of $600 USD is non refundable
- Participation cancellation more than 60 days before the start of the workshop: you will be refunded 100% of the total amount paid to the date minus a $100 USD service charge and minus the non refundable reservation deposit.
- Participation cancellation less than 60 days before the start of the workshop: you will be refunded 50% of the total amount paid to the date minus a $100 USD service charge and minus the non refundable reservation deposit.
- Cancellation of participation less than 30 days before the start of the workshop: no refunds will be made.
In case of an inconvenient beyond our control (climatic, mechanical, accident or illness) that inhibits the workshop from taking place:
ToTheWonder Workshops will negotiate directly with the participant to programme an alternative date or otherwise a refund of the investment will be handled the following way:
- 100% of the total investment if the workshop didn’t take place
1.A. ToTheWonder Workshops doesn’t take responsibility for accidents involving a workshop participant and it won’t cover medical expenses in case they’re needed. During the workshop, each participant is responsible for his safety and physical integrity.
1.B. ToTheWonder Workshops doesn’t take responsibility for accidents or loss of photographic equipment. During the workshop, each participant is responsible for his photographic equipment.
2.A.The Workshop starts on a specific date and in a timely manner. All participants must be in Reykjavik, Iceland for the start date of the workshop. In case of delay due to inconvenients, the participant must communicate with Luis Solano Pochet beforehand and as soon as possible.
3.A. Respect and patience are the foundations for a successful workshop. Participants may be in different levels of knowledge about the subject, which is why patience is required when topics that are already in your dominion are explained. Each participant’s photographing area must be respected. Disrespect from a participant towards another member of the workshop or staff won’t be tolerated.
4.A.The tour and its itinerary depends on the weather given Iceland’s climate is highly unpredictable and may change drastically from one moment to the next. We’ll always be in constant monitoring of the weather in order to determine where to go and to optimize the taking of photographs. When it comes to the Aurora Borealis, it’s very likely to see it in September, nevertheless there’s no guarantee it will appear in a determined day. We’ll be monitoring the geomagnetic storms’ condition every night and in case of detecting the presence of Northern Lights, we’ll travel to the most adequate location to photograph them.