Iceland Photo Expedition
The Highlands and Beyond October 16 – 25, 2022

It’s been a few years since I visited Iceland. I started my Iceland tours in 2004 and, as many of you know, it’s a majestic country. I have produced some of my finest landscape photographs in Iceland and I invite you to join me on this amazing fall journey. I’ll be leading this workshop and we will be exploring several locations for the best photo opportunities.  Leading the way will be Skarpi Thrainsson, one of the most experienced Iceland guides and a well-known photographer. Please consider joining what promises to be an incredible photographic adventure.

October 16 – 25, 2022

This is an all-inclusive photography workshop. We pick you up at the airport and will return you there at the close of the workshop. You’ll have your own room and all your meals included in the workshops fee. All you have to do is get to Reykjavik Airport. 

Our days will be long as we will photograph from sunrise to sunset and sometimes even after. The time of year we will travel is ideal as the summer vacationers are gone and we will have many places all to ourselves. The days will become shorter, allowing us to shoot sunrises and sunsets.  

We will travel in Skarpi’s 4WD Sprinter. By limiting this workshop to only 12 attendees, everyone should get a seat next to a window. We will travel to many places that require a 4WD and where many tourists and photographers don’t visit. You will come home with a ton of portfolio-worthy images.  

Planned Itinerary

As always, we will need to be flexible and adjust to the weather conditions to make the most out of our workshop and travel safely. We will do our best to make sure we get you to the best locations and do so safely. The weather in Iceland can change in a heartbeat, so we will be watching it carefully. This is also something that may lead to great photographs.  Skarpi and I have been doing this for a long time so leave it to us.

Day 1

You arrive in Iceland and will be met at the airport. You will then check into your hotel in Reykjavik, which has been reserved by Rockhopper Workshops and included in the price.

We meet at the centrally located hotel and go out for dinner in Reykjavik, where we go through the workshop itinerary, safety precautions by your native Icelandic guide Skarpi, and some practical things to know before we start our adventure in Iceland.

The Harpa, Opera House

If you arrive early in town, you can photograph some of the attractions in the city of Reykjavik, such as Harpa concert hall, Hallgrimskirkja church, the Sun Voyager sculpture, or Perlan.

Day 2 to 4

We travel from Reykjavik to the central part of the Icelandic highlands, where we explore the area around Landmannalaugar for the next two days. After driving through barren nature, we approach Landmannalaugar’s colorful mountains, which were formed by centuries of volcanic activity in the area. The picturesque natural landscape in this raw climate is simply breathtaking. Notable sights are Landmannalaugar, Ljótipollur, and Hnausapollur/Bláhylur but the photography opportunities here are endless.

Landmannalaugar is the pearl of the Icelandic Highlands and is only accessible with a 4WD vehicle. It’s a part of Fjallabak Nature Reserve and the surrounding area is dotted with unbelievably beautiful hiking trails, both short and long. The mountains are split with gullies and gorges in multiple colors. Landmannalaugar is located at the dark edge of the rhyolite lava field Laugahraun, close to a few hot springs which create excellent bathing conditions in a natural brook. If we want, we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a natural thermal pool which was created when many hot and cold springs in the area combined. The naturally warm water pool here is quite unique and it’s an ideal bathing place all year round.

Ljótipollur is an explosion crater and crater lake in the south Highlands. Its name means ‘Ugly Puddle’, despite the fact that it is an incredibly beautiful site. The crater is a beautiful feature, with blue waters, green vegetation growing up and down its slopes, and vividly-colored red lava rock surrounding it.

Hnausapollur, also known as Bláhylur, is a stunning blue lake nestled in a crater that formed about 1100 years ago in a short explosive eruption.

Day 4

An early morning start from our Highland hotel and we have a full day to explore the Highlands. There will be many photo opportunities on our Fjallaback route, but two main subjects will be Eldgjá and Langisjór.

Eldgjá is one of the largest basaltic flood lava eruptions in historical times in Iceland (Around 983 AD). One of the main photography opportunities is Ófærufoss, a two-tiered waterfall in the Nyrðri-Ófæru river, which falls into Eldgjá Canyon.

Langisjór, one of Europe’s most beautiful and pristine highland lakes, is tucked between the beautiful Tungnárfjöll and Fögrufjöll Mountains at the western edge of Vatnajökull Glacier. Measuring 20 km long and 2 km wide in some places, the lake is 27sq km and 75m at its deepest and lies some 640m above sea level. The view around the lake is magnificent and at the southern end of the lake stands Sveinstindur (1090m) which is considered by many to offer one of the best views of the panoramic area. Views over Lakagígar, Skaftáreldahraun, Öræfajökul, and Hekla are possible in clear weather.

We will end the day at a highland hotel in a beautiful location.

Day 5 and 6

We travel from the highlands down to the south coast, through one of the largest lava fields in Iceland. The glaciers await us on the coast. 

After lunch, the group will visit the Jökulsarlón glacier lagoon, glacier beach, and the surrounding area. Numerous hours can easily be spent here photographing huge icebergs in the lagoon with the beautiful Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in the background — a classic photograph from Iceland. We will return to the glacier lagoon for sunset and possibly sunrise to get the best light.

Day 7

The picturesque East Fjords are calling us, and we will have the opportunity to photograph more glacier lagoons as we go off the beaten path to Heinabergslón, before heading further east to Stokksnes.

We will stop at the more jagged coastal peaks of Vestrahorn and Eystrahorn, as well as excellent locations to photograph sea stacks, dramatic winding roads, and cascading streams down the steep terraced mountains.

Along the way, we will perhaps cross paths with reindeer — the trademark of East Iceland. We make our way further east, stopping at a few hidden-gem locations and spend the night at Djúpivogur.

Day 8

We head back from the east fjords, along the south coast of Iceland with various stops along the way, for Icelandic horses, glaciers, and some of the unique waterfalls in the country. We’ll spend the night at a lodge next to one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Iceland. 

Day 9

We start early from our hotel in Reykjavik and drive straight to the beautiful landscape of Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, where we capture the fall colors in the soft autumn light. Next, we keep on further west to photograph remote waterfalls and farm areas until we reach our destination of Husafell for the night. The unique waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafossar are in our backyard. 

Day 10

We head towards Reykjavik and stop at several waterfalls along the way. West Iceland is known for its impressive waterfalls, salmon fishing, and Viking sagas. We will also stop to photograph Icelandic horses before we arrive at our hotel in Reykjavik.

When in Reykjavik we will check into our hotel and say farewell as the workshop concludes here.

Day 11

Airport transfer – KEF departure. 

Download the Registration Form

Some Of Our Past Workshop Groups

You will without a doubt have a great time, take great photographs and make new lifelong friends.

Maximum number of attendees will be 12. We expect this Iceland workshop to fill up quickly. To participate in this workshop, you must provide proof of vaccination.

Your Instructors

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Kevin Raber – Instructor

Fifty-Plus Years of Photographic Adventures

I see the world through the lens and a frame. Photography for me is an extension of who I am. I have gone through many stages in my career. At one time I was a portrait photographer with many prestigious clients. Over time, I grew restless for something else in the field. I truly enjoy my current work as a fine art landscape photographer. There is something special about examining and photographing everything from grand scenes in nature that are there for a moment and then gone to industrial landscapes and focusing on the incredibly minute details of peeling paint and rust. I am most fortunate to be able to travel to many wonderful places.

I have fond memories of nights, and weekends spent in the darkroom creating prints. The stereo blasting. It could be fun and it could be tedious. You didn’t always know what you were going to get and, at times, it required extensive hands-on darkroom manipulation. I can still smell the chemicals. I was taught by the masters of the darkroom.

Today, that has all changed thanks to the advent of computers, digital cameras and Photoshop. The darkroom is the computer. Some things are still unpredictable, but the tools to achieve the final result allow you to see them immediately on the screen in real-time and right in front of you. Digital allows you to capture a range of tonalities and exposures that were impossible with film. Variables such as emulsion, temperature, chemistry and exposure are taken out of the equation. What you see on your computer monitor is what you will get when printed.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the music. It goes along with creating and working on images. Thank God for iTunes.

I embraced digital early on. It continues to evolve and provide flexibility to all who embrace it. The digital age is still young and has completely transformed our industry. Never before has a switch from analog-to-digital been so prevalent as in photography. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next ten years take us.

My career in photography has evolved since 1972 when I first began making a living with photography. Today I am also CEO and Owner of photopxl.com, one of the most visited and prestigious websites for the photographers on the internet.  I lead photography workshops to the edge of the planet locations as well as provide instructional videos to photographers on how to improve their craft.

There doesn’t seem to be anything that can dampen my passion and enthusiasm for photography. It has opened doors to the world for me and I am most grateful I can share my experiences with others.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you.

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Skarpi Thrainsson

Skarpi is the head guide and owner of Arctic Exposure. He’s a native Icelander, pro-Landscape photographer, and a licensed tour operator. He was born in Egilsstadir, East Iceland and has had passion for outdoors traveling, photographing, fishing and exploring the nature of Iceland since childhood. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and currently lives in Reykjavik with his wife and 4 kids.

He specializes his exquisite photography work on the Arctic and subarctic nature including volcanoes, ice caves, wildlife, auroras and classic landscapes. Skarpis’ images have appeared in numerous national and international publications, books, and calendars, including National Geographic, Discover Magazine and Digital Photo Magazine, to name a few.

He knows places in Icelands others don’t. His goal is to get you to the best locations possible.  His fleet of vehicles are the best in Iceland.

Accommodations

Each workshop attendee has their own room for this trip, unless, of course, you are traveling as a couple.  Our hotels and guest houses for this trip are listed below.  Please click on the links to view the hotel.

Grand Hotel

Hrauneyjar Highland Center Hotel

Hrífunes Guest House

Hotel Smyrlabjorg

Hotel Djupivogur

Stracta Hotel

Hotel Reykholt/Husafell

Fosshotel Reykjavik

Workshop Price

The price of this workshop is $8450 USD.  A $1500 USD deposit is required to reserve your space. Please fill out the Registration Form and make your deposit at our Payment Link. The balance is due 60 days prior to the workshop.  

The workshop cost includes pick-up from the airport and returns to the airport on the start and end dates. If you arrive earlier or stay later — which is recommended — so you can explore Iceland on your own, you will need to get to your hotel by bus or taxi. If you need help with hotels, let us know.  

During the workshop, you will have your own en-suite hotel room and all meals are included. Alcohol or other room amenities will be your responsibility. 

Transportation aboard a 4WD customized Sprinter bus to all locations is provided. There may be short hikes involved in reaching some ideal locations.

If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please email kwr@rockhopperworkshops.com or feel free to call Kevin at +1-317-379-7482.

Download Registration Form

There are currently 12 spots available

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