Northern Lights Photo Workshop 2017

Northern Lights in Iceland

Price: USD 4450 per person

Photo instructors:
Andy Cook of Rocky Mountain Reflections Photography
Haukur Parelius - Hawk, founder of Nature Explorer (www.Hawk.is)

Iceland is an ideal destination for photographing the Northern Lights:
-  If it‘s cloudy in one part, it‘s usually clear in another
-  Iceland has amazing variety in foreground: glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, etc.

This winter should be good for Northern Lights as it is close to the peak of the Aurora-cycle.

To maximize our chances of seeing the auroras, we have 5 different plans, to the south, the north and west - see the different tabs. It goes without saying that one cannot photograph the auroras if it's cloudy. Therefore it is essential to be flexible and go where we have the best chances of having clear skies. 
If it‘s cloudy in the south, we will go north, or the other way around. This ensures we get the best possible light and the clearest skies – and you get great photographs.

Tour details:
Duration: 6 days touring (+ arrival & departure day)
Dates:  January 21 – 28, 2017
Group size:  8 participants  
Price: USD 4450 per person
Optional: USD 610 single suppliment

Included:
Guidance by photo instructor, Andy Cook, hotel room accommodation in the best locations, hotels with breakfast lunch and dinners, guided photo tour on modified 4x4 Super-Truck/Jeep, local English speaking driver/guide with solid knowledge of photography and Iceland.

Excluded: Flights to and from Iceland
Optional: Single suppliment

This tour is on a Super-Truck that can take you to the remote locations with local driverguide who's a photo enthusiast.

Price: USD 4450 per person
Optional: USD 610 single suppliment
Dates: 21-28 of January 2017

A similar program can be available as a PRIVATE TOUR upon request on on other dates in winter.

For your safety Nature Explorer reserves the right to change tours due to weather, road and snow conditions.

Price: USD 4450 per person

South Plan:

We follow the best weather and light - so if the weather is more favorable in the south of Iceland we spend our days photographing which nature phenomenon’s that have the best light:

South East Iceland idea:
21/1: Arrival and hotel in Reykjavik
22/1: Jokulsarlong glacier lagoon. Hotel Hali or Gerdi Guesthouse
23/1: Jokulsarlong glacier lagoon. Hotel Hali or Gerdi Guesthouse
24/1: Reynisdrangar, Dyrholaey,  Vik. Hotel Vik or hotel Katla.
25/1: Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Thorsmork. Hotel Smaratun
26/1: An extra day at one of the locations listed above
27/1: Ending the day at the Northern Lights Inn where you stay the last night (next door to Blue Lagoon)
28/1: Transfer from the Northern Lights Inn to KEF airport 

Photo places: Jokulsarlon, Fjallsarlon, ice beacy by Jokulsarlon, Vik, Reynisdrangar, Dyrholaey, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Thorsmork

South + Highland Iceland idea:
21/1: Arrival and hotel in Reykjavik
22/1: Thingvellir, Bruarfoss, Gullfoss. Hotel Geysir or Gullfoss.
23/1: Hjalparfoss, Haifoss, Granni. Hrauneyjar Guesthouse
24/1: Landmannalaugar. Hrauneyjar Guesthouse
25/1: Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Thorsmork. Hotel Smaratun
26/1:  An extra day at one of the locations listed above
27/1: Ending the day at the Northern Lights Inn where you stay the last night (next door to Blue Lagoon)
28/1: Transfer from the Northern Lights Inn to KEF airport

Photo places:
Thingvellir, Bruarfoss, Gullfoss, Hjalparfoss, Haifoss, Landmannalaugar, Ljotipollur, Vik, Reynisdrangar, Dyrholaey, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Thorsmork, Sigoldugil

See next tab for the North plan

North Plan:

We follow the best weather and light - so if the weather is more favorable in the north of Iceland we spend our days photographing which nature phenomenon’s that have the best light:

North Iceland idea:
21/1: Arrival and hotel in Reykjavik
22/1: Hvitserkur & Skagafjordur. Hotel Varmahlid or Hotel Tindastoll
23/1: Kambsfoss í Austurdalur,. Hotel Varmahlid or Hotel Tindastoll
24/1: Kálfshamarsvík and Spanskanof by  Skagastrond. Hotel Siglunes in Siglufjordur 
25/1: Olafsfjordur, Dalvik and Eyjafjordur, Hraundrangar in Oxnadalur. Hotel Varmahlid or Hotel Tindastoll
26/1: An extra day at one of the locations listed above
27/1: Ending the day at the Northern Lights Inn where you stay the last night (next door to Blue Lagoon)
28/1: Transfer from the Northern Lights Inn to KEF airport

Photo places: Hvitserkur, Glaumbær, Kambsfoss í Austurdalur, Hraundrangar in Oxnadalur, Kolugljufur canyon & waterfalls, Kálfshamarsvík, Spanskanof by  Skagastrond, Siglufjordur fishing town by the arctic circle, Eyjafjordur.

North East Iceland idea:
21/1: Arrival and hotel in Reykjavik
22/1: Hvitserkur & Skagafjordur. Hotel Varmahlid or Hotel Tindastoll
23/1: Godafoss & Lake Myvatn. Hotel Reynihlid or Hotel Reykjahlid.
24/1: Namaskard, Krafla, Dettifoss. Hotel Reynihlid or Hotel Reykjahlid.
25/1: Hraunfossar, Barnafoss, Thingvellir. Hotel Reykholt
26/1:  An extra day at one of the locations listed above
27/1: Ending the day at the Northern Lights Inn where you stay the last night (next door to Blue Lagoon)
28/1: Transfer from the Northern Lights Inn to KEF airport

Photo places: Hvitserkur, Glaumbaer, Godafoss, Myvatn, Dettifoss, Krafla, Namaskard, Hraunfossar, Barnafoss

If your flight is in the afternoon, it’s ideal to enjoy a relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon before flying back home.

See previous tab for the south plan or the next tab for the west plan

We follow the best weather and light - so if the weather is more favorable in the west of Iceland we spend our days photographing which nature phenomenon’s that have the best light:

West Iceland Idea:
21/1: Arrival and hotel in Reykjavik
22/1: Magnificent West Iceland and Glacier. Hotel Reykholt
23/1: Snæfellsnes – south side. Hotel Olafsvik
24/1: Snæfellsjokull National Park. Hotel Olafsvik
25/1: Snæfellsnes – north side. Hotel Framnes
26/1: An extra day at one of the locations listed above
27/1: Ending the day at the Northern Lights Inn where you stay the last night (next door to Blue Lagoon)
28/1: Transfer from the Northern Lights Inn to KEF airport

Photo places: Hraunfossar, Barnafoss, Budir, Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Djupalon, Vatnshellir, Snaefellsjokull, Kirkjufell, Kirkjufellsfoss

If your flight is in the afternoon, it’s ideal to enjoy a relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon before flying back home.

Photo Workshop

We focus on helping participants on an individual basis and at their own level. If you're an advanced photographer we are happy to help or stay out of the way. We are always happy to go into discussions on equipment, exposure, metering, filters and personal tips.

This is a workshop environment and the guides are present to aid in the field and teach techniques for landscape photography as well as helping process images during down times.

The guides can assist you with:
Exposing for the Northern Lights
Exposing the foreground
Processing images of the Northern Lights
Composition
Capturing the most ideal RAW-file for later digital optimization
Panorama techniques, both shooting and processing
RAW image adjustments and retouching techniques in PS6

Gear List & Equipment:
Interchangeable Lens DSLR Camera capable of shooting in RAW format
Tripod
Cable release
Laptop computer
External hard drive
Card reader
Photoshop
Hot-shoe mounted bubble level (if your camera doesn’t offer a built-in electronic level)
Circular Polarizing Filter
Neutral Density Filters
Headlight

Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

The Northern Lights exist in the outmost layer of the atmosphere. They are created by electrically charged particles that make the thin air shine, not unlike a fluorescent light. They can be seen in aurora belts that form 20-25 degrees around the geomagnetic poles, both the north and the south. The Northern Lights are also called Aurora Borealis. Named after the Roman goddess of the dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. They are one of the most spectacular shows on this earth and can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through March on clear and crisp nights. Away from the glow of the city, we hunt for the elusive Northern Lights but please note that the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings cannot be guaranteed. Photographing the Northern Lights is a worthy task best taken in winter. (In the summer there is daylight all day and all night and no Northern Lights – which creates a whole other dimension of great photo safaris. Take a glance at our ideas on the left menu.)

The Northern Lights occur high above the surface of the earth where the atmosphere has become extremely thin, at an altitude of 100-250km. The source of the auroras are tiny particles, protons and electrons caused by electronic storms on the sun (solar wind), that are trapped in the earth's magnetic field and they begin to spiral back and forth in a circle around the magnetic pole. While dancing around endlessly in their magnetic trap, some particles escape into the earth's atmosphere. They hit molecules in the atmosphere which cause the molecules to glow, thus creating the auroras.

White and green are usually the dominant colors but sometimes there are considerable colour variations, as the pressure and composition of the atmosphere varies at different altitudes. At extremely high altitudes where the pressure is low, there tends to be a reddish glow produced by oxygen molecules when they are struck by the tiny particles of the solar wind. At lower altitudes, where there is higher pressure, their impact-irritated oxygen molecules may glow with a greenish tinge and sometimes there is a reddish lower border created by particles colliding with nitrogen molecules in the immediate vicinity.

Auroras outside Reykjavik

Northern Lights (Aroura Borealis) outside Reykjavik

If your group is serious about photographing the Northern Lights, why not consider Iceland and have us help you plan an exciting adventure. Please do not hesitate to contact us on info@NatureExplorer.is. Please include information on the size of your group and proposed length of stay.

Interesting Northern Lights links:
http://sec.noaa.gov/pmap/
http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/



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