Winter is coming! And I’m already day dreaming about frost flowers, ice caves, and blankets of pillowy snow. It is no secret that I love winter. As a photographer, I’m drawn to the intricate details of the frozen landscape. I love winter so much that I seldom leave my home in the Canadian Rockies during the winter months but I make an exception for Iceland! I have witnessed some of the most intense skies (both day and night), and most unique winter scenes in Iceland. Join me, and special guest instructor Even Tryggstrand February 12th -18th, 2020 for a week of adventure in one of my favourite winter locations on the planet. During the Iceland Photography Workshop, we will explore the south coast of Iceland and chase the light by day and night.
We will be staying in a location that is fairly central to some of the most photogenic locations on the island. Winter weather can be a challenge if you try to stick to a rigid itinerary. Having a central home base gives us the flexibility to chase clear skies for aurora, and clouds for sunrise and sunset. Our B&B is also located near the ice caves so we can get an early start for the day. We will visit impressive waterfalls, as well as black sand beaches. Should the weather be on our side, we will get to experience and capture the beauty of the northern lights!
What you will learn on the Iceland Photography Workshop
This workshop is designed to help you improve your skill and confidence with photography through developing your technical skills, and building your social media presence. I have developed a classroom curriculum that includes: 1) how to photograph the aurora, 2) how to build your social media empire, 3) how to create compelling compositions, 4) how to focus stack and exposure blend, 5) how to blue hour blend and stack stars for noise reduction, 6) choosing the right lens for the shoot, 7) how to edit blue hour blends, 8) editing tips and tricks for putting it all together.
We will apply the classroom lessons on location to provide you with multiple modalities to learn the techniques.
What is Included
- All lodging
- Ice Cave Tour
- Transportation from Reykjavic airport to all shooting locations
- Photography Instruction
- Post Processing. Editing is how you breathe life, creativity, and personal style into an image. We will give you the tools to help you express your creative visions through your photography, using LightRoom and/or Adobe Camera Raw, and Photoshop
Iceland is a Nordic country with a population of 335 000. The majority of the people live in the capital Reykjavik. The country is famous for its volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs. It is no surprise that one of the major industries is geothermal power. In addition to the geothermal power industry, Iceland also thrives on tourism and fish processing. Did you know that the landscape in Iceland has attracted Hollywood as well? Movies like Batman Begins, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Interstellar, and Prometheus have been partially recorded in Iceland. And it is also worth mentioning that some scenes of Game of Thrones also is filmed here!
We will be visiting Iceland in Winter and the weather is quite unpredictable. With that in mind, you will need warm layers, including:
- A warm hat and a face mask (balaclava) that covers your face.
- Warm gloves that you can operate your camera without exposing your fingers to the cold. Big gloves are not good for getting to your camera functions. I use a touch screen liner glove inside of a wind proof mitten. This mitten folds back to reveal the inner glove so you can operate your camera. Both the inner glove and the mitten have room for chemical hand warmers. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting a pair of these mittens and liners. I have never had frostbite on my hands and I have worked in temperatures near – 40 Celsius! You can get them at B&H Photo through the hyper link. They will arrive in two days (even to Canada).
- Warm layers
- I recommend three layers to keep you toasty warm during our adventures. First, a thermal layer, such as Merino wool. This type of fabric keeps you warm and dries quickly. Second, a fleece layer. Fleece is very insulating. Finally, outer wear that blocks wind. A winter jacket (down insulated) and ski pants will be perfect.
- Chemical warmers. Get chemical warmers for your mittens and boots. For foot warmers, I prefer the insole style to the toe warmers.
- Winter boots. Your boots should be rated for cold weather. My boots are rated for temperatures as low as -50 Celsius but my feet still get cold sometimes. Regular hiking boots DO NOT provide adequate protection.
- Micro spikes. You will need micro spikes that slip on over your boots for getting around on the ice. Please be sure to try them on with your boots before arriving.
- Rain sleeve for your camera. The disposable sleeves are fine. I don’t expect it to rain during your stay, but it will likely snow. The rain sleeve will protect your camera from moisture.
- ***STURDY TRIPOD*** I can’t even tell you how many tripod issues I encounter on every workshop. You need a tripod that isn’t at risk of blowing over when you mount your camera and lens on it. You will want it to get low (within a few inches of the ice). Mefoto and the ManFrotto BeFree tripods are NOT acceptable. I use a Slik USA carbon fibre 734 with an SBH 200 DQ Ball Head. It is lightweight but sturdy and it gets low. This tripod has been all over the world with me and has worked reliably at every shooting location. SLIK has graciously extended a 15% discount to workshop attendees if you need to upgrade your current gear. Use the code RJR15.
- Camera with interchangeable lens
A few other things to remember
- BATTERIES and battery chargers!
- Memory cards
- Headlamp or flashlight for night shooting (please avoid anything with a red light function… if you bring a red light we will feed you to the coyotes!)
- Shutter release cable (recommended but not required)
- A note about camera straps. Camera straps blow and flap in the wind. Using camera straps on a tripod is a bit like attaching a parachute to your camera. We recommend removing the ones that come with your camera. If you feel better about having a strap, we recommend getting a black rapid style that quickly and easily detaches from your camera before you put it on a tripod
- Laptop for post-processing
My name is Rachel Jones Ross. I am a light-chasing, coffee loving, intellectual junkie, who is most inspired by a sky full of stars! I started off teaching psychology and statistics in university before moving into teaching photography full time.
I am a proud Sony ambassador, and I am fortunate to have the support of both Sony and B&H Photo in my creative projects, as well as my workshops.
Even was born under the Northern Lights in northern Norway. His Nordic heritage is evident in his work; with just a glance at his portfolio you can see that he is best known for photographing the arctic climate and the aurora. Even and I traveled through Iceland together last March. The first thing I noticed was that the gloomy weather didn’t bother him. His style of photography and teaching is the perfect complement to my desire to chase the light, as he could always find beauty no matter the weather.
Accommodations are based on shared occupancy. The total cost of the workshop is $3850 (USD). A deposit of $950 is required to hold your spot. Deposits are non-refundable.
Workshop Dates: Feb 12th-18th 2020
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. You can contact us using the form at the bottom of the page.
Both Even and I look forward to working with you!