Iceland – The Highlands 2015 Workshop

Daniel Bergmann and I are very pleased to announce a brand new workshop for Iceland next year that focuses exclusively on the interior and highland regions of this incredible country. The workshop will run from the 8th of August until the 18th of August 2015 and will take us from the capital city of Reykjavik into some of the most remote, spectacular and rarely visited highland areas of Iceland.The Highlands of Iceland cover most of the island’s interior. Inaccessible in winter, they rise 400–500 meters above sea level and are an untamed mingling of uninhabitable volcanic desert, jagged mountains, glaciers and hot springs. A few oasis like areas, such as Herðubreiðarlindir near Askja, are found only in proximity to rivers.

Two mountain roads, Kjölur and Sprengisandur, cross the interior from south to north and open up the highlands for exploration. Those two roads are open from late June to early September and we’ll be travelling both on our journey, plus a number of lesser mountain roads and tracks. As there are unbridged rivers in many places that need to be crossed we’ll be using specially modified 4×4 vehicles.

Some of Iceland’s most interesting landscapes are in the highlands, especially where there is volcanic activity. This includes the Landmannalaugar area in the Fjallabak region, Kerlingarfjöll Mountains off Kjölur and Askja in the northeast. All will be on our itinerary, plus a number of other exciting locations.The highlands are a rugged area that can get wild storms coming through, even in summer. Therefore we are going to do this adventure in as much comfort as possible by staying in hotels rather than camping. We’ll be using four hotel bases and staying 1–3 nights in each.

Itinerary

Our first base will be in the Hrauneyjar Highland Center, which is located about 45 minutes away from Landmannalaugar. Accommodation there will be in en suite facilities but Hrauneyjar is a basic, expedition style motel. After three nights in Hrauneyjar we’ll travel north over the Sprengisandur route and reach Mývatn, which will be our next three-night base. At Mývatn we’ll stay at the four star Hotel Reynihlíð and do excursions from there, including into Askja. Once our stay at Mývatn comes to an end we’ll travel south the Kjölur route and spend a night in the cabins at Kerlingarfjöll Mountains. Accommodation there is in cabins (very nice ones) so we cannot offer single rooms in this location. Our last base, for two nights, will be in the town of Hvolsvöllur on the south coast. From there we’ll explore the southern part of the Fjallabak region. We plan to take advantage of weather and light as we travel and as such our itinerary may change due to weather and other conditions.As this expedition is first and foremost about photography we may sacrifice regular hotel dinners in order to be out in the best light of the evening. In such circumstances we’ll carry food with us into the field and in some cases we’ll leave our accommodation before breakfast and return after a morning shoot for late breakfast.

This photography tour will last for 11 days (10 nights). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included and will generally be held at the accommodation where we are staying. However, this workshop is all about photography and we will be putting in long hours in the field in order to ensure we get the best possible light for photography. We may take food and drink with us into the field to ensure we are in the right locations at the ideal time. There will be some moderate hiking on uneven ground and a reasonable level of fitness is recommended. Should this be of concern please contact us to discuss. There is no obligation to participate in any hikes and every effort will be made to accommodate any requests.

Conditions
The days are still long in the middle of August. Sunrise is at around 5 a.m. and sunset just before 10 p.m. The best light for landscape photography is therefore during the evening and early morning. This means that we may have an early dinner and then head out to photograph and sometimes be out before breakfast for a morning shoot. On cloudy days we’ll have a more normal routine. What we’ll do exactly on any given day will be decided around the weather and other conditions and there will be small changes to our original plan to make the most of our time.

This workshop is about photography and lots of it. There will be no formal classroom sessions or lectures and no formal instruction. Rather, participants and the group leaders will work side by side, sharing their knowledge, vision, philosophy and experience together in the field. We want you to make great photographs and therefore the emphasis is on being out in the field when the light is best. We are always on hand for any advice or instruction you may need and we will work together as a team.A small group of participants (maximum of 12 plus leaders) guarantees a more personal and intimate experience than bigger tours can provide. This is a unique opportunity to travel and photograph with two experienced professionals who have a combined total of more than 40 years of photographic experience and can take you to the best locations that are off the beaten track, and at the right time – when the light is best. We will be travelling in large off road ‘super jeep’ 4-wheel drives to give us plenty of space for camera equipment and gear. We will be travelling on some rough tracks in order to get to the best locations.

Cost: $6,990 US
Duration: 11 days/10 nights
Includes: Accommodation for ten nights in single rooms (except in Kerlingarfjöll which is on a shared basis). Food and beverages (excluding alcohol). All transport during the duration of the workshop in modified 4-wheel drive vehicles. All tuition and guiding services.
Excludes: International flights
Group size: 12

Due to initial bookings and expressions of interest this trip is already 50% sold out. If you would like to register your interest for one of the remaining places or would like additional information please contact me at info@jholko.com. You can download a detailed itinerary and information PDF form HERE.

4 thoughts on “Iceland – The Highlands 2015 Workshop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s