Iceland Winter Workshop Report 2015

In February 2015 I led my annual winter workshop to Iceland with good friend, local guide and photographer Daniel Bergmann. This is the fourth year in a row I have led a dedicated winter trip for landscape and Northern Lights in Iceland. This year we were fortunate to experience some of the best light I have had the pleasure to photograph in during the winter months. It was also the coldest I can recall with snowfall down to sea level on several occasions. Iceland’s 2015 winter was one for the recent record books with greater snowfall, and colder temperatures than recent years.

The weather always plays a major role in the itinerary of a winter workshop to Iceland (and that is just one reason why its a very good idea to travel with a local guide who can accurately read the weather). We had planned to visit the west coast and Snæfellsnes Peninsula during the first few days of our workshop but storm force winds gusting over 30 metres a second meant it was prudent to alter our plan and we headed east instead. It was a wise decision as winds were so strong in the west that many of the roads were closed and photography would have been impossible. Our decision to head east opened up new opportunities for us and we were able to take advantage of some really great light and fantastic conditions.Josh12015During our ten days on the southern peninsula we experienced snowfall down to sea level which provided us some magical opportunities for landscape photography. We also had some of the best light I have yet to experience during the winter months in this amazing country. Our timing in this regard was absolutely spot on as several days either side of our workshop would have been sub optimal with strong winds and rain.

Heading east from Reykjavik our first stop was the Þingvellir region which has some wonderful landscapes and waterfalls. Þingvellir can be quite busy during the summer months but is less crowded during winter and its quite easy to find yourself alone in a  location once you get away from the tourist hot spots. We photographed a number of different locations in this area including the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall.GullFoss in WinterWe spent several days in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon area; photographing at Fjallsárlón as well as the black sand beach and Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon areas. Winter at the lagoon is wonderful with many of the icebergs frozen in place it is possible walk out a short way onto the ice when the conditions are safe.

Iceland-7629We also visited the precipitous mountains at the Stokksness peninsula where we were  treated to some spectacular evening light that made for incredible images. Stokksness is a wild place and this was the first time in four years of visiting this location that I can recall experiencing such amazing light and conditions.

Iceland-7951-Edit22015During our workshop we visited a huge ice cave in the south of Iceland where we spent several hours photographing the incredible texture and color that is found in these amazing natural structures. We were fortunate that there had been heavy snow fall a few days earlier and all footprints from previous visitors had been erased.Iceland-7851-Edit12015We also saw and photographed the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) over Hekla volcano as well as the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon during our time in the south of Iceland. If you have ever wanted to see and photograph the northern lights and see the stunning landscape of Iceland covered in fresh snow and bathed in winter light I will be leading another trip to Iceland in winter in March 2016 (only a few places remaining before it will be sold out). The 2016 workshop will focus on the frozen north of Iceland. We will see and photograph places rarely visited during the winter months including geothermal areas, waterfalls, mountains and more. You can download more information including a detailed itinerary from my website at or email me to register your interest.

Lofoten Islands Workshop 2016 SOLD OUT

I have been meaning to announce a new workshop to the Lofoten Islands for sometime now but due to my travel commitments it has been sitting on the back burner along with a number of other projects. The Lofoten Islands are approximately 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, west of Norway. The village of Reine on the island of Moskenesoya will be our base for six nights situated in some of the most picturesque mountain scenery rising precipitously out of the fjords. Reine has often been described as one of the most beautiful places on earth. If we are lucky and blessed with clear skies, we will be able to witness the Aurora Borealis and the magic of the Northern Lights as they flicker across the night skies. Besides the incredible wealth of photographic locations in the vicinity of Reine, we will use local Fjordskyss ferry service to Vinstad and to the tiny hamlet of Kjerkfjorden, both of which are surrounded by towering granite mountains. Our private transportation will allow to access some of the iconic beaches near Leknes which might be covered in snow.

During March, the days are short with sunrise at approximately 6:30am and sunset around 6:00pm. Given our northern location, the sun will be low in the sky providing soft, magnificent light conditions, for all day photography. Please note that due to the initial expressions of interest and subsequent bookings the trip is already sold out.  If you would like to be added to the wait list please just drop me an email at You can download more information including a detailed itinerary and PDF from my website at

April Photo of the Month Winner: Nita Gulbas

Congratulations to the fourth print winner ‘Nita Gulbas’, for the photograph of the month for April 2015: ‘Polar Bear Blues’.

What Nita said: This image shows the world of the Polar Bear and the vanishing world it must survive in. The isolation of the bear on it’s bed of ice, where they are happy to be. In addition, the difficult environment that should remain theirs, not to be invaded my mankind and hunted to near extinction.

Congratulations Nita, you were the first, and your print will be sent to you shortly after Easter.Polar Bear Blues

Keep an eye out on my blog for the next print giveaway with the May photograph of the month. Remember the best way to get instant updates is to subscribe via email.

2015 April Photograph of the Month: Polar Bear Blues

The photograph of the month for April 2015 was taken during my recent expedition to photograph Polar Bears in Svalbard in the Arctic this winter. If you have been following my blog (or read the story in the news) you will know that this bear was unfortunately shot dead only a few days after this photograph was taken (You can read my thoughts on this tragedy that could have so easily been avoided). The investigation into the death of this bear and the circumstances that led up to the attack and shooting are currently under investigation. I hope to report the findings of the investigation when they are released later this month.

This particular photograph is a very emotional image for me because of the tragic set of circumstances that led up to the death of this magnificent animal and the time I had spent photographing it only days earlier. I debated with myself for quite some time about wether to make this the photograph of the month for April and ultimately decided I would like this print to go to someone who will not only appreciate the print, but also the story behind it. I watched and photographed this magnificent Polar Bear play around this piece of blue ice against the backdrop of the glacier in Tempelfjorden in Svalbard for well over an hour. It was one of the most playful Polar Bears I have ever encountered and watching it climb over and play around this piece of blue ice was a very unique and special experience. I also photographed the same bear two days before this image as it lay on a fresh seal kill under the polar winter sunset. Polar Bear BluesYou can Win a free Fine art Print  13″ x 19″ of this photograph including shipping anywhere in the world. All you need do is to be the first to comment on this post on the home page with your thoughts on why you like this photograph or why you would like to own a print of the image and then share the post with your preferred social media outlet. Just keep in mind that due to my hectic travel schedule it may take me some time to make and post out each print so if you are the lucky winner for a given month I ask that you jut exercise a little patience and as soon as I am back in my studio in Australia and as soon as practical I will make the print and send it to you – free of charge. Each print will be made and personally signed by me with the same care and attention to detail I exercise on my large gallery prints. There will be a total of twelve prints to win throughout the calendar year. The first three prints of the year were won by Fred JenningsChris Roberts and Caroline Hind and their prints have now been delivered, framed by them and are hanging on their walls (Caroline your print is shipping next week).

Good luck and don’t forget in order to win the print you need to be the first to comment here on the home page on the April photograph of the Month for the 2015 calendar year with your thoughts on why you like the photograph or why you would like to own a print and to then share the post with your social media outlet of choice.