In late May next year (2017) I will be leading a brand new workshop with Daniel Bergmann that is dedicated to photography of the Atlantic Puffin and other birds of Iceland including Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Guillemots (Murres), Arctic Terns and Razorbills. Iceland is one of the best places in the world to photograph Puffins and other Arctic birds in their natural environment. We will visit a number of different locations during this workshop where we will have outstanding access to the Puffins living in burrows on the edge of sea cliffs. We have timed our 2017 workshop to ensure we are in the best locations at the best times to photograph these wonderful birds. We will have hours of golden light under the spectacular midnight sun – ideal conditions for photography of the Atlantic Puffin.This photography workshop will last for 11 days (11 nights). We will be staying in good hotels and guest houses that are functional and clean. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included and will generally be held at the hotels 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 get the best possible light. Itinerary: We start in the morning of May 27th in Reykjavik City and drive out to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. We’ll photograph birds and landscapes out at the edge of Snaefellsnes at Hellnar and Arnarstapi and will visit the iconic Mt. Kirkjufell. We’ll then overnight in the town of Stykkisholmur.
The following morning we’ll take the ferry that crosses the great bay of Breidafjordur. We’ll get off in the middle of the fjord at Flatey Island where we’ll spend one night. Flatey is renowned for its birdlife and birds on the island are unusually tame. This is a great location to photograph Black Guillemots, Snow Buntings, Puffins, Arctic Terns and other common Icelandic breeding birds.
In the morning of May 29th we’ll get back on the ferry and finish the crossing. From the ferry port at the northern side of Breidafjordur bay we have couple of hours journey to Breidavik, where we’ll be based for the next three nights. From there it’s a 12km drive out to the magnificent seabird cliff Latrabjarg. This westernmost point of Europe is the home of millions of seabirds. It rises 440m out of the sea and is 14km long. The best locations for photography are within walking distance from the car park and we’ll have Fulmars and Kittiwakes soaring through the air, Guillemots (Murres) and Razorbills sitting on the cliff but it’s for the Puffins that we have come to Latrabjarg. Nowhere else are Puffins as tame. They can be photographed at close range, even with a wide-angle lens, and the cliff faces in a perfect direction for the setting sun. The Puffins can therefore be photographed in beautiful golden light or against the setting sun, creating wonderful silhouettes. As we are fast approaching the longest day of the year we have many hours of low light in the evening and early morning.Closer to our accommodation in Breidavik we can venture out and photograph the birds in the area, such as Common Eider, Ringed Plover and possibly Ptarmigan. Arctic Foxes are frequently also seen in this part of the country and with luck we might find some arctic foxes to photograph during our time in this area.
After our stay in the West Fjords we prepare for a long journey along the northern coast to the town of Dalvik. We’ll make a number of stops for photography on the way and will stay in Dalvik the night of June 1st so that we’ll be ready for the morning ferry to Grimsey Island on June 2nd. Grimsey is the northernmost inhabited Icelandic territory and the Arctic Circle runs through the island. The small island has about 85 inhabitants, is 5.3 square kilometres in size and has steep cliffs on almost every side, which makes it an ideal habitat for seabirds. During our three-day stay on the island we’ll continue to expand on our Puffin photography, now in a completely different environment that has a much larger population of Puffins than at Latrabjarg. Due to the remoteness of the island the accommodation is quite basic. The guesthouse offers comfortable full-board lodging but bathrooms are shared. Visiting Grimsey is a once in a lifetime adventure and its rich birdlife will keep us busy throughout the day and night.
On June 5th we’ll depart Grimsey for the main land and drive back west along the scenic northern coast. We’ll overnight in Skagafjordur in the north, where we’ll have good opportunities for coastal landscapes and more of Iceland’s common birds, such as Whooper Swans. The Skagafjordur area is also known for its horse breeding and there are Icelandic horses almost everywhere.
On June 6th we’ll continue our westward journey with stops at iconic landscape locations such as Hvitserkur and Hraunfossar waterfalls. We’ll find ourselves in the town of Keflavik on the Reykjanes peninsula in the evening and will spend our last night there, close to the Kevlavik international airport. We’ll officially end our tour with dinner that evening and any flight can be taken out of Iceland on June 7th. If you are staying on in Iceland transportation will be provided for you back to the capital city of Reykjavik.
Daniel Bergmann and I will be providing extensive in the field photographic instruction throughout the workshop for all participants. We will be covering camera setup as well as techniques for how to photograph birds in their environment. In the evenings we will have informal discussions and critiques as well as post production demonstrations. This will be a very hands on workshop and it is our intention to provide very expansive instruction as required.
If you would like join us not his unique workshop you can register your interest by dropping me an email or by registering on my website at www.jholko.com Places are filled on a first come first served basis and once they are spoken for thats it.