Iceland Photo Tour 2021

DETAILS

Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Tour

 June 20th, 2021 – June 29th, 2021
Only 2 Spots Available! (Maximum 7 Participants)

The photographic potential of Iceland is simply staggering. This magical land is truly a virtual ‘Eden’ that often leaves participants wondering if they are still on planet Earth. Based on its size, Iceland is one of the most diverse countries from a geological perspective. At nearly every bend in the road you’ll see something to photograph; rolling meadows, towering waterfalls, canyons, mountains, glaciers, flowers and birds. Despite its name, the temperatures in Iceland are relatively mild, thanks to gulf stream weather currents that moderate the region. During our tour we’ll visit many of the majestic waterfalls including Skógafoss, Seljalandfoss, Haifoss and Gullfoss. Our itinerary also includes spending time photographing the iconic Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon along with its popular shoreline. We will travel far and wide making stops at Kirkjufell mountain, Geysir, Thingvellir, Skaftafell National Park and the mighty Trolls of Vík! The possibilities are endless. For those that enjoy wildlife, the puffins and Icelandic horses are a treasure to photograph and a rare glimpse of Reindeer or an Arctic Fox is also a possibility. Our primary focus will be concentrated in the South, West and Eastern regions of Iceland. You can expect each day to be filled with smiles, laughter, photography and adventure as we share in this journey together throughout some of the most epic landscapes in the world. 

View a gallery of images from our recent Summer and Winter Iceland tour here.


Nature Odyssey Worldwide offers you a completely unique experience of Iceland during our Summer tour. We excel in delivering the sweet light, secret places, and technical expertise to ensure that you return home with photographs that astonish. It is no secret to photographers that spectacular images are all about the light. Other operators make “chasing the light” promises of early morning or late-dinner shooting sessions to capture the gorgeous light from the midnight sun in Iceland. But when you travel there with Nature Odyssey Worldwide, you won’t be chasing anything. We turn our days inside-out to give you the luxury of 8 to 12 hours of golden light in iconic Icelandic destinations when no one else is around. How do we do this? We start our shooting day around 5 p.m., traveling to our scenic destination just when everyone else is packing up to leave. By the time the sweet light is casting its warm glow across the landscape we’re the only people around. We are out shooting when the sun sets around 10 p.m. and we’re still shooting when the sun begins to rise around 3 a.m. By the time the charter busses full of tourists are back on the roads we are returning to our hotel for a leisurely breakfast before heading off to sleep and relax during the busiest parts of the day.

We pride ourselves on taking visitors to the hidden treasures in the south-eastern and south western parts of the island that most tourists never see. Our photographic locations include many of the iconic scenes of Iceland: the largest and most powerful waterfalls, black sand beaches studded with ice formations, rural homesteads and historical churches, massive glaciers and alluvial fans, as well as the other-worldly expanses of moss-covered volcanic fields. We have these remote places to ourselves during the sweetest light of the midnight sun because we make the trade-off of swapping our midday meals at tourist restaurants, for sack lunches and snacks enjoyed as a group while we are photographing or traveling to our next location.

Finally, we ensure that you’ll return home with spectacular images and a deeper understanding of how to create them. We focus on four aspects of photography: composition, creativity, dynamic elements, and the interplay of light. Whatever camera you carry, whether it be an iphone or a DSLR with an extensive array of lenses, creating the exceptional photograph comes from your choice of emphasis, and your ability to balance these key variables to convey your vision. Our teaching is individualized, targeting your level of expertise and answering your particular questions and concerns.

ITINERARY

Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Tour

 June 20th, 2021 – June 29th, 2021

In order to provide participants with the best photographic opportunities the itinerary is subject to change based on weather, lighting and other variables.


DAY 1: June 20th, 2021 – KEFLAVIK

After your arrival into Keflavik International Airport you will transfer to your accommodations in Keflavik. We will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of our hotel.  I’ll have a Nature Odyssey Worldwide Tours (NOWtours) sign on the table to help you locate our group. There we will get to know each other and discuss our itinerary and the exciting days ahead. Overnight in Keflavik.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Park Inn by Radisson

DAY 2: June 21st, 2021 – REYKJAVIK to SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA
– Breakfast Provided

Leaving Reykjavik we will begin our journey making multiple stops along the way to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula photographing glaciers, rock formations, seascapes, mountains and waterfalls. We will always ensure that we take advantage of any exceptional weather conditions during our drive. The rugged coastline’s majestic cliffs of Arnarstapi and basalt rock columns are striking against an ocean backdrop. The landscape around Budir is exceptionally barren, but creates the perfect setting to photograph its iconic black church, especially with a nice aurora display at night! Stunning sea arches and uniquely formed basalt volcanic dikes at Londrangar will offer us even more photographic opportunities. We’ll also visit Mount Kikjufell, a picturesque mountain in eastern Iceland that bears a strong resemblance to a witches hat and offers compositions with the nearby river and waterfall.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Fosshotel Hellnar

DAY 3: June 22nd, 2021 – SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA to THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK
– Breakfast Provided

If weather permits we will travel and photograph the striking blue waterfall of Hraunfossar to begin our day. Then we will visit Thingvellir National Park, home of Iceland’s first (and the world’s oldest) parliament meeting place. This is also the separation zone between the North American and European tectonic plates. The striking Oxararfoss waterfall flows down the center of the canyon here and creates great compositions in both directions. This is one of the few locations in Iceland with a sizable stand of tree growth. Continuing on we will reach The Golden Circle where the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur is home to the two geysers, Strokkur and Geysir. Geysir has been inactive for many years now, but Strokkur continues to erupt every 10 – 15 minutes. Further beyond Geysir we will come to Gullfoss, meaning “golden falls”, Iceland’s most famous waterfall.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Fosshótel Reykholt

DAY 4: June 23rd, 2021 – THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK to HVOLSVOLLUR
– Breakfast Provided

As we leave Thingvellir and begin to make our way to Hvolsvollur be sure your raincoat is accessible, you’ll want it when we stop at Seljalandsfoss. Here you can walk behind one of Iceland’s most picturesque waterfalls and even take a picture if your camera is weather sealed and you can manage to keep the lens dry! We will spend the night at a quaint hotel located in the region of many Icelandic horse farms. The following day we will travel further east to Vik, a quaint seaside village and a well known destination in Iceland. World renowned for its iconic Reynisdrangar sea stack formations, (so commonly referred to as ‘The Trolls’), the area has a host of other appealing subjects as well. Stunning, endless miles of lupine flowers, beautiful waterfalls and volcanoes are all in the area. The massive cliffs along its shoreline are covered with pelagic birds during the winter months seeking refuge from the stormy Atlantic Ocean. Vik’s popular ‘Black Beach’ boasts some of the most impressive waves and surf in this part of the world. It’s awe inspiring to photograph the ocean crashing against the rugged basalt rock columns that line the shore. High on a hill above Vik sits a simple white church with a red roof surrounded by flowers. We’ll also photograph the impressive Dyrholaey Cape with its lave arch and lighthouse. From that elevated vantage point we can view the black sand beaches stretching for miles in either direction and even see a distant glacier.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Icelandair Hotel Fludir

DAY 5: June 24th, 2021 – HVOLSVOLLUR to VIK
– Breakfast Provided

Just a short drive from Vik is the mighty Skogafoss, one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls. Dropping from a height of 200 feet and spanning nearly 100 feet in width, this is an impressive sight for anyone. Our overshoes will come in handy at this location, allowing us to get out into the river below the falls for more unique compositions. You’ll often spot sheep herds grazing on the rolling green hills behind this waterfall. There is a set of stairs to the top for those who want to take in the view from above the falls. A couple different locations in this area should afford us some great opportunities to photograph the Country’s iconic symbol, the Icelandic Horse.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Icelandair Hotel Vik

DAY 6: June 25th, 2021 – VIK to JOKULSARLON
– Breakfast Provided

The next day we will be exploring the Black Sand Beach below Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Huge chunks of ice in various shapes and sizes frequently break off the glacier and plunge into the frigid waters of the lagoon. We will watch them float by on the tide, only a few meters away, being pulled out to sea. The awaiting ocean will cast these large ice crystals up onto the black sand beach, setting up yet another perfect photographic opportunity for our group. When the sunlight catches them it is absolutely breathtaking. The blue color in the glacial ice is formed from snow that has been compressed. As more and more snow piles up over the years, the weight of the snow on top starts to compress the snow on the bottom. This compression turns the snow to ice. The compression of the glacial ice continues for dozen, hundreds or even thousands of years, adding more and more layers of compressed snow on top and adding even more weight. The ice eventually gets compressed so much that most of the oxygen is forced out of it causing the glacial ice to appear blue. The black tones are from volcanic residue and ash embedded in the ice.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

DAY 7: June 26th, 2021 – JOKULSARLON
– Breakfast Provided

At Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon in the protected region of Vatnajokull National Park you’ll also photograph some of the most incredible and other worldly landscapes in Iceland. As Europe’s largest ice cap, the glacier it creates its own weather systems and thus the light is constantly changing making it a perfect location for photography.  The glacial lagoon is a photographic cornucopia of abstract potential. Huge chunks of ice in various shapes and sizes frequently break off the glacier and plunge into the frigid waters of the lagoon. We will watch them float by on the tide, only a few meters away, being pulled by the tide out to sea. The awaiting ocean will cast these large ice crystals up onto the black sand beach, setting up yet another perfect photographic opportunity for our group. When the sunlight catches them it is simply breathtaking. If you watch chances are you’ll find seals here basking on the ice or playing in the tidal river as it flows out to the ocean.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon

DAY 8: June 27th, 2021 – JOKULSARLON to HOFN
– Breakfast Provided

We will travel along the southeast perimeter of the island towards Hofn. On our travels North we’ll stop to photograph the moss covered lava field in Eldhraun, reminiscent more of a moonscape than something from planet earth. Arriving in Hofn we’ll check into our hotel and finalize plans for our next shoot of the tour. Hofn is home to the iconic and dramatic Mount Vestrahorn. Located on the southeast corner of Iceland, this majestic peak rises an impressive 454 meter high and is primarily comprised of gabbros rock. During the winter tour this mountain should be illuminated with extraordinary light and the chance sighting of Reindeer or an Arctic Fox are not out of the question. Here in Hofn we’ll also find the beautiful black sand dune beaches at Stokksnes which make for a fantastic foreground. Beyond Stokksnes beach you will witness the mighty Atlantic Ocean put on an incredible display of force as it crashes into the rocky coastline As a part of our continued exploration we’ll also visit the rugged coastal peaks of Eystrahorn and photograph numerous picturesque cascading streams, sea stacks and fjords of east Iceland.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Fosshotel Vatnajokull

DAY 9: June 28th, 2021 – HOFN to REYKJAVIK
– Breakfast Provided

Finally we will explore the scenic region of Skaftafell Park. This diverse area is filled with a variety of flora and fauna as well as Iceland’s highest mountain peaks, huge glaciers, waterfalls and rivers. We’ll walk into another glacier and photograph the incredible ice formations found there. Many consider Svartifoss (or Black Falls) the highlight of Skaftafell. Surrounded by massive basalt walls that stretch from the ground to the towering cliff above this waterfall is a bit of a hike to reach the viewing point, but well worth every step. The concave shape of the rock wall and the basalt columns make it look like a gigantic pipe organ where Icelandic trolls play haunting melodies after dark. There are no other scheduled stops on the drive back, but it is Iceland after all so there will be countless opportunities for more photos. We will spend some time walking through Reykjavik’s shopping and tourist district before sharing our last dinner of the tour together. Following our meal you’ll be transfer to to your hotel. Overnight in Keflavik.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotel Aurora Star

DAY 10: June 29th, 2021 – DEPART ICELAND
– Breakfast Provided

After breakfast you will you will transfer to Keflavik International Airport  with a new group of friends, wonderful experiences and memory cards loaded full of image files to remember it all by. Upon arrival at  Keflavik International Airport you will check in for your flight home or continue on to the next destination. Bon Voyage!

PAYMENTS / REGISTRATION

Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Tour

 June 20th, 2021 – June 29th, 2021

5,950. USD – Based On Double Occupancy (Inquire For Single Supplement Availability And Rates)


* REGISTRATION IS A TWO – STEP PROCESS *

PLEASE PAY YOUR DEPOSIT VIA PAYPAL AND THEN FILL OUT REGISTRATION FORM LINKED BELOW
(A confirmation email will be sent you within 24 hours)

$1,500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot and must be completed prior to registering for any tour or safari. 

Remaining balance is due by February, 1st 2021.


Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Tour 2021



 

*Small group surcharge of $500 per person charged for tours with less than 7 participants.

• Participants must arrive in Keflavik, Iceland prior to 11:59pm on June 20th, 2021!

• We encourage participants to purchase travelers insurance through an agency like TravelGuard

• Traveling in remote locations can present challenges that may require slight changes to the itinerary. We will always try to run the tour as the initial itinerary. In the event, beyond our control, such as political unrest, natural disasters, over bookings by the lodge, where a change is required, we will do our best to keep you close to the original shooting location. It is our intention for you to have the best possible experience. We will try to notify you of any changes as soon as we are made aware of them. If, however these changes cause an increase to the price, the increase will be passed onto the participant.


CANCELATION POLICY

This cancelation policy protects our business losses and as such is strictly adhered to. Exceptions will not be made. We encourage participants to purchasing travelers insurance through an agency like TravelGuard or World Nomads that will refund your deposit and payments should you have to cancel your trip.

1). Cancel more than 120 days prior to the tour start date:

Full refund, minus any initial deposit and all PayPal transaction fees. Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made and be processed within 72 hours of the request being approved.

2). Cancel less than 120 days prior to the tour start date:

A refund will only be issued if your vacated spot on the tour is filled by another participant signing up. This refund would exclude your initial deposit and any PayPal transaction fees.

* At his discretion Nathaniel may lead the tour even if it does not meet the minimum number of participants required.

** You’ll be promptly notified and provided a full refund (including your deposit) should the tour be cancelled by Nature Odyssey Worldwide.

INCLUDED

1. All Ground Transportation in Spacious Passenger Vehicle
2. Accommodations For 10 Days and 9 Nights (Double Occupancy)
3. Daily Breakfast
4. Pro Photographer Instruction & Guiding by Nathaniel Smalley
5. Great Memories & Images
6. Drop off to Keflavik International Airport

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EXCLUDED

1. Airline Flights
2. Water, Snacks, Beverages or Alcohol
3. Mid-day and Evening Meals
4. Travel, Equipment or Health Insurance
5. Visas and passport fees (where applicable in preparation for your travel)
6. PayPal Transaction Fees
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WHAT TO BRING

1. Camera with manual mode capability
2. Extra camera batteries & charger
3. Cable release or remote control for your camera (Mirror Up and Exposure Delay will also work)
4. Lens filters of your choice (ND, CPL, GRAD, etc.)
5. Sturdy tripod
6. Warm clothes (down jacket, softshell jacket, polartec jacket, long underwear)
7. Waterproof / Windproof Clothes (GoreTex jacket + pants)
8. Waterproof Hiking Boots
9. Wool and silk socks
10. Gloves
11. Thermos for warm beverages

DIFFICULTY

This is an outdoor nature photography tour, so being fit and in good health will allow you to enjoy the trip more comfortably. However, our planned activities should be within the ability of most people in moderate to good shape. Conditions can be cold and wet rocks can sometimes be unstable and slippery, so please pack appropriate clothing for the conditions.

 Participants are required to sign a standard medical and waiver of liability form. Every effort is made to keep participants safe during all stages of the tour, but each person is solely responsible for avoiding personal injury or damaging their equipment during the trip.

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TESTIMONIALS

“The 2019 Icelandic Summers Night Dream Workshop was a dream come true! It was my first international photo tour. Nathaniel demonstrated professionalism,  provided a structured itinerary that included flexibility for weather conditions, gave hands on instruction for complete understanding for an inexperienced photographer, and exhibited contagious enthusiasm that motivated our group to engage in a meaningful and fun experience. I’ve already signed up for my next international Nature Odyssey Worldwide tour to Norway. Thank you, Nathaniel!”

~ Connie G. |  Texas, USA


“I just got back from Iceland after attending Nathaniel Smalley’s summer workshop, what an incredible experience! He turned day to night, only shooting after 9pm and out until 4 or 5am, thanks to the midnight sunset and 3am sunrise – what sweet light we had!! We had the added bonus that no one else was there despite hundreds of tourists. We had every kind of weather from bright sun to “you can’t leave the hotel” 50mph wind gusts. However that day turned out to be a gift of extra sleep and editing time. We were rewarded for not whining with glorious weather and light the next day. 

The beauty was overwhelming… miles and miles of lupine, a personal favorite, that has been planted to prevent erosion. It turns out the Vikings came and clear cut everything to plant crops – restoration will take decades, but is has begun.  There were no trees until we moved farther north and east. Geothermal steam provides the majority of their power and it rises here and there all over the country with large pipes carrying it to where it’s needed. Sheep were very abundant and usually curious enough to stand still for photos. We saw Icelandic horses just outside Keflavik and again out far east – so beautiful! Churches are almost as abundant as the sheep.

We travelled many miles, moving almost every day to see it all. We ate delicious meals – they typically have two kinds of restaurants, gourmet and fast food, so of course we did gourmet and always dessert! I am jet lagged, but less than you would expect with a 7 hour time difference. My theory is that my body never knew what time it was! Of course, I’m exhausted, but still smiling from one of the best photography experiences I have ever had, and I have been blessed with many! Thank you Nathaniel!”

~ Joyce H. |  California, USA


“Nathaniel combined his vast knowledge of photography with his experience in Iceland making this a trip of a lifetime one that did not disappoint. He is personable and professional. Upon review of my 5,000+ pictures, it was amazing to me how many shooting locations we visited. I felt like we really experienced the entire island. This was my second trip with Nathaniel and I already have another one on the books!”

~ Heathre B. |  Texas, USA


“The Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Tour was fantastic! Nathaniel has built a balanced itinerary that has a lot of flexibility to adjust to weather and other factors. I sincerely appreciated the dedicated time and great coaching given to my son, who was participating in his first photo tour. The entire trip went very smoothly thanks to Nathaniel’s superb planning efforts and his passionate energy every day. I am sure it was a very memorable experience for everyone in our group. I look forward to another Nature Odyssey Photo Tour!”

~ Michael M. |  Arizona, USA


Nathaniel’s Iceland workshop is one of the best I’ve ever taken. The trip was very well organized and with enough flexibility to modify our schedule to be at places when the light was beautiful and the crowds weren’t there. With Iceland being such a popular destination, the ‘must see‘ places get completely overrun with visitors. The times Nathaniel arranged for us to be at many of our spots was when we could capture images of these places looking pristine.

We also visited some more remote, off the beaten path locations, which I appreciated very much. Our accommodations were also good selections – from clean and comfortable to luxurious. I don’t think I could have had a more enjoyable experience with any one else and gotten the amazing images I took on this trip. Nathaniel is also very helpful with all levels of photographers and I believe that everyone improved their skills in his workshop. I plan to take another workshop with Nathaniel.”

~ Beverly H. |  California, USA


“I recently returned from Nathaniel’s 2018 Icelandic Summer Night’s Dream Photo Workshop. What an adventure! Because of Nathaniel’s thorough knowledge and planning, we were able to experience Iceland in a very special way. There were no crowds to prevent our detailed photographic exploration of the island because we were out taking advantage of the gorgeous light at night! I started the trip as a novice. Thanks to Nathaniel’s skill and knowledge I now feel much more comfortable and capable as a photographer. I would highly recommend Nathaniel as a guide and instructor and this trip in particular as a very special experience.”

~ Lisa M. |  Michigan, USA


“I would genuinely be surprised if there were anyone better equipped to lead this tour than Nathaniel. In addition to his endless technical and local knowledge, he’s a gifted teacher, dedicated guide, and a lot of fun to be around. The kind of person that can get along with anyone at all, and definitely the kind of person you want at the head of an intense trip like this.”

~ Sean M. |  Arizona, USA


“If you want to see the classic Iceland locations without the usual crowds, then take the trip with Nature Odyssey Worldwide. We had easy access to all the photo opportunities with help from Nathaniel whenever we needed it. Glorious weather and an awesome group of people made it a fabulous trip, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat!”

~ Jackie H. |  Texas, USA


“The trip was well thought out without feeling rigid.  The itinerary was great and the photo instructions were spot on.  Nathaniel not only understands photography but communicates that understanding well to his participants.  Truly enjoyable trip.”

~ Becky J. |  Texas, USA


“My wife and I had a great time in Iceland and we definitely made the right choice to go with Nathaniel, not only for his insights and photographic knowledge, but also for his kindness and caring about his participants. I will  forever treasure the photographs and life experiences from this Iceland tour!!!”

~ Gene N. | New Jersey, USA


“Wow, what a place!! I was delighted to be able to join one of Nathaniel’s tours for my first trip to Iceland. We got to photograph a variety of incredible places, including glaciers, waterfalls, geysers and the coastline, in the amazing Arctic light. Nathaniel is a well-organized, fun, creative and professional tour leader whose tours I highly recommend. Thanks Nathaniel!”

~ Arwen D. | Tasmania


“Despite challenging weather conditions we had many chances to create beautiful landscape photo during winter tour. It was really good tour, I felt lucky to meet all other lovely members. Nathaniel was really good to us. Thank you again.”

~ Keiko S. | Japan.


WHY CHOOSE NATURE ODYSSEY WORLDWIDE?

Nature Odyssey Worldwide provides superior photography tours for any skill level, to every corner of the world. Our unwavering commitment to participant satisfaction has established a thriving repeat client base, feel free to browse our testimonials page for confirmation. We excel in the knowledge of critical details and meticulously attend to everything that concerns a traveler, as well as the subtle requirements of a photographer. Itineraries are organized with nature photography in mind and catered to you, our guest. Extra care is invested in all planning stages to ensure an experience second to none. We strive to incorporate a diverse cultural experience for our clients, specific to each destination. Every effort is made to plan exceptional meals and reserve accommodations that you’ll be excited to return to after a long day in the field. All-inclusive international packages take the worry and hassle out of your travel plans. Trips are planned to flow seamlessly, limiting time lost in transfers and prioritizing photography. We’re intentionally flexible with our itineraries so that we can take advantage of unplanned photographic opportunities as they arise. Nathaniel Smalley is at your side every step of the way with the sole focus of maximizing your results and ensuring an experience that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Professional photographic instruction in the field and digital darkroom is standard so you’ll create the very best images possible. This exceptional dedication to our participants allows us to say confidently that your photographic happiness is guaranteed.