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NatureScapes Photography Workshop - Ultimate Iceland Summer Adventure with Greg Downing & Johann Oli Hilmarsson - July 2013
Ultimate Iceland Adventure!

Join founders Greg Downing and E.J. Peiker, along with world-renowned Ornithologist and Icelandic photographer, Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, on what we feel to be THE ultimate Iceland adventure!

Not only is Iceland one of the best places on Earth to photograph cliff dwelling birds such as the colorful and comedic Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Murres and many, many other sea birds and Arctic species, it is also one of the most spectacular landscape spectacles on the planet. And this workshop and tour offers the best of everything and at an incredible value!

With Greg and E.J.'s combined bird and landscape photography experience, along with their previous experience in Iceland, and Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson's extensive knowledge of the area, and it's birds and wildlife, you can be certain of being presented with quite simply THE best opportunities to bring home beautiful photos of all the incredible birds, the breathtaking landscapes and even some of the local culture.

Our journey starts in the capital city of Reykjavik and takes us north to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and its fantastic sea-scapes. We then progress further North by ferry to the small island of Flatey and what many call the best seabird cliffs on earth at Latrabjarg. Our trip takes us to many of Iceland's most spectacular waterfalls including the Barnafoss area where the water pours out of a kilometer long cliff into glacial blue waters. We then head south to photograph Red-throated Loon in breeding colors as well as Black-tailed Godwit at the Floi Preserve. Next we go to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Europe and photograph the Geysir area of natural geysers as well as a string of other beautiful waterfalls. From here we make our way across the south part of the island stopping at many locations including the world famous Laki Craters and both an evening and morning shoot at the beautiful Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon!

With ALL expenses covered, and a set of 3 great guides, with nearly a century of experience between them, you can ease the worry of travel from your mind and partake in this adventure without stress!

Each day will bring us a new adventure and new opportunities as we explore and photograph this truly magical place!


Day 1 - July 8, 2013

Depart for Iceland

Day 2 - July 9, 2013

Arrive Keflavik airport and transfer to hotel in Reykjavik. After getting settled in we will start immediately by going to the town lake called Tarn in Reykjavik where we will photograph numerous waterfowl species.

Day 3 - July 10, 2013

We will depart in the morning for Snaeffelsjokull National Park on Snaefellnes Peninsula arriving in time for an evening shoot of this amazing coastal landscape. We will of course stop for any targets of opportunity along the way.

Day 4 - July 11, 2013

We will board the first ferry in the morning to Flatey Island on our journey northward. Flatey is a small island that boasts a wide array of photographable birds including Arctic Tern, Eurasian Oystercatchers, Redshank, Black Guillemot, and many more. In the afternoon we will re-board the ferry and continue north ending up at the Latrabjarg bird cliffs at the eastern most point in Europe. This is widely known as one of the very best bird photography locations in the world. Here we will spend two and a half days photographing cliff birds such as Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Murres, Kittiwakes and Northern Fulmar.

Day 5 - July 12, 2013

We continue shooting at Latrabjarg. The tiny village of Breidavik, where we will be staying, also provides some excellent scenic opportunities.

Day 6 - July 13, 2013

Our final day at Latrabjarg will allow us to continue to explore the incredible bird photography opportunities in this area.

Day 7 - July 14, 2013

We depart Breidavik and ferry back to tiny Flatey Island for another few hours of bird photography on this lovely little island - Overnight in Flatey.

Day 8 - July 15, 2013

Early morning ferry ride back to Stykkishholmur.

We will depart Stykkisholmur in the morning and work our way inland stopping along the way for any targets of opportunity and end up at Barnafoss in afternoon light. This area boasts a gorgeous kilometer long waterfall where the water comes out of a cliff face. It is fed by an underground river. After spending plenty of time photographing this natural wonder we will drive to Borganess for the night.

Day 9 - July 16, 2013

We depart Borganess and drive south where we will spend the later part of the day in the Floi Preserve. This sanctuary has numerous small lakes, many of which have a breeding Red-throated Loon pair. Other species include breeding plumage Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit.

Day 10 - July 17, 2013

This morning we head into higher ground to one of Iceland's most spectacular waterfalls - Gullfoss. This area is also known for its thermal activity and we will stop in appropriately named Geysir to photograph this area. In the afternoon we will drive to the southern waterfall area as we begin to cross the southern part of Iceland. We will end our day at in the beautiful coastal landscape area of Dyrholae and Reynir.

Day 11 - July 18, 2013

Today we find ourselves at the famous and very scenic Laki Craters followed by a hike to the Basalt lined Svartifoss. As we pass through Skaftafell National Park, we will stop for landscapes along the roadside and find ourselves at the Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon in the evening.

Day 12 - July 19, 2013

We will return to the Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon for an early morning shoot at this most beautiful spot. After this we will embark on our long journey back to Ryeykjavik where we will host a farewell dinner and spend the night before flying home the next day.

Day 13 - July 20, 2013

Airport transfers and flights home.

*Itinerary may be modified based on weather and local conditions.

The Cost:

The cost of this workshop/tour is $5,995 USD per person and is all inclusive. The price is based on double occupancy and includes all meals, lodging, transportation and guiding service throughout.

A single room supplement at an additional cost of $750 is available on a first-request first-served basis. (Due to the limited number of spaces available if we are unable to match a solo guest with another guest of the same gender in a "double" room, then the single supplement charge will be required.)

*Note: Some lodging requires shared bathroom facilities, for instance we are renting a farmhouse on the island of Flatey and some rooms share baths, but the majority of lodging venues feature private facilities for each room.

Due to the confidentiality of the itinerary the specific lodging venues will be shared only upon request or upon receipt of registration.

If you would like to register for this workshop, please fill out the registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our workshop information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Disclaimer Regarding 2013 Iceland Prices: Due to uncertainty in exchange rates and surrounding the hotel VAT (Value Added Tax) in Iceland, we reserve the right to make changes to the prices published on our website.  The Icelandic government has proposed raising the hotel VAT, effective May 2013. The proposal will go to the Icelandic parliament this fall and may not be decided on until late in December 2012. This proposal is very unfortunate and due to the uncertainty we may need to revise our pricing pending on the outcome. We thank you for your understanding.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: July 8-20, 2013 SOLD OUT
  • Cost: $5,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 12
Disclaimer Regarding 2013 Iceland Prices: Due to uncertainty in exchange rates and surrounding the hotel VAT (Value Added Tax) in Iceland, we reserve the right to make changes to the prices published on our website. The Icelandic government has proposed raising the hotel VAT, effective May 2013. The proposal will go to the Icelandic parliament this fall and may not be decided on until late in December 2012. This proposal is very unfortunate and due to the uncertainty we may need to revise our pricing pending on the outcome. We thank you for your understanding.

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, is a leading authority on the birds of Iceland and one of the country’s most experienced bird photographers. He has written numerous articles on birds in books, magazines and papers and is the author of the bestselling book Icelandic Bird Guide, a photographic guide which has been sold in almost 40,000 copies. Jóhann Óli has held many courses, lectures and exhibitions and his photographs has been published around the world in books, magazines, on stamps, bank notes, etc. Continue reading »

E.J. Peiker

E.J. was born in 1960 in Augsburg, Germany and moved to Ohio in 1969. He attended Purdue University and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and completed graduate studies in Microelectronics and Semiconductor Physics. After working for the Intel Corporation for 27 years, he is now retired from the electronics industry and is a professional freelance photographer. E.J. and has formally studied photography at the University of New Mexico and completed courses from The Rocky Mountain School of Photography. Continue reading »

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and seminars. Instructing photographers of all experience levels Greg has earned a reputation for his gracious and generous teaching style.

Greg's images are known for their unique style, exacting composition and strict attention to detail. As an internationally recognized photographer, his numerous publishing credits include books, advertising campaigns and editorial publications such as Birding Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Birder's World, National Geographic and many others. Continue reading »