If spectacular landscapes, weird natural ice sculptures, fuzzy ponies, volcanoes, geysers, and rugged coastlines weren't enough, Iceland in spring is a bird photographer's paradise. During the breeding season, only about 70 bird species, from raptors and seabirds to waterfowl and songbirds, arrive to breed on the island. However, many of them come to Iceland in extraordinary numbers seen nowhere else. If you want photos of puffins, this is the place.
Wildlife includes shorebirds, waterfowl, seabirds (the Atlantic Puffin is the most numerous with upwards of 3 million breeding pairs), raptors, arctic fox (the only endemic mammal), otter, reindeer, the iconic Icelandic pony, seals, walrus, and whales. It goes without saying that this workshop is about photography, and we will be taking advantage of all the resources at our disposal to make this a productive and unforgettable experience.
We will explore at a "photographer's pace", allowing you time to gain knowledge and understanding of the landscape, history, and people of this Arctic island and come away with beautiful and meaningful photographs. Mike and Tim will guide you through exercises to help hone your ability to "see with eye, mind, and heart" melding composition, knowledge, experience, and expectation; beneficial to your photography and everyday enjoyment of the world around us. You'll learn and practice visual storytelling to give your experience and visual presentation extra meaning and impact, and learn to create well-designed multimedia presentations using Proshow Gold.
In addition to exploring personal vision, composition and camera technique in the inspiring Icelandic landscape, we'll also find time to extend our explorations of creative imaging into the digital darkroom. Tim and Mike will present sessions on keywording and using metadata to enable easy access to a particular image within an archive of many thousands of files. We'll also explore creative image adjustments in Photoshop, Nik Efex plugins, and HDR techniques and processing, among others.
See biographies of the workshop leaders below:
Mike Shipman is a self-taught freelance commercial, editorial, and fine art photographer, educator, and a former wildlife biologist. He's been photographing since he could hold a camera, has been teaching photography for 13 years. He is an Idaho Commission on the Arts Teaching Artist and is actively involved in the art community. He leans toward a more contemplative approach in his work, both in the subjects he shoots and his workflow. His approach is one of curiosity, exploration, and self-discovery. Along the way, he will explain to you the processes he uses, but it is only one way. His job as a teacher is to help you find your way. He photographs nature, abstracts, hot rods, classic cars, the human figure, and anything else that interests him. He's traveled most of the U.S. as well as New Zealand, Zanzibar, Australia, Vancouver Island, Uruguay, and Honduras. His work has been published regionally and nationally and hangs in private and corporate collections. Workshops are small-group and private, scheduled and available for customization. He is in the process of writing a photography book.
Tim Vollmer was born in Southwest Germany and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Tim is 38 yers old and has been interested in, and learning, photography for over 20 years. He has been living in Iceland for the last 6 years and specializes in all aspects of photography in Iceland, including landscapes, architecture, portraits, nature (particularly birds), and travel. He enjoys gettig to know others, discovering the many hidden gems in Iceland and spending time with his wife and children. Since 2010, he has organized and held workshops and photo tours in Greenland and Iceland.
We suggest that you arrive in Iceland at least a day early and depart a day later to accommodate varying flight schedules, possible delays, and help with jet lag recovery. Accommodation for these extra nights can be arranged, but are not included in the workshop fee. We strongly encouraged you to purchase trip insurance as a preventive measure against unforeseen circumstances, medical necessities, and/or equipment loss or damage (if you don't have equipment insurance).
Day 1: Arrive Keflavik airport (if not arriving earlier). Day in Reykjavik. Overnight at hotel in Reykjavik.
Day 2: Reykjanes penninsula, Reykjanesvii lighthouse, Sandgerði, Hafnaberg.
Day 3 - 5: Westman Islands, puffin colony, Heimaey, Helgafell and Eldfell (Fire Mountains), Súlnasker and Surtsey Island boat tour.
Day 6: Reynisfjara beach and Reynisdrangar sea stacks, Vik Village in the Valley of Mýrdalur.
Day 7 - 8: Skaftafell National Park, Jökulsárlón, Ingólfshöfði, Lónsöræfi.
Day 9: Sólheimasandur, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss.
Day 10: Golden Circle: Þingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - Flúðir.
Day 11: Borgarfjörður – Hraunfossar – Barnafossar (waterfalls) – Húsafell.
Day 12: Reykavik and departures home.
The terrain and weather in Iceland is variable. The ranking of physical activity for this workshop is easy to moderate, though strenuous walking/climbing are optional but available. You should be able to negotiate uneven, sandy, and rocky terrain and be able to walk for extended periods of time with your camera equipment to get the most from this workshop. Weather and temperature conditions are changeable. Gusty winds, rain, drizzle, and snow can be experienced in the same day. Average temperatures for May are highs around 49 F (9.4 C), lows around 39 F (3.6 C). The sun angle will be lower than mid-summer, resulting in about 6 hours of full sunlight per day and long "shoulders" of sunrise and sunset.
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