Artic Birds and Tundra Landscapes

This workshop is designed as an extension to our Svalbard Expedition, but anyone is welcome!

Finnmark is situated above the Arctic circle at the northernmost part of Norway and continental Europe. The Norwegian coastline sweeps eastward here and is indented by rugged fjords. Finnmark is Norway’s largest county but is also its most sparsely populated. Nature—especially birdlife—abounds here. We will explore and shoot the coast from Hornøya and Vardø all the way up to the old fishing village of Hamningberg.

Our workshop will be based in the seaside town of Vardø, an ideal jumping-off point to this land of the midnight sun. We’ll be exploring by comfortable private vehicle to some of our destinations, and taking small boats to others. Our goal will be to photograph a variety of arctic birds (puffins, guillemots, terns, skuas, gannets, eagles, and many others), and unique landscapes and local color. This is a very remote area—while it is known only to Norwegian and a few European photographers, it is definitely on the top of their lists! You will be led by local guide Bjarne Riesto (see his work here), who has spent a lifetime exploring and documenting this region. Expect to learn and to fine tune your wildlife photography skills, with plenty of time to get birds-in-flight and many other types of birdlife photos. Oh, and with the midnight sun, expect to photograph at all hours of the day and “night”!

Location:

Vardø, Norway

Tuition:

$4,495

Dates:

June 29–July 3, 2021

Fitness Level:

Moderate
Uneven ground on bird cliff trails.
Steep and rocky at Styltefjord for the Gannets. Good balance required.

Your Pros:

Bjarne Riesto

Availability:

Open for Registration
Limited to 5 Guests

I thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about the birdlife and photographing so many birds. I have waited for years to see the puffins! Being able to observe the puffins in their environment and to photograph them was magical for me. Once again, I learned a lot from Muench Workshops, the pros were never far away and there to answer my questions and help me with composition.
— Nancy Hardie, Finnmark '19, Antarctica '20

Itinerary and General Information

This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it. 

June 29–July 3, 2021: Our Svalbard ship returns to Longyearbyen late in the day on June 28, 2021. On June 29, we’ll sleep in before disembarking the ship after breakfast. We will have a bit of time in Longyearbyen until our afternoon flight on Widerøe Airlines to Vadsø (via Tromsø). We’ll then take the one hour drive to Vardø, where we are based for four nights. While our exact itinerary will be weather dependent, we plan on two visits to the island of Hornøya to photograph the puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes nesting there. We’ll also take a boat ride out to the island of Syltefjordstauran to photograph Northern gannets, kittiwakes, and white-tailed eagles. In between, we’ll stay busy shooting seaside landscapes in this beautiful part of Norway and conducting out signature image reviews, critiques, and post-processing sessions.

July 3, 2021: We will depart Vardø for the one hour drive back to Vadsø and our flight to Oslo. Once in Oslo, we’ll check into the Radisson Blu Oslo Airport Hotel, where our workshop concludes. Flights home can be made at any time on July 4, 2021. 

What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop

Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)

  • All meals and soft drinks during the workshop

  • All transportation during the workshop

  • All photographic guiding and instruction

  • Image reviews and post-processing sessions

  • Fun, inspiration, and a good time!

Whats Not Included?

International air travel and domestic air travel from Longyearbyen to Vadsø on June 29, 2021, and from Vadsø to Oslo on July 3, 2021. Passport and visa fees, if any. Hotel night in Oslo on July 3, 2021 as needed (though we will arrange it). Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature. Anything not specifically listed as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $1,995 will hold your space in this workshop. The balance of $2,500 will be due not later than March 1, 2021. All of our terms and conditions apply.

Additional Information

If you are ready for an out-of-this world bird and seascape photography experience, click the "Sign Me Up!" button and we'll see you in Norway!