Landscape Photography in the Heart of Iceland
August 24 – September 1, 2024
We will access the remote areas of Iceland’s central and southern Highlands during this workshop. You will see and photograph locations that are seldom photographed on other workshops.
For centuries, the interior of Iceland was virtually inaccessible, playing host only to outlaws in hiding. Via the mountain roads Kjölur and Sprengisandur, the untouched wilderness of Iceland’s mountainous center is now open—for cautious exploration by foot or 4×4 vehicles—in the summer months. Join this small group lead by a Muench Workshops pro and our very own Viking on this amazing photo adventure. Everything is included: all meals, double occupancy lodging (singles available, just ask), transportation by 4×4 Super Jeeps, and photographic guiding and instruction from two professionals.
Some of the most interesting parts of Iceland with volcanic activity are in the highlands, such as Landmannalaugar and the region around Askja and Herðubreið, the national mountain of Iceland. The highlands are mostly an uninhabitable volcanic desert with phenomenal photography locations in the few oases of the desert, which can be crossed only during the Icelandic summer (typically from June through September). For the rest of the year, the highland roads are closed. Most highland roads require four-wheel drive vehicles to ford rivers and rough terrain. On our workshop, we use specially modified 4×4 Super Jeeps and our Icelandic Viking Guide, who has years of experience camping, hiking, and exploring the highlands. We will be doing some moderate hiking to the best shooting locations in the highlands, so please bring your hiking boots. We’ll chase the light out for sunrise, then day-shooting where it’s good, followed by sunset. This is the time of year it is possible to photograph the Northern Lights, so if it’s clear, we’ll be out looking for the Aurora.
We will stay in hotels strategically located in the highlands that give us the best access to our locations.
We will also feature our signature image reviews and Lightroom post-processing instruction as much as possible. In the field, you can expect to learn plenty: the art of seeing and creating the best compositions; shooting for panoramas and HDR; proper exposure and other technical aspects of landscape photography; and, of course, everything you need to know and understand about night photography. If you have a drone, bring it, but if you’re interested in focusing on drone photography, we recommend registering for our Iceland Drone Photography workshop.
As always in Iceland, this itinerary is subject to change due to weather and light conditions.
August 24, 2024: You’ll arrive in Keflavik, be picked up at the airport, and be driven to Reykjavík to check in to our hotel. Spend the day touring this beautiful European city. We’ll meet at 6:00 PM in the hotel lobby, then go out for a group dinner, get to know each other better, and run through the workshop schedule and details.
August 25, 2024: Central Highlands. After breakfast, we will board our private vehicles and travel northwards through the central highlands. We’ll stay in mountain huts for one night, exploring the night in the geothermal oasis of the highlands, such as Hveravellir and Kerlingarfjöll. We should be able to find a waterfall or two, as well! The volcanic origin of these mountains is evidenced by the numerous hot springs and rivulets in the area. After our mountain hut experience, we continue our travels into the heart of the Highlands.
August 26–28, 2024: We are based at Hrauneyjar, focusing on nearby locations, including waterfalls (Hjalparfoss, Háifoss & Ófærufoss).
We will have time to pursue other great locations like Fjallabak nyrôra, Langisjor, Eldgjá, and Landmannalaugar. The hiking in Landmannalaugar is spectacular because of the rhyolite hills, moss patterns, and scattered snow patches. We’ll visit the azure blue crater lake Hnausapollur and walk the rims of this old crater to get views of the distant braided rivers.
August 29–30, 2024: We are based at Hriífunes, where we will focus on Mt. Maelifell and the remote canyons of Skaftártunguafréttur.
We will position ourselves at key overlooks to photograph the unique braided rivers and vast open lands that are seldom photographed and are truly out of this world. Mt Maelifell rises from what seems to be a vast desert of black and brown ash fields. Covered with bright green moss in striking contrast to the surroundings, this mountain is a coveted shot for many photographers. The vast and remote canyon lands of Skaftártunguafréttur are sure to impress you as well. We will work in multiple locations to photograph this impressive area. Don’t be surprised if we see only ranchers and sheep because this area is extremely remote.
August 31, 2024: We will move to another hotel, allowing us to take the scenic 4-wheel drive road across the barren highlands through the incredible volcanic country. We’ll also have time to photograph steep canyons like Mælifellssandur and Markarfljosglufur.
September 1, 2024: We’ll head back to Reykjavík in the afternoon, with stops along the way to include a hike into another canyon Stakkholtsgja and a visit to Valley of Thor. Once we arrive back in Reykjavík, we’ll meet for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate the amazing time we’ve had and the photos captured in Iceland’s Highlands!
September 2, 2024: Flights home anytime this day.
Moderate: Hikes of up to a couple miles with some small elevation gain. Uneven ground. Long days of photography.
Arrive Keflavík International Airport (KEF), Reykjavík, Iceland before 4:00 PM on August 24, 2024. Flights out can be made anytime on September 2, 2024.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,500 supplement.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All permits and park fees
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Reykjavík, Iceland.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $1,500 supplement.
“I’m just back from the Iceland Highlands workshop with Randy Hanna, and I wanted to let you know we had a fabulous trip. Randy was an amazing photo guide and ambassador for both the Muench brand and Iceland. Everything went without a hitch. Accommodations were good and the weather cooperated. ”
“This was my first photography workshop. I chose Muench for three reasons—the amount of repeat business you get, the workshop fee covers everything but airfare & alcohol, and the collection of talented instructors. Bottom line—the workshop was outstanding and I hope to attend more! ”