You may feel like you’ve landed on another planet as you touch down just west of the Arctic Ocean. Take in an otherworldly landscape as you travel from the airport into the heart of Reykjavik. Visit the Reykjanes lava fields and warm up your shutter finger among volcanic craters, hot springs and walking tours through the city. Take in the brightly colored rooftops, experimental architecture and friendly residents. Begin your photo lessons and explore Thingvellir, trying your hand at dry suit snorkeling between two continental plates. Drive the iconic Golden Circle and work to compose images that highlight Iceland’s natural beauty.
It’s time to move east along the Ring Road, Iceland’s main route that circles the entire island. Visit the roaring Seljalandsfoss waterfall and practice your long exposures as you walk behind it. Hike Thórsmörk, an enormous, rocky mountain ridge named for the Norse god, Thor, and get a panoramic view of your sea-level surroundings. Walk across a glacier at Vik, then meet puffins in the wild and watch them swim, dive and nest through the lens of your camera. Take in the distinct Skaftafell waterfall, called “black” for its basalt walls created by cooling lava. Walk the iceberg-dotted beaches and lagoon of Jökulsárlón and take a dip in its glacial lake, if you dare!
Venture north of civilization and visit sites near Mývatn, a shallow lake in the middle of an active volcanic area. Pause to take in two more waterfalls, Detitfoss and Hafragilsfoss, visit the amusingly familiar patterns (called crater plugs) formed by Hljóðaklettar’s basaltic column and see Ásbyrgi canyon, the Shelter of the Gods. Stop through Akureyri, Iceland’s ‘Capital of the North’ with glowing red hearts as stoplights. Meanwhile, you’ll have built up a catalog of images and will begin editing photos for your final portfolio.
Make one last stop to experience the natural beauty of the remote Western region of Iceland. Then, stop back through Reykjavik as you make your way to the quiet southeastern town of Eyrarbakki to work in the studio, honing your Lightroom and Photoshop skills as you edit down the vast library of images you’ve accumulated and polish them into a final, professional level portfolio. Take a printing workshop and start compiling your amazing photographs into a portfolio, but be sure to take a break from photo editing to explore nearby attractions, like horseback riding on a black sand beach. Present your final portfolio to the group, and enjoy viewing one another’s work and remembering each moment of your unbelievable journey. Then prepare to travel home, with professional photography experience and the portfolio to prove it.