After the success of a myriad of PhotoDOs
all over the world, I am excited to announce the first (of hopefully many) Something Fishy Photography Workshops.The basics:When and where?
July 11 - 15, 2016 in Iceland.
We will meet in Iceland early Monday morning and depart early Friday.What is it?
An intensive, all-inclusive photography workshop. Over four days we will explore Iceland's incredible south coast and the wild and remote East Fjords, learning how to take stunning pictures. The small group size will ensure that everyone gets individual, unrushed attention throughout the workshop.
You will learn everything from basic camera operation, to more advanced techniques, to the basics of post-processing, all in one of the most stunning locations on the planet.What's included?
All instruction and guidance, transport and lodging in a large and comfortable camper, delicious kosher meals, transfers to and from the airport, zodiac trip on the glacial lagoon, round-trip ferry to the Westman Islands, fuel, camping fees, and all taxes.
See in the Details
section below for more information on all this.What's not included?
Airfare to and from KEF, snacks, and incidentals (alcohol, souvenirs, etc.)What's the cost?
$1499 per person.
$600 deposit is due at booking to confirm your spot.
See "Details" below for booking and payment information, balance due date, and cancellation info.Who is this for?
Everyone who is interested in learning to take better pictures. Whether you're a beginner and just starting out, or are comfortable with a camera and want to take your photography to the next level, you'll get personal, customized, hands-on instruction.The details:What will I learn?
- Basic skills: How to achieve correct exposure in a wide variety of situations, how to compose a compelling photograph, white balance, camera settings, tripod and accessory usage, etc..
- Advanced skills: How to create ethereal long exposures, filtration techniques, advanced composition methods, shooting for HDR, using off-camera flash, showing motion blur, maintaining the highest level of sharpness, RAW vs. JPEG, in-depth focusing skills such as focus bracketing and AF tracking, and more.
- Post-production: We will cover culling and choosing your best images, and during every session we will choose a few images to edit. Using free or low-priced tools, we'll cover topics such as RAW processing, color and contrast, sharpening, B&W conversions, creating panoramas, and HDR processing.What will we shoot?
Iceland is world-famous for its unbelievable beauty, and for good reason. Few places in the world offer such a target-rich environment for the photographer. From immense mountains and volcanoes, to fairy-tale waterfalls and glacial lagoons, to the rugged shoreline and beaches, we will never run out of things to shoot.
In July, the midnight sun means that it never gets dark at night. The sun sets and the sky gets a hint of twilight, and then the sun rises right away. This means that if the weather cooperates we will have at least 12-14 hours of magical light per day (compared to maybe 4 or so in more moderate latitudes such as the US). This also means that to take full advantage of this we may choose to shoot throughout the "night", resulting in some wonky sleep patterns. I will however make sure that we keep well-rested; nothing ruins your creativity like being half asleep.
The following is just a sampling of locations we will visit. Type any of those locations into Google Images and you'll get a taste of what's to come:
: Bruarfoss, Seljalandsfoss (from above, below, and behind
), Skógafoss, Svartifoss and its basalt columns.
: Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjara, Vik, Jokulsarlon (See below), Vesturhorn, the Laekjavik coast, and more.
- Glaciers and Lagoons
: We will visit the other-worldly Jokulsarlon lagoon and beaches at least twice, to take advantage of different light and the ever-changing nature of the ice. We will also take a zodiac tour
on the lagoon, getting up close and personal with the towering icebergs. Additionally, we'll stop by Fjallsarlon glacier and its lagoon as well. All zodiac fees and taxes are included in the workshop fee.
- Westman Islands
: We will take a ferry to the Westman Islands to visit a massive puffin and seabird colony. The islands are spectacularly beautiful, and if we're lucky, we may spot whales as well. The ferry costs are included in the workshop fee.
- Mountains and canyons:
We'll visit the infamous Eyjafjallajokull and Hekla volcanoes, Vesturhorn mountain, the wild formations of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, and more.
(Note that these locations are not guaranteed and are subject to change based on weather, group preference, or other factors. Depending on the state of the puffin populations this season, we may opt to visit a different colony in Borgarfjörður Eystri in the East Fjords.)How do I get to Iceland?
Delta and Icelandair fly direct from JFK (among others), and WOW flies from BOS and BWI.
At the time of writing, Delta is the cheapest at $656 round-trip, and a whooping $10 cheaper using hidden city.
All three airlines have a flight arriving in KEF early morning on Monday, but only Delta and Icelandair have flights departing Friday morning (JFK arrival is around noon).
Note that WOW is a low-cost carrier, charging fees for just about everything. Keep those in mind when shopping for tickets.Where will we sleep?
We will have a large and comfortable campervan, similar to the one I had last winter
. The big difference is that this one is bigger (sleeps 5 people instead of 4), and far
more comfortable, especially in the back. There is an on-board fridge, sink, stove, table, and cabinets. Note that there is no toilet or shower in the van.
Being that this is a camper, the beds are not luxurious nor king-sized. However they are quite comfortable and obviously come with fresh and clean bedding. They are 2-up, but should you prefer, making a divider with camera bags or the like is quick and effective. The top bunk is also roomier than what I had last year, so it will be nice and comfortable. In summary, the sleeping arrangements, while being clean and comfortable, are more "adventure" type than "luxury".
Depending on where we are when we decide to call it a night, we will make a group decision whether to wild-camp (i.e. a nice spot at a beach or the like), or stay at a campground with shower and laundry facilities.
There will also be an opportunity to visit some local thermal springs for some R&R.
In order to ensure maximum sleeping comfort, only 3 slots are available
on this workshop.What will we eat?
One of the unique aspects of this workshop that you won't find in any other is the kosher food situation. All meals are included in the workshop fee. The workshop officially begins and ends at KEF airport, so that works out to 5x breakfast, 5x lunch, and 4x dinner.
There will be more than enough food and a nice variety to choose from. A typical breakfast may include rolls, wraps, spreads, cheeses, coffee, hot cereal, and more. Lunch will generally be pack lunches, consisting of tuna and assorted cold cuts sandwiches and wraps. For dinner we will have barbecues (can't heat up POM meals in the van!), with steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and the like.
If you have any specific needs, wants, or ideas regarding the food, please let me know when you book and I'll do my best to accommodate you.
Snacks and alcohol is not
included, so please bring those from home. There will also be an opportunity to stop in a Reykjavik supermarket to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a limited amount of kosher snacks (granola bars and chips, for example).What camera gear do I need?
This workshop is geared for all levels of photographers, so you do not really need any fancy equipment; any fairly recent (last couple of years) DSLR or mirrorless camera will work just fine. Here are the bare minimums:Required gear:
- DSLR or mirrorless camera
- Lens (or lenses) that covers the wide-to-medium range (18-55mm, 16-50mm, etc.).
- Remote shutter release. Wireless is best, but any remote will work fine.
- Sturdy, heavy tripod. This is critical; anything even remotely flimsy will
keep you from getting sharp pictures.
- Circular polarizer and 3-stop ND filters for at least one lens.
- Spare batteries, charger, and EU plug adapter.
- Memory cards
- Camera bag (backpack or sling is preferable)Optional, but highly suggested, gear:
- Wide angle lens. Examples include the Canon 10-22mm, Rokinon 14mm, etc. This will open up a whole new dimension in your photography.
- Telephoto lens. Pretty much a requirement to get good puffin shots, it will also be very useful for general landscapes.
- Higher-quality medium-to-wide lens. A typical kit lens will do the job, but there's no getting around the fact that a higher-end lens will create better quality images. Lenses like the 16-35mm and 24-70mm fall into this category.
- Rain protection for your camera.
- 10-stop ND filter.
- Laptop for backing up and editing your pictures. Preferably with Adobe Lightroom or similar installed.
I will of course be happy to discuss any and all gear-related questions you may have. I will also be able to lend filters if needed.What should I wear?
Unlike Iceland in the winter, you do not need special clothing to protect you from extreme weather. July in Iceland is cool and often rainy. Aside from your regular clothing, you should also bring a decent jacket and waterproof rain coat (could be combined of course). A thin pair of rain pants will keep you warm and comfortable, as well as allow you to get down low on muddy or wet ground without worry. Bring a hat if you tend to get chilly. A good pair of hiking shoes or boots - preferably waterproof - completes the ensemble.
I would also recommend that the raincoat and rainpants be windproof as well as waterproof.Iceland: Summer vs. winter:
Both seasons in Iceland have their distinctive charm, and are quite different. Here are some of the main points to help you decide on a summer or winter trip (yes, there will likely be another Iceland workshop this winter):
- Everything is covered in a layer of green, from the meadows to the mountainsides. Since there are very few trees in Iceland, everything looks like it's covered in a magical green carpet. Even when the weather is bad, the green makes for a lovely contrast with stormy skies.
- The midnight sun. For a short time each night the sun sets below the horizon, creating a lovely twilight conditions. And before you know it, sunrise begins anew. This is a photographer's paradise; hour after hour after hour of perfect, golden light.
- The weather's nice! Typical July temperature is in the high 50s - far more pleasant than the sub-freezing temps and howling winds of winter. And in July we don't really run the risk of getting snowed in for a day or two...
- Waterfalls are gushing and look generally better surrounded by green.
- Jokulsarlon beach has smaller yet more numerous icebergs than winter. The calmer sea allows for more opportunities to photograph. Beaches as a whole are more approachable and explorable due to the calmer sea.
- Puffins! Millions upon millions come ashore to nest in Iceland every summer. Around half of the world's puffin population summers in Iceland.
- Many locations that are inaccessible all winter become, well, accessible. These include getting up close to the sea stacks around Vik, and many more.
- Dark nights mean that there is a chance of seeing the incredible northern lights, hidden all summer long by the midnight sun.
- Snow and storms can create dramatic and wonderful conditions.
- The wild and violent ocean lends itself to an entirely different type of beach photography than the summer does.
- Jokulsarlon's icebergs are larger but less numerous; this is not better or worse then summer, just different.
Have a look at the the (still ongoing) trip report
from my trip to Iceland last winter to get an idea of the conditions.How do I book?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or a PM here and we'll take it from there.Payment schedule:
Workshop cost is $1499.
Deposit of $600 is due at booking to secure your slot.
Balance of $899 is due by June 10th, 2016 (30 days before departure).
There are only three slots available, so bookings will go on a first come, first serve basis. Once the slots are full, you will have the opportunity to go on a waiting list.
Participants will be entitled to a 10% discount on future workshops as well.Cancellation policy:
Up to 30 days before departure: 100% refund.
29-21 days before departure: 90% refund.
20-14 days before departure: 80% refund.
13-8 days before departure: 50% refund.
7 days before departure or less: no refund.
If your slot is subsequently booked, regardless of date, you will receive a 100% refund.
This policy is in place due to the fact that most aspects of this trip need to be booked way in advance and are generally not cancelable; Unfortunately, I do not have a choice with this. Note that the refund amounts listed will be minus credit card processing fees, if applicable.Legal stuff and fine print:
I highly recommend you purchase travel insurance for your workshop and travel expenses. Such insurance may provide coverage for losses suffered in the event of trip cancellation and interruption, travel delay, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delay, medical emergencies and the like. A signed limit of liability form may be required to attend the workshop.
Morris Hersko Photography Inc. shall take no responsibility or liability for personal or property damage during the duration of the workshop, or be liable for non- refundable airline tickets.
All information provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change.