The Lofoten Islands: inspiring, rugged, and colorful! I am personally inviting you on the visual adventure of a lifetime to discover Lofoten’s incredible fjords, boulder-strewn beaches, and delicate ice formations.
The Lofotens are unlike any other place on earth. The wintery arctic light paints dream-like scenes in every direction, and the snowy landscape is accented by exciting pops of color at every turn from the turquoise blue fjords to the charming red fishing houses. When the night sky is clear, Lofoten comes to life with vibrant shows of the Northern Lights.
The Lofoten Islands bring exciting challenges which will push you to learn new skills and think creatively. Winter storms are a frequent occurrence in Lofoten which add a new dimension to the ever-changing face of the landscape. This creates a dynamic environment to explore new photographic techniques and I will provide expert guidance on how to capture every arctic mood.
This workshop is designed for hobbyist and professional photographers alike, and you can count on receiving individualized guidance and feedback to help you grow as a photographer. At the end of this workshop, you will depart with an impressive portfolio, new advanced shooting and processing techniques, and epic memories to last a lifetime!
Day 1 – Arrival
When you descend from the clouds into Leknes Airport, you will get your first glimpse of the incredible mountains and fjords that await you! Upon landing, a shuttle service will welcome you and take you to our fabulous accommodations in Ballstad where we will be staying for the duration of the workshop. Settle in and explore the local area at your own pace. At 6pm, we depart for our welcome dinner to get to know each other and discuss the adventures ahead. There is nothing as perfect as great food, good conversation, and lots of laughter to set the tone for an adventure, so after dinner if the sky is clear we will set out to hunt for the Northern Lights!
Day 2 – 7
Simply put, there is no fixed itinerary! This workshop offers the true pursuit of exceptional landscape photography which requires us to chase the best light and weather conditions throughout this impressive region. During these days we will explore some of the most breathtaking sights the Lofoten Islands have to offer. Because the conditions are ever-changing, the opportunities to create unique images are truly endless. The magical lighting from sunrise until sunset is especially soft this time of year and provides us long periods of excellent shooting conditions. This means we will likely change locations many times each day to make the absolute most of every opportunity. Below are a few of our top destinations for this exciting adventure!
Day 7 – Departure
On the final day, we will bid farewell and you will return by shuttle or taxi to the Leknes airport for your flight. Certainly you will return home with some amazing images, exciting stories, fun memories and new friends.
As mentioned, we will not have a fixed itinerary. Depending on the weather conditions we may explore the following locations during the photo tour:
- Reine, Sakrisøy and Hamnøy villages
- Skagsanden/Flakstad Beach
- Haukland Beach
- Uttakleiv Beach
- Vareid Beach
- Flakstad Fjords
- Napp Mountains
- Fredvang Bridges and village
- Nusfjord fishing village
- Some of my “secret” spots
- Ice cracks and frozen icy foregrounds
- Snowy winter landscapes & villages
- Northern Lights – Yesss!!
Reine & Sakrisøy
Reine is one of the most picturesque villages in the Lofotens and its sheltered fjord offers stunning reflections of the iconic mountains that surround it. In front of the rugged mountains, the quaint red fishing cabins are the perfect pop of color to make every shot visually stunning.
This location is ideal for sunset and blue hour, and after dinner if the sky is clear we will again hunt for the Northern Lights! The Aurora display is something you will truly never forget. Vibrant and dancing colors fill the silent and snowy landscape with life!
This view of quaint Hamnøy from the nearby bridge is one of the most iconic and unforgettable moment of the adventure. Particularly during the soft morning light, Hamnøy appears like a magical fairytale rimmed by stormy seas and crashing waves with a stunning mountain backdrop.
Haukland & Uttakleiv Beach
Haukland or Uttakleiv Beaches are both stunning locations. Although they are close in proximity, they are truly worlds apart in terms of the landscapes they offer. Haukland Beach is gentle with soft sand and offering amazing opportunities for reflections and fun icy foregrounds.
In contrast, Uttakleiv Beach is rocky and stormy with incredible pools amongst the massive stones that surround the shoreline. As the tide approaches, this beach becomes a long exposure playland as the water crashes and recedes between stones that have been polished by the Arctic waters. This location is also well known for the famous Uttakleiv Eye formation. And don’t forget to constantly be scouting for possible Northern Lights compositions!
Skagsanden Beach & Flakstad
We will explore Flakstad Beach and its nearby fjords to find interesting compositions along the pristine arctic coastline. These locations offer enticing foreground opportunities with fabulous rock and sand formations.
When the weather is on our side, we will be able to photograph the iconic Lofoten “ice flowers.” These ice flowers are formed by the timeless dance of the tide when the water freezes and then breaks over smooth black stones as the tide recedes. These delicate formations make for intriguing foregrounds and are perfect for practicing the focus-stacking techniques I will teach you.
Vareid Beach & Vikten
Vareid Beach is an ideal location for capturing the movement of water under epic arctic light. Due to the tides, this location can look completely different during various times of day which makes it a true wonderland for fun and creative compositions. Long exposures are a ‘must’ here since the water often gently rolls over the rocks and into the pools. You will want to get up close and personal with all the incredible reflecting pools, so don’t forget to bring your waterproof boots!
Right around the corner from Vareid Beach is the adorable village of Vikten. This village offers a sandy shore adorned with large rocks again offering an ideal location for long exposures as the last light of the day colors the nearby snow-capped mountains.
Other Awesome Places
The Lofoten Islands are full of amazing locations! Among these are the scenic fishing village of Nusfjord and the town of Fredvang which features impressively arched bridges. In addition to these locations, don’t forget about all my ‘secret’ spots! In my many trips to the Lofoten Islands I have collected an impressive catalogue of lesser-known scenic locations to help you create some truly unique images.
The kitchens are including a large fridge; a dishwasher and are wide open with views over the bay. There is also a mezzanine level with seating and a skylight, perfect for watching the aurora or starry night sky. This apartments feature a log burning stove and a tasteful modern interior.
This apartment has direct access to its own terrace with Jacuzzi and outdoor shower, as well as a separate hook for the morning coffee.
4 beds that can be configured as desired. The apartment is suitable for the quality-conscious guest who wishes the little extra …
Prices & Dates
|Date||Price||Deposit||Payment in full||Spaces|
|Feb 10 – 16, 2022|
prior to the workshop starting date
|8 people max|
|Feb 17 – 23, 2022|
prior to the workshop starting date
|8 people max|
Feb 10 – 23, 2022
13 days + 1 day break
prior to the workshop starting date
|8 people max|
|To maximize the chance to see the Northern Lights and take photos in the best weather conditions, I offer you to join both tours with a huge discount of $ 1,000.|
* $ 1,000 discount off the total price if you join both tours for a 13 day adventure tour (+ 1 day break).
Spouses and non-photographer friends and family members are welcome to join this adventure!
Payment and Cancellation Policy
A deposit of $1,000 is due at the time of booking. The remaining balance is due 90 days before the start of the workshop. 50% deposit may be refunded prior to this. Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
If the border to Norway is still closed for Americans 90 days before the workshop starting date, I may cancel the whole tour. Because of this, no deposit is due until 90 days before the start of the workshop. This means you can sign up for the workshop now with no deposit and if the Norwegian border is open to Americans by Nov 1, 2020 we will proceed with the full payment.
In case the border gets closed again after Nov 1, 2020 I will reschedule the tour to February 2022. All payments will be applied to the new dates. If you cannot reschedule to the new dates selected for February 2022, you probably will get the chance to choose a full refund instead.
I strongly recommend you to get trip cancellation & travel insurance after booking your trip.
- All transportation in spacious and heated vans and/or SUV’s
- Accommodation (authentic Norwegian houses, very modern and warm, shower, kitchen and fast WiFi, twin/double occupancy, kitchen + living room and bathroom are shared between guests. Single supplement + $750 for 1 tour, + $1,300 both tours, based on availability)
- Welcome dinner on Day 1 (if you have any dietary restrictions, please let me know as soon as possible so you can be accommodated)
- Expert field guidance and instruction
- A small group and individualised attention and feedback
- Master classes and editing and feedback sessions during the workshop including a link to all of my recorded post processing videos
What’s Not Included
- Airfare to and from Leknes airport
- Alcoholic beverages
- Lunch and dinner each day (with the exception of the welcome dinner)
- Visa (if required)
- Single supplement (+ $750 for 1 tour, + $1,300 for both tours, based on availability)
Disclaimer and Weather
My goal is to send you home with incredible images from the stunning Lofoten Islands featuring all the incredible lighting conditions it can offer. However, weather particularly during the winter months can be stormy and unpredictable and may feature rain and snow. Although these storms can present a challenge, it is important to remember that they also bring great opportunities to test new concepts and techniques and to think creatively. Furthermore, the moody weather creates dynamic lighting situations with dramatic cloud cover which is part of the artistic appeal of the Lofotens.
The Lofoten climate during the winter tends to average 0 C (32 F), but can feel much colder in the wind and near the water. There will be opportunities to warm up in the heated van, but shooting sessions can last several hours. Be sure to come prepared by checking the “What to Bring” section below.
The schedule provided above retains flexibility to accommodate the fickle weather, and I will use my expert local knowledge to shift plans to more ideal locations if necessary. Your safety is my priority, so I will not take you outside during dangerous storm conditions. If conditions are unsuitable for shooting, we will use that time productively to conduct the master classes and for editing and image feedback sessions. Worry not, no time will go to waste!
Although the Lofoten Islands are perfectly located for ideal Northern Lights viewing, the Aurora may be blocked by cloud cover and viewing them cannot be guaranteed. To ensure the best chances, I will check the aurora and weather forecast several times each day. Although I am not responsible for the weather during this workshop, I will make every effort to ensure you capture some incredible images of this very special place and leave safe and with fond memories.
All shooting locations are easily accessible in just a few minutes’ walk from the vehicle. There will be no hiking or climbing on this tour, but walking through thick snow or across some rocks at some of the beaches can require a bit of fitness and balance. Please let me know if you have any questions about accessibility or your fitness and/or mobility. As a rule, however, all locations are very easily accessible for most types of people.
What to bring
The Lofoten Islands are warmer in winter than many other locations above the Arctic Circle; however, the weather can still be windy so please come prepared! The list below will help ensure you are cozy and comfortable for your arctic adventure.
- Comfortable clothing that is easily layered so you can add and remove layers as needed.
- Waterproof outer layers (both jacket and pants) to combat any rain or snow.
- A warm jacket that will fit between your waterproof outer layer and dry inner layers.
- Waterproof boots (Wellingtons or fisherman boots) which reach your knees so you can take full advantage of the amazing foregrounds along the beaches.
- Removable crampons for traction on the ice and snow.
- A warm hat and gloves (make certain your gloves have touchscreen fingers and are comfortable enough that you can keep them on while operating your camera).
- Casual clothing to relax in the apartments and for dining.
- A DSLR or Mirrorless camera of any brand which you can operate manually. Please bring plenty of extra batteries as they deplete quickly in the cold.
- Lenses. A wide lens (such as the 14-24 or 16-35) will be used most often, but a mid-zoom lens such as the 24-70 or a telephoto may also be useful to visually compress the landscape.
- Filters such as ND and polarizers to shoot dramatic long exposures of the sea.
- A sturdy tripod strong and heavy enough to withstand the arctic winds is highly recommended!
- A headlamp with extra batteries so you can see when setting up to shoot the Northern Lights.
- A remote cable shutter release (if your camera does not have shutter delay settings).
- A laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop software for editing images.
- Chargers for all devices and batteries and additional memory cards.
- Bringing a drone is optional (you are responsible for the safe operation of your drone).