Tag Archives: Greg Duncan

WE”RE OFF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHECK BACK OFTEN!

Greg is already in Iceland and I’ll be flying out on Tuesday afternoon ( 1/13)….

so please check back for images from our two – 5 day Ultimate Iceland Adventures

Jan 16-20  & 21-26







NEWS:  We’ll be heading to Lofoten Norway at the end of the month to organize some possible trip(s) in 2016!!!..




I4  I5


Ultimate Iceland™ Photo chosen in NANPA Showcase Competition

Greg Duncan’s Iceland Ice Cave image also picked for the cover of 2014 Expressions Magazine

Iceland Ice Cave by Greg Duncan
Photo Equipment/Specs: Canon 5D Mark II mounted on a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod; Really Right Stuff BH-44 ballhead and cable release; 16-35mm L series lens at 16mm, ISO 100, f/18 at 3 sec

Each year the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) holds a contest among their members to choose and showcase the top 250 photographs for their website (www.nanpa.org) and in their annual Expressions photography publication. The 2014 competition drew nearly 2,400 images with the winners selected by a jury panel of industry professionals.

expressions_cov_sThis year Greg Duncan, associated with the very popular Ultimate Iceland™ Photography Workshops, had his photo recognized as one of NANPA’s top ten best of 2014 and was also chosen to grace the cover of their high-quality print magazine. His image, made from inside an ice cave under the Fallsjökull glacier on the flanks of Mt. Öræfajökull volcano in Iceland, shows mountain guide, Einar Rúnar Sigurðsson, in the entrance scouting for dangerous ice formations.

Greg frequently travels to Iceland with professional photographer Jack Graham (www.jackgrahamphoto.com), where he assists with Jack’s Ultimate Iceland™ photography workshops in and around the southern Iceland coast. Greg originally attended one of the Jack’s photography workshops in the Eastern Sierra, then another … and another. For over 10 years, Greg has been Jack’s right hand man, a valued photography partner and workshop assistant.

Greg-DuncanGreg’s passion for photography started at a young age and has now, he admits, “grown to an obsession.” Even when at home and busy with his commercial landscape business in Southern California he says, “I’m always chasing the light.”

See more of Greg’s photos at www.ultimateiceland.com and www.grdphotos.com.


JUNE 20, 2013

We are less than two weeks before beginning our2013 July Icelandic Adventure.

For those who are coming with us…. click this link:


for the itinerary and some important information that will make your photographic experience in Iceland that much better.

For others, enjoy the articles, images . You just might like to come along in 2014!!!!


2_puffin-design1buscdWINTER ICELAND 2013     Five Days of Adventure!

Coming in January & Feb 2014—-TWO WINTER ICELANDIC WORKSHOPS 

ICELAND 1  JULY 6-14  only a few spots open

ICELAND 2  July 19-30    different itinerary—— West Fjords, Lake Myvatn..Much more

Jokulsarlon Pano©Jack Graham
Jokulsarlon Pano
©Jack Graham



We recently returned from our Winter Photography Adventure in Iceland.  We had a great group of folks and enjoyed some great light and a very different experience from July.  I’ve been asked if I like July better than January. The question is tough as both times offer a very different experience.  Yes the weather is a bit more challenging in January, but that also makes for some dramatic photographs.

Because of the logistics we only took 5 attendees. This afforded us lots of time together both in the field and at night to talk about photography, process some images together. We started out meeting in Reykjavik.  I flew in a few days early. I flew direct from Seattle (only a 6 ½ hour flight)  for only $605.00 round trip. What a bargain!

Lest to rightJack, Greg & Orvar
Left to right
Jack, Greg & Orvar

At the airport I met up with Örvar Thorgeirsson, who is one of Iceland’s premier photographers. He and his wife cooked a great dinner for me that evening. My assistant, Greg Duncan arrived the following morning so by Friday we were on Iceland time (+ 8 hours from Oregon).

Our Group after photographing the ice caves
Our Group after photographing the ice caves

We set out heading east along the southern Iceland coast in the dark on Friday morning. Sunrise this time of year in Iceland is about 10:45 AM.  We arrived in the small town of Vik in late morning, in time to photograph the pinnacles and seascape from a cliff looking east.  After lunch, we returned to the beach, this time looking west preparing for sunset. Little did we know what was in store.

Sunset, Vik Iceland©Jack Graham
Sunset, Vik Iceland
©Jack Graham

The light for the entire day this time of year in Iceland is extremely soft. It’s like 6+ hours of what we know as the “golden hour”. The sun never rises more than 7 degrees off the horizon. This afternoon we had one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen.  Maybe it’s because it just kept going and going and getting better and better.

Moss Covered Lava Fields©Jack Graham
Moss Covered Lava Fields
©Jack Graham

On Saturday we headed out early again, driving east-photographing waterfalls, never-ending green moss covered lava fields and more. We even had a number of rainbows to add to the experience. We arrived in Skaftafell late in the day and photographed some of the nearby glaciers.

On the Beach near Jokulsarlon©Jack Graham
On the Beach near Jokulsarlon ©Jack Graham

The blue ice is something to see. Glaciers have been created over hundreds, perhaps thousands of years when snow is compacted into ice. As the ice field crystal grows, the ice expels out the air making the ice extremely dense. The ice itself absorbs the light and reflects the short-wave-length blue light.

As ice is exposed to warmer air and/or warmer water, the crystal structure of the ice breaks down and reflects all the light. That change, in effect, is what makes the ice appear white.

And that’s why the deepest blue colored ice is seen most often in fractured ice or in crevasses and in chunks of ice broken off from the glacier.  When it’s cloudy the blue even appears to be richer in color.

Photographing an Icelandic Church©Jack Graham
Photographing an Icelandic Church
©Jack Graham

We also made some stops to photograph some of the iconic countryside churches found in Iceland.

On Sunday, we traveled to a wonderful guest house in Hali, not far from Jokulsarlon.  Jokulsarlon is a lagoon that has many huge icebergs floating in it. These icebergs have broken off the close by glacier and eventually float out to see via a nearby river. They break up more and return to the land on the nearby black sand beach.

On the Beach©Jack Graham
On the Beach
©Jack Graham

This makes for some of the most interesting photography anywhere. But you need to be careful. The north Atlantic can be quite menacing and sneaker waves are common, as we found out. Walking around with wet feet for a few hours is no picnic.  We spent Sunday and Monday on the beach,  photographing different glacial lagoons and glaciers.

After one more stop at Jokulsarlon  on Tuesday morning we headed back west. We arrived to meet out mountain guide and trek up to an ice cave about  an hour west.

Inside the Ice Cave©Jack Graham
Inside the Ice Cave
©Jack Graham

Ice caves are temporary structures that appear at the edge of glaciers. They are surreal looking from the inside. The centuries old ice is highly pressurized glacier ice that contains almost no air. The lack of air means that it absorbs almost all visible light, apart from the blue fraction which is then visible to the naked eye.

This cave in the glacier ice is the result of glacial mill, where rain, snow and ice melt water on the glacier surface are deposited into streams that enter the glacier through the crevices. The water drains towards lower elevations by forming a stream into and then exiting the ice caves. The sediments in the adjacent soil causes the water to appear a muddy color while the top of the cave exhibits  a blue tint. Some glaciers move quite fast, up to 1 meter per day. This causes the ice to crack up at its end and form the cave. The daylight entering the cave allows for some beautiful and unearthly photography.

You can see a video of your trek up to and in the ice cave HERE

These caves can be dangerous. Only enter them with experienced mountain guides. Helmets and proper footwear are important. (Camera protection is really helpful as well)

After the Ice cave we headed back to Reykjavik. Along the way we found some playful and friendly Icelandic horses. They really enjoyed having some attention and their images taken.

On the following day, most of us headed back to America and elsewhere. This was one of the fastest weeks I’ve ever experienced.

Again, we are doing two of these events in winter 2014. One is almost sold out and the other has a few spots open. Please contact me for more information. You can access full information HERE.

More images below

Another beach image©Jack Graham
Another beach image
©Jack Graham
©Jack Graham
©Jack Graham
Church in Vik, ©Jack Graham
Church in Vik,
©Jack Graham