Tag Archives: Jack Graham Photography

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


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

ULTIMATE ICELAND “2” July 19-29 2013—Westfjords, Lake Myvatn, Golden Circle

Please consider Joining  Tim Vollmer ,  Greg Duncan   and me for an exciting photographic excursion to remote northern Iceland this July.

Below is an outline of the are we will be photographing in as well as more information.

Please contact Jack Graham  for more information……………..Limit 10 attendees.  Please register ASAP to insure space.


COST ………………. Single=  $5990.00…………………..    Double  $ 5540.00

  • Included
  • Private transfer according to itinerary
  • Airport transfer to and from Reykjavík
  • One way fare on ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur.
  • Accommodation 10 nights (in hotels, guesthouses, huts (made up beds) some with shared facilities.
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch boxes
  • Dinners
  • Entrance to the Nature bath in Mývatn
  • Not included
  • Entrance to The Blue Lagoon
  • Optional tours
  • International flights
  • Drinks

The Westfjords has remained in many ways “a world apart” from the rest of Iceland. Sparsely populated, the nature here is as wild as it was a hundred years ago – and there are probably less people now living there then there were a century ago. Majestic mountains, deep blue fjords, seals and the arctic fox – together with the natural silence is the most impressing event for many travellers visiting the Westfjords. The birdlife is also one of the major reasons to visit the Westfjords. The cliffs at Latrabjarg comprise the longest bird cliff in the northern Atlantic Ocean and are at the westernmost region of Iceland – and therefore the westernmost part of Europe. Latrabjarg is one of the three largest bird cliffs in Iceland, with the other two being Hornbjarg and Hælavíkurbjarg in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve – all in the Westfjords. Latrabjarg is by far the easiest of the three to visit as a road leads practically to the cliff’s edge and from the parking lot a walking path traverses the edge.

Lake Myvatn is the country’s fourth largest natural lake. It abounds in lake char and is netted by the farmers during summer and ice fishing is practiced in winter. The lake area is known world wide for its exceptionally many breeding duck species (15-16) and the abundance of other avifauna. The lake’s surroundings show such variety in landscapes and amazing geological formations, that the visitors have to spend several days there to enjoy them fully. This area is extremely volcanic.

Iceland Puffins

The Golden Circle route is covers about a 300 km distance from Reykjavik to central Iceland and back. The three main stops on the route are the national park Thingvellir, the waterfall Gullfoss (golden falls) and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Thingvellir is a national park containing both historical and natural beauties. Nowhere else the continental drift is more visible than in Thingvellir. Gullfoss is a spectacular waterfall that is a must to photograph.

 Skill Level: Attendees should have a good understanding of their equipment. An understanding of how aperture, shutter speed and ISO works together is also a big advantage. As outlined below, we’ll be working on both the creative aspect of photography as well as the techniques used to create outstanding images. If you have a laptop or iPad by all means bring it along.


We will take our time, and look for the inner beauty to capture in our photography. We’ll use the combination of water and the amazing plants to create some wonderful images. Patterns and foregrounds are the order of the day. We will stress simplicity and use all aspects, including Depth of Field, proper exposure and more to improve your overall photography as well as come away with some wonderful images in excellent venues.

1)      Improving your photography skills within these “hands-on” workshops

2)      Composition, exposure and essential elements needed to make a great photograph and to bring out the story within the image

3)      Use of color combinations, how to use color make the image stronger

4)      Other techniques including, learning about how tonalities, negative space, balance, framing, emotional impact and flaws affect your images.

5)      Seeing an image, working a scene, making the image a strong image

6)      Choosing the look of the final image in the field, not after the fact. Taking an image knowing how you will be processing.

7)      Making Panorama’s, Helicon Focus and HDR techniques simple

8)       Basic processing, workflow, how to use available programs together. Use of NIK Software.

The majority of instruction and nature photography tips and techniques will take place right there in the field. There’s no need to take notes. After the workshop you’ll receive a complete 60+ page syllabus containing everything we do in the field and more.

We take time in the evenings a to review our images in informal critique sessions. Special presentations concerning nature photography will also be made during these sessions.


July 19

Arrival Keflavik airport Iceland.

Drive directly to Stykkishólmur , photographing along the way, to the a small town in Snæfellsnes peninsula and overnight there.

July 20 – Stykkishólmur – Vestfirðir (Westfjords) – Látrabjarg cliff

Take the ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur  and photograph from there to Guesthouse Hnjótur in Örlygshöfn and onward to Látrabjarg cliff.

From Hnjótur guesthouse in Örlygshöfn is an half an hour drive to Látrabjarg cliffs. Látrabjarg marks the western-most part of Europe. It hosts millions of birds, the cliffs are occupied by puffins and other birds like northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. It is vital for their survival as it hosts up to 40% of the world population for some species e.g. the Razorbill. It is Europe’s largest bird cliff, 14km long and up to 440m high.

Overnight at guesthouse Hnjótu

July 21– Látrabjarg and surrounding.

Overnight at guesthouse Hnjótur

July 22 – Photograph along the fjords (south) to guesthouse Gauksmýri in Húnavatnsýsla (northwest). Overnight at guesthouse Gauksmýri

July 23 – Drive to lake Mývatn, Photograph Lake Myvatn

Mývatn – Dimmuborgir – Hverfjall – The Nature baths – Dimmuborgir (Dark Castles)

Photograph along the countryside passing Icelandic farms with stop in Skagafjörður valley, Hraundrangar in Öxnadal valley, Akureyri town, Goðafoss waterfall and Vaglaskógur forrest. All places provide exceptional opportunities for photographers.

Goðafoss means the  waterfall of the gods or waterfall of the goði.

Mývatn is a shallow lake situated in an area of active volcanism. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich fauna of waterbirds especially ducks. The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms.

In the end of the day we will travel to the Mývatn Nature Baths were we will enjoy a good bath and  relax after a busy day.


On the way to the Baths we can visit Grjótagjá a small lava cave near lake Mývatn with a thermal spring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grj%C3%B3tagj%C3%A1

Overnight at guesthouse Dimmuborgir (huts).
July 24 – Mývatn-Húsavík-Tjörnes-Ábyrgi-Hljóðaklettar-Dettifoss

Ásbyrgi is undoubtedly one of Icelands most beloved nature pearls, an enclosed canyon.

The enclosure is about 3.5 km long and 1.1 km wide, surrounded by cliffs which reach as high as 100 m. According to legend, the horse of Óðinn, the chief god of Norse mythology, stepped down here leaving its giant hoof print.

Dettifoss is Iceland’s greatest and most majestic waterfall. It is also rated as Europe’s most powerful waterfall, based on its magnitude.
July 25Mývatn  and surrounding

Námaskarð, Mine Pass, is a myriad of hot mud springs in widely different colors, offering great photography.

Dimmuborgir (Dark Castles) a volcanic rock formations to the east of  lake Mývatn. The area is characterised by numerous forms of mystery and imagination, carved in lava. It´s a natural wonder which no one visiting the area should pass by.

Hverfjall (Hverfell) is a beautifully formed 2500 years old tephra crater. The crater is about 1 km in diameter and 140 meters deep. The round shape of the crater is disrupted by a landslide that occurred at the south edge of the crater during the eruption.natural wonder . http://english.ust.is/National-Parks/Protectedareas/MyvatnandLaxa/

July 26 – Mývatn to Kjölur

Photography  the interior along the Kjölur highland road between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kj%C3%B6lur

We will photograph Hveravellir, a unique nature reserve situated on the Kjölur route.

The geothermal pool at Hveravellir is unique. Both hot and cold water flows to the pool and over 20 people can comfortably bathe in the pool at the same time. The pool and its entire surroundings are magnificent, offering a beautiful view of the geothermal area, Kjalhraun lava field and Langjökull.

Overnight at Guesthouse in Kerlingarfjöll area also situated on Kjölur route.
July 27Kerlingarfjöll – Hiking

Kerlingarfjöll (woman´s mountains) are very different to the environment around, both in shape and color. As you approach the mountains you enter a desolate, fantacy land scenery with spectacular flow of colors.

Hveradalir walleys the hot spring area are covered with multi colored geyser clay. The dense clouds of steam, the liparite mountains and the glaciers, all add to the diversity and beauty of this very special place.

LA_I-WFALL2_120727_9189-15July 28 – Golden Circle

Þingvellir – Geysir hot spring – Gullfos waterfall

We will photograph the Gullfoss waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe. A few minutes drive from Gullfoss is the world famous Geysir region, where hot springs are in abundance, such as the famous great Geysir which has given name to hot springs all over the world. We will see one of the most active geysers in the area, Strokkur, spouting up to 20 meters. Last but not least we photograph  Þingvellir a remarkable geological site, and the most historic place on the island, where the world’s oldest democratic parliament was founded in 930.

Overnight at a hotel in Reykjavík

July 29 – Departure from Iceland.

Transfer from Reykjavík to Keflavik airport.

  • Included
  • Private transfer according to itinerary
  • Airport transfer to and from Reykjavík
  • One way fare on ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur.
  • Accommodation 10 nights (in hotels, guesthouses, huts (made up beds) some with shared facilities.
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch boxes
  • Dinners
  • Entrance to the Nature bath in Mývatn
  • Not included
  • Entrance to The Blue Lagoon
  • Optional tours
  • International flights
  • Drinks


Hotel Stykkishólmur, with private facilitites


Guesthouse Hnjótur, 2nights, with shared facilities http://www.hnjoturtravel.is/attraction.html

Guesthouse Gauksmýri, with private facilities- www.gauksmyri.is

Guesthouse Dimmuborgir 2nights, with private facilities


Kerlingafjöll chalets –singles not available, with privat WC/shared shower www.kerlingafjoll.is

Hotel Klettur with private facilities. www.hotelklettur.is