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Author Topic: Iceland Photo Guide  (Read 5080 times)
cerett
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« on: April 13, 2013, 09:37:01 AM »
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I will be in Iceland for 5-6 days this Summer and would like to hire a photo guide. I would really appreciate some recommendations. Thank you.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 07:26:50 PM »
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You might have unfortunately left your run a bit late - Iceland is very busy in the summer these days and most guides (that is the good ones) are booked out a year in advance now. What specific dates are u there?
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 05:34:17 AM »
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Don't bother with a guide. Rent a 4x4 from SADcars (Google for it) and do your own thing. Iceland is perfectly manageable on your own. Spend a few hours on the internet doing some "virtual exploration", decide upon the areas and features you want to photograph and plan at least a draft itinerary before you go. You will find much better places than any "professional" guide is likely to show you.
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cerett
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 04:52:02 PM »
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Sorry, the date is actually mid-June 2014. Never thought about just renting a car and going on our own. How are the roads? Still would rather have a guide, but will consider your suggestion.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 04:54:10 PM »
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I'd imagine you could do worse than avail yourself of a copy of Paddy Dillon's guide to Iceland - http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail.cfm/book/647/title/walking-and-trekking-in-iceland
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cerett
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 05:06:02 PM »
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Thank you - I will have a look at the book.

Josh - Gorgeous image on the other thread! Just spoke with Andy Biggs the other day. I was calling about Africa, but we did discuss Iceland. He mentioned Daniel Bergmann and Tim Vollner as possible guides. Did email Daniel and he is unavailable on the dates I mentioned. Unable to get in touch with Tim thus far. Another possibility is Christopher Lund. Any other suggestions would be most welcome. I am pretty much locked into an arrival date of June 18th. Maybe someone is having a workshop around that time?
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 08:38:04 AM »
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Guides probably appeal to the "package holiday brigade" rather than the independent traveller. For that category, they probably do quite a good job.

Icelandic roads are much improved in recent years. Much of the "ring road" is now tarmacced and the main minor roads are well-graded gravel. You will still need 4x4 to get right into the interior.

Fortunately, being Scottish, Iceland is only an hour and a half away, so I can get there quickly and cheaply. If you are going from California, it is a bigger deal perhaps, so maybe I was being a bit hasty dismissing the idea of a guide for you. If you are travelling that distance, I would doubt if 5 days will be long enough to do the country justice photographically. In summer you might not get the best of the colours or the most dramatic weather but, on the other hand, if you shoot a sunset, you only have to wait an hour to shoot the sunrise!

On the plus side, the Icelandic people are extremely friendly, speak excellent English and there is no crime - so doing it on a D-I-Y basis is very easy and safe. Also the quality of the food and drink is superb (especially lamb and fish) albeit a wee bit expensive by US standards. Restaurants attached to petrol stations are often good value for a quick midday snack.

Have fun when you are over.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 08:46:10 AM by PhotoEcosse » Logged

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Marlyn
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 12:17:58 AM »
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Guides probably appeal to the "package holiday brigade" rather than the independent traveller. For that category, they probably do quite a good job.
Have fun when you are over.

Depends on the guide.   He did specify 'Photo Guide' as opposed to 'generic tourist guide'./

I have shot in iceland a number of times,  both solo, and with Daniel Bergmann as local guide  and I can say doing the guided tours is WELL worth it, with the right person.
Iceland weather is extremely fickle, and knowing how to read it.  WHEN to go to various places is just as critical as WHERE to go for getting the shots.

I would HIGHLY recommend Daniel as a local guide in Iceland.

As an example of Iceland weather, see blog from Josh on his and my venture north to Godafoss this winter:  http://blog.jholko.com/2013/04/04/april-photo-of-the-month-gođafoss-in-winter/

Regards

Mark.
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 02:35:31 AM »
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Depends on the guide.   He did specify 'Photo Guide' as opposed to 'generic tourist guide'.

Mark.

Sorry Mark - I should have been more specific. I was referring to the characteristics of the punter rather than the qualities of the guide. I think that the sort of person who goes on package holidays is the sort of person who would use a photography guide rather than researching and arranging his/her own itinerary.

I am sure that there are many excellent guides catering for those who prefer not to travel independently.
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Marlyn
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 12:35:53 PM »
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Sorry Mark - I should have been more specific. I was referring to the characteristics of the punter rather than the qualities of the guide. I think that the sort of person who goes on package holidays is the sort of person who would use a photography guide rather than researching and arranging his/her own itinerary.

I am sure that there are many excellent guides catering for those who prefer not to travel independently.

Fair enough, although personally disagree Smiley   (My wife and I are solo traveller / own itinerary people,   yet I also use guides).

I don't think its about independence,  but about time and efficiency.

I find a mix of both is of best benefit when traveling to new countries with time constraints.  Probably the main reason I use them is due to TIME.  A guide (the right guide), will often get you to the places you specify at the times you want, in suitable conditions etc and advise what is, and is not, possible.   

If you have unlimited, or extended time, then self travel and exploration is certainly great, and I do a lot of it.   

I also find, with a guide, or even a small guided tour (targeted at photography, I am not referring to tours for the masses here), I can concentrate on the scenery, the photography and producing images, and less on logistics of 'where next, how long to get there, and where am I sleeping tonight'.


I have done Iceland a number of times now, by both self guided  (4WD RV, and 2 weeks exploring,  plus a number of road trips),  and tours (with Daniel and Josh) and both have been highly beneficial.  I would recommend both methods, especially in Iceland.

PS: JS-Campers in Iceland is a great source of 4WD with small RV on the back,  works great in the highlands and on the ring road.

Regards

Mark

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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 02:39:09 PM »
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I don't think its about independence,  but about time and efficiency.



I think that is fair comment. For me a lot of the fun of a trip lies in the planning. But I confess that the satisfaction should really be balanced against the time taken.

Horses for courses.
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subrata1965
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 04:21:25 AM »
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After many hours of internet surfing, I have created an itinerary for 12 days / 11 nights.

Since rental and gas is very expensive in Iceland, my preference is to go with a small group with limited budget.

I had considered self driving (that is still an option), however I'm more inclined to go with with a professional guide as I don't know how comfortable I will be in driving through highlands.

I'm looking for few more photographers to join. If you are interested, you can find the details here:

Arctic Summer in Iceland: Epic Landscapes & Waterfalls under Midnight Sun
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markadams99
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 07:36:20 PM »
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I'm looking for few more photographers to join. If you are interested, you can find the details here:

Arctic Summer in Iceland: Epic Landscapes & Waterfalls under Midnight Sun

Speaking as a non-expert who's traveled in Iceland a few times and isn't looking for a comprehensive trip like this, I'm impressed by your method of setting this up and I think it represents good value. Your website is clear, your itinerary is excellent and your trip philosophy is attractive.

If I were doing it for my own rhythm, I'd probably choose September for lower cost of hotel and SUV hire while still enjoying pretty long daylight, but still - well done and great success!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 07:39:24 PM by markadams99 » Logged

Petrus
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2014, 12:26:30 AM »
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June might be a bit early as some of the inland roads do not open until late July. It is legal to drive only on the officially opened tracks and roads. A real 4x4 is a must if you go deeper inland, a nice town SUV will not do. There is safety in numbers, so having a 2 car party would be nice if you want to do some serious exploring.
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Paulowen
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2014, 06:05:36 AM »
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Take a look at www.iceland-photography-tours.co.uk
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JayWPage
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 01:04:45 PM »
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What are the camping options in Iceland like? Or is it feasible to base one's self out of a town if you have rented a vehicle?
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acktdi
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 01:38:30 PM »
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They have developed campgrounds with running water, laundry, power to pull over on the side of the road and and set up camp.
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Paulowen
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 02:07:36 PM »
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The only "issue" with camping is that the majority of "official" sites are only open late May to early September. They are very well maintained and most have toilet/laundry facilities and many on the south coast have kitchen facilities too.
Outside of the brief summer period many sites remain open (as such) but the facilities are not available, so you can pitch a tent but that's it. Icelanders have a very liberal attitude to wild camping though and as long as you camp out of sight of settlements/houses no one seems to mind where you pitch a tent. Another option is to hire a motorhome and use the facilities found at local swimming pools to shower/launder clothes. Almost every settlement, no matter how small, has a swimming pool and they are usually very well equipped and cheap to use.
Even on the "tourist trail" it is usual to see photographers sleeping in cars (parked at the side of the road) at all hours of the day and night  Grin
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Petrus
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2014, 11:05:44 PM »
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Icelanders have a very liberal attitude to wild camping though and as long as you camp out of sight of settlements/houses no one seems to mind where you pitch a tent.

I believe they have the same "right to roam & camp" law as the other Nordic countries, but DRIVING off the designated roads and tracks is heavily punished. Driving a vehicle on a moss covered volcanic sand leaves scars which stay there for hundreds of years, or until the next big eruption, whichever comes first.
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Paulowen
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2014, 02:04:18 AM »
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I concur with Petrus! DON'T DRIVE OFF ROAD!! Not only is it against the law and heavily punished but if you are seen/caught by a local they will have no reservations in making it clear how much they disagree with your actions  Angry

In most of southern Iceland there are regular "paths" leading from the main Ring Road (through the moss-covered lava fields) that go ... nowhere! These are ideal pull-ins/overnight stops if used sensibly.
There are also a growing number of established parking/rest areas that you can also use - they have no facilities other than a picnic bench and tarmac area to park (and sometimes an information board).

Paul
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