Photograph Iceland’s nature and locals behind the scene with one of the best

Experience the midnight sun, waterfalls and dramatic landscape. Sailing in midnight sunlight, birds, animals and the interesting locals.

We will travel on western part of Iceland for a week with the one aim to have fun and take great images. We will photograph horses running in the surf and horsemen riding their horses on sandy beaches and in the sea. We will look for birds in their nest or feeding the young ones. We will visit cliffs full of bird’s nest. We will sail in the midnight sun and in the twilights for hours around it. We will be awake or sleep as our spirit feels. We will scout for whales and hunt for exciting light.

On our bucket list during this week is to photograph horses, sheep, birds, the young ones, Snaefellsnes glacier and  waterfalls, seals, farmers, rural farms and villages, the locals and local scenarios. All in one work-win-fun package.

Come and join my exploring and photographing behind the scene in Iceland.

Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson

About Ragnar:

Ragnar has a long experience as a photographer and if anything his passion for photography is increasing. He also loves to share and assist with technical or creative issues. Ragnar has worked for all the major companies in Iceland and his images have been displayed on some of the world most famous magazines. Ragnar’s main clients to day are Arctic-images.com, FocusOnNature.is, Gettyimages.com and Crobis.com.

Rangar has published 29 books and several new ones are on the way. Books Ragnar is now working on are about low light photographing the night sky and the auroras, a book about water and glaciers related to the year of the glaciers by Unesco, a book about the Icelandic horse and some more.

All the logistics is handled by the elite program organizer FocusOnNature, who takes care of you all the time, from beginning to then end. FocusOnNature ensure you only need to focus on photograph and have fun. During the photo excursion with Ragnar we do what we always have wanted to do, drive less and photograph more. So we are limiting us to the Snaefellsnes peninsula, digging into that area, do things with the assistance of the locals Ragnar knows so well and making the most of your time with us.

We don’t publish and  itinerary, but I know Rangar has a main frame in his mind. Ragnar is a natural hunter for exciting moments, continuously reviewing the conditions and situations, with the pure focus on making great images and he loves to have fun and good laughs. And he knows all the locals to make things possible that normally would not be possible.

All accommodation are single except otherwise wished for. All food and provisions, except alcoholic beverage  are included.

– Einar Erlendsson, FoucsOnNature in Iceland.

Photo Excursion with Ragnar Th Sigurdsson and registration

Ragnar Th Sigurdsson, bio

Iceland Rural North-West Photo Excursion with Gudmundur Ingolfsson

I would like to invite you to join me on a photographic excursion to the Westfjords in Iceland.

The Westfjords differ greatly from most of the rest of Iceland. 2011 it was nominated on the “Top 10 list of regions in the world to visit by the “Lonely Planet Guide”.

The Westfjords stand out from the ring road in Iceland. It is therefore further remote than other parts of Iceland. Its landscape is very different with deep fjords, steep mountains, and many beautiful waterfalls, rural farms and small towns.

I will lead you to interesting locations, but as a local I will also hunt with you for the interesting light. We have an itinerary, but we try to keep flexible taking weather into account and work some days long hours and others shorter to adjust to the forcers of nature we cannot control.

We will discuss on the road both geological and historic events related to the area so we can both visually and in our thoughts try to immerge with the places and nature we travel through.

This is an all-inclusive program. We meet you at the airport and look after your well being during the whole excursion time. There are 8 nights and seven days included in the program, so you can arrive a day early to the capital Reykjavik to adjust to time zone differences.

All accommodation is in single occupancy and most of the time with private bathroom. We include all food and seek your assistance to select provisions you like as possible. Only alcoholic beverages are what participants have to pay for themselves during our tour.

We will not be a large group. With good cooperation we can join our forcers to observe the right time and light for shorter stops on the way while we still work by our main itinerary. As mentioned before we try to make that as flexible as possible to maximize the use of our time.

Although this is not a workshop with lectures, instructions or critique sessions, I am always there for individual assistance and to share my photography knowledge. I am leading this excursion for you to make the most of your time and will only be photographing a little if and when I have time. So you don’t need to be an expert to join us.

For more information about my “Discover the West Iceland Photo Excursion, price and registration.

About Gudmundur Ingolfsson, team member of FocusOnNature in Iceland.

Iceland Winter Workshop – Are You Crazy?

No, we are not crazy. We’re unique. That’s what many photographers are discovering now. With just one quick flight (4-5 hours from Europe or 5-7 hours from the US) you can arrive in Iceland, enjoy Reykjavik (one of Europe’s hippest cities), and experience amazing photographic adventures.

And this time Focus On Nature is going to raise the bar even higher – because we can.

We have the best team we can imagine to take our workshops to new heights. It’s our most experienced team ever. Masters of the medium Digital Photo Destination’s John Paul Caponigro and Seth Resnick, join forces with renowned arctic photographic specialist Ragnar Th Sigurdsson, whose experience photographing winter, glaciers, ice caves, auroras, and night skies is unparalleled.

Join us for this other-worldly photographic experience. Iceland is a natural wonderland. Dramatic coastlines, raging rivers, frozen waterfalls, glaciers, ice caves, icebergs, snowy deserts, geothermals – you’ll experience all this and more! As exciting as all of that is, what makes this workshop even more unique is the night sky. Right now, it’s the peak of a 12 year cycle of aurora activity. The skies have never been more dramatic – and it will be a over a decade before they’re like this again. What’s more, Iceland is located on the auroral oval, where global activity is highest. Plus, the latest advances in digital cameras offer game changing technology for night photography. Photographing the auroras in Iceland is on our bucket list. If it’s on yours, you’d be crazy not to join us!

Response has been so positive that we’ve added session II, March 6-12.

And we have only few spots left. One of them could be yours.

Check out our workshop details HERE now.

During the DPD’s Iceland winter workshops we do what we do best.

We follow the interesting light as much as possible.

Day or night, we go to the best locations in the best light; chasing dramatic light by day and clear skies at night best for capturing starry skies and auroras. Our “magical mystery bus” is mobile and our accommodations and schedule are flexible so we can adapt to the weather, heading south, east, north or west. We have a lifetime of local contacts (Remember, we are the locals!) that keep us informed of current conditions and allow us access to places only a few can go.

This is not just another photo tour; it’s a workshop! Our world-renowned leaders are at the top of their games. Lectures, demonstrations, exercises, and follow up review sessions deliver unmatched opportunities to improve your photographic skills. It’s non-stop learning, even when we travel, the group shares information and images. Come breathe photography for a week with us!

While we travel to wild remote places, all accommodations are in private rooms with bathroom and shower – and the food is great too.

Get a taste of what this experience will be like and start learning now with these great online resources.

Essential Tips For Low Light & Night Photography by John Paul Caponigro

How Auroras Work. By John Paul Caponigro

Seth’s highlights from Iceland 2012.

John Paul Caponigro’s last Iceland portfolio.

Iceland 2012 participant’s images.

Michael Quinn’s experience in Iceland with Focus On Nature

We hope you’ll join us for this once in a lifetime adventure!

Register now!

Heck out the details HERE and click the green registration banners for more information.

 

Haraldur Stefansson, photographer

Haraldur Stefansson

Halli’s passion for photography started back in 1980 at the age of fourteen when he worked during the summer as a delivery boy at the newspaper Morgunbladid in Iceland. At the newspaper he got the opportunity to see photojournalism at its best and learned from many of Iceland’s leading photographers. In the beginning his style was mainly lifestyle photography shot on black and white film. Then after a few years his fascination of nature and landscape changed his emphasis in photography. He started focusing on capturing all the different forms and shapes in Iceland’s fascinating landscape using color film.

Today, Halli has truly found his calling in landscape photography. Living in Iceland gives endless opportunities in capturing something new and fascinating in breathtaking Iceland. Halli has built up an extensive stock of landscape photographs which are sold through www.global-photos.com and www.alamy.com .

After shooting landscape in color for about 25 years he decided to change his approach and for the last two years he’s again shooting in black and white.

Are you shooting film or digital?

When the film started to decline as the standard medium of photography and digital took over I was at first skeptical, because for me image quality is the most important thing.  I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the superb image quality I had enjoyed using Hasselblad, Leica and Linhof in the past for something that I was not familiar with, however I felt it was important to evolve along with new technologies in photography. This meant I shot both film and digital for many years, using my trusted film cameras along with digital bodies.  Today I shoot mostly digital; thanks to great improvements in cameras and software I am confident that my equipment gives me the quality I’m looking for.

Currently I am using Canon cameras, 1Ds MIII and 5D M III bodies and lenses ranging from 24/2.8 -300/2.8.  I exclusively shoot in RAW and start my workflow with importing the files into Lightroom 4.  After choosing the images I like, I process them in Silver Efex Pro2, then using Lightroom to further enhancement and the final touches made in Photoshop CS5.

Clarity and crispness signify my photos, I want the viewer to feel the cold of the glaciers just by looking at the photograph. In my mind the essence of photography is bringing things to life and allowing people to experience exotic places with the same emotion as if they were standing there in person.  With using these techniques, I’m able to show my work exactly as I experienced the frame when it was shot.

Halli’s work has been published in magazines, books, advertisements and other media around the world. Last month he had a private exhibition of black and white landscape photographs at the Art museum, Gerdarsafn in Kopavogur. Halli chose to name his excibition “Precious Iceland” in honor of the beautiful country he calls home.

You can find Halli’s black and white photographs at his website, www.halli.is

Sigurgeir Sigurjonsson – Earthward

Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson, born 1948 in Reykjavík, started to look at life through the lens of a camera around the age of fourteen. As a teenager in the Reykjavík of the Sixties some of his earliest pictures were of his favorite bands and singers on the burgeoning music scene (which in 2010 was portrayed in his book Poppkorn). During that time he discovered that investigating his country and its people as reflected in the art of photography was to become his future. After studying photography in Iceland in 1965-69, he went abroad for further study at the Christer Strömholm school of photography in Stockholm in 1970-71 and in San Diego, California in 1980-81.Since returning to Reykjavík, Sigurgeir has published numerous books of photos: Svip-myndir in 1982, Hestar (Horses) in 1985, and his first collection of landscape photography, Landscapes in 1992. These were followed by some of the most popular photo books about Iceland and the Icelanders ever published: Iceland the Warm Country of the North in 1994, Amazing Iceland in 1998, Lost in Iceland in 2002, Icelanders with Unnur Jökulsdóttir in 2004, Found in Iceland 2006, Made in Iceland 2007, The Little big book about Iceland 2009, Lost in Argentina with Sæmundur Norðfjörð 2010, Poppkorn 2010 with Einar Kárason, Volcano Iceland 2010 and Earthward 2011.

Earthward – Text by Guðmundur Andir Thorsson.

We glide above the land, higher than a bird, and see rivers and ice, shore, ocean, sand ,rock, moss, flocks of birds which become the land too…and these are real phenomena of nature, which were in time and space, there and here; but in Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson´s hands these natural phenomena also become beautiful shapes in a work of art, which gain meaning from each other, and possess their own beauty in themselves, and in the artistry of the one who communicates them to us.

In these pictures, in other words, there is a lot of art. And pherhaps they would even be inconceivable in painters had not already opened our eyes to a new view of nature – liberated us from seeing only a mountain where a mountain is, only rock in rock, only clouds in clouds.

These images are in a dialouge with the Icelandic landscape painting. And not only the old-style paintings, which specifically depicted the conventional, stereotypeical mountain to hang in the the living rooms on the gentry, but the powerful Icelandic landscape expressionism seen in the work of such 20th- century masters as Svavar Guðnason, Kristján Davíðsson and the rest who painted eddies in rivers, the tidelines, and slapped thick lave on their canvases, without people exactly seeing it, although they instantly saw it, of course in the mind´s eye.

Man does not have the imagaination to think of shapes that don´t exist in nature.
Publisher: Forlagid.is

The elite local team – “Gummi”

Guðmundur Ingolfsson, photographer is another elite link in the FocusOnNature local team.

Like Ragnar, Guðmundur or “Gummi” like we call him, travels with some of the workshop groups in the field, guiding the instructor, assisting him and the participants in any way he can. He is my local man in the workshop vehicle, like a steersman in the bridge with the instructor being the captain, while I might be taking care of things ahead or behind and ensuring everything flows as easy as possible. As I say, my place is in the engine room missing out of lot of the fun, but man has to do, what man has to do.

Gummi knows the land like the palm of his hand. As a boy he travelled first with his parents out in the country. When he got a bit older he worked during couple of summer holidays for the Maritime Institute in Iceland surveying harbors around Iceland. Since then he has spend many summers with his family or his better half, traveling around the country and photographed it at the same time. For years Gummi had a Iveco 4×4 truck made originally for the Italian army, painted in bright yellow-orange color which we used during the first FocusOnNature workshop. It then got the name “The Yellow hen”.

I have known Gummi for decades or since I entered the photographic field in Iceland in the 80’s after my studies. Gummi’s company “Imynd” (Imagine in Icelandic) was at that time the most reputable industrial and advertising studio in town and has always since been closely related to work for many government institutions and the art community in Iceland. If a serious photographic work needed to be done, it was taken to Gummi.

To day his studio is the only one I know that properly can support analog image processing but at the same time Gummi has taken the big leap into the digital age. I don’t think he was found of having to do that, but when he does something he goes the whole 10 miles. He is now using Phase One and Nikon D3x, Mac computers linked to a Drobo and an Eizo Color Edge monitor.

In the 80’s Gummi started documenting the center of Reykjavik, often going out very early on a Sunday morning when there where few cars down town and no people around. During his photographic education in Germany around 1968 he learned that this was a normal practice over there. And now Gummi is doing this again about 25 years later, taking most of the images from the same locations as he did before. From my point of view this is photojournalism par excellence.

Gummi has a penchant for good jokes and storytelling and anyone who has the pleasure to get to know him will be amazed at his encyclopedic mind. Whether it is in the filed of photography, history, literature, music or art, Gummi is extremely well informed. Not the least he has a great sense for timing for example when to keep quiet or to speak out or put on music with a Swedish jazz band. There is no one I trust better to look after my workshop participants and steer my workshop group safely through an exiting field travel in Iceland than Gummi.

 

The elite local team – “Raggi”

Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson, photographer is one of the elite links of the Focus on Nature in Iceland local team.

During workshops Ragnar travels with many of our workshop groups in the field, guiding the instructor and assisting them and the participants in any way he can. He is also the local man on the spot when I am taking care of things for the workshops to flow flawless.

Ragnar or “Raggi” as we call him, is an unpredictable person in a very positive way. He has great imagination and is quick thinker to respond to the weather and light regarding locations, which is a very important when trying to follow the exciting light during field work  Raggi has established a great friendship with both instructors and participants of FocusOnNature workshops which says it all.

Raggi has traveled not only over all of Iceland, but also widely over the northern hemisphere, including to the North pole, Northern Canada, Greenland, Siberia and of course across every glacier and most mountains in Iceland. “If it is cold or steaming hot, I am there” Ragnar says. He has also photographed every volcano eruption in Iceland for decades and published numerous books about geology events in Iceland in cooperation with Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, one of Iceland’s best known geophysicist.

Raggi has mastered a broad range of work, including studio advertising photography, illustrations of travel publications, annual reports and covering of official arrangements. He has covered many events arranged by the Export Council of Iceland, the Scientific Council of Iceland and the President of Iceland as well as numerous banks, corporations and institutions. He has provided illustrations for a number of books, calendars and magazines.

Gettyimages, Corbis and numerous other stock agencies around the globe, represent Ragnar´s works. He specializes in photographing nature and travel in the Arctic. Content varies from people, geological formations, volcanoes, geothermal activity, unusual landforms, waterfalls, glaciers, and wildlife. The Northern Lights, are among his favorite subjects as well as glaciers, super jeep tours, and traveling to the hardest place to reach in Iceland

Strobes? Yes. One of Ragnar’s signature styles is using strobe in remote locations, often powered from his ATV. He uses them to mix with available light to get the interesting light in the images he is looking for

Ragnar’s website

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