Register for Ben Willmore: Winter In Iceland

Ben Willmore: Winter In Iceland

  • Ben Willmore
  • February 17-23, 2013
  • US $ 6,985

Ben Willmore

Imagine entering a vivid blue ice cave that few humans have ever seen, while learning how to light and shoot such unique environments. Next up is a frozen waterfall. Iceland has so many that you’ll have the best to pick from. Learn to capture the Milky Way while light-painting the foreground elements to produce an amazing shot. We’ll even search out the Aurora Borealis (also referred to as the Northern Lights) where the night sky dances with color. Not only will you have the opportunity to shoot all these amazing locations, but you’ll be learning all sorts of things about how to ideally capture each subject matter and the best methods for adjusting the resulting images in Photoshop and Lightroom.

We’ve planned this trip so we’ll be in Iceland during the time of year that holds the best chances of seeing the Aura Borealis (although we can’t guarantee that one). Being in such a remote area with little artificial light will also make shots that include the night sky much clearer than in most of the USA. During the short daytime hours we’ll search out unique shooting opportunities that we would not find any other time of year… like frozen waterfalls!

We’ll also do quite a bit of light painting. Although we can’t promise that we’ll get the northern lights, we’re going to do our best to seek out this amazing phenomenon and be prepared to photograph at all hours of the night. In other words, if we’re in bed at 4 in the morning, and the Aurora Borealis starts to light up the sky, we’re going to get up and shoot it.

To make the most of our visit, we will concentrate on the times that have the nicest low light and will be best suited to photograph our unique subject matter. The rest of the time will be sleeping or learning how to hone our photography and Photoshop skills. Throughout the entire trip, we will rely on our native Icelandic guides to use their knowledge of local weather patterns and the unique landscape to determine the best areas to explore. We’ll move around the country in capable 4×4 vehicles that are able to ford streams and get us to remote shooting locations.

When we are not shooting, you’ll learn how to refine your photography by learning the following:

  • Improve your sense of composition
  • Develop your own photographic style
  • Why your lens choice is just as important as the exposure settings you use
  • See how the aperture setting used can have a dramatic effect on how the sun is rendered
  • Learn to think about Photoshop while in the field so you can capture the most ideal raw material for later digital optimization
  • Learn expert panorama techniques
  • How to shoot and optimize HDR images while maintaining a photorealistic look
  • Learn how to control mist and fog from waterfall shots
  • Advanced RAW image adjustments • Sophisticated retouching techniques
  • The best settings for waterfalls and specific digital enhancements that make all the difference
  • Get control over the color of shadowed areas so they don’t look so blue

Gear List Suggested Equipment:

  • Interchangeable Lens DSLR Camera capable of shooting in RAW format
  • Tripod
  • Cable release
  • Laptop computer
  • External hard drive
  • Card reader
  • Photoshop CS5 (or most current version at the time of the trip)
  • Lightroom 3 (optional, but suggested)
  • An eye mask so you can create your own dark environment for sleeping (free 30-day demo versions of Lightroom and Photoshop are available at

Optional Equipment:

  • Hot-shoe mounted bubble level (if your camera doesn’t offer a built-in electronic level)
  • Circular Polarizing Filter
  • Neutral Density Filters
  • Leveling tripod center column
  • Small flash light around the neck to use to see settings on camera or gear.


Register for Ben Willmore: Winter In Iceland