18 independent reviews for Northern Lights photography vacation in Iceland, coast & ice

Reviews for Northern Lights photography vacation in Iceland, coast & ice

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review 5 Nov 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The wild and magnificent environment of Iceland. The opportunity to learn new skills in photography in such a rewarding environment.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take every opportunity offered to explore the possibilities for photography even if that means contending with harsh weather or harder to reach places. You won't be to do it when you are back home.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I am sure that the income from our stay would benefit local people. The only way I can see that we may have reduced environmental impacts would be by making others aware of the need to respect this delicate environment. I cannot claim that a vehicle based vacation would contribute to conservation or reduce environmental impacts but I cannot see how else it would be possible to conduct this type of tour.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. Our 'Tutor' James Rushworth was exceptional. His ability to place us in the right place at the right time, his knowledge of Iceland and things Icelandic, his photography skills and ability to pass on that knowledge were superb - we were very lucky. He was also a very agreeable traveling companion.

review 27 Aug 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The scenery of course, and the great group of people. It was good to be a very small group that all got on together.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take warm clothing and good walking shoes / boots. Be open to every suggestion. Even if you think you have seen a volcanic crater or geothermal area or waterfall, each one was very different and well worth a visit.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - we certainly shopped locally for food supplies and other items. We tried to keep our impact on the environment to a minimum with our walking, etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. I saw a lot of Iceland and had plenty of time and opportunity to take photographs. James was an excellent photography tutor and guide and provided lots of expert guidance, useful suggestions and encouragement.

review 10 Mar 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We were lucky on day one to shoot the Northern Lights. We never saw them again. The Ice Beach was an amazing experience but the waterfalls and scenery generally was amazing. We were lucky enough to have received a large dumping of fresh snow which made the country spectacular. The group itself although of mixed demographic and abilities, we all helped each other and gelled really well making the experience even greater.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Pack for all weathers. The weather changed several times a day from bright sunshine, wind, rain, sleet and snow. Wellies or very good waterproof boots are a must. A second camera body saves time changing lenses in poor weather conditions. A good tripod is essential as is a camera bag well laid out. Hand cream for men is essential, especially if no females in your group. prepare for every eventuality and you can spend more time out in the elements enjoying the scenery and taking fabulous photos. The trip can be exhausting with early mornings (sunrise) and late nights chasing sunsets and Norther Lights - but well worth it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Iceland appears to be booming with tourism. This trip took us away from the most popular areas but even the "secret waterfall" had another group of photographers when we arrived. It is a win-win for the economy with car-hire, hotels and restaurants packed out. Being cynical, the Icelander's are out to make a buck just like anyone would. The challenge for government is to keep the natural environment natural. Iceland will look totally different in 20 years with all the development going on right now.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The trip was great. There was a lot of traveling to reach all the places scheduled. This could be reduced slightly but the extreme weather meant we lost over a day of shooting. This time was well spent, recharging batteries, both camera and human as well as editing photos previously taken. Be prepared for extreme weather and disappointment due to the conditions but overall you will still give this trip 5 stars.

review 5 Mar 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We were lucky enough to get a magnificent aurora display over Kirkjufell on evening 2. That probably stands out from all of the other awe-inspiring places we went to.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared to be flexible: the Icelandic winter weather can cause constant changes of plan. It may not be possible to do everything on the itinerary - but the leaders have enough local knowledge to find alternative places to go. Also, make sure you take lots of layers!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The vacation uses locally run hotels, restaurants, cafes, and clearly follows local environmental guidelines.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent! Challenging for a less experienced photographer but I definitely felt I learnt a lot, both from the leaders - Lizzie and Mick, who were great photographers and great fun - and from other, more experienced group members.

review 26 Feb 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

I loved the wildness of Iceland. The weather we encountered the week I was in Iceland was raw. It snowed most of the week and sometimes the road was closed. The weather allowed us to see Iceland with few tourist around. It was great! You just don't get many people taking selfies in a blowing snow storm. Our guides were very gracious and knowledgeable. They kept up with the weather and planned our photography shoots accordingly. I sincerely appreciated their driving through all of the storms and getting us to our destinations safely. I also enjoyed meeting all of the others on the tour. They were just delightful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go to Iceland in the winter. It is beautiful if you are lucky enough to have lots of snow and you are bound to have a clear night to photograph the aurora.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We stayed in small hotels that were definitely not chains. We ate in local restaurants where they served food from the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic!!! I have been traveling a lot this year and I rate this vacation as tops.

review 22 Feb 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Being expected to step out of a nice warm vehicle into a blizzard and minus 10 degrees with windchill, and expected to take photographs!! Having said that the weather cleared and revealed a magic landscape of frozen waterfalls and snow covered mountain and landscape. Brilliant! Photographing the northern lights was a real highlight-one clear night in thirteen!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Sort out in advance exactly want you want in the way of photography advice and post processing. Don't hesitate to ask the tutor, for any particular scenario, as your camera settings and how to achieve the best result. Use the knowledge and skill of other participants.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Obviously the greatest benefit to the community was the tourist structure and facilities. Tourist facilities themselves were designed to minimise local impacts e.g round the thermal area with many many visitors, the shops etc were sited away from the thermal zone and tracks were well sited to keep away from the hot pools and surrounds.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A fantastic experience, to see Iceland in the winter under extreme conditions completely snow covered, closed roads and all! One on one advice at the time of taking photographs was excellent. There is some room for improvement in the tutoring eg advising in advance of light or other difficult conditions and how to deal with them.

review 15 Nov 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It was one of the best vacations that I've ever experienced. The itinerary was well structured and organised. The tutor and tour leader were humorous which added so much fun in the entire trip. Cubby was very accomodating and paid close attention to my photography needs well beyond my expectations. He even went online to search the manual of my camera to help me achieve better shots. Fran was very considerate and made everyone comfortable during the trip. Since all the meals were included, all of us get to sit together everyday and share many topics other than photography. At the end, we all become good friends. Dinner was excellent. All meals were coordinated well in time. The locations were timed properly with the weather to achieve the best results. Accomodations were clean and comfortable to stay.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bring waterproof clothing and shoes. Expect long hours in lights rain and wind. Although I had brought couple of down jackets that supposed to be waterproof, but it turned out not waterproofing after couple of hours in the rain. I got cold with a wet down jacket. Snowshoes turned out not waterproofing on the beach, although it worked well with light snow. Thermal innerlayer is a must.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

excellent, fantastic, amazing, will definately book with them again. This is my second trip booked through Responsible Travel. They are both excellent companies. I look forward to finding other adventures with equivalent quality to my previous experiences in Responsible Travel. In fact, I've already booked a 2nd trip with the tour operator to Norway next year.

review 28 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the Aurora Borealis and getting up close to a glacier!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be very flexible, as the weather and other conditions (tourists flooding a spot) can change the tour somewhat, but we always ended up in a great place for viewing and taking photos. Also, be sure to be prepared for all weather conditions - especially wind and rain!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We frequented only local restaurants and stores, and definitely were mindful to pack out what we brought in.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The vacation was amazing. We learned so much about Iceland and got great tips for taking beautiful photos. We enjoyed the local culture and had beautiful accommodations without exception. The tour operators were wonderful people, and took great care of us. We wish the weather would have cooperated a bit better, but we were prepared for it, so it didn't prevent us from seeing anything. We would highly recommend the tour.

review 3 Oct 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

As it was a photographic vacation, the valuable tuition and the amazing places we were taken more than met expectations. The care taken by the leaders was very impressive.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

As we had lots of wind and rain, take appropriate gear.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic!

review 30 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We saw endless landscapes with glaciers, icebergs, lagoons, waterfalls, black beaches, and mossy lava fields, The most exciting part is auroras.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It rains a lot. If you don't like the weather, just wait for 5 mins. The most important thing is to bring your rain jacket, rain trousers and rain boots to keep you dry.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was terrific. From start to end, Iceland Northern Lights, Coast and Ice workshop was impeccably researched, planned and executed with a rich, full and unique itinerary. Thanks to Paul and Dave .

review 28 Oct 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Early mornings...prowling black Icelandic beaches for ice chunks, glimmering like diamonds...following huge blue-hued icebergs in the lagoon as they shifted in the running waters...and an evening filled with floating, ghostly swirls of light, ethereal, the Northern Lights, Auroras slipping through the dark sky with tints of green or orange, and then revealing themselves in timed photos radiating green orange painted skies!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Weather can be inclement...be flexible because with different kinds of weather you will see Iceland in different ways. Pack to stay dry. Bring your patience because individual photographers have their own way of taking photos; some remain planted to tripods, some roam. Each person will see the experience differently, so a willingness to go with the flow will make your trip more pleasant. Food will be exceptional...but will also involve the option to eat puffin, whale, and horse meat: I didn't. Fish rule.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

A tricky question because I believe that our group presence always attempted to be thoughtful about conservation and we supported preserving the gorgeous environment. For example, we did not walk on the moss-covered volcanic rock. We bought locally when we were on the road. What we observed, however, suggested that Iceland somehow needs to work on its tourism policy (now that I've come and gone) because it does not have the infrastructure to support the hundreds of thousands/millions of people now visiting this small blissful island.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Superb...it opened up a place to me that I only had an inkling about and revealed raw, spectacular other-worldly beauty. Humbling that such beauty still exists in the world...

review 9 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Where do I start - glaciers, ice caves, ice beach, lava fields and of course the aurora. All fantastic - Iceland is an amazing country with such raw beauty.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take note of the very good and comprehensive list of clothing. You will need it all - its very cold and there are times when you are standing around with your tripod composing that perfect shot!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes in that we stayed at local farms which had converted some parts to accommodation. Where ever possible the food was local.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic - the tutors were excellent, patient, helpful and very professional. I learnt a lot but realise that I still have a lot to learn

review 11 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Lots of memories from the vacation it is difficult to pick one out in particular same great destinations.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Quite a busy and enjoyable agenda, I would suggest you confirm what software you should have for editing pictures which was not clear from the information received!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes we certainly stop at local hotels which were great.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Really good vacation which was throughly enjoyable.

review 28 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Everything!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you are from tropical area and going to the upper heminsphere like Iceland, Scotland or Alaska, please be warned to prepare the real winter clothes to protect yourself not only just the cold weather but also the wind. I thought that I brought enough, but I forgot about the wind. Next time I will bring more windproof jackets and pants.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It commercially benefits local people, but I am not sure about it on environmental aspect and conservation. I tried my best not to ruin any nature, but, as you know, every step human beings make, there will always more or less thing get destroyed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent!

review 3 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Hard to name just one thing. Photographing ice at the beach and on the lagoon was unbelievable, it was really beautiful. Then the excitement of 'getting' the Northern Lights was really great. The way we were guided by Martin and Geraldine made the whole experience possible. They packed as much as possible into the time we had and they made our vacation a truly unforgettable experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Stay a few days extra at the ThingHolt CenterHotel. In Reykjavic, It is very central, very comfortable but modern with fabulous bedrooms, a good breakfast with some hot food for those who prefer it. They have just opened the restaurant in the evenings and give residents 20 o/o discount.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The main Farm/Hotel that we stayed at only used local food, mostly off the farm. Fresh trout which they farmed themselves.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fabulous, never to be forgotten.

review 28 Sep 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

this was a real blur of a trip, the whole experience was excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This is quite an intensive trip and whilst the organisers are brilliant, the Iceland landscape needs a bit of care and suitable gear is essential- and the weather changes a lot.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

the bulk of accomodation was local and good use was made of local facilities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I think everyone who went on this trip would return in the future given the chance. I will certainly be back next year. Overall a great vacation and learning experience.

review 26 Sep 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There are too many highlights to mention on this extended trip. From chasing the Northern Lights to sunrise or sunset in stunning locations to the sheer scale of the glacier lagoons.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you get enough sleep before coming - the opportunity to capture fantastic landscapes will keep you busy!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The vacation made use of local family run businesses and respect was certainly paid to the local people and environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The vacation exceeded my expectations by a country mile. Martin and Geraldine are two of the loveliest people I have ever met and their knowledge and genuine passion for photography really left an impression. As it was my first photography workshop I was concerned it might not be for me; now my concern is how anyone else will be able to live up to what this operator has to offer, after a truly amazing 10 days.

review 8 Oct 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Flying from south eastern Iceland back to Reykjavik - what a throw back 40 years, wish Martin would do a photo blog of this experience. The different geology of Iceland and all the photo opportunities. The ice beaches were phenomenal.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Most of the walking is not flat or easy (rock piles, sand, pebbles, very deep moss, up/down) I am not complaining it was great.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I really do not care, I went to photograph not get into this idiocy of impact -I bet whoever asked this is sucking water out of a plastic bottle which will not disintegrate for 1,00 years - yeah there is a benefit!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

My first photography vacation so I cannot compare but as a trip it was great with the added benefit of learning so much and seeing so much and enjoying the entire experience.

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