ATLANTIC BEACH, N.Y. -- Clients looking to take aim at the
Icelandic landscape this summer can travel in the company of other
shutterbugs with a specialty tour operator based here.
Photo Adventure Tours has been taking groups to photograph
Iceland for 14 years.
"We started going there for the same reasons that the Apollo
space-training missions went there -- the raw power of nature,"
said Richard Libbey, a photographer and Photo Adventure Tours'
He also said that visitors can see a lot of diversity in a short
period of time because the country is not that big.
"Within [a country] the size of Kentucky, you can see Europe's
largest glacier, moss-covered highlands and dramatic
A local guide accompanies the tours to explain the culture and
As for the country's photographic potential, Libbey said even
amateurs can take publishing-quality photographs there.
"The light is friendly for photographs because the sun is lower
on the horizon, creating less shadows," he said.
During the tours, technical questions are addressed and basic
advice is given for setting perspective and lighting, but Libbey
said that for the most part, clients are encouraged to explore
their own creativity.
"We used to run trips like workshops, but we found people each
have their own approach," he said. "Now we focus on getting people
to the right locations at the right times of day and encouraging
them to slow down and really plan shots.
"There is one waterfall where there is always a rainbow at a
certain time of the day. That's the type of thing we base our
schedule on," Libbey added.
The itineraries are designed with a maximum of 12 clients so
people don't get in each others' shots or hold each other up.
This year's 10-night itineraries are scheduled to depart July 17
and Aug. 14.
The first day brings photographers northwest of the capital of
Reykjavik along the shores of Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord). Visits are
made to the Borgarfjordur district and the lowlands of Myrar before
stopping for the night on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
An entire day is devoted to the glacier-covered volcanic
peninsula Vatnajokull which served as the starting point for Jules
Verne's story "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
A drive to Stykkisholmur, the peninsula's largest village,
starts off the third day. A ferry takes the group to the Westfjords
through Breidha Fjord, a stretch of abundant little islands teeming
with seals and birds.
A two-hour stop is made on the isle of Flatey -- the largest
island in the Breidha Fjord area. Most of the buildings on Flatey
date from the 19th century. The island also boasts one of Iceland's
richest populations of birds. The ferry then brings guests to the
Bardastrond region of the Westfjords for the night.
The fourth day is spent exploring Latrabjarg, the most westerly
point of Iceland. Farmlands and fjords are sites en route while
traveling the fifth day to the Skaga Fjord region.
Two days will be spent in the area, briefly visiting the
northern city of Akureyri and moving on to the north's main
attraction, Lake Myvatn. Volcanic geography, birch trees and
waterfowl set the scene for the visit.
Day eight brings visitors to Namaskard Pass with its volcanic
fumaroles and boiling mud holes; Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful
waterfall, and the cliffs and canyons of Asbyrgi.
The trip continues around the Thornes peninsula to the fishing
town of Husavik. A whale-watching tour is in the plans, if weather
permits, before continuing to Godafoss waterfall.
The 10th day brings travelers across the central highlands to
guesthouses in Landmannalaugar.
Photographers spend an entire day exploring the hot springs and
red, yellow, blue and black mountains of Landmannalaugar.
The trip winds up with a tour of the Gullfoss waterfall; the
Geysir shooting springs area and Thingvellir, where the
Mid-Atlantic Divide appears on land in the form of lava cliffs.
The air/land package costs $3,775, double and includes all
meals. A tour of Ireland and one of Norway also will be offered by
the operator this year.
Photo Adventure Tours
Phone: (516) 371-0067
Fax: (516) 371-1352