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When the good place, good light and good eye find each other - the photo is born.
     - Mike Reyfman
   Colors of Arctic –
Winter in the Lofoten Islands•  Photography Workshop, February 2023
description program terms gallery gallery registration

Start: February 1, 2023, Leknes, Noway

End: February 8, 2023, Leknes, Norway

Group: Maximum 10 guests

Price: $ 3950 Accommodation in single rooms with bathrooms shared between two guests

Guides: Mike Reyfman, Pavel Oskin



About our Lofoten photo-workshop

Picturesque fishing villages, deep fjords surrounded by charismatic rugged mountains, amazing scenic beaches, and strings of bridges holding all this beauty together combine to form awe-inspiring, photogenic scenery. Located well above the Arctic Circle at 68°N, these high-latitude islands bathed in February in magic soft Arctic twilight are considered to be the most beautiful setting in Norway.

Much of Lofoten is comprised of some of the oldest rock formations known. These so-called "primeval rocks" are the remnants of a once enormous 3-billion-year-old plateau. Yet the islands' "younger" sharp-peaked "alpine" mountains are high enough that geologists believe they were not covered with ice during the glaciated periods of the Pleistocene—its last ice age ending between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago. It is these ragged mountains, rising dramatically from the sea, that rank high among our photography targets.

The winter, especially January and February, is the best time to see Aurora Borealis. In order to be able to photograph the Northern Lights, the sky needs to be clear. We will continuously follow the weather forecasts and in good weather conditions we will look out for the dazzling lights. The polar lights can appear at any time, but most likely between 20:00 and 01:00. The best chances in February are between approx. 22:00 and 23:00.

Earn yourself an incredible portfolio showcasing the very best in landscape photography when you join this photo tour of the Lofoten Islands, the jewel in Norway’s scenic crown!

FEATURE: NORTHERN LIGHTS. The Lofoten Islands are one of the best places in the world to witness and photograph the Northern Lights. We will be so far North, that even low aurora activity is often visible given the right conditions. However, for a truly magical experience, we will want clear skies, cool temperatures, and significant solar flare activity coming off the sun. None of this is guaranteed but is highly likely this time of year and we’ll do our best to put the group in the perfect position for an Aurora photo shoot at each location. 

FEATURE: FULL MOON. We will have a full moon on February 5th - just in the middle of our adventure. All nights during our trip will be well illuminated. You can shoot the Northern Lights in complete darkness, but any foreground in your shot will likely be rendered as "tints of black" and mountains will look like dark silhouettes. Under a full moon, the Aurora could be just a bit fainter, but the foreground will be floodlit and the artistic value of your photographs will be significantly higher.

FEATURE: FEB 1: SUNRISE–9:24/SUNSET–15:14. The days will grow an hour longer during our workshop, though the sun still remains quite low on the horizon until the middle of February. It’s a good mix of short days and long nights, providing enough time to get to separate locations for sunrise and sunset and a few other things at midday. Nights are long and there is usually enough time not only for Aurora hunt but also for a good sleep.

FEATURE: SMALL GROUP / TWO EXPERIENCED GUIDES. We will have two experienced guides on this trip and the number of participants will be limited to 10. So you are the focus of our attention. Due to the small size of the group, you have the opportunity to discuss with us photographic topics of your personal choice and immediately put them into practice. We also will be able to split the group in two on some occasions, if the location preferences of the participants differ.


Itinerary

The nature of the Lofoten requires flexibility, as the weather conditions change fast. In order to make the best out of each day, the schedule of the tour will be constantly adapted to these conditions. And of course at night, if the skies are clear and the weather forecasts good, we will hunt for the dazzling Northern Lights.

Travel Day | January 31, 2023

  • Depending on your flight schedule from home it may be possible to fly to Leknes in one day. However, it is recommended to fly to Oslo, Norway, on January 31 and spend the night at Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, Oslo Gardermoen, then fly to Leknes on February 1st.

Day 1 | February 1, 2023

  • You travel individually to Leknes/ Lofoten Islands, Norway. There are good flight connections from Oslo via Bodø with SAS or Wideroe.
  • You should plan your arrival to the Leknes airport on flight coming from Bodo at 11:35. Upon arrival, you are picked up by guides and transferred to our first accommodation. Should the light be suitable during the transfer, we will already stop for first photo opportunities.
  • We will check in to our waterfront Rorbuer cottages sometime in the late afternoon. During a good dinner in the local restaurant, we will check the forecast. Make sure to have your camera gear ready, as if the Northern Lights make a display this evening, then we may head out for our first Aurora shoot!

Day 2-4 | February 2-4, 2023

  • Our comfortable waterfront Rorbuer cottages are located on the Sakrisøy island, 2.2 miles from the picturesque Reine fishing village and one mile from Hamnoy. From there for three full days, we will explore the southern part of the Lofoten.
  • We visit and photograph picturesque villages, majestic landscapes, and the most beautiful beaches. We lead you every morning to a scenic spot in Reine, Hamnoy, Sakrisøy, or other locations to shoot the first sunrays over the mountain peaks. The whole area is famous for its fantastic photo opportunities such as the distinctive mountain peak Olstind rising high above the fjord. The days will be spent traveling to various magnificent locations in order to shoot the wintery scenery of the Lofoten Islands in the best possible light. We will also travel to the spectacular beaches known for their exquisite photo opportunities like Skagsanden beach with unique structures and patterns in the black sand.
  • Every day during dinner, we will check the forecast to see if we have a chance for an Aurora hunt.

Days 5 | February 5, 2023

  • After breakfast and the morning photo shoot, we’re off to our next accommodation in the central part of Lofoten Archipelago. On the way, we visit the fishing village of Nusfjord, one of the oldest in the world. On the route to Nusfjord, we plan to visit another stunning location – frozen Storvatnet lake with cracking ice.
  • At sunset we photograph Vareid beach with beautiful rocky foreground and a rugged mountain range on the back.

Days 6-7 | February 6-7, 2023

  • Lofoten is famous for golden sand scenic beaches, where water-rounded rocks and turquoise waters are framed by majestic mountains around. Over the course of two days, we’ll visit the most picturesque beaches for landscape photography in the Lofoten Islands, including Uttakleiv, Haukland, Unstad, Vareid, and others.
  • In the winter, storms are frequent on Lofotens, and the weather can change several times within an hour – which makes shooting at the arctic beaches even more fascinating.
  • On one of the days, weather and time permitting, we may take a one-hour scenic ride to the fishing town of Henningsvaer and photograph the charming local harbor.
  • Every evening, we will check the forecast and (hopefully) choose the spot for our night Aurora photography.

Day 8 | February 8, 2023

  • After breakfast and a short morning photoshoot on one of the nearby beaches our workshops conclude.
  • We will provide a transfer on time to catch the flight leaving Leknes airport @ 13:30. If you need to catch an earlier flight - the Lekness airport is only 10 minutes cab ride from our hotel.*

*We are traveling in the Arctic region and there is always a possibility of a flight delays due to inclement weather conditions such as fog, snow, heavy winds, etc. We recommend overnighting in Oslo on you way home.


Accommodation

We will stay for four nights in beautiful yellow rorbuer cabins - waterfront fisherman’s cottages situated on the island of Sakrisøy. Each Rorbuer is furnished in country home style and has two single rooms. Spacious and cozy living space with sofas, dining and coffee tables, kitchen, and bathroom are shared between two guests.

Sakrisoy

Three more nights will be spent in Superior waterfront villas in the vicinity of Leknes - the trading and commercial center of the Lofoten Islands. Each villa provides three rooms for single accommodation. A big modern living space with a lounge, dining area, kitchen, and two full bathrooms are shared between three guests.

Basecamp

Meals

Days are short, eateries are scarce and we should be very flexible with breakfasts and lunches. All our cottages are equipped with kitchens and dining areas. We will do grocery shopping and will be able to make our own breakfasts and lunches (or lunch boxes). It will allow us to spend precious time on photography. For dinners on most days, we will go to one of the cozy and very tasty local restaurants.

Weather & Clothing

Lofoten islands are known for their inconsistent and at times stormy weather which often creates incredible nature scenes. Fantastic light situations come into life and the images immediately obtain a more dramatic mood. Due to the warm Gulf stream, the temperatures here are a lot milder than in other regions on the same latitude, like Alaska or Greenland. The average temperature in February is around 0°C (32°F). It always balances over zero. But don’t relax it could be several degrees colder on some days! Also, winds and the sea often make you feel colder. Even if the actual temperature is zero, you may feel like -5°C or even like -10°C.

Remember to protect yourself from rain, snow, and wind. The outside clothing layer (top and bottom) should be waterproof. We recommend warm, breathable, and functional clothing in various layers „onion“ style. The clothing should dry quickly, transport humidity and sweat to the outside, and keep you dry and comfortable inside without losing the warmth of the body. It is absolutely essential to pack long underwear, gloves, beanie, and scarf. Well-worn winter boots with a good sole are very important. A pair of good, knee-high wellingtons is essential. We'll have a lot of shore shooting on beautiful beaches, sometimes even during the night to grab Aurora reflection shots. You can hardly get amazing photos without interacting with the sea. Make sure to bring woolen/warm socks and liner socks (best to wear 2 socks on top of each other). And don't forget a pair of shoe ice cleats - it is often some ice on rocks and passways.

Fitness level

All our shooting locations are easily reachable by a 10-minute walk from the car. We will not climb or hike on this tour, but you should be able to walk on uneven and possibly icy surfaces. You must be prepared for windy and cold weather. Some sessions may last up to 2-3 hours with the possibility to warm up in the car from time to time.

What is Included

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Professional photography guides with extensive knowledge of the Lofoten Islands.
  • 7 nights accommodation in charming, idyllically located Robuer cottages.
  • Transfer to/from the airport of Leknes for the flight connections recommended by us.
  • Transportation to all the photo locations in comfortable vehicles.
  • Mentoring, photography tuition, and instructions by the workshop guides.
  • Image reviews by workshop guides.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Travel to and from Leknes.
  • Мeals & beverages.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Trevel Insurance.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.



Registration

Please register for this expedition using the form below. Deposit payment of $1500 is required upon booking. We will send you payment instructions for a deposit payment upon registration. The remaining balance is due October 1, 2022.



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