Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 6pm, EST).    •    Justin Black’s iPhone: 1-202-302-9030

We look forward to hearing from you!


0 of 10 spaces left | $11,995* Waitlist
Expedition July 13 - 25, 2014 | View other workshops

Iceland with Jack Dykinga and Justin Black

Map via Google

 Join Jack Dykinga and Justin Black for this unique photographic experience in the land of fire and ice.

Storybook waterfalls gushing over volcanic formations... Icebergs on black sand beaches... Orange-billed Atlantic puffins perched on sea cliffs... Deep sapphire hues in ancient glacial ice... steaming geothermal rivers flowing through a multi-colored volcanic landscape…

This is Iceland, land of fire and ice. Astride the Mid Atlantic Ridge, this geologically active island is being ripped in two by the opposing movement of the North American and Eurasian Plates, while magma surges through the Earth's fractured crust to fill the void of displaced land. The ice cap and glaciers feed pristine rivers, and over 100 volcanoes and countless geothermal springs dot the landscape.

Renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and Justin Black will lead this twelve-night photo workshop for ten participants, emphasizing photography in the field at amazing locations selected on our prior Icelandic travels. Our small group will travel in comfort in a specially customized bus with room for everyone to have a window seat, complete with Wi-Fi and numerous power outlets to enable us to edit our images while we're on the road.

Click the "read more" tab below to continue...

We will make the most of light and weather conditions each day, remaining flexible enough to respond to great opportunities. Accommodations will be at quality hotels, with all meals and beverages included. On the last evening of the trip, we’ll return to Reykjavík, enjoy a final celebratory dinner together and spend the night at the excellent Grand Hotel Reykjavik, located in the city center. Most flights to the U.S. depart the in morning.

The focus of this expedition is photography in the field. Jack and Justin will provide generous hands-on mentorship, sharing their expertise and professional insights on developing creativity and personal vision, composition, working with various qualities of light and changing weather, working landscape scenarios to best effect, and capturing wildlife behavior. Techniques covered will include working the scene to find optimal perspectives and compositions, stitching for high-resolution and panoramics, merging exposures for tonal-range control, using filters, fill flash, and long-exposure techniques.

Constructive critiques will be included in the schedule, to help participants identify where they are succeeding and how they might focus their energies to advance their vision and skills. During critiques, emphasis is first placed on identifying what participants are doing right with regard to chosen subject and composition, followed by discussion of ways to improve the execution of the image in light of the emotional response, concepts, and aesthetics that led the photographer to make the image in the first place.

Attentive group support during the workshop will be provided by experienced Icelandic guides Ragnar Sigurdsson and Einar Erlendsson.



13. July. Arrival Reykavik and transfer to hotel. Supper. Overnight at Grand Hotel Reykjavik
14. July. Orientation and lectures on composition and technique to get everyone prepared to make the most of our time in the field. City photography mid afternoon. Supper. Overnight at Grand Hotel Reykjavik

Underneath Vatnajokull Glacier

15. - 16. July. Drive to the south-east to stay in the vicinity of the largest glacier in Europe. Sunrises and sunsets at the glacier lagoon, icebergs on the beach, and other glacier locations selected with the light and weather in mind.

In the vicinity of Laki, the largest recorded volcano eruption (1783)

17. July. Move more to the west on the south-east coast. Waterfalls, basaltic formations, lava fields, volcano craters, and more.

Behind the mountains in the south

18. July. Drive to Hrauneyjar highland hotel. 2-3 possible routes depending on weather. Along the coast or Fjallabak south or north, routes behind the mountains on the south coast.

Iceland hidden highland treasure

19. July.  Stationed at Hrauneyjar hidden gems of the Icelandic Highlands will be explored. The highland lakes in the desert, some majestic waterfalls or mossy mountains.

Hveravellir highland geothermal area 

20. July.  Travel via Gullfoss up to Kerlingafjöll and to Hvervellir, a camp by a geothermal area in the middle of the highland of Iceland. Two oases in the biggest desert in Europe.

Breidafjordur & Snæfellsnes peninsula

22.-23. July.  Travel to Snæfellsnes peninsula and spend two nights there. Explore locations at the peninsula like Dritvik, Malarrif, Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Visit beaches and seacliffs with birds.

Icelandic horses, red sand beach on route back to Reykjavik

24. July

Photograph two locations en route to Reykjavik. Last supper in Reykjavik, overnight Reykjavik.

25. July

Fly home.


Jack Dykinga

Taste life and strive to make a difference.

Pulitzer Prize (1971 Feature Photography) winning photographer Jack Dykinga blends fine art photography with documentary photojournalism.  He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic Magazines.  His ten wilderness advocacy, large format books include: Frog Mountain Blues, The Secret Forest, The Sierra Pinacate, The Sonoran Desert, Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, and Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley.   He authored and photographed Large Format Nature Photography, a “how to” guide to color landscape photography.  Jack Dykinga’s ARIZONA, released in 2004 from Westcliffe Publishers, a compellation of Jack’s best Arizona images and: IMAGES:  Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon released by Arizona Highways, May 2008, reflect Jack’s love for Arizona. Jack’s latest book: “Capture the Magic” released November 2013, delves into composition and the creative process.

Dykinga’s fine art images were featured along with the work of Ansel Adams in an Arizona Highways Magazine retrospective shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Center for Creative Photography, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. 

Recent work includes:

Texas/Mexican border highlighting the biological diversity of protected areas along the Rio Grande River, appearing in the February 2007, National Geographic Magazine.

His illustration of the wilderness lands of Native American Tribes is featured in the August 2010 National Geographic.

Jack has donated his talents to the International Leagure of Conservation Photographer’s RAVEs (Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions) El Triunfo, Mexico, 2007; Balandra 2007, Baja Sur, Mexico; the Yucatan 2009, Yucatan, Mexico; the U.S./ Mexico Borderlands 2009, as well as the 2010 Patagonia, Chile RAVE and the September 2010 Great Bear RAVE in B.C. Canada.

In each case, Jack and teams of celebrated photographers from all over the world pooled their collective talents to highlight potential environmental degradation.

 In April 2010, Jack’s image: “Stone Canyon” was selected as one of the forty best Nature Photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers and he received: The 2011 Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award from the Nature Photographers of North America in March 2011.

 He and his wife Margaret live in Tucson, Arizona.  His daughter Camille Bralts lives in Champaign-Urbana. His son Peter Dykinga lives in Tucson and manages Jack’s image collection.

Arizona PBS Interview with Jack:

An Interview with pre-digital Jack:

The Nature Conservancy's Director of Photography interviews Jack

National Geographic gallery of Jack's Native Lands project

Video: Profile of Jack Dykinga

Video: Interview with Jack Dykinga

Learning to See: an interview with Jack Dykinga

Visit Jack's website


Justin Black

How do you find your unique creative vision? Start with your passions.

Justin Black is a nature photographer, writer, and photo workshops organizer, and an affiliate member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Through both Visionary Wild and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography (1999 – 2009) he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He has been recognized by American Photo and Sunset magazines as one of the world's leading photo workshops and travel organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.
Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns, publications, and annual reports are The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

Justin has also served as an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. He is represented by the G2 Gallery in Venice, California.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography, founded by world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer Galen Rowell and his wife and business partner, Barbara, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, Galen and Barbara invited Justin to relocate with them as Mountain Light's General Manager at the present location in California's scenic Owens Valley. Justin agreed and eagerly embraced the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin refocused his efforts, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and David Muench. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years in California, Justin was recruited for the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project documenting the Dragon Run watershed on Virginia's Middle Peninsula for The Nature Conservancy. One of Justin's photographs of the Flathead River appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threats facing the watershed had any prominent coverage in that regionally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the U.S. Senate for display in the Capitol Building.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena (Visionary Wild's Director of Operations), and their son Philippe.

Limited editions portfolio

Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project



Justin’s Camera Bag


After using an array of 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 film cameras for much of his career, Justin has switched fully to Nikon digital SLRs and Nikkor lenses. His current gear includes:


Camera Bodies (Nikon)


D800E (x2)




Lenses (all Nikkor)


24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

200-400mm f/4 G AF-S ED VR

500mm f/4 G AF-S ED VR

TC-14EII teleconverter

TC-20EII teleconverter





Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-700

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels




Singh Ray LB Polarizer

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Singh-Ray Graduated ND (1-5 stop, hard and soft)

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters





Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead

Wimberley Sidekick for long lens work

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead




Photo Packs


MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Harddrive

TTP Airport Addicted V2.0

TTP Airport Acceleration

TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

TTP Retrospective 7


  • Top-notch instruction throughout
  • Icelandic Highlands
  • Dramatic seascapes, black sand beaches, seastacks
  • Waterfalls, among the most stunning and photogenic in the world.
  • Vatnajökull Glacier – the largest in Europe
  • Icebergs and stranded natural ice "sculptures" at Jökulsárlón Bay
  • One of the most dramatic volcanic landscapes on Earth
  • Small group of ten
  • Inclusive of excellent lodging and dining
  • Specially arranged group vehicle: two seats per person, Wi-Fi, power outlets recharging and laptops.
  • First-rate local guides and logistical support
  • Additional vehicle for logistical support (for running errands, scouting, any emergencies, etc.), to maximize your time for photography in the field.

Accommodations & Travel

Single-occupancy hotel rooms, ranging from upscale accommodations at Grand Hotel Reykjavik, to comfortable 3-star minimum guesthouse accommodations (best available) in more remote areas.

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
Fly into Keflavik Airport, Reykjavík. Ground transportation is provided from arrival to departure. Hiking will be fairly easy, and no longer than three miles round-trip. Icelandic weather in July is cool and variable with a fairly even mix of sun, rain, and overcast. Typically, temperatures range between 65ºF high and 40ºF low.