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

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email: jennifer@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 8 spaces | $17,500* Register
Expedition September 8 - 19, 2019 | View other workshops

Iceland Overland with Chris Linder and Justin Black

Map via Google

The Visionary Wild Iceland Expediton was an extraordinary and wonderful experience. The locations were superb and unique and the instructors are technical experts who offered great instruction. I literally could not have asked more from the trip - it exceeded all my expectations. I would recommend Visionary Wild to all photographers and aspiring photographers who want experiences off the tourist path and to take their photography to the next level. –Alex E., 2017 Iceland Overland participant

Our journey to the inner highlands of Iceland in September 2017 was beyond anything we could have imagined. Every day was unique and awe-inspiring, featuring starkly beautiful landscapes of volcanic rock and glacial ice. We would highly recommend Visionary Wild for serious photographers; traveling with experienced guides who shared our passion to explore and photograph the world was invigorating, educational - and tremendous fun. The mentorship and organizational planning from our group leaders, Justin Black and Chris Linder, was truly world class. We are already planning our next adventures with Visionary Wild!" – Ray M. and Leona D., 2017 Iceland Overland participants

You may think you know Iceland...

Maybe you've already made a trip or two there, and you've seen the standard sights on the south coast.  You’ve lined your tripod up next to the multitudes on the beach at Jökulsárlón, and waited for tourists snapping selfies to get out from behind the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss. The typical visitor wouldn't know it, but much of Iceland is still remote, uncrowded, and unspoiled. The middle of this country is home to the largest wilderness area in Europe—the vast Highlands—where, according to Icelandic legend, outlaws, dragons, and evil spirits once lurked, and some believe elves are still in residence.  This expedition is intended for those who want to get off the beaten track—literally and figuratively—to make truly unique photographs in the otherworldly landscape of the Land of Fire and Ice.  Getting into Iceland’s rugged Highlands is a challenge in itself.  There are no paved roads or bridges over the rivers.  To find your way through this wilderness, a competent 4WD vehicle and experience is mandatory.

Chris Linder and Justin Black will lead this eleven-night photo expedition limited to eight participants.  The itinerary has been carefully crafted based on Chris and Justin's numerous prior assignments and explorations in Iceland, and features incredible locations that can be accessed only be 4WD vehicle. Chris and Justin's extensive knowledge of the Icelandic landscape and environment makes them the perfect fit for getting to the best locations for prime photographic opportunities. Our small group will travel in comfort in four snorkeled "Superjeeps"—customized Nissan Patrols and Toyota Land Cruisers—each driven by an experienced Icelandic mountain guide.  Every participant will have a window seat, lots of elbow room in the vehicles, and ample space for their equipment.  In the Highlands, we will spend each night at comfortable Icelandic mountain huts in spectacular locations close to our dawn and dusk photo locations. As always, we will make the most of light and weather conditions each day.

Helicopter aerials extension (optional): Those who wish also have the option to join us on the South Coast September 19-21 for a extension to do "doors-off" aerial photography aboard our private charter Eurocopter AS350 (at additional cost).

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Our accommodations will be a mix of excellent hotels when we are in "civilization," and comfortable, tidy, well-maintained mountain huts scattered around the undeveloped interior highlands. The mountain huts are Scandinavian-style bunk houses with comfortable beds, hot showers, large kitchens and dining areas (in which our guides prepare and serve tasty meals), and often natural hot spring pools to bathe in. At the huts, we will typically share a bunk room private to our group only. At one of the huts, we will be accommodated in several double-occupancy private rooms.

When we aren't staying at the mountain huts, we will stay in high quality hotels. All meals are included throughout. On the last evening of the overland itinerary, we’ll return to Reykjavík, enjoy a final celebratory dinner together at one of Reykjavik's finest restaurants, and spend the night at the excellent new Canopy Hotel, located in the city center.

The focus of this expedition is photography in the field. Chris 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, and working landscape scenarios to best effect.

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 mountain guides and camp staff. Sleeping bags, for use at the mountain huts, are available for loan.

ITINERARY

Sept 8 – Arrival day in Reykjavik: Transfers to Reykjavik’s Canopy Hotel will be arranged for inbound guests from Keflavik International Airport (KEF). During the afternoon, there will be group introductions and orientation at the hotel's bar. Our first dinner as a group will be held at one of our favorite restaurants in Reykjavik, with a menu designed especially for us by the restaurant's chefs. Overnight in Reykjavik at Canopy Hotel. (D)

Sept 9-10 – Landmannalaugar: After an early breakfast at the hotel, our guides pick us up to begin our photographic expedition. We will leave paved roads behind as we navigate through the spectacular Fjallabak nature reserve to the Landmannalaugar region.  This is the start of the world-class Laugavegur trail, and boasts some of Iceland’s most stunning landscapes:  multicolored rhyolite cliffs, twisted lava formations, and steaming fissures.  We will bunk here for two nights to allow time for sunrise/sunset shoots at the best locations, hiking among the hot springs, lakes, and lava fields. Overnight at the Landmannalaugar Hut. (B, L, D)

Sept 11 – Tungnafellsjökull area: Today we venture where very few tourists dare to tread: Iceland’s infamous Sprengisandsleið, the ‘Route of the Outlaws’.  This desolate, lunar region is like nowhere else on Earth, and yields wonderful photographs.  Our experienced guides will ensure safe fording of the many small rivers.  In the evening, we will keep an eye out for the northern lights. Overnight at Nýidalur Hut. (B, L, D)

Sept 12-14 – Askja area: After a morning photo shoot, we’ll continue the drive to the Askja Caldera region.  This massive caldera complex will be our base for three nights, including a full moon on September 14th.  We will explore compositions of the 5,000-foot peaks of the Dyngjufjöll mountains, Öskjuvatn lake, Viti crater, and Drekagil – the Canyon of Dragons. Overnight at Dreki hut. (B, L, D)

Sept 15 – Mývatn-Akureyri area: We head west to the lake Mývatn.  Along the way we will photograph the steaming, bubbling geothermal areas at Námafjall, and fall color in the bizarre twisted lava landscape at Dimmuborgir. Overnight at Hotel Reynihlíð. (B, L, D)

Sept 16-17 Kjolur Route: We complete our circuit of Iceland’s rugged interior via the Kjolur Route. We will spend two nights in this region, where we will photograph the multicolored geothermal features there, including the incredible blue pool of Bláhver and the dramatically steaming red hills of Kerlingarfjöll. Overnights at Hveravellir Hut and Kerlingarfjöll Hut. (B, L, D)

Sept 18 – Return to Reykjavik: We travel back to Reykjavik and finish with a session on some hidden gems—moss-covered waterfalls off the beaten track.  Arrive back in town to stay at Canopy Hotel and gather for a last celebratory dinner and slideshow together. Overnight in Reykjavik at Canopy Hotel. (B, L, D)

Sept 19 – Departure day: Wake up for breakfast, followed by time to see the sights and do souvenir shopping in Reykjavik's city center and waterfront for those leaving later in the day. Transfer provided to Keflavik airport. (B)

Optional Helicopter Aerials Extension, Sept 19-21: On the morning of the 19th, those carrying on will depart for the Hvollsvöllur area to do aerial photography of braided rivers and the coastline, as well as an additional excursion to some of our favorite waterfalls in the southern interior. Please inquire if interested in this extension. Helicopter charter rates for this period are not set as of April 2018, so we can not yet fix a final cost, but we anticipate that the extension will be priced at about $5,500 including two hours of doors-off helicopter time per participant (two participants per flight, plus a photo instructor directing the pilot to ideal positions), as well as two nights hotel accommodation (single-occupancy; $200 less per person for double-occupancy), ground transportation throughout, returning to Reykjavik by mid-day on the 21st, with a drop-off at Keflavik International Airport.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • VISA: No visa is required for stays less than 90 days.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: We always strongly recommend arranging travel insurance. Travelguard.com is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: No travel to or from Iceland is included. Please contact us if you would like recommendations regarding flights to and from Keflavik, Iceland (airport code: KEF)
  • GRATUITIES: Basic gratuities are included. Our local guides, driver, and lodging staff work very hard to make our experience in Iceland the best it can be, and Visionary Wild budgets for a group tip in recognition of their services. Guests may tip additionally if they would like to recognize exceptional service.

Chris Linder

Chris Linder is an award-winning professional photographer, filmmaker, and lecturer. Chris earned a master’s degree in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and maintains a part-time affiliation with WHOI as an expedition photographer. For over a decade, Chris has focused on communicating science stories and inspiring the next generation of researchers. He has documented over 50 scientific expeditions and has spent over two years of his life exploring the polar regions.

Chris's images have appeared in museums, books, calendars, and international magazines, including Audubon, Geo (Germany), Nature’s Best, Outdoor Photographer, Smithsonian, and Wired.  He published the hardcover book Science on Ice: Four Polar Expeditions with the University of Chicago Press in Fall 2011.  He was the lead cinematographer and co-producer of the 2015 feature-length documentary film Antarctic Edge: 70 Degrees South.  Chris is a Senior Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers and a Fellow National in the Explorers Club.

His work is represented by Aurora Photos and Visuals Unlimited.

Assignments: coverage of 44 major scientific expeditions, including 25 to the polar regions. Recent assignments include the science trials of the new Alvin deep-diving submersible, climate change impacts on Icelandic puffin populations, and thawing permafrost in the Siberian Arctic.

Awards: Winner, 2015 Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, Birds category; Highly Honored, 2014 Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, Polar Passion category; Honorable Mention, 2012 International Conservation Photography Awards, Flora category; Highly Commended, 2010 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, In Praise of Plants category; Honorable Mention, 2010 International Conservation Photography Awards, Natural Environment at Risk category; Winner, 2008 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Photography Awards, Indigenous Cultures category.

Press:

The World’s Top Wildlife, Nature, and Culture Photographers by the iLCP, December 2015, Origin Magazine: http://www.originmagazine.com/2015/11/17/the-worlds-top-wildlife-nature-and-culture-photographers/

The New Stars of Photography, Smithsonian Magazine, March 2012 issue and online: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/multimedia/Shooting-Stars-Steve-Winter-presents-Chris-Linder.html

Can photos of ice help translate the science of climate change? by Jaymi Heimbuch, Mother Nature Network, February 11, 2014: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/can-photos-of-ice-help-translate-the-science-of-climate-change

News From DC, The Polaris Project, And Reel Grrrls: interview with Marcie Sillman on Seattle's NPR station, KUOW, about my work photographing the Polaris Project in Siberia: http://kuow.org/post/news-dc-polaris-project-and-reel-grrrls

Recent Articles:

After the Revolution, Living Bird magazine, Winter 2016, feature story:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/on-the-antarctic-peninsula-scientists-witness-a-penguin-revolution/

Southern Exposure, Audubon magazine, November-December 2015, feature story: http://www.audubon.org/magazine/november-december-2015/how-young-chileans-are-saving

Science on Ice – Chris Linder's new book on polar exploration http://www.scienceonice.com

Photographer's Guide to Cape Cod and the Islands, by Chris Linder http://www.chrislinder.com/store_books.html

Visit Chris's website http://www.chrislinder.com

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and a former executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Since 2011 with Visionary Wild and for ten years at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography, he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995 when he signed his first picture agency contract, 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 others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and Fujifilm.

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

In 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been 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. His limited edition fine prints are available through his portfolio website at www.justinblackphoto.com

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell. 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, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced his new responsibility, along with 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 went to work, 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, David Muench, and Jeff Foott. 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 with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental and cultural 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 Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

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, and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.

 

Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon

 

Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

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

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

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

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

 

Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon

 

Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Tripods

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

Photo Packs

MindShift Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

 

Highlights

  • Top-notch instruction throughout by Chris Linder and Justin Black
  • Creativity and visualization: learn to find new and unexpected compositions
  • Breaking through creative block and making great photographs in challenging situations
  • Four guides driving two guests per vehicle for 10 days on our customized route to rarely-visited locations of the Icelandic interior.
  • Dramatic lakes, mountains, cliffs, craters, and volcanic formations
  • Waterfalls, among the most stunning and photogenic in the world.
  • Small group of eight participants
  • Inclusive of excellent lodging and dining, including meals prepared at our mountain huts by a chef using fresh ingredients
  • First-rate local guides and logistical support
  • Timed for dramatic light, photogenic weather conditions, and a good chance to photograph the Aurora Borealis.

Accommodations & Travel

 

Two nights at Canopy Hotel in Reykjavik's city center (one at the beginning, one at the end), and by eight nights in comfortable mountain huts along our route in Iceland's interior highlands. At the north end of the overland route, we also spend one night at Hotel Reynihlíð in Myvatn.

Please note: the single-occupancy booking option for this trip refers to hotels in Reykjavik and Myvatn only.

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
Fly into Keflavik Airport, Reykjavík (KEF). Ground transportation is provided upon arrival. Most locations are accessed by short walks from vehicles. Longer hikes are an option, but are not mandatory. Weather is variable, with highs typically between 40 to 60ºF and lows between 30 to 45ºF at this time of year. We will likely experience a mix of conditions from partly cloudy to rain, with wind varying by local microclimate.

Expectations

The locations chosen were superb and well off the tourist path. The trip lived up to its promise of taking us to unique locations with the best photographic opportunities. The instructors are both experts in their fields, very nice people and facilitate teachers. I also appreciated their slightly divergent styles and photographic interests. –Alex E., 2017 Iceland Overland participant

Justin and Chris are very knowledgeable and eager to share their experience and skills. Because each approaches photography in his own way, I learned how various aspects of their differing styles gel with how I approach making my own pictures. Being surrounded by other people who are just as passionate about photography was invigorating and relaxing. The Icelandic guides were out of this world and really helped make the trip even more fun. –Leona D., 2017 Iceland Overland participant