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

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

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 8 spaces | $15,495* Closed
Expedition September 8 - 19, 2017 | View other workshops

Iceland Overland with Justin Black and Chris Linder

Map via Google

I traveled with Visionary Wild to Iceland in 2014.  From the time I walked out of the airport, everything was handled for me.  That includes travel to/from the airport, meals, lodging, all travel within Iceland.  Justin Black made sure everyone was made to feel welcome, wanted and comfortable.  He arranged a group dinner for those of us who had arrived a day early which I feel was above and beyond his obligation to us.  Every step of the trip was well planned.  The instructors were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.  Visionary Wild puts a tremendous amount of planning into each and every detail.  I highly recommend traveling with them. -E. Ciraolo


You may think you know Iceland...

You’ve made a trip there, maybe two, and seen the standard sights from the Ring Road.  You’ve lined your tripod up next to the others on the beach at Jökulsárlón, and waited for tourists snapping selfies to get out from behind the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss.  But there is so much more to Iceland than what you see from the Ring Road on the typical tour.  The largest wilderness area in Europe lies in the middle of the country—the vast area called “The Highlands," where, according to Icelandic legend, outlaws and evil spirits once roamed.  This workshop is intended for those who want to get off the beaten track—literally and figuratively—to make truly unique photographs.  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 required.

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 includes 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 Land Rover "Superjeeps," 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.  Our guides will set up camp each night in locations that make dawn and dusk shoots very convenient.  All camping gear will be provided.

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We will make the most of light and weather conditions each day. When we aren't camping, we will stay in high quality hotels, with all meals included. On the last evening of the trip, 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 Hotel Holt, 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. Tents will accommodate one or two people each (according to the preference of guests). Sleeping bags and mattresses are included. Camp equipment will also include portable sanitation and shower solutions suitable for guests to have adequate toilet facilities and some sort of warm shower or bath at least every other day (whenever possible). All camp equipment will be high quality from well-known outdoor equipment brands.



Sept 8 – Arrival day in Reykjavik: Transfers to Reykjavik’s Hotel Holt 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 private library where wine and coffee will be served. 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 Hotel Holt. (D)

Sept 9-10 – Travel to 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 set up camp 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 in tents. (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 in the country, and yields wonderful photographs.  Our experienced guides will ensure safe fording of the many rivers.  Roughly halfway to Askja, we will set up a camp for the night, keeping an eye out for the northern lights. Overnight in tents. (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.  We will explore compositions of the 5,000’ peaks of the Dyngjufjöll mountains, Öskjuvatn lake, Viti crater, and Drekagil, the canyon of dragons. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)

Sept 15 – Mývatn-Akureyri area: We head west to the lake Mývatn.  Along the way we will have the opportunity to photograph the steaming, bubbling geothermal areas at Námafjall and the bizarre twisted lava landscape at Dimmuborgir.  We will spend the night at the hotel Reynihlíð and enjoy an evening soak in the local hot springs. Overnight at Hotel Reynihlíð. (B, L, D)

Sept 16-17 – Hveravellir: We travel along Kjolur Route to Hveravellir, completing our counterclockwise circle of the Interior through the western portion of Iceland’s Highlands.  We will spend two nights in the Hveravellir region, where we will photograph the many geothermal features there, including the incredible blue pool Bláhver. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)

Sept 18 – Return to Reykjavik: We will 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 Hotel Holt and gather for a last celebratory dinner and slideshow together. Overnight in Reykjavik at Hotel Holt. (B, L, D)

Sept 19 – Departure day: Wake up for breakfast at Hotel Holt, 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. (B)


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

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

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



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


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.


The World’s Top Wildlife, Nature, and Culture Photographers by the iLCP, December 2015, Origin Magazine:

The New Stars of Photography, Smithsonian Magazine, March 2012 issue and online:

Can photos of ice help translate the science of climate change? by Jaymi Heimbuch, Mother Nature Network, February 11, 2014:

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:

Recent Articles:

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

Southern Exposure, Audubon magazine, November-December 2015, feature story:

Science on Ice – Chris Linder's new book on polar exploration

Photographer's Guide to Cape Cod and the Islands, by Chris Linder

Visit Chris's website


  • 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, 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 camp by a chef using fresh ingredients whenever possible
  • First-rate local guides and logistical support
  • Timed for dramatic light, photogenic weather conditions, and possible sighting of northern lights

Accommodations & Travel


Two nights at Hotel Holt and one night in Hotel Reynihlíð (twin rooms). Eight nights in tents (all camping gear included, allowing for a mix of single and double-occupancy guests).

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.