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ICELAND CLASSIC THE BEST OF ICELAND

TRAVEL ON VOLCANOES

EXPERT

8

HANS STRAND DAYS OF ADVENTURE


Photo by David Trud

Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your next adventure workshop. Better Moments was founded in 2011 by Philip Boissevain and me, two experienced veterans of the international professional photography industry. We met when working at Hasselblad, Philip as the Global Marketing manager and me as the Global Photographer Relations manager. Today Better Moments has become the leading photo workshop platform organizing high-end workshops for photo enthusiasts worldwide. You will learn from the world’s most experienced photographers within their fields to refine your personal style and sharpen your technical skills. Additionally, we want you to share your excitement for photography and enjoy great moments in life. And we want you to explore your passion and expand your photographic skills and vision.

Better Moments CEO and founder: Christian Nørgaard Graphic design: Anders Lundgren Text editor: Jeff Grant All images and text in this catalog are under International Copyright Legislation. However, Better Moment’s guests and potential customers may download the catalog for private use, but not for any commercial use. Any violation of the International Copyright Legislation will be reported to the International Court of Justice of International Copyright Legislation Cover photo by Hans Strand

Better Moments mission is to deliver exclusive workshops in landscape, wildlife and travel photography at unique locations around the world. I want you to explore your passion for photography and work and earn from the world’s most renowned photographers who all have excellent teaching skills, local knowledge and experience. Photography with passion, Christian Nørgaard


PHOTOGRAPHY WITH PASSION


Photo by Hans Strand


TRAVEL ON VOLCANOES This is the land of fire and ice. A land of spurting geysers, glaciers, boiling mud pools and waterfalls. Its mysterious landscape is an inspiration for many artists and photographers with a great passion for landscape photography. The land is sparsely populated, pure, unpolluted and holds truly magical stories. It is an adventure playground for curious travellers and passionate photographers.

CLASSIC THE BEST OF ICELAND

Photo by Hans Strand


TRAVEL Better Moments’ mission is to deliver exclusive workshops and we want you to explore your passion for photography and work with the world’s most renowned photographer, Hans Strand during your Iceland expedition

HIGHLIGHTS

ON LOCATION

Exploring the basalt cliffs of Reynisfjara and doing an evening shoot off the vast cliff Dyrhólaey.

Teaching and training in the best techniques and personal hints and advice.

Evening and long exposure shooting of the shimmering icebergs floating in the glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon.

Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground.

4X4 drive on the south coast and turn north on the winding mountain road to the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. This will be a very scenic drive through a spectacular volcanic landscape. LANDMANNALAUGAR is the pearl of central highlands and is situated in a valley between colourful mountains at the dark edge of the rhyolite lava field Laugahraun. Highlands Aerial photography by helicopter. Get close to Háifoss, which plunges 122 meters into a deep gorge. WHAT YOU WILL LEARN Learn how to approach the unique challenges of landscape photography and how to capture expansiveness, dynamic energy and the simplicity of natural landscape photography.

Learning about the lenses that optimize your landscape photography. How to handle equipment with care on location. Private hands-on lessons that can help take your photography skills to the next level. IN CLASSROOM Expert review and constructive criticism of shots taken during the day. Private portfolio review. A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, and to generally guide and help.

PRICE & BOOKING

Photo by Hans Strand

WIT


TH PASSION


Photo by Hans Strand


HANS S Hans was born in 1955 in Marmaverken, Sweden. For more than 20 years, the entire world has been his workplace. Photographing everything from the vast expanses of the Arctic, to steaming rainforests and dry deserts.

“My back broke down and I could not sit all day long, like I was doing as an engineer. At this time my great hobby was landscape photography, so I took a chance and became a professional and it has worked since 1990.” MADE IN SWEDEN His work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions and published in many international photography magazines. He has received several awards for his photography, including the Hasselblad Master Award in 2008. Hans has lectured on his photography internationally and published a number of photography books, with more on the way.

Photo by Christian Nørgaard

”Photography is not about capturing what you see, but to interpret what you f


STRAND

feel”


Photo by Hans Strand


CAREER CHANGE After working as a mechanical engineer for nine years he made a career change. “The complexity and the sense of being a part of nature. After all, all living things have their origin in the wild landscape. I have always found myself drawn to the untamed and unmanipulated nature. The wilderness is the mother of all living things. It is always honest and never trivial.” BAD WEATHER IS TERRIFIC As a professional and especially having spent many years in the northern hemisphere, Hans has developed a style very much reflecting his attitude towards weather. “The right weather is important, but not everything. Shooting a rugged landscape like Iceland in sunshine is not what you want. There you want moody conditions to get the right drama in the landscape. On the other hand, you have to work with the light you have at hand and try to make the best of it. You can’t just skip taking pictures because you don’t get what you have anticipated. There are always possibilities in every kind of light. Often landscape photographers regard grey weather as bad weather, but I think it is terrific.”

Photo by Hans Strand


A NORTHMAN OF ICE AND FIRE In the late 90’ Hans went on a unique expedition to the icy Arctics. “The Arctic landscape is virgin territory. In 1999 I visited the island of Ellef Ringnes in Northern Nunavut. Hardly anyone has been there since 1904 when the island was discovered, and definitely no one has been photographing there. The silence and the long lasting light are fantastic. It is very minimalistic compared to a rainforest but nevertheless complex. In 2004 I visited Svalbard and was even taking pictures of polar bears. Normally I am not so interested in wildlife photography, but seeing a polar bear in its natural habitat is something very special.” Hans has travelled between the deserts of America to the Tasmanian outback and photographed a wide range of landscapes, but when it comes down to the favorites he always ends up in Iceland. “Each year since 2000 I have returned to Iceland to take pictures.” ”I find its landscapes the most spectacular in the world. Nowhere else have I seen landscapes with such complexity and color. I have also practiced aerial photography a lot and have found new perspectives to take my landscape photographs.” THE FIRST ROLLS OF FILM Hans was 25 years old when he bought his first camera during a school trip to the United States. That’s where he took his first rolls of film, on the holy ground for landscape photography since Ansel Adams first captured his iconic images there. But it wasn’t the last rolls of film for Hans Strand either. Today he’s a widely acclaimed landscape photographer with high workshop expertise in the northern landscapes.

Photo by Hans Strand


ITINERARY DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN ICELAND Better Moments will meet you in Reykjavik at our hotel for dinner and present a detailed briefing on the coming week and workshop. DAY 2 THE DOOR-HOLE Photo shoots at the mighty waterfalls of the south coast, Skógafoss and Seljalandfoss. We will spend the afternoon exploring the basalt cliffs of Reynisfjara and doing an evening shoot off the vast cliff Dyrhólaey. This is one of our favorite spots in Iceland and the view is stunning. To the north, the impressive glacier Mýrdalsjökull is visible. To the east, the black lava columns of the Reynisdrangar peek out of the sea and finally to the west the whole coastline stretches out. In front of the peninsula.,there is a gigantic black arch of lava towering in the sea, which gives the peninsula its name (meaning: the hill-island with the doorhole). DAY 3 JÖKULSÁRLÓN The extraordinary glacier lagoon Jokulsarlon is the largest glacial lake in Iceland. It is situated at the southern end of the Vatnajokull glacier between the Skaftafell preservation area in Vatnajokull National Park and the town of Hofn. We will spend the day along the coast where the mighty and photogenic icebergs are foaming in the fjord. We will organize our photography around the weather to take advantage of the light. After dinner – evening shooting of the shimmering icebergs floating in the lagoon and along the coastline. DAY 4 FJALLABAK, SVARTIFOSS LANDMANNALAUGAR

AND

In the morning we will drive back along the south coast and turn north onto the winding mountain road to the Fjallabak Nature Reserve. This will be a

very scenic drive through a spectacular volcanic landscape. The land is mountainous, sculpted by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lava, sands, rivers and lakes. During the drive we will make frequent stops for shooting, before arriving at our hotel. In the evening, we will run a slide show workshop on how to optimize the great landscape photography of the following days. DAY 5 LANDMANNALAUGAR This pearl of the interior is situated in a valley between colorful mountains at the dark edge of the rhyolite lava field Laugahraun. The banks of the brook are boggy and lushly vegetated. The surrounding areas are colourful and magnificently encased in clouds of steam from the many hot springs. This area is one of the most distinctive locations in the world. The mountains are split with gullies and gorges, one of which, the Jokulgil, is about 13 km long. We will spend the day in the area, where we will explore the most scenic locations for our shooting, including hot springs and viewpoints overlooking the stunning volcanic landscape. After lunch, we will make an easy hike through the dramatic landscape to one of the hot springs and into the wild. In the evening, in preparation for the aerial photography of the next day, we will offer you a workshop on how to shoot great aerials. DAY 6 HIGHLANDS AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY Aerial photography over the highlands near Landmannalaugar. We will take off by helicopter from a landing spot near Landmannalaugar and shoot this fantastic landscape from above. A unique opportunity to get images you have only dreamt of and it will be a moment you will remember as long as you live. In the evening we will look through our images from the aerial shoot and give you feedback on your photography.

DAY 7 GJÁIN – HÁIFOSS – REYKJAVIK In the morning, we will drive through the scenic landscape of the Hrauneyjar center on our way to Háifoss. We start off in the Highland but we will quickly move on to dirt roads and eventually barely discernable tracks across the pitted lava and ash plains in the shadow of Hekla, one of Iceland’s more active volcanoes. We will enjoy our picnic lunch around the Háifoss area. Háifoss is one of the most impressive waterfalls of Iceland, which plunges 122 meters into a deep gorge. After lunch and shooting, we will drive through the scenic landscape to Gjain, a picturesque canyon in Tjorsardalur. Farewell dinner with the best view – dinner at the world-famous opera and culture house. DAY 8 DEPARTURE Transport to Keflavik International Airport for return flights. IMPORTANT Due to the weather, wildlife etc. we point out that, that changes to the program may occur. AIRPORT PICK-UP Better Moments arrange one pickup and one return to the airport on arrival day and departure day. Most often, none of our guests will wait longer than one hour, as all international flights arrive and depart at the same time.

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Photo by Hans Strand


QUICK GUIDE We wish you to travel with the greatest possible comfort and to know that you have received as much information as possible GETTING THERE

LANGUAGE

EMERGENCY

There are several flights, many on a daily basis in the summer, from a number of major European and North American gateways to Keflavik International Airport in Iceland.

The official language is Icelandic, but most Icelanders speak English.

Emergency phone number: 112.

Flight times are approximately 3 hours from London and about 5 hours from New York. Keflavik is 48 km to the west of Reykjavík. Domestic flights, flights to Greenland and the Faroe Islands operate mostly out of Reykjavík Airport, which is located in the city center. VISA Iceland is a member of the Schengen Agreement. Nationals of EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) countries only need a valid national identity card or passport for entry. All other visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least three months beyond the intended stay, and some will need a visa. Please check with the local embassy. WEATHER Iceland enjoys a cool temperate maritime climate thanks to the Gulf Stream, but the weather is known to change quickly and often. The average daily temperature in Reykjavik ranges from -1°C in January to 11°C in July.

Photo by Hans Strand

CURRENCY

Iceland is one of the safest places in the world, and there is almost no risk of getting robbed or harassed.

The Icelandic monetary unit is the Krona (ISK). QUICK GUIDE The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and the most famous sight in Iceland.

AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY Due to weather conditions we may need to change the flight plans and locations

The Gullfoss waterfall is spectacular. Geysir, the namesake of all geysers, and its neighbour Strokkur, which erupts every five minutes or so. Þingvellir National Park, a beautiful landscape of watercut lava fields, which is historically important as the site of Iceland’s parliament from 930 AD. Vatnajökull glacier is in Southeast Iceland and is Europe’s largest glacier. Jökulsarlon, the largest glacier lake in Iceland, is located off Route 1 and part of the Vatnajökull glacier. In the colder months, one may frequently get stunning views of the Aurora Borealis, i.e. Northern Lights, anywhere away from city lights. Whale watching available all year from Reykjavik and during the summer from Husavik.

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EQUIPMENT Whether this is your first trip or your ”hundredth” workshop with us, it’s always helpful to have a rundown of what items you may want to pack so you have a travel checklist. Bookmark this packing list, because you’ll want to refer back to it to make sure you’ve thought of everything you might want to pack.

CLOTHING A good plan is to dress “layer-by-layer”. You then are well prepared for whatever weather arrives. Wind and waterproof jacket Wind and waterproof pants Rubber boots - with room for extra (wool) socks Hiking boots

Fleece/sweater

NICE TO HAVE

Cap

Sunscreen

Gloves

Sunglasses

Waterproof outdoor cushions - nice to sit on when we sail in the arctics or when we sit and enjoy the scenery on land.

A swimsuit (for hot springs in Iceland only)

A small backpack Binoculars

Wool underwear

CAMERA The camera list is for inspiration, since you know better than anyone what equipment you prefer. Bring you own laptop computer and storage medium Camera bodie(s) Tripod

Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses

NICE TO HAVE Lens extenders

Charger for batteries

Camera straps for ease of changing from one camera to another

Spare batteries

Graduated filter set

Standard power converter

Filter holder

Lenses, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good

Raw processing software

High quality polarizing filter

Memory cards and card wallets

Lens belt

Bag for all camera gear

Memory card reader

Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories

USB key to exchange images

Photo by Hans Strand


Photo by Hans Strand


PHOTOGRAPHER Jürgen Wettke was awarded Photographer Of The Month, January 2016 and Photographer Of The Year 2016 Jürgen Wettke participated in the Iceland 2014 workshop. Jürgen has a passion for playing with light and angles and doing aerial landscape photography. His focus is to “trace nature’s diversity of form and colors and seeks to stir the viewer’s emotions through his photography, and to create a greater awareness of ecosystems’ fragility.”

BETTERMOMENTS.COM

OF THE MONTH

Each month we select a photographer from one of our many workshops who deserves special recognition. The Photographer of the Month is chosen by the Better Moments workshop experts, including Better Moments CEO, Christian Nørgaard.

ICELAND - 2017  

Travel on Volcanoes - 8 days of adventure with photography expert Hans Strand.

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