Photo trip 2017 Lofoten, autumn moods
16th-23rd September 2017

Well within the Arctic Circle, towering granite peaks rise from the depths of the ocean, while the weather and light conditions compliment the dramatic landscape and the northern lights set the night sky ablaze. Our Photo Immersion trip will coincide with the peak of the autumn hues and the beginning of the northern lights season. In mid September, colour arrives at Lofoten. Tones of red and orange clothe the bushes and the moss, birch trees explode in bright yellow and the first strong northern lights are expected to appear in the skies. This will be an All Inclusive Photo Trip conducted personally by Rafael Rojas and Anca Minican. During the entire week, we will be based at three traditional norwegian huts, in what has been elected the most picturesque village of the whole of Norway, Reine.

 

The philosophy of this Photo Immersion Trip


Photography is not the goal, but the path. Nowa­days, we all rush through our life. We travel fast and we see the world without experiencing it. We think that in order to see more, we need to move faster.­ But the truth is that travelling in time and light, ­travelling through mood and weather is often more rewarding. Feelings and emotions, experiences and souvenirs, are not measured in quantity, but in qua­lity. Slowing down makes you connect more with a place. When you slow down, your inner landscape tends to blend with the outer one. And then, magic happens. Life is like a good whisky, and should be consumed in small sips. Photography is the best of the glasses for that whisky.

We minimise the travel in space to focus on travel in the light, travel through the changes in the weather, travel in time. Every day, we photograph a certain ‘playground’ where you will notice that conditions are never the same. Every day, we get a little closer to the spirit of the place. Every day, we make a bet­ter friend. In a way, we focus on a type of internal travel, rather than an external one.

During our photo-trips, we adopt a similar approach to our workshops, with a strong emphasis on tutoring, while allowing our participants to immerse themselves with plenty of time out in the field on their own. 

Rafael’s participants can expect plenty of hands on, one-to-one tuition during the photographic sessions, tackling all aspects related to photography: Vision, composition, visual design, technique, post-processing, workflow, light and weather, the philosophy of photography, information about the landscape, travel logistics, etc. Participants will also have the possibility of seeing how Rafael works, visualizes, composes and creates his own photographs in the field. 

We will also hold many critique sessions with reviews of photographs taken by all the participants, as well as post-processing tutorials using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop and some particular workshops (panoramic photography, night photography, etc) and the basic use of a DSRL for beginners.

We will also hold many critique sessions with review of photographs made by all the participants, as well as post-processing tutorials by using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop and some particular workshops on panoramic photography, night photography and basic use of a DSRL for beginners. 

We want to eliminate all the hassle of travelling so that we can focus on creative photography and maximize our natural immersion in the location. For our entire stay at Lofoten we have chosen three traditional norwegian huts by the seashore (each participant in single accommodation basis), at the picturesque village of Reine, one of the highlights of the islands and frequently cited as the most picturesque village in the whole of Norway.

During our trip we will have our own vehicle, with which we will visit the most photogenic places of the Lofoten Islands, all of them very conveniently placed within relatively short distances from Reine.

 

The place: Lofoten islands


Beyond the Arctic Circle a part of Valhalla blended with our world, creating a northern paradise which would seem fashioned purposefully for the joy of landscape photographers: The Lofoten islands.

There are few places on Earth where the juxtaposition between mountain and ocean is as strong and dramatic as here. Vertical cliffs of granite rise from the depths of the cold waters of the Norwegian Sea, like ancient monsters stranded on the beach and the rocky coast. Granite; eroded, sculpted and shaped by the elements during eons of time, sets the stage for this Wagnerian landscape, where the sea and the land battle with each other forming fjords and creating a paradise of negative and positive space at both sides of the shore.

One of the most incredible areas of the Lofoten Islands lies in the southern and central part of its archipelago. It is here that the peaks are higher, sharper, and narrower. Here, too, the distance between mountain and sea is reduced to a minimum, and the profile of the peaks changes at every step, offering a thousand different faces to the landscape photographer.Traditional red wooden houses aligned on the shore dot the landscape too in this region, adding a touch of scale and complementary colour to the cobalt blue of the sea and the glinting rock. Living in one of these comfortable huts for the duration of the Photo Trip will be part of the magical experience.

Lofoten is a land of contrasts, a land which nestles at the edge. An edge not only drawn between the sea and the land, the rock and the water, but also light and darkness, day and night, monochrome and colour. In summer, the sun does not set in Lofoten. In winter, direct light barely kisses the mountain peaks. Every year, during a few weeks around the equinox, day and night are reconciled and balance is achieved. We will visit this land at that very moment.

In September, a festival is hosted by Nature. Winter is coming, and Nature enters a colourful phase before falling asleep and before the white cloak of winter covers it all. For a few weeks, colours engulf the moss, the bushes and the trees, carpeting the slopes of the mountains and the deep valley in a mix of reds, yellows and oranges. During the night, the sky, jealous of the colourful display offered by the land, shows its own colours and the first strong northern lights of the year are likely to be seen in the clear nights. In fact, it is around September and October that frequent auroraactivity is displayed, linked to a certain influence of the equinox. The night, already ink black at this time of the year, allows good visibility when the weather permits, offering one of the most magical, incredible and photogenic experiences you will ever have.

Weather is dynamic and changeable in autumn, and light displays a very special quality. Fronts come and go, rolling from the Atlantic and leaving behind dramatic and variable conditions of weather, mood and light. Rain, sun, broken clouds, storms and clear night skies can rub shoulders in the period of a few days, changing the mood of the landscape every minute, never the same. As in winter, autumn offers a certain mystical, Zen and at the same time energetic character to this ancient land.

Autumn is one of our favourite times to visit the North, by far, and you will surely understand why!

 

For the full detailed information, please donwload our detailed PDF brochure at the bottom of the right column of this page.

The Itinerary


Day 1 - 16th September 2016 - Arrival in Lofoten

We will pick you up at the Leknes airport during the first day, and transfer you to our three rorbua (traditional red fishermen's huts) which will serve as our base in the village of Reine, often chosen as the most beautiful village in the whole of Norway. All participants should arrive at Leknes before 12:00 am. We will have lunch together, get acquainted and spend as much as possible of the late afternoon and evening in the Reine area.

Days 2 to 7

During 6 full days, we will explore and photograph the most interesting and photogenic areas of Lofoten, from our conveniently placed base at Reine village.

During this period, the sun rises at 6:30 am and sets at around 7:30 pm, giving us a good light duration.

Our daily schedule will vary depending on the locations we will visit and the nocturnal activity the auroras might have brought, but a typical day may be similar to the following:

- 6:00 - 8:30     Early morning sunrise photographic session

- 9:00 - 10:00    Breakfast at our huts

- 10:00 - 13:00  Relaxation time

- 13:00 - 14:00  Lunch at the hut or packed lunch

- 14:00 - 15:30  Critique and Photo Review session and relaxation time

- 15:30 - 20:00  Afternoon and sunset photographic session

- 21:00 - 22:00  Dinner at the restaurant

- 22:00              Possible Nothern Lights photography is the sky is clear

Day 8 - 23rd September 2016 - End of Photo-Immersion trip

We will have breakfast together at our base in Reine and the Photo Immersion trip will officially finish at 8:00 am. A transfer to Leknes airport will be arranged for all participants to catch their flight back to Bodo and connect to their international flights.

 

Included and excluded


Included:

- Tour organised and led by Rafael Rojas and Anca Minican

- "In the field" photography advice, daily briefings, commentary sessions / image reviews, Photoshop - Lightroom tutorials

- Special workshop session on night photography

- Special workshop session on post-processing (Lightroom - Photoshop)

- Special workshop session on basic use of DSRL (for beginners) 

- Accommodation in renovated traditional rorbua (norwegian fishermen huts) in single accommodation basis

- All meals and all non alcoholic drinks during the meals

- Transport during the whole stay in Lofoten

- Transfers from and to the airport of Leknes

- Unforgettable experiences and a lot of fun!

Excluded:

- Photographic equipment

- International and domestic flights

- Any meals other than those stated in detailed itinerary

- Personal expenses: telephone, gifts,...

- Alcoholic beverages

- Medical and Accident

- Insurance valid for Norway (compulsory for all participants)

- Cancellation insurance (strongly recommended)

 

Other details


Photography Level

All photographic levels, from beginners to advanced photographers are welcome. A certain familiarity with your camera will be very beneficial in order to get the most from this photographic trip.

Exertion Level

Easy. We might walk on uneven or boggy/mossy terrain scattered with rock boulders. Most of the photography will take place along the shore though with easy access from the road or vehicle though.

Price

3,900 CHF (Swiss Francs) VAT incl.

Single Occupancy Supplement

Accommodation on single occupancy basis for all participants in traditional norwegian huts by the sea (1 participant per room, 2 participants per hut, 1 shared bathroom per hut)

Payment details

Deposit of 1,500 CHF to secure your place at the time of booking.

Full payment of the photo-trip due 120 days (4 months) prior to the departure date.

Cancellation Fees

Should you need to cancel this Photo Trip, the following fees apply:

- 90 days or more before the departure date:Your deposit fee

- 89 to 61 days before the departure date:50% cancellation fee

- 60 days or less before the departure date:100% cancellation fee

It is strongly recommended to acquire travel cancellation insurance. If you need any help, please contact us and we will be very glad to assist you.

Number of People

Very small group limited from 4 (minimum) to 6 (maximum). This number includes photographers and non-photographing partners / spouses.

Logistics and Transportation

Transportation will be in a van seating 9 people, which will be available at our convenience for all transfers to the most interesting locations in the Lofoten islands where we will photograph.

Non photographing spouses / partners

Non-photographing spouses and partners are welcome on this trip. Even though the dinner conversations will certainly revolve around photography, all locations visited will allow non-photographing partners and spouses to discover and fully enjoy the beauty of Lofoten. They can also stay at our lovely rorbua by the sea during our early morningor evening photographic forays, taking full advantageof the facilities and the beauty of Reine village. Same rates apply.

Languages

The official languages for this photographic trip will be ­English and French. If you speak any of those languages, that will be enough! In the case whereby we have both languages repre­sented, we will duplicate our group explanations and image critique session in order to cater for the two languages. 

Personal explanations to each participant can be done either in English, French or Spanish. A certain international composition of the group should be expected, with all the fun and wonderful implications that brings!

 

Special Conditions


Visas/Passports

Please ensure:
1) That you have pre-arranged your entry visa if required
2) That your passport is valid to visit Norway and does not expire in a critical date

Health

No vaccinations are mandatory. 
It is a condition of booking that you disclose any medical conditions you might have including allergies or special nutritional requirements. This is essential as it may affect both your own and other people’s enjoyment of the trip and will allow us to understand the implications in relation to the particular trip. 

Luggage

Please bear in mind the volume limitation for your photo-bag! 
Even though we will be 8 people travelling in a van seating 9, we should be able to acco­mmodate all the bags in the van that we normally take for our photographic sessions. 

Insurances

All participants must be in possession of Health and Accident Insurance (with repatriation cover). 
Additionally, we strongly advise you to conclude a Cancellation Insurance. If you need any help with this, let us know and we will suggest some leading companies with which we normally work. 

 

Informations about the Weather:


For a place as far north as Alaska and Siberia, cold and unpredictable weather comes with the territory. Yet Norway's favourable location next to the Gulf Stream keeps the country's climate milder than expected. The Lofoten Islands have a relatively balmy average high of –1°C (30°F) even in the coldest winter months. This is thought to be the largest positive temperature anomaly relative to latitude anywhere in the world. The Gulf Stream brings moisture over western Norway while the inland regions have a drier and more continental climate. Rain is an unavoidable feature of the landscape. If you have the proper gear the sun will be welcome but the rain won't be debilitating.

In September, a festival is hosted by Nature. Winter is coming, and Nature enters a colourful mood before falling asleep, before the white cloak of winter covers it and the winter storms roll in from the Atlantic, crashing against the granite shores. For a few weeks, the colours engulf the moss, the bushes and the trees, carpeting the slopes of the mountains and the deep valley in a mix of reds, yellows and oranges.  During the night, the sky, jealous of the colourful display offered by the land, shows its own colours and the first strong northern lights of the year are likely to be seen in the clear nights. In fact, it is around September and October that frequent aurora activity is seen, maybe linked to a certain influence of the equinox. The night, already ink black at this time of the year, allows for its visibility when the weather permits, offering one of the most magical, incredible and photogenic experiences you will ever have. 

Weather is dynamic and changeable in autumn, and light displays a very special quality. Fronts come and go, rolling from the Atlantic and leaving behind dramatic and variable conditions of weather, mood and light. Rain, even snow, sun, broken clouds, storms and clear night skies can rub shoulders in the period of a few days, changing the mood of the landscape at every minute, never making it the same again. As in winter, autumn offers a certain mystical, Zen and at the same time energetic character to this ancient land. This is one of our favourite moments to visit the North, by far.

One important aspect is the preparation. It is really true that bad weather means good weather for photography. However, nobody can appreciate the atmosphere, mystery and drama of the north, let alone engage in creative photography, when cold, wet or ill prepared. This is why it is very important that you bring a good layered system of clothing which will keep you warm and dry. We strongly advise you to bring thermal underwear in merino wool (shirt and leggings), a se­cond and third layer of fleece and down (upper and lower clothing) and an outer garment that is totally impervious consisting of jacket and trousers which allow for breathing but which will keep you dry inside. Hats, gloves and balaclava and some good socks will be important too. There is no such thing as bad weather, but inappropriate gear and badly prepared trips!

Rafael Rojas

"Learn with Rafael Rojas Master Hasselblad photographer, author, instructor and lecturer"

Rafael Rojas is a fine art photographer specialized in landscape and nature photography. Following a career as an engineer, researcher and university lecturer he made a dramatic change by becoming a professional photographer of nature and landscape, his true passion and vocation. Today, he travels the planet always in search of those fleeting moments when light and land combine to create sheer magic and inspire the soul.
His work has been awarded in the most prestigious international photography competitions, including the prestigious Master Hasselblad award, First Prize several times in the IPA International Photography Awards (USA), Px3 Prix de Photographie de Paris (France), Nature’s Best (USA), International Conservation Awards (USA), European Nature Photographer of the Year GDT (Germany), MML International (Spain), Trierenberg Super Circuit (Austria), Panoramic Photographer of the Year Awards (Australia), etc.

His fine art prints, which form part of numerous private collections belonging to individuals and corporations, are often exhibited at international level, in private galleries and museums such as the Smithsonian in Washington and the Burke Museum in Seattle, USA. His photographs are also frequently used by various companies and institutions and are often published for editorial use in magazines including National Geographic Travel, Terre Sauvage, etc.

One of the activities of Rafael Rojas is teaching and lecturing about Nature Photography, which he carries out during his photographic workshops and PhotoTrips. This allows him to share and pass on to others his passion and knowledge about nature and photography by means of photographic tuition in locations where natural inspiration is at hand. Rafael uses his former experience in teaching at the university, his contagious passion and a deep experience and knowledge of the natural environment to assure optimal learning and unforgettable memories for all his clients. He has collaborated in the creation of several photography books, including “Visions of Earth” and “Natura” - both from Editions Altus - and is the author of his own line of photography books “A photographer’s vision” which he publishes and distributes from his website in different languages as eBooks.

He is one of the founders and directors of the company WHYTAKE.NET - The Global Community of Nature PhotographersTM. He is also a member of the select nature photography groups “Bouts de Planète” (France) and “Portfolio Natural” (Spain). He works with a panoramic 617 medium format film camera, a Hasselblad 6x6 and a whole Nikon digital system, always set on the sturdiest tripod available. He speaks Spanish, English, French and Romanian...

 

Anca Minican

Accompanied by Anca Minican, codirector and cofounder of WHYTAKE.NET - The Global Community of Nature PhotographersTM

Anca Minican, the partner of Rafael Rojas, provides a very special touch to all our photographic workshops and trips. Trained as an architect and interior designer, she is a true lover of nature and the wilderness and always accompanies Rafael on his photographic expeditions all over the planet.

Her broad experience in the corporate world, her professionalism and her methodical and serious approach make her a valuable asset for the organization, on-site logistics and the support to customers during our workshops and photographic trips. She also plays a key role in the team building and knows how to create an amicable environment with a personal touch as all our clients can testify!

Anca is one of the founders and directors of the company WHYTAKE.NET - The Global Community of Nature PhotographersTM. She is also co-editor of the whole range of Rafael Rojas Photography books, ensures the representation of our Limited Edition Fine Art prints and manages the photographic library of Rafael Rojas Photography. To summarize, nothing would work without her! She speaks English, French, Spanish, Romanian and quite some Italian...

 

Which are the official languages for this photo-trip?
The official languages for this photo-tour are English and French. If we have the two languages represented among our participants, we will use the two for the general explanations and critique sessions.

However, as the number of participants is quite small, we can tailor the teaching to cater for the particular language of our participants, and speak with them either in English, French or Spanish.

We are used to dealing with international groups in our workshops and photo trips and it is normal to have four or five nationalities represented in the group. Trust us, that is one of the strong points of our workshops and a highly enriching experience!

How many people will attend these Photo-Immersion trips?
A highly reduced number, of a maximum of 6 photographers, will be accepted. The idea is to keep the group at a very individual level, being able to engage in deep discussions as we evaluate our work completed during each day. As Photo Immersion trips are shorter than our Photo Adventure trips, this allows us to focus on each of the participants in a more personal manner.

Photo-Immersion trips seem quite deep and intense... Are these trips only for experienced photographers?
No. Photo-Immersion trips are open to everyone and all levels. A good photographer is not someone who just knows how to operate a camera. If you are nervous of the technical knowledge, you will see how in less than an hour we can resolve that aspect. And then, we will discover what lies below the tip of the iceberg...

There will be some travelling involved in your Photo-Immersion trips?
It depends on the particular Photo Immersion trip, but in the vast majority of cases travelling will be limited, if any. On some occasions, we may work along the same stretch of coast, on foot, from our cottage base located at 100m from the seashore. In some cases, we may even take bicycles and cycle along the back roads of a tropical island where no cars are allowed. In other cases, we might hire a small van to reach some locations nearby, repeating some of them during the week. However as we will be based in the same location, you will be able to leave your luggage at our base, and only take a few necessary items with you each day.

Why do you offer these "Photo Immersion trips", is it a type of marketing gimmick?
No. Basically we propose activities that we ourselves enjoy, and that we have identified as most suitable to develop what we consider the most valuable aspect about photography; experiencing the world, connecting with it, having something to say and saying it by means of a camera. We realized that, after many years photographing the natural world, we could summarise why we enjoyed it in two distinct ways: Either with the thrill and adventure of slow-paced itinerant trips, or in the quietness and intimacy provided by short periods of discovery of a particular environment. What we offer to our clients is what we have found we enjoy the most ourselves, and that is why we propose both Photo-Adventure as Photo-Immersion trips...

Will I get bored after 1 week in the same place?
Many times, we have spent 2 weeks on the same stretch of coast, walking less than 300 metres every day, and never found the same scene and emotions. We have spent 3 weeks in the Taiga, visiting the same forest every day, and every day the magic of winter created a new spectacle for our eyes only...

In our Photo-Immersion trips, you may experience a certain shock at the beginning, since your mind, more used to the frenetic world we live in, will ask for more. You may want an internet connection. You may want to share that last photograph on Facebook. Do not relent by allowing your mind to keep to its normal routine, "see" instead of looking and enjoy the experience. At the end of the trip you will return home as if you were waking up from a pleasant dream, where your photographs will be the proof that it really took place. Returning to "reality" may not be easy, though!

Can I bring my non-photographing spouse or companion with me?
Yes. Non-photographing spouses and partners are welcome to this trip. Even though the dinner conversations will certainly revolve around photography, all locations visited will allow non photographing partners and spouses to discover and fully enjoy the beauty of Lofoten. They can also stay at our lovely rorbua by the sea during our early morning or evening photographic forays, taking full advantage of the facilities and the beauty of Reine ­village. Same rates apply.

Is this trip available for all photographic levels?
Yes. This Photo Immersion trip caters for all photographic levels, from beginners to advanced and even professional photographers. However, the truth is that to make the most of the possibilities of this photographic trip it would be best that you already have a certain knowledge of the use of your camera so it is recommended that you exercise a little and become accustomed to your equipment in the weeks prior to the trip. Or you may prefer to enroll on one of our intensive photographic workshops of 1/2 day or 2 days in Switzerland (see availability). In any case, during our Photo Immersion trip to Lofoten we will tackle the basic technical use of a DSRL for all our beginner participants.

What sort of photographic equipment do I need to bring?
In terms of photographic equipment, the choice depends very much on your experience, your budget and your style of photography. There are a few general points though which should be mentioned. Most photographers tend to bring too much equipment to Photo Trips, leading to extremely heavy bags which then become a burden more than a useful tool to experience and photograph the places we visit. Never bring pieces of equipment you are not familiar with to a photo trip, and limit your equipment to what you will need in the majority of cases. Typically, any camera you use normally and a couple of zooms like a 24-70 and a telephoto 70-200 are more than enough for the vast majority of situations.

For our Lofoten photo trip, it might be useful to bring a fast lens, particularly wide, which gives good performance wide open (f1.8, f1.4 or at least a good f2.8) for the photography of the Northern Lights. Autumn in the North is also a gift for macro photographers: moss, colourful leaves and berries, lichens, etc will provide excellent opportunities for macro photography.

Please refer to the Checklist document of the detailed PDF brochure where we mention photographic and non photographic equipment necessary for this trip.

We will be within the Arctic Circle...Will I freeze to death?
No. Even though Lofoten is very much inside the Arctic Circle, the Gulf Stream bathes its shores, bringing fairly warm temperatures considering its latitude. During September, we may experience temperatures of around 5 or 6°C. Minus temperatures could be expected early in the morning or late in the evening, but even temperatures of 15°C could be experienced during the day. We may eventually experience snow in September, even if that would be rare.

The weather in Norway is very Atlantic, unpredictable and very dynamic. Fronts come and go, bringing very varied light and weather conditions. This means that rain will surely visit us at some point during our stay. But this should not be seen as a disadvantage, but rather as the possibility of adding a lot of atmosphere to our photographs. Not only that, the thick layers of moss which cover the ground, the luxurious vegetation and the dynamism of the sea, sky and light is very much due to that very same rain. It is not surprising that those of our Lofoten photographs that we like the least were taken with blue skies. When that ­happens, Lofoten looks more like Capri than Lofoten!

Which equipment should I bring?
Please refer to the Checklist document of the PDF brochure where we mention photographic and non photographic equipment necessary for this trip. Please use the button "Download brochure" that you will find on the right column of this page.

What clothing should I bring?
You should bring comfortable boots/shoes for trekking, with a well gripping sole. We will walk over sand, moss, boulders, rock and a lot of water. This is why it is paramount that the boots are thoroughly watertight. We strongly recommend the use of over-boots which can be worn over your normal boots, like those sold by the NEOS company in the US and which can be ordered from Europe easily.­ We personally take Goretex trekking boots with us, and then use high Neos over-boots. The use of these over-shoes is twofold: You can walk in the mossy and marshy terrain, normally drenched with water, and also photograph right on the shore as the seawater swirls around your feet. Trust us; they are ­rea­lly useful and great fun too!
http://www.overshoe.com/Pages/default.aspx

Bring warm clothing, especially for the early morning and late evening, as even though we are under the influence of the Gulf Stream we are still in the Arctic and we may experience chilly temperatures below zero. It is very important that you bring a layered system of clothing, with thermal underwear (merino wool is recommended), polar fleece and down inner jacket, and an impervious outer garment with a rain hat to keep you dry. This layered system should also be used for your lower clothing: Merino wool leggings, preferably down trousers and impervious over-trousers which serve to protect you from the wind and rain. Gloves and a balaclava can help too. It is always easier to dress down than to dress up, and you can always leave those things you might not need at the hut.

Does Rafael also take photographs during the photo trips?
For our workshops, which are never longer than a couple of days of three, Rafael is normally focused on the learning experience of his clients in that short period of time and for that reason he rarely takes his camera out of the bag. He may do so to explain certain aspects, or to demonstrate with some particular examples how he normally looks for his compositions and creates his photographs. Workshops are highly intensive learning programmes, and therefore all the time is put to the service of our clients, with one-to-one tuition.

However during our photo trips, with more days available, we adopt a less intensive approach, allowing our participants to immerse themselves with plenty of time out in the field on their own. Of course, participants will still get a lot of hands on tuition from Rafael during the photographic sessions, but they will also have the possibility of seeing how Rafael works, how he visualizes, composes and creates his photographs in the field. Some of his photographs taken during the trip will also be used as examples during the lectures and critique sessions held during the trip. In a way, during our photo trips you will also learn by seeing how Rafael normally works on his own photographs and later on uses them for discussion and analysis.

Is Lofoten a safe place?
Yes. In terms of safety, there is almost nowhere that can beat Norway (Norway is one of the safest places in the world). The Lofoten islands, even if remote, isolated and very much within the Arctic Circle, have very good transport, health and social infrastructures in the villages which are scattered all along the main islands. Leknes, at only 1 hour from Reine, caters for any needs you may have, even in the case of serious health problems. Also, the areas we will visit do not encompass any natural dangers, unless you are superstitious about the Northern Lights!

Do I need to have travel insurance?
It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical and personal accident risks valid for the place and time of the Photo Trip. This must include cover for the activities to be undertaken during the trip. We also strongly recommend you take out cover for cancellation and curtailment and baggage cover. In case you need assistance in finding a good insurance option, let us know and we will put you in contact with the leading insurance companies we normally work with.

If I have a medical condition will this prevent me from joining a trip?
It is a condition of booking that you disclose any medical conditions. This is essential, as it may affect both your own and other people's enjoyment of the workshop and will allow us to understand the implications relative to the particular trip.

Do you offer single occupancy options for the accommodation in this Photo-trip?
Due to the logistical limitations in terms of accommodation, no Single Occupancy option is available for this photographic trip.

Do I need to be very fit to participate?
You certainly do not need to be a superman or superwoman, but as a general guide you should be able to walk or hike with your camera equipment for a few hours each day. Please refer to the details of a particular workshop or Photo Trip to learn the exact level of physical exertion you may expect.

How easy will be to charge my batteries?
We can charge our batteries every day in our huts, and also in our vehicle as we will take an inverter; however, bring plenty of batteries with you (2 minimum) so that you are always ready and flexible. Bear in mind that cold temperatures can strongly affect the time of use for a fully charged battery.

Do I need to be adventurous and enjoy rigorous conditions to join?
No. Adventure does not need to mean climbing 4,000m peaks, eating bad food, spending 10 hours in a truck or suffering dehydration in the heat of the desert. Adventure for us is about getting out of oneÂ’s comfort zone, discovering something new and surprising, living memorable experiences and getting to know unimaginable and unique places. All that combined with a maximum of comfort, safety and guidance. Your adventure should be enlightening, amazing and unique. Therefore, these are trips devoted to creative and personal photography. There is no way to be creative and focus on personal expression if you are tired and beaten after 10 hours of riding in a truck, or if you have not eaten well, slept poorly or are nervous about your safety. That is why all our Photo Adventure trips are conceived with the maximum level of comfort, safety and the best and most professional local partners available in the places we visit.

Do I need a Visa for visiting Norway?
Citizens of the USA and most European and other countries do not need a visa to enter the country. Please visit the Norwegian government website to confirm whether or not you need a visa, that is your responsibility!

Can you cater for special diets?
Yes, our accommodation partners can cater for most diets. Please advise us of your preferences at the time of booking on your booking form. 


What if I shoot film, can I still join this Photo-Immersion Trip?
Of course you can! If you shoot film and want to bring your system, feel free. In fact, Rafael still works with film for a very large part of his work and he will very happy to help you with yours. For obvious reasons, we may not use your photos for the critique session during the trip (unless you use a Polaroid), but you will see the photographs of the other participants commented. At the end of the photo trip though, we will be pleased to prepare a video critique of some of your photographs, once developed, scanned and sent to us for a personal review.

Can the group turn into a competition to see who creates the best photograph?
No. Our whole philosophy is one of humility and self confidence, of forgetting about the hunt for photographic trophies, and about the need to focus on an individualÂ’s personal vision. That is why the environment and mood we foster in our groups is deeply embedded in these beliefs. In all the workshops and photo trips we have organised during the last few years, we have never seen bitter competition arise between the members of our groups. If one day that should happen, you can be sure we will be the first to make it disappear. Photography should not be a contest, since we are all different, none better or worse.

I do not have any photographic equipment. Do you have some available for rent?
We do not rent any equipment as we should need to cater for many different requirements; however we can suggest some addresses where you will be able to rent a camera, lens or tripod. If you have any queries concerning what to purchase prior to a workshop or a photo-trip, just let us know and we will be very glad to help.

Will I have connectivity to the Internet during the trip?
Yes. In most of the areas we should have access to the 3G network and we will have mobile phone connection throughout most of the regions we will visit. However, one of the best ideas for this Photo Immersion trip would be to just forget about the internet and enjoy the place and the experience!

How can I travel to the Lofoten islands?
The best solution is to catch a flight to Bodo (http://www.norwegian.com/en/ low cost company recommended, which flights from many European cities), and then catch a short flight from Bodo to Leknes airport in the Lofoten islands (http://www.wideroe.no/en low cost company). We do not advise taking the ferry since the seas can be really rough and the crossings might get cancelled in some cases! The typical cost of a Geneva-Lofoten flight return ticket might be of around 700 to 800 CHF.

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J.Bognar - Hungary
  • I thought this photo tour would be a good one, but indeed it's been one of the best, probably the best one, I have ever taken part. Your professionalism is exceptional, the way you treat and give support to every participant is outstanding. Its been a pleasure to me to have the talks with you about photography. On top of this, Anca's attention to all details has been superior. Thanks to her too!

    All the best to you and to Anca. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
  • J.Van Marcke - Belgium
  • The photo immersion trip was an exceptional experience. Due to the very small group size everyone receives a very personal attention to develop his photographic skills, not only on the field but also the critique sessions and post processing where very helpful. Not only the professionalism of Rafael, but also the other aspects of the trip such as the choice of diversity in shooting locations, the excellent lodging facilities and food, the personal attention of Anca for the “non- photographic” needs of everyone of us, the humor and group dynamism with which Rafael and Anca fuel everyone's enthusiasm are the extra assets that made this trip unforgettable. Believe me, these people are 200% engaged and passionate in what they do ! I am really looking forward to go on another trip with them.
  • P. Conesa - Spain
  • For me it was an unforgettable trip, largely exceeding my expectations. As a photographic experience it helped me to reflect and look for a more personal, intimate and emotional kind of photography and, as Rafael said so often, look for the photographs inside of my photographs... Thanks my friends.
  • L.Thomas - USA
  • This was a extremely well planned and scouted trip. Rafael knew where to take us and when, as he read the weather continually. I would say that was one of the things that was of best value for me on this trip. Also, he was very open and available for help if I needed it.

    The accommodations they found for us were wonderful, excellent location, comfortable and very cozy. The food was superb. It was special that we all had breakfast and lunch together in one room of one cottage. Anca prepared delicious meals for us. And she made sure we were never hungry. I am still surprised by all the dishes 'from scratch' that she made, like hummus and carrot soup! This was unexpected and greatly appreciated. Dinners at the restaurant were delicious and pleasant. We ate a lot of seafood that was incredibly fresh and well prepared. The desserts were very nice too.

    I have been to many photo trips and this one was definitely one of the best, specially in terms of the possibilities for outstanding photography. Rafael really does take you to spectacular settings. The rest is really up to us and our abilities, but he does help us to "see" more possibilities than just the obvious. As I reflect back on my week with Rafael, I truly think he has helped me train my eyes to see more simply. I feel I am more demanding and selective in what I choose to photograph.

    I really enjoyed myself tremendously, it was fantastic, and I did not want it to end. I hope to travel with him again in 2014!
  • J.Thies - Germany
  • Anca and Rafael are one of the two friendliest people I know and their good sense of humour makes the trips with them very pleasant. Going out on a trip with Rafael is one of the most rewarding photographic experiences because he readily shares his ample knowledge and experience which will almost certainly make you a better photographer.
  • Yves Curchod, Switzerland
  • Rafael and Anca are jovial, methodical, multilingual and determined organizers, with enormous attention to detail and always striving for perfection, radiating a positive atmosphere. Rafael's photographic eye and qualities as a patient teacher have deeply contributed to the improvement of my photographic work, not only in the field, but also at post-processing. A total success!
  • Luke Classen, USA
  • Having never been on a photo-trip before I did not know what to expect and was somewhat apprehensive of the anticipated trip...but to my delight and amazement, it was outstanding. Rafael and Anca were the perfect hosts and had made sure that every little detail was provided which resulted in a photo-trip of a lifetime that will never be forgotten. And, I would not hesitate to sign up again for another incredible experience!
  • A. Franklin - USA
  • My wife and I recently spent 5 days with Rafael Rojas touring and photographing amazing landscapes of Switzerland while on a private workshop. If you are interested in elevating your photography to another level, I would highly recommend spending some time with Rafael. He is a true artist, has a very unique approach and vision from visualization to the digital darkroom and has the amazing ability to communicate and teach in a very articulate manner. His passion is contagious; it was an incredible photographic learning experience. I am looking forward to our next private workshop next summer!
  • B. Dupas - Switzerland
  • I have attended to many workshops with Rafael and Anca in the last couple of years. In all of them, the choice of the places, the organization, the instruction and the great ambiance created by Rafael and Anca have made a difference, turning these events into very special and enlightening experiences. To be consumed without any moderation and with a lot of pleasure!
  • J. Stern - USA
  • The workshop provided me with an intensive, exciting, and highly personal experience. It taught me a lot about landscape photography and technical and aesthetic aspects of photography. It helped me to "see" in a different way, both at the time of taking the photograph and in looking at my pictures after. Rafael and Anca were always attentive to each of our individual needs and delightful company. They set the tone for a warm and fun learning and social experience.
  • B. Vioget - Switzerland
  • A photographic workshop with Rafael and Anca means connecting with the landscape and living incredible instants full of their knowledge and their great company. Pure poetry!
  • S. Schild - Switzerland
  • Excellent photographic workshops! Personalized and passionate tuition, gorgeous ambiance, field instruction mixed with feedback and critique of the photographs taken...After many workshops made with them, I never stop learning and it is always a great pleasure to come back with Rafael and Anca! All the teaching is tailored to each of the participants and of great quality, and the good sense of humor never abandons Rafael and Anca. The workshops are planned with a lot of thought, and we are always in the right place at the right time. The only problem is...all workshops and trips are quickly sold out!
  • T. Von Weid - Switzerland
  • Totally personalized workshop with a very friendly ambiance. Rafael and Anca ensured a great transmission of their passion and knowledge about photography...even when it rained!
  • V. Manixab - Switzerland
  • In all the photographic workshops I have attended with Rafael and Anca, it was always a real pleasure. Rafael really transmits his passion about photography and his great sense of humor. The tuition was very tailored to each of us, and all different photographic levels could be catered due to the small size of our group. A real sharing experience took place among all the participants. Highly recommended!
  • J. Thies - Germany
  • I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your constructive feedback session. This is the part that often misses out in other photography workshops and I believe your approach to send it after the actual workshop as a video download is really excellent. Your workshop in Grindelwald was top notch and the kind personality of Anca and you speak for themselves.
  • N. Bohny - Switzerland
  • To spend a few days in the mountains with you was like being on holidays with good friends, while at the same time getting into a really deep learning experience about photography. I enjoyed very much how we could tackle all different stages of the photographic process, from the concept to the shooting and then the critical review and analysis of the photographs. I could ask all the questions I wanted, even the banal ones and even several times the same one! We have really made the most of the available time, when I got home I was really tired but happy. You two are really friendly and really committed, I deeply enjoyed your enthusiasm!

  • J. Wasem - Switzerland
  • My opinion can be summed up like this: Follow many workshops and phototrips with Rafael and Anca and you will learn to photograph in a different way!
  • S. Bongard - Switzerland
  • Rafael has made me feel his passion about photography in a way that no other photographer has never done! He really spurred on me the will to learn, always giving away without limitation! Bravo and thanks so much!
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    Photo trip 2017 Lofoten, autumn moods

    • Place: Lofoten islands, Norway
    • Date: 16th-23rd September 2017
    • Price: 3,900 CHF
    • Deposit: 1,500 CHF
    • Number of Places: 6
    • Language: EN, FR
    few places

    phototrip highlights

      Photograph the drama­tic peaks of granite rising from the ocean as they reflect the first and last rays of the sun 
      Discover the beauty­ of the arctic autumn. During­ this period the whole landscape chan­ges and is clothed in shades of red, yellow and orange. This is indeed an ideal time for landscape and forest photography!
      Get ready for the possibility of photographing the first Northern Lights of the year. Lofoten is idea­lly situated to witness and photograph this incredible pheno­menon. September and October are two of the months when the Northern Lights are more likely to occur!
      Typically very changeable and dynamic wea­ther ­occurs during autumn, bringing a lot of broody ambiance to the sky and creating some amazing light conditions for landscape photo­graphy

    difficulty level: Easy
    photography level: All

    PDF brochure