Photo trip 2017 Snaefellsnes, Iceland
19th-25th March 2017

Have you ever thought of stepping into a different dimension, another world, a place where time and space seem to fade away? We will find such a place in the winter of Snæfellsnes, Iceland: A volcanic world under the snow, flanked by mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, and the wild sea. And above it all, the mighty Northern Lights dancing in the dark winter sky.

We will immerse ourselves in a magnetic, intimate, Zen, and otherworldly monochromatic world of lava, water, and sky. This photo-immersion trip will revolve around the elemental landscape, the ethereal, the oneiric, and the surrealistic magic of the Icelandic winter landscape. 

There are few places more magnetic and resonant than the peninsula of Snæfellsnes, frequently called “Iceland in miniature.” Dramatic shores, impressive pinnacles, lava fields, isolated churches, incredible mountains, and the feeling of being on another planet, away from it all.

This will be an “All Inclusive’’ Photo Trip conducted personally by Master Hasselblad Rafael Rojas and his partner, Anca Minican, in some of the most magnetic and powerful places of Snæfellsnes.

During the entire week we will be staying at the magical hotel of Búðir, one of the most remote hotels in the whole of Iceland, surrounded by lava, the ocean, and the mountains in the middle of nowhere. Hotel Búðir is in a league of its own, and with us you will discover why!

 

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. By slowing down our pace, we forget about running after photographic trophies and focus on creating highly personal work about a specific area for a certain number of days. 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. After many years conducting photo-immersion trips, we have realized the best way is to allow our participants to immerse themselves with plenty of time out in the field on their own, undisturbed unless they need any help. Rafael and Anca are always available for participants, anytime, anywhere, to discuss technical, compositional, artistic, or philosophic aspects while we work in the field. Participants will not only 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 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. A special workshop session will be held during our Photo Immersion trip to Senja devoted to night photography, which will be very useful for photographing the magical northern lights and black and white photography, which is specially suited for winter.

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. During the entire week we will be staying at the magical hotel of Búðir, one of the most remote hotels in the whole of Iceland, surrounded by lava, the ocean, and the mountains in the middle of nowhere. Hotel Búðir is in a league of its own, and with us you will discover why!

During this photo trip, we will photograph in all kinds of light conditions: sunrise, sunset, dawn, dusk, day and night. Variety is the name!

 

The place: Snaefellsnes, Iceland


Have you ever thought of stepping into a different dimension, another world, a place where time and space seem to fade away? Up in the North, set in the wild waters of the Atlantic, the peninsula of Snæfellsnes in Iceland emerges as if it were part of another planet. Infinite beaches, volcanic cliffs, towering peaks, and the glinting Snæfellsnesjokull looming over the landscape, while the Northern Lights paint the night sky with emerald green. 

In the middle of winter, Snæfellsnes becomes even more magical.  The landscape dresses in white, the sky fills with mood, and the ocean adopts a strong mystical character. We will immerse ourselves in a magnetic, intimate, Zen, and otherwordly monochromatic world of lava, water, and sky. This photo-immersion trip will revolve around the elemental landscape, the ethereal, the oneiric, and the surrealistic magic of the Icelandic winter landscape. 

There are few places more magnetic and resonant than the peninsula of Snæfellsnes, frequently called “Iceland in miniature.” Dramatic shores, impressive pinnacles, lava fields, isolated churches, incredible mountains, and the feeling of being on another planet, away from it all. This is a place that defies conventions, incomparable to any other landscape on the planet; daunting, impressive, surreal, and intimidating.

There is something about Iceland that draws from us a state of wonder. It could be the contrast between the ocean and the volcanic land, the raw nature of the landscape, the untamed fury of the sea, the transient character of the light, the changeability of the weather, and the sense of isolation...If all those elements define Iceland, Snæfellsnes in the middle of winter becomes one of its strongest representations, the pure essence of what this land has to offer encapsulated in one single place.

Drama and emotion are not only provided by the epic land and the sea, but also by the sky. Weather fronts roll in from the Atlantic, creating amazing cloud formations and dramatic light conditions unlike anywhere else on the planet. Photographing the landscape in Iceland is like photographing a living organism. Every minute, everything changes...The light, the tide, the clouds, the weather...The landscape becomes a canvas where a transient play of tones, colours, and reflections are mirrored as the light changes by the second. During the night, the show continues, as the sky fills with more stars than you could imagine and the dancing Northern Lights appear to the North. The month of March is one of the periods when they are more likely to be seen, and that is when we are going.

This will be an “All-Inclusive’’ Photo Trip conducted personally by Master Hasselblad Rafael Rojas and his partner, Anca Minican, in some of the most magnetic and powerful places on the whole peninsula of Snæfellsnes.

For our entire stay we will be based at the exclusive hotel Búðir, one of the most magical, remote, and special hotels in all of Iceland and possibly in the world. Surrounded by a lava field and the ocean and close to the black church of Búðir, this exclusive hotel and its wonderful food will leave a positive mark in your memory. Very close to the areas we will photograph, this place will allow us to make the most of the conditions, tailoring our programme to the weather, light, and Northern Light conditions we will experience during our trip. We will also hold here our post-processing sessions with some of the best views of the whole of Iceland through the window!

 

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 - 19th March 2017 - Pick up at Keflavik airport

We will pick you up at Keflavik airport at 8:00 am. Participants should therefore arrive on the day before. We recommend that you spend the previous night at a hotel near to the airport, for instance the Airport Hotel Smari, which has a very good quality price ratio and is within walking distance of the airport. We will leave early in the morning and leave towards our hotel in the peninsula of Snaefellsness (about three hours trip). We will have lunch together at the hotel and spend the evening photographing by the sea. Maybe the northern lights will visit us on our first night too?

Days 2 to 6

During 5 full days we will explore and photograph the most interesting and photogenic areas of Snaefellsness, truly an “Iceland in miniature”.

We will visit the whole peninsula, not only the iconic and must-see places, but also (and specially) all those hidden treasures out of the beaten track, from our ideally placed and remote hotel at Budir, which is in itself one of the most photogenic areas in Iceland.

During this period, sunrise happens at 7:30 am and sunset at around 19:30 pm, gi­ving us plenty of hours of warm light due to a sun which stays low above the horizon for the whole day. It will also provide decent waking hours for sunrise photography and also the possibility of photo­­­gra­phing night scenes of auroras without having to stay up too long. 

Our daily schedule will vary depen­ding on the locations we will visit and the nocturnal activity the auroras may have provided, but a typical day will combine photographic sessions on different places, image reviews on the computer, post-processing sessions and some time to rest.

Day 7 - 25th March 2017 - End of Photo Immersion trip

We will have breakfast together and have a morning photographic session, which will mark the end of the photo-immersion trip.
We will drive back to Reykjavik and Keflavik, where we will drop all participants at their hotels. We recommend booking an hotel in the airport area, for instance the Airport Hotel Smari, which has a very good quality price ratio and is within walking distance of the airport. The participants must book their flights for the 26th of March 2017.

 

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 exclusive and remote hotel Budir - Single occupancy for all participants 

- All meals and non alcoholic beverages

- Transport during the whole stay

- Transfers from and to airport of Keflavik

- 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,...

- Medical and Accident Insurance valid for Norway (compulsory for all participants)

- Cancellation insurance (strongly recommended)

- Hotel nights before and after workshop

 

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. Most walks will be very short as we will be photographing close to the car. Temperatures are not very cold (around 0°), and any person in average physical shape with good clothing and equipment such as that we recommend should not have any problems at all. Please contact us if you have any doubts about the difficulty level of this trip.

Price

4,400 CHF (Swiss Francs) VAT incl.

Single Occupancy included for all participants

Accommodation in the exclusive and remote hotel Budir, with single occupancy for all participants included in the price.

Possibility of sharing a room for couples or friends who know each other, with a price reduction of 500 CHF per person.

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 4x4 van seating 9 people.  Accommodation will be at the remote, exclusive and ideally placed hotel Budir, with double rooms in single occupancy basis for all participants. Breakfasts will be served at the hotel, we will take packed lunches with us for greater flexibility and we will enjoy a great dinner menu at the restaurant every evening.

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 the landscapes we will visit. They can also stay at our lovely appartments by the sea during our early morning or evening photographic forays, taking full advantageof the facilities and the beauty of the area. 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 Iceland 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 Iceland, cold and unpredictable weather comes with the territory. Yet Iceland’s favourable location next to the Gulf Stream keeps the country’s climate milder than expected. Iceland has a relatively balmy average high of 2°C and a minimum average of -3°C in March. Temperatures below freezing during the night can be expected. The Gulf Stream brings moisture over Iceland. Snow and eventually rain is an unavoidable feature of the landscape.

Talking about Iceland means talking about weather...Strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the presence of inland mountains, weather in Iceland is variable, dynamic, and dramatic.  It can be gloomy, too. Sun, hail, snow, rain, sun again, a rainbow…All this can occur in the course of an hour. This is particularly the case along the west coast, as we face the open ocean, unprotected from the winds and the fierce waves of the Atlantic, which become the shaping force of the landscape. Weather fronts roll in from the Atlantic, creating amazing cloud formations and dramatic light conditions like nowhere else on the planet. Photographing the landscape in Iceland is like photographing a living organism. Every minute, everything changes… 

Wind is also an inseparable element of Iceland. Unobstructed, it blows in from the Atlantic Ocean, creating incredible and often fleeting moments of majestic light and incredible lenticular clouds in the sky. It can also provide great opportunities to photograph an orchestral landscape where everything seems to be alive and in movement; the sea, the clouds...

In March, Iceland dresses in a white cloak of snow covering the volcanic landscape, where the black lava seems to be the ink on a white canvas and the winter storms roll in from the Atlantic. For a few months, the white engulfs the moss, the bushes, and the sand, carpeting the slopes of the mountains and the deep valleys in a stark and minimalistic Zen character. During the night, the sky shows its own colours and the frequently strongest Northern Lights of the year are likely to be seen on the clear nights. In fact, it is around March that frequent aurora activity is seen, perhaps linked to a certain influence of the equinox. The night, 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. Winter offers a certain mystical, Zen, and at the same time energetic character to this ancient land. This is by far one of our favourite moments to visit the North.

One important aspect of the journey is the preparation. It is definitely true that bad weather for everything else 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. Please check out the frequently asked questions section where we make recommendations about clothing.

Rafael Rojas

"Learn with Rafael Rojas Master Hasselblad photographer and former University 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 Photo Trips. 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...

 

How is the teaching structured in these trips?
After many years conducting photo trips, we have realized the best way is to allow our participants to immerse themselves with plenty of time out in the field on their own, undisturbed unless they need any help. Rafael and Anca are always available for participants, anytime, anywhere, to discuss technical, compositional, artistic, or philosophic aspects while we work in the field. Participants will not only 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 own photographs in the field. Rafael will use many of his photographs to explain many concepts in the field, and later on during the post-processing and critique sessions which will take place at our hotel base. You will receive a lot of instruction about post-processing, which is an essential part of contemporary landscape photography.

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. 


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 individual’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.

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.

What if I shoot film, can I join one of these Photo Immersion trips?
Yes, there is no problem at all. However, we may not use your photographs during the critique sessions as we cannot see them until they are developed! That being said, you will be able to benefit from the reviews of photographs from Rafael and other participants. What we are able to do though is to offer film users a review/ feedback video, to be made during the several weeks following the photographic trip after you have sent us a few samples of your recently developed and scanned work.

Can I bring my non-photographing spouse or companion with me?
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 the isle of Harris. Same rates apply as for photographer participants.

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.

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

What clothing should I bring?
Good clothing and equipment is essential for this photographic trip. No matter how little you like cold temperatures, if you follow our recommendations you will be able to fully enjoy and photograph with zero problems. It is very important that you bring a layered system of clothing. Here below we list the different necessary elements:

- Comfortable winter boots/shoes for trekking, with a well gripping sole. These boots should be especially suitable for winter. It is very important that they are not too tight, since that will accentuate the loss of heat. We recommend boots specially designed for cold temperatures such as Kamik or Sorel or Baffin.
- Thermal underwear. Merino wool is recommended, such as Icebreaker 260 or 300 shirts.
- Polar fleece
- Down inner jacket, ideally with bonnet
- Outer down parka with bonnet. We recommend parkas filled with natural goose down of 800 or 900. For example, the Batura Summit of RAB or similar.
- Balaclava.
- Chemical thermal packs for hands and feet (optional)
- One or two layers of gloves.
- This layered system should also be used for your lower clothing: Merino wool leggings, down trousers and some heavy duty ski over-trousers which serve to protect you from the wind and snow.
- A pair of thick wool socks allowing some free space between the feet and the boots.

Is this trip available for all photographic levels?
Yes. This Photo 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 a 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. Otherwise, you may also wish 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 Trip to the Hebrides we will hold a special workshop session on the basic technical use of a DSRL for all our beginner participants.

Will I freeze to death?
Certainly not. Even though Iceland is quite up in the North, the Gulf Stream bathes its shores, bringing fairly warm temperatures considering its latitude. In winter, we may experience temperatures of around -3°C, particularly early in the morning, late in the evening or up in the mountains, but even temperatures above zero can be experienced during the day.

The weather is Atlantic in temperament; unpredictable and very dynamic. Fronts come and go, bringing highly varied light and weather conditions. This means that snow showers will surely occur at some point during our stay, providing us with wonderful photographic opportunities.

There is an old adage which says “There is no such thing as cold weather, only inappropriate clothing!” Absolutely everybody can comfortably enjoy and photograph the winter wonderland of Iceland, provided he/she is well prepared in terms of clothing. As part of the learning experience of this trip, we will assist you and explain how to dress so that you can fully enjoy the magical environment and photograph the treasures of this winter wonderland.

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!

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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!
  • David Meylan, Switzerland
  • I would like to say a huge thank you to both of you for this magnificent photo-trip. The organisation was faultless, the logistics perfect (accommodation and food) and the lessons of photography of an extraordinary quality.

    I must say that I have immensely appreciated this workshop and that I learnt a lot of things. Your contagious enthusiasm and your continuous good mood at all moments were extremely motivating. I encourage you to keep on the good work and I would be looking forward to joining you again in a future photo-trip.
  • 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!
  • Marie-Eve Glasson, Switzerland
  • Unforgettable photo-trip, not only for the places chosen by Rafael but for his top-notch organization ! Incredible accommodation in lodges ideally placed to maximize the photographic opportunities. Rafael knew how to pass on to us his passion for photography and his detailed knowledge about all places we photographed. The photographic tuition was perfectly integrated into the different photographic sessions in a very practical way, without it becoming too academic or theoretical !
  • Bernard Dupas, Switzerland
  • Breathtaking landscapes, unbelievable lodges, a perfect organization... Rafael and Anca have offered us a magical photo-trip, out of this time, which remains with you long after it is finished...

    Sharing a couple of weeks with a group of strangers is always a tricky thing...but not a problem at all with Rafael and Anca, who knew how to create a great ambiance in the group and foster the complicity of all its members.

    In terms of photography, the sheer variety of the places chosen by Rafael, his permanent implication and his effective photographic tuition elevated the quality of this experience to a higher level.
  • Justine Epars, Switzerland
  • Mind-boggling landscapes, an unforgettable group of people, lots of laughs, a perfect organization of the trip and magical souvenirs which made this photo-trip unforgettable! A huge thank you to Rafael and Anca for all these magical moments and see you again!
  • Jean Cognard, France
  • Not only is Rafael a very talented photographer, but he also knows how to coach and foster his participants' photographic work. His enthusiastic passion for photography is highly contagious! A top-notch photographic trip! Thanks so much to both of you! I am looking forward to seeing you again.
  • Yvonne & René Hick, Belgium
  • The itinerary, the places and the timing chosen by Rafael and Anca for this photo-trip made it border on the sublime. Rafael and Anca's attention to detail turned this trip into an unforgettable experience. Congratulations and thanks so much to both of you.
  • 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!
  • J.S. Jacquet - France
  • The photo-trip was a real success, with lots of unforgettable moments, both photographing and with the rest of the group. Rafael and Anca are a dream team for this kind of photographic trips. They are always surpassing your needs and expectations, with top-notch photographic coaching and a wonderful kindness.
  • Aubra Franklin, USA
  • The entire trip was perfectly orchestrated from start to finish. Whether a novice or serious photographer, Rafael and Anca masterfully meet each participants needs. I am continually inspired by Rafael's passion for his craft and his unique ability and desire to share his considerable knowledge. It is a gift. Rafael and Anca are the consummate hosts. I left enriched, fulfilled, made some fantastic photographs, and now have memories that will last a lifetime.
  • L. Thomas - USA
  • Rafael took care to tailor his workshop to the needs of each participant, independent of their level. I felt he spent the necessary time with me and always came around to proactively ask and SEE how I was doing. I never felt alone or abandoned. He was sincerely interested in insuring each participant came out with great photographs.

    I was amazed that he did not use his camera during the workshop. That made it clear to me that this was about OUR photographs, not his. This is rare , and I have never taken a workshop were the leader was not spending any time on his/her photographs.

    The entire workshop was well organized and the accommodation and food were above what I expected. He does not skimp on anything.

    He was totally prepared ahead of time, knew the upcoming weather and tailored each session perfectly based on that.

    Therefore, many languages were served. Anca was super-friendly and a valuable part of the entire affair.

    Highly recommended!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nathalie Capitan - Switzerland
  • Thanks to Rafael for all the shared knowledge, his enthusiasm, his great sense of humour and the professionalism! I learned a lot, met wonderful people passionate about photography and nature, everything in a very friendly mood. Thanks to Anca for all the attention to detail and for taking care of us all! See you very soon for more adventures together. I am a true fan!
  • Sunil Patel - New Zealand
  • This was my first photo trip and the experience provided by Rafael and Anca was one that has inspired me to go for more. I travelled from the other side of the world (New Zealand) to reach Lofoten with no expectations in my mind as to what I would see and feel. I found the overall learning experience very valuable, challenging my own style of photography and bettering my understanding of processing techniques. Rafael has an amazing eye for structuring photos and he shows you shots that are easily missed by the untrained eye. I would certainly recommend attending one of Rafael’s photo trips.
  • John Erskin - South Africa
  • We were very impressed with the meticulous way in which Rafael attended to the selection of photographic locations and Anca dealt with the logistical side of the trip. We found Rafael and Anca to be delightful companions and, by the end of the trip, real friends. It became apparent during the various image capture sessions, as well as during the image processing sessions, that the secret of Rafael’is very evident expertise is his remarkable attention to detail.
  • Sandrine Cavin - Switzerland
  • A photo-immersion trip with Rafael & Anca is not only a great photography experience. It’s also a friendly atmosphere without forgetting lots of laugh, amazing organizational skills to make each and everyone at ease! I can only recommend to go and experience it’s worth more than words.
  • Phil Fontana - USA
  • This was my first trip with Anca and Rafael and I found the experience way beyond my anticipation. These are genuinely good people. The effort they put to the details of organization and personal attention to each person in the group provided a warm and welcoming atmosphere during the whole time. Not only is Rafael a great artist but he is also a very patient and attentive teacher. I highly recommend a trip with these folks, so much so that I have already signed up for another trip next year.
  • 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! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
  • 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.
  • A. Franklin - USA
  • My wife and I recently spent 5 days with Rafael Rojas touring and photographing 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!
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    Photo trip 2017 Snaefellsnes, Iceland

    • Place: Snaefellsnes, Iceland
    • Date: 19th-25th March 2017
    • Price: 4,400 CHF
    • Deposit: 1,500 CHF
    • Number of Places: 6
    • Language: EN, FR
    fully booked

    phototrip highlights

      Explore and photograph a monochromatic world of black and white, where lava becomes the ink over a canvas of snow in an otherworldly mystical landscape.
      Experience and photograph the mighty Northern Lights dancing over the ocean, the frozen mountains, or a magnetic black church lost in the middle of a lava field.
      Discover Snæfellsnes, truly “Iceland in miniature,” and its huge variety of landscapes and moods: Rock pinnacles and arches, mysterious cliffs, receding waters on black beaches, and the feeling of being isolated from the modern world
      During the entire workshop we will be based in what we consider the most magical, exclusive, and fantastic hotel in all of Iceland: Búðir hotel. Get ready to live for a few days virtually in the middle of nowhere.

    difficulty level: Easy
    photography level: All

    PDF brochure