Packing for Iceland as a Photographer
Oct15

Packing for Iceland as a Photographer

I just did my packing for Iceland.  And, if you follow my YouTube channel pretty closely, you know how much I hate packing. It is the bane of my existence.  But, usually packing means throwing all my things in my suitcase and cleaning up a hotel room that I managed to destroy and in which scatter all my worldly possessions in a span of a couple days.  This time, I’m leaving a lot of things behind in Kent and packing a very small kit for Iceland. Of course, this following list of things I’m packing for Iceland is geared (pun intended) towards a photography kit.  But, honestly, I think that anyone can follow this packing list.  I think most people that travel to Iceland also pack a bunch of camera gear, even non-photographers. Still, this is primarily a packing list for photographer’s visiting Iceland. I’m not going to get all fancy with a lot of talk and text. I’m basically just going to list everything with some notes. Clothing Iceland is all about layers and staying dry. It’s also about keeping the wind off you.  In general, Iceland isn’t that cold (compared to Canada in the winter), but it can be dangerous because of the wind and rain.  So, my advice is to bring regular clothes with you. Then, bring a fleece or down jacket, and if you need it because it’s windy or rainy put a shell over it. Thus, my clothing list is pretty basic. Bring your regular clothes and then the following: Wind Resistant Trousers Wind and Rain Resistant Jacket Shell Water Resistant Gloves – I have some new Vellerret gloves that are built for photographers A wool hat Footwear Again, pack things for Iceland that are going to keep you dry and warm.  I suggest that you bring a pair of waterproof/resistant hiking shoes that you can wear for most situations.  Then, you might also want to pack gumboots for situations where you’re walking across rivers.  Photographers will definitely want rubber boots to get into rivers and creeks for photos.  Serious photographers might want to consider bringing hip waders. Bring lots of socks! You’ll be changing them more than you think. Camera Gear Obviously, everyone is different.  And, everyone’s kit is different. So, instead of listing what you should bring, I’ll list what I am bringing. This is my camera gear packing list for Iceland as a photographer: Camera Body = Canon 6d Lenses = Canon 16-35mm f/4, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon 50mm f/1.4, and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 Drone = Mavic Pro Video Camera = Sony a6300 with kit 16-50mm lens and Zhiyun Crane Gimbal...

Read More
Best Photography Locations on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
Aug25

Best Photography Locations on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

There are few places in travel photography hotter right now than the Isle of Skye.  The Scottish Islands are popping with tourists as photographers have been reeling off beautiful images from some really cool locations recently.  This past week, I headed up to the Highlands of Scotland for a little bit of a scouting missing for a future assignment.  I only had limited time, but I was set on finding some of the best photography locations on the Isle of Skye.  And, luckily, I found loads of them.  These were my favourites. Old Man of Storr This is maybe the most iconic place on the whole of the Isle of Skye.  It’s just a wonderful photography location.  Landscape photographers will drool over the possibilities up here at the Old Man of Storr.  Essentially, this location is a series of pillar rock formations that stick out over the island.  A 30-40 minute hike gets you up to some perfect images. Note, though, that due to the geography of the location on the leeward side of some mountains, the weather can change quickly here.  We shot this location at sunset and alternated between getting epic light and hammered by rain. These are some of my favourite images from The Old Man of Storr: Info: How to Get There: There’s a parking lot about 15 minutes drive north of Portree. It’s easy to find.  From there, it’s a 30-40 minute hike to the view. I would guess it’s about 100-150m elevation gain. Parts of the hike are slippery, especially after rains. Best Time of Day: The location works for either sunrise or sunset. Gear: I shot my 16-35mm lens the whole time.  You’ll also likely want a nice set of filters.  I used these grad filters for my images. Fairy Pools Honestly, I didn’t really give the Fairy Pools much notice in my plans.  But, with so much extra time I thought they were probably worth checking out.  I’m glad I did.  Even though I didn’t photograph this location much, it’s cool.  And, I think that much of the imagery online is pretty weak considering it’s such a cool spot.  Like most of Scotland, we got hammered a bit by rain here, but still managed to take a photo.  And, I didn’t even photograph my favourite composition of the falls.  I think, though, I’ll come back here next time and shoot it at either sunrise or sunset. Info: How to Get There: The Fairy Pools look well off a road according to most maps. But, a single track will get you right to the edge of them. The turn off is signed...

Read More
OK Norway, I Get it You’re Beautiful – Photos of Norway
Jul22

OK Norway, I Get it You’re Beautiful – Photos of Norway

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’re going to laugh at what I’m about to say. “I’m going to get better at updating the blog” Sure, I’ve said it a million times before, but this time I kind of mean it.  I’ve just been so busy smashing out daily vlogs on my travel channel and on assignments that I’ve kind of neglected the blog. But, that stops now. And it stops in the best way possible, with some photos of Norway.  And, though I haven’t updated my list yet, I think Norway is going to the top of my list of favourite countries. That’s how much I loved it. This is going to be a two-part blog with the other post coming next week.  This blog starts with an extremely quick solo road trip through the south of Norway before I joined up on an assignment with TopDeck Travel. Trolltunga I started my Norway adventure in the most epic of ways; with a hike to Trolltunga.  Troll’s tongue, as it’s known in English is one of the most beautiful hikes anywhere in the world.  Every corner of the trail just begs to be photographed.  Since it’s the summer in Norway, I was able to do the hike as a bit of a midnight adventure leaving the parking lot at 8pm and arriving at camp at midnight.  The hike up looked a little like this: Then, after finding a couple hours of sleep just above Trolltunga, I got up for “sunrise” at just after 3am to shoot some pictures.  Though the light wasn’t really behaving. When a place is as beautiful as this, it doesn’t matter. These are a couple of my favourite few photos from Trolltunga: The Waterfalls of Norway After Trolltunga, I headed to Bergen to chill out for a night and get my gear charged and dried after the hike to Trolltunga.  I was planning on doing some photography in Bergen, but was just too wiped out to go out and shoot. The next day, though, I went on the search of a couple of the bigger waterfalls in Norway, and came across these 3 (well, and a number of others I didn’t photograph. Tvindefossen This was a photogenic waterfall surrounded by farms and a bit of a tourist trap set of gift shops. Maybe the least impressive of the waterfalls in the area, but also very easy to photograph. Skjervsfossen This was such a cool waterfall, but it was incredibly difficult to capture.  And, there’s no shops around and I had it all to myself. Really a cool spot worth visiting even if...

Read More
Bariloche is All Kinds of Beautiful
May03

Bariloche is All Kinds of Beautiful

I’m a big fan of returning to places I’ve been before; especially if I wasn’t really feeling them the first time I visited them. I know, it seems backwards. Most people re-visit the places they loved. But, I’m more likely to re-visit places I didn’t feel like I gave my best attention to the first time. For one, I don’t want re-visit places I loved too often, because I don’t want my warm memories spoiled. But, I’m all for giving destinations second chances, as was the case in Bariloche. After feeling a bit under-whelmed the first time, I returned to the popular Argentinean mountain town to find out that it is all kinds of beautiful. I was in a different place when I first visited Bariloche. It was about 7 years ago. I had just finished my year working as a tour leader in South America. I had started this blog about a month before, and just broken things off with a long term girlfriend a couple weeks earlier. When I got to Barlioche, I didn’t want to explore. I wanted to let loose. I wanted taste a bit of freedom I hadn’t felt in years since being tied down by a job and girlfriend. So, I did. I got a bit crazy. I didn’t take a picture the whole time I was in town, and didn’t explore much of the area aside from the local bars. As a result, my first visit to the city wasn’t exactly the greatest travel experience I ever had. Moreover, I don’t even really remember the mountains. What I remember is heavy wind, waves on the lake so tall it looked like the sea, and that my hostel had a decent view of it all. I didn’t go hiking, I didn’t go on excursions, and I hardly saw anything during the daylight hours. But, with all the hype Barlioche gets as a tourism destination, I’ve long thought of it as a place I need to get back to. A place I need to give more effort to. I’m so glad I did. Greg (the intern) and I made the long 25 hour bus journey from Buenos Aires to Barlioche a day earlier than expected. I’m glad we did. Our first morning along the lake was just spectacular. In fact, it was then, on our first shoot of a 3 week project, that we got the best light of the whole trip. Fog on the lake, beautiful colours hitting the clouds. Some alpen glow on the mountains. It really couldn’t have been better. During our time in Barlioche, we were put up by a...

Read More
Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!
Feb24

Join us in Peru and/or Iceland!

Of all the places we get requests to run tours, Peru and Iceland and far and away the most popular.  I get emails almost every week asking when our next Peru travel photography workshop will be.  I get about the same amount of emails for Iceland.  So, it was just a matter of time before we’d go back to Peru, and initiate our first workshop in Iceland. Going Back to Peru Our trip to Peru in 2014 was a massive success.  Not only did we have a great tour filled with incredible imagery, but we had an amazing group of participants which made the tour even more special. Peru is one of the most photogenic countries in the world.  It’s also one of the most diverse places in the world for photography.  In just a 2 week period, we’ll photograph the desert, the coast, the Andes Mountains, and even parts of the rain forest.  As far as subjects are concerned, there will be people, mountains, wildlife, seascapes, and so much more to photograph in the country.  As usual, Jeff Bartlett will be co-leading this tour with me. You can download the full itinerary for Peru here. And, for more information on the trip to Peru or to book, visit this page. Iceland! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be heading back to Iceland.  It’s one of my favourite countries to shoot, and definitely one of the most impressive places I’ve ever been.  As usual, I’ll be running the Iceland photography workshop alongside my buddy and fantastic photographer, Jeff Bartlett.  He has also spent a lot of time in Iceland scouting locations and organizing this trip.  We’ll also have with us a local photographer named Ivan Olaffson who will help guide us around and show us some of the secret photo spots off the usual beaten path. For the full itinerary for Iceland, click here. And, to book, or for some more information on the trip, click here. Images from Peru and Iceland If you’re interested in seeing some of the imagery you can come up with in these two incredible countries, check out the videos below.  The first one is a piece I put together from my first time in Iceland in which I spent a week exploring the ring road of the country location scouting. The second video is from my last photography workshop in Peru: Can’t Join These Ones? If you can’t join these photography workshops, but are interested in potentially joining one in the future, be sure to sign up to the form below.  That way, when we launch future workshops you’ll be...

Read More
Epic Photo Location: The Banaue Rice Terraces
Feb19

Epic Photo Location: The Banaue Rice Terraces

Of all the places in the Philippines, I think it was Banaue that I was most looking forward to. The images of the landscapes and rice terraces are all over the social media and marketing for The Philippines. I couldn’t wait to get my lens on them, and head out and explore them as well. But, as the jeepney I caught from Sagada rolled towards town it poured rain. At times, I’m sure the driver couldn’t see more than 10 meters in front of him because of the fog. But, somehow the ride was still a lot of fun. I should have known it would be a bit of foreshadowing for my next couple days in Banaue. The forecast was showers, with a chance of occasional brilliance. Wandering the Villages around Banaue With heavy fog in the air my first morning in Banaue, I slept in a little bit. Later in the morning, I headed out to do a village trek in the area. I started with a visit to a village called Tam-an. Just outside of Banaue, this little village is perched on a hill’s edge with incredible views of the valley. I stopped there, pulled out the drone, and took a flight to get an overview of the area. It was fun, not only because the views were beautiful, but because the drone served as such a nice ice-breaker into conversations with the locals. They all came out to chat. Then, I pushed on towards the village of Poitan. However, I managed to get totally lost on the way there and found myself wandering aimlessly through some rice terraces. By the time I found the trail down to Poitan, I was covered in mud all the way to my waist. Again, the hike down to Poitan was stunning. It cut across some rice terraces, but also carved along the cliff-side lending to some beautiful views of the area. By the afternoon, the rain rolled back in and cut into my dreams of shooting photos from the classic view of the rice terraces. No Batad, Bad Brendan! I had plans of catching a ride out to an area called Batad. The terraces out that way are meant to be the most beautiful in all The Philippines. However, it poured rain the whole day. And, if I’m being honest with you, I probably should have just fought through it anyways. Of course, the weather could have been better that way – although, to be fair to myself, it probably wasn’t. I hiked up to the viewpoint for sunrise, but struck out. Then, in the afternoon, I hiked up again...

Read More