Iceland’s Focus On Nature workshops unique photographic experiences.

Watch highlights of my 2009 Iceland workshop in this video.

See the images participants made here.

Sign up for my 2010 Iceland workshop here.

Focus On Nature’s Einar Erlandsson asked me about my thoughts on my past (2008) and future (2009) workshop in Iceland, as well as my approach to teaching.

Here’s an excerpt.

Q: Do you see the light in Iceland as being different in some way?

A: Iceland’s light is ever changing. It moves so fast you have to stay alert.

Q: What in the landscape inspires you?

A: Extreme variety. Intense energy. Challenging complexity.

Q: Do you feel that the Icelandic workshop is different or has a character you can explain in few words to participants?

A: Iceland, both the landscape and its people, has a unique character. It’s very complex landscape with astonishing geologic variety – rugged seascapes, glacial lagoons, active volcanoes, Europe’s largest icecap, Europe’s only desert. The culture is simultaneously ancient (oldest European language, isolated genetic strain, different surname conventions) and high tech (cutting edge geothermal and computer technology). The people behind Focus on Nature are all professional photographers each with a lifetime of experience in Iceland. They know all the ins and outs of the place, the hidden spots and unusual people who would go unnoticed by someone without that experience. They’re extremely gracious. When it’s cold, Raggi pulls out a surprise stash of Russian Cognac. When it’s raining, Einar is suddenly found standing next to a student – with an umbrella. Everyday you’ll be surprised. You’ll get lost in Iceland. Be careful. If you go, you may not want to leave and you’ll definitely have to go again.

Read the rest here.

See my past Iceland blogposts including participant work here.

Space is still available. 10% discounts apply through April.

One of the things that makes a workshop in a foreign destination great is local knowledge. Focus On Nature’s Einar Erlandson is an Iceland native – his family history in Iceland goes back over 1000 years. Iceland’s more than geography to him. It’s his personal and family history. He knows all the nooks and crannies to get into, the backroads and the sideways that take you to remarkable places you’d never find without a lifetime’s worth of experience. He’s taught photography for years and knows not only how to make successful images but also how to help others learn to make their own successful images. That kind of insight and guidance is invaluable.

Even though Einar Erlandson is an Icelandic native  enlists local photographers who’ve lived their whole lives here to add to his extensive body of knowledge of the terrain and its history. They’ve seen new islands emerge; seen volcanoes wipe out villages; seen Rekjavik grow.

From your trusted information sources, you want to more than experience – you want specific kinds of experience. Focus On Nature enlists the help of many local professional photographers. Professional photographers know what conditions make good photographs. They know not only what’s interesting, but also if a location is interesting photographically. They know when to go; weather and light can dramatically change a location visually. And they know what types of images have been made at those locations – and they’re willing to share it all.

Bottom line, when on location, enlist local knowledge whenever you can. The time spent getting to know locals is worth its weight in gold. And you make new friends!

Find out more about Focus on Nature here.
Get Priority Status for all 2009 workshops now by emailing einar@focusonnature.is.

15 years ago, Einar Erlendsson had a dream. Start a photographic workshop program in Iceland. Offer people from all over the world an opportunity to experience a unique land. Immerse them in its culture, history, geology, climate, and biology. Help them make more compelling images. Inspire them to share their experiences with a wider audience. Tonight that dream came true. The first workshop began. (Vincent Versace and I coteach a special weekend workshop before my weeklong workshop Illuminating Creativity – Icleand starts.) It was an emotional moment for all of us – but, of course, particularly for Einar who navigated over a decade of obstacles to make this a reality. He’s got a lot of great ideas for unique workshop experiences that will develop rapidly next year. Driving on glaciers? Exploring ice caves? Diving in underwater caves? Walking in volcanoes? It’s all coming soon.

Focus on Nature has a  dual meaning and a dual purpose. It’s not just designed to promote photography. It’s also designed to promote the environment and sustainable land use practices. It’s a message in line with the spirit of the Icelandic nation – the largest exporter of geothermal technology in the world. There’s a lot more that can and will be said on this subject. Stay tuned to the Focus on Nature website.

15 years ago, Einar Erlendsson had a dream. Start a photographic workshop program in Iceland. Offer people from all over the world an opportunity to experience a unique land. Immerse them in its culture, history, geology, climate, and biology. Help them make more compelling images. Inspire them to share their experiences with a wider audience. Tonight that dream came true. The first workshop began. (Vincent Versace and I coteach a special weekend workshop before my weeklong workshop Illuminating Creativity – Icleand starts.) It was an emotional moment for all of us – but, of course, particularly for Einar who navigated over a decade of obstacles to make this a reality. He’s got a lot of great ideas for unique workshop experiences that will develop rapidly next year. Driving on glaciers? Exploring ice caves? Diving in underwater caves? Walking in volcanoes? It’s all coming soon.

Focus on Nature has a  dual meaning and a dual purpose. It’s not just designed to promote photography. It’s also designed to promote the environment and sustainable land use practices. It’s a message in line with the spirit of the Icelandic nation – the largest exporter of geothermal technology in the world. There’s a lot more that can and will be said on this subject. Stay tuned to the Focus on Nature website.

Find out more about Focus on Nature here.
New dates for 2009 are now available.
Vincent Versace August 10-14
John Paul Caponigro August 17-21, 2009 Iceland workshop here.
Stephen Johnson TBA.
New instructors and dates will be announced soon.
Get Priority Status for all Focus on Nature workshop here.
Or, get Priority Status for all 2009 workshops now by emailing einar@focusonnature.is.


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