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Travelling to Iceland and Greenland, and the Arctic in general, requires a bit more thought into what clothing and photography gear you should bring. That’s why it’s understandable that one of the most asked questions I receive when participants prepare for a photo workshop is what they should pack for the trip. Not only in regards to the photography equipment they will be using but also what outdoor apparel they need to resist the elements. While every participant gets a detailed information document beforehand, I thought it would be interesting for those who have not yet joined a photo workshop to delve into a bit more detail with this blog.


Disclaimer: This article is not sponsored in any way. However, when you make a purchase using the links in this article, I may earn a small commission. 

Staying Warm & Dry With The Right Combination Of Outdoor Gear

Let’s begin with the perhaps least obvious for most people: outdoor clothing. When packing for countries such as Iceland & Greenland, you need to be clever about how you dress while also not overpacking. I highly recommend dressing in layers so you can easily adjust to rapidly changing conditions, which especially Iceland is known for. Adaptability in the field and being smart about how you build up layers, will make your outdoor photography experience much more enjoyable.

In short, these are the most important things to know:

  • Don’t overpack by bringing too much stuff you won’t wear or use!
  • Bring functional clothing and think about the fabric it’s made of.
  • Always dress in layers when going outdoors!
  • Make sure you have the ability to dress completely wind- and rainproof.

These are the most important pointers to me but let’s dive into a bit more detail to help you understand the ‘why’ behind them too.

Review - f-stop Ajna DuraDiamond Photography Backpack

It’s really important to make sure you are dressed sufficiently in a smart way. Using a layering system, you can undress and dress up whenever it gets too warm or too cold. Maintaining a stable temperature when outdoors will allow you to control sweating and maintain body heat.

Dressing In Layers Is Vital

Your best bet in staying comfortably warm and dry is by dressing in layers. Ideally, you want to use a 3-layer system which contains a base, mid and outer layer.

  • The base layer has to be effective at retaining heat when you sweat as that may cool you down. This can be achieved with, for example, a merino wool under-layer.
  • The mid layer has to help you retain body heat. This can be achieved with, for example, a fleece or woollen sweater, or a down jacket. Depending on the outdoor temperatures, you can add more than one of these.
  • The final, outer layer is intended to keep you protected from rain and wind. This can be with, for example, a shell jacket.

If you dress with this in mind, you should always be able to keep yourself warm while also retaining the ability to dress down when needed. If your body is keeping itself warm, for example when you’re hiking, you may want to layer down. As opposed to when you’re standing still for an extended period of time to, for example, take photographs, you may want to layer up again.

Outdoor & Photography Gear You Need On A Photo Workshop

Investing in a really good shell jacket that has exceptional waterproofing is not money wasted. Whether you get caught in a downpour, or stand underneath a waterfall, keeping yourself warm and dry is really important.

A Complete Packing List Suitable For Most Photo Workshops

Below is a detailed list of clothing you can bring on most photo workshops. To reiterate, every single one of my photo workshops comes with a detailed information document which includes a specific gear list for that photo workshop. The amount of items you should bring also depends on the duration of each photo workshop.

  • 3-4 merino woollen (long-sleeved) undershirts (as a base layer)
  • A merino woollen mid-layer (a top or light fleece that can be worn over the base layer)
  • A down/insulated jacket with a hood (for warmth above the base and mid layer)
  • A water- & windproof shell jacket (should fit worn over the down jacket)
  • Hiking trousers (wind/water resistant, and lined if possible)
  • Waterproof pants
  • 1-2x merino woollen leggings (for warmth below the hiking trousers)
  • Waterproof hiking boots (make sure they are sufficiently waterproofed, worn in and comfortable)
  • Optional insulated rubber boots (this can be useful on photo workshops where we may stand in cold water)
  • Lightweight comfortable trousers/joggers (to wear in the accommodation)
  • A t-shirt to sleep in
  • Lightweight trainers or slippers (to wear in the accommodation)
  • Sufficient amount of good warm woollen socks
  • Underwear (like base layers, we recommend merino wool)
  • A woollen hat to keep your head warm
  • A neck gaiter/buff to keep your neck warm 
  • Winter or summer gloves (I recommend using The Heat Company’s photography gloves which I reviewed)
  • Sunglasses

The Most Important Aspect: Photography Gear

Arguably the most important question participants have before departing on a photo workshop is what photography gear to bring.

While the required photography gear can be specific to each photo workshop (for example: on a bird photography photo workshop you won’t need a drone), the overall list of things to bring stays very similar. It’s also important that you don’t overburden yourself by bringing too much gear. This could for example be the case when you bring a variety of lenses that have overlapping focal lengths, or when you are considering bringing two versions of the same lens with varying apertures (one F/4 and the other F/2.8).

If you’re looking into minimising your photography gear, make sure to have a look at another blog I wrote with a few tips on how exactly to achieve that.

Outdoor & Photography Gear You Need On A Photo Workshop

While it’s certainly tempting to bring every little bit of gear you own, it may be wiser to keep your ‘gear footprint’ as small as possible. This is the gear I am taking on a trip to Antarctica & Patagonia.

Which Photography Gear Do You Need To Bring?

Below is a list of what we recommend you take on this photography workshop.

If you are interested in what photography gear I use, make sure to check out my dedicated Gear-page, which I keep updated whenever my setup changes.

Photography Backpack

I recommend carrying your photography gear in a sturdy & comfortable camera bag that is well adjusted to your body. On some photo workshops, we go hiking to get to the best locations so it’s important to have a good camera bag that doesn’t hold you back. 

If you are still looking for a good camera bag to hold all your equipment, I highly recommend having a look at the various bags sold by f-Stop. All photo workshop participants get a discount code for f-stop products in their information document when they sign up.

Camera Bodies

I highly recommend bringing a spare camera body, which can be used in case your main camera body gets damaged in some way. Additionally, during some photo workshops, such as in Greenland, it can greatly benefit you to have two camera bodies fitted with their own lens (for example: if you want to switch between a wide-angle and a telephoto lens). This will greatly speed up your workflow and will allow you to fully focus on shooting.

Outdoor & Photography Gear You Need On A Photo Workshop

Having a comfortable photography backpack is vital on a photo workshop, especially during hikes. The backpack in this photograph is the f-stop Ajna DuraDiamond, which I recently reviewed.


It is recommended that you try to cover at the very least the 16mm – 200mm range (full frame) with your lenses. In some cases, it’s even best to bring up to, or beyond, 400mm to get the best results. This is for example the case on a bird photography workshop or locations with a lot of open landscapes such as you can find in Iceland or Greenland.

Below are a few recommendations for the focal ranges you can cover:

  • 16-35mm (full frame) / 10-24mm (crop sensor)
  • 24-70mm (full frame) / 18-55mm (crop sensor) or 24-105mm (full frame) / 18-70mm (crop sensor)
  • 70-200mm (full frame) / 50-140mm (crop sensor)
  • 100-400mm (full frame) / 70-300mm (crop sensor)

If you have a 100-400mm (crop sensor equivalent of 70-300mm), you will want to take that one instead of a 70-200mm to give you extra flexibility. 

Photo Workshop Report: Highlands of Iceland (Mads Peter Iversen)

Considering what lenses to bring on a trip is really important. I love shooting with my telephoto lens and it will always be prioritised over any other lens if I run into issue with the maximum allowed weight.


You don’t have to use filters to get great photos but I recommend bringing at least 3 key filters on a photo workshop: a polariser and two neutral density (ND) filters (6 and 10 stop). These will enable you to do things that aren’t possible with Adobe Lightroom such as creating long exposures or polarising the light to remove reflections. It’s also possible to get graduated filters if you want but these days you can also achieve the same result (and better) with post processing in Adobe Lightroom.

If you are looking for a new filter set, I can highly recommend the Kase Filters Revolution. They are not only easy to use but nice and compact. You can learn more about them in my dedicated review.


It’s vital to bring a sturdy tripod on a photo workshop. A flimsy, cheaply made tripod won’t suffice & might even put your photography gear in danger of being damaged. We also recommend using an L-bracket so you can easily switch between horizontal and vertical orientation without diminishing the stability of your camera gear on the tripod.

Review - Kase Revolution Magnetic & Drone Filters

When purchasing a tripod, it’s important you don’t cheapen out and buy something that is sturdy enough to carry your expensive gear. In this photograph, I am also holding the Kase Filters Revolution set.


Iceland & Greenland offer some of the most stunning landscapes which are even more impressive when you can photograph them from the air. On those photo workshops that are not focused on bird photography, we highly recommend bringing a drone and preferably one which has great wind resistance. Additional drone batteries are a must as the charging capabilities during the day may be limited.

If you are still looking into what drone to purchase, I have a photography-focused drone buyer’s guide available on my blog.

Want to get a head start on how to get the best drone photographs? Make sure to check out my drone photography e-book. It’s the most comprehensive guide on drone photography and how to get the best results out of even the smallest drones on the market.

Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove flying a drone

Drone photography can give you a unique perspective on classic locations. Especially my photo workshops in the Icelandic Highlands are heavily drone focused.

Other Photography Accessories That Are Useful

There are also a number of smaller, useful items you can bring. Below I have listed a few of the handiest ones.

If you want to find in more detail what kind of photography items I find useful, make sure to check out my list of 5 useful items under 100USD.

5 Useful Tools Under 100USD For Landscape Photographers

Having a multitool on hand can be incredibly handy in the field when you need to tighten your tripod plates.

Join Me On A Photo Workshop

Join me and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey by signing up to a photo workshop in Iceland or Greenland. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of these stunning destinations while honing your photography skills. Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and more, under the guidance of experienced photographers.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, these workshops offer a unique opportunity to learn and practice various techniques, including drone photography. Don’t miss out on this incredible adventure that combines exploration, education, and the art of photography.

Previous Participants Shared This About Their Experience…

I took a 3 day photography workshop with Jeroen to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and had a wonderful experience. Jeroen has an infectious enthusiasm for photography and it really shows in his love of these Icelandic locations and the way he provides instruction on the best perspectives and techniques to get the shots. I appreciate that Jeroen is fully licensed to guide these workshop. This gives me peace of mind knowing that he’s prepared to handle most scenarios that may occur out in the field. Time to save up for my next workshop with Jeroen! Thanks so much, Jeroen!

Jarrick L.Private Workshop in October 2023

Well organised workshop with multiple stunning locations providing plenty of opportunities to capture great photos. When the opportunity arose to capture the Northern Lights, Jeroen’s knowledge made sure we were in the right locations to capture the lights at their best. Jeroen was always willing to help and pass on his knowledge to be able to have the best possible composition to capture stunning photos. I can’t thank Jeroen and Mads enough for a great workshop and creating memories that will last a lifetime. I look forward to doing more workshops in the future with Jeroen and highly recommended anyone interested in a photography workshop to do it and learn from the best.

Jordan G.Iceland in Winter Workshop in November 2023

I had the privilege of going on the Puffins in the midnight sun workshop which was an amazing experience. Anja and Jeroen were both absolutely amazing hosts and the workshop exceeded my expectations. Both were very approachable with any questions and provided the appropriate level of advice, allowing me to improve my photography.

Jeff M.Puffins in the Midnight Sun Workshop in June 2023

In July 2023 I decided to book a 5 days private tour with Jeroen to the highlands. This was a complete different experience. We visited remote and amazing locations, I could not find this locations without Jeroens guidance. Jeroen has a incredible local knowledge, a great enthusiasm, a perfect planning and also very important, a lot of patience. I enjoyed the 5 days with Jeroen very much, he is a very accommodating person with agreat sense of humor. During our tour we had a lot of fun and with his assistance I made my best Iceland shots ever, most of them with my Mavic 3 Pro drone. Thank you very much Jeroen for this unique experience, I hope we will plan the next tour in 2024 together.

Wolfgang S.Private Highlands Workshop in July 2023

I really enjoyed guided hike with Jeroen. He knows a lot about the volcanos so you won't have only amazing experience but you can also learn a lot from him. Perfect and easy communication. Thank you again for this "stillcantbelievethatitwasreal" experience!

Veronika S.Private Eruption Hike in August 2023

… The itinerary was well thought out, but allowed for flexibility of weather conditions and the eruption of Meradalir! Jeroen is knowledgeable, helpful, thoughtful & has a great sense of humour. He regularly checked-in with us to all make sure we were happy and offered assistance in our photography, especially for drones. I felt safe, entertained & learned so much during the workshop. The accommodation & food during the trip were also amazing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or attend another workshop.

Rhiannon L.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022

Greenland 2023 was an incredible experience, in a truly epic location with an amazing group of people. Andy and Jeroen are true professionals in every sense, with a passion for photography that is infectious to the group. I felt challenged to explore styles of photography that pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, and having their guidance as well as the group to share ideas with helped me grow as a photographer. Andy seems to have a knack for creating an inclusive environment around him that brings the group together, inspires, builds friendships, and elevates the experience to an enjoyable and unforgettable one. Jeroen is very knowledgeable, easy going, and talented photographer and it was a pleasure spending the week with him. I truly cannot recommend highly enough.

Chris D.Greenland Photo Workshop in March 2023

… It was one of the most wonderful trips of adventure, exhilaration mixed with wonder and awe of the surrounding beauty. None of that would have been possible without the expert guidance, local knowledge, sense of enthusiasm and detailed planning by Jeroen. We were lucky to him as an expert driver while we wondered over terrain that is unfamiliar to most people, but Jeroen made us feel confidant that we were in safe hands. Moreover his love for photography, landscape and culture of Iceland is contagious and made the trip all the more special. Whether you call him the “Volcano man” or the “drone man” his photography is extraordinary. I would go back in a heartbeat to spend time exploring more of Iceland with him.

Sarfraz D.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022

… Everything about it was excellent – it is clear that Jeroen puts huge effort into ensuring he provides a first class experience for his participants – the itinerary was thorough, but flexible to get the best out of the weather and volcanic eruption conditions. Jeroen ensures that everybody is safe (important in such an environment) as well as maintaining a pace that works for all. On top of this, his knowledge about Iceland is broad and deep making him an excellent tour guide as well as an accomplished photographer. I can highly recommend a workshop or tour with Jeroen and I do hope that I get to enjoy another workshop with him in the future.

Jon A.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022

I was fortunate to accompany both Andy Mumford and Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove to Ilulissat, Greenland. I've done guided photography tours before, but this was without a doubt the most enjoyable experience. The comradery of the group combined with the positive attitude and humor of both Andy and Jeroen was fabulous. Lodging + food were a step above what I was expecting and were memorable experiences in and of themselves. Zero regrets and while in Greenland, I discussed what other tours I could add my name onto the waitlist for. Recommended without hesitation.

Michael M.Greenland Photo Workshop in March 2023

It became clear that Jeroen is very familiar with the beauty of Iceland, but also with the possible dangers of its natural elements. He took us to the highlights, but also guided us to a number of hidden marvels. And always he knew something interesting to tell about the location. On the creativity side, Jeroen did not intervene at all on location – unless requested for. So we all could explore our own creativity. This definitely tastes for more. And I will definitely call Jeroen again.

Koen D.Private Photography Tour in March 2016

It was a pleasure to have a look behind the scences on how Jeroen works. His photos look so natural as he knows where to be in the right place at the right time. I’ve received a lot of professional advice and feedback on how to create stunning landscape images. You did an amazing job and I can’t thank you enough!

Adında M.Private Photography Tour in November 2017

… Imagine being taken to locations so amazing that the erupting volcano wasn’t even one of the top 5. This was an EPIC adventure through a place traversed by few people. We had the guidance and support needed to capture amazing photos and learn to use our drones effectively, incredible food and accommodations, and access to Jeroen’s incredible wealth of knowledge to keep us safe in face of unstable cliffs, weird weather, and other craziness. I can’t wait to join another tour with Jeroen.

Richard S.Highlands Photo Workshop in August 2022

If you want to explore Iceland with your camera you’re blessed with a guide like Jeroen. He knows and understands the country so well. He really makes an effort to visit every location at the best possible moment of the day. He knows so many beautiful locations so that he’s also able to improvise when the weather conditions are not that great. He will bring you to lots of beautiful places that are less touristic and where you can take the time to fully explore your camera trying to capture this unique landscape.

Stefaan M.Private Photography Tour in March 2016

… And my expectations of his guided tour were indeed the highlight of my short vacation. Not only the sights where breathtaking but also Jeroen’s personal anecdotes and explanation in an easy way over this ever changing landscape building itself was a great surplus to my hiking experience. He is not only passionate about telling you the story behind the views that unfolds before your eyes during the hike, but he lets you also walk at your own pace without looking to his watch as on many other organised larger tours. So folks if you look for an unique guided personal tour, I would really recommend this great guide. From me personally he earns withouth doubt 5* !

John V.Private Guided Eruption Hike in October 2021

Support Jeroen’s Work

As an independent photographer, Jeroen partially relies on your support to keep producing worthwhile content such as blogs, photographs, books and much more. If you want to support his work, it is possible to do so by buying his e-books & books, prints or calendars.

You can also sign up to the newsletter to stay up to date on new blog posts, projects, workshops and other interesting information. Additionally, signing up grants you a 10% discount on your next purchase.

Thank you for considering!

Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

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