Skip to main content

Level up your skills with the most comprehensive & complete guide for drone photography! Click here for more info.

Two weeks ago I hosted my final photo workshop of 2023 – together with Mads Peter Iversen. Joined by a group of 9 photo workshop participants we explored the south coast of Iceland during 8 days at the end of November. That time of year is characterised by the fact that the shorter days are filled with golden light pretty much the whole day – providing the weather cooperates. During this final photo workshop of the year, we were extremely fortunate with multiple colourful sunsets and sunrises – and even great northern lights! Want to know how it went in more detail? Let’s find out!


Interested in joining the 2024 edition of Iceland in Winter (with Mads Peter Iversen)? It’s now possible to sign up! Check out this dedicated page for all the information.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

Photographing the Diamond Beach is such a joy, especially when you get golden light the whole morning. Here you can see Mads at work photographing a beautiful curved piece of ice.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

We had a great time with the group. Only happy faces with all the stunning light we had been seeing for almost the whole trip. This was taken just after a great sunrise session at Vestrahorn.

Photo Workshop Report

Being the last photo workshop I hosted for 2023 it was by no means the least photo workshop I hosted this year. In fact, we got such good light, so often, that it was definitely in my top 3 photo workshops this year in terms of photography conditions.

On the first full day of the photo workshop, we headed out of Reykjavík to a nearby lake. There we aimed to photograph a rock stack. There were no clouds which meant we got really hard but very golden light. This remained throughout the day and therefore we skipped some locations in favour of others based on how good they would be in that specific light. Because the days are rather short in November, we were on a tight schedule to squeeze as much as possible out of the day. We ended on a very high note with a gorgeous sunset at the Reynisdrangar sea stacks near Vík. In the evening we went out to photograph the aurora but unfortunately, the forecasted activity did not come to fruition but it was good to be out and practice night photography.

On the second day, we started off with a very colourful sunrise photographing the same sea stacks but from a different angle. The colours were amazing and we tried to make the most out of it as the weather would take a turn for the worse. Later on that day, and on the third day, we got to experience a classic Icelandic storm which meant a lot of wind and a lot of rain. However, we managed to get some good shots out of the day. We had an excellent experience near one of the most iconic mountains along the south coast which peaked out of the clouds just as we were about to have lunch next to it.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

We had perfect conditions when we photographed sunrise at Dyrhólaey. I especially liked the view towards the Reynisdrangar sea stacks which were covered in a hint of fog. I keep shooting until these geese were in a pleasing position above the sea stacks.

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 100-500mm (

After the storm cleared mostly, it still remained extremely windy. Even though that was the case, we still decided to go for a drive at night to check if we could spot some aurora. After reading the weather forecasts in detail, we found a spot in-between snowshowers and heavy clouds. We were incredibly lucky and got about one hour of opportunities to photograph the northern lights.

The next morning, we started out by photographing the Diamond Beach. Even though the weather conditions weren’t perfect, we still went ahead as it was good practice for everyone. This was especially important knowing that no one had ever photographed there before. This helped a lot for everyone when on the next day, we did get a great colourful sunrise. During the afternoon we visited an ice cave, after which we ended up at the Diamond Beach again for sunset. After an early dinner, we followed with another aurora chasing session at the Glacier Lagoon. Unbelievable but true, we parked the car at the lagoon and right away the show began. We spent several hours near the ice in the lagoon and got some incredible shots, which I have yet to edit.

The trip continued in a successfully with a stunning sunrise at the Diamond Beach, an epic sunset at Eystrahorn and another gorgeous sunrise at Vestrahorn. It seemed like the epic light would never end on this photo workshop. However, on the last day we got moody and foggy weather again but that didn’t matter. Everyone was already fulfilled after the last few days. To end on a high note, we made a quick stop at Brúarfoss, a beautiful blue waterfall, before heading back to Reykjavík.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

We were able to squeeze in three separate sessions at Breiðamerkursandur, where the “Diamond Beach” is located, with great light. Thanks to my waterproof pants and rubber/neoprene boots I did not get wet feet at all.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

One of the highlights of this photo workshop was definitely seeing the northern lights at Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon.

Flying the DJI Mavic 3 Pro above a glacier

For the photo workshops I host, I organise the required permits so we can fly our drones in restricted locations. Even though this particular workshop isn’t heavy on drone flying, we did manage to get several sessions in.

But I won’t do all the raving about this photo workshop. Here are a few reviews that some of the participants left behind on my Google Business profile.

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 was clearly the star on this trip – this amazing country was again exceeding expectations – with waterfalls, northern lights, glaciers and the breathtaking winter sun. Jeroen is a fantastic guide who knows the country super well and can talk for hours on volcanos, the origin of the auroras and other topics on Iceland. The locations to shoot were well selected and Jeroen and his partner Mads had a superior understanding for the best light as well as what to do when it was raining and not pleasant at all outside. We even managed to shoot the norther lights about the Glacier Lagoon – definitely one of the best photo opportunities of the trip. The group was very nice and over the eight days being together – a good chemistry developed among the participants. The trip would haven even better with some more time spend on post-processing & equipment technology – but in any case, there could be more workshops with Jeroen to come in Iceland. I can just recommend warmly!

Sören G.

My Five Favourite Images From This Photo Workshop

During this photo workshop along the south coast of Iceland we were blessed with exceptional conditions. The amount of photographs I returned home with, of which I feel they are keepers, was very high. While I did fly my drone on this trip, I felt my best images were taken with the camera. On top of that, most of my favourites were even taken with my wide-angle lens which has become a rather rare occurrence for me.

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

The light during this sunset session at Eystrahorn, in East Iceland, really stood out for me. The conditions were absolutely stunning. The first vantage point was easily my favourite and I kept photographing this angle until I got the waves just right. By using a slightly longer exposure, the waves sort of curve up towards the mountain in the background.

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 14-35mm (

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

On the very first full day of the photo workshop we were met with golden hour all day long. This meant that we focused our shoots to cater to locations that would work best in that light. One of those locations are the Reynisdrangar sea stacks which are perfect for sunset that time of year. As look would have it, a flock of geese flew past the stacks. Believe it not, this was the first photograph I took after stepping out of the car. I shot this from the parking lot!

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 100-500mm (

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

I love photographing at the so-called Diamond Beach. During the third attempt we made, the light was gorgeous. Even before the sun hit the beach directly, the colours in the sky were just right. This is my favourite shot out of hundreds I captured that morning. By using a long exposure as the waves came in I managed to get this “streaking” effect.

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 14-35mm (

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

The first morning of the photo workshop we decided to begin our shoot at a lesser known location. I really like this rock formation standing in the lake. I have visited this location many times before and I always try to find new angles. I found this particular wide-angle composition at the end of the visit. I really like how the rock complements the crack in the foreground.

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 14-35mm (

Photo Workshop Report - Iceland In Winter (with Mads)

We had a beautiful morning at this famous mountain range. We immediately set out to the beach to photograph the reflections left by the retreating waves. The colours were stunning and I would even say better before sunrise than after. This is just one of many shots I was able to take.

This image was taken using the Canon EOS R5 ( + Canon RF 14-35mm (

Join Us In 2024!

Join Mads Peter Iversen & Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove on an epic adventure along Iceland’s wintery south coast. During this workshop get to see why Iceland is captivating so many photographers around the world. The most colourful slow-changing sunsets & sunrises, ice covered waterfalls, snowcapped mountains and crystal blue ice caves are just some of the few highlights we get a chance to experience during the day. While at night, if we’re lucky, we will see the sky fill up with intense northern lights dancing overhead. Experiencing Iceland in winter is a must for any landscape photographer!

Disclaimer: when you make a purchase using the Amazon links in this article, Jeroen may earn a small commission.

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.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.