Arctic Norway - Off the beaten track
22-29 February 2020
Fully booked

Last light on dragons teeth, Senja, Arctic Norway

More images can be found within this gallery...

Arctic Norway is quite simply stunningly beautiful. Dramatic snow-clad mountains rise straight from the sea, red arctic rorbu dot the landscape, and sea eagles swoop in search of fish.

Whilst many photographers head for the Lofoten islands, there are other areas that are equally if not more dramatic. It is two such areas that we will visit in this off the beaten track workshop. This two centre, 7-night workshop will take in some of the most breath-taking winter scenery anywhere on earth – and hopefully we will be lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis. At this time of year arctic Norway is at its most beautiful: the mountains will probably be clad in snow and there may well be snow at ground level. Both areas have fantastic photographic potential for amazing photography during the daylight hours, as well as providing amazing possibilities for shooting the aurora. We may well also glimpse otters, sea eagles and reindeer.

The dates have been chosen to coincide with dark, moonless skies, meaning that if the Aurora is active and skies are clear we will have a fantastic opportunity to witness and shoot this unforgettable spectacle. I’ve been fortunate to shoot the aurora on many occasions in the arctic and in Iceland, so can help with composition as well as the techniques required to make successful aurora images.

During the day we’ll be up before dawn to shoot beautiful arctic sunrises, and will shoot right throughout the day to sunset. This time of year gives an excellent amount of light for daytime shooting. At each of the two locations we will not have a fixed itinerary – we will decide on a daily basis what locations will work depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

Remember that this tour takes place during the Arctic winter, and occasionally storms / adverse weather can make travel more difficult. Safety will always take priority. If the weather is unfavourable during the day we can spend some time on image processing, reviewing images or discussing photography.

Duration: 7 nights


• Sommaroy Arctic Hotel, Sommaroy - Saturday 22nd February – Monday 24th February (2 nights). Twin room accomodation on a single occupancy basis with breakfast included.

• Hamn I Senja, Senja - Monday 24th February – Sat 29th February (5 nights) – the accommodation here will comprise 2 x 3 bedroom apartments. Breakfast is included. Each apartment has a living room area, useful for socialising / chatting, and each room has private bathroom facilities.


• 7 nights accommodation
• breakfasts
• all transportation during the workshop
• Tuition from Mark McColl


• Flights
• Insurance
• Lunches / dinners / snacks / drinks not mentioned above

Equipment needed

• Camera body (plus a spare as backup if you have it)
• Batteries
• Lenses – from wide angle to telephoto. I’ll be taking a 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-300mm lens.
• Fast wide angle – f2.8 at minimum to capture the Aurora, a 16-35mm f2.8 would be ideal.
• Tripod
• Lens cleaning equipment – a methanol based cleaning liquid (eg. Eclipse) is ideal as it doesn’t freeze at sub-zero temperatures.
• Plenty of SD / CF cards
• Laptop and external hard disk to back up images each night


It will be cold but hopefully not to an extreme degree – we will be staying and shooting in mainly coastal locations which will keep the temperature a bit higher than inland, where temperatures can hit minus 30C. On my recent trip temperatures fell as low as minus 13C when shooting at dawn.

• Down filled jacket or arctic park
• Base layers – top and bottom
• Warm weather proof trousers (ski pants are ideal)
• Hat / gloves / hand warmers
• Warm socks
• Boots / arctic wellies (eg. North Face Chilkats, Muckboot arctic sport)
• Microspikes (eg. Kahtoola) / Yaktrax ) in case ground is icy / slippery. Microspikes provide more traction in icy conditions than Yaktrax.

Fitness level

• Moderate – it is not anticipated that we will do extensive, physically demanding walking. As with any outdoor activity slips, trips and falls are all a risk, particularly in an arctic environment. All participants must have adequate health insurance in place.

Group size

• Maximum 5 participants

Deposit required

• To guarantee a place on this trip a deposit of £400 is required