Senja and Tromso, Arctic Norway Small Group Workshop
5th-14th March 2021

Abandoned house, Senja, Arctic Norway
Bergsbotn aurora, Senja, Arctic Norway

£ 2595 per person

Dragons (devils) teeth sunset, Tungeneset, Senja, Arctic Norway
Note - You will receive a full refund on any workshops that are cancelled, for example, as a result of government or FCO advice on Coronavirus


Winter is undoubtedly the best time photographically to visit the Arctic. The sun is low throughout the day, which is perfect for landscape photography, meaning we can shoot from sunrise to sunset in soft light. And of course we have the chance to photograph the Aurora when darkness falls.

This 9-night workshop to the arctic will take in some of the most breath-taking winter scenery anywhere on earth. The two areas that we will explore are absolutely stunning, and have the advantage of being relatively quiet and well away from the crowds of photographers in the Lofoten islands. In most cases we will have locations to ourselves. Senja in particular is relatively unknown by most, but is a photographers dream. Think epic landscapes, beaches and rorbu with or without falling snow in gorgeous winter light. March is the month with most snowfall in this area, so the mountains will be clad in snow and it is very likely that there will be a lot of snow at ground level. Both chosen areas have fantastic photographic potential for amazing photography during the daylight hours, as well as providing amazing possibilities for shooting the aurora.

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 watch and shoot this amazing phenomenon. I’ve been fortunate to shoot the aurora on many occasions in the arctic, so can help with settings, focussing, and composition as well as other techniques required to make successful aurora images.

During the day we’ll be shooting from sunrise through to sunset, weather permitting. 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: 9 nights

Accomodation / Itinerary

• Sommaroy Arctic Hotel, Sommaroy – Friday 5th March – Monday 8th March 2021 (3 nights). Twin room accomodation on a single occupancy basis with breakfast included.

On our first day we will arrive at Tromso airport and make the approx 1.5 hr drive across to Sommaroy. If there is active aurora we will head out on our first night; otherwise we will settle into the hotel in preparation for the following day. For the rest of the trip we will not have a fixed itinerary. We will constantly look at the prevailing weather conditions and select locations that will work to produce the best possible images.

• Mefjord Brygge, Senja – Monday 8th March – Saturday 13th March (5 nights) – twin room for single use, breakfast is included. This small hotel is ideally situated for exploring Senja, and has an excellent restaurant on-site. The drive across to Senja from Sommaroy takes around 4-5 hrs - we will very likely make some photographic stops en route, breaking up the journey.

• Comfort hotel Express, Tromso – Saturday 13th March (1 night) – we will stay here for our final night before catching flights back home on Sunday 14th March.


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


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

Why come on this workshop?

The aim of this workshop is not only to ensure that you are at fantastic locations at just the right time, but also to cater for your individual photographic needs. I will give you hands-on assistance in the field, particularly in relation to composition and camera settings, as well as passing on tips and techniques that I use to get the best images possible. Some of the techniques covered include
  • composition
  • reading light and using it effectively to create depth within your images
  • lens choice
  • use of filters
  • exposure
  • creating panoramic images
  • shooting in falling snow
  • shooting at night - exposure settings, focussing, composition

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. Expect temperatures anywhere between zero and minus 15C.

• Down filled jacket
• Base layers – top and bottom
• Warm weather proof trousers (ski pants 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. I would recommend microspikes over Yaktrax as they are better on ice, and could be essential depending on conditions.

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, and accept that there is a small degree of falls risk in an icy environment.

Group size

• Maximum 5 participants
• Minimum 3 participants

Deposit required

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