Workshops

Arctic Norway - Senja and Sommaroy
4th-14th March 2022 (10 nights)
Co-Led by Mark McColl and Lee Frost
Fully booked

Arctic dawn, Bergsbotn, Senja, Norway
Abandoned house, Senja, Arctic Norway
Arctic Norway - Senja and Sommaroy
4th-14th March 2022 (10 nights)
£3095 per person (deposit £300)
Dragons (devils) teeth sunset, Tungeneset, Senja, Arctic Norway
Bergsbotn aurora, Senja, Arctic Norway
I'm delighted to have again teamed up with internationally renowned landscape photographer Lee Frost to co-lead this workshop. If you haven’t visited the arctic before, prepare yourself for some mind-blowing landscape photography. We’ll fly into Tromso, sitting at 69 degrees north and 300 km inside the arctic circle. From there, we’ll explore the area west towards Sommaroy, before moving on to Senja, Norways second largest island. This 10-night workshop to the arctic will take in some of the most truly breath-taking winter scenery anywhere on earth.

We’ll spend our first 3 nights at the Sommaroy Arctic hotel, around an hours drive from Tromso. The hotel is in a stunning location, and from there we’ll be well-placed to not only explore Sommaroy itself, but also visit locations such as Esfjordbotn, Grotfjord and Tromvik. There are many stopping points along the way depending on weather conditions, and there are a number of locations where we could shoot aurora if conditions are on our side. At this time of year, the mountains will almost certainly be clad in snow and there will likely be significant snow at ground level.

The next 6 nights will be spent on Senja, around 5 hours drive from Sommaroy. Senja is less well-known than the Lofoten islands for example, but equally stunning. Think snow clad mountains rising straight from the sea, red rorbu (fishing cabins) in idyllic settings, and empty beaches. Whilst on Senja we will visit locations such as Bergsbotn, the Devils teeth at Tungeneset, Hamn, Ersfjord, and Mefjordbotn as well as shooting from many other stopping points. There are a number of beautiful Rorbu in this area and we will spend time shooting them in all sorts of conditions, hopefully including snowfall. Again there are lots of possible locations for aurora photography on Senja.

For this workshop we will travel in two 9-seater vans. 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 phenomenon. Lee and Mark have both been fortunate to shoot the aurora on many occasions before, so can help with composition as well as the techniques required to make successful aurora images. Bear in mind that we cannot guarantee that you will see the northern lights, but we will do our best to be in the right location if the aurora is active and there are clear skies.

During the day we’ll be up before dawn to hopefully shoot beautiful arctic sunrises, and will shoot 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: 10 nights

Accomodation

• Sommaroy Arctic Hotel, Sommaroy – Friday 4th March 2022 – Monday 7th March 2022 (3 nights). Twin room accomodation on a single occupancy basis with breakfast included.

• Mefjord Brygge, Senja – Monday 7th March – Sunday 13th March 2022 (6 nights) – twin room for single use, with breakfast included. This small hotel is ideally situated for exploring Senja, and has an excellent restaurant on-site.

• Clarion Edge Hotel, Tromso – Sunday 13th March 2022 (1 night) – rooms are either twin or double for single occupancy including breakfast. We will stay here for our final night before catching flights back home on Monday 14th March.


Included

• 10 nights accommodation
• breakfasts
• all transportation during the workshop
• Tuition from Lee Frost and Mark McColl

Excluded

• 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. A 16-35mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and a 70-300mm lens would cover most subjects.
• 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
• If you have a drone – bring it along!

Clothing

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 10 participants (spread across 2 x nine-seater vans)

Booking

This workshop can be booked through Lee Frost's website at Lee Frost Photography