I’ve wanted to go to Iceland for years and years. Even before I got into photography, I had something of a fascination with the place. It always seemed like a different world from the point of view of its remoteness and bizarre landscape. This feeling was enhanced by my fondness of the ethereal music by the likes of Björk and Sigur Rós.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been viewing some rather excellent images of Icelandic landscapes on various sites like Flickr and 500px (including those from the famous Rebekka) and decided that I really, really must get myself there with a bag full of lenses, a tripod and an SLR. However, I soon discovered that the costs were likely to be prohibitive for what would be a few days to take some pictures. I embarked on some research to explore the possibility of doing an Icelandic photography trip on the cheap. What did I find?
I’ve not been yet; the trip is scheduled for later this summer (which incidentally should be fantastic with 20+ hours of sunlight and the longest golden hours of twilight possible) although most aspects of the trip are already organised. We decided that a campervan was the only way forward for a photography trip; hosteling or hoteling meant not only higher costs, but inflexibility both in terms of the overall itinerary and timing throughout the day (I expect we’ll want to be up and about in the twilight hours, and get some kip during the day). So what have we planned?
- Flights – £150 return – Iceland Air from Heathrow. Cheap and easy.
- Car /campervan hire. The sad reality is that car hire in Iceland is unbelievably expensive, easily running to well over £1000 for a five day trip. Campervans- even more. So we have gone cheap. And small. Very cheap and small but it’s only €470 for 5 nights / days from Go Car Rental.
- Accommodation– not needed (although how much sleep it will be possible to get in the campervan is yet to be determined).
- Food – from what I’ve read it’s not cheap – and logistically I’m not sure what we’ll be able to get when in the middle of nowhere. Packing some instant noodles and cereal bars will be a good idea.
- Fuel – not expensive compared to the UK so I’ve heard.
Perhaps an unexpected and unplanned expense has been the purchase of an additional lens. For sure, I didn’t need to but the legendary Canon TS-e 24mm II for the trip, but the prospect of 5 days of landscape photography in Iceland certainly had an influence on my decision :). And then of course was the Lee Filter system including the big stopper that is a natural accompaniment to such a splendid piece of glass. But I digress – this aren’t real costs of the trip – but merely serve to illustrate the escalation of costs that can happen in the world of amateur photography.
To be honest I can’t wait. The weather is likely to be crap. The campervan is likely to be very uncomfortable. I may well develop scurvy. But I’m sure it will be worth it.