Iceland on a sailing yacht with Alla Mirovskaya

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Jul 15, 2016 – Jul 25, 2016

Genre: Travel, Landscape, Art

The workshop has been completed

Manager: Alla Mirovskaya

Photos of the workshop participants

Here you can view the photos, taken by the workshop participants. These are the best works, selected by the master in the process of joint discussions.


© Dmitry Kuznetsov

© Valeriy Shvetsov

© Natalia Tutova

349 photos from 9 authors

Lead photographer

Alla Mirovskaya

Alla Mirovskaya was born in Moscow (Russia) and lives and works in Moscow (Russia). She graduated from Moscow school of Contemporary photography Photoplay, Foundation of information and cultural projects "FotoDepartament", program "Photography as a research", 2011-2014. Alla's work has been exhibited in national and international group shows. She is author of the art-books: Midnight Sun ( self published, 2015), Distant & Close ( self published, 2014). Alla is a participant at the Athens Photo Festival, 2015; Moscow International Photobiennale - 2014, 2015; Manifesta 10 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia (parallel program); International festival Photobook Week Aarhus (Aarhus, Denmark, 2014); International Month of Photography (Minsk, Belarus, 2014). The project "Distant and Close" was ed for the shortlist in the Rock You Dummy Contest, Paris 2013 and Рhotobook Contest of the Athens Photo Festival, 2015.


Distant & Close, revue by GUPMAGAZINE.COM (Netherlands) 2014,
Interview for URBANAUTICA.COM (Italy),
Black Square, L'Oeil de la Photographie (France), 2014,
Distant & Close, L'Oeil de la Photographie (France), 2013,
Espace Quelconque, L'Oeil de la Photographie (France), 2013,
Distant & Close, Feature Shoot (USA), 2013 and others.

List of participants is visible to the club members, who have attended at least one workshop.

About the workshop

We invite you on an unusual journey to Westfjords, Iceland — a distant region very much off the tourist-beaten path that feels like the ends of the earth.

Our journey will begin in Rejkjavik. First we’ll travel to Ísafjörður, the capital of Westfjords , and then the Aurora, a 60-ft yacht, will tak us on a six-day voyage through the Atlantic. We’ll sail on a rare course, open only two months out of twelve during Miðnætursól, Midnight Sun — a time of the year when the sun never quite sets in Iceland.

We’ll visit Hornstrandir Peninsula, a natural preserve humans have abandoned over 60 years ago. It’s a stern and wildly beautiful place even for Iceland, with gorgeous fjords, hammering ocean waves, rapid weather changes, blooming meadows and bare rocks, black-sand beaches, abandoned villages, valleys and mountains — nature in its pristine serenity. We’ll see fjords that rise like great black crests from the ocean, where snow never melts, and towering cliffs dotted with birds, fast upland rivers, an old graveyard, a whaling station, desolate plateaus and waterfalls.

During the trip we’ll live on the yacht, putting in occasionally to go on shore for hiking and photography. We’ll enjoy freedom from civilization, which can only be found in such remote corners of the world, and as a little bonus all who sign up will receive a copy of the photo album with the best pictures from the trip.

Program hide

Day 1. Friday, July 15th

The group gathers in Rejkjavik. We’ll get to know each other, portfolios will be reviewed, then expect a short lecture — «The philosophy of modern photography.»

Day 2. Saturday, July 16th

In the day we’ll explore Rejkjavik on foot — the downtown, the Hallgrímskirkja church, Sæbraut quay, the Harpa concert hall and other places touted and not touted with Alla Mirovskaya, this trip’s group guide. Rejkjavik is like a home away from home to her. In the evening we’ll look through and discuss the pictures taken so far.

Day 3. Sunday, July 17th

Transfer to Ísafjörður. We’ll go there by shuttle and spend some 8 hours on the road, with several stops to admire and snap up particularly amazing bits of the Icelandic landscape. We’ll get to Ísafjörður in the late hours.

Day 4. Monday, July 18th

We’ll explore Ísafjörður in the morning and evening. There are many sights worth seeing here: a street that runs straight into a fjord, the Westfjords Heritage Museum, the harbor, fresh coffee and cookies at an original coffee house Gamla Bakaríið, founded in 1887. When evening comes, we’ll leave the city to start on our journey on the Aurora around Hornstrandir, the preserve peninsula.

It is a perfect place for dreamers and lovers of exotic places. The peninsula is the extreme northwest of Iceland. It’s very beautiful and awe-inspiring, but humans have left it over 60 years ago. One of the few ways to visit it now is with a group on a hired ship. The Aurora will cast the anchor in a new place every day. We’ll see flower-filled valleys, sand beaches, deep-cutting fjords and cliffs that shoot for the sky. Footpaths wind between the ravines and bays and give astonishing views on the sea and mountains. The landscape and the local arctic fauna are protected and flourish here. The peninsula’s plant life is impressive too, with two meter-high grass swaying on the shores and in low lands, flowers in the meadows. Whortle and blackberry can be found on the the hills in summer.

We set out from Ísafjörðurа at 7 p.m. and spend the evening on the Atlantic. Then the yacht will put in and we’ll go out in the night — quite a white night — on our first photo hike. The fjords glitter fantastically in the light of the midnight sun, which this time of the year at Iceland’s latitude stays above the horizon.

Day 5. Tuesday, July 19th

Next stop is the tiny Vigur Island. Here survives the only old-fashioned windmill in Iceland as well as a peculiar house built, or rather converted from an eight-oar skiff, in 1860. It’s been restored not long ago. Victoria, the mistress of the house, will treat us to coffee and bread, and afterwards we can explore the island. In the afternoon we’ll sail to the glacier and brush close by its majestic cliffs. If weather is good we can go on foot to Grunnavík Bay, then come back to the yacht and sail for Hesteyri village, where we can put in for the night. The last of the villagers have left this place in the 1950s, but many of their descendents keep their houses in order and use them as summer retreats. We’ll have enough time to explore the village a bit, then come visit Hrolfur, one such part-time resident of Hesteyri. He’s a jazz musician and a composer. At the end of the day we’ll review the pictures and listen to a lecture called «Photography: the image and the imago» — if we have the strength for education after a full day outdoors.

Day 6. Wednesday, July 20th

There are several fine options for the morning, all of them interesting from the photographic point of view. We can visit the ruins of a whaling station, finally shut down in 1940, or cross a little plateau on foot to Adalvik Bay on the other side of the peninsula, or sail around. At sea along the shore we’ll see wrecks of ships that ran aground here in the 1950s-60s, possibly razorbacks, cavies and dolphins. We can try our hand at ocean fishing and perhaps catch some cod or haddock for dinner or hike it from Hesteyri to the abandoned Slett farm with an astonishing view on the bays. Or we can cross the mountains to an old church in Stadur, which stands on a buttercup-carpeted bank of a remote lake with crystal-clear water. Around the priest’s house grows ankle-high dwarf birch. The yachts will be waiting for us in Sæból We’ll conclude the day with a picture review.

Day 7. Thursday, July 21st

From Sæból to Straumnes. We’ll see the wreck of the Godafoss, a coaster that came aground here in 1916. From there we’ll continue east via Kogur and Fljótavík Bay, sail inside Hornvik Cove under the immense rocks of Haelavikurbjarg. We’ll pass close to the shore and the 300-m tall cliff looming overhead. If weather and the sea permit, we can sail through a narrow channel behind Sulnastapi Rock. That’s an opportunity to see thousands of fowl, rare species too. They make an impression even on those without much interest in wildlife. We’ll continue to the opening of the bay and drop the anchor there. Overall we’ll spend about 4 hours sailing, with enough time left for a walk on shore in the evening and a customary review of images.

Day 8. Friday, July 22nd

This entire day is devoted to foot exploration in Hornvik Bay among rugged cliffs and verdant valleys. You can make any number of naturalist observations and take pictures of this unique, almost otherworldly landscape at different times of the day. We’ll finish with a review and a lecture called «Space as a metaphor for time.»

Day 9. Saturday, July 23rd

We’ll heave up the anchor at 9 a.m. and return to Ísafjörður. If the group wishes, we can take a little detour north of the Arctic Circle, which is just 5 nautical miles north of Hornvik Bay. We might glimpse minke whales, cavies and dolphins there. 7-8 hours under sail will get us to Ísafjörður around 4 p.m. In the evening we’ll enjoy a traditional farewell dinner at Ísafjörður hotel’s restaurant. The restaurant is one of the best in Westfjords.

Day 10. Sunday, July 24th

In the morning a plane will take us to Rejkjavik. We’ll walk in the capital, see the National Gallery of Iceland, the flea market, have a dinner with friends at a local music club, listen to a jazz jam.

Day 11. Monday, July 25th

Departure from Rejkjavik.

Useful information

Important: Single accommodation is available only in Rejkjavik and Ísafjörður. All yacht cabins are twins.