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Magical Senja

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Join us on this intense nature photography workshop to one of the most stunning islands of Norway, Senja.  Dramatic landscapes, spectacular northern light, stunning sunrises / sunsets and Nordic wildlife will pass in front of your lens from day to day. The tour leader Floris Smeets (Sony ambassador) has been guiding in this area for several years. He will make sure you will be standing at the right location at the right time and he will help you to get the maximum out of every photo opportunity. 

 

 

Senja

Senja, the second largest island of Norway, is for many nature photographers a still undiscovered treasure. The island is situated about 100km north from the well known Lofoten Islands. The total surface of Senja might be quite a bit smaller than the Lofoten islands, but it has to offer just as many stunning photo opportunities.

 

Due to the northern position, the island is perfect for photographing northern light. Even with a low KP index this spectacular light snow can be seen in the sky above the island. This in combination with the impressive fjords, dramatic steep mountains rising straight out of the see and the in birch covered hills, makes this island a Valhalla for landscape and northern light photography. On top of that the local wildlife shows itself frequently. Semi-domesticated reindeer, moose, otters, white tailed sea eagles, golden eagles, grouse and mountain hares thrive here. Senja is nothing short of a paradise for the all-round nature photographer!  

 

Photography

During this tour, the main focus lays on photographing northern light and landscapes. Depending on the northern light activity, we will visit on daytime one or two “large” photo locations and will stop several times at “smaller” locations. The guide knows the area very well, knows which locations to visit at what time of the day and with which weather conditions. Therefor the program will be rather flexible during the trip and it can change when weather conditions change. In this way you will always be standing at the right location at the right time. If we encounter wildlife during the drives, we will of course stop to photograph. If the groups wants, we can dedicate some extra time in finding and photographing wildlife.   

 

The accommodation is situated at the north west side of the island. From here we can reach most photo locations within a rather short drive. Also for the northern light photo locations we don’t have to drive far. Some days we will visit locations situated further away, but we will make plenty of photo stops during the longer drives.  

Day program

On daytime we will spend as much time as possible photographing landscapes and wildlife. The main focus will be on the sunrises and sunsets, but there will be plenty to photograph in between. If there is a chance for sunrise, we will be out photographing before breakfast. When the sky is clear during the nights, we will try to photograph the northern light. The guide knows the good locations and will make sure that the group will be on the right location at the right time. We will use apps for predicting the northern light activity as good as possible. Of course we also need to sleep at some point. If we have been out photographing northern light all night, we have to catch up some sleep during the day. If wanted, there will be opportunities for photo discussion and photo editing.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule

Breakfast will be available from 08:00 to 10.00 in the local restaurant.

Lunch packages have to be made by ourselves during breakfast. We will take the lunch with us into the field and eat wherever we will be at lunch time.

Dinners will be available from 18:00 to 20:00 in the local restaurant. The diners consist out of two courses and will change from day to day.

The quality of the food served in the restaurant is very good. Most products are fresh and local.

Itinerary

  • Day 1. You will fly on Bardufoss airport. In order to get there, you have to change flights on Oslo Gardermoen airport. At Bardufoss airport you will be picked up by the guide Floris Smeets, who will drive the group in a mini bus to the accommodation on Senja. This ride takes about 2 hours. After dropping the luggage off at the apartments we will have dinner in the restaurant where Floris will give an introduction for the coming week. 

  • Day 2-7. Depending on the weather and if there has been northern light during the night, we will head out for photographing sunrise before breakfast. Breakfast is between 08:00 and 10:00. We will make our own lunch packages after breakfast. Afterwards we head out again to photograph landscapes and wildlife. Lunch is eaten out in the field. Depending on the weather, we will stay out and photograph until after sunset. Once the light is gone, we head back to the accommodation. Dinner is between 18:00 and 20:00. If there is a chance for northern light, we head out again after dinner. 

  • Day 8. We pack our bags and leave to the airport after breakfast. You will fly back from Bardufoss airport. 

 

Please contact us for any questions. Or fill in the booking form below.

2021: 8 - 15 March (4 spots left)

2022:  Coming soon

8 days

Senja

Max 7 persons

Shared double bedrooms in large apartments

Guided by Floris Smeets

22.500,- NOK (4000,- NOK deposit)

Bardufoss Airport, transfer via Oslo Gardermoen Airport

Price includes

  • Accommodation: Shared double bedrooms in large apartments

  • Breakfast, lunch and two course diners in good standard restaurant

  • Transport: All local transport, including the pick-up and drop off at Bardufoss airport. 

  • Photography workshop hosted by Floris Smeets (Sony ambassador)

Single rooms: Single room fees depend on room availability. Please ask for the additional price when making the booking. 

Price does not include

  • Flights to and from Bardufoss airport

  • Drinks during diners 

  • Alcoholic beverages and snacks

Photo equipment
During the workshop we will mainly focus on landscapes and northern light. But with the abundance of wildlife on the island, we will also dedicate some time to photograph wildlife. This means that next to wide angle lenses a zoom lens, such as a 100-400mm, will come in handy. For the northern light a wide angle lens with an aperture of f2.8 or lower is advised. For the landscapes you can use a large variety of lenses. The best would be if you could cover the range from 16mm up to 200mm. For example, a 16-35mm, 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. If you will bring a 100-400mm or similar, this can replace the 70-200mm. If you don't have a full frame camera but a crop camera, try to cover the range from 10mm up to 150mm. Other things you should bring, are:​

  • Plenty of memory cards

  • Plenty of batteries (these can drain fast while shooting northern light in the cold nights)

  • Battery charger

  • Tripod (please bring a sturdy one!) 

  • Filters (ND, gradient and polarizer) (please let us know if you need filters)

  • Laptop, external harddrive or image tank to back up your images

  • Laptop if you want to edit images

Clothing

The temperature on Senja during the winter can vary a lot. At the coast the temperature will most likely be around -5 degrees Celsius, but more central on the island the temperature can drop below -20. Please bring plenty of layers so you can dress accordingly. 

Packing list:

  • Winter jacket

  • Winter / ski trousers

  • Thermo base layer (merino wool)

  • Winter boots (Sorel makes comfy and affordable winter boots)

  • Thick warm (woolen) sweater

  • Warm pullover 

  • Warm hat

  • Base layer gloves with which you can still control your camera

  • Warm gloves / mittens

  • Scarf

  • Several pairs of thick warm socks

  • Sunglasses

Gallery

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Guest testimonials

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Ruby (NL)

I have chosen a photo trip with Floris because I admire his kind of photography and the area (Senja). The tour was in the middle of the northern light season. I was positively surprised by the expertise of Floris and his tremendous enthusiasm and energy. He drove our group (7 people) in a van from early morning to late at night if there was any chance to spot the northern light. And we did!! With patience he gave us plenty of tips & tricks. He is a professional guide that won’t disappoint you. He even took care of all our food and drinks during the trip.

 

Highlight: Driving to a beautiful, remote place in the middle of the night where we saw the northern light and were able to make wonderful pictures.

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org. nr.: 913689887

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