Specialized Photography Tours & Workshops in the Arctic Regions


Upcoming Photo Workshops


Photo Tours & Photography Workshops

We offer Photo Tours & Photography Workshops in Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Svalbard and the Lofoten Islands. Along with these locations we aim to ad exciting destinations and photography opportunities when possible.

Our Photo Tours & Photography Workshops come highly recommended by our customers. We put our passion and years of experience hunting for those extreme places and conditions for photography on the line every time. We aim to find you the perfect moment to capture.

Very few know it as well, as well as someone who grew up playing in the canyons, shores, waterfalls and geo thermal pools as Native Skarpi Thrainsson. The first trip I met Skarpi on, he was full of stories of places he wanted me to see. After several years and many trips he’s still telling me about more locations he wants to take me, something only someone who loves the wilderness will do! Skarpi is also a remarkable photographer, with many spectacular images that only a local could create. He has a remarkable talent for finding great locations at the right time, a skill he acquired on his own. It is an honor to know this true “Viking” and have shared some great memories of Iceland with.

Marc Muench
 “I signed up for Skarpi’s 2015 Summer Photo Tour around Iceland based on the itinerary, quality of the photography I saw on his site, and format of the tour.  The tour exceeded my expectations.
 Skarpi ran the tour very smoothly. He has a friendly, relaxed and laid back personality, but works very hard to accommodate the tour participants preferences and to adapt the daily schedule of shoots to best take advantage of the current weather and light conditions. Having spent his life exploring Iceland, Skarpi has a detailed knowledge of the best photographic locations, and the best light suitable for each location.  Incidentally, this knowledge also extends to the best places to eat – we had delicious food throughout the tour!
 Skarpi is a superb photographer and if you have any questions, Skarpi is very helpful providing instruction and sharing his knowledge.  If you would rather be left alone while shooting, Skarpi will readily accommodate.
 I had a great time and am very happy with the images and memories I brought back from this tour. Much of it was due to Skarpi’s deep knowledge of Iceland and light and to making sure we were at the right locations at the right times.”
Jean-Marc Bara

“Iceland has always been a dream destination, so when the opportunity arose to travel there I wanted to maximise my photographic opportunities. Luckily I found Skarpi! My friend and I were so fortunate to have Skarpi as our private guide around South Iceland in summer. As a native Icelander, Skarpi knows the roads and locations like the back of his hand, enabling us to visit the right locations at the best times and always with consideration of the weather. His easy-going nature and sense of humour married well with his professionalism, and his flexibility was a huge bonus. Skarpi expertly drove and guided us, set up camp and rocked a mean barbecue! Camping was great fun and was extremely comfortable. A professional photographer, his images are beautiful and truly inspiring. His advice about what to bring to Iceland, and how best to capture the best images in each location was invaluable. I learned so much about Iceland on this tour – the country, the people, and of course the photographic locations. Because of Skarpi, we were able to view and shoot stunning locations in the best light and from the best aspects. I am thrilled with the images I have taken home and can’t wait to get to Iceland again. I would highly recommend Skarpi for your private or group tour.

Thanks again Skarpi!”

Shanel Cameron

This comes three months after the workshop I participated in has completed. When I was weighing my options and planning my trip to Iceland I knew photography was going to be a major focus. The offerings of Arctic Exposure appealed to me and I reached out to sign up. Jóhann was extremely helpful when responding to my inquiries and so I joined.

I was fortunate to find myself with fellow participants who helped me with my photography and as for Skarpi who led our workshop, I believe he went above and beyond to ensure our trip would be an enjoyable and enriching experience. If nothing else, my palate had no complaints with Skarpi’s food recommendations.

One thing I was able to take away from Skarpi’s tips is how to photograph the aurora, which, our group was lucky enough to experience – twice! If I forget everything else that I learned that time, I at least would be more comfortable using manual focus now.

Now, three months later and the euphoria faded, I look back and still feel the enjoyment of the workshop – and that’s including me breaking one of my equipment on the first day.

I have no complaints except that the end arrived pretty quickly. I guess that is proof of us having fun. I am eagerly planning for the next workshop.

John Astillero

“Dear Skarpi and Örvar,
Thank you for a wonderfully organized photography tour of Iceland. I have been on many photography tours, and this was certainly one of the very best. I am particularly grateful to you for being so professional, knowledgeable, patient and accommodating with all participants and for carefully choosing most spectacular shooting locations. Your able leadership, guidance and planning made this the most memorable trip on personal and photographic level. You helped me to bring back numerous photographs of spectacular Icelandic nature and wildlife. Moreover, you helped me to bring back wonderful memories of your magnificent country and its warm and friendly people that would last me a lifetime. I would recommend your tour to all my friends with no hesitation. With best regards,”

Ilya Raskin

“Going to Iceland was always a big dream for me. Ever since I started doing photography as my hobby I wanted to go there and experience the country. I was really lucky to join the September 2014 tour with Skarpi. I still remember every day and every moment of it. I was able to see and photograph most of the iconic places but also areas that are not known to most tourists. Skarpi was a great guide, companion and coach. I recommend joining one of his tours if you are planning to visit Iceland.”

Alex Dylikowski

“If you want to see all the beautiful places in Iceland, and capture them in your camera to show the folks back home, take a tour with a professional photographer! I toured with Skarpi and it was AMAZING!!! Not only do I have beautiful images but I learned SOOOO much about my camera that I never learned from the manual. Skarpi is a great photographer and a fun tour guide. Look him up and take a tour! Visited October 2014”

Dallas, USA

I, along with eight others, took part in the October 2017 Arctic Exposure workshop. A friend of mine, who was on the trip, had told me about the workshop and asked if I was interested. Until he brought the idea up, I had not thought about going to Iceland but after looking into it more I decided to take the workshop. This turned out to be perhaps the best photography trip I have gone on. I cannot recommend Arctic Exposure and Skarpi Thrainsson highly enough. The skill level of the eight participants varied widely but the group came together as a whole very early and shared their knowledge and enthusiasm. Skarpi was outstanding at knowing where to go and when the best times to be at a location were. When the weather did not cooperate he had alternate locations and was flexible in the schedule to allow for extra time when that was warranted. At each location Skarpi offered basic lens suggestions, settings and recommendations for the best places to go to have the best chance of getting a photo that the workshop attendees would want to capture. This was particularly helpful on the three nights that we were fortunate to have clear skies and the Northern Lights. The lodgings we stayed at were all nice and had great locations within close proximity to the areas we were photographing. Given that the cost of the workshop was totally inclusive including food, lodging and travel within Iceland I found the price to be very reasonable.

Gordon Lynn Hufford

I have recently returned from the January Aurora Borealis photo workshop. I wholeheartedly can recommend this trip. Skarpi’s a caring, interested tour guide. He treats his guests with great consideration, is knowledgeable about Iceland and photography, and is flexible in making adjustments necessitated by weather.

Richard Carlton

From the moment we booked our Iceland tour with Arctic Exposure, Skarpi and his team were there to answer all our questions. Skarpi picked us up at the airport in his super truck (absolutely the coolest) and reviewed our itinerary again while answering ALL our questions. He tweaked our itinerary as needed along the way and made sure we saw the best of Iceland. He planned excursions and sightseeing for us that you’d never experience on a large bus tour. The waterfalls, Black Beach, glacier walks, ice caves, fireworks, Northern Lights, glacier lagoons, The Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon and everything else we saw was amazing. He also planned some tasty meals for us along the way. I can’t say enough positive things about Skarpi and his tour. Absolutely AMAZING!!

Summer Toth
“In February 2014, I went on a 10-day group tour with Skarpi along the Southwest coast. Our small group was guided to the best sites at the time the light was right. In August, on our way to Europe, my wife and I asked Skarpi to create a 4-day tour to photograph puffins on the cliffs at Látrabjarg and landscapes on the way to and from Reykjavik. On our way back to Canada in September, he put together a 2-day tour of the fall colours around Þingvellir National Park and the waterfalls at Hraunfossar. He truly listened to what we wanted to see and photograph and made it happen. We came home with wonderful images of Iceland.”
Cal Towle
Engineer / Vancouver, Canada

This was my first trip to Iceland guided by Skarpi and my first time visiting the North of Iceland. All though we were not blessed with the best of weather the trip turned out to be a great trip, the hotels were all excellent with great food, Skarpi took us to some great locations often multiple times trying to get the best possible lighting conditions to shoot in.Skarpis new super truck was a pleasure to ride in very comfortable with leather seats, on board power charging points and mobile wifi, it also gives you the ability to go places where normal cars and vans couldn’t get to especially if the weather turns for the worst a real bonus.Skarpi was an excellent tour leader and tutor as well as being a mine of local information about Iceland’s culture and history.If you are looking at booking a trip to Iceland where you don’t have to worry about anything other than pressing the shutter button on the camera then I highly recommend contacting Skarpi.

Shaun Young

Thank you Skarpi for your patience with someone who was a novice amongst some very talented photographers. I learned a lot from you and will continue to go to workshops when I get back home to reinforce and practice what you have taught me. How extra fortunate we were to see the Northern Lights on 3 nights. I am so glad I went to your beautiful country, it was absolutely amazing.

Sylvia Jeffery

“We are happy to have joined Skarpi for our first visit to Iceland in February 2015. The weather in Iceland can be challenging at times with high winds, rain or snow. Despite the conditions, under the guidance of Skarpi, we were able to capture South Iceland’s raw beauty – amazing ice cave, mystical aurora, dramatic black sand beaches, ice covered waterfalls, expansive glaciers, beautiful sunrise and sunsets, gentle Icelandic horses and of course many stunning landscapes. Skarpi satisfied our appetite to photograph by getting us to the right places at the right times. While doing that he kept us safe, comfortable and well fed, and took care of our special needs. We are eager for our next trip when Skarpi can show us more and different locations.”

Ralph Hill

“I visited Iceland in December on the Aurora and Ice Cave tour with Skarpi. This being my first photo tour, I spent a lot of time researching different companies and photo tours before finally deciding on Arctic Exposure.  I’m glad I did.  Not only was Skarpi easy to talk to, being from Iceland, he knew a lot about the area and the history. Despite Iceland having one of the worst storms in decades during our trip, Skarpi made sure we were still able to see all the places we were supposed to, providing some great photo opportunities. Skarpi often shot alongside us and was always available for questions, if needed. I hope to one day return and if so, I’d gladly go with Skarpi and Arctic Exposure. Thanks for everything, I hope to make it back one day!”

Steve Hinch
Professional Photographer / USA

“Iceland had long been on my bucket list of places to visit and to photograph. I was drawn to Skarpi’s offering of a winter workshop, with its focus on ice caves and the aurora borealis. Of course trips of this nature are always subject to weather conditions and other uncontrollable factors. Skarpi has the uncanny ability to read the minutiae of the weather and to seek out locations perfectly situated for the prevailing conditions. He also has an incredible vehicle that can navigate the most difficult terrain possible – and he is fearless in pursuing the right destinations, but does so with extreme safety and precaution. As such we were fortunate to explore some of the off-the-beaten-track sites, and got to photograph incredible vistas. IN addition, Skarpi is just a delightful person, with a deep knowledge of the history and geography of Iceland, as well as a story telling ability to make this incredible country even more enticing. His website provides much information, but so do his regular news feeds leading up to and even following the photo tours. One is never left feeling unprepared. Overall, an incredible experience, highly recommended and one I would be glad to repeat.”

Graham Sher, Ottawa, Canada

Hordour = Best Guide Ever! Horour hosted my husband and I for two days in July of 2018 and we experienced a unique and tranquil learning experience from an Icelandic expert. The tour was split to the west peninsula (Snæfellsnes) and then the Golden Circle area; both areas were vastly different and Hordour seamless navigated the areas for a full learning excursion. Hordour connected with us immediately and we enjoyed his sense of humour and his love of the land through his eyes. It was an unforgettable event.

Katharine Miller Diehl

“I have just returned from a photo Tour of North Iceland in the Winter with our guide Skarpi. We were lucky enough to have one glorious night of the Aurora which completed our trip nicely. Skarpi is a wonderful guide and a true light chaser. He got us to every potential situation to maximize our opportunity to capture sunrises, sunsets and Aurora’s. He is extremely knowledgeable as a photographer and gave us many pointers on maximizing our skills as photographers. Being a native Icelander he knows a lot about the life and landscapes of Iceland. He was able to share with us stories about the culture and customs of Iceland including Icelandic culinary dishes and the not to be missed Porramatur.”

Steven Eisen

This was my third visit to Iceland. This time to specifically come in winter and take a photo workshop to capture the indescribable natural, magical beauty of this fantastic island country. Our guide Aron, a native Islander, was extremely knowledgeable in photography, Icelandic cultural of its people, customs and history plus the geographical history and formation of the island. This added to the joy of being in Iceland and learning more about it. Clearly, he was a very experienced and knowledgeable tour guide. Aron was an excellent driver on the highways and on the remote tracks where only special vehicles like theirs could drive. He exercised appropriate caution and had our safety first and foremost at all times. He always gave us safety tips in every location especially considering we were dealing with winter, sometimes slippery conditions. I felt totally comfortable and safe during the trip. Most memorable was Aron’s ability to find such breathtaking sceneries, of mountains, glacier lagoon, ice caves, icebergs, black lava beaches, frozen waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets. I learned a great deal of valuable information regarding many aspects of photography, camera settings and setting up “the shot” for creating interesting, dramatic and dynamic photos. Although seeing the Aurora Borealis is never a guarantee, we were lucky enough to see them three times with the last night being the most dramatic and exciting of all. I learned how to photograph them properly and feel I’ve learned yet another useful photographic skill for night photography. It was wonderful to be around fellow enthusiastic photographers who took as much or more pleasure in shooting for the pure joy of it. The time table of the tour was organized to allow up to a couple of hours in one place to allow photographic creativity to flow naturally and capture the breathtaking scenery. Aron kept a well-organized timetable and knew where to be and at what time to get the best moods for the venues. The accommodations were clean, comfortable, beautifully simple true to Icelandic and Scandinavian style. The food was delicious with almost always a great variety of Icelandic cuisine. There was also cuisine suitable for the North American palate if required. I preferred the delicious Icelandic cuisine I felt I received tremendous value for the money I invested in this AWESOME 10-day adventure. I highly recommend this tour company and can’t wait to travel with them again!!!

Diana Tiessen

“In one word “nice”, in two words “veeery nice”. On the road with Skarpi is a dream, he gets you to the right places at the right moments, he’s always willing to help you and has a lot of respect for everyone. If you’re advanced or just at the beginning of your photographic path it doesn’t matter. Since he was born in Iceland he knows the island better than anyone else. I think this is also important because once you’re off the beaten track you could easily get lost or be in danger without noticing it. I’ve been happy to have the opportunity to join him twice and look forward to join him again in march for exploring the northern part of Iceland. Actually the first time I came alone from little Belgium and didn’t know what to expect, but from the moment you meet Skarpi you know you’re on the right place with him to enjoy Iceland, to laugh and of course to photograph all these magnificent landscapes. So for me travelling with Skarpi is five stars ***** But beware, he likes chocolates :-)”

Edward De Bruyn, Belgium

“They say that Iceland is like Disneyland for photographers – the land of waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, and puffins! For photographers, Skarpi’s expertise is unique. If you visit the famous locations, he’ll take you at times when the light is good, few tourists, and show you different perspectives. He’ll also take you to hidden gems that even locals don’t know about – the secret waterfall, a tiny church, a deserted fishing shed, or even a three-horned sheep! Skarpi’s knowledge of good light in unpredictable weather means he can adjust the itinerary accordingly, and provide us with the best possible shooting conditions day or night.On our private tour, Skarpi accommodated us in what we called “The Taj Mahal” – no need to for camping in tents, but he had a luxurious campervan equipped with beds, kitchen and power. And Skarpi cooks up an amazing barbecue of lamb and bacon!When spending so many hours each day with a photographic guide, the wrong personality can drive you mad! Skarpi is courteous, hospitable, respectful, accommodating, and good-humoured. What more could you want in Iceland, but a genuine Viking professional photographer with big lenses, a big truck and a campervan?”

Desmond Chu
Sydney, Australia

We just got back from attending the Autumn workshop in Iceland with Skarpi. We had an excellent experience, learned lots of new photography techniques, met new friends, and saw many special locations. Skarpi looked after all our needs and ensured all our expectations were met. Great food, accommodations, transportation, care and attention throughout. He worked hard to ensure we had photographic opportunities even when the weather was not cooperating. We highly recommend Arctic Exposure and Skarpi!

Ken Chatel

“We’ve been working with Skarpi as our local guide in Iceland for years. Not only is he an amazing pro photographer, but so much more: leader, instructor, driver (anything from a car to a super-Jeep to a 40+ passenger bus!), organizer, and all-around good guy. Skarpi is a native Icelander – a true Viking! Skarpi knows every bit of Iceland like no other, having photographed, hiked, fished and traveled the entire country since he was a child. This experience, combined with his friendly, unflappable nature, is so important. From trip planning and logistics, to getting in the precise spot at the exact time for amazing photographs, Skarpi does it all. Any tour or workshop that Skarpi does is going to be filled with amazing photography, loads of instruction and fun, and run smoothly. A guaranteed great time!”

Andy Williams

“The photo tour with Skarpi through the Golden Circle was wonderful! Not only did I get to see some absolutely stunning scenery, but I truly learned a lot about photography techniques from Skarpi. Although I’m not entirely novice, I certainly am no expert, so his tutelage was exceptionally appreciated. He helped me with everything from camera settings to composition, compensating for a dull sky, and even gave me some tips for shooting the northern lights for later that night (which, thanks to him, I actually managed to do fairly well). He has a great sense of humor and was very easy going and patient with me when I didn’t know everything. Overall, it was a great day, great learning experience and well worth all the money. I highly recommend both Iceland Aurora and Skarpi, especially if you have the ability to do a one-on-one tour as I did – absolutely fantastic! Visited February 2014”

Kate B.
Los Angeles, California

“In February 2014, I went on a 10-day group tour with Skarpi along the Southwest coast. Our small group was guided to the best sites at the time the light was right. In August, on our way to Europe, my wife and I asked Skarpi to create a 4-day tour to photograph puffins on the cliffs at Látrabjarg and landscapes on the way to and from Reykjavik. On our way back to Canada in September, he put together a 2-day tour of the fall colours around Þingvellir National Park and the waterfalls at Hraunfossar. He truly listened to what we wanted to see and photograph and made it happen. We came home with wonderful images of Iceland.”

Stacey Skalkos, Australia

“This is a dream come true photography tour and is my first time stepping on the land of fire and ice literally. Our tour leader Skarpi, knows the exact timing and good spots to bring us too barring the unpredictable weather. I have learnt a lot from his guidance, especially how to shoot photos if the northern lights that wr saw THREE times during this tour. The accommodation provided was great and so was the food. Above all the shooting comradeship amongst the 8 of us was really fantastic.”

James Tan


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