© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon

Expedition: Ilulissat

A Photography Expedition to Western Greenland

Dates: 13 - 18 September, 2020

Price: xxx EUR

Guides

Nick Page

Creative Guide

Nick is an American photographer from South-Eastern Washington state.  He is the host of "the Landscape Photography Podcast, a workshop instructor, pro photographer, and history nerd. He travels around the world talking and teaching photography to passionate photographers.

Nick's YouTubeInstagramWebsite

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

 

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. Jonas is a qualified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) and will be leading the expedition.

Jonas teaches an easy to implement process-oriented approach to the craft of making a technically solid exposure so that we can focus our energy on realising our creative visions.

 

More info here.

Join us exploring icebergs, glaciers mountains, fjords and sky!

Greenland (originally Grœnland) was named by Viking settlers in the 10th century. It is believed to have been named Greenland to attract other settlers to the isolated island. Today Greenland remains an isolated part of the world with 80% of the island or 1,710,000 square kilometres covered in glacier.

 

Western Greenland features a dramatic landscape where glaciers drop straight into the sea creating unimaginable beautiful icebergs. For photographers Western Greenland is a heaven far away from the beaten track offering perhaps once in a lifetime views and photographs of the beauty this world has to offer.

 

The destination for this expedition is Ilulissat in Disco Bay.

1/6

Itinerary

Typical Daily Schedules

Our main shooting time is sunset, as Disco Bay offers spectacular light at sunset. Sunrise is over the icecap (inland) and illuminates the ice fjord beautifully, but cannot normally rival the sunset over the sea. Thus, our key sessions are planned around sunsets. We will spend some of the days going through image editing at the hotel and some scouting locations and exploring Ilulissat. We will have use of privately chartered boats on three evenings to make sure we can get close to the colossal icebergs in the fjord, as well as visit the majestic Eqi glacier. Each day we will set out from the hotel with light day packs exploring the sea, the fjords and the mountains.

Day 1 | Arrival Day - Ilulissat

Pick-up at Ilulissat airport throughout the morning and afternoon (N.B. flights are not included). For stress-free travel, it might be worth considering arriving a day early to get your bearings in Ilulissat and get some rest. Once we have all checked in to our hotel, we will do a short introductory briefing (4 PM), have an early dinner and then get ready for our first sunset photography session. We will trek (30-45min) to the ice fjord and the old settlement Sermermiut to capture wild beauty of land, sea, icebergs and sky in the last light of the day. After sunset, we will head back to the hotel to grab a welcoming drink and get to know each other.

 

Day 2 | Disco Bay

Our first full day will start early with a sunrise session close to the hotel followed by breakfast, a lightroom session and a city walk in the day. After dinner, we will be heading down to the harbour and get comfy on Esle, an old beautiful research ship, for the first of two boat trips into the ice fjord. As the sun gets low on the horizon, Esle will take us out to sea so that we can get up close and personal with the giant icebergs. We will have the entire ship to ourself and the captain will safely steer us to the icebergs that we want to explore. As the sun sets, chances are very good that we will have soft pink and golden light to accompany our icebergs. Rest assured that this will be a day with sights that forever will be etched in your memory and memorialised by your photography.

Day 3 | Coastal Trek 

A short 15 min trek will take us up on a viewpoint overlooking all of Ilulissat, which is beautiful at sunrise. The middle part of the day will be spent editing images and catching up on some much-needed rest as we will have had two busy nights and early mornings already. In the early afternoon, we will start an easy trek (approx. 60 mins) in a Northerly direction following the coastline that will eventually lead us to a few well-protected bays with intricate rock patterns and often stranded icebergs. We will spend the afternoon scouting the area and getting ready for sunset in this magical spot. We will have a packed cold dinner to ensure that we can stay out and shoot at the best light possible.

Day 4 | Disco Bay

We will meet the morning light at Seqinnerfik, which is the place where the locals greet the first rays of the sun on 13 January each year, after the darkest part of winter is over.​ We will spend the middle part of the day editing images and diving deeper into composition. After dinner, we again set off to the harbour and Esle, for our second opportunity to photograph the ice fjord from the sea. It is great getting a second chance as we might get different light, and we will also be significantly more familiar with our subject and, thus come away with better photographs.

Day 5 | Eqi Glacier

Morning shoot in the village allowing us to capture the unique look and feel of the vilage, its inhabitants and surrounding areas. In the afternoon we will again set off to the harbour to board a speedboat that will take us to the Eqi glacier, which is situated 70km (as the crow flies) north of Ilulissat. The Eqi glacier rises more than 200m from the sea straight up into the sky and calves frequently, making the sight beautiful yet terrifying all at once. We will remain at this location for around two hours saving only enough twilight to steer us safely back to Ilulissat. We will have the boat to ourselves and thus be able to get to the right locations to capture the Eqi from the best angles.

 

Day 6 | Departure Day

Departure from Ilulissat. Airport drop-offs are flexible throughout the day.

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follows a curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a way that directly translates into easy actionable processes in the field. As we explore nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the Expedition

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve a consistent quality in landscape photography

  • Focussing - A science based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Long exposure and filters - Long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

  • Night photography - Explore the nighttime skies and landscapes to show the world at a different time

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Multiple exposure and graduate filters - Achieving correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing)

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times.

Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition

We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills. 

  • Planning for a day out in the mountains in ever changing conditions

  • Using safety equipment and emergency transponders

  • Map reading

  • Navigation with map and compass

  • Relocation with map and compass

  • Using sighting for fast movement

  • What it means to be a leader in the outdoors

  • Group management skills

Accommodation

During this expedition we will be staying five nights in excellent Hotel Icefjord in shared twin rooms (single occupancy is subject to availability and at cost). Each day we will set out from the hotel with light day packs exploring the sea, the fjords and the mountains for sunrise, sunsets and at other times.

Additional Information

Environmental and Local Ethos

The entire expedition is delivered with a strong ethos for the protection of the environment where we will endeavour to leave as small a footprint as possible. We only use local suppliers for the expedition in an effort to contribute to local communities and economy.

The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours

The weather in Western Greenland can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the weather forecast and the local maps over coffee to plan our day. Sunrise is at approx 6 AM and sunset at 8.30 PM throughout the expedition. 

 

Food

For the time in Ilulissat, we will eat in restaurants or have packed food with us on location. All main meals are included. It is recommended that you bring some dried fruit/nuts/energy bars to eat whilst we are out shooting.

Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave no trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary below. This is because we do not want to contribute to large scale tourism to this pristine and seldom visited place by sharing these. Our expedition participants can receive detailed information via e-mail. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

Giving back to Nature

3% of the expedition price will be donated to WWF Greenland to protect the Polar Bear. We only use local suppliers and partners on this expedition.​

How Challenging?

This expedition has a Low Effort Rating. We can expect to be out around 7 hours per day with light trekking. Previous trekking experience is not necessary. More info about effort levels here.

Price & Details

 

Included:

  • Guided photography sessions

  • Guided treks by qualified International Mountain Leader or Mountain Guide

  • All accommodation during the expedition: 5 nights in a shared room

  • All main meals

  • Planned boat transport during the tour 

Excluded:

  • Photo equipment 

  • Outdoor clothing

  • Transport (i.e. flights to Ilulissat airport)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the alps, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go

  • Alcoholic beverages

Price: xxx EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 90 days before the start of the expedition. Single occupancy not possible. Excl. VAT, where applicable.

Logistics

Participants: 6-8

Start: Ilulissat airport, 6 Sep 2020​, 1 PM (flexible arrival pick-up)

End: Ilulissat airport, 11 Sep 2020, 9 AM (flexible departure drop-off)

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions