Lofoten Islands, Norway
Max. Group Size
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Far above the Arctic Circle draped within the turbulent waters of the Norwegian Sea are the Lofoten Islands. These Islands are staggeringly beautiful with majestic mountains, deep fjords and long, sweeping beaches. Dotted around the Islands are small towns and hamlets with attractively coloured buildings that have great potential for both abstract and big vista photography.
This 6 day (7 night) workshop will find us exploring a varied range of photographic locations such as Flakstad, Hamnøy, Nusfjord, Reine, Sakrisøya as well as many coastal beaches. Sunrise and sunset last a long time at this time of year, allowing plenty of photo opportunities during this period. There is also a good chance to experience the Northern Lights, so I will be keeping an eye on my aurora app for those wishing to venture out to experience and photograph this amazing phenomenon.
This workshop includes all breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals catered for by Gillian (my wife and business partner). This workshop offers great value for money as Norway is an expensive place for food and drink. All you need to do is get to Leknes! All dietary requirements can be catered for.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this workshop further.
I will be on hand throughout each day and night to offer tuition, help and advice on all aspects of your photography. There will be plenty of opportunity for 1-2-1 tuition as the workshop group is limited to just 6 participants. During the evenings (or if we experience particularly inclement weather), I will demonstrate the techniques I use to get the very best out of some of your images using Lightroom Classic hooked up to a 42" screen at our accommodation. Throughout this workshop, I will be assisted by my wife, Gillian, who will be helping behind the scenes including the important job of catering!
Lofoten in February
We will be based in Leknes, only 15 minutes from the airport and centrally located to explore these magnificent islands - chosen to reduce travel time in order to maximise photography time. Our accommodation comprises two beautiful, well-equipped and spacious modern cabins on a self-catering basis. Each cabin (think house!) incorporates 3 bedrooms (1 x double downstairs with personal bathroom next door and 2 x twin rooms upstairs with shared bathroom), kitchen, dining and living area. No bedrooms are shared. The warm, spotless accommodation is perfectly situated on the seafront with magnificent mountain views across the water - the ideal place to return to after a full-on day of photography. Rooms will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis.
Based in Leknes just 15 minutes from the airport, you will arrive on Friday 21st February, 2025 where you will be collected from the airport and taken to your accommodation where an evening meal will be waiting. After an introductory talk by me over breakfast we will head out to our first location for the remainder of the day.
Each day I will drive you to different locations around Lofoten using the extensive knowledge I have to attempt to get you in the best places at the right time. Depending on the forecast we may find ourselves out before sunrise or out late to shoot the Northern Lights.
In the evenings you will have time to relax before joining Gillian and me for your evening meal. On the day of departure, transport to Leknes airport will be provided for your return journey home.
Please note that flights, travel and camera insurance are not included in the cost of this workshop.
Here is a list of recommended equipment you should bring…
- Camera body and a selection of lenses that ideally cover wide-angle to medium telephoto.
- A fast, wide lens with a focal length of between 12mm & 24mm would be useful for shooting aurora (optional).
- At least two camera batteries (the cold can shorten the usage time of the battery)
- Hot-shoe spirit level (if your camera has a level indicator built-in that’s fine).
- Lens cloth
- Camera bag capable of being stored in an overhead locker on a plane.
- Graduated filters (optional)
- Polariser (optional)
As you might imagine, February in the Arctic Circle can be quite dynamic. Shooting the Northern Lights at night you can easily expect temperatures below -10º Celcius, so it's imperative to bring warm, waterproof clothing such as...
- Plenty of insulating layers
- Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
- A pair of ski salopettes would be useful if you own a pair (optional)
- Gloves (ideally a pair of liner gloves plus ski-style gloves as outer layers)
- Waterproof, thick padded coat
- Waterproof over-trousers
- Walking boots
- A light pair of wellingtons - Please refer to this article.
- Foldable Umbrella
- Microspikes are compulsory! (it's almost impossible to walk anywhere without these https://kahtoola.com/product/microspikes/)
Fitness Level - Easy | Moderate | Challenging
A moderate level of fitness and balance is required for this workshop. All locations are chosen for their fine views and safety. However, participants must be aware that cold temperatures, wind and the coastline itself come with their own risks. Therefore, all participants must heed safety advice at all times.
Flights to Leknes (via Oslo and Bodo) are operated by Scandinavian Airways (SAS) from Manchester airport in the UK (Check your local airport if it's more convenient). Prices are typically £600 to £750 per person return (depending on baggage and cancellation allowance). Flights to Leknes typically involve 2 to 3 stops and tend to land late at Leknes (Don't worry, I'll be there waiting to collect you)!
Flight details can be found on the SAS website here - use your preferred airport to Leknes airport
Terms & Conditions of booking
Payment must be made in full when booking a single day workshop (you will be sent an invoice). For residential workshops, a deposit of £500 is required (unless otherwise stated) and the balance is payable 12 weeks before the course commences.
The balance of the cost of the workshop will be due 12 weeks before the workshop starts. If a booking is made less than 12 weeks prior to the beginning of the workshop, the full cost is payable at the time of booking.
If you, the client, cancel a booking any money you have paid (including the deposit) is non-refundable unless I can find a replacement to take your place after all other places have been filled. If a replacement is found an admin fee of £100 will be deducted from the refund. If I cancel a booking any payment received will be refunded in full. Please ensure that you have adequate travel insurance in place. It is a term of the contract between us that you will obtain the appropriate travel insurance cover before you set out on the workshop. The insurance must cover the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the workshop (whether in whole or in part), personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs, loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, flight cancellations and delays as well as your inability to arrive at the workshop destination due to fuel shortages and other such disruptions out of my control.
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, I regret I cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of my obligations under my contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of “force majeure”. In these booking conditions, “force majeure” means any event which I or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include, (whether actual or threatened), war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire, epidemics/pandemics, fuel shortages and all similar events outside my control.
Please note, I cannot accept any liability for any damage, loss, expense or other sum(s) of any description (1) which on the basis of the information given to me by you concerning your booking prior to me accepting it, I could not have foreseen you would suffer or incur if I breached the contract with you or (2) which did not result from any breach of contract or other fault by myself where I am responsible for them, my suppliers. Additionally, I cannot accept liability for any business losses.
You will be allocated either a single room or a double/twin room for single occupancy. There is no single occupancy surcharge. Where double or twin rooms are available, they will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of check-in.
Mark Banks Photography reserves the right to cancel any workshop. In the event of any cancellation, I will offer either a total refund or a place on an alternative workshop. If the alternative workshop is cheaper, I will refund the difference, and if it is more expensive, you will be required to pay the balance.
All applicants participate at their own risk and Mark Banks Photography accepts no responsibility for injury or damage done to their persons or property. It is recommended that applicants hold their own personal Public Liability Insurance.
The type of workshops I offer require flexibility and must allow for alternatives. For this reason, the outline itinerary and workshop description must be taken as an indication of what may take place on the workshop, and not as a contractual obligation on the part of Mark Banks Photography.
I do not accept responsibility or liability for death, bodily injury or illness caused to you during the workshop, unless arising from the negligent act and/or omission on my part or on the part of any of my employees (providing they were at the time acting within the course of their employment). Please note that any itinerary noted on the workshop description is subject to change due to weather conditions and/or the capability of participants.
By booking a workshop with Mark Banks Photography you are agreeing to accept all of the above conditions.
I just wanted to say thank you for a great workshop in Glencoe, despite the weather! You are an excellent workshop leader with a high degree of professionalism, a methodical approach to landscape photography and the ability to adapt your teaching to your clients and the weather.
~ Fiona M
Thank you so much for such an inspirational day yesterday and for all your patience! I love my prints, thank you! I felt as though I achieved what I had set out to do and learn the principles of printing and look forward to giving things a go myself.
~ Geoff K
Hi Mark, Just a note to thank you again for such a wonderful week in so many respects. I so enjoyed the locations and the photography. Lots to process and think about again and some new exciting things to try. Your tuition and attention to detail is much appreciated and I always feel inspired again to get out with my camera. See you before too long in Yorkshire.
~ Anne W
"Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn."
“Mark Banks is quite simply one of the best teachers of photography I have ever met. His secret is an apparently endless supply of patience, and an acute analytical approach to developing systematic problem-solving tactics in photography, which he makes effortless and fun to learn, whether in the field or in the editing suite. Mark’s artistry, empathy, kindness and charm mean he is always a joy to work with, or to be taught by.”