WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - LAPLAND, FINLAND
Join Tom Mackie in February 2024 for this exciting winter landscape photography workshop in Finnish Lapland. In the evocative blue light of the sub-Arctic winter, you'll be able to capture the stark beauty of snow-frosted trees, spectacular auroras and tumbling rivers - including a whirlpool! It's going to be an unforgettable 7 days of photography in one of the most pristine landscapes in Europe. P.S., Tom is running it back-to-back with his popular workshop in Senja, Norway, so why not book both for the ultimate winter landscape photography experience?
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AT A GLANCE
Join Tom on this 7-day winter landscape photography workshop in Finnish Lapland, capturing incredible snowy landscapes, frost-buckled trees and glorious sunrises.
Key photo locations include the old mill at Myllykoski and the nearby whirlpool in Oulanka National Park, plus snow-laden spruces in Riisitunturi National Park - ideal for capturing in the dawn light. (And with sunrise at around 7.30am, that's not too early a start, either.) And, with solar activity peaking in 2024, it's a marvellous opportunity to photograph the breathtaking aurora borealis.
This trip is as much about meeting and exchanging ideas and anecdotes with your fellow photographers as it is about boosting your photography skills. With a maximum of just six people on the workshop, it's a friendly space with a relaxed pace, including plenty of time for individual tuition from Tom.
With Tom's expert guidance, you'll be developing your photography eye for a picture and honing techniques like long exposures for water, working with the golden dawn light and the blue light after sunset, mastering manual exposures for shooting the Northern Lights, as well as post-production skills.
All transport during the Finnish Lapland winter photography workshop is included - so you can sit back, relax and focus on enjoying the spectacular landscapes.
Although the temperatures will be sub-zero, in this part of the world the air is very dry and there's little wind, so it won't feel half as chilly as you might expect. Skiwear, thermals, snow boots and decent gloves and mitts will keep you cosy while you're photographing.
Your accommodation includes a well-appointed private room and a delicious breakfast. For lunch and dinner, there are lots of options to choose from in Ruka, including local specialities such as karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pasties - the Finnish equivalent of pizza), lohikeitto (creamy salmon soup) or poronkaristys (sauteed reindeer). Indulging in a hot chocolate and a korvapuusti (cinnamon bun) in a ski-slope cafe while enjoying the beautiful views is a must.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP ITINERARY
We'll meet up at Kuusamo Airport and head for our base in Ruka, just 25 minutes away, where we'll be staying for six nights. Less than 40 miles south of the Arctic Circle, this region gets more snow than anywhere else in Finland, so frosty landscapes are guaranteed at this time of year. It's also a prime ski destination with great amenities, including some superb restaurants - many serving traditional dishes such as poronkaristys (sauteed reindeer) and lohikeitto (creamy salmon soup).
Right on our doorstep, we'll be able to shoot picturesque log cabins nestling amongst the pines, with the snow almost blue in the low light that characterises this time of year. But for the quintessential Finnish winter landscape image, nothing much beats the dawn sun casting a golden glow over the twisted, eerie shapes of snow-cloaked spruces peeking from deep snow drifts at Riisitunturi National Park. We'll also be looking for sunbursts through the trees as the sun edges above the horizon.
The Oulanka National Park stretches some 50 miles north from Ruka, and is famous for its spectacular falls and rapids, including those by the old Myllykoski Mill. It's the perfect spot for long exposures that smooth the churning waters of the Kitakjoki River into an ethereal blur. Nearby, a small hut overlooks a whirlpool where the river opens out into a wide, almost circular bay. With chunks of ice often caught up in the vortex to create white streaks with a slow shutter speed, it's a most unusual photo opportunity!
As a bonus, with long nights at high latitudes come the most incredible starry skies, unspoilt by light pollution in this wilderness location. And, with solar activity reaching its 11-year peak in 2024, we should have an excellent chance of capturing some incredible Northern Light activity.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP DETAILS
- One-to-one and group tuition with Tom
- 6 nights' accommodation
- Private rooms (no single supplement)
- Transfers to/from Kuusamo Airport
- Transport during workshop
What's not included?
- Travel insurance
- Lunches, evening meals, snacks and drinks
Whether you're a beginner or a semi-pro, you'll find plenty to learn and enjoy on this workshop.
You'll require either a digital camera with at least a 16GB memory card (minimum 32GB if it's high resolution) or a film camera (SLR, medium, large or wide format) - Tom has many years of experience working with both.
Additional kit - a tripod, shutter release and polarising filter will help you maximise your shooting opportunities, although they aren't essential.
Average fitness levels - we won't be doing anything too strenuous.
We'll be based south of the Arctic Circle, so it will be chilly. In fact, February is the coldest time of the year here. Average temperatures are around -10C, with highs of -6C and lows around -13C, although it can plummet to -30C occasionally. However, the air is usually dry and crisp, and it's rarely windy, making it feel a lot warmer than it actually is.
You'll need good quality, cold-weather gear - skiwear is ideal - including a waterproof jacket, ski trousers, thick socks, hats, scarves, gloves and/or mittens, and a thermal base layer (leggings and a long-sleeved top). Sturdy snow boots and a set of ice grips are also a must.
To ensure a relaxed pace with quality time for individual tuition, this workshop is strictly limited to a maximum of six people, so book early to secure your place.
If you have any questions about Tom's photography workshops, please check the frequently asked questions page. Alternatively, get in touch with Tom directly and he'll be happy to help you.