Luminar Photo Camp - FAQ

November 11

18 min. to read

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Get ready for your Iceland journey!

Preparing for Your Iceland Journey

Do I need to be an expert photographer to join the Camp?

The primary purpose of the camp is to learn and get experience, so you don’t need to be concerned about your level. We welcome ALL photographers, no matter how professional. Every day we will travel, work with various scenarios, and explore the true beauty of mother nature through our cameras. If you love taking photos and are passionate about photo art, this Camp will bring you a lot of joy and dramatically boost your skills. 

Will I be able to see the Northern lights?

We will hunt the Aurora every night, as it’s a sight to see! The Northern Lights can be seen in Iceland from late August until the beginning of April if the sky is clear and Aurora activity is forecasted, so the chances are high. 

It’s February! Won’t it be too cold?

We get that question a lot, but don’t worry — winters in Iceland are not as cold as you may think. The average low is approximately -2 degrees Celsius (28.4 Fahrenheit), whereas the average high is about 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 Fahrenheit). You’ll find the indoors to be quite toasty and warm. 

What should I pack, and what gear should I bring with me?

We will send you a complete clothing and camera equipment list in our welcome kit after you book your spot. Our general recommendation for dressing in Iceland is to wear layers and to stay away from heavy cotton clothing. Lighter alternatives like Merino wool are warm, wrinkle-free, and will serve you well.

Can you help arrange my travel visa?

The requirements for travel visas to Iceland vary widely depending on your nationality. Please check the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration to see if you need a visa to travel to Iceland. While we can’t help you procure your visa, we can give you a letter of confirmation from our company as well as confirmations from the hotels we’ll use during the tour in order to assist your application. If you do require a visa, then you may either arrange it yourself by contacting your nearest Icelandic Embassy or by using the services of a visa processing company. Please ensure that you complete and return your visa application in a timely manner so you will have your documents in time to travel. It’s best to get your visa sorted in advance because the processing time can be quite long.

Medical, Insurance, Security, and Emergency Info

Will I be able to charge my electrical appliances?

In most places, you’ll be able to recharge your appliances at the hotel. We recommend that you bring a travel adapter with you and if you have lots of batteries to charge, a travel sized power bar. To find out which plug adapter you will need in Iceland, take a look here.

Do I need to get travel and medical insurance?

Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas. When purchasing insurance, make sure that you check the terms of the policy carefully, particularly the limits of your cover, such as for replacement of photographic equipment in case of damage or loss. Please familiarise yourself with the procedure for making claims, as most policies stipulate that claims must be made within a certain time after completion of your journey.

What should I look for in my travel and medical insurance?

Look for a policy that covers medical costs in case of hospitalization, emergency travel, and repatriation. If you are going on an adventure activity, such as glacier hiking or a helicopter ride, then make sure that your insurance covers you for this activity. We encourage you to take out travel insurance that covers the full value of your trip and personal effects in the case of trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage, and emergency evacuation. Travel insurance helps to minimise the risk of monetary losses that you would incur in the event of certain circumstances, such as a delayed departure due to weather, airline strike or missed connections, inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury or unforeseen financial complications, or if you are required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

How fit do I need to be to join a tour?

Our trips are designed to be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. However, some trips visit remote areas with limited medical facilities and require a moderate amount of hiking, so you must be in good health. Factors such as long walks, icy roads, windchill, and cold weather also add to the physical toll. Keep in mind that you will need to carry your own bags during the tour.

Do I need to take any medical supplies?

The pre-departure information kit that we will send you after you book a trip contains a suggested list of items to bring but it doesn’t cover medications. We recommend that you carry personal medical items for managing common minor ailments, such as colds, diarrhea, blisters, headaches, heartburn, sore throats and so on. Travelers who take regular medication should bring an appropriate supply within carry-on luggage on the plane. Allergy and asthma sufferers should ensure that they have an adequate supply of their routine medicine as some areas during spring and summer have high levels of pollen.

Will refrigeration be available for medicines, for example for insulin?

Refrigeration will be available within each hotel for medicines. Outside of this, especially during our camping tours, you cannot rely on access to a refrigerator. Please be sure to advise us if you are traveling with medication that requires refrigeration.

Are there any age limits to who may participate in a tour?

On certain trips, we may require a doctor’s letter that certifies health and fitness of participants who are over 70 years old. We don’t recommend that minors between the age of 13 and 19 join our tours unless they are accompanied by a parent. Our tours are not suitable for children younger than the age of 13.

How safe are my belongings during the trip?

Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world. However, it is still necessary to take precautions while travelling. While we do everything we can to make sure your belongings are safe, theft can occur anywhere. This is why travel insurance is handy and a lockable bag or money belt will be useful too. Please leave your fancy jewellery, watches, designer clothes and bags at home during our trips. Never leave your camera gear unattended and don’t flash large amounts of cash when making purchases.

What is the emergency contact number in Iceland?

In case of an emergency, you can contact police, fire and ambulance by dialing 112. Iceland is also connected to 911, so ringing this number will still get you through to emergency services in Iceland.

Bookings & Payments, Deposits, Cancellations & Refunds

How do I book my spot at the Camp?

Join the priority access list to be the first to hear when bookings begin. You'll receive an email notifying you that the bookings for the Camp are open at skylum.com/camp

You mentioned that there will be 2 people in a room. Can I get a single room at an additional cost?

We ask all participants to share rooms. This way, your experience will be fuller and you’ll get closer to your groupmates. For those reasons, we offer only two-person rooms.

Do you have a cancellation policy?

Sure, we have a cancellation and refund policy.

If you cancel before the start of the workshop and the Camp is otherwise filled, we’ll refund the full amount you paid, minus a $300 service charge.

If you cancel and the Camp does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule:

  • Cancellation until November 30, 2019: full refund minus $300 service fee.
  • Cancellation after November 30, 2019 before January 7, 2020: 50% refund minus $300 cancellation fee.
  • Cancellation after January 7. 2020: no refunds will be given.

Refunds will be paid through the same method in which the original payment was made. We strongly recommend that you obtain trip cancellation and travel insurance after booking your trip. If you must cut your trip short for any reason once it has already commenced, you will not receive any refund.

At the Camp

Is the tour conducted in English?

Yes, all of our photo guides speak English and every workshop is conducted in English.

What is the maximum number of participants at the Camp?

There will be a maximum of 36 participants.

How many guides are there?

Participants will be divided into 3 groups of 12, each group having 2 mentors and 2 Skylum team members. Groups will practice with different guides and Skylum team members every day, so you will have time to communicate with every one of them.

Is airport transfer included?

Transportation to and from your hotel to Keflavík International Airport is NOT included in the price of your tour. We recommend you get a Fly Bus ticket or a taxi.

Can I extend my stay?

If you want to stay for a couple of extra days to explore more, there are no reasons not to. Please note that for all extra nights, you might want to book your accommodation in advance. If you would like to use the same hotel we use during the tour, let us know and we’ll give you the name of the hotel. 

What happens if something goes wrong with my flights and I miss the tour departure?

Don’t worry; we understand the possibility of such events. We can arrange for a private transfer or driver to pick you up from the airport and help you meet up with the rest of the group. The minimum cost for this service is $500, though it can be more depending on how far you need to travel.

How much free time is there during the tour?

We pack a lot into each day to make sure that our participants have the most memorable trip possible. However, if you want to skip a sunrise practice or staying up at night to catch the aurora, that is your choice. Just make sure you’re up and ready to meet us at times that we will be in transit. Please note that if you choose to opt-out of any included activities, no reimbursement will be made by Luminar Photo Camp.

Will there be any difficult long hikes during the tour?

We normally drive pretty close to all of our planned destinations, so you won’t need to do any extreme hikes. However, you will still need to be able to walk on uneven ground and may need to walk up and down some small hills to reach the best photography spots.

Will the guides help us with our photography during the tour?

Yes, your guides are there to assist you with learning as much as you can about your camera gear and equipment, as well as how to take home some of the most amazing photos of your life. In the field and out, they will be providing you with as much education as you can handle!

Are post-processing lessons included?

Yes, post-processing lessons are included in our tour.

Are meals included?

Yes, you will be provided with meals three times a day, plus you will get dinner upon arrival and breakfast before leaving. 

I’m a vegetarian. Is that a problem?

It’s no problem at all. Just let us know in advance so we can inform our guides. That way they can make sure you are looked after in all of the local restaurants and hotels.

I have food allergies. What can you do?

We do everything in our power to make sure you are taken care of with no risk to your health.

Money & Currency in Iceland

What is the local currency?

In Iceland, the currency is the Icelandic króna. Current exchange rates are available through your bank and on websites like XE.com.

How much cash do I need?

We don’t recommend bringing too much cash because you can use your card everywhere in Iceland. Remember that with Luminar Photo Camp, your transport, accommodation, and entrance fees to major sites are paid for in advance, so you won’t need to factor these into your budget.

What is the best way to take money with me?

We recommend bringing along a combination of cash, an ATM card, and a credit card just in case one option fails. Remember to advise your bank that you will be using your cards abroad. There may be foreign transaction fees on certain cards. If you are planning on using an ATM in Reykjavík, then you should verify with your bank that your ATM card and PIN will work while you’re abroad.

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