Photography Workshop

A Norwegian photography holiday to remember

Take the step this summer and join other photography enthusiasts to experience fantastic Norwegian nature and beautiful mountains. On this five-day workshop you will become a more accomplished photographer: take better photos, learn new skills and gain new perspectives with Olav Erik Storm, a well known commercial photographer. Gain insights into Norway’s rich culture and traditions and enjoy warm hospitality in the company of other keen photographers. Explore our beautiful, wild mountain environment for subjects and enjoy time outdoors in stunning Norwegian nature. 

This workshop over 5 summer days in August is theme-based. Every day offers new subjects, new locations and new challenges. As photographers, light is our medium. Summer in Norway is perfect for photography with 15-16 hours of daylight and interesting light, morning and evening. These special lighting conditions are one of the many reasons why photographers travel to Norway. Be part of the experience this summer!

The mountains of Norway and the Venabygdsfjellet plateau have limitless possibilities and subjects that will move you.  This is an open, wild landscape of lakes and mountains, home to the special flora and fauna of the alpine tundra and boreal birch forests. We explore the area on the edge of the Rondane National Park, Norway’s first national park, created to protect the genetically unique herd of wild reindeer living here.

We will shoot at the spot where Harald Sohlberg painted his famous work “Winter Night in the Rondane”, voted Norway’s favourite painting and part of the current Sohlberg exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. We will be outside whatever the weather even if there are some raindrops, haze or mist: it just makes the pictures more exciting and creative. Experience all this with your camera, and bring home countless memories from a special trip.

Price: 10600 NOK

per person sharing a twin/double room, single supplement: 1500 NOK

Dates and tour code:

PWE1 11th - 17th August 2019

small group size: minimum 6, maximum 12

Photography Course Content

How to use the camera as a creative tool: photography techniques and theory. Learn through carefully designed practical exercises: indoors and outside.

A great variety of themes, including: 

• Landscape and nature 

• Picture composition and visualizing 

• Photographing buildings of historic and cultural interest

• Close-ups of flowers, plants and insects

• Macro photography

• Panorama

• Moving water

• People / portrait photography

Get a better and more conscious understanding of photography through daily image review with feedback: personal follow-up and help with image processing and editing in Photoshop / Elements / Lightroom. Learn how to get a good workflow and the most out of your picture-files, jpeg or raw. Reviewing the day’s pictures will give you a better understanding of the theory and you will also gain important knowledge from both your own pictures, as well as from the other participants. 

Learn to really understand your camera: menus, settings, and how to get the most out of your subjects. We will look at how to control exposure with ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Take charge of the picture taking and get the pictures you want, not just the pictures the camera snaps on automatic settings. Get a better understanding of the possibilities of a modern digital camera, as well as the limitations, and become a better photographer.

Your course leader

Our course leader is the professional photographer Olav Erik Storm. He has been a commercial photographer for many years, both in Norway and in the US (NYC). The last decade he has held several photography courses, workshops and lectures both nationally and abroad. Olav is an enthusiastic communicator, who enjoys teaching you how to improve your skills and take your picture taking to a new level. 

More about Olav Storm, in his own words:

I work as a commercial photographer, doing both studio and location assignments for different advertising agencies and direct clients. I also photograph PR photos, events, portraits etc. These varied assignments present many professional challenges. The photography courses give me other challenges that I greatly appreciate. My most important idea is to communicate the enjoyment of photography. I feel privileged to earn a living from my hobby. 

Photography has followed me since my school days and become a fixed point in life. From my first experiences in a black and white darkroom with film and chemicals, several years working in a camera shop, and time as a freelance photographer in Oslo. I also have broad experience from 10 years as an active advertising photographer in New York City, USA. My life has been experienced through a camera! Now I enjoy seeing the same interest and passion for photography in many of my course participants, as I had when I started. It gives me great pleasure to share my experience and to help others get ahead.

Our base

Venabu Fjellhotell is a traditional and comfortable family run mountain hotel. It is the ideal place to stay for our explorations in photography and nature. The Tvete family and hotel staff welcome travellers with kindness and warmth. With a fantastic mountain area just outside the door and the host's enthusiasm and personal interest in photography, the photo courses have become a natural part of Venabu’s offer.

Since 2003, we have had the pleasure of gathering photo enthusiasts for photo courses in winter, spring, summer and autumn. Many hundred participants have gained new technical knowledge and inspiration, finding good subjects and at the same time gaining greater enjoyment from both camera and outdoor life. New for 2019 we are offering this popular course in English. 

In addition to photographer Olav Storm we are accompanied on our excursions by our experienced local guide who will look after the group, share cultural contexts and give you greater insight into the mountain flora, fauna and geology of this beautiful, wild landscape.

Who will this photography holiday suit? 

The course is recommended for photographers who enjoy active travel in the mountains, who want to improve skills on several different photo topics and get professional feedback on their own work. This workshop is run with a relaxed, pleasant social atmosphere as we share our love of photography, good food and nature.

Course programme

Each day follows a similar programme starting after breakfast with a morning briefing on the day’s photography topic and location. There is then a themed excursion and photo shoot with exercises and challenges, followed by a convivial dinner. There are evening sessions on three days. All the sessions are, of course, optional and we like to keep the detail of the programme flexible so we can respond to the light and weather conditions and the interests of the group. We take a packed lunch and hot drinks out with us each day and use transfers by minibus on most days to take us to our photography destination. Expect to be out for about five hours each day. Our final day is spent close to the hotel.


Sunday 11th August – Dinner and course presentation 

Dinner at 18.30. We meet as a group over dinner and make our introductions. 

After dinner we have our initial briefing and a look at what the week will hold. We will also go through basic exposure and general important settings on your camera. Bring your camera - and instruction booklet / manual. 


Monday 12th August - Ringebu Stavechurch

Our photography destination today is the historic Ringebu Stavechurch and Vicarage with its gardens and gallery. This church is a fine example of a Norwegian Stavechurch set above the beautiful river valley of Gubrandsdalen. The vicarage gardens have been carefully restored as a living historical garden with an abundance of flowers, especially roses. The gallery’s summer exhibition features work by internationally known Norwegian artists.

On our return to Venabu, we download the day’s pictures and pick out the ones you would like to show for remarks and feedback.


Tuesday 13th August –Visit to the summer farm, Lykkjesetra

The hotel’s summer farm is located in a cultural landscape with farm-animals and open fields of wildflowers. We will focus on close-ups and macro of flowers, insects, and other interesting details, as well as the traditional houses and life on the summer farm. There we will be served a traditional meal in the old farmhouse: a very special and memorable experience in itself!

On our return to Venabu we download the day’s pictures and pick out those you would like to show for remarks and feedback.

Evening session: Raw files: how to get the most out of them and a look at workflow and some general tips about editing your pictures. 


Wednesday 14th August - Landscape, water, historical industrial architecture

Today we travel to Sohlbergplassen followed by the waterfalls and outdoor museum at Atnbrua. Sohlbergplassen designed by Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, was created as a viewpoint for the Rondane massif and has won many awards. It juxtaposes modern materials and design with a natural setting. This view was made famous by Harald Sohlberg’s painting “Winter Night in the Rondane”.

On our return to Venabu we download the day’s pictures and pick out those you would like to show for remarks and feedback.

Dinner: tonight we serve our Norwegian Traditional Buffet.

Evening session: We will be printing out some of your pictures on our EPSON printer.


Thursday 15th August - Mountain day, an exciting hike to a panoramic summit

Today we will go on a mountain trip and walk up the (small) peak of Søre Bølhøgda, 1258 m. Our walk today is approximately five kilometres with about 200 m of ascent. We will take it slowly to make sure everybody has a good time getting to the top where there are fantastic 360° views towards the peaks of the Jotunheimen and Rondane. After taking our time on the summit to shoot pictures and enjoy the spaciousness of the landscape we descend to the clear mountain lake of Muvatnet where we will make a fire to brew coffee. One of many lakes on the plateau, Muvatnet’s water is crystal clear, its tranquil surface broken only occasionally by mountain trout. 

On our return to Venabu we download the day’s pictures and pick out those you would like to show for remarks and feedback.

21:30: We will be printing out some of your pictures on our EPSON printer.


Friday 16th August- Photographing people and portraits

Today's special focus will be how to photograph people and portraits. Staying in the area surrounding the hotel we find this a relaxed and fun day. Learn how to use the light and the location in a variety of ways.

On our return to Venabu, we download the day’s pictures and pick out those you would like to show for remarks and feedback.

End of course dinner at Venabu.


Saturday 17th August - Departure after breakfast.


Photography equipment:

To participate in this course you will need;

• A single lens reflex camera; DSLR or a mirrorless camera 

• Bring your lenses if you have, normal, wide, tele, macro, zoom, etc.

• It is also an advantage to have a camera tripod

• Do you have a flash? - then bring it as well

• Personal computer, pc or mac

• Picture editing program is also useful

To be part of our photography summer course you have to have a digital camera with manual / semi automatic settings not just automatic settings. DSLR or mirrorless is perfect. We will also be shooting pictures with long exposure times so a sturdy tripod is required/ recommended to get sharp pictures. 

It is important that you have a general knowledge of the computer and know how to download, organize, and choose pictures to be transferred to a memory stick. It is also an advantage if you have a picture program on your computer. You may download a trial version of Photoshop Elements with a 30-day free usage before the course. 

Clothing - please bring:

• A windproof jacket and trousers that will also keep you dry. 

• A backpack for you camera gear and some extra warm clothing

• A seat pad for rest, outdoor lunch or picture-taking close to the ground

• Footwear for hill walking, waterproof boots are ideal

• Active outdoor clothing – we recommend that you dress in layers and avoid cotton and jeans which have been associated with cases of hypothermia.

• Warm jacket

• Drybags or a rucsac liner

• Hat, gloves and scarf or ‘Buff’

• Midge net

• Flask for a warm drink, optional

We will be outside every day whatever the weather is like, so it is important to be prepared for both pleasant warm and sunny weather, as well as days a little bit on the cool side.

What’s included:

• Expert photography tuition and coaching on five days

• 6 nights accommodation in our comfortable mountain hotel

• Breakfast and evening buffet meals during your stay, packed lunches and a filled thermos

• Entry to museums and cultural sites

• All printing materials and paper

• A traditional lunch and storytelling at our summer farm

• Our renowned Traditional Norwegian Buffet served on Wednesday evening

• Travel to photography locations

What’s not included:

• Travel insurance

• Incidental guest expenses such as drinks and additional snacks

• Transfers to the hotel

Optional extras:

Transfers from Ringebu station at the beginning and end of your stay, for information on travel to Venabu Fjellhotell please follow the link to our travel page.

To book please contact the hotel reception:

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t: +47 61 29 32 00

For specific technical enquiries about this course please contact Olav Storm:

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