Landscape Photography Guide to the Faroe Islands - Part 2
In this blog, I will describe some of the most famous landscape photography locations on the largest island in the Faroes, Streymoy.
Bridge near Torshavn
The first location on the list is one I found myself. I have at least not seen anybody else photograph it. It’s an old bridge located close to Torshavn the capitol of the Faroe Islands.
You will come by it on the road between Torshavn and Kirkjubøur. There is a small road from the main road, where you can drive down and since you will probably have it all to yourself there’s also plenty of locations to park.
It is a fairly small location, but there’s a good amount of compositions to choose from along the side of the stream. Dependent on the amount of water you will also be able to walk out into the waterfall in the streaming water.
View over Kaldbaksbotnur
A viewpoint I was very excited to visit myself since I’ve only seen one picture from here before is the view over Kaldbaksbotnur. It’s located along road 10 north-west of Torshavn. I find the lines along the cliffs leading down to the fjord very photogenic.
To get to the optimal viewpoint you’ll have to park the car along road ten and go for a small hike down the hillside so you won’t have the powerlines disturbing your view. It’s not too steep, but the wet moss was very, very slippery! I almost made a full split on my way down, when I slipped in some moss. When you’ve reached the end of the smaller plateau we even found a perfect little waterfall, which could work as both a foreground and a leading line to create a good depth in the picture.
The lines along the cliff sides are very visible when they’re backlit evenly. I planned our visit to this location so we could photograph into the sun and catch the sunrise, which was at the beginning of March. Kalbaksbotnur is also very impressive on a cloudy day. At this location, I will recommend a standard zoom lens.
On the north-western side of Streymoy, you’ll find the small settlement Saksun. In the photography community, Saksun is known for one small idyllic house, which is framed by the background cliffs and with the small fjord to make it stand out. The house is located on private ground and as of summer 2017, the owners have not allowed photographers to enter.
Saksun has so much more to offer though. There are some beautiful historical buildings, waterfalls an old church and every time at low tide, you can enter the small fjord and walk out between the cliffs to the beach at the sea. Behind the historical buildings, you can easily see a waterfall, which is rather easy to get to. If you hit the right time of year, you’ll in a short period around the middle of March and end of September be able to get the waterfall lit by the sunset.
On the eastern side of Streymoy you’ll find the largest waterfall in the Faroe Islands Fossá. There’s a small parking lot along the road and don’t be afraid you’ll pass by, it’s rather easy to see. The waterfall is divided into a lower and upper section, where the upper section is a big plateau. The amount of water in the waterfall differs a lot dependent on the amount of rain and melting water from the mountains.
Getting both upper and lower fall within the frame from the lower section is hard due to the perspective. If you want a strong image of the entire waterfall you’ll have to cross the bridge at Norðskála and photograph it from the island Eysturoy. At this location a telezoom comes in handy. From these images you can probably also see that you’ll have to be aware that strong winds are a thing in the Faroe Islands, so photographing waterfalls can be a wet pleasure.
The lower section of the waterfall is beautiful and there are good opportunities to get some strong photographs. I found a strong foreground in an s-curve which bends and leads the eye through the picture and up to the waterfall.
To get to the upper section I found a small path south of the waterfall, which wasn’t too hard to climb, but again be careful since it can be incredibly slippery! The upper falls are like a wall of water and very big. There are hundreds of compositions to be found, but remember a pair of tall wellingtons or something you can enter the water with it gives much more freedom. I prefer to shoot rather wide and my main lens is a 16-35mm, but at this location, you’ll probably be able to pull off most compositions with a standard 24-70mm.
The last location in this video will be from the northernmost town of Streymoy, which is called Tjørnuvik. Tjørnuvik is located within a small fjord surrounded by mountains. From the beach of Tjørnuvik there’s a view towards Eysturoy and the iconic cliffs Risin and Kellingin, which are 81 and 68m tall. I’ll repeat that. Those two small cliffs are 81 and 68m tall. Compare that to the cliff wall next to them – I find that pretty impressive
If you’re photographing from the beach Risin and Kellingin will, for the most part, be your focal point since they stand out pretty obvious in whatever composition you make here. From the end of February to the middle of October both cliffs will be lit by the sunset and during the time just around midsummer, the sun will rise behind them, which must look spectacular. But that, of course, requires the weather to behave, which the Faroe Islands are not known for.
There is a hiking trail behind the town into the mountains eventually leading to Saksun. Walking up that trail you will get a fantastic view over the town and fjord. Well worth the climb! Further up the trail, there are plenty of waterfalls to photograph.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this blog and found some inspiration. Streymoy is way bigger than these locations, so I can only recommend you to go explore some more. In the next blog, we’re going to Eysturoy, which is the second largest island in the Faroes. Be sure to check out the above video to see the epic video footage I got from these locations!