Landscape Photography Guide to the Faroe Islands - Part 3
Eysturoy is the second largest island in the Faroe Islands and it hides some real treasures when it comes to landscape photography.
Eidi is a town in the north-eastern part of Eysturoy. You can park the car at a nearby football field and walk the short distance towards the location. We actually came by this location while just driving around and exploring and we were really lucky scouting a rather big waterfall behind the town at this exact time. I was even more surprised that I had never seen any pictures from this location before since it to me seemed like a rather obvious location to do landscape photography. This is probably because the waterfall is normally way smaller, which we experienced a few days later when we visited it again during night for some northern lights photography. Lucky for us the rain in combination with melting snow filled the fall with water when we discovered it.
There is a cool overview from the top of some rocks, but I also decided to get a bit nearer the water, where the massive waves came crashing in. I explain my strategies to stay safe while during seascapes in my video from Thor’s Well, so remember to go check that out. I found a very cool whirlpool effect among some rocks, which occurred when the water flowed back to the ocean, which I could use as an interesting foreground.
Scouting in the other direction you will have a view towards the iconic cliff Risin. In addition, here there is good opportunity for some strong foregrounds.
Slættaratindur is a mountain located between the towns of Eidi and Funningur in the northern part of Eysturoy. There are a few paths to walk up this mountain and there are parking spots along the road. We decided to go for the main route and see what happened. Walking up this magnificent mountain is not for everybody since it was rather hard, but the view you get at the top is absolutely spectacular. When we were there in the beginning of March we had snow on the top. In the beginning, the snow was rather wet, soft, and hard to walk in but later it actually became very hard and you had to kick your feet into the snow to get a good foothold.
A local told us, that there are often clouds forming on the top of the mountain if the wind comes from the north. The wind came from east-north-east when we were there and we took the chance although clouds were forming rather often. When we finally reached the top after around 75 minutes we had an amazing view towards east and south, but the northern and western view was just full of clouds. We were even on the wrong side, so we had to walk all around the top to get to the view I wanted. After waiting for the clouds to break for around 15 minutes while hiding from the strong winds behind a rock and freezing our butts off, I took the chance and climbed the last part of around 50 meter. At the top of the mountain, the clouds were still there and in the strong cold wind, I knew we would not last long before having to descend again. Luckily, within two minutes from one second to another, the clouds disappeared and we were rewarded with one of the most amazing views of the Faroe Islands. From the top of Slættaratindur we could see the entire northern parts of Eysturoy and Streymoy with the iconic cliffs Risin and Kellingin below us.
But no time to waste. I reasoned there was enough light and I didn’t have to use my tripod. I got Sophie to walk out unto a small plateau and used her, as the foreground and human element in this spectacular scene. In a situation like this, where you have to think fast before more clouds appear you mainly just go with your gut feeling. I had a conceptual idea for this location and I’d say I used it fully.
The descend from Slættaratindur was very funny since we could easily use the snow as a soft pillow to run down the mountain without destroying our legs. I guess if you can bring a pair of snowblades that’ll be a fun ride too.
I had not planned anything for the town of Gjógv. Despite, the area is interesting, it was actually pretty hard to find a good composition. The town is mainly known for an area where boats are placed into the sea through a narrow gorge, but I didn’t really find that location as interesting as the small rocks and cliffs along the seashore. I was almost about to give up when I saw some small seashells on the cliffs. I decided to go very close and make something a bit out of the ordinary using them as the foreground while having the waves and ocean as the middle ground and the cliffs of Kalsoy as the background.
On my second visit to Gjógv, we ascended the mountain west of town. I got to fly my drone here and got some spectacular photos of the town with a low hanging sun to light up the surrounding area.
Hike Above Funningur
A location, which has risen very fast to become an iconic location of the Faroes, is from a hiking route above the town of Funningur with a fantastic view over the Funningsfjørður. The trailhead is located between Funningur and Gjógv. It’s rather easy to find since there are a small parking lot and some fences. There’s a small hike, which does take a bit of stamina. If you’re not up for that you can also enjoy the view from a lower perspective, which along with your foreground changes all along the ridge.
My main objective was to get that “adventurous” photograph with a person scouting into the fjords. There’s plenty of opportunities for that all along the ridge, where cliffs and small hills with rocks make up good foregrounds where the main subject can stand out with the fjord as the background framed by the mountains. And also remember to look in other directions! We had some spectacular lighting conditions towards the west, where sunrays lit up the landscape.
View towards Kalsoy
Before going to the Faroe Islands I did a lot of research using Google Earth. Google Earth is a fantastic program to scout out and predict compositions in mountain areas. I found a location south of Funningur, where there seemed to be nothing than a mountainside. From this spot I could use the fjord as a leading line towards the northern tip of the island Kalsoy.
After parking the car along the road, we ascended the slippery mountainside. After climbing three plateaus I finally found a height and perspective I liked. On top of that we even found a decent stream which could be used as a strong foreground and create another layer of depth in the photograph. On top of all this we were lucky enough to have the wind in our backs, so the cloud streaks from a long exposure would benefit to the dynamics of the picture and lead the eye towards Kalsoy.
I showed you this example to prove how easy it is to produce original photographs from unexplored locations if you just put in the time to do a bit of research. Obviously you can also just go scouting.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this blog and found some inspiration. Eysturoy is way bigger than these few locations, so I can only recommend you to go explore some more. In the next blog, we’re going to Kalsoy. Be sure to check out the above video to see the epic video footage I got from these locations!