THE FAROE ISLANDS
7 DAY LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
5 - 11 APRIL 2020
Between Norway, Iceland and Scotland the Faroe Islands have a completely unique identity. The incredible landscapes of this beautiful archipelago comprise of soaring sea cliffs and long fjords with islands rising dramatically above the deep blue water. It’s an amazing place, one where the views often feels like optical illusions as the landscape takes on incredibly forms.
This makes it ideal for landscape photography, there’s such a wide variety of scenes to shoot here, from close to the water’s edge to the peaks and ridges of the mountains with panoramic views of the fjords and islands.
Our workshop has two bases to allow us to get around to locations across many different islands without spending too much time driving. We’ll spend our first 3 nights in the lovely town of Gjógv on the northern coast of Eysturoy island. From here we’re within easy reach of the island of Kalsoy with the famous Kallur lighthouse, the stunning views over nearby Funningsfjørdur and the town of Klaksvík for the Klakkur viewpoint. There are plenty of other locations we’ll visit during our time here before moving on to our second base, the Hotel Vagar on the westerly island of Vagar. From here we’re really close to some of the Faroe’s most iconic locations, the “floating lake” of Sørvágsvatn with it’s incredible cliffs, and the village of Gasadalur with it’s waterfall plunging over a cliff into the ocean below. We’re also a short drive from the island of Streymoy, home of the pretty villages of Saksun and Tjørnuvik, and a short ferry ride from Suðuroy, the Faroe's most southerly island.
Our workshop is designed to ensure that you can focus on photography while we take care of everything else. Airport transfers, ideally located and comfortable hotel accommodation as well as dinners are all part of the package, and of course the tour is structured to maximize your opportunities to get great images whilst improving your skills as a photographer. We use all our experience and knowledge to get you to some of Faroe Island’s most beautiful locations in the best light, and in the field we’re on hand to provide as much support, advice or guidance as you want. Having two professional photography guides helps us to ensure that each participant gets plenty of one-to-one tuition and allows us to better tailor each session to your needs. Because of this we can accept range of experience levels from beginners to professionals and comfortably cater to each.
€3200 (price includes single occupancy in private room with bathroom)
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers.
Fitness level medium. Some walking and hill climbs that should be within the capability of anyone with good fitness. For example some of the locations require walking for up to an hour with altitude gains of 100m.
Landscape photography and shooting in unforgettable mountain locations
Two professional photographers & guides who know the area
Local transportation to and from the locations.
All tunnel and ferry fees
Post-processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop
All accommodation in 3 star hotels
Breakfast and dinners provided (not lunch or snacks)
We visit the Faroes by basing ourselves at two locations. While the dates that we’ll be in the bases are fixed, our time within those dates is flexible so we can decide which locations to visit while we’re there depending on the local weather and conditions. The weather is extremely changeable and unpredictable, so we’ll make our planes daily by looking at the weather forecast and choosing which locations will work best in the expected weather.
At this time of year the sunrise is around 6h20 and sunset around 20h35.
DAY 1 to 4 - ESTUROY AND THE EASTERN ISLANDS (BORDOY, KALSOY & VIDOY)
Our time here is flexible and can vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we shoot all of the locations below:
Kalsoy and the Kallur lighthouse
Vidoy and Esturoy
A typical itinerary for the three days is:
14h30 We’ll pick you up from Vágar Airport and transfer you to our first hotel in Gjogv
15h30 onwards we’ll move into our accommodation and get together for a drink and an early meal before heading out for our first shoot in the town of Gjógv, named after the 200 sea-filled gorge in the harbour. There are some fantastic views across to the neighbouring island of Kalsoy and the peaks surrounding the town.
5h An early start to make the 20 minute hike up the nearby ridge above Funningsfjordur. From here we have a wonderful panoramic view over the fjord and it’s surrounding peaks as the sun comes up.
9h30 We’ll arrive back at the hotel for breakfast and take it easy for a couple of hours.
11h30 Introduction post-processing session. Looking at getting the best from the images we took in the sunrise session early in the day and the sunset on the previous evening. Our post-processing sessions will be tailored to suit the differing levels and requirements of our clients and can range from Lightroom basics through to Photoshop Luminosity Masks and more advanced techniques. Because we have such small groups most of the post-processing sessions can be carried out on a one-to-one basis.
15h30 After lunch we’ll head to the island of Borðoy and the town of Klaksvík. From here we’ll head up to the viewpoint of Klakkur, which requires a short but steep 30 minute hike. The view from the top is breath-taking as we take in the whole length of the islands of Kalsoy and Kunoy, and it’s a perfect place to shoot stitched panoramas to capture the entire vista.
8h30 After an early breakfast we’ll explore the coast of northern part of the island of Esturoy.
13h Lunch at the hotel before catching the ferry from Klaksvík to Kalsoy. We’ll make the short drive to the northern tip, and then hike out to the iconic Kalloy lighthouse. Depending on the weather, we’ll either stay here for sunset, or over to neighbouring Viðoy and the lovely church at Viðareiði, which looks out across the ocean.
DAY 4 to 7 - VAGAR AND THE WESTERN ISLANDS (STREYMOY & SUDEROY)
Our time here is flexible and can vary depending on weather and light, but we’ll make sure we shoot all of the locations below:
Sørvágsvatn & Bøsdalafossur
Streymoy and Suderoy
A typical itinerary for the three days is:
DAY 4 - TRANSFER TO VAGAR
8h30 After breakfast we’ll check out of our hotel and then drive west to our second accommodation on the island of Vagar. We’ll be passing through some fantastic scenery along the way, so we’ll be pick a route that takes us past some great location, like Fossá, the highest waterfall on the Faroes.
14h30 After checking in at our new hotel and having a late lunch, we’ll get together for our second post-processing session. We’ll look at getting the best from the images we’ve taken so far during the trip, and once again, this will be tailored to your needs.
18h30 We’ll make the short drive to the village of Gásadalur, perhaps the most iconic scene in the Faroe Islands. This small village has a waterfall which plunges over the cliff to the ocean below, and is a wonderful place to shoot sunset. There are plenty of different compositions in the area so we’ll make sure we’ve got plenty of time on the scene
5h30 An early start for a sunrise shoot at Trøllkonufingur, one of many incredibly shaped rock formations in these islands.
8h We’ll head back to our hotel for a quite breakfast, then head straight out again to make the 30 minute hike along lake Sørvágsvatn, called the “floating lake” because the cliffs at the end of the lake prevent it from spilling over to the ocean 40m below. It’s another on of the Faroes most well-known locations and the cliffs here really are magnificent, creating an optical illusion between the lake and the ocean below. Nearby is the waterfall of Bøsdalafossur, where the lake flows over the cliffs to the ocean below. Afterwards we’ll head back to our hotel
12h We’ll look at the weather and decide what to do for the afternoon/evening session. We may catch the ferry over to Suðeroy, the most southerly island, or head to a location on neighbouring Streymoy, for example for the panoramic at Skeiðsskarð, which takes in the island of Vagar, or the town of Tjørnuvík, with it’s views over the ocean and the sea-stacks Risin og Kellingin. We’ll spend the rest of the day on location or may move between a couple, depending on local conditions.
8h After breakfast we’ll head to the Saksun, a lovely village of grass covered roofs overlooking a lagoon filled by various waterfalls.
12h Before lunch we’ll have our final post-processing session. Once again we’ll getting the best from the images we’ve taken so far during the trip, showing you our own workflow and working with you one-to-one on your own images.
14h Our afternoon/evening session will depend on which locations we’ve already visited, so we might choose to head over to Streymoy if we didn’t go there on the previous day, or head to the inlet at Bøur, with it’s view across the fjord to the sea-stacks of Dragnarir and the islands of Tinhólmur and Mykines, a wonderful sunset location.
DAY 7 TRANSFER TO VAGAR AIRPORT
8h Flights out of the Faroes usually leave early in the morning and our hotel is perfectly located, just a couple of minutes drive from the airport, so we’ll have a final breakfast together and then take you to the airport where we’ll say our goodbyes after this incredible trip.
WHAT WE DO (AND WHAT WE WANT YOU TO GET FROM OUR WORKSHOPS)
Our aim is to take you to beautiful locations and give you every opportunity to get great images while improving your technique over the course of the workshop. From the beginning of your time with us we’ll aim to identify your photographic level and what you’d like to focus on, and attempt to tailor the workshop to your precise needs and provide each participant with plenty of one-to-one tuition both in the field and in the post processing sessions.
We also believe that having two shooting sessions a day means that participants get into a shooting rhythm and can quickly put into practice new skills as they are learned. We carefully select the dates of our workshops to try and make sure we are in each location at the best time of year. In the Faroes for example, April is a great time to visit the islands as the waterfalls are all bursting after the winter storms and there’s still a chance of snow on the highest peaks. The light at this time of year is dynamic and dramatic when it comes, creating bursts of rays between the clouds, but cloudy weather works equally well and this is the kind of landscape that also revels in dark moody weather.
This adaptability also extends to the post processing sessions. We believe that editing is an integral part of getting the absolute best out of an image but we understand that the range of participant’s skill levels and familiarity with post processing techniques varies greatly. Because of this we make the most of having small groups to provide 1-to-1 editing sessions in the morning that are tailored to each participant's skill levels, and which can potentially range from the basics of editing a RAW file in programs like Lightroom to more complex techniques like using layers and luminosity masks in Photoshop.
Finally, we want to share with you our passion for nature and landscape photography in this incredible place. We aim to make your experience here in the beautiful landscape of the Faroes a memorable one and a trip from which, as well as getting some great images from amazing locations, you’ll also go home having had a true adventure with great company in a very special place.
SOME OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES COVERED IN THIS WORKSHOP
IN THE FIELD:
Understanding the different kinds of light, from golden hour to overcast weather, and choosing the best exposure
Composition. Balance and harmony, leading lines and creating depth.
Lens choice. From the wide-angle vista to shooting landscape abstracts with a telephoto lens
Shooting multiple image panoramas
Controlling light in scenes with a wide dynamic range using graduated filters and/or multiple exposures
Shooting in the blue hour and overcast weather
Photographing coastal scenes and waterfalls
Lightroom for RAW processing, from basics to advanced
Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments
Photoshop masks for local adjustments
Using luminosity masks in Photoshop
Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image
Using Nik Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex, Adobe Camera RAW on Photoshop layers
Using CaptureOne for RAW conversion
Stitching multiple panoramas together
A WORD ABOUT HIKING & FITNESS
Reaching the locations on this tour should be well within the capacity of anyone with a good level of fitness but it’s worth taking a moment to point out that many of the places we will be photographing require a certain amount of hiking to reach from where we leave our vehicle. For example, reaching Klakkur, the viewpoint overlooking the islands of Kalsoy and Kunoy requires around 30 minutes of walking, most of which is uphill for an altitude gain of around 100m, some of which is quite steep. The hike to the ridge above Funningsfjordur is similar, albeit a little shorter but with a similar altitude gain. Finally the hike out to Sørvágsvatn is perhaps a little longer, taking a little more than 30 minutes but is mostly flat.
There is nothing technical on any of the hikes, although some of the trails are occasionally quite poor, but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will be able to manage it. However, it should be noted that if you’ve not comfortable with this level of exertion and walking then this workshop might not be the best choice for you. It should also have a bearing on what camera equipment you bring with you as you’ll sometimes be carrying it for a couple of hours while we make these hikes so heavy packs should be avoided as much as possible.
If you have any doubts whatsoever about your ability to participate, don’t hesitate to contact me using the form below.
A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
This far north sunset times are quite late, which means we’ll usually be out in the field shooting between 18h and 21h30. In the Faroe Islands there won’t be any restaurants serving this late at night, so to ensure we get a good meal we’ll usually be having dinner, and consequently also lunches, early. This may mean that when people get back from our evening shooting session they may be hungry, so on our first day in each accommodation base we’ll ensure that we visit a supermarket so people can get some food to keep in their rooms for these occasions.
Part of the attraction of the landscapes of the Faroe Islands are the stunning cliffs, which in many places plunge over a hundred meters into the ocean below. Tourism infrastructure here is still quite limited and these places are almost always open with no fall protection. If you suffer from vertigo, you will almost certainly feel it in some places here, but we will take all possible steps to ensure people who are uncomfortable with the drops will be able to get shots from spots where they feel more comfortable. We also have to stress the importance of safety and taking care at all times in these locations, the photography here is fantastic but safety always comes first.
Neither medical insurance or insurance on personal items is included in the price of this trip. We strongly recommend that people take out personal insurance before travelling.
WHAT TO BRING
A dSLR or mirrorless camera
The criteria for the kind of work we’ll be doing is a camera that can be operated completely manually to ensure we get the best exposure with interchangeable lenses allowing us to cover a range of focal lengths
A wide angle lens
For some of the locations, particularly next to the coast and some of the mountain vistas, a wide angle lens really is essential if you want to get those epic landscapes with a foreground that feels you can almost step right into it. 16mm or 17mm on a full frame camera (10mm or 12mm on an APS-C sensor camera) is ideal.
A telephoto lens
We’ll often find ourselves shooting distant peaks or abstracts, which a telephoto is ideal for. A telephoto also compresses the landscape and is great for mountains when shooting from elevation. A range that covers 70-200mm (55-135mm on a crop sensor) is ideal.
A mid-range zoom lens
While these lenses are often the least useful for shooting landscapes, for the kind of locations we’ll be encountering in the Faroes there may well be some occasions when the zooms listed above are too wide or too long and a mid-range zoom in the 24-70mm (18-55mm on a crop sensor) is perfect.
We’ll often be shooting in low light so a tripod is an absolutely essential piece of equipment. A lightweight carbon fibre model is ideal for this kind of trip.
A neutral density filter of at least 3 stops will help slow down the exposure to blur water in the ocean and waterfalls. A polariser will help cut through any haze we might encounter,
A cable release
This allows us to trip the camera shutter without touching the camera, avoiding movement blur during longer exposures.
Comfortable waterproof walking boots
We’ll certainly be walking over rocky and uneven ground and we’ll also often find ourselves in muddy conditions so warm boots with good support and grip are essential.
Insulated jacket, water and windproof shell and warm clothes
Even though it’s no longer winter it can still get pretty cold, particularly when up at some of the higher viewpoints, so warm clothes will help keep you comfortable while we’re out shooting. It’s best to layer, with a base layer next to the skin and then a fleece or thicker layer on top. An insulated jacket on top of that will keep you warm, and also a waterproof or windproof shell as a final layer is essential because high winds are almost a certainty during any trip to the Faroe Islands
When moving your camera gear for any length of time a backpack can really save your back. A good backpack, one with sturdy hip straps, can safely distribute the weight of your gear and really save you from aches, pains and potential injury.
Laptop with Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW and Photoshop
We’ll be shooting RAW, and as part of each day will be dedicated to post processing images a good RAW converter like Adobe Lightroom or Camera RAW is essential. Other converters like Capture One are also fine. Adobe Photoshop is great for more advanced processing as it allows us to be much more subtle and creative in it’s use of layers.
If you have any questions about what to bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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To register for the workshop we require a €900 deposit. Please complete the form below for more information and please state which dates you're interested in.