Workshops

The Faroe Islands
23-30 September 2021
Fully Booked

Sunrise, Faroe islands
Winter sunset, Faroe islands
Gasadalur and Mulafossur waterfal (colour), Faroe Islands
The Church, Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands

23-30th Sept 2021

£1995 per person

I visited the Faroes in 2019, and was blown away by the photographic potential. It was unlike anywhere I had been before. Sure, there were elements that reminded me of Iceland, Norway and Scotland; but there was something about the islands that was quite unique. Perhaps it was the mountains rising straight from the sea with their unusual conical tops; or the grass roofed houses that are commonplace, or the photogenic churches. What was familiar was the changeable weather: living in Scotland I am used to rapidly changing conditions which make for great light. And it is the combination of a unique landscape and changeable weather that makes the Faroe Islands so appealing.

Situated in the Atlantic at 62 degrees north, the Faroe Islands lie approximately midway between the north of Scotland and Iceland. The archipelago comprises 18 islands and is around 70 miles long and 47 miles wide. The islands are fairly mountainous, with the highest almost 3000 feet above sea level. The population of the Faroes is almost 49 000, with a significant proportion living in the main town of Torshavn. The Faroes are a self-governing nation of the kingdom of Denmark. The national language is Faroese, which is rooted in old Norse, although English is widely spoken. The main industries in the Faroes are fishing, tourism and wool production.

Whilst there are 18 islands, the major ones are linked via tunnels and bridges, and nowhere on the main island network is much more than an hours drive away. Photographically, the mountains of the Faroes are spectacular – jagged peaks rise straight from the sea, and the changeable weather can produce stunning light in which to photograph them. The islands are dotted by grass-roofed houses and churches that are particularly photogenic against dramatic light, and there are also a number of stunning waterfalls. On this workshop we will shoot mountains, lakes, waterfalls, islands and villages using autumnal light. From our base in Torshavn we will be well placed to visit many areas of interest, particularly on the islands of Vagar, Streymoy and Esturoy.

Note that visitors to the Faroe islands do not have a right to roam, unlike many areas of the UK / Europe. Whilst most areas that we will photograph remain completely accessible without charge at the time of writing, one or two of the more popular walking areas are now incurring a charge to access. I would not anticipate undertaking any more than one or two walks that are chargeable.


Included

• 7 nights accommodation in a 4* hotel in Torshavn (each participant will have their own deluxe room with sea view)
• Breakfasts at the hotel
• All transportation during the workshop
• Airport transfer to / from Vagar airport
• All tunnel passes
• Tuition from Mark McColl

Excluded

• Meals / drinks not specified
• Insurance (each participant must have adequate travel / medical insurance)
• Travel to and from the Faroe islands
• Fees for guided walks / access to areas that incur a charge


Group size

3 (min)-6 plus workshop leader

Fitness level required

Moderate / Good - Most of the locations on this workshop are easily accessible, although a couple of areas require a reasonable amount of walking / hiking. For example a relatively flat walk of around 1 hour each way is needed to reach Lake Sorvagsvatn; an uphill walk of around 45 mins is needed to gain some elevation at Funningur (though participants have the option of shooting at ground level here). None of the walking is of a technical nature and should be within reach of anyone with a good level of fitness. Some of the terrain is rugged, so slips / trips are a potential hazard.


Why come on this workshop?

The aim of this workshop is not only to ensure that you are at fantastic locations at just the right time, but also to cater for your individual photographic needs. I will give you hands-on assistance in the field as well as passing on tips and techniques that I use to get the best images possible. Some of the techniques covered include
  • composition
  • reading light and using it effectively to create depth within your images
  • lens choice
  • use of filters
  • exposure
  • creating panoramic images


Itinerary

On our first day we will arrive at Vagar airport and make the drive across to our hotel to deposit our luggage and settle in. Depending on flight times we may have time to shoot on day 1, otherwise we will have dinner and discuss plans for the following day, as well as getting to know each other.

Day 2-6

There is no fixed itinerary on this workshop. We will constantly assess the prevailing weather conditions and select locations based around what will work photographically. If sunrise looks promising we will be out before dawn to capture the first light of day, and shoot right through until sunset. The weather at this time of year is likely to be quite changeable, often leading to dramatic light that will hopefully give us fantastic photographic opportunities. Bear in mind that the weather in this region is unpredictable, and there may be times when photography just isn't possible. In such circumstances we can spend some time around laptops discussing image processing techniques.

Day 7

On our final day we will have breakfast at the hotel. Depending on flight times home there may be an opportunity for some photography on our final day.

What to bring…

• Camera body
• Lenses (eg. 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-300mm)
• Tripod
• batteries / memory cards / laptop / cleaning equipment
• Filters
• Laptop
• Warm waterproof clothing (layering advised – base, fleece, outer waterproof layer, waterproof trousers and thermals, gloves, hat)
• Waterproof walking boots