PODCAST 92 : Faroe Islands Photography | Land of Beauty and Amazement

PODCAST 92 : Faroe Islands Photography | Land of Beauty and Amazement

Kirk Keyes Podcast

Todays topics –

Faroe Islands Photography – Land of Beauty and Amazement. Listen to our adventures from our first visit to the Faroes Islands. It’s a crazy land of rainbows, waterfalls, sheep, and poop. It’s a photographer’s paradise.

Let’s start with some Travel Tips

Data plans: Don’t count on your USA bought data plan working in the Faroe Islands. Aaron’s Verizon travel plan he bought in the USA specifically for this trip to the Faroes only connected for mere minutes there. It worked fine in Scotland and Iceland, but not in the Faroes. So, buy yourself a SIM card in Tórshavn when you get there.


Brendon recommends packing everything into one carry-on roller bag. Clothes, tripod head, camera, camera bag, everything. Don’t load it all into a backpack. Why carry all that on your back everywhere? And with the extra space, you may have room to bring chocolate back home with you.


Aaron recommends you don’t fly a bargain airline – pay the extra amount to get on a regular airline. By the time you get there, it will have cost you the same as you’ll have to then pay for all the extras, things like food.


Pay attention to what airport you are flying into and out of Iceland. They may not be the same. Be aware that you can easily fly from Iceland, the Faroes, and Copenhagen. Our recommendation – fly into Iceland and then immediately go to the Faroes. When you get back to Iceland, stick around Iceland for a bit then to explore before returning home.

Food in the Faroes

That is, Salmon Sushi in the Faroes – Salmon in the Faroes is the best and freshest you’ll most likely ever find. Even compared to wild caught, Alaskan salmon that’s been flown to the US on the same day it was caught. And the sushi there was some of the best we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a lot of sushi over the years!

Outside of Tórshavn, you have your pick of hot dogs. But not just the standard greasy, 3-day old hot dogs you find at a gas station in the middle of the USA, but gourmet hot dogs. The bacon wrapped ones are the ones to get. They have “French” and “Regular”, one with a baguette and one that doesn’t have a baguette. And have them only add half the sauce. Hot mustard to your taste…

And now – Faroe Islands Photography!

First off, we were surprised by one thing – We knew that in the summer, the sun just doesn’t get low enough for total darkness. So, in September, we were not expecting to see the aurora. But we did! And it was a Kp 6 on our very first day there. We saw a Kp 4 in Utah once, and that was great, but the Kp 6 was so awesome. Even though there were clouds, it was still amazing! But every night we were there, the aurora was visible.

The Landscape

The Faroes are a crazy land of rainbows, waterfalls, sheep, and poop. The poop is everywhere. Even in the most remote places! And there are waterfalls! Thousands of them. Expect rain wherever you go there. And amazing gorges that have streams through them. And the rainbows. Since there was always water mist in the air, as soon as the sun comes out, there are rainbows!

And the non-denominational sun rays – crepuscular rays that is. They stand out so brightly that they look like a solid structure in the air. It was just a heavenly view when the sun rays were contrasted against the dark shadows of the clouds. RAW files look great without any processing! The colors of the green grass, the black rocks, the amazing blue of the ocean and the sky – it all looked so intense. But then add in clouds and sun rays, and it’s fantastic! it’s a photographer’s paradise.

What should you wear?

Rainproof jacket, something light and compressible. You can throw it on in a second when the rain comes around and then pack it up away quickly when it’s done, so you don’t sweat too much as you’re hiking around.

Ankle-high waterproof boots. They’ll help you not roll your ankle, and you’ll need them waterproof as everything there is wet. If it isn’t wet, then there is moss on it. And if it’s neither wet nor mossy, then there’s sheep poop… Your boot will get wet and if the water soaks in, they will never dry by the next day. So, bring good waterproof boots, not slippers!

Wool socks, actually wool everything. Everyone there wears wool. If you don’t have wool everything, try Under Armor-type layering. Get some thermal tights and then wear hiking shorts over them. That way, you don’t have to sport that off-putting yoga pants look and disgust everyone around you. And then throw on the raingear as needed.

Be aware of the wind, and the slope of the hillsides. The grass is slippery, and the roots don’t grow deep there, so you could take a big chunk of dirt with you and slide down the hillside into the ocean. It’s a danger that gets people killed. If you’re afraid of heights, you may have problems in some locations.

But there’s so much to discover in the Faroes. Even James Kelly who was with us, who’s been to the Faroes numerous times, discovered new locations on this trip that he had never noticed before.

The Undiscovered Country

When we first started looking into going to the Faroes, there were very few YouTubes on it. But this year, that’s changed. These islands are no longer the Undiscovered Country. It’s so close to Iceland, that more and more people are going there. It’s only 1.5 hours away by air, so if you’re going to Iceland, plan on visiting the Faroes too. But this new-found interest is taking a toll on the land there. And since it’s all privately owned, you need to check with the landowners before entering their land. So please respect the land owners wishes. Do not trespass.

The Faroes were simply amazing. But get out there sooner rather than later. We don’t know how long access to some of these places will still be open.


There’s a lighthouse on Kalsoy, one of the islands that make up the Faroes, that’s on the northern tip of this island. The Kallur Lighthouse is on this amazing cliff edge. We thought the light house was going to be the best subject to photograph there, but it turned out there were so many more amazing things. There was a wall of green grass leading up to the lighthouse, and then a sheer drop down to the sea. There’s a path past the light house there’s a path that goes down by the sea, but it’s not a place you want to go when it’s windy. But you hike up this cliff is fantastic, and the payoff is that there’s a swirling pool at the base of the cliffs with the most amazing looking water in it.

Faroe Islands Rainbows

While we were there, clouds with sheets of rain falling from them came rolling in – it was other worldly looking! It was sunset and the rain was coming in, and we were standing on a high cliff overlooking the sea for as far as you can see, and we were treated by a 180-degree rainbow. It was just mind-blowing! The color of the sky enveloped us as the cloud came in. The pink color of the sunset actually came to us and surrounded us! The wind was howling, and we gathered next to the lighthouse to get some protection. But the wind was so fierce, it tore Aaron’s beanie cap right off his head.

No Words

It was such an awesome experience being there. The colors were so intense it really didn’t take many adjustments to our photos to make them look great. It was amazing. It was incredible. Even Aaron was at a loss for words to describe it.

We are doing a 7-day Faroe Islands Photography Workshop next April 8th – 15th and again September 16th – 23rd. We’ll be taking a maximum of 6 people for each of these workshops. If you can join us, it will be one of the best experiences of your life.


Upcoming Milky Way Workshops

Join us for our Milky Way Workshops in 2019! 
Goblin Valley Workshops
Escalante Workshops
Bandon, OR / Crater Lake Workshops

Related Episodes:

You can listen to…

PODCAST 87: James Kelly | Landscape Photography in the Faroe Islands & a Piano Metaphor for Photography

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