Conor MacNeill: 5 Tips for Photographing the Faroe Islands

With natural terrains and stunning geological features, the Faroe Islands (or Føroyar) has become a bucket list item for every landscape photographer. It’s said the landscape of the Faroe Islands has soul and spirit with majestic surrealism that truly wow those that visit. Formed by volcanic activity 30 million years ago, Faroe Islands now host 77 nationalities among its population of only 48,000. With the amazing bird watching opportunities — there are 10 times as many puffins as there are humans — and National Geographic’s statement that ‘Faroe Islands is the world’s most appealing island community, out of 111 island destinations worldwide’, the Faroe Islands has become an area of wanderlust. How do you capture the essence of such a place? Before you book your ticket, check out these top five tips for photographing the Faroe Islands by travel and landscape photographer Conor “The Fella” MacNeill.

Tip #1: Use the inevitable cloud cover to your advantage.

The Faroe Islands are renowned for bad weather conditions, and it’s a status that is well- earned! The weather can change very rapidly on this small archipelago, and the fast moving clouds can give rise to some great light over the mountains and roads.

Tip #2: Isolate buildings as a focal point.

There aren’t a lot of structures in the rural parts of the Faroe Islands, i.e. 95% of it, so getting a building on its own is pretty easy. When combined with some of their stunning landscapes, a little house can really draw the eye into your image.

Tip #3: Use a person for a sense of scale.

With such expansive vistas and not much else for reference, using a person in your shot can sometimes give a much-needed sense of scale. Whether this is to show the width of a valley, or the height of a thunderous waterfall, a lone figure will help create that feeling of majesty.

Tip #4: Keep an eye out for those rare sunsets.

As previously mentioned, the weather in the Faroe Islands can be pretty stormy and rough. On the rare occasion that the clouds part way just in time for golden hour, you have to be ready to grab your gear and quickly head out to the nearest shooting location before the light disappears.

Tip #5: Don’t forget about the wildlife.

Although the islands are mostly inhabited by sheep, if you head there in the summer months, you’re in with a chance of seeing some of the local puffin populations, especially if you set sail for Mykines. Here you’ll find thousands of puffins circling overhead and burrowing underground.


Originally from Northern Ireland, Conor has been interested in photography for over two decades and has built up an impressive portfolio of images from around the world. His passion for travel has lead him to over 60 countries so far, with this list ever-increasing. He not only visits the main destinations and puts his unique photographic twist on things, but also manages to capture the essence of a country by visiting the paths less-travelled.

Check out Conor’s webinar, presented by SmugMug and Lonely Planet, from 2017 here and pick up one of Conor’s stunning prints here.

Written by Conor MacNeill

July 18, 2018 · 4 min read

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