Travel photographer Luke Stackpoole captures the Faroe Islands in their winter coat

Luke Stackpoole
[1] The stormy seas and the dark afternoon cloud helped to add drama to this scene. (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

In December of 2019 I decided I’d had enough of the British winter and wanted to add some adventure… So I tasked myself to capture the essence of winter in a different country. With the promise of snow, I leapt at the chance to visit the Faroe Islands and I booked a next-day flight.

I arrived to a beautiful dusting of snow on the mountain peaks, and I fell in love with the country at first sight. Despite the small size, there is still so much to explore! 

[2] The quaint little houses match the moody landscapes with their lush, natural, colours. (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

I set out on the short drive from the airport towards the classic Múlafossur Waterfall – magnificent falls framed by mountains and a tiny village above. On the way there I came across a beautiful family of Highland cows [4], so of course I had to pull over and photograph these adorable animals! Having spent far too long entertained by these creatures, I headed to the waterfall and captured a stormy, powerful scene, which sums up the feeling of being out in the Faroes. If you look closely at the image [1], you can see the village of Gásadalur on the hillside above the falls.

My favourite village that I visited has to be the coastal town of Gjógv. I had to drive over the snowy peaks on pretty sketchy roads to get there, but it was worth it. The colourful houses and the imposing peaks as a backdrop were a real sight to behold [3].

[3] In Gjógv the sheep roam freely in the street. Luke said it felt like something out of a fairy tale.  (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

The falls guy

The other famous waterfall on the islands is Fossá and we couldn’t do a trip to the Faroes without visiting a classic. We arrived in the morning after a large storm and the water flow was incredible – we got completely soaked taking photos and my Nikon D850 took a little tumble down the hill, but it was amazing to witness nature at its finest out there. The thing that makes this place so iconic is the two-tiered steps of the waterfall, and you can really get a sense of scale with a person standing in frame [5].

[4] Luke confessed to being endlessly entertained by this family of Highland cows. (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

My favourite location of all, however, happens to be a stretch of road in the north, which is a perfect blend of human versus nature – the leading line of the road sits just right below the pyramid-like snowy peak in the distance and I knew I had to stop and capture this crazy frame [6].

I wonder what this place would look like in summer with the green grass and golden sunset light bathing the peak? Looking back the other way, there was a multitude of waterfalls cresting the ridge – this place really is something else!

[5] The tallest waterfall on the Faroe Islands, Fossá, in all of its natural majesty. (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

As the days were short and the nights were long and dark, I made the most of the evenings to organize my images and get started on some editing. An invaluable tool that I brought with me was Datacolor’s SpyderX, which ensured my travel laptop was colour-calibrated to the same quality that I’m used to on my desktop at home. Colours are crucial for my workflow as these help tell the story to the viewer.

If you ever get the chance, I’d highly recommend visiting the magic that is the Faroe Islands – you definitely won’t be disappointed, no matter what season you visit in. I’m looking forward to returning one summer to capture the puffins nesting on the remote outer islands.

[6] Here Luke shows off the scale and emptiness of these winding roads on the Faroe Islands. (Image credit: Luke Stackpoole)

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Adam Waring

Adam has been the editor of N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine for almost 12 years, and as such is one of Digital Camera World's leading experts when it comes to all things Nikon-related. 

Whether it’s reviews and hands-on tests of the latest Nikon cameras and lenses, sharing his skills using filters, tripods, lighting, L brackets and other photography equipment, or trading tips and techniques on shooting landscapes, wildlife and almost any genre of photography, Adam is always on hand to provide his insights. 

Prior to his tenure on N-Photo, Adam was also a veteran of publications such as PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, so his wealth of photographic knowledge isn’t solely limited to the Big N.