I've just returned from a week-long trip to the Faroe Islands. Well, kind of a week. My boyfriend and I spent four days on the islands, but it took about 48 hours in each direction to get there and back - boy did I need those seasickness remedies... Anyway, the bumpy boat ride was worth it, because never in my life have I seen such an incredible landscape. Roland has travelled a lot, and he said it's the most stunning place he's ever been to. There was a phenomenal scene round every corner - cliffs plummeting hundreds of metres into the Atlantic, waves pounding the rock faces, snow still on the mountains. It's actually pretty difficult to express the sheer scale of the place. It's one of those situations where you lose all sense of perspective, and suddenly find it impossible to judge distances and sizes, until you see a little hut that's microscopic against the mountain that rises behind it.
The weather was - umm - changeable! But that's always great for photography. The biggest problem was keeping the tripod still in all that wind. And I nearly lost it over a cliff edge on more than one occasion. It's carbon fibre - ideal for carrying (not that I did - I have a human pack pony for such menial tasks), but keen to make a bid for freedom if a gust of wind comes along at the right (or wrong) time.
The people were lovely, too. We managed to have a 15 minute conversation with an old fisherman who spoke as much English as we did Faroese - ie none. In the UK the first thing people tend to think of when they hear about the Faroes is the whale culls. I didn't witness any myself - I understand they can occur at almost any time - but the people were very upfront about the issue and happy to discuss it. I came away realising it would be very difficult to make any sort of judgement about it without making an effort to understand the cultural and historical reasons for such a thing.
I'm almost scared to process the films in case my photographs don't live up to my memory of the place...