This is a guest post by Bob Hamilton, who has been roaming the Faroe Islands with his Sony A7rII and favorite lenses in the context of a long-term project that I find fascinating. Thanks Bob !
The long-term photographic project on which I’m working covers the islands of north west Europe and, specifically, those islands both originally inhabited by the Norsemen or colonised by them. The geographical scope of the project runs from Cumbria in England, through the west coast of Ireland and Scotland, through the Orkney and Shetland Isles, on to Fair Isle and the Faroe Islands, north to Iceland and back east to the islands of Arctic Norway.
Other than the islands of Norway, what fascinates me greatly is the very strong Celtic connection present in the other locations – obvious in respect of Great Britain but not so obvious in respect of the Faroes and Iceland.
However, investigation reveals that the first inhabitants of the Faroes were reputedly Irish, hermit monks and that a meaningful element of the female line in the populations of both the Faroes and Iceland is the result of female slaves taken there from Ireland and Scotland by the marauding, plundering Vikings.
It’s a very long-term project which I would like to have published at some point – I still have to photographically visit Orkney, Shetlands and Fair Isle and, obviously, return to other islands already visited to improve my portfolio.
It’s a project I may very well not complete but the fun’s in the journey, not the arrival!
For the most part, weather ranged from sublime mornings to awful afternoons which would put a wet winter weekend in Oban to shame!
But the camera and the 35mm Loxia, in particular, performed admirably – the perfect travel combination.
The more I use the A7rII, the more I think it is a tour de force (superb colour and dynamic range – can’t wait for the 14 bit depth upgrade), but only with the right lenses – the 55mm f1.8, the 35mm Loxia, the FE 35mm f2.8 at certain apertures, the 70-200mm f4 between 70 and 150mm and at f8 to f11 and the 16-35mm f4 from 20mm to 28mm at f8 to f13.
The trip had a few little surprises in store. Every hamlet here has what looks to be superb football facilities and the hamlet of Eidi is no exception. This is a nation which spares no cash for the well-being of its youngsters. I haven’t seen a fitter looking bunch of teenagers in all of my travels.
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Stunning….and the photographs are really good too! Thanks for the preview, Bob. Doing any video? This is PBS material, for sure.
Many thanks Bstrom. Being a bit of a Luddite (a 60 year old who learned his photography the “hard way” with film), video is something of which I am unsure and with which I feel a bit uncomfortable. it does seem a waste, however, to have such a, in video terms also, sophisticated and apparently capable camera and not utilise it to the full. Next trip. perhaps
Please don’t take the attitude you’ll never complete the project. It looks like a great start and a worthy project.
The foot will go hard on the pedal next year when I retire, God willing – many more places to visit and revisit.
As I said, the fun’s in the journey and our hobby should be fun after all.
Superb pictures, Bob! Just as Paul manages to convey the humid heat of India, you share with us the rather different climate of the Faroe islands…:-) Great work!
Many thanks. It’s always much easier when the photographic kit is a joy to use and feels like an extension of oneself (what I call a “flow camera”) and the new Sony was just that on this trip – couldn’t wait to get it out of the rucksack and take the next image. It really is a revelation and will, because of weight, relative compactness and, of course, image quality, be my go to hillwalking and travel camera in the future. It doesn’t quite have the lens quality of my Leica S (nor should it given the price of those lenses) and, unlike the Leica, doesn’t have the one lens I really crave for it – a high quality 24-70 zoom – but, as the article states, by using the right lenses for it, there are hardly any compromises and it looks as if the lenses are going to be further improved. The future is mirrorless and Sony mirrorless at that.
Much as the sub-continent is a fascinating and wonderful place (I’ve been there several times on business trips but sadly never had a proper opportunity to explore), I don’t envy Paul the weather conditions he must be meeting. I’m most certainly a cold climate person and the 9 to 10 degrees C of the Faroe Islands suited me down to the ground.
My next trip is to Skye, Harris and Lewis in late November and, although I’ll be doing most of my work from the car, I’ll more than likely take the Sony kit for all the reasons stated above – and I just love using it which is an important consideration for a hobby photographer as why do it if it’s not a pleasure? I feel that, at times, hobbyists like myself lose site of that one critical fact and become in danger of turning their pastimes into purgatory as a result.
What a great experience, through you, Bob Hamilton. Tremendous photos and comparos. Thanks for sharing!
It’s a pleasure. Many thanks for your comments. I’ve made 2 visits now to the Faroes and will, hopefully, make more in the near future – pictures around every corner.
Wonderful places. What were your travel arrangements to get to the islands?
I’m fortunate in that Atlantic Airways flies direct from Edinburgh to and from Vagar on a Monday and Friday and the flight is only 80 minutes duration – have a long weekend or a short week. Hire car from Vagar and hotel in either Torshavn or Klaksvik and the islands are yours to explore – heaven..!!!
Thank you for your insight, and I love the photos. I truly hope your project is everything you want it to be! Quick question, I am an avid landscape photographer as well, with an A7rII and the same lenses. You mentioned that you found the FE 35 2.8 is only a “tour de force” at certain apertures, but you didn’t mention which ones, like you did with the other lenses. Can you please let me the apertures you have found are best with the 35 2.8. Thanks.