Where The Huldufólk Abide

Gasadalur Waterfall and Village, Faroe Islands (Denmark) Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 16-35mm @ 21mm, 1 second @ f16, ISO 160

Sunrise comes super early to the Faroe Islands but not that it really mattered. My weeklong stay was dominated by foreboding, pewter grey skies, fog, rain, wind, and often all of the above simultaneously. This was also true of Iceland during the ten days preceding my flight to the Faroes, but somehow this felt even worse. The islands seemed genuinely angry at my arrival and its displeasure was measured in buckets of the falling wet stuff.

I jokingly made reference of this to an English-speaking gentleman at the airport and he (jokingly?) said it might be the Huldufólk, The Hidden People or elves who reside in another dimension. The native range of these mythical creatures apparently extends to both Iceland and this small Danish island in the North Atlantic.

“You do believe in elves, don’t you?” he asked in a lyrical, Scottish brogue but without any hint of irony.

“You ever hear of Bigfoot?” I responded in my best sarcastic American snarl. He has, in fact, not heard of Bigfoot

“Never mind,” I said.

So for the next four and  a half days, I cursed the rain and my doomed trip to these beautiful set of islands. I cursed my lack of planning (I was sleeping in the car), the cold nights, the jet stream, and the stupid elves too. Especially those vile little creatures.

You do believe in elves, don’t you?

Shut up, please!

So, you are probably reading this and thinking, so what about the image at the top of the page?

The ideal script would go something like this: It’s my last night in the Faroe Islands and I’ve been shut out. The bad elf voodoo has brought me to me knees and has finally made me a believer. As I drift off to sleep that night, I repeat the refrain, I do believe in elves. I do believe in elves. I do believe… The next morning, epic sunrise, right?

Wrong. I got lucky. Luck. Now there’s something I can believe in.

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  1. Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm by Christina Donadi | Permalink

    Not that I’m taking pleasure in your misfortune, but it is refreshing to know that this stuff happens to other photographers – especially at your caliber. There are just some outings that seem doomed from the minute you step foot on the ground. It’s a good thing you were able persevere and appease the elves because the shot is stunning.

  2. Posted August 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm by Robert Pyne | Permalink

    Great story. Right place at the right time! Makes the previous days all worth it.

  3. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:40 am by Lance Warleyl | Permalink

    Sweet shot, Richard! Welcome home, dude.

    Some of my best friends are Huldufólk.

  4. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:51 am by Jeanie | Permalink

    Enjoyed the read Richard, they say, “Good things come to those who wait”, Your patience paid off, it’s a wonderful photo. Hope you didn’t rent a subcompact car ;).

  5. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:07 am by Ian Plant | Permalink

    Give it up dude, you know full well IT WAS THE FREAKIN’ ELVES! Like anyone is going to believe that luck or talent had anything to do with it.

    Sasquatch Lives!

  6. Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:42 am by Glenn | Permalink

    At least we had hotel rooms and showers to go with our rain and fog while we were in Iceland. Sorry things didn’t get any better. Long way to go but It is an epic shot.

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