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The anticipation of a return to the Skomer Puffins

For the last few years, June & July have seen NaturesLens run 3 night photography holidays to capture images of the Skomer Puffins, & 2017 is no different!

Looking straight down the lens at us a puffin photographed on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday

It is almost time – two weeks out – for the first of our annual visits to capture images of Skomer’s Puffins – for several years now, we have taken large groups with multiple guides to the island, the first trip of 2017 is being led by myself & Sean Weekly, the second by Sean Weekly & Kevin Morgans. That means that the weekend after next will be ‘cooking time’, there should be plenty of warming food for the evening meals, some cakes & we might slip the odd box of wine in.

Peeping over the ground cover a puffin photographed on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday Read more

Skomer Puffins in July & Landscapes extension

We’re pleased to announce that Sean Weekly has joined our leading team, Sean has had a number of images awarded in recent years in British Wildlife Photography Awards & various other national & international competitions. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge that he will endeavour to share with those who are participating on the trips that he is a leader for.

Sean will be co-leading the June Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday with me, but sadly, the trip is already full. However, the photography holiday to photograph the Skomer Puffins in July is being lead by Kevin & Sean, & this trip has spaces remaining available on it.

One of Skomer's atlantic puffins stands proudly amongst the sea campion - typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

Kevin & Sean have different styles & both will be on hand throughout the Skomer Puffins trip to ensure that you get the best images possible. They will offer you advice & hands-on guidance on composition, birds in flight, & how to produce images with impact.

One of Skomer's atlantic puffins stands with just it's head above the sea campion- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday One of Skomer's famous puffins comes in to land on The Wick- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

You can view all the trip details here – the dates of the trip are July 15th – 18th, 2017 & the cost is £499.

An lone atlantic puffin stands at The Wick - typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

Immediately before the our photography holiday for the Skomer Puffins in July & the participants arrive to head to Skomer, Sean will be undertaking a two night extension to capture the ‘Landscapes of Mid-Wales, similar to the images you can seen below that were captured by Sean recently. This extension has 6 places only available for participants.

A rainbow appears over the mountainous landscape of the Elan Valley - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Mid-Wales Landscapes Photography Workshop A picturesque reservoir & dam in the Elan Valley - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Mid-Wales Landscapes Photography Workshop

If one of the nights is clear, Sean has kindly offered to run a night-scapes workshop for a few hours as well – but obviously this is weather dependent – hopefully it is co-operative, & you’ll be able to capture images similar to the following.

Astro photography in the Elan Valley - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Mid-Wales Landscapes Photography Workshop

As noted above, the extension has places for 6 participants only; the extension includes two nights accommodation on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis. Photography guidance will take place around the four main photography sessions, of which there will be two evening sessions, & two early morning sessions, Sean will be on hand throughout the day, but the bulk of the photography will be undertaken at the beginning & end of the days, when the light is best.

The dates for the ‘Landscapes of Mid-Wales‘ are 12th – 14th July & the cost is £450   for the two days.

Waterfall photography in the Elan Valley - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Mid-Wales Landscapes Photography Workshop

If you would like to join this extension, please sign up by using the booking for at the base of this page.

Sean & I are currently planning a very exciting week-long photography holiday for late 2017, that we will announce soon; & in 2018, he will start his photographic year, by leading one of our Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photography holidays.

My thoughts on the Puffins of Fair-Isle

Fair Isle, measuring at just 3km wide & barely 5km long is Britain’s most remote inhabited island. It can be found marooned in the North Sea between Shetland & Orkney. Due to its location it is not the easiest place to get to. But once you set foot on the island, it truly is a puffin paradise & with almost 24 hours of daylight during June it is a photographers dream. The puffin population on Fair Isle may not be the biggest in the UK, but it is difficult to argue that it isn’t the most beautiful. Read on for my thoughts on the Puffins of Fair Isle & why Shetland, & in particular, Fair Isle, is one of the best locations to capture images of the comical clowns of the sea.

Posing with a gathered flower, one of Fair ISle's Puffins looks in a contemplative mood - photographed on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photographic Holiday Read more

Some of Stuart’s images from their recent visit to the Puffins of Fair-Isle

Stuart has kindly sent in a selection of images captured on Shetland when they undertook the Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday led by Kevin Morgans.

Fair Isle is the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. It is administratively part of the parish of Dunrossness, Shetland, & is roughly equidistant from Sumburgh Head some 24 miles to the northeast on the Mainland of Shetland & North Ronaldsay, Orkney, some 27 miles to the southwest. Fair Isle is 3 miles long & 1.5 miles wide. It has an area of 3 sq miles, making it the tenth largest of the Shetland Islands.

Fair Isle has a permanent bird observatory, founded by George Waterston in 1948. Because of its importance as a bird migration watchpoint, it provides virtually all of the accommodation on the island.

The light, that is the reason for our photography holidays to both Fair Isle & Skomer which enables the capture of images like this

The light, that is the reason for our photography holidays to both Fair Isle & Skomer which enables the capture of images like this - photographed on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair Isle Photography Holiday

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Bookings are now open for …

Our ever-popular Puffins of Skomer Island photography holidays for June & July 2017, if you have ever been to Skomer on a day trip, you will know how prolific the puffins are, but you may have had to photograph them in the harsh summer light, which is not optimal … now imagine yourself instead being able to photograph the puffins when the day trippers have left, in the rich, soft light of the late afternoon & evening … that is what you can experience when you attend our Puffins of Skomer Island photography holiday!

One of Skomers famous Puffins at The Wick - photographed on a NaturesLens Puffins Photography Holiday

We include 3 nights accommodation on the island, breakfasts & dinners of delicious warming food, the services of the NaturesLens guides, &, like all our trips, plenty of laughter … places are strictly limited – half the places on the June trip are already booked.

Puffin photographed on Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Puffins Photography Holiday

You will come back from the trip having enough images of puffins & their behaviour to pack out your portfolio; the opportunities are plentiful & the puffins comical!

Do you want to photograph the Puffins of Skomer Island in 2017?

If you’d like to hold a place, you can do so for June or July, with a deposit of £100, the balance will be due 3 months before your trip in 2017 – we have to close our bookings no later than the beginning of October, but in the past, our trips have sold out well before that date arrives!

Puffin gathering nesting material photographed on Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Puffins Photography Holiday

Puffins of Skomer Island

Skomer Island is famous for the puffins that reside there over the summer. No matter how much time is spent, something new always beckons & calls us back time & again. Skomer is a magical place to visit, a haven for wildlife, but it is most well known for its puffins. Situated just off the coast of Pembrokeshire this island, with its sister island Skokholm, is surrounded by some of the richest waters for wildlife off the British Isles. The seas are full of fantastic wildlife, from delightfully coloured sea slugs to magnificent cetaceans. The island itself attracts a huge array of wildlife which shelters in its bays & inlets.

Puffin gathering nesting material photographed on Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Puffins Photography Holiday
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Events

Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle Photography Holiday

An offshore island so remote it feels like you are entering a community far removed from the rest of the world, Fair Isle is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, a jewel protected by soaring craggy cliffs, one moment bathed in sunshine the next topped by a crown of brooding fog.

Dramatic & untouched, our Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle wildlife photography trip sets the scene for images so atmospheric; they are nothing short of mesmerising.

Posing with a gathered flower, one of Fair ISle's Puffins looks in a contemplative mood - photographed on the NaturesLens Shetland's Puffins of Fair-Isle Photographic Holiday

With just 70 islanders inhabiting Fair-Isle, the world famous bird population far outnumbers the island’s human caretakers. An internationally renowned bird observatory, Fair Isle’s tiny status – just 3 km wide & barely 5 km long – gives little hint to the world class seabird colony & migration research that goes on here.

Once home to Viking warlords, there is now no better place to experience Puffins up close than Fair Isle. In winter the hilly terrain is covered in snow & ice, in spring & summer blanketed in flowers. The puffins adapt accordingly, nesting in burrows & squeezing into crevices in the cliffs. The colony is naturally most active in early morning, virtually guaranteeing optimal lighting for nature photography.

Guided by award winning photographer Kevin Morgans, the NaturesLens Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle photography trip offers an opportunity to add the distinctive brightly coloured bill & puffy cheeks of the Puffin to your photography portfolio.

A pair of Shetland's puffins against the dramatic coastline of Fair Isle - photographed on the NaturesLens Shetland's Puffins of Fair-Isle Photographic Holiday

The stated trip cost includes accommodation on Fair Isle on a full board basis, flight from Sumburgh to Fair Isle & ferry back from the island to Sumburgh. The itinerary is flexible in between the puffin sessions to allow you to photograph other species of birds such as Skua or go off on your own to explore the rest of the island.

One of the Atlantic Puffins sihouetted against the seas off Shetland - photographed on the NaturesLens Shetland's Puffins of Fair-Isle Photographic Holiday

WORKSHOP AVAILABILITY

Maximum 6 clients – Spaces available

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT

Clothing

We recommend that you dress up warmly for early morning starts – it can get quite cold sitting in the hide in the early hours. Wearing layers is advisable so that they may be shed at a later stage where necessary.

For our boat trips, non-slip waterproof boots or wellington boots are recommended. As with most boats water can slosh through the scuppers if the boat rolls so sandals or light pumps can get wet and spoil your enjoyment.

  • Waterproof (and windproof) coat.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof.
  •  Thermal clothing.
  •  Thermal socks.
  •  Non slip waterproof boots or wellington boots (no cleats or studs please).
  • Waterproof cap or hat.
  •  Gloves.
  •  Sunglasses.
  •  Warm fleece for early morning starts and once the sun has set.
  •  Clothing for hide work should be camouflage or neutral browns & greens.
  •  Water bottle or flask for tea & coffee.
  •  Sunscreen.
  •  Travel sickness pills.
Camera Equipment

  • Digital camera body.
  • Lenses in the range 70mm – 500mm.
  • Lenses with f2.8 will give the best light capture and speed of focussing.
  • An alternative to long telephoto lenses is a tele-converter (e.g. 1.4x or 2x).
  •  Monopod or tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Spare memory cards.
  • Spare battery.
  • Battery charger.
  • Lens cleaning cloth.
  •  Camera and lens waterproof cover.
  • Laptop or another type of storage device – we will be shooting lots of images.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

The residential workshop itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.

NaturesLens residential workshops require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient residential workshop places are not sold the residential workshop may not be run, this residential workshop has a minimum participant level of 4 plus NaturesLens guide(s).

Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.

BOOKING FORM

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All bookings are made subject to our terms & conditions.