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Puffin photography holiday in June on Skomer – one place re-available

Normally, this does not happen, but we have had a place become re-available for our puffin photography holiday in June during which we spend three nights living on Skomer Island.

A serene portrait of one of the Atlantic Puffins of Skomer – typical of the image that you will be able to capture on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday

This trip is to be held over the dates of June 17 @ 8:00 am – June 20 @ 10:00 am, & is to be lead by myself, David Miles, & Sean Weekly; the trip encompasses seas filled with rafts of puffins, razorbills & guillemots coupled with looming offshore rocks contrasting with exposed headlands or sheltered inlets, which are home to the seal population & many other mammals.

Skomer Island is located approximately 3 miles from Martin’s Haven on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. Skomer Island itself is 750-acres of beautiful habitat for a variety of amazing wildlife experiences. The island has the largest colony of breeding seabirds in Southern Britain Beginning in early spring, thousands of colourful puffins crowd the island, popping their heads out from the entry to their burrows, they skim the visitors to the island as they pass overhead carrying sand eels or burrow materials.

Additionally, they are often to be seen socialising in huge groups on the sea. The puffins, the “clowns of the sea”, are endearing & utterly photogenic. You can expect them to come within feet of you & even to walk between your feet – they also have an uncanny attachment to walking right up to a camera lens, making for some amazing close-up shots. It should also be noted that the landscape of Skomer lends itself to wider-angle shots, incorporating the scenic backdrop & birds in the foreground, to show the subject in it’s environment.

Skomer is not only about the puffins, although they are without a doubt the stars of the show. The more sedate razorbills & guillemots watch visitors from the rugged cliffs that make up the island’s terrain. If we are lucky, we might observe Gannets diving into the sea. It is also worth noting that inland of the island there are colonies of short-eared owls, these beautiful birds of prey fly & hunt during the day on the island.

The puffin photography holiday cost is £499 for the 3 night stay, this includes hostel-like accommodation in the converted farm house, breakfast & dinner, photography tuition from myself & Sean on an as-needed basis.

As mentioned, it is unusual for us to have a place become available at this late stage – if you would like to book it, please drop us an email using our contact page.

Val’s images of Atlantic Puffins from Skomer

Val was amongst the small group that visited Skomer Island with Daniel in mid-July, although they had challenging weather on a couple of the days, one evening yielded super golden light, & the group certainly made the most of the opportunity to capture subtly lit images of the Atlantic Puffins, after all, that is what they went for.

A group of Atlantic Puffin illuminated by the soft evening light - photographed during a NaturesLens Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday Read more

Dan reports in following a successful Skomer Island visit

I’m always filled with anticipation heading over to Skomer Island; the gannets, puffins & other auks flying around the boat as well as the sea rolling. In addition to that, on this occasion, we had very limited visibility into the sea mist creating a great atmosphere.

A variety of weather is something I quite like with photography but I’ll always keep my fingers crossed for at least one afternoon of killer golden light!

Alas, it was foggy for the first two days. However with these conditions we were able to experiment with high key simple portraits on a white background. The resulting photos looked as though we’d trained the puffins to pose in a studio environment.

High-key puffin photographed on a foggy day whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography HolidayHigh-key puffin calling photographed on a foggy day whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography HolidayA slow shutter speed puffin image captured on a foggy day whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday

The flat light allowed us to shoot all day & because of the time of year quite a few pufflings were exploring the area around their nesting burrows – a lovely sight. Here’s one just peaking out;

A puffling photographed as it peeked from the burrow whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday

The benefit of murky weather becomes apparent when waiting for the Manx Shearwaters – they come in earlier when compared to nights with a clear sky meaning a little longer in bed for us! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of wandering out across the island at night with the sound of just a small proportion of the 300,000 pairs that nest on the island curling around above our heads.

On our third & final day the island was blessed with lovely weather, it was 30 degrees & positively tropical. That day we enjoyed the nice weather waiting & hoping for it to continue into the afternoon & evening; & it did.

As the sun sets on the island & the light softens, the images take on a magical golden light - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday As the sun sets on the island, captured images take on a magical golden light - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday.

We had a wonderful sunset at the Wick with puffin numbers increasing as the light got better & better, everyone took a completely different set of photos when compared to the higher key images captured with the flat light.

As the sun sets on the island, captured images, such as this calling puffin, take on a magical golden light - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday.A silhouetted puffin photographed whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday As the sun set, the opportunity for backlit puffin images becomes available - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday As the sun sets on the island, captured images, such as this grouo of puffins, take on a magical golden light - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday.

Myself & one guest, John, stayed at the Wick well after dark to take some photos in the blue light & into the night. Having not done this before I found it great fun seeing the puffins’ activity at night.

As the sun sets the puffins remain active & distinctive images may be captured - photographed whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday Even when the sun has set the puffins still pose for images - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday

They continued to renovate their burrows, squabble & make their strange noises but the place felt a lot more serene!

After the sun has set the puffins remain active & calling for mates - captured whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday After the sun has set the puffins remain active & distinctive images may be captured - photographed whilst on the NaturesLens Puffins of Skomer Photography Holiday

All in all, it was simply another great trip to Skomer Island.

JOIN US TO PHOTOGRAPH THE ATLANTIC PUFFINS OF SKOMER ISLAND FOR YOURSELF

Skomer Island is one of the most important locations for the colonies of Atlantic Puffins in Europe & it is easy to see why. For photographers keen to add puffin images captured in different conditions & lighting to their wildlife portfolio, a three night stay on the island provides an abundance of opportunities. Our focus during the NaturesLens photography holidays are the comical puffins, which can be seen on Skomer in abundant quantities from mid-May through to July.

Our puffins of Skomer Island photography holiday costs £499 for the 3 night stay on the island & is held during the dates of July 15 – 18, 2017.

Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire with Sean Weekly

We are excited to announce a new offering to the NaturesLens portfolio, a short landscape photography workshop to run immediately after our June Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday. This is a new workshop in West Wales, to photograph the Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire & it is to be lead by Sean Weekly.

The splendour of the Pembrokeshire beaches in evening light - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire 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. Obviously this is weather dependent but hopefully it is co-operative.

One of Pembrokeshire's beaches captured in soft evening summer light - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire Photography Workshop

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 ‘Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire’ are 20th – 22nd June & the cost is £399 for the two days.

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

Capturing the splendour of the Pembrokeshire beaches - typical of the type of image captured on the NaturesLens Beachscapes of Pembrokeshire Photography Workshop

Skomer Puffin Photography by Sean Weekly

As announced elsewhere, Sean Weekly is joining the team at NaturesLens & his first leading duties with us are in October 2016, with the rutting red deer workshops, but next summer, he will be  co-leading the regular Skomer puffin photography trips that we run to Skomer Island, off the coast of Pembrokeshire in Wales.

An atlantic puffin calls in the golden light - typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday

The focus of these holidays is obviously the comical clowns of the sea, as such, we thought that our blog readers might like to see some of Sean’s Skomer puffin photography portfolio. He visited twice in the summer of 2016 & has sent us a good selection of images for us to publish here in this blog post.
One of Skomer's famous puffins walks amongst the sea campion - typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday One of Skomer's famous puffins seeks out it's burrow amongst the sea campion with a bill full of sand-eels- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday One of Skomer's atlantic puffins walks amongst the sea campion with a bill full of sand-eels- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday An atlantic puffin stretches it's wings prior to venturing out to sea to fetch sand-eels- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday One of Skomer's puffins comes in to land on The Wick- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin 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 Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday An atlantic puffin lands amongst the sea campion with a bill full of sand-eels- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday An atlantic puffin comes in to land on Skomer Island- typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday An atlantic puffin at The Wick on Skomer Island - typical of the kind of image that can be captured on the NaturesLens Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday

WOULD YOU LIKE VISIT PEMBROKESHIRE FOR SOME SKOMER PUFFIN PHOTOGRAPHY?

Skomer is one of the most important locations for the colonies of Atlantic Puffins in Europe & it is easy to see why. For photographers keen to add puffin images captured in different conditions & lighting to their wildlife portfolio, a three night stay on the island provides an abundance of opportunities. Our focus during the NaturesLens photography holidays are the comical puffins, which can be seen on Skomer in abundant quantities from mid-May through to July.

Our second 2017 Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday, is proposed to be held in July, over the dates of July 15 – 18, 2017, some places still remain available on this trip, all bookings have to be confirmed by the end of September, but these trips normally sell out well in advance of the end of sale date.

Puffins in Golden Light on Skomer Island

Part of the charm of staying on Skomer Island is the possibility of photographing the comical puffins in golden light. Once the day-trippers have left, our guests have the entire island to themselves. Plenty of opportunities to experiment with light & try something a little bit more creative …

An atlantic puffin stretches it's wings before making a last attempt to fish for sand-eels at the end of the day on Skomer Island - staying on Skomer Island affords the possibility of capturing images of Puffins in golden light

As the light starts to fade, more & more puffins fly inland in search of their burrows leading to opportunities to capture images such as backlit puffins in flight, landing shots, silhouettes or even something very different.

An atlantic puffin captured in the last light of the day - staying on Skomer Island affords the possibility of capturing images of Puffins in golden light With a bill full of sand-eels, one of Skomer's puffins is bathed golden in the last light of the day - staying on Skomer Island affords the possibility of capturing images of Puffins in golden light

Sean Weekly, the newest member of our team will be co-leading our Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday in July 2017 with team veteran, Kevin Morgans. He has recently returned from Skomer & his images are a great example of the sort of images you could achieve during the magical “golden hour” on the island.

Both Sean & Kevin are well-known for their creative use of light to produce award winning images & so to have both of them leading our July trip, well, our guests are in for a real treat!

Having just landed with a bill full of sand-eels, one of Skomer's puffins is bathed golden in the last light of the day - staying on Skomer Island affords the possibility of capturing images of Puffins in golden lightAn atlantic puffin comes in to land with a bill full of sand-eels back lit in the last light of the evening - staying on Skomer Island affords the possibility of capturing images of Puffins in golden light

WOULD YOU LIKE PHOTOGRAPH THE PUFFINS IN GOLDEN LIGHT WHILST ON SKOMER ISLAND?

Skomer is one of the most important locations for the colonies of Atlantic Puffins in Europe & it is easy to see why. For photographers keen to add puffin images captured in different conditions & lighting to their wildlife portfolio, a three night stay on the island provides an abundance of opportunities. Our focus during the NaturesLens photography holidays are the comical puffins, which can be seen on Skomer in abundant quantities from mid-May through to July.

Our second 2017 Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday, is proposed to be held in July, over the dates of July 15 – 18, 2017, some places still remain available on this trip, all bookings have to be confirmed by the end of September, but these trips normally sell out well in advance of the end of sale date.

A selection of images from David Margetson captured whilst on the 2016 Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday

We enjoy showing off what our photography tour & holiday participants achieve with us, so we’re happy to post this selection of images, captured by David Margetson whilst on the 2016 Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday; which was lead this year, with a small group, by Dan Trim for us.

A puffin on Skomer Island clutches a bill full of sand eels - photographed by David Margetson on the 2017 Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday

Staying on Skomer Island for 3 nights means you have the opportunity to re-visit images that you may have taken on earlier days & improve on them. Since island weather can be changeable, there is also the chance that you could end up with very different images from each day. Read more