Fair Isle is a truly unique place to photograph Shetland’s Puffins. It’s unspoiled, natural & very remote, which brings me to the first stage of this trip: getting to this tiny Island that sits between Shetland & Orkney!
We headed to our very comfortable rooms after the briefing to unpack. Our group then met back in the reception area to go out & meet the tiny inhabitants of this island, Shetland’s Atlantic Puffins.
We encountered one of the colonies after a short walk. They seemed unconcerned by our presence, so we spent a little time photographing them until it was time for dinner.
The photography sessions are typically carried out in the morning light & evening light, both at sunrise & sunset, but we found that during some of the days, especially when it was raining, (it is Scotland after all!) that we managed to get some fantastic images of the water beading on the Puffin’s feathers. So whatever the weather, you can achieve stunning images.
Photographic kit wise I took my 300mm F2.8 (which I used the most of the time with some extenders on occasion), a 70-200mm & my 17-40mm. I found these Focal lengths to be perfect on a full frame camera. Waterproof clothing is a must as laying down & sometimes crawling along the ground is going to get you wet & dirty! I used over trousers & a top from Decathlon. They are very light & cost around £20 so if they get ruined it’s no big deal.
One afternoon, we photographed the Great Skuas in flight, which was great fun & for some, it helped them practice tracking birds in flight. Since they are much bigger, it was easier to get them in focus, so it was a great way to hone those skills needed to capture the faster, more erratic Puffin! Another thing I tried was some fill flash photography. I had some success with some sunset shots & I am looking forward to giving it another go next year. All I can say is the variety of shots on offer, that is achievable, is just incredible!
To photograph Shetland's Puffins of Fair-Isle yourself, join Robin Lowry, a member of the NaturesLens guiding team, in Fair Isle, United Kingdom during July 2019 for a trip lasting 4 nights; this photography holiday will offer you the opportunity to capture images of the the comical atlantic puffin; the NaturesLens Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle Photography Holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared room basis, & costs £899 per participant.
All the details of the Shetland’s Puffins of Fair-Isle Photography Holiday are available on the dedicated event page.