A Lone Puffin From The Atlantic Puffin Colony Of Grímsey Island Soars In The Pink Sky

Capturing the Charismatic Charm of the Grímsey Island Puffins through Wildlife Photography

Article written by David Miles illustrated with images contributed by Pui Hang Miles.

A single image of a puffin perched atop a craggy rock face tells a story of determination & beauty that any wildlife photographer should do justice to. While capturing the charismatic charm of Grímsey Island puffins may seem daunting, with the right equipment & knowledge, anyone can hike the island & return with gorgeous photos. Grímsey Island, located just 40 miles off the shore of , is a haven for thousands of puffins during their breeding season. During this time, they fill the island with bright colours & cheerful calls, creating the perfect backdrop for capturing striking photographs.


A Pair Of The Atlantic Puffins, Photographed In Their Natural Habitat On Grímsey Island, Iceland

To ensure optimal results when photographing these beautiful birds, it's crucial to have the correct setup for the environment & the birds' behaviour. Combining all these elements, from proper clothing to the right lenses & camera settings, will give you the best results. And, with patience & some trial & error, you'll find yourself taking stunning shots of Grímsey Island puffins in no time. Also, the right attitude & knowledge of the puffins' behaviour will help bring your images to life. Knowing which nesting areas they inhabit & how to adjust to their flight patterns can make all the difference in your photography. The more you observe their behaviour, the more chance you have of capturing them in flight or at rest. All this combines to create breathtaking photographs of these unique creatures in their natural habitat. So, if you love wildlife photography, don't miss out on the opportunity to capture the charismatic charm of the Grímsey Island puffins.

Background Information on Grimsey Island


Grímsey Island is a small island located in the Arctic Circle, just 40 miles off the coast of . It's a hidden gem, surrounded by the vast North Atlantic Ocean & the Eyjafjörður fjord. This remote, uninhabited island is home to an array of seabirds, including Atlantic puffins. Thousands of these colourful birds flock to the island every summer to breed in the nesting colonies. The island has been listed as a Nature Reserve since 1975 & is an important breeding ground for many species of seabirds. The terrain is rocky & steep, with the island's highest peak reaching up to 100 meters. The island is accessible by boat & plane, & visitors can experience the breathtaking landscape & observe the puffins up close in their natural habitat.

A Group Of Puffins From The Atlantic Puffin Colony Of Grímsey Island Set Against The Pink Sky

The Best Time of Year to Visit for Sightings of the Grímsey Island Puffins

The best time of year to visit Grímsey Island for puffin sightings is between May & August. This is when the birds are most active in the nesting colonies & most likely to be seen in the area. During this time, the island is teeming with other seabirds, such as kittiwakes, guillemots, fulmars, & razorbills. It's truly a sight to behold! If you're looking for the best experience, aim to visit during the peak months of June & July. This is when the puffins are most active, & the weather is mildest.


An Atlantic Puffin Flies Past Black Basalt Cliffs Of Grimsey Island In Iceland

How to Prepare for Wildlife Photography on Grímsey Island


Wildlife photography on Grímsey Island requires some preparation, so it's essential to do your research before heading out. One of the most important things to consider is clothing. Since the island is in the Arctic Circle, temperatures can drop drastically. Pack plenty of layers, hats, gloves, & waterproof boots. You'll also need to prepare your camera equipment & settings beforehand. Ensure your camera & lenses are in good condition & you know how to use them. You'll want to bring a variety of lenses for different angles & distances, & you'll need to familiarize yourself with your camera's settings. With the proper preparation & knowledge, you'll be ready to capture the beauty of the Grímsey Island puffins.

A Pair Of Puffins Drifting On The Waters In Front Of The Basalt Cliffs Found All Over Iceland's Grímsey Island

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Puffin Photograph

  • Make sure you have a nice, clean background as this will help to make your subject pop.
  • If you see something like a twig or a blade of grass growing off the top of the puffin's head, manoeuvre yourself until the offending object is somewhere else in the frame.
  • Always give your subject space to move in the frame.
  • Make sure you have at least 1/2000s shutter speed if trying to capture a puffin in flight.
  • Close-ups are great but don't forget to shoot wide to show off your subject in its natural environment.


A Water Drenched Puffin Taking Flight From The Atlantic Puffin Colony Of Grímsey Island

Essential Equipment for Capturing the Charismatic Charm of the Grímsey Island Puffins

  • We always recommend taking two camera bodies as you never know when you may need a backup camera!
  • A wide angle lens is essential, especially at dawn & dusk.
  • A mid-range zoom such as a 70-200mm is extremely versatile & longer range telephoto lens would also be very useful.
  • Last, but by no means least, pack plenty of memory cards, an external hard drive & a laptop!


A Group Of Puffins From The Atlantic Puffin Colony Of Grímsey Island Set Against The Pink Sky With Icelands Mountains In The Background

Capturing Memories with Other Wildlife on Grímsey Island


Grímsey Island isn't just home to puffins – it's also a great place to observe other wildlife. You may spot Arctic foxes, seals, & whales during your visit. Don't forget to watch the birds & other animals on the island – you never know what you might find! Remember to stay keep your distance from the animals & respect the island's natural environment. If you're lucky, you may even get to photograph whales & seals in the distance – it's the perfect way to capture lifelong memories from your visit.

A Solo Atlantic Puffin Flying With A Beak Full Of Sand Eels Against The Pink Sky, Photographed In Their Natural Habitat On Grímsey Island, Iceland

Which Photography Tours Does NaturesLens Schedule for Photographing the Grímsey Island Puffins?


NaturesLens offers a range of Puffins of Grímsey Island photography holidays designed to allow photographers of all levels to add images of the charismatic Grimsey Island Puffins to their portfolio. These trips generally are conducted in July when the Icelandic wildlife is most active.

Our photography holidays allow photographers to capture stunning images of the Puffins of Grímsey Island & many other Icelandic species. During our trips, photographers will also be able to photograph various other wildlife.

At NaturesLens, we aim to provide photographers with an unforgettable experience that will leave them with beautiful, memorable images. Our trips are led by experienced wildlife photographers who are passionate about wildlife photography & are dedicated to helping photographers capture the best images possible.

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