Tag Archives: seabird

July’s Three Days with the Puffins of Skomer Island

One of the Puffins of Skomer stood amongst the sea campion with a great meal of sand eels photographed during the July 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday

July was my second Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday of 2017 for NaturesLens. This time I was to be co-leading the trip with the talented Kevin Morgans. He has a wealth of puffin photography experience so I was sure that it was going to be another amazing trip.

The trip for me started off at Gatwick airport. I was collecting a guest – who will be contributing his own Puffins of Skomer blog, I understand – Csaba, a long-time friend of David & Pui Hang, who was flying over from Hungary just to come & photograph the Puffins! It was great to have some company during the long 6 hour drive from Kent to the South West of Wales.

Kevin & myself met the rest of the group the following morning at Martins Haven which is where the boat departs from to Skomer Island. After a meet & greet everyone loaded their bags & food supply on the boat & off we went.

The weather forecast on arrival was not that great at all, Thick sea mist & heavy rain. Typical British summer weather!

Once everything was unloaded from the boat the group all made our way to the farm house which was going to be our home for the duration of the trip. Kevin & myself then gave a short briefing to the group asking what images & photography help they wanted to get out of the trip. I would say around 90% of the group wanted to learn or improve their bird in flight photography & also wanted to learn how to get a Puffin in flight with a very dark background. It is always useful when a big group of guests want to achieve the same thing, as allows us as guides to group people up to teach them all the same thing.

One of the Puffins of Skomer stood amongst the sea campion with a great meal of sand eels photographed during the July 2017 Skomer Island Puffin Photography Holiday Continue reading

Skomer’s Puffins in the Dark – Playing With Light

One of Skomer's Puffins looks skyward photographed during the 2017 Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

I hope to share with you in this post, a technique that I used during the second of the NaturesLens Skomer’s Puffins Photography Holidays, to achieve some, what I think are, striking images of the puffins on a dark background.

Isolated in the darkness, one of Skomer's Puffins photographed during the 2017 Puffins of Skomer Island Photography Holiday

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Puffin Photography Holiday in June on Skomer – one place available again

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.

Gannet Photography Holiday for 2015

A pair of Northern Gannets - Gannet Photography Holiday - Gannet Photography WorkshopNaturesLens & Drew Buckley have recently been planning some new events for 2015, to that end, we are happy to announce that we have put assembled the details for a Gannet Photography Holiday to Southern Ireland to photograph the Gannet colony of the Saltee Islands; leaving from Pembroke Dock, the group of clients & a guide will travel to Ireland & then check into accommodation near Kilmore Quay. The next three days are spent on the Saltee Islands, amongst the gannet colony. All transportation is included, as is comfortable accommodation, & of course there are the boat trips to & from the islands. Continue reading

Skomer Puffins Photography Holiday

Puffin photographed on Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Puffin Photography Holiday

Following the success of our recent Skomer Residential Workshop that was held at the beginning of June, Drew Buckley & NaturesLens have been planning our followup events for 2015; to that end, NaturesLens are happy to announce an expanded Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday. The event in 2014 was two nights on the island but a number of people’s feedback suggested expanding it to three nights. This is something that we have been able to accommodate & as such, the event is better value than before. The cost for the trip is now £450, but this is for 3 nights on the island. As previously, the event includes accommodation, landing fees, breakfast & evening meals whilst on the island, plus all the photography opportunities that you could hope for, these encompass puffins, manx shearwater, rabbits, owls & much more. There are full details on the event page that we have just released. We are happy to announce that Drew Buckley will again be co-leading the Skomer Puffin Photography Holiday. Drew is local to the area & a font of knowledge on puffins & Skomer in general, plus, he has an easy going teaching style that fits perfectly with NaturesLens.

Puffin photographed on Skomer Island during a NaturesLens Puffin Photography Holiday

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