June took me back to the stunning Skomer Island in Wales. I was co leading the first of two NaturesLens Puffin Photography Holidays with David.
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.
April 2017 saw David & I running the first of our Welsh Bird of Prey Workshops of 2017. This photography workshop is a particular favourite of mine because it is so relaxed & intimate due to the group size & everyone comes away with some fabulous images & new friendships made.
We brought some new props along to the workshop to mix things up a bit. These included a milk churn, a couple of storm lanterns & a variety of different wheels – perfect for getting a little creative as well as honing one’s composition skills.
With both our originally announced Dalmatian Pelican Photography trips full, we have the opportunity for a third set of dates to head to Lake Kerkini to photograph the wonderful & charismatic Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece.
As usual, the rooms are all on a non-sharing basis, all food is included in the trip & believe me, there is plenty of food served on these photography holidays – plus there are easy flights into & out of Thessaloniki, with airport transfers from the airport to the hotel & back all included.
We include at least 3 shoreline feeds – if we can fit them in, this increases to 5, we also include 3 boat trips out on the lake in the early morning light – weather allowing, 2017’s trips were unique in that the lake was frozen, but this is not the norm!
You get to stay in a wonderful hotel, that is 500m from the lake, with all rooms on a non-sharing basis, & we don’t levy a single supplement either! Throughout the trip, you will have opportunities to photograph a wide selection of images; both portraits & closeup shots of perched Dalmatian Pelicans, pelicans calling, ﬂying, ﬁghting for ﬁsh; plus wider bird in the landscape images to show impressive backdrop to the lake with the snow covered Bulgarian mountain ranges in the distance.
Group numbers are strictly limited to allow everyone to get a great position on the boats that we use during this photography workshop to venture out onto the lake, whilst on the boat & during other activities, general advice will be given before the commencement of each element of the trip.
With a boat trip each morning & a shoreline feed each evening, we certainly hope to capture many facets of the Dalmatian Pelicans personality as they go about life on the lake – hopefully including take-off, landing & in-ﬂight shots of these magniﬁcent birds. The NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday is suitable for mid-level & experienced photographers.
If you would like to join this trip, please view the events page here, from which you can send us a booking enquiry – the trip is priced at £1049 for the all the elements listed above as being included & will be conducted over the dates of January 7th to 11th 2018.
Galloping en-masse towards you through deltas at sunset, droplets kicked up by dozens of hooves, suspended for a fraction of a second against a golden sky, the spectacle of the wild white horses of the Camargue is a stunning reminder of the raw beauty of Mother Nature & an unforgettable image waiting to be taken.
Join NaturesLens & Camargue Specialist Photographer, Serge Krouglikoff, to witness the raw power & natural elegance of the stallions & horses of the Camargue. Over the course of 5 days, we will have 7 photography sessions with these stunning horses & their Gardians, the men on horseback who watch over the wild horses who have inhabited the wetlands for generations.
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.
If you are considering attending a Deer Photography Workshop during the deer rutting season of autumn 2017, then you should know that we’ll be taking the format, that has worked for us in the past, north for 2017, & they will still be led by Sean Weekly, but for 2017, we fancied a change of scenery & after some recommendations & Sean having looked into matters further, we have decided to relocate the bulk of our workshops for 2017 to Bradgate Park, Leicestershire.
The format is similar to that of 2016; that is an all-day session on Saturday, starting at 6.15am, after which you return to the hotel accommodation that we have booked, & included as part of the price; last year after the afternoon session, Sean conducted some image review sessions of the deer images captured earlier that day or provided a quick lesson in Lightroom processing in the evenings. The following morning, an early start sees you locating the deer & aiming for those classic deer images that Sean is well known for. After several hours of capturing images of the red deer, a break for breakfast that again we include in the price. The Sunday session continues until mid-to-late afternoon.
We have a deer photography workshop running on each of the 4 weekends through October, that is 7/8 October 2017, 14/15 October 2017, 21/22 October 2017 & finally on 28/29 October 2017. For each workshop, we have space for only 4 participants, this is to ensure that you get the maximum time possible from Sean, & that he can give you a suitable level of tuition & guidance.
Join NaturesLens on a deer photography weekend workshop during October 2017
We have 4 opportunities in 2017 for you to photograph the fabulous red deer during their rutting season, the photography weekend workshop costs £325 – each weekend workshop includes tuition & guidance on the Saturday, dinner & accommodation on Saturday evening, tuition & guidance from Sean on Sunday, plus breakfast during a suitable break in the Sunday morning photography session.
To hold a place on the workshop, we only require a £100 deposit from you, with the balance due 12 weeks prior to the trip taking place.
As a New Year special offer, we got a special on the NaturesLens Puffins of Fair-Isle Photography Holiday, we’ve taken £200 of the price – for a limited number of places the price is reduced to £999 from £1199 – the holiday package to photography the Shetland Puffins still includes a flight from Sumburgh to Fair Isle, several days on Fair Isle on a full-board basis, & a return ferry – dates for the trip are July 8th – 13th 2017.
The trip will be lead by Kevin Morgans & he will be on hand to offer photography guidance & to spot opportunities to ensure that you get the best from the the photography tour that you can.
You don’t have to pay the full amount today, a deposit of £200 holds your place on the Shetland Puffins of Fair-Isle, with the balance due in early April 2017.