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Pre-paid Vouchers for Workshops available. Makes a great gift!

Steve Andrews - Skomer June 2015

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It was always one on my ambitions to photograph puffins but whenever I was near one of the few locations in the UK it was the wrong month. So this year, after finding details of Andy’s workshops I decided I would attend one.

The original plan was to book a B&B for a couple of nights and go on one of the Saturday sessions. Good plan but this got moved to the Sunday, but when we meet in the car park all crossings for the day were cancelled. Rather than give up and go home I put my name down for the next workshop on the following Tuesday as the boats do not operate on Mondays and extended my stay at the very enjoyable B&B. Although windy, it was a sunny day so I drove to Pembroke and Tenby and whilst visiting the castle managed to drop my camera and to my horror broke it. Without a backup and no possibility of a quick repair I bought a new camera on the Monday.

Fortunately the weather improved and the crossings to Skomer resumed on the Tuesday. One of the benefits of the workshops it that Andy deals with the boat and landing tickets and gets places on the first boat out, which means you can avoid the lengthy queue at the ticket office.

Once on the island, the workshop starts with an hour or so of photography techniques, camera settings, light conditions etc, some of which was familiar and some different to what I had picked up over the years. With puffins nearby, it was difficult to avoid the temptation not to start shooting.




We then made our way to the Wick, the area with the densest population of puffins and spent the rest of the morning taking photos. The puffins were everywhere, were very close and did not mind humans as long as we left room for them to get to their burrows. They did to keep a close eye on the gulls who would try to steal their fish and in one case caught a puffin in mid flight, but it escaped.

After eating our packed lunches, we returned to take more photos, attempting to take birds-flight shots. This is difficult with most birds, but puffins are quite small and fast and most of the time I failed.

At some point I had a walk to the old farm in the centre of the island and on our way back some of us joined Andy to return to the boat via a different route on the lookout for other photo opportunities. The island is not just about puffins, it has wonderful scenery, lovely flowers including sea campion and several other birds and wildlife eg seals, razorbills, fulmars, oystercatchers and rabbits.

After all the setbacks in making the workshop, I had a great day. I have never been on such a workshop before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect but the group got on well with each other and everybody seemed to be to have nothing but praise for the day given the comments made on the return boat trip.

Just a pity that everybody thinks my best shot of the day as that of a rabbit!

  Skomer Island Photography Workshops Dinefwr Stackpole Photography Workshop St. Brides Castle
  Manor House Wildlife Park Photography Workshops Grassholm Island Photography Workshop WWT National Wetland Centre Skomer Snorkel
andy davies photography & video tel ++44 (0) 1269 871870 Mobile: 07977 562321 andy@andydavies.info