07725518445

SENSATIONAL SKOMER

2 & 3 Night Puffin Residential
Photography Workshops on Skomer Island
- Since 2016 -

OFFICIAL WILDLIFE TRUST & SKOMER ISLAND COMMERCIAL OPERATOR

Join Skomer expert and local award winning landscape & wildlife photographer Drew Buckley and Nikon Ambassador, Richard Peters on either a 2 or 3 night photography workshop visiting one of Britain’s finest island habitats and it’s enigmatic wildlife.

On this workshop, you'll receive tuition from two full time professional photographers, who between them, have over 250 days of experience on the island. This means, you will be taken to best locations based on the conditions. We'll be staying on Skomer Island; the best place to get up close and personal to its charismatic summer visitor, the Puffin. We’ll spend many nights on the island seeing everything that the island in summer has to offer.

From the swathes of colourful wild flowers, to hundreds of Puffins and seabirds flying around you, there’s really no better place to spend time with your camera!

About the Workshop

This tour is aimed at all levels of photographic experience and everyone will come away with good images of the birds. Over this trip we will be on hand 24/7 to answer any queries and help you get the best out of your camera. This includes guiding you through using the best camera settings and techniques for conditions on the day. We will cover choosing the correct auto focus mode and settings, selecting the right shutter speed and camera settings, together with tracking and panning techniques for the ever bird in flight photography. Even down to local knowledge, helping to predict the flight paths and helping to choose the right birds to look out for and identifying behaviour and when to anticipate the action, such as diving. We welcome those who are just starting out, or those who are experienced in bird photography looking to improve their images.

Tours

We have various dates available, each at a different time through the puffin season.

MAY

Two or Three night workshop 

Highlights to include vast carpets of Bluebells and cliff tops covered in pink sea Thrift. The bracken isn't as prominent during this time allowing you to see the topography of the island better, and ultimately spot ground nesting birds such as Short Eared Owls; who will be hunting among the wild flowers. There's typically patches of Bluebells around the Wick too, so Puffins nestled in them isn't uncommon. 

If it's a three night tour, then the trip will fall over a Monday, which also means we get no day trippers to the island that day, giving us the entire island almost to ourselves.

JUNE

Three night workshop 

Weather permitting, expect great evening light and summer conditions and as the tour is nearer to the end of June, we should capitalise on hungry chicks wanting plenty of sand eel deliveries.

Longer days mean more available light, plus Manx Shearwater will also be coming to the island in their thousands, under cover of darkness.

If it's a three night tour, then the trip will fall over a Monday, which also means we get no day trippers to the island that day, giving us the entire island almost to ourselves.

JULY

Two or Three night workshop 

Weather permitting, expect great evening light and summer conditions. Puffin activity should be in full swing with plenty of birds flying in to feed their young, who should also be more visible to photographers lenses.

Manx Shearwater will also be coming to the island in their thousands, under cover of darkness. 

If it's a three night tour, then the trip will fall over a Monday, which also means we get no day trippers to the island that day, giving us the entire island almost to ourselves.

The Guides

 

Drew Buckley

Drew Buckley

Multi award winning landscape & wildlife photographer Drew Buckley has grown up and has worked since 2010 as a professional photographer in the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Drew lives nearby and runs his own photographic workshops to Skomer every year, so it's fair to say he has intimate knowledge of the island,  the area and it's wildlife. Drew has written his own book on the life of Puffins and he says they are one of his favourite photographic subjects. He's built up an impressive image library over the years of these clowns of the sea; in particular, being featured on the front cover image of the highly acclaimed BBC Wildlife magazine twice with Puffin images (2014 + 2022). He is a LEE Filters and f-stop ambassador and works with Canon UK. He works with the BBC Natural History unit to provide content for nature documentaries, including spending two years working on A Wild Year Pembrokeshire.

Richard Peters

Richard Peters

Richard Peters is a UK based professional photographer and Nikon Ambassador, with a style that often favours dramatic light and contrast. Through capturing a combination of mood, tones and atmosphere within his wildlife images, Richard's work has been awarded internationally including twice in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year plus, in 2015, being named the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Richard has spent the many summers visiting Skomer with Drew so has gained a lot of knowledge in finding the most favourable areas on the island for dramatic images. He's also a judge on many acclaimed photography competitions. 

Free as a bird

 

Once on the island, unpacked and relaxed, our access is unlimited. Meaning you can go where you please via the paths, whenever you wish; and if conditions allow, you'll be happy the resident night owl Drew, is pretty handy at astro photography too! Pembrokeshire boasts some of the darkest skies in Great Britain, so you can imagine on a remote island with no light pollution the night sky is spectacular. The Milky Way is at its' best in late June and we've even seen the Aurora Borealis here before!

The real magic of staying on Skomer Island, lay within the fact that day trippers are only allowed on the island between 10am and 4pm. This means we have the entire island to ourselves for the most important parts of the day, sunrise and sunset. This allows for unprecedented and unrestricted photography all over the island, meaning you will never have to jostle with strangers for the optimum viewing positions.

Whatever the weather, day or night, we can take full advantage.

ITINERARY

MAY, JUNE & JULY TOURS

In May our trips capitalise on the potential opportunity to photograph the puffins among the wild flowers and bluebells. With less ground covering plants such as bracken, spotting ground nesting birds like the stunning Short Eared Owls will also be favourable.

June and July trips offer the potential for the classic puffin with a beak full of sand eel photo opportunities. Despite all trips offering unique experiences, the itinerary is the same:

DAY 1: On the Saturday we meet and greet at the farm car park at 8am where we will personally transfer your bags for you down to the landing point at Martins Haven. We will catch the short 15 minute boat ride (fee included) at 9am before arriving on Skomer for a briefing about the days ahead. By midday you will be able to head out around the island to explore. There is a relaxed, no pressure atmosphere on this tour, and once we have shown you the best spots for the best times of day and what to achieve, you are free to explore the island as and when you desire. After a plentiful, home cooked, dinner we will all go out as a group to make the most of the late evening light. After the evening shoot will will then head out after dark to take in the sights and sounds of the 700,000 Manx Shearwaters that descend on the island under cover of darkness. If the weather allows and guests aren't too tired, astro photography will also be possible.

DAY 2: On Sunday there is photography, and lots more of it. We are free to come and go as we please but again, we will aim to make the most of the evenings and nights as these are the big draw and main factor of staying on the island.

DAY 3: Monday offers the same as day two with one big difference, there are no day visitors, so we truly have the entire island to ourselves.

DAY 4: Those who wish to go out and shoot early can do so, which is often a popular option if the weather permits. We catch the boat back to the mainland, aiming to arrive around 10am.

Two night workshops follow the same pattern, reduced by one day and without the day-tripper free Monday.

Dates & Costs

 

2023 Dates

3 NIGHT TRIPS
MAY
Depart : Saturday 20th May 2023
Return : Tuesday 23rd May 2023

JUNE
Depart : Saturday 17th June 2023
Return : Tuesday 20th June 2023

JULY
Depart : Saturday 1st July 2023
Return : Tuesday 4th July 2023

2 NIGHT TRIPS

MAY
Depart : Thursday 25th May 2023
Return : Saturday 27th May 2023

JULY
Depart : Thursday 6th July 2023
Return : Saturday 8th July 2023

Location

Skomer Island, South Pembrokeshire, South Wales

Price PER PERSON

Two nights - £699

Three nights - £899

Deposit - £299

What to Expect

Puffins and seabirds in the thousands with great close up views. There’s a constant whirl of birds at the Wick flying past that will test your photography tracking skills. Little & Short Eared Owls, Flora and fauna all over the island. Guillemots, Razorbills, Oystercatchers & Seals. Manx Shearwaters at night.

Included

All accommodation on the island

Luggage Transfer from carpark to dock 

Luggage Transfer from dock to carpark

Home cooked local dinners

Breakfast and limited snacks

Soft and limited alcoholic drinks 

Island landing fee

Boat fee to the island

Excluded

B&B accommodation the night before departure

Car park fee (£20 / 2022 price)

Lunch 

Personal & Travel Insurance

Exertion Level

This workshop is suitable for intermediate levels of fitness. There are some inclines and declines when landing on the island, including a steep set of steps. On the island there are about four miles of well maintained paths, some parts there’s quite a few elevation changes over uneven ground and some boggy sections. Generally easy going.

HOWEVER  - You will be required to form a chain gang and/or carry luggage up and down steeps steps off the boat and to the farm accommodation. Do not proceed with your booking unless you're comfortable doing this.

 

Accommodation

Accommodation is off grid living. The facilities provide simple, comfortable accommodation with electricity and hot water generated from the sun. There are same-sex shared bedrooms (dormitory) and a shared, equipped, kitchen. Pillows and duvets are available for you to use, but you need to bring your own sheets, pillowcase and a duvet cover or sleeping bag.

KIT LIST

Skomer is one of those places where you can use any lens and get a frame filler of a Puffin! From the widest wide angle to the longest telephoto and everything in between.

Book Now (£299 deposit)

Limited Spaces!

Please choose from the available spaces on the right, add the basket and checkout online.

A booking form containing further information will be emailed out after successful booking to sign. 

 

2023 SOLD OUT!

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