After having previous work featured in PhotoPlus this year and living in the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, I was asked by PhotoPlus to be the pro on their “PhotoPlus Apprentice” feature. It’s a been a few months in the making and thankfully the weather was kind to us.
Reasonably early start ready to catch the first boat over with newly acquainted friends Peter & Jeff from PhotoPlus and Keith, the apprentice. The main task for the day was to tutor Keith on techniques how to capture coastal birds in flight and Skomer’s inhabitants are no exception. Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Manx Shearwater, wide selection of gulls and more are found in abundance on this small island off the Pembrokeshire Coast. After a steady boat trip across to the island we headed for The Wick which is a small cliff bay where the majority of the Puffins found on the island reside.
Here we could get up close to the Puffins and go over some good techniques for wildlife & bird photography in general such as always focusing on the eye, try to get eye level with your subject to create a more intimate image (in this case lying on the ground to get the best angles) and also trying to make the subject ‘pop’ out of the image by isolating the subject from any distracting backgrounds. By following these simple rules it makes for a much more interesting and cleaner image.
We met up with the warden on the island (great bloke) midday and then headed to another part of the island to capture some different species of birds, here we spent quite a while photographing the birds in flight. A rather more tricky style of shooting to master, but by going over more techniques & settings with Keith, and setting the cameras up to capture these fast moving creatures; we both came away with some great images at the end of it.
I’d like to thank PhotoPlus magazine; Peter & Jeff for inviting me to host their featured shoot and their hospitality throughout the day. Also thanks to Keith for being a great guy and ‘Apprentice’, glad you had fun and learnt some new techniques to take away with you for future.
All photos on this page taken with Canon EOS 7D & 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM & 1.4x Ext