Skomer Photography Workshops

Join professional Welsh photographer and lecturer, Andy Davies, for an unforgettable day on Skomer Island learning how to use your digital camera to capture the stunning landscapes and rich wildlife. This is a truly world class destination and the memories will stay ingrained for a lifetime. The unique experience of being within inches of the iconic puffins will remain ingrained forever and one can just imagine Sir David Attenborough commentating in the background.

Andy provides hands-on expert guidance to small groups in taking control of their camera to capture memorable images. Whether a complete beginner, enthusiast, aspiring professional or seasoned photographer, Andy gives comprehensive tuition to suit all levels in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. There is plenty of time throughout the workshop for one-to-one tuition when topics of your interest can be explored.

Participants by special arrangement have pre-booked, guaranteed places on the first crossing of the day on the Dale Princess, returning on the last boat of the day giving us as much time as possible on the island. We have privileged use of the library in the Warden’s House to review images on a computer if we need to shelter from a shower.

Seal pup by Andy Davies

Seal pup by Andy Davies

Workshops begin in April when the puffins, guillemots and razorbills are busy building nests and courting and the beach in North Haven is crammed full of Atlantic grey seals. An unmissable landscape panorama unfolds in May when the island is covered with a carpet of bluebells and red campion. The end of May to mid-July is the time to capture the iconic shot of a comical puffin with an impossible number of sandeels crammed in its beak. The last couple of weeks of July may afford the opportunity to see a puffling exercising its wings at the entrance to the burrow. See here for a Year in the Life of a Puffin.

There is still plenty to photograph in September and October with herring and lesser black-backed gulls often posing on rocky outcrops and large groups of ravens gathering. We tend to explore the whole island at this time of the year giving an opportunity to capture the great landscapes around the coast. The year culminates in the seal pupping season from late August through to the end of October.

There are a number of suggested local accommodation ideas and you can see a video of Andy giving a workshop on Skomer. News and images can be found on  Andy’s Facebook page. Workshop reviews from participants can be found on Tripadvisor.

Puffin with sandeels Andy Davies

Puffin with sandeels Andy Davies

Workshop dates for 2016
April TBA
May 10th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 24th
June 7th, 11th, 14th, 16th, 23rd, 25th, 28th, 30th
July 7th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 28th
September TBA

Other dates are available for group bookings. The Dale Princess crossing takes only 10 minutes to cross to the Island over a sheltered stretch of sea. It leaves from Martins Haven and is subject to weather conditions and workshops may be cancelled or return times changed at short notice. Contact Dale Sailing for additional information.

Puffling by Andy Davies

Puffling by Andy Davies

Cost
Workshop £95. £10 discount for members of the Wildlife Trust for South & West Wales. This saves £40 for a couple on the total price for the day! Non-members can join at Lockley Lodge.
Ferry £11, under 16 £7.
Island landing fee £10, senior citizens £9, students £5, children under 16 and members of WTSWW free.

Joining Instructions We meet at the top of Martins Haven beach which is down the road from the National Trust car park at 8.20am at the latest. I will give you your landing ticket – please do not go to the desk in Lockley Lodge to ask for this. Please put your island landing fee in an envelope and I will hand this in at the end of the day. This also guarantees your place on the Dale Princess on the first crossing of the day, returning on the last boat giving us the whole day on the island.

Participants must text Andy the day before on 07977 562321 to confirm their attendance and Andy will only reply if there is a problem. The skipper makes the decision whether to sail around 8am on the day. The £11 fee per adult is payable in cash to the boatman. A popular end to the day is for the group to go to the Slate Mill Lodge for a drink and optional food!

How to book
Numbers are limited and workshops must be booked a day in advance. Contact Andy on 01269 871870, 07977 562321 or email andy@andydavies.info

Equipment required
Digital, bridge or digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) with interchangeable lenses. Suitable lenses include a wide angle, something like a 24mm or 28mm is good for the landscape element in the workshop. For the puffins, focal lengths between 200mm to 300mm are good. The problem is that the puffins are often closer than the minimum focusing distance of a telephoto lens. Longer focal lengths of 400mm to 500mm are good for the razorbills and guillemots. These can be achieved by using a good quality teleconverter. Please ensure that batteries are fully charged. Camera manual.