Workshop sources

Puffins on Skomer 2020 - 2 night residential workshop

A chance to stay on the Island of Skomer and photograph some of the 30,000 breeding Puffin pairs that return here every year between April and August. You’ll be part of a small (5 guests maximum) workshop led by John Gooday, an award winning wildlife photographer. John will show you the best places and angles to photograph from, provide expert tuition on techniques to capture Puffins and the other island wildlife and will be on hand to help you get the best pictures possibl

Cost - £345 per person, shared accommodation, half-board

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Day trippers are limited in number and are present only during a six hour window between 10am and 4pm - for the remaining 18 hours Skomer is peaceful, empty and the perfect place to photograph Puffins. The workshop includes accommodation, tuition, crossing charges and breakfast and dinner. Skomer: Off grid and wildlife focussed.

Although Puffins are the main attraction, Skomer is host to much more wildlife: short-eared owls, meadow birds, iconic seabirds including Razor bills, gillimots and manx shearwaters to name Just a few.

You’ll need to prepared to pack light, get up very early, walk everywhere and manage without mains electricity for a couple of days… but the photographic opportunities are worth it.

There are two workshops in 2019: one in May - courtship, mating and nest building time; and another in July when the Puffins are busy feeding their young with sand eels.

Day 1:

8am Meet at West Hook farm, between Marloes and Martn’s Haven. We will then carry our luggage to the Martin’s Haven jetty where we will take a boat for the short journey to Skomer Island. As we approach the island you will see Puffins and Razorbills flying low across the water. From the landing point there is a steep, long track to the top of the cliffs so pack light! The Skomer visitor’s officer will meet us and give an initial briefing before we walk to our accommodation (approx 1 mile along a track).

After room allocation and general orientation, we will head out as a group to visit the key areas on the west and north of the island, Dinner will be served at 5pm back at the accommodation so that we can return to the Wick and photograph puffins an evening light.

At 9pm I’ll give a presentation on techniques for photographing the wildlife on the Island along with tips on location and camera angles.

Day 2:

Following an early self-service breakfast we will walk the coastal path on the south of the Island looking out for meadow birds, the occasional wader, short-eared owls and others. We will spend a while around the cliffs at North Harbour photographing Razorbills, Guillemots, Puffins in the water and any other interesting species around at that time. During the afternoon you’re free to visit an area of your choice, or join me on the trail North from the farm in search of meadow birds.

Dinner will again be served at 5pm before we go out again for evening light. At midnight, there’s an opportunity to join my in search of the Manx Shearwaters that arrive by night to avoid predatory gulls.

Day 3:

We’ll need to ensure all bags are packed and ready in the accommodation courtyard by 8:15am. However, there’s still a couple of hours of light before then for those who want to explore further or revisit earlier photographic sites. Once the bags are ready, we’ll walk back to North Harbour and take the boat back to the mainland. There will be a truck to take the luggage back up the steep hill to Hook Farm where we will say are farewells around 11am.

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Suitable for wildlife photography intermediates and advanced level.
High activity level - we’ll be walking up to 2 or 3 miles on rough trails.


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Essential Equipment

You’ll need a DSLR or good mirrorless interchangeable lens camera plus enough batteries and memory cards to last the trip (recharging batteries may not be possible on the island - solar power is dependent on the weather!).

Lenses: on a full frame body a 300mm plus extenders or 100-400 zoom will be ideal for most subjects, a 500mm plus a shorter lens such as 70-200mm is an alternative but heavier combination. A wide-angle lens is useful if you want to take landscapes or astro-photography images.

Contact me directly for any specific equipment queries:


We provide breakfast and dinner but you’ll need to bring some lunch with you - noodles, soup, pasta and energy bars are favourites and relatively light-weight.



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