Puffins on Skellig Michael


Today we toughed it out and took a 45 minute boat ride in the rain with 8 foot swells to Skellig Michel to see the Puffins.  For centuries the Monks inhabited this barren and rugged island which is essentially a rock!  There are 600 steps that take you to the top, however, conditions today were not conducive to the climb as it is already unsafe.  However, the conditions could not have been better for photographing the Puffins.  Soft light with a soft rain.  The blog image is one of a few that I am very happy with.  They are indeed the most adorable bird I’ve ever seen.  A real treat and worth the rugged trip on the Atlantic.


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  1. Scott O June 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Perfect JB…really quite an image. You are the only person I know who has seen a Puffin! Still, I would like to see more of Cathy’s work!!!

  2. Nancy T June 24, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Love this little guy….thanks for making the trip and sharing this…

  3. Felice June 24, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    A real stunner!!

  4. Cynthia June 24, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Aren’t puffins just the neatest looking bird!? They’re almost unreal. See John, next you will be getting heavy into wildlife photography! And you will be great at it! Love it!

  5. Terryvn June 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Covet, covet! Great shot, John! My first love is bird photography, and this shot far outshines the puffin shots I have. Great job! Are you guys going to Ireland again next year? I’d love to come….

    • john8276 June 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      I’m not planning a return trip next year but will come back in the future.

  6. charlie curry June 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Interested in lens, f-stop, ISO, post processing? I suspect you used a 70-200mm lens at f2.8, ISO 100? I am close. I traveled to Iceland just to photograph the Puffins. Great subjects, great image! Thanks for sharing.

    • john8276 June 25, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      I was using my 28-300 Nikon lens wide open at 5.6 on this particular lens. If using a 2.8 lens I would have been at around 4.0 or so. ISO was 200. Those using a 70-200 were using a 1.4 teleconverter. The light was perfect for the subject. Processing was dong with my normal workflow.. RAW conversion done in CS6 and them some Nik Tonal Contrast applied locally with a brush. Nik Viveza for local tonal adjustments.

      Thanks for your kind words.

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