Don't worry if you can't climb to the top of Skellig Michael

Don't worry if you can't climb to the top of Skellig Michael

Don't worry if you can't climb to the top of Skellig Michael

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Photographing the Puffins on the Wild Atlantic Way

I wanted to follow up somewhat on my last post about photographing the stars. I had mentioned on that blog that there is a great place in County Kerry in Ireland that is registered as a dark sky reserve and it got me to thinking that, I. LOVE. KERRY! It is a small part of the world but it is packed with huge vistas, hill walks, wildlife, amazing seascapes and of course some of the clearest night skies you are likely to see. While I sit here in Portugal (one of my favorite places in the world, more on this very soon) I can't help but be drawn back to this small corner of the world.

Return trips to Kerry

We have been to Kerry a good few times at this stage and each time we go, I learn something new about photography and how to simply stop, take in my surroundings and to wait for the moment that would encapsulate the landscape that is so wonderfully humbling.

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Orla has created full detailed post of the trip to Kerry and visiting the Skelligs, but if you've been reading our blog, you'll know at this stage I tend to focus more on the photography end of things. I will focus more on my experience photographing the Puffins on the Skellig Islands.

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My legs failed to carry me

As Orla has mentioned in the other post I failed to make it to the top of Skellig Michael due to slight vertigo I have.  Sometimes I can be fine but on this occasion, it got the best of me! While I left Orla to make it to the top by herself I did still have a really amazing time photographing the happy/sad clown birds (puffins) that inhabit this wonderful landscape.

The Nikkor 135mm F2.8, a short review

Being a Sony shooter I have a great opportunity to use all kinds of lenses with the camera. I am a fan of the Angry Photographer on YouTube and he used to always go on about how the Nikkor 135mm F2.8 is such a great lens. It is truly some legacy glass! After hearing about the history of this lens and all it has done for photographers over the years I knew it was the right 135mm for me. So I bought one :) I have no problem manually focusing and in fact, quite relish the challenge (thank you focus peaking). I hadn't previously had too much of an opportunity to use it so I thought today would be the day.

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Puffins puffins everywhere

There are so many puffins hanging around on the cliffside, on the footpath and just kinda anywhere you look really so it is not too hard to find any to photograph. Having watched many wildlife photographers online doing their thing I decided to follow suit. I picked a spot and simply just waited. The rain was pouring but the birds were soaring. I was so delighted to see the images on the back of the camera, when I nailed the focus, they were so sharp. I couldn't help but smile all throughout the whole time I was photographing. You will see one or two shots that are not bang-on focus but I still think they turned out great!

The birds kept coming and going from their little nesting perch and I was firing away. They are such colourful little cute birds (I can see why the monks used to eat them!). They have this sad little face though, like a sad clown. They were hopping and jumping and swooping, I had such a fantastic time even just watching them.

Some final thoughts

Anyway, a final thought. If you make it to this stunning part of the world and manage to get yourself a ticket to go to the island and freak out half way up, thinking you are going to die or fall off, don't worry too much. Making friends with the local birds is just as awesome as seeing where Luke Skywalker ended up retreating to.

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