A trip to the Farne Islands to photograph the puffins, as well as other sea birds (but mainly the puffins) has been on my wish list for a few years now and I have finally managed to get a place on a photography workshop. The organisation hosting the work shop isn’t my preferred choice, the individual I really wanted to go with isn’t running any workshops this year, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Ever since the course booking has been confirmed I have been thinking about what equipment I need to take. There is a small “what to bring” section with the course terms and conditions, but it is quite vague and includes a camera, a tele lens (a focal length of least 200mm), a wide angle lens, spare batteries, plenty of memory cards, a tripod/monopod and a waterproof cover.
This is most likely going to be a once in a life time bird photography day for me and I want to get the most from it I possibly can, which is going to require the right gear. I want to make sure I have everything I need to capture those trophy puffin shots, but I don’t want to take too much photography gear and I definitely don’t want to be carrying around a load of photography equipment I am not going to use.
Knowing what photography gear to take has been a real head ache and in order to get some ideas I thought I would throw out some questions on the photography forums I follow, and also the Facebook page of the course organizer.
I have to say that I received far more replies and responses to my “what photography gear should I take for a day photographing birds on the Farne Islands?” than I was expecting, however the variety of answers is such I am even more confused and have even more questions, which is not good.
There are so many differences of opinion and conflicting information out there choosing the perfect photography set up is impossible. For example, one person said the birds were so close that a 70mm – 200mm was all that was needed where as another person said that 99% of his shots were captured at 400mm, and a longer lens would have been more useful. One reply said an ultra-wide angle lens is a “must have” lens for the nesting birds and the dive bombing terns. If I took all the “must have” gear with me I would be taking all the gear I own, and this is something I can’t, and don’t want to do.
The photography course involves several boat trips and a lot of walking, all whilst carrying my gear, therefore I need to make sure I have all bases covered whilst travelling as light as possible. It is a balancing act, I am totally aware of this, which makes it even more of a challenge.
Choosing the perfect photography gear to take to the Farne Islands for my bird photography workshop is going to take a little longer than I first expected…….
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.