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“One of the Great Wonders of UK Wildlife Photography”

Andy Davies Photography & Video - Skomer Island Photography Workshop
Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Marloes
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Join Andy Davies for an unforgettable day on Skomer Island learning how to use your camera to capture the stunning landscapes and rich wildlife. Andy provides hands-on expert tuition to small groups, catering for all skill levels. Workshop participants have pre-booked places on the first crossing of the day and we return on the last boat giving us as much time as possible on the island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of the Great Wonders of UK Wildlife Photography”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

This trip to see Puffins on Skomer is an absolute MUST DO for anyone even vaguely interested in wildlife/bird photography. You will not get a better opportunity to catch an engaging, beautiful creature at such close quarters yet in its completely undistrurbed habitat. And if that isn't enough then having Andy Davies as your guide will maximise your reward from this day as well as set you up nicely for futher exploits with your camera.

The mechanics of the trip are well described by other comentators here on Trip Advisor so I won't retell the same story. Andy is a skillful teacher completely in love with his work and this shows in the time and care he takes with us/you the tripper and the life around him. He must have been to this island tens if not hundreds of times yet was snapping away with his (brand new) Nikon 810 as excitedly as the rest of us. His technical explanations allowed every one of us to get more from our cameras and his composition tips for us all to get more into our pictures.

I will be going back to Skomer and I will be going back with Andy.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Adam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nailsworth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A magical and informative day”
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Fantastic day on the magical Skomer Island. Andy is very knowledgeable and delivers his course with passion and enthusiasm. We're recommending it to all our friends!

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Theresa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ANMDavies, Owner at Andy Davies Photography & Video - Skomer Island Photography Workshop, responded to this review, 18 July 2014
This really motivates me for the future knowing how much satisfaction and enjoyment participants gain from the photography workshops. Hope to see you again Darren. Best wishes, Andy.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Andy Davies Photography & Video - Skomer Island Photography Workshop”
Reviewed 11 July 2014

I have had a wish to photograph puffins for many years and despite twice living within throwing distance of the Farne Islands I never got around to doing it. Thankfully I have a wife who listens to my constant moaning and demands and for my birthday Lesley booked me the Skomer Island workshop with Andy. After a quick look around Andy's excellent website, including watching The Guardian video covering one of his workshops, I began the process of booking a date which Andy made easy and hassle free. Andy would later comment that I choose the premier puffin location in the UK and after my day I wouldn't argue with him!

I've done a number of animal workshops previously but these have always been in benign and controlled environments, namely zoos or wildlife parks. Here you are pretty much guaranteed to get 'killer' shots but you have to deal with distracting backgrounds and environments which are not exactly natural to the animal - it is also not the most challenging or rewarding photo experience. Nevertheless if you are reading this you are probably wanting to know 'Am I going to get shots that I will cherish and be proud to share?' The answer to that is an overwhelming yes but you will do so in a natural environment which adds to the impact and for me personally gave me a greater pride in what I had achieved.

I was lucky enough to begin my workshop early as I bumped in to Andy on the way down to Martins Haven beach. From the off Andy was welcoming, friendly and clearly knowledgable about his art. I observed him capture video footage on some swallows and his passion for nature and photography shone through. Once we had all arrived and after a short 10 minute boat ride to Skomer Island, again all arranged by Andy and meaning you get to the island ahead of 'Joe Public', we made our way to a glorious natural amphitheatre to begin our first theory lesson. The setting was wonderful and it was hard to not snap away at the landscape especially as I consider myself an experienced photographer who understands the basics (aperture, speed, ISO etc) very well. My experience of previous workshops is that the tutor basically gives you his preferred settings with little explanation of why or labours on the mundane for too long. In contrast Andy's style is both compelling and challenges the way you think about your photography; it was a refreshing and welcome change and is delivered in a way such that any photographer from beginner to experienced snapper will learn something or in my case a great deal.

After the first lesson we headed over to the puffins. On arrival you will take a momentary pause as you take in the scene before you - puffins appear to be everywhere, gulls harassing them as they attempt to make it back to their burrows with a mouth full of sand eels often crossing in front of you by inches, waves crashing against the rocks and a beautiful landscape as a backdrop. My advice is to not panic, take your time, get some shots in the bag (this is easy) and then think about the advice Andy gave you and start putting it in to practice in order to get the shots you truly hoped you would capture. If you are at any stage unsure, look for Andy, he'll be wearing his bandana and probably on your shoulder anyway, and ask him advice - the response will be clear and helpful. During our lunch break Andy conducted another theoretical session on composition prior to helping us set up for the 'puffins in flight' session. Warning! These little birds are quick (in excess on 60km per hour) but if you heed Andy's advice and maintain your patience you may well be blessed with the back lit shot of a puffin with a mouth full of eels in flight. I even managed it despite being unable to adopt to Andy's preferred left eye to viewfinder approach!

Overall this was a wonderful and fulfilling experience. I have a number of shots to cherish, an experience I will never forget and an new way of thinking about how I approach my photography - this is more than I hoped to gain at the outset. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has ever wanted to photograph puffins in the wild.

Andy, thank you.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank DarrenWhiteley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ANMDavies, Owner at Andy Davies Photography & Video - Skomer Island Photography Workshop, responded to this review, 18 July 2014
Many thanks - it was a great group!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lytham St Anne's, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Really enjoyable experience & a lot learned”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

I have a small digital camera which I have only ever used on automatic so wasn't sure I would be able to get as much from this day as those with the very big and scary (to me!) looking cameras. However I learned loads and had a really good day. As others have said before me, Andy is very eloquent and knowledgeable and is happy to take the time to explain everything clearly and give assistance when required. So a great day was had with some lovely photos to look back on.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Carol C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walmer, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Photography Workshop on Skomer Island”
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Fantastic experience - Andy is so knowledgeable - not just photography, but also about the birds and wildlife on the island. He has such a broad range of experience that he was able to help everyone achieve the best results from their camera, and for those with limited experience was even able to set the camera for us, regardless of make or model. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andy's workshop for people of all abilities.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Barrie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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