Wednesday 13 June 2012


Lunga is magnificent, a Puffin-lover's dream. Puffins are cool. Even the name is cool. The cruise company, Turus Mara, advertise it as Puffin therapy. I can see what they mean. The girls wanted to take one home with them. They couldn't believe that you could just sit, and have a Puffin walk around in front of you. An amazing family experience, I am so glad we went and that the weather was calm. And the minute you get on the island there are Puffins. More Puffins than you can count. And they are close Puffins. Lunga is a photographer's dream. 

Between us, Muffin and I had three cameras, and took 1500 photos. This is going to be an unashamedly nerdy post. I am going to talk about focal lengths, apertures, and everything. The ideal lens to have on Lunga would be a 300mm f2.8. I didn't have one, so resorted to the 500mm, which was complete overkill. My salvation was my 'family walk' 70-200 f2.8 zoom which I plonked on the other body - can you tell which took which?! And can you tell which camera took which? One has 16mp, the other 10. I can't, makes me wonder why I upgraded. Anyhow....Muffin used a 300mm f4 - I wish I had nabbed it off him, but it wouldn't have been fair really (except that I paid for it.....). Bright sunlight makes taking photos of black and white birds a real pain. How do you not blow whites, but keep detail in the black? The human eye is so much more sophisticated than a camera. The advantage was that the intense light raised shutter speeds to levels I can normally only dream of. 1/4000th was a common one. I know what you're thinking - Gah!

I was so thrilled to be seeing birds silly close that I started taking pictures straight away. I should have waited, and it only dawned on my whilst leaving the island that the best thing to have done would have been to find some birds in the shade. Next time. Nonetheless, my absolute favourite photo was taken in full sun, and works for me, so perhaps it isn't so bad after all. An overcast day would have been brilliant though, but that's life, and the family enjoyed the sunshine and calm seas. Here are few that I like, and that I hope inspire you to take a similar cruise one day, especially if you've got kids.

1 comment:

  1. what fantastic photos!! I can't even imagine how small Puffins are in person. Thanks so much for the post.