During summer last year as part of summer project work I visited the Scottish Seabird Centre and booked one of the boat tours that lasted 1 hour taking me around 2 of the islands, one of which was the famous Bass Rock off the coast of North Berwick. I know from that experience that there are a lot of seabirds surrounding the rocky cliffs with many in flight. I fully expect the Isle of May trip to be similar as it is in the same region. During my photographic shoot with Neil McIntyre I mentioned to himself about the Seabirds shoot and as he kindly recommended there are private boats that take you from Anstruther to the Isle of May. As he mentioned the Scottish Seabird Centre are very restrictive in limiting access, it is for this reason I decided to book privately for a boat to the Isle of May from Anstruther.
The weather is forecasted to have the sun with clouds which is something I would prefer, especially for capturing some landscape images if I can. I would hope to capture some close images of the birds especially the puffins and there may also be the slight chance of capturing any seals if lucky. For this shoot I would more than love to capture pan shots of the birds using the slow shutter speed technique as I feel this will be my best opportunity. This being due to the fact birds tend to follow a more predictable flight path compared to photographing the likes of squirrels that are sporadic in movement. The ideal shots I would like to capture would show a bit of character and action. It would also be nice to capture a silhouette shot of the birds depending where the sun is situated, shooting into the sun may help for this.
I will be travelling to Anstruther by car and booked the May Princess boat through the
Anstruther Pleasure Cruise which can carry up to 100 passengers. The trip to Isle of May on boat and ashore the Island lasts around 4 and a half to 5 hours. Depending on the weather which should be good it allows a slow tour around the entire Isle which would be the perfect opportunity for using my Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens to capture any sea life on the outskirts of the Island. Given that I will be on the boat I will be sure to wear waterproofs to keep myself dry. Both my 70-200mm and Sigma 150-600mm lenses are ideal not only as they are waterproof but for their own individual use. The 70-200mm lens will be ideal for capturing the pan shots required and for distance subjects using the Sigma 150-600mm lens.
The Isle of May is 5 miles from the Fife coast is open to visitors between the beginning of April until the end of September. The island is meant to have stunning scenery which will be perfect for any landscape images I aim to capture. There should be sufficient enough time given there will be an estimated 3 hours on the Island which gives me ample amount of opportunity to photograph what I would like. The Isle of May is home to a wide variety of wildlife with an estimated 250,000 seabirds including; 120,000 Puffins, which between April through to mid August is said to be the best time for capturing these spectacular birds; large groupsof Guillemots, Razorbills and Shags are also available with 150 seals living on the Isle of May all year round. There will also be the slight chance of spotting Dolphins and Porpoise if lucky with the odd spotting of a whale if lucky.
Sources for research can be found here: