For my first time shooting wildlife I headed to Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire (UK) for a one day workshop. With me I took the Sony a6500 and the Sony 70-200mm F4 G lens.

Skomer Island is heaven for wildlife lovers and home to around 22,000 puffins (2016 estimate), you’ll also find manx shearwaters, guillemots and razorbills here. However, in late July only the puffins remained.

**Note: Full resolution SOOC JPEG images are available to download, but the RAW files are password protected to help keep my hosting costs sensible. However, I do provide the username/password to all members of my monthly GAS email. All images are copyright protected and may be used for personal use only.

I took a group workshop with Welsh photographer Andy Davies who I can highly recommend. You can find out more about him and his workshops here.

This was my first time shooting wildlife, so my following photos definitely have a lot of room for improvement!

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

141mm | 1/640 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

200mm | 1/640 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

200mm | 1/500 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

200mm | 1/400 sec | f/4 | ISO 100 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin in flight Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

89mm | 1/2000 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 320 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

113mm | 1/2000 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 500 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

200mm | 1/2000 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 500 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

145mm | 1/1250 sec | f/4.0 | ISO 500 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

162mm | 1/1600 sec | f/4.0 | ISO 500 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

135mm | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | ISO 500 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

Puffin in flight Skomer Island taken with Sony a6500 and SEL70200G Lens

200mm | 1/2000 sec | f/4.0 | ISO 640 | **Full Resolution Download: JPEG | RAW

The Sony a6500 together with the FE 70-200 F4 G lens was the perfect combination for Skomer. You can get to within meters of the puffins, so there is little need for a longer lens here. At this time I don’t have another lens to compare the quality for the 70-200 F4 with, but I’m most definitely more than happy with the color rendition and sharpness of this lens. The autofocus was also lightning fast on the a6500.

I experimented with the different focus modes on the a6500 and found that flexible spot worked very well for the portrait shots. Also touch to focus made it really easy to compose the shot then focus on your subject, of course in this case the puffins. I also found that lock-on autofocus worked well for puffins in flight, but they are extremely fast and even with the speed of the a6500 they are difficult to catch in flight, but that’s all part of the challenge and good fun.

This trip has most certainly opened my eyes to wildlife photography, and I’m certain that this won’t be the last time that I step foot on Skomer. I’d love to head back in springtime when the bluebells are in bloom.

If you also love shooting wildlife with your Sony Alpha camera, then I’ve setup the Sony Alpha Wildlife Shooters Group on Facebook where you can share your photos with fellow wildlife shooters. Please only post genuine wildlife shots, no zoo shots, pets or animals held in captivity that aren’t free to leave, genuine conservation centers are the exception here.

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