We crouched low in a vibrant field of dandelions on the edge of a spectacular coastal cliff in the North of Iceland. It was bitterly cold, and the air was crisp, however we remained still, hands frozen but index fingers poised motionless above the shutter button ,waiting for the perfect moment to snap the money shot.
Above our heads hundreds of puffins flitted around like anxious bumblebees, ducking in and out of pot holes in the side of the cliff, plunging into the Arctic and emerging with a beak full of transparent sardines. A cautious approach meant we were within metres of hundreds of these comic creatures.
And though we snapped thousands of photos, each one better than the next, we continued to fail to capture the split second before flight, with wings outstretched and chests puffed out proudly. The key to wildlife photography is patience, and often you’ll be sitting observing a scene for hours on end before capturing the perfect photo. It’s all about timing, patience and a little bit of luck.
So with this in mind, after hours of staking out one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies sitting on the edge of a cliff which dramatically dropped into the Arctic, I got half lucky. Half lucky in the sense that I was zoomed in too far so only got half the shot!
We left Tjörnes that afternoon without the shot that we were after, and so without further ado, I give you the almost money shot of Iceland’s famous puffins.
The puffin is one of Iceland’s biggest wildlife draws. They arrive by the million for the breeding season between April and August, and nest on coastal cliffs all around the country in massive colonies.
With literally hundreds of puffin photos to sort through and edit, watch this space for more puffin tales!