Photographing gannets at Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire

Photographing gannets at Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire

Photographing gannets at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire

I had two trips to photograph sea birds during the summer of 2014. I’ve already blogged about my trip to Skomer island to photograph the Puffins which was a fantastic trip. Earlier in the year I also went to Bempton Cliffs with a couple of photographer buddies to photograph the gannets there.
Bempton cliff is England’s only mainland gannet colony. These magnificent seabirds come to Bempton cliffs to nest late spring and stay through most of the summer. I visited in May which is a good time because the grass on the cliff top hasn’t grown too high which means the view of the gannets on the ground is much clearer. Once the juvenile birds have fledged the adults head back out to sea. Bempton cliffs is a real summer spectacle.


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We were lucky on the first day of the trip, the light was fantastic. The soft evening sun really brought out the colour and texture of the gannet plumage. Day two wasn’t so good; the light was flat due to quite thick cloud. This wasn’t a big problem though because it gave us the opportunity to experiment with slow shutter speeds to create image blur. This technique works well with gannets I think.
Sea bird colonies are superb places to visit and take photographs. They are full of action, animal behaviour, noise and colour.
I’m looking forward to visiting again next year because there’s always something else to see and photograph there.

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