It’s that time of year again, spring has come, and with that its time for these coastal birds to make their annual nesting pilgrimage to the Saltee Islands off the coast of Southern Ireland!
Recently i acquired a Canon 1V, the last of their profession 35mm SLR’s before the range were taken over with the 1D digital series, and fitted with its EF mount means i can use all the canon lenses i have for my 5D mkIII. With that in mind, i wanted to run them side by side and compare performance, and image results.
Leaving friday afternoon i boarded the plane at Stansted under beautiful blue skies only to land at Shannon in Ireland, under a blanket of overcast, rain filled cloud cover…. Brilliant.
I stayed overnight with my mother, and in the morning we made our way to Wexford as the sun broke through. The weather finally began to brighten up, thank god! After a rather choppy boat ride out to the islands we landed at the beach, me acting as sherpa, carrying my 5DIII, 300mm 2.8L, 1V and some rolls of Kodak as well as my mothers bag Nikon equivalents. After a couple of hours with the Puffins i was swapping from the digi to film body when i placed the 5D down, knocked it with my foot and watched it cart wheel its way down the cliff and out of sight. urghh.
We debated for about 10 minutes weather it had landed into the ocean or not before i decided to climb down and have a look. Thankfully a flat ledge had caught it, but it was well and truly destroyed, the prism was dented in, and it had cracked open across the top, down one side, and you could see inside the camera. But i had got my memory cards and photos back!
Unsure whether it was a blessing or a curse that i brought the 1V (i wouldn’t have changed bodies and lost the 5D if i hadn’t) i proceeded to shoot the rest of the trip on 35mm, it was actually welcomingly refreshing having to slow the pace, and conserve frames. We visited the Gannet colony the next day, the wind was really strong and flowing over their nests, so as they came in to land they would match the wind speed and float gently down, it made for a brilliant opportunity to get them in flight!
Due to the incident i hadn’t caught many birds on digital, the first 6 photos above are my favourites from the 5D, followed by my favourites in 35mm. Despite what happened i had a fantastic time, it was lovely to see these beautiful birds so close in the wild, and i cant wait to return next year, i thoroughly recommend anyone interested to go and visit them during the season on the islands!