After a 30 minute boar ride across the most beautiful glacial blue waters I have ever seen, we arrived at a spectacular hunk of rock rising up out of the sea completely covered in horned puffins. These birds were everywhere. In the water. In the air. On the rocks. The whole island was quite literally dripping with puffins!
These birds are a member of the Alcid family. This is a small family of birds that have the remarkable ability to fly underwater. Upon diving into the sea for fish, they will then use their wings to propel themselves along beneath the waves as they chase down their prey.
After bobbing up and down and trying to keep up with these colorful little bullets as they raced by through the air, we decided to hop off the bow of the boat and set up shop on a small beach at the base of the cliffs where many of these birds were nesting. They were completely unphased by our presence and we were rewarded with a near constant barrage of birds coming and going from their nests that were stuffed inside of rock crevices.
The trick was to try and find a good background. Most of these birds perched right at the entrance to their nesting crevices. This means that the background was so close to them that even photographing the birds with an aperture of f/4, there was a hyper amount of detail bleeding through from behind them. If you want that sexy smooth background that you see in this photograph, you have to remember that bokeh is a function of the backgrounds distance from the subject. The further away the background is, the softer and silkier the background will be.