Top Navigation

Winter Otters

Winter Otters

7th – 14th February 2018

Group Size: 5 –  1 Place left

Tour Leaders: Tom Way On Behalf Of Natures Images

We have been running trips to the Shetland Isles in summer months for the past decade and this beautiful island archipelago is one of the most dramatic and inspiring locations in the British Isles, and a great place for wildlife photography.  We have wanted to offer the experience of the Shetlands during the winter months though and our main target for this is the iconic European Otter. These islands support a large population and one of the best times to see them is during the winter months. We have teamed up with two photographers based in the Shetlands, Richard Shucksmith and Brydon Thomason and these guys know  the local otter population better than anyone as well as how to get us close enough to photograph them.  It will be a jam packed week looking to take full advantage of the settings, subjects and potentially stunning winter light that can be found here at this time of year and with the trip timed to optimise the tides to our advantage and a time of year when family groups are at their most active and potentially approachable too you should achieve both some great images but also experiences with these fantastic mammals too.


Day 1: A day of travelling to Sumburgh Airport on Mainland (or Lerwick if you have chosen to take the ferry) and we will then gather together as a group and head to our hotel base towards the north of Mainland where we will be based for the next 5 nights. It will have been a long days travelling and with early mornings possible straight away the next day we will have an evening meal, make initial plans and a good night’s rest. We’ll advise you on flight and other travel options to suit you best after you’ve booked.

Days 2 – 7: Over each of these and the next day we will be splitting into smaller groups of only 2 photographers: each day we will be heading out with local wildlife photographers and absolute otter experts (as their recent book on the species, all photographed locally, will testify) Richard Shucksmith and Brydon Thomason for an exclusive day photographing Otters. It is only possible to do this in very small group sizes so we have asked them to add their expertise in terms of local families and additional guiding resources to allow us to do this.

Day 8: We’ll catch our return flights (or ferry) away from Shetlands accordingly.


Our accommodation is clean and comfortable with all bedding but you will need to bring a towel and toiletries with you. Any special dietary requirements you may have – please let us know if there’s anything you can’t/won’t eat so that we can let the hotel know. In terms of clothing you’ll obviously need some warm and weatherproof clothing. e vast majority of your time will involve spending time outside and on windswept cli s. e weather is also unpredictable at this time of the year. You won’t need serious arctic gear for this trip but the following are very much recommended – a good pair of strong waterproof walking boots, good waterproof over-trousers. For the top half it’s very much a question of having several layers – like a t-shirt, thin jumper and then a waterproof coat. You’ll know your own cold thresholds (but it really is a question of build it up in layers). The weather is difficult to predict at this time of the year it could be cold or relatively mild but it will be windy and potentially wet too so you will need appropriate clothing for sure.

In terms of camera kit you’ll need the longest lens you have (300mm or 500mm would be our recommendation/choice) and then up to two supplementary lenses for other opportunities such as a 24-70mm for wide-angle landscapes and then maybe an intermediate zoom (70-200mm or 100 400mm) so that you don’t miss anything in terms of opportunity. You’ll get the chance to decide what you want/need for each session so you won’t be burdening yourself with it all of the time either. Tripods are essential for low light level photography. Bring plenty of compact ash cards with you as well because if you get a good day you will take a lot of images.

In the evenings we will have a chance to critique and look at individuals work if you so wish. Feel free to bring anything you’d like to share on either a laptop or memory pen/CD.



Cost Includes: All transportation on Shetlands, accommodation, meals, and island internal ferries.

Cost Excludes: Travel to Shetlands, sundry items and alcohol.

If you have any questions at all about this trip please do not hesitate to get in contact with either Tom (07876 333787) or the team at Natures Images (01952 411436). You are able to book this trip directly through this link:

All images on this page are courtesy of Natures Images