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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Thursday
Jul192018

Tufted Puffin LANDING

Tufted Puffin Landing (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPUSaint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 10,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure mode.

Friday
Jul132018

Parakeet Auklet THE FOOT

Parakeet Auklet THE FOOT (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds.  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 2,000, f/8 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode. 
Sunday
Jun172018

Common Murre FROZEN

Common Murre FROZEN (Uria aalge, guillemot marmette, COMU) From a Zodiac Hurricane 733 during my Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island at Parc National de l'île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 6400, f/8 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure mode.

Saturday
Jun162018

Black and White Portrait of a Northern Gannet

Northern Gannet B&W PORTRAIT (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) From my Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island at Parc National de l'île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm and minimum focusing distance. Full frame image. ISO 800, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode.
Friday
Jun012018

Gannets Galore Workshop Last Minute Openings

Northern Gannet with Seaweed (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) From my Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island at Parc National de l'île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 164mm. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 640, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode.

Two last minute openings

I have two last minute cancellations/openings for my Gannets Galore workshop on Bonaventure Island at Percé, Quebec from June 5 to 7, 2018 due to sudden illness. This is a last minute opportunity for what I feel to be the very best workshop to improve and perfect your bird photography skills! Includes daily four hour Zodiac excursion under the colony and all the Gannets you can imagine at the very best place to photograph them in the world. One of the true natural spectacles in the world! Read more & sign-up: CLICK HERE.
Thursday
May032018

Savannah Sparrow with Caterpillar Mind the Background

Savannah Sparrow with Caterpillar (Passerculus sandwichensis, Bruand des prés, SASP) From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORLKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm @ minimum focusing distance. Full frame image. ISO 640, f/8 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Mind the background

Aside from getting close to your subject, one of the more difficult things to accomplish is aligning the subject with the light source (The Sun) and a pleasing background. All too often I see photographers fill albums of photos of the same subject with the same backgrounds. The key to achieving a complete portfolio of a particular subject is to include many backgrounds and poses. Here I carefully manoeuvred myself so the sundried seaweed on the rocks below at low tide became my background of choice.
Wednesday
May022018

Atlantic Puffin Portrait a la Sony a9 and Sony 100-400 G Master Lens 

Atlantic Puffin PORTRAIT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORLKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm @ minimum focusing distance. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 400, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual exposure mode.

VERO

I have download the new media sharing app Vero; It's kind of like Instagram, but without the advertining. Anyway, I am learning the ropes and do hope you join my network at VERO. I don't seem to be able to locate a specific URL which would point to my page, so please do search for me, Christopher Dodds, and join my network to see what all the fuss is about:
Tuesday
May012018

Deluxe Atlantic Puffin Workshop August 7 to 10 Just Announced

Atlantic Puffin with SAND EELS (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORLKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm @ minimum focusing distance. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 640, f/5.6 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Puffins Galore Deluxe Edition just announced August 7-10!

Well, it looks like I get to spend another two weeks living the dream in Puffin Paradise again this year. By popular demand, I have just announced another back-to-back Deluxe Puffin Workshop from August 7 to 10. If you like Puffins and Razorbills, and like the fairytale-like dreamy idea of living on a small island in a newly restored lighthouse eating gourmet food while being surrounded by hundreds of Puffins and Razorbills, then this is the workshop for you.

This truly is a dream location and the Puffins and Razorbills get really close; so close, in fact, that my favourite lens there is the Sony 100-400mm G Master lens.  We get close enough for headshots, portraits and full-frame flight shots with fish in their beaks all at 400mm.

The long days in Eastern Canada ensure plenty of time with these comical seabirds, and we are on the island and on site ready for the golden light and action.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about my August 7-10 Atlantic Puffin and Razorbill Workshop. This is your invitation to Puffin Paradise!
Friday
Apr272018

Black-footed Albatross PORTRAIT

Black-footed Albatross PORTRAIT (Phoebastria nigripes, Albatros à pieds noirs, BFAB) Monterey Bay, California ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm. ISO 2,000 f/9 @ 1/3,2000s Manual mode.

Special thanks to my friend Brad for taking me out in his boat on Monterey Bay. We got to see some incredible whale action and interaction, but the highlight for me was the Black-footed Albatross feeding on the slick above a baby Humpback Whale carcase that a pod of Killer Whales had killed. Brad got us close enough for portraits! Nature can be brutal, and it really was emotional being right there between the victorious Killer Whales and the grieving Humpback Whale parents who kept a tight vigil over the remains. The circle of life was short for that baby whale... Stay tuned for a couple of Whale images.

Thursday
Apr262018

Brandt's Cormorant Portrait a la Sony a9 100-400 and 2X Extender

Brandt's Cormorant Portrait (Phalacrocorax penicillatus, Cormoran de Brandt, BRAC) La Jolla, California ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens with Sony 2X tele-extender @ 800mm Full Frame image. ISO 800 f/11 @ 1/640s Manual mode.

Q&A

Hi Chris,

I'm a huge fan of your work and have been following your transition to the Sony mirrorless system since your first post about it from your Puffin Workshop last August. It seems that you have sold all of your Canon equipment and I am interested to hear what you are using for your long lens? I don't imagine the Sony 100-400 lens with their 2X could come anywhere near the quality of a Canon super telephoto. I imagine that you will need to manually adjust the focus with the combined maximum aperture of f/11? Even if it produces sharp images, I just don't see f/11 producing those wonderful out of focus backgrounds which seem to be part of a signature Dodds image. Please help a guy see....

Thank you, J.D. from New York

Hey J.D.,

Thank you for your great questions. This image is a portrait of a Brandt's Cormorant on the cliffs of La Jolla, California. I suspect you can see from the image that the Sony a9 with the Sony 100-400 G Master lens AND the Sony 2X tele-extender produce the same amazing quality as the lens alone. The Sony a9 does autofocus with a maximum lens and extender combination of f/11. All in all, the system continues to impress me. As for those out of focus backgrounds, there are two ways to improve your results while using smaller apertures which traditionally produce larger depth of field and more distracting backgrounds:

1. Work closer to your subject. The closer you are to your subject, the smaller the depth of field.

2. Choose a more distant background. In the case of the image above, I used the beach below the cliff as my background.

I used both techniques to produce the portrait of the Brandt's Cormorant yawning with it's spectacular blue gular skin on full display. It is so easy to get close to birds with the silent shutter of the a9!