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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in alaska (50)

Wednesday
Sep122018

Caption me contest

Coastal Brown Bear Mother and Spring Cubs (Ursus arctos) Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 380mm. Full frame image. ISO 3,200, f/13 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Here's a fun image from my recent Katmai Bear Boat Workshop. Leave a comment with a caption or title and my favorite will win a free signed print of this image including postage to anywhere in the world.

Thursday
Aug232018

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT (Aethia psittacula, Starique perroquet, PAAU).  Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 800mm. Full frame image. ISO 2,000, f/11 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode.

Thursday
Jul262018

Brown Bear Cub

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub (Ursus arctos) Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 800mm. Full frame vertical image cropped to square. ISO 2,000, f/13 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

KUDOS

I am writing to express my gratitude for the great help with my photography that I have received participating in Chris Dodds’ photographic workshops, which are enjoyable and in interesting places. Most of the workshops are places to which Chris has been going for many years so he is intimately familiar with the details and best opportunities of each location.  He goes out of his way in an attempt for participants to get images that are the best they can possibly get to take home with them. His knowledge of photographic technique translates into suggestions that are tailored to each participant’s needs.  He encourages attendees to ask any question and is patient in answering to try to make sure the questioner understands the answer thoroughly.  His knowledge of the technical aspect of photographic equipment and the computer equipment and programs needed in post-processing has always amazed me, and he is eager and willing to share this knowledge with all of the participants. In the first workshop I learned that the manual setting was preferable for photographing nature and as I have mastered this technique, I am forever grateful.  Chris is excellent at teaching the best light angle and reminding the participants to watch the light angle when they are repositioning themselves for a better composition.

The biggest benefit to me personally of Chris’ photographic experience was the purchase of my own Sony A9 camera after he made the switch form Canon to Sony in August 2017. This new camera and lens combination enables me to hand-hold 400mm, 560 mm, and 800 mm, and the camera focuses with both teleconverters. Because I no longer need such heavy photo equipment, I can use a smaller camera bag that fits in any airline overhead bin and allows quicker and more comfortable travel through the airport.  The Sony has improved my photography and made it easier and more enjoyable.

I would encourage you to consider one of Chris’ workshops, because they are fun and in such diverse locations.  I have never failed to come home with better images than I had imagined prior to the experience.  I have found the other participants to be interesting and nice people, and because the workshops are so excellent, there are a lot of repeat customers who have been in previous workshops.  Each workshop is a highlight of my year. Chris is a positive person who makes the experience as enjoyable as possible even with early morning and late afternoon hours to take advantage of the best light of the day.  Thanks Chris for helping me become a better photographer.

Dennis Stone Indiana, USA

 

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. 
Tuesday
Apr032018

Speed culling Sony a9 Images Best Software

American Bald Eagle SNOWY PORTRAIT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 164mm Full Frame image. ISO 4,000 f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

Another Eagle :)

Here's yet another Eagle from my recent Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska; it's a full frame portrait from the Sony a9 mirrorless camera in silent mode at 164mm.

Sony a9 Fastest way to cull images

After returning from Alaska, and realizing that my trusted PhotoMechanic software was getting sluggish and buggy, I decided to try every software that I could find to quickly sort out which images I will keep or throw away. The process can be overwhelming after a day of action photography with the Sony a9 @ 20FPS!

I discovered www.FastRawViewer.com, and love how easy it is to customize and how fast it is to generate previews from the RAW files. It is inexpensive and offers great value. Like many things today, there are almost too many ways to configure and set-up the software, so I kept looking while continuing to learn Fast Raw Viewer.

I use Adobe Bridge (which comes with Creative Cloud Photoshop subscriptions) to ensure a properly colour calibrated output for my slide shows and accidentally realized that Adobe Bridge churns through the Sony a9 images blazingly fast.

So, my new culling workflow is:

When I return from a long day in the field, I copy the contents of my memory card to a folder on my laptop's hard drive, then I open that folder in Adobe Bridge. Adobe Bridge immediately generates a thumbnail of all of the images. I start at the beginning, and view the full screen preview of the first image; {Command & Delete} to delete, or {Command & 6) to tag as a "Select". I don't go to bed until I have narrowed down the folder of thousands of images to the few "Selects" that I will keep.
Sunday
Apr012018

Bald Eagle FRESH CATCH How to freeze birds in flight

American Bald Eagle FRESH CATCH (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO 1,000 f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

1/5,000 of a second to freeze action

Here's another Eagle from my recent Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska; it's a full frame image from the Sony a9 mirrorless camera captured at 1/5,000 of a second to ensure a critically sharp image from wingtip to wingtip. I can't stress enough how important it is to use enough shutter speed to freeze the motion of your subject, but there is more to it than just that! The resolving power of todays cameras and lenses require high shutter speeds to freeze YOUR MOVEMENT. I can't tell you how many times I have people approach me to tell me that there is something wrong with their camera, that it won’t produce sharp images. It usually doesn’t take long to realize the failing had nothing to do with the camera, rather the users unwillingness to use a high enough ISO to allow a fast enough shutter speed.

Saturday
Mar312018

Bald Eagle SNOWY PORTRAIT a la Sony a9 Silent Shutter

American Bald Eagle SNOWY PORTRAIT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 218mm Full Frame image. ISO 5,000 f/16 @ 1/400s Manual mode.

Sony a9 Mirrorless silent mode

Here's another Eagle from my recent Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska; it's a full frame portrait from the Sony a9 mirrorless camera in silent mode at 218mm. After all these years of learning how to approach wildlife without spooking away my subjects, it is incredible to be sitting just a couple of feet from wildlife and enjoying the peace of the silent shutter without concern that the shutter noise from my next image might scare my subject away! While I have used shutter noise to spark curiosity in tolerant subject just to try to get them to move their head to a better angel in the past, shutter noise usually scares away the very best and rarest wild subjects.
Friday
Mar302018

Bald Eagle FLY FISHING a la Sony a9

American Bald Eagle FLY FISHING (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO 1,250, f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

No matter what your level of experience you can learn from Chris!

I have been a registered NPS Nikon Pro for years and am now a registered Canon CPS pro photographer.  I have had the privilege of photographing wildlife and landscape for years.  When I found Chris’ web site I was super impressed with the quality of images so I signed up for his Homer Alaska eagle trip for early March 2017.

Chris has a wonderful warm personality whom cares about his fellow photographers on his trips.  I learned additional trips and traps from him and he assisted my conversion knowledge from Nikon to Canon gear.  His help was thoughtful, accurate and delivered in a manner that assists one getting the very best of images.  His approach to using manual exposure is brilliant and one that any bird photographer should embrace for improved outcomes.  He also very focused on the important light directions which can make or break your image outcomes.  If you travel the London England underground tube system you cannot get the safety message “mind the gap” off your mind – when you travel with Chris you will now have the message in your mind “mind the shadow direction”.  The techniques and tools Chris instills will serve you well in all your photographic moments.      

I came home from this trip with stunning images that are impressive!  Chris makes his duty that you obtain the type of images you hoped to achieve.  Wildlife is unpredictable but Chris will assist you going home with more than you thought possible.  His knowledge of the photo industry is very deep.  You will find you will enjoy the fireside chats, learn from every moment, and enjoy his company.  

Chris also spends considerable time on scene to ensure that his location he determines for his photo workshop choices provide the photo opportunities you want.   His pre-trip information is one of the best I have experienced for assisting your planning to the very smallest detail.  I have already booked my next trip with Chris which confirms he is truly a person that you should meet and create wonderful images together.

Wynne Powell - British Columbia, Canada

Wednesday
Mar282018

Bald Eagle Deadliest Catch a la Sony a9

American Bald Eagle DEADLIEST CATCH (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO 1,250, f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

Centre spot & Lock-on a la Sony a9

The light was perfect during my recent Bald Eagle Photo Tour; we just needed an Eagle and a fish to collide - smile. If you would like the chance to make many images like this, then do join me next March 5-9, 2019 near Homer, Alaska for Eagles Galore! CLICK HERE to learn more.