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Entries in Atlantic Puffin (15)

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!
Thursday
Oct262017

Atlantic Puffin CATCH OF THE DAY

Atlantic Puffin CATCH OF THE DAY (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) 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. Full frame image. ISO 800 f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Getting back to the immense number of Puffin images produced with the Sony a9 & Sony 100-400 G Master during my Deluxe Puffins Galore workshop in July/August. Here is another Puffin with Capelin image; full frame at 400mm. I have said it before, and I will say it again: The new auto-focus is unstoppable! The number of Puffins returning to their burrows with Capelin was similar to other years, but the number of tack sharp images @ 20fps was tough to edit thanks to the Sony a9.

Sony RX-10 mark IV Mini-review

I am in the midst of preparing for a bunch of presentations, but want to share that I  received my Sony RX-10 Mark IV a couple of weeks  ago, and the first results are remarkable. Although it won't fit in a pocket (I didn't expect it to, and my phone is already there and ready for those shots), the idea is to always have a camera with me that has fast auto-focus (.03 second focus acquisition), 24 frames per second and a built-in zoom that covers from 24 to 600mm at f/4. This is for those times when you see a something and wish you had brought your full camera rig. Of course, like all things in the photography world, there are trade-offs, so you shouldn't expect it to produce files like the a9 at higher ISO. Overall, the Sony RX-10 Mark IV has impressed and delivers everything promised. It is a great introduction to the Sony world for those photographers fully invested in other brands, and a great camera choice for all naturalists, birders or sports fans and parents!

Canon Lenses for Sale

Email me an offer! chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com

  • SOLD: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x
  • SOLD: Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM Telephoto Lens
  • SOLD: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom Lens (Version I) 
  • SOLD: Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L IS USM Lens
  • SOLD: Canon Speedlight 580EX II Flash
Wednesday
Aug302017

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Atlantic Puffin RAINFLIGHT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) 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. Full frame image. ISO 8,000 f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin THE RETURN (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) 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. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Razorbill (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) 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. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Here are a few more images from my recent Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop. As I am sure you can tell from the camera settings, we had a day of really foul weather. It was the perfect occasion to get the Sony a9 wet and see what it is made of! Although I did use a LensCoat rain cover, the rain was so hard and constant that I did manage to fog the viewfinder by the end of the day; I put the camera body with its body cap off into a zip-lock bag full of white rice to clear it out overnight.

Yet again, the camera amazed me; not only was it locking onto everything I pointed it at in low contrast and heavy rain, it excelled at high ISO! The details in the files are exceptional; Do take the time to read the setting I used under each image. The images above are all full-frame and lightly processed with some mild noise reduction applied. I don't post raw images, because I don't use Raw images for anything other than a starting point. It wasn't that long ago when 800 ISO was noisy, and here I was using 8,000 and 20,000 ISO!

The Sony Raw images require much less processing than my Canon 1DX Mark II, or files I have from other digital cameras that I have used. Although there is noise at 20,000 ISO as expected, the details in the darks are exceptional!

TIP: In order to get the most out of an image, but particularly at extreme ISO, remember that it is critical to expose the image correctly and try not to crop much! All cameras see light like us, they haven't yet figured out how to record darkness. If you brighten an image while processing it, then you are introducing noise.

Stay tuned for more about my time with the Sony a9

Wednesday
Jul302014

Hip to be Square

Atlantic Puffin SQUARE PORTRAIT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II, Canon 12mm Extension Tube II, Canon 1.4X Extender III. Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual exposure & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

The forecast was dismal; mostly rain and high winds for the three day Puffin trip, with a heavy rainfall warning in effect for our last day. I didn't sleep much the night before the workshop; I was too excited to get back to the island, but worried the high winds would sabotage our safe boat landing once there. As is often the case, the forecast was wrong. We had an awesome time and I had an awesome group of passionate photographers.

This image was made when an Atlantic Puffin flew-in and sat almost right beside me while I sat on the seaweed covered rocks as the tide went out. I quickly added both extension tubes and both tele-extenders to my 600mm lens and began manually focusing the monster rig. I just love getting close and personal with Puffins!

Hip to be Square

Always remember to think about the aspect ratio of the image when you first open it in your RAW converter; avoid always using the same aspect ratio and remember that many social media outlets make best use of the square format. Use whatever aspect ratio works best for the image, rather than the the aspect ratio of the original capture.

2015 Luxury Live on the Island Puffins Galore

Be sure to email me to join the wait list for my 2015 luxury trip! The lighthouse and the keeper's home have been totally restored and we will be sleeping on the island within feet of the Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots. A gourmet chef will prepare our meals and we will have the island all to ourselves during the golden hours. Be sure to be among the first to know all of the details as soon as they are released by emailing me your co-ordinates to chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com

Wednesday
Jul102013

Tele-compression Explained

Atlantic Puffin POP-UP PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,000s, f/9 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.


Here's an Atlantic Puffin from my recent Puffin Photo Tour. I love the out of focus foreground and background grass which isolate, and frame, the Puffin so well in this image. Using the super sharp 600 f/4 IS L USM II with the 2X III Extender compress those elements and helps render them so perfectly out of focus and smooth; the painterly quality I was after. The effect is known as tele-compression. At a given aperture, a telephoto lens has a smaller depth of field than a wider lens. Had I used a wider lens and got closer, then the depth of field would have been much larger, there would have been much more details in the grass and the result would have been much less appealing and much more like an average "snapshot".


TESTIMONIAL

Chris’ skills go far beyond photography.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him!  Sure, he is able to provide advice on lensing, and framing and exposure, but his lectures go far beyond this.  His knowledge of wildlife is encyclopedic!    He teaches you how to observe and reposition in anticipation of that next great shot.  And when it comes to tweaking your photos, his mastery of colour, light and texture truly becomes evident.  If you can, take one of his lectures or wilderness photography workshops.  It will help up your game!

Graham Peddie Product Strategist, Canon Canada Inc.

Tuesday
Jul102012

Canon 1DX First impressions Mini Review

Atlantic Puffin FLYBY (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 70-300mm & Canon 580 EX II (ETTL - 1) f/4-f/5.6 @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @1/3,200s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Canon EOS 1DX First Impressions

As I mentioned in my last post, Canon Canada Loaned me one of the very first production models of their new flagship camera that they received; the Canon EOS 1DX. What a camera! In the hand, the camera is slightly heavier than previous 1D camera bodies, but the fit and feel is great. I took the camera to my Puffins Galore photo safari to L'Île aux Perroquets in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. The great sunlight we had during our first morning gave way to foggy and heavy overcast skies; the kind of light that is very flat with low contrast for the remaining two and a half days. It was the kind of light that wreaks havoc with a camera's ability to auto-focus.

There are, and will be, a ton of well written and lengthy reviews of the camera out there; some will be written by folks who may have never touched the camera, others by people who may have popped-off just a couple of frames in the studio. There is a growing number of camera enthusiasts writing reviews based on hearsay and technical bulletins - I find them best avoided and instead like to put the cameras through their paces in the field in difficult conditions. This is just meant to be this man's take after using the camera for three days; in somewhat foggy and dark conditions while photographing very difficult, fast and very small birds.

Atlantic Puffin HEAD-ON (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm f/4 L IS, 1.4X III Extender, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 3,200, f/6.3 @1/2500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Observations

There are some new goodies tucked into the camera's Auto-focus menu; I spent a lot of time trying the new scenarios, and loved the ability to tweak minute details within them. I found myself using Scenario 5 most when birds were flying towards me and scenario 1 for most other birds in flight - I did adjust the parameters for both almost constantly; the distraction sometimes causing me to miss a shot, or two, early on.

I made images from ISO 400 throughout 6,400 and found virtually no noise up to ISO 1,600. Images made using ISO 1,600 to 6,400 are surprisingly good and require only a little effort if properly exposed. I used Adobe Camera Raw algorithms to remove any noise and am quite pleased with the high ISO results. I would expect the Canon software to do an even better job this early, and will keep you posted in future posts.

I have been using my Canon 1D Mark IV for most nature photography and my Canon 1Ds Mark III for landscapes, head shots and slow moving subject. This has the potential to replace both cameras, but the deal breaker is no autofocus with lenses or lens and extender combinations with a maximum aperture of f/8 or smaller. I had heard rumours that Canon may release a firmware update that would allow this, but it seems to be just a rumour at the moment; I'll let you know if I hear of a work around.

Atlantic Puffin LANDING (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm f/4 L IS, 1.4X III Extender, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 4,000, f/5.6 @1/2500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I did love the narrow depth-of-field from the full frame sensor; it's awesome to obliterate close and distracting backgrounds. 12fps while shooting in RAW format is ridiculously awesome for action photography. Files from the 18MP sensor are rich and full of details. The auto-focus system proved to be totally amazing when trying, so deperatly, to place my moving subjects against anything other than the bright white sky as the background; something that other auto-focus systems had much difficulty with before the 1DX.

Will it replace my 1D Mark IV? No, not unless Canon releases a firmware version that allows autofocus at f/8 so I can continue to shoot birds in flight with my 500 f/4 and 2X extender. This camera will, however, replace my Canon 1Ds Mark III

Expect more about the 1Dx in future posts.

Tuesday
Jun122012

The Perfect Puffin Patience and Proficiency 

Atlantic Puffin PEACE (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/6.3 @1/3200s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

"Hey Chris, I've been a huge fan for a very long time and have been meaning to send a note to inquire how you managed to get those perfect Puffin images on that flat, calm water last year. I just saw a huge print at a trade show and WOW!" James M.

Thanks, James. The image was made during my 2011 Puffins Galore workshop in Quebec. I have spent a huge amount of time studying the habits of the nesting Puffins and realized that they liked to bathe in a shallow cove near their nesting grounds at the end of the day. We managed some fun images while the water was a little choppy with 6-10 inch waves, the very best were made one very calm afternoon. Being patient helped us keep checking the cove each afternoon and being proficient meant we were ready when the stars aligned and we got calm water with Puffins galore.

Note the technicals: ISO 800 with a shutter speed of 1/3200s meant we were ready to freeze the action when the Puffin stretched, took-off, and when others landed nearby. The relatively shallow depth of field from the f6.3 aperture and low angle of view helped keep the foreground and background clean and free of details.

I still have limited space available for my July 4-6, 2012 Puffins Galore Workshop/Safari. Please check it out HERE.

Wednesday
Aug312011

Color management & i1 Photo Pro mini-review

Atlantic Puffin Portrait (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS, Canon Extension Tube EF 12 II & Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/5.6 @1/500s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Color Management & i1 Photo Pro Mini-review

Achieving consistent color from camera to monitor to print and projector is easier than ever with X-Rite's new and improved X-Rite i1Photo Pro . I have owned a GretagMacbeth Eye One Photo since I switched to digital with the purchase of my Nikon D1X (2001). It seems like a lifetime ago now. I realized that I wanted my prints to mach my screen, and my projected images to match my prints. So much has changed since then; I switched to Canon when they released the EOS 1D Mark II and GretagMacbeth was bought by X-Rite.

I was thrilled to learn recently that X-Rite had released the all-new X-Rite i1Photo Pro and was offering upgrade kits to existing users. I quickly got an upgrade for review and am delighted. The heart of the system; the spectrophotometer remains best in class, so it's easy to see why you need only upgrade the software, a few accessories and the bonus is finally having a proper case to keep everything together and safe.

With X-Rite i1Photo Pro you can quickly and easily create custom profiles for cameras, monitors, digital projectors and RGB printers, ensuring color accuracy from capture to output. With the new i1Profiler software, which combines the best features of its predecessors i1Match, ProfileMaker and MonacoPROFILER software, users can choose between a 'basic', wizard-driven interface, or an 'advanced' user-driven interface to create high quality, precise, custom color profiles.

With an all-new user interface, i1Profiler offers an unprecedented level of flexibility to address the needs of a photographer's workflow. i1Profiler seamlessly combines the ease of use of the wizard driven interface found in the basic mode, and the flexibility of the menu driven user interface found in the advanced mode. Whether a novice, expert or somewhere in between, i1Profiler easily adapts to any skill level and workflow needs, while maintaining the ability to produce outstanding profile quality results.

All-in-all, I don't think there is a better color management solution on the market for a photographer wanting to deliver consistent color results over various output mediums and devices.

Be sure to support this site and order yours here: X-Rite i1Photo Pro Professional Color Management for Photographers

Friday
Jul152011

Puffins Galore and so much more

Atlantic Puffin SOLITUDE (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/6.3 @1/3200s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Atlantic Puffin FLIGHT ON WHITE  (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/5.6 @1/2000s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

I'm just back from two fun and exciting, back-to-back PUFFINS GALORE AND SO MUCH MORE workshops. What a trip! We had tons of fun photographing tiny Atlantic Puffins that fly at 55 mph. Here's just two of the more than 1,200 keepers from the trip that I still have to edit and cut down by a great deal. I've just announced two trips back there next July. Be sure to book early!: PUFFINS GALORE AND SO MUCH MORE

Jobu Jr. 3 Does it again!

My tried and trusted Jobu Jr. 3 Gimbal head proved itself yet again! This time we noticed that it also is the right choice for getting down low. It's smaller size means that you are closer to the ground when your tripod is at it's lowest; not only offering a lower perspective, but also putting less strain on your back and neck as you look through the viewfinder. The lock-down of both the vertical and horizontal adjustment knobs are still holding strong, and second to none! Be sure to check out my mini-review of the Jobu JR. 3 and find a discount code HERE.