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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Balbuzard pecheur (2)


Ospreys Galore Workshop a huge success

OSPREY FISH-ON (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV,  500mm F4 IS. ISO 1000, f/5.6 @ 1/2500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I can't believe that it's been over a month since my last blog entry! Many thanks to all who wrote to check and see if I was okay.  Much like many things in life; the break was not a planned one. After moving House, home, studio and office on March 1, our washing machine sprung a leak and flooded our new basement. Nothing was lost or damaged, though it did look quite disastrous at first; I was to set-up computers, workstations, bookcases and studio equipment that day, so the floor was littered with books, computers and camera gear (thankfully, everything was still in the double walled boxes and their thick walls kept the water out long enough for rescue).  Renovations start tomorrow and the new ceiling, floor and walls should be finished in about a week.

A large part of my moving logistics was dedicated to making sure that my image files were not susceptible to loss during the move, and to ensure that I knew where every copy was at all times, and that multiple copies existed in multiple geographic locations in the event of theft, loss, or simply being submersed under water during a flood! I made four fresh copies of my entire collection and placed each into a small watertight & bombproof case before distributing them to four separate locations (all will remain top-secret). Do consider taking inventory of your image collection and making at least one copy that you can keep in your safety deposit box, at your parents or a friend's home in the event of a disaster.

My Ospreys Galore (and so much more) photography workshop/safari at the beginning of April was a huge success! We were blessed with a mix of weather which ranged from fog to spectacular golden light. The small group was amazing (50% were repeat clients), as was our Captain Kevin who usually captains cruise ships and did a spectacular job of following my instructions and keeping us at the right angle and in the very best spots - leaving me free to teach and photograph - thank-you Kevin! Watch-out for more images over the next few days and be sure to consider signing-up early for this one next year and avoid the planned price increase of $100.00:
Ospreys Galore & so much more April 5,6 & 7, 2013   


Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM ROCKS!

OSPREY head-on (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 640, f/5.6 @ 1/2000s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's an Osprey from my workshop on Lake Blue Cypress in Florida last April; it's full-frame, at the longest focal length of 300mm and wide-open at f/5.6. It's razor sharp. During the last day of the workshop, friends and long-time repeat clients, Rick & Melody, loaned me their Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM lens. To make a long story short; I loved it so much that it is a new favourite carry everywhere, mid range zoom lens. The auto-focus is snappy and accurate and it's relatively compact and lightweight lens.

Like the new 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM, this lens auto-focuses down to 47.1 inches (mine will focus to 41 inches @ 70mm and 44 inches @ 300mm if focused manually), making it a great all-purpose lens ready for a close encounter with wildlife, or point it straight at the ground and start shooting details in nature. The new tripod and monopod sensing, 4 stop IS unit works just as advertised when used in low light conditions; I was blown away with sharp results at 1/4 second at it's widest 70mm, and 1/8 second at it's longest 300mm focal length.  

Overall, the build quality, image sharpness and auto-focus accuracy is all there; this is a sweet lens. Will it replace my 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS II USM lens? No, but I will have to own both from now on. This will be the most used nature, travel and general purpose lens, but the 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS II USM lens will remain in my kit when photographing events, people and extremely low light work, or when a really narrow depth-of-field is needed. As for the over-the-shoulder go-to lens? That's an easy one; it is now the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM.