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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


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Entries in Bald Eagle (29)


Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party

 American Bald Eagle SNOWFLIGHT (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS  ISO 800, f/6.3 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's a favorite Bald Eagle image from my last Eagles Galore Photo Safari Workshop in Kackemak Bay, Alaska. I love being out in bad weather; this one hand-held from a boat in a blizzard. Fun times! Modern digital cameras have multiple, user selectable, auto-focus zones; here, I selected a point on the left of center, as I knew the Eagle was flying from my left and I wanted some space in the frame for it to fly into as a compositional element. Give it a try next time you are out with your camera.


I'm hosting my second annual PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY!

It's a PARTY with a CAUSE!

Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre was founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization (#894112358RR001) and is located in Hudson, Quebec. Le Nichoir is a licensed centre, part of a community of North American rehabilitators, supported by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) and the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA). Their mission is to conserve wild birds as part of our natural heritage.
Le Nichoir provides proper care and treatment for injured or orphaned wild birds and releases them back into their natural habitat. Le Nichoir also provides advice and information about wild birds and their environment through educational programs and annual public events. In 1995 Le Nichoir received 478 birds. Today, it is the largest rehabilitation centre for songbirds in Canada. They admit more than 1400 wild birds and receive 5000 telephone calls each year. There is no charge asked for any of their services, but they need our help! It costs about $6,000.00 each for the six wildlife biology students who work tirelessly for the summer at minimum wage. Officially, I hope to raise $1,500.00, but secretly, I'd love raise $3,000.00, so please help this worthy cause!

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on November 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM at the Hudson Village Theatre (28 Wharf Road, Hudson, QC   J0P 1H0) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit this great cause which is so close to my heart. The show is designed to be entertaining and informative to all; nature lovers and photographers alike. Stories of adventure, natural history facts and information are all on the menu and this show is designed to offer helpful tips & techniques sure to improve your photography efforts with everything from a camera phone, point & shoot camera or professional SLR camera system. Over one hundred of my images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 148 seats. Tickets are only $15.00 each and are available for advance purchase only - every penny is collected by, and goes to Le Nichoir. Please call or email Le Nichoir ( 450-458-2809) to secure your tickets, or make a donation if you can't make it (be sure to tell them it's on behalf of Chris' Photo Geek Christmas Party) Major credit cards and cheques accepted. Finger food and hors d'oeuvres are included and there will be a cash bar (please drink responsibly).
There will be ample time to mingle, meet my friends and contacts and share some of your images with others, so feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favourite images to share. I hope to see you there and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!


Bald Eagle Workshop Announcement

American Bald Eagle REFLECTION Screamin' Eagle II (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Teleconverter III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800, f/16 @ 1/100s Manual mode. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Eagles Galore A Christopher Dodds Nature Photography Workshop / Safari.


It's back - by popular demand.


Join me, Christiopher Dodds in the Kachemak Bay where many of my famous Eagle images were made. This is your chance to make a truly awesome portfolio of Eagle images; dramatic flight shots, dynamic portraits and there is truly no prittier place than this for Eagles in their enviroment with mountains as the background. Don't miss this limited opportunity - SPACE IS LIMITED!

March 12-16, 2012 Five Days

March 19-23, 2012 Five Days

March 17-18, 2012 Two Days





American Bald Eagle MOURNING SONG (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds Canon EOS 1D MKII, 500mm F4 L IS ISO 400, F4 1/250s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

The world changed ten years ago on September 11, 2001. My wish, as we move into the next decade of remembrance, is more peace, less hate and cynicism in this world.

May those who fell during the attacks, and those who have fallen since the attacks rest in peace. My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones.

American Bald Eagle REFLECTION (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKII, 500mm F4 L IS ISO 400, f/7.1 @ 1/250s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.


Watermarks; Visible & Invisible

American Bald Eagle TOUCHDOWN (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche) Homer, AK Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, 300mm F2.8 IS, tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F5 1/1000s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication. Image presented with both a visible, and invisible digital watermark by Digimarc.

Have you ever come across a web site that had used one of your images without permission? Have you ever tried to find your images being used on web sites without your permission? Perhaps you should; I often Google the filenames and keywords of the images I have posted on-line, and regularly Google the keywords that drove visitors to my website and this blog. Every single time that I try, it doesn't take very long to find my images that were stripped of their visible watermark and posted, without permission, to someone’s blog, website or even used by a corporation to promote their product or service. Once found, I simply send an invoice for ten times what I would have charged, had they been honest and purchased a license for their specific use. Ten times the regular fee! Is that enough? No, once one of my images has been stripped of it’s metadata and it’s visible watermark, it is pretty much orphaned; in other words, it’s been stripped of it’s future earnings. Let me explain: If an image buyer searches for, and finds, an image that suits his particular need, then he, or she, would typically contact the copyright holder to negotiate the purchase of an image use license - see where I’m going with this? If the image in question has been stripped of it’s ownership information, then how can the honest, legitimate image buyer find it’s rightful owner? Add to this the simple fact that once the ownership information has been stripped, it’s a perfect candidate for other people to copy and post to the internet without even knowing that they are distributing a copyright protected image.

Visible watermark by iWATERMARK

A visible watermark is exactly that; it is text or a logo that clearly identifies the owner of the image and it’s copyright. The size of the message is less important than it’s content; usually the photographer’s name and or website. I tend to use a very large, bold visible copyright as both a claim of ownership and as a marketing tool.
It’s relatively easy to create a visible watermark using many image editing programs, but there are stand alone applications for both the Mac and Windows platform that work amazingly well and are really inexpensive. iWatermark from Plum Amazing Software is an incredible bargain at only US$18.00. Wondering how to create a visible watermark in iPhoto? iWatermark is the perfect companion for iPhoto or any other image editing software that does not have a text tool. iWatermark can place either a text, or image based watermark on one, or a folder full of images, and it can even resize a folder full of images or convert the file format in a single operation.

Invisible or digital watermark by DIGIMARC

An invisible or digital watermark is created when data is embedded into an image that is virtually invisible to the human eye. Once embedded, The digital watermark persists through file copying, format changes, encryption and decryption, and image manipulations such as editing, cropping, compression and decompression — all without affecting the quality of the image or the enjoyment of its viewers. It is virtually impossible to remove.
Creating a digital watermark is as easy as creating a visible one; You will need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and you will have to subscribe to a digital watermarking service like Digimarc. What was once extremely expensive, is now more affordable with Digimarc for Images now offering annual subscriptions for as little as The Basic Edition at US$49.00 (up to 1,000 images). The Professional Edition (US$99.00 up to 2,000 images) and the Small Business Edition(US$499.00 up to 5,000 images) also benefit from the Digimarc Search Service.
The Digimarc Search Service constantly crawls the web, scanning billions of images each year to locate digital watermarked images. The service helps you to  know where your images are used on the web, ensure you are fairly compensated for the use of your images and monitor that the right images are being used on the right sites at the right time. There are many factors that determine the successful discovery of an image — including how deeply an image is buried within a particular website, and the number of sites which the image is posted. The more images you digitally watermark that make their way onto the Web, the more likely Digimarc Search Service will find them. If you have only three images online, they won't be as easy to find. Likewise, if you upload your images to a website and nobody re-posts them, your chances of being immediately found are minimal. Depending on these factors, it could take one to six months to isolate a website where one of your digitally watermarked images is used with, or without your permission. As a general rule of thumb, websites with higher traffic get indexed first. Small Business and Enterprise customers can employ the Directed Search option, where specific sites are directly targeted. This is especially useful if your images regularly appear on pages that receive less traffic, or you want to monitor potentially offending websites. All URLs in your Directed Search list are crawled every month.

I am diving right into my Small Business Edition Digimarc for Images, and will report my findings here from time to time.

SAVE 30% OFF the regular DIGIMARC FOR IMAGES annual fee by entering the coupon code "naturephotography" at the check-out.

WIN a ONE YEAR PROFFESSIONAL EDITION DIGIMARC FOR IMAGES subscription. Subscribe to my newsletter at the top of the column to the right of this post before December 15th, 2010 and you are automatically entered to win a one year Professional Edition Digimarc for Images account worth US$99.00.

Great FREE Gear Giveaway Continues

Sign-up for my newsletter before Dec. 15th, 2010 and you will automatically be entered to win some amazing prizes. Simply fill-in your name and email address in the form in the column to the right of this post and you are entered automatically (only sign-up once please). Tweet, Like or Share this blog entry on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a meaningful comment here for additional chances to win. Don't forget to tell your friends or fellow camera club members about the prizes.

  • WH-200 Wimberley Head version II (retail value of US$595.00)
  • Think-Tank Photo Urban Disguise 50 (retail value US$169.00)
  • Nik Software Viveza 2 (retail value US$199.95)
  • Digimarc for Images Professional Edition 1 year subscription (US$99.00)
  • One of eight Canon Long Lens Rain Covers (US$125.00 each)
  • More to come


I'm hosting my first annual PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY at the ROCKBURN PUB 2461 Mtee Rockburn, Hinchinbrook, Quebec J0S 1E0 (450) 264-2239. All amateurs and hobbyists welcome! It's an à la carte menu and there is no fee (other than paying for your own food & drinks) - I will pass the hat for a soon to be announced charity; donations are optional but encouraged. Come on out and meet me, my friends and make new contacts while networking and showing off a few of your favorite images from 2010. Feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favorite images. RSVP required - email me at (please type PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY in the subject line) to reserve your spot. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve soon. I will be drawing some great prizes for the Great Gear Giveaway Contest and you get another name in the hat @ the party. Special thanks to Joann for opening the pub just for us!


Getting the most from your flash batteries & Think-Tank Photo Urban Disguise 50 Give Away

American Bald Eagle HOLD TIGHT (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche) Homer, AK Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, 500mm F4 IS, flash, tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 800, F4 1/1000s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Getting the most from your flash batteries

Weather your choice is flash as fill light, or flash as main light, you most likely don't pay a lot of attention to your flash batteries and charger. With today's cameras capable of a 10 frame per second capture rate; you should.

I boost the battery capacity and recycle rate with Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery pack. The CP-E4 is powered by 8 AA batteries and attaches to the flash with an integrated cable. You still need a separate set of batteries in the flash unit itself, and I use Custom Function 12-1(for the Speedlite, not the camera) to set the 580EX II to draw recycle power from the battery pack only, as opposed to the default setting of drawing power from both the flash batteries and those in the CP-E4. That way I still have a fully-charged set of internal batteries available if the pack runs low on power after a big day of shooting action.

What kind of batteries? I use rechargeable Ultra high capacity PowerEx 2700mAh NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydrate). They cost more than alkaline batteries, but save money in the long run because they can be used hundreds of times (often more than 1,000 times). NiMH batteries preform well in cold weather, but they gradually loose power when they are not in use. I always carry a full set of spares and because they have no memory, I can charge them any time without affecting their capacity.

What kind of charger? Maximizing battery life is not only about buying the highest-capacity batteries, it's got a lot to do with the charger you choose. Buying the wrong charger can result in under, or overcharging your precious batteries; resulting in lower capacity and a shorter life. I use the PowerEx MH-C801D battery charger which holds eight AA or AAA batteries and provides a dedicated circuit to charge each cell. It can also independently condition each cell through a charge - discharge - recharge cycle (which is recommended every 10th charge). Known as a smart charger, the MH-C801D initially charges with a hight rate once the batteries are inserted, then slowly reduces the current to a trickle charge once peak current is reached. Be sure to install the batteries in sequence from left, to right, without leaving an empty bay.

Think-Tank Photo Urban Disguise 50 Give Away!

We've teamed-up with Think-Tank Photo to give away an awesome camera bag. Sign-up for my free newsletter before December 15th and be automatically entered for a chance to win! It's easy; simply fill-in the sign-up form in the column to the right of this post. Tweet, Like or Share this blog entry on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a meaningful comment here for additional chances to win. Don't forget to tell your friends or fellow camera club members about the prizes.


September 11 Tribute

American Bald Eagle MOURNING SONG , Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Pygargue à tête blanche) Homer, AK ©Christopher Dodds Canon EOS 1D MKII, 500mm F4IS ISO 400, F4 1/250s Manual mode. Gitzo 1325 tripod and Wimberley Head. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

The world changed nine years ago on September 11, 2001. This image is my tribute to that tragic day.



Adobe PHOTOSHOP CS5; A New Life for Old Images & Bald Eagle Reflection

Bald Eagle REFLECTION (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge à tête blanche) Kachemak Bay, Homer, Alaska, USA. ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100-400mm F4-F5.6 @ 260mm . ISO 400, F7.1 1/260s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Bald Eagle REFLECTION was captured when I saw this Eagle in the fog drinking from a thin layer of water covering an ice-covered parking lot just after a somewhat mild and rainy morning in February, 2005. Rather than take the chance and spook the Eagle, I used my rental SUV to, ever so slowly, approach. Rather than drive directly toward it, I instead circled around, slowly reducing the circumference until I was close enough to get the image I had in mind. I positioned the SUV close enough to fill the frame, but more importantly, close enough to get a steep enough angle to include the reflection and eliminate some distracting buildings, stones and dark asphalt patches in the background.

I've just completed a submission which included some old favourites from 2005. Not all that long ago, really, but seems like a lifetime ago in terms of my post capture workflow and software. Photoshop CS5, with it's newly tweaked noise reduction algorithms, has certainly brought a new life to some old favourites. If you think the noise reduction works wonders on the files from recent cameras; go back through your archives and re-work some of your favourites from the past. It's not only the noise reduction that's new; there's a plethora of new tools and algorithms in Adobe's latest offering, not to mention what you have learned, and how you have grown as an artist, along the way. I always say that every image in my collection has a story; so it's been fun looking through the memories - give it a try.


I have known Chris for a few years and in July 2010 I attended Chris’s workshop for Coastal Brown Bears. The trip will always hold very special memories for me as I can honestly say it was the most enjoyable and productive trip I have ever made, and the most exhausting :o))   As a professional photographer I tend to try and put together my own trips but when I heard Chris was organizing this trip I had no hesitating in contacting Chris and booking. I would advise anyone else to do the same.

From the moment I landed at Kodiak airport we were out shooting literally within a few hours. Everyday we made the most of early morning and late evening light. Photographing some days till 11pm.  The amount of subjects we captured was unbelievable: Fox Cubs, Song Birds, Eagles, Seals, Sea Otters, Wolves and…  BEARS! 

After spending three days on Kodiak Island we headed for the Katmai coast by float plane and stayed on the Coastal Explorer, which was our home for a week.  Almost everyday we had a different location to go to and made the most of the weather. At times it rained non-stop and at others I was walking around in just a t-shirt.  Getting up close and personal with the bears was the ultimate thrill and having an enormous boar run, at what seemed directly at me whilst chasing salmon, was a heart thumping moment I will never forget; Though our safety was Chris' primary concern.

Life on the Coastal explorer was fun and we were all well looked after with meals ready for us at all times.  Downtime was relaxed and we watched movies and even spent one afternoon fishing where I caught Halibut and a silver salmon. Plus I landed the biggest Halibut, don’t let Chris tell you otherwise :o))   As you can tell even when we were not photographing we were having fun.

If you are considering such a trip or one of Chris’s other workshops my advice is not to hesitate and to book straight away.  You will be guaranteed a good time and have plenty of photos and memories to take home with you after the trip.

Thanks for a great time Chris and I look forward to the next one!!

Best Wishes- Darren Holloway (FMPA FBIPP QEP) Smallfield | Surrey | UK


Happy New Year

Bald Eagle Sun-riser (Haliaeetus leucocephalus Pygarge à tête blanche) Homer Alaska, USA. ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, 500mm F4 IS, 2X II Tele-converter,1.4X II Tele-converter, Gitzo tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F11 1/60s Manual Exposure and Manual Focus. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE AN IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Welcome to tomorrow. It's 2010; a New Year and a New Decade. It's a good time to look back over the last year; the trips, the images and the people. What a year I had! Thank you to all of my loyal followers (and there are many of you).   My new year's resolution? to get out and shoot more, learn more and share more with you here at Nature Photography Blog .com.

I'm renewing my annual subscription to software tutorials; probably a workshop leaders best kept secret! Ever wonder where we learn all about Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and just about any other software out there?; software tutorials is probably the most valuable investment I make each year. Help support this site and subscribe by clicking on the banner below.

                         Learn it all. Learn it fast. Learn it now.


The Screaming Eagle & when not to use flash

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus Pygarge à tête blanche) Homer Alaska, USA. ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, 500mm F4 IS, 2X II Tele-converter,1.4X II Tele-converter, Gitzo tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 640, F20 1/80s Manual Exposure and Manual Focus. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

I have been to Alaska to photograph Bald Eagles many times, and always wish for golden light during the first, and last, hour of light. It's often cloudy when I'm there, and my flash is always mounted and ready to go. Typically I would use some light fill flash on heavily overcast days; even when this bird looked to the side I used fill flash. The thing is, I was looking for a perfectly framed, tight portrait of a screaming eagle; and I wanted to see straight down it's throat without any shadows. The single best time to get this shot was during a snowstorm when the clouds and snow diffuse the natural light and bounce it around creating a virtually shadowless world.  It was hovering around freezing and the snow was changing to rain (as we'd endured for a couple of days). I saw this eagle singing and decided to dedicate some time to this shot. So, why no flash? Simple, It would have created a shadow from the front part of it's beak that is hooked downward.

Comments welcome & appreciated.


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