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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Bonaventure Island (12)

Thursday
Jun162016

Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET

Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @400mm. ISO 1600, f/8 @ 1/3,200s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another Gannet from the first day of my Gannets Galore workshop. This one in heavy fog. Foggy images lack contrast, and look washed-out when exposed properly.

You can adjust the contrast several ways, to reflect how much fog you would like in the image; I used the levels tool (in Photoshop), and adjusted the darks by grabbing the left slider and dragging it to the right. Hold down the "ALT" Key while moving the slider, and you will see when the darks start to clip. If you move the slider far enough to clip the darks, you loose details in the darkest parts of the image. Be aware that this might increase any noise in the image; An effect that is amplified if you start with a poorly exposed image.

 

Wednesday
Jun152016

Northern Gannet The Return

Northern Gannet THE RETURN (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @263mm. ISO 1250, f/8 1/5,000s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a simple image from the first day of my Gannets Galore trip to Bonaventure Island. The Gannets continue to do well and the colony continues to grow, offering truly spectacular sights and images; The photographic opportunities are endless. The 1DX Mark II and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM proved to be a killer combination; easy to manage all day with amazing AF and high ISO performance. Do join me for the ultimate Bonaventure Island experience next June 5-7, 2017. Find more details HERE.

Wednesday
May132015

Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photo Workshop Update

Northern Gannet SEAWEED IN YOUR FACE (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 200-400mm F4 L IS USM XT, (@274mm). ISO 1,000, F4.5 @ 1/4,000s Manual. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Northern Gannets of Bonaventure Island

Gannets Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

June 5-7, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 8-10, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 11-13, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Only 2 Spots left!

A spectacle not to be missed! This is, by far, the very best workshop to master your birds in flight technique. I have invested well over a year of my life at this site, so I know the birds and I know the site intimately, and I know the best way to maximize the photographic opportunities in any wind or weather. I know, and work with, the people at the park & in the village, so from having our gear hauled to the colony in an ATV, to getting special access, I have all of the bases covered. I have hosted over one thousand photographers for this adventure and it  truly is my favourite and most productive workshop.

Join Canon's Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds at the largest Northern Gannet colony in the world. Bonaventure Island, off the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, is home to more than 55,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets and it is such a beautiful place that National Geographic Traveler Magazine ranks Gaspé number three tourism destination in the world (Nov./Dec. 2009). You haven’t really seen a Gannet until you see the activity at a breeding colony. Bonaventure Island is perhaps one of the world’s best places to teach avian flight technique. Other photographic opportunities will include all aspects of breeding behavior; courtship display, bowing (territorial display), sky pointing, fencing (two mates clashing their bills together while pointing skyward), mutual preening and copulation. Most of the nests will be occupied and will contain babies at various stages of development. In June, we’ll be feet away from hatching eggs and adults feeding their young on their nests. The workshop is timed to coincide with the annual Caplin run in June, so we should have plenty of opportunities to photograph these magnificent birds diving; sometimes forming huge diving funnels containing thousands of birds. Other photographic possibilities include thousands of nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Black Guillemots, Rozorbills, Gulls, Grey Seals and various Whales. Highlights will include a daily four hour adventure on a 24 foot Zodiac Hurricane (weather permitting). We should have ample opportunities to photograph Gannets diving and feeding in large funnels.

More information and sign-up for Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photography Workshop HERE

Gannets Galore: A recent trip to the gannet colony on the Gaspe’s Ile Bonaventure with Chris Dodds proved to be all that I could have hoped for.  The colony is large, active and readily accessible, Chris’ familiarity with the birds and how they would react to the frequent changes in weather and wind direction gave us access to some pretty unique shooting opportunities, and his knowledge of the area and personal connections within the local community allowed us to get to the island when construction on the town’s only pier could easily have prevented us from getting there.  This, combined with Chris’ almost unique ability to teach the principles of photography at the simplest and most complex levels, made this a trip that should not be missed.
 
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado
, USA

Read more TESTIMONIALS HERE

Tuesday
Oct212014

Canon 7D mark II 1,600 ISO image

Northern Gannet (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 7D MKII, 200-400mm F4 L IS USM XT, (@400mm). ISO 1,600, F6.3 @ 1/4,000s Manual. "Photograph made with a beta (non-final) sample of Canon EOS 7D Mark II. Image quality may not represent the final output from shipping cameras but is likely to be very close." - fine print courtesy Canon Canada Inc.

Here's a full frame Northern Gannet against a dark background in light fog from my recent short trip to Bonaventure Island. There is a flurry of activity in my inbox and on the internet from folks wanting more high ISO images from the 7D mark II, so I carefully chose this one made while testing the auto focus against the dark background which would make noise more visible. While there is some noise as expected, it certainly performs amazingly well. The level of detail in the white feather is awesome and the 13" x 19" print I made with my Pro 1 printer is fabulous.

Remember to minimize noise with any digital camera by exposing properly in camera and avoiding big crops.

Kudos

A friend I meet on a photography workshop in Alaska mentioned Chris Dodds as one of his favorite photographers. After doing a little research I booked the Ospreys of Lake Blue Cypress workshop with Chris. It was an action packed three days filled with many opportunities to photograph Ospreys nesting and in-flight from a pontoon boat. The workshop was first class and well organized. Chris is a great workshop leader and has a pleasant and easy going personality with unlimited knowledge of camera equipment, technique, post processing tips and nature. I learned so much and had such a good time meeting and photographing with Chris that when I returned home I signed up for my next workshop. Now I am looking forward to seeing him again for the Winter Snowy Owls of Quebec & Ontario workshop. Thanks Chris!

Eloy Castroverde Florida USA

Tuesday
Apr012014

Ultimate birds in flight workshop and kudos

Snowy Owl FRIGID SUNSET @ -34℃ (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 1.4X Extender III, Jobu Jr. 3 and Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod ISO 2,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

It's been a whirlwind of a year so far, with eight weeks of sold-out owl prowls and three weeks of sold-out Bald Eagle workshops under my belt so far ... and it's only April 1. I have had an awesome year so far, and it's only just begun!

Here's a Snowy Owl from one of the coldest days of the winter, in some of the sweetest light. There are still a few (only a few) openings for my 2015 owl prowls ... have a look HERE

The Ultimate Birds in flight Workshop

If you want to attend the premier workshop to learn bird photography, then this is it. There are birds to photograph all day long, thousands at point-blank range. I stopped counting after spending more than a year of my life on Bonaventure Island, have an intimate knowledge of the location, the subjects and the people (we often get special privileges, among them is the park transporting our gear up to the colony each day).

I have hosted hundreds of workshops on Bonaventure Island and my record stands for itself. Simply put; if you want to master birds in flight photography, then this is the workshop for you.

Read more about my Gannets Galore workshop HERE

I attended Christopher Dodds’ “Gannets Galore” workshop in Perce, Quebec, Canada. I have attended many wildlife photo workshops over the years and this workshop was a 10+ without a doubt. The trip was exactly as he described on his web site; no overpromising and under delivering.

Chris provided access to a colony of 63,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets (and at least as many non-breeding birds) and his relationships with the local park staff allowed us to get to locations in the park that were closed to the public.  Throughout the trip he was cheerful, very well organized and took care of all  those details (and this was a complicated location) that can ruin an experience..  I was able to concentrate on what I came to do…..photography. 

As a professional photographer I know my field, but it is a major bonus to find someone who can provide instruction to me.  My flight shots improved dramatically!  Chris has an uncanny understanding of composition and light and presented me with many opportunities to test my skills.  He understands creativity in photography as well as being a technical master. This trip was perfect for a beginner or a professional and he gives as much instruction and guidance as you need without arrogance, attitude or making you feel too shy to ask.  I would encourage any photographer, no matter what level,  to sign up for Chris' workshops."

Terry Turrentine San Francisco, California USA

Testimonial

Winter owl photography was near the top of my bucket list.  My research kept ending up with one name, Christopher Dodds.  I had participated in nine previous field instructional photo tours throughout the USA, Canada, Japan and the Falklands with six different professional photographers all of which were excellent but this one was a cut above.

The best field photography instructors are professionals, formally trained in photography and have extensive experience in studio work as well as other areas.  Chris Dodds comes with those credentials and 20 plus years as an outdoor photographer and is a sub specialist in winter owl photographyHe understands and teaches from the basics to the most advanced science and technical knowledge in the field.

Beyond the photography Chris’ Owl Prowl stands out as the model for a highly successful experience.  After 20 plus years of developing relationships and infrastructure his photo tours are characterized by superb organization, logistic, transportation, and communication.  We stayed on schedule at a relaxed pace and he was always mindful of our small group's personal safety during extreme weather conditions.

The return on my investment and expectations in Chris Dodds' Great Owl Prowl was excellent.  It's true! you get what you pay for.

CJ Hockett Vermont USA www.cjhockett.com

Friday
May042012

More best of Texas Leguna Seca Ranch Rocked

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Landing (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/5.6 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Here's more from my recent and hugely successful Best of Texas workshop/safari (be sure to visit my last post about the Harris's Hawk if you missed it). This is an immature White-tailed Hawk from the new and improved raptor blind at Leguna Seca Ranch. The variety of raptors circling was awesome! This immature White-tailed Hawk was the first to arrive for the chicken parts we scattered around the base of our perch; it caught us all by surprise while we were photographing a pair of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. The ranch continues to evolve into photographic bliss - largely thanks to it's pro-active owner, Gene.

Be sure to sign-up early for next year's BEST OF TEXAS Workshop/Safari April 22-26, 2013

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Portrait (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4 L IS  & 1.4X Extender III. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/6.3 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

White-tailed Hawk (immature) Streching (Buteo albicaudatus; Buse à queue blanche; WTHA) Leguna Seca Ranch, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 640, f/5.6 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Upcoming workshops/Safaris

Northern Gannet landing with sea weed (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS. ISO 250, f/16 @ 1/250s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Amazingly, there's still room for you to join my June 4-6, 2012 Gannets Galore (and so much more) Workshop; it's what I consider to be the very best bird photography workshop if you want to learn everything there is to know about photographing birds in flight. The four hour Zodiac ride (weather permitting) each morning is without parallel and you can photograph birds from dawn to dusk for all three days! Everyone who has attended this workshop has come home with improved skills, and awesome portfolio and memories of an awesome adventure! Be sure to have a look at the Gannets Galore workshop page and read all of the testimonials. MANY PRIZE WINNING IMAGES HAVE BEEN MADE ON THIS WORKSHOP AND IT HAS ATTRACTED MANY OF THE TOP BIRD PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE AS ATTENDEES. Nobody knows the island (photographically) like I, as I have spent more than a year's worth of time photographing there.

REGISTER HERE

Northern Gannet landing with sea weed (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS, (@200mm). ISO 400, F5.6 1/2500s Manual. Canon 580 EXII Flash in Manual - full power. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Tuesday
Dec062011

How to choose a workshop leader and Kudos

 Razorbill at sea in The Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) Bonaventure Island, Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV800mm F5.6 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 500, f/5.6 @1/2,000s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION. This one from my Gannets Galore and so much more workshop CHECK IT OUT HERE.

How to choose a workshop leader

Making decisions about photographic travel is no easy matter; there are more, and more, photographers offering photographic workshops, photo safaris, instructional photo tours and photo tours than ever before. As a consumer, you need to be sure that you are signing-on with a photographer that can create amazing images and has the ability to help YOU learn how to!
I recently spent time reviewing offerings from other photographers. One had two average images, had written a book about how good he and his images were and felt the need to emphasize that he had been leading the same trip for over five years. His testimonials all looked similar and were all written by people who had only first names. I was shocked to see the trip listed as sold-out!
Another said he didn't take a single image during a workshop, instead he made sure that his clients got all of the shots. A quick visit to his blog left me quite puzzled after seeing all of his image from a recent workshop! I find it quite hard to imagine a photographer who could lead you to making extraordinary images without a camera in his or her hand. In my opinion, it's about balance; leading and inspiring by example.
When choosing where to go and who to go with, please be sure to spend some time reviewing the tour leader's images; are they world class, impressive and filled with visual impact? Are they the images you dream of making? Invest the time to read client testimonials (be sure they are written by real people with real names and are from real places) and try to get a flavour for the type of personality you will sign-on with; does the leader have a huge ego? Do they feel the need to constantly tell you how bad other leaders are? or why you shouldn't sign-up with anyone but them or their "friends" who pay them for advertising or "certification"? I'm not going to write a sermon here about why to choose my safari/workshops - I never have and I never will; instead, I'll let others tell you all about it on my testimonial page.

Kudos

From my Moose and Fall Colors Workshop Safari: "I recently participated in the Moose and Fall Colors of Maine workshop/safari led by Chris Dodds. The photo safari was in Baxter State Park, Maine. Throughout my time with Chris during the workshop I came to appreciate several things.
Chris has been doing this workshop for years. He has developed a rapport with local business owners. This rapport makes the stay for participants much easier. Whether it was topping off the ice in our coolers at night just before closing, making sandwiches for the next day’s lunch, or allowing for a late checkout, the people at our hotel were very helpful and accommodating.
The second thing that struck me was how much Chris new about the area. Baxter State Park is a 200,000 acre wilderness area. Chris has come to know the area like a local guide or woodsman would. He takes people to different locations to provide them with the very best photo opportunities.
Another thing I appreciated about the workshop was Chris’ instructional ability. I have taken workshops from different people over the last few years and I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to talk with. He has an ability to explain complex subjects in an easy and understandable way. He also is sincerely interested that people understand his instruction and feel comfortable implementing the newfound knowledge in the field.

I look forward to my next photo workshop/safari with Chris."

- Jim Boland Titusville | FL | USA www.jbophoto.com

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From my second annual Photo Geek Christmas Party: "Your talk yesterday evening in Hudson was amazing!  I belong to the MCC and I often do photography for le Nichoir and volunteer my time and artwork for the wild birds whenever I can.  I was truly, greatly inspired and motivated by your images.  (As were others judging by all the ooooohs and ahhhhs!)  I have been to many photography conferences and workshops and I have never seen a crowd so awed and moved!  It was beautiful to see.... You have a great handle on the technical aspects as well as offering creative and unique ways of looking at animals.  Some of my favorite shots yesterday were ones of the more common birds and animals posed in unique ways that we are not used to seeing them: like the v shaped wings goose shot, or even the Gannet looking straight up (very different.)  These are why a talk like that is great. I recognized two shots from National Geographic: one of the snowy owl and one of the puffin shots, but seeing some of your more abstract framing and images was really a treat.  The ultra sharp close up of the Gannet eye was also incredibly striking."

- Andrea Cook Montreal | QC | Canada www.elephantmauve.com
Friday
Sep162011

Kudos, Jobu Jr. 3 and Workshop Updates

Northern Gannet FEED ME MAMA seven weeks old (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Teleconverter III. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 Full Frame. ISO 400 f/13 @ 1/500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Despite a rather wet and cold summer, which halved the nesting success of the Gannets on Bonaventure Island, we had a fantastic workshop (even at such a successful Gannet colony, bad years happen; there's nothing to be alarmed about). The surviving baby gannets were located at the top of hills, making them easier to isolate against the deep blue of The Gulf of the Saint Lawrence. We enjoyed calm water,fine weather and diving Gannets - loads of fun & I can't wait to get back there in the spring!

Jobu Jr. 3

My trusted Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal head continues to be my “go to” tripod head for any lens I choose from 70-300 through 800mm. It's simply rock solid and offers a much better lock-down when the knobs are tightened; no creeping like the 4th Generation Designs Mongoose Head. The knobs are easy to grip and rubberized which helps in cold and wet conditions and the brilliant design of lens plate clamp knob keeps it from getting in the way! Easy to use, light and small - it's still half the size, half the weight and half the price of the full Wimberley Head II. This is the ONLY gimbal head I have used since January, and I don't see any reason to use anything else out there - ever! SAVE 15% OFF your purchase at the JOBU store and support this site just by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE.

Kudos

"I want to thank you for a great "Gannets Galore" workshop. The Gannets and Bonaventure Island were an incredible experience for me. The workshop was enhanced by your knowledge of the birds behavior and great relationship with the officials on the Island gained over more than 25 years. It's incredible that you are able to recognize individual birds, remember their nesting sites, and predict their behavior so well. I felt that I had made a wise decision when I decided to experience Bonaventure with you.
The highlight of the shoot was the early morning Zodiac trips. I've always been fascinated by Gannets diving for food and experiencing it from the boat, so close to them, was something I'll never forget. In addition the photography from the Zodiac was great.
I'm in the process of editing the thousands of images I photographed. I appreciate your expert advice on how I should improve my photography. Your technical grasp of digital photography and the toys used to create it was another benefit of doing this workshop with you.... Best regards, Shelly"

- Seldon "Shelly" Goldstein Boynton Beach | FL | USA

Workshop updates

Moose & Fall Colors of Maine. September 26-30, 2011 - a fabulous five day workshop/safari with Christopher Dodds and co-leader, E.J. Peiker.

Snow Geese Galore October 22 & 23, 2011 weekend and October 24-28, 2011 five day.

Winter Snowy Owl Prowls January and February, 2012

 

Wednesday
Jun302010

Bonaventure Island Trip Report: Common Murre or Common Guillemot (Uria aalge, guillemot marmette, COMU)

Common Murre or Common Guillemot Flying (Uria aalge, guillemot marmette, COMU) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé (Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock National Park) Bonaventure Island, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 800mm F5.6 L IS. ISO 800, 1/2500s F5.6 Manual. Hand held from Zodiac Hurricane 733. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Common Murre or Common Guillemot Banking (Uria aalge, guillemot marmette, COMU) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé (Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock National Park) Bonaventure Island, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 800mm F5.6 L IS. ISO 800, 1/2500s F5.6 Manual. Hand held from Zodiac Hurricane 733. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Bonaventure Island Gannets Galore Nature Photography Photo Safari Workshop

One of the highlights of the Gannets Galore Photo Safari is the daily (weather permitting) Zodiac trips to, and around, Bonaventure Island. This year, we had two back-to-back perfect mornings with mirror-like water and virtually no swell; a perfect recipe for photography from a Zodiac Hurricane 733. There were many Common Murres, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and even some Puffins floating on the water around the Zodiac, but the crown jewels for the nature photographers on board are always the birds in flight shots of these birds that fly at 80km per hour. I was just thrilled to have a CPS Loaner Canon Mark IV and 800mm F5.6 IS L on loan from Canon Canada for the workshops; most everyone, who wanted, got to try this impressive bird photography rig. I must confess to have fallen in love with the lens after creating these razor sharp images on the second morning of the first (of three) workshops.

If you find yourself trying to photograph seabirds from near their cliff-edge nesting sites, it's best to skip the outbound birds and focus on the inbound birds; Razorbills, Murres, etc., typically nest under other species like Northern Gannets on the cliff face and are typically covered in bird poop when leaving the nest - inbound birds are just back from fishing, so they are all nice and clean. Try to lock onto them before they slow to land  on the water or bank for best results.

More Kudos

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for an amazing trip. I especially enjoyed shooting from the zodiac for all kinds of great shots. You lead an outstanding tour, and I would certainly consider future trips with you. I can tell that you could be of great help as I finish off my wish list of species for the new waterbirds book, as you know many of the key spots for specific species and behavior. I also have a lot to learn about the digital process, and you are gifted in this area. Many thanks my friend!
-Middleton Evans | Baltimore | MD
Friday
Jun252010

Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus, Goeland argente, HERG)

American Herring Gull Emerging with fish (Larus smithsonianus, Goeland argente, HERG) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 800mm F5.6 L IS. ISO 400, 1/2000s F5.6 Manual. 580EXII Flash manual full power . Tripod & Wimberley Head II. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

A quick post today to further demonstrate the power of side light to make dramatic, action stopping images in harsh light. This is another image from a good collection produced while Bonaventure Island was closed to visitors during a recent Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Bird Photography workshop. We made the most of the day by visiting a favorite spot for Common Eider Ducks (we had males, females and babies really close). The gulls (Herring and Great Black-backed) would harass and steal fish from the diving Eiders.

Gannets Galore August 13-15, 2010 - still space available - more information HERE

Canon 800mm F5.6 IS L First impressions....

Yowsa, what an amazing piece of glass! This lens was razor sharp, fast and snappy to acquire auto-focus when used with my EOS 1D Mark IV camera body. Special thanks to Canon Canada for the loan and for giving a chance for workshop participants a chance to "get behind the wheel" and give it a try. New coatings, IS system and design all add up to make this a must have lens - anyone wanna chip-in? (grin).