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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


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Entries in Fog (2)


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


Knowledge: The Single Best Way to Improve Your Wildlife Photography

Timber Wolves Alpha Pair in Fog (Grey Wolves, Canis lupus, Loup Gris) Quebec (C) ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS @ 200mm ISO 500, F5.6 1/200s Manual Mode. Hand Held. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO BUY A PRINT OR LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Hearing Timber Wolves (Grey Wolves, Canis lupus, Loup Gris) howl while photographing them on a foggy January mourning was a hair raising experience; their reputation as ferocious enemies of man owes more to fiction and folklore than reality, in fact, they go out of their way to avoid contact with humans. Grey Wolves vary in colour from white on the arctic tundra (Arctic Wolves) to grey (Timber Wolves) or black in the forested regions of Northern wilderness regions. They  travel in packs, working co-operatively to bring down their prey; big game like deer, caribou and moose. Most regard wolves as unbeatable hunters, but they often fail to catch their intended prey. 

If I had to name a single way for anyone to improve their skill at wildlife photography, it would be to know your subject inside and out. I love to read, and I love books, so I was recently thrilled to get my hands on two simply outstanding books. I've caught myself getting lost in the pages of these marvels of the wild world far too often. Essential for the library of any nature photographer (or nature lover), The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals have become the go to resource when I'm researching a specific species; or simply sitting here daydreaming of my next big adventure to some far corner of the world. Of all the natural history books in my collection, these two stand out amongst the best! ... and they are a bargain!



The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals

 (David W. Macdonald ISBN13: 978-0-691-14069-8) is the most comprehensive and accessible reference book on mammals available. Unsurpassed in scope and stunningly illustrated, this book covers every known living species, from aardvarks to zorros. The informative and lively text is written by acclaimed researchers from around the world and features a concise general introduction to mammals followed by detailed accounts of species and groups that systematically describe form, distribution, behavior, status, conservation, and more. There are superb full-color photos and illustrations on virtually every page that show the animals in their natural settings and highlight their typical behaviors. And throughout the book, numerous "Factfile" panels with color distribution maps and scale drawings provide at-a-glance overviews of key data. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals is the definitive one-volume resource--a must-have reference book for naturalists and a delight for general readers.

  • Covers every living mammal
  • Describes form, distribution, behavior, status, conservation, and more
  • Features spectacular full-color photos and illustrations on virtually every page
  • Includes "Factfile" panels with color distribution maps and scale drawings for at-a-glance reference
  • Written by an international team of experts

David W. Macdonald is director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit and a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford. He is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the author of several books, including Mammals of Europe (Princeton).

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds

 (Christopher Perrins ISBN13: 978-0-691-14070-4) is a comprehensive and lavishly illustrated reference to the world's birds. Accessibly written by renowned biologists and conservationists, and illustrated in color throughout, the book provides authoritative and systematic accounts of every bird family, covering form and function, distribution, diet, social behavior, breeding biology, and conservation and status. More than 1,000 superb color photos reveal the enormous diversity of birds in their natural habitats, from arctic tundra to tropical rain forest, and a wealth of beautifully detailed color and line illustrations depict representative species from each family and highlight characteristic behaviors. The main articles are complemented by detailed coverage of special topics, such as how ibises and spoonbills feed by touch, how pigeons find their way home, and how crows store food. And throughout the book, numerous "Factfile" panels with color distribution maps and scale drawings provide at-a-glance overviews of key data. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds is the definitive one-volume reference--an essential guide for amateur bird enthusiasts and professional ornithologists alike.

  • Covers all the bird families of the world
  • Describes form and function, distribution, diet, social behavior, breeding biology, and conservation and status
  • Features more than 1,000 spectacular color photos and illustrations
  • Includes "Factfile" panels with color distribution maps and scale drawings for at-a-glance reference
  • Explores special topics in depth
  • Written by leading biologists and conservationists

Christopher Perrins is a distinguished ornithologist, the author of many popular and scholarly books on birds, and a fellow of the Royal Society. A former professor of ornithology at the University of Oxford and former director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, he is currently a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford.

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