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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in Jobu (7)

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

Tuesday
Mar042014

Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod Announced and mini review

Canadian Wildlife and Nature Photographer and Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds photographing owls in the Canadian winter (Feb,. 2014). Photographed with a prototype of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin tripod, Jobu Jr.3 deluxe gimbal head, Canon 200-400mm f/4-5.6 with built-in tele-extender, 600mm f/4 IS L II, Tamrac Expedition 9X camera bag and two Canon EOS 1DX camera bodies. Photo copyright and courtesy of Michael J. Lang (thanks, Michael)

Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod

I have spent the better part of the winter testing prototypes of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin tripod and am thoroughly impressed with it's solid and reliable design. I make no secret of the frustrations that I have felt working with a variety of very expensive carbon fiber tripods over the years. None of the ones I have used worked reliably in the extreme temperature fluctuations and harsh conditions that I often subject them to. The weak point often being the collar that tightens and locks the leg at the chosen height. I have even experienced one manufacturer throw my tripod in the trash when it was still covered under warranty, stating it was abused and therefore not covered under warranty; not bad for a $1000.00 tripod!

Finally a tripod that is designed for nature photography! The Jobu Algonquin tripod has worked flawlessly during my extreme testing in the winter conditions in temperatures as low as -34℃ (-29℉). When I was sent the first prototype, I was warned it would be a rough, mill finish sample and asked to "give it hell". When I received the prototype, it was a beauty; much, much nicer than I had expected. After just one session in the cold with the new tripod, I was impressed and hooked! After most of the winter working with it, I can endorse it! Paired with my beloved Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe Gimbal head, it is one killer rig! I am proud to have been part of it's design and testing.

The tripod adjusts from 3-3/4" (9.5cm) to 62" (157.5cm) and is 27.7" (70.6cm) long when collapsed. It's current weight is 4 pounds (1.81kg) , but this may change slightly during production. The leg sections are made of 100% carbon fibre without the usual filler or cosmetic wrap (which actually weakens the integrity of the tube) and each of the legs has a foam leg cover built-in. The leg collars (the knobs that tighten to secure each leg section at the desired length) are made of Aluminum without the rubber grips that often spin endlessly in the cold. The feet are stainless steel snow/ice spikes with a rubber foot cap that stays securely in place when the spikes aren't necessary; a great design advantage.

Be amongst the first to order your Jobu Design Algonquin tripod and get a special introductory price is $600.00 with an expected delivery of 4-6 weeks. Order yours here: http://jobu-design.3dcartstores.com/product.asp?itemid=122

Canadian Wildlife and Nature Photographer and Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds photographing owls in the Canadian winter (Feb,. 2014). Photographed with a prototype of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin tripod, Jobu Jr.3 deluxe gimbal head, Canon 200-400mm f/4-5.6 with built-in tele-extender and Canon EOS 1DX. Photo copyright and courtesy of Michael J. Lang (thanks, Michael).

Tuesday
Nov192013

Perfect Gift for Bird and Nature Photographers

Great Grey Owl Tranquil Winter  (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket and Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe  ISO 1,600, f/6.4 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

I get almost more emails than I can imagine, and a good number of them lately have been from people wondering what to get the special bird or nature photographer in their life. So, without hesitation, the ultimate accessory for every nature photographer is, without doubt, the Jobu Jr. 3 with Deluxe swing-arm from Jobu Designs.

The PERFECT Gift

I have been using the Jobu Jr.3 since I first told you about it in April 2011 HERE. Then I told you of the long awaited design improvements to the swing arm when I announced the Deluxe Swing Arm upgrade HERE in August 2012. Now I am delighted to announce that Jobu Designs is offering FREE SHIPPING (Canada & USA) AND 15% OFF your entire purchase as a special for the followers of this blog. Simply use the coupon code NATURE at the check-out when placing your order at the Jobu Designs site HERE. This is a limited time offer, so do hurry to place your order and take advantage of this great offer.

This is the only Gimbal tripod head that I have used since I first installed it on my tripod; it supports all of the big glass that I use (300, 500, 600 and 800mm), ensures fluid movement and most importantly, it is super light weight and it's compact size is easy to carry in the field and pack in a world where airlines love to restrict luggage weight and size.

Follow the link HERE and be sure to use the coupon code "NATURE" while at the check-out to save 15% and get FREE SHIPPING to Canada & USA.

Thursday
Oct182012

Jobu Designs Announces Jobu Jr.3 now available with Deluxe Swing-arm

 

Polar bear YES, I'VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU! (Ursus maritimus, Ours Blanc) at Cape Tatnam Wildlife Management Area (south of Wapusk National Park) along the shores of the Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1DX, 500mm F4 L IS , 1.4X Teleconverter III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 (with Deluxe Swing-arm upgrade) ISO 800 f/9 @ 1/640s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

 

I have been using the Jobu Jr.3 since I first told you about it in April 2011 HERE. Then I told you of the long awaited design improvements to the swing arm when I announced the Deluxe Swing Arm upgrade HERE in August. Now I am delighted to announce that Jobu Designs has packaged the original Jobu Jr.3 with the new swing-arm and it is available and in-stock now. Follow the link below and be sure to use the coupon code "NATURE" while at the check-out to save 10% and help support this site.

This is the only Gimbal tripod head that I have used since I first installed it on my tripod; it supports all of the big glass that I use (500, 600 and 800mm), ensures fluid movement and most importantly, it is light and easy to pack in a world where airlines love to restrict luggage weight and size.

Order your HERE: Jr.3 Deluxe Kit (with HMJ3D upgrade)

Don't forget to use the coupon code "NATURE" to save 10%

Tuesday
Aug142012

Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe Swing-arm Upgrade Announced

Red-faced Cormorant PORTRAIT (Red-faced Shag or Violet Shag, Phalacrocorax urile, Cormoran à face rouge, RFCO) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 1.4X Teleconverter III, 12 & 25mm Cabnon Extension Tubes Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 (with Deluxe Swing-arm upgrade) ISO 400 f/5.6 @ 1/125s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Junior 3 Deluxe Swing-arm

I first introduced you to my Jobu Jr. 3 Lightweight gimbal head last April HERE and have tried several new and improved prototypes along the way. Ian at Jobu Designs has been actively listening to users and refining the design and has just released a major upgrade making it even better.  They have integrated the quick-release clamp into the swing-arm (something I've asked for since last April), making the entire gimbal lighter, increasing the swing-capacity (max lens collar foot size can be taller & lowers the centre of gravity on big glass) and integrating a premium, custom designed fluted knob for better grip.

I can wholeheartedly attest to this being the very best gimbal for the traveling nature photographer available today.
It is, and has been the only gimbal head I use. If you have any concerns, whatsoever about image sharpness from the new design, simply have a glance at the image of the Red-faced Cormorant above (@ 1/125s), or any of the extremem close-ups made with this tripod head with the new swing-arm in the last few posts here.

Be sure to check out the one piece flash bracket while you are shopping.

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.

Wednesday
Feb292012

Jobu Pro2 Gimbal Head BWG-PRO2 Video Review

Snowy Ready, Set... (Nyctea scandiaca, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontario, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV,  500mm F4 IS with Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600 Tripod & Jobu PRO 2 Gimbal Head. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/1,600s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Canadian nature photographer and author of www.NaturePhotographyBlog.com, Christopher Dodds reviews The Jobu Pro 2 (BWG-PRO2B) during a winter blizzard while on location photographing Snowy Owls in Canada. SAVE 15% at www.jobu-design.com by using the discount coupon code "NATURE" at the check-out.

It's no secret that I use and continue to love my ultra light weight and compact Jobu Jr. 3 Gimbal Head, so it was a challenge to give the new Jobu PRO 2 Gimbal Head a test during my last Snowy Owl Workshop/Safari. Let me explain: This whole Jobu "Love-fest" started without my knowing it about five years ago when I was visiting a photography trade show in Montreal. I came across the Jobu Design stand and met the company's founder, owner and product designer/engineer, Ian. We spoke briefly, and Ian was quite taken aback when I suggested that he incorporate sealed bearings into the design of his Gimbal Heads on both the horizontal and vertical axis; the kind that are mass produced, relatively inexpensive and proven to perform in the worst wet and muddy conditions by the mountain bike industry. I remember the conversation as being quite short, and Ian probably wondering to himself who I thought I was.
Fast forward to January 2011, and Ian sent an email reminding me of the suggestion to include bearings, and asking if I would have a look at some of his offerings. I remember getting my hands on the Jobu Pro then, and loving it, but as I continued to unpack the box I put everything aside once I got to the Jobu Jr. 3 and have been using it and loving it since.
Several weeks ago, Ian asked me to have another look at the new and improved Jobu Pro 2 (the Jobu BWG-PRO2), and I agreed to give it a test during my last Winter Snowy Owl Workshop/safari. I asked Ian why the Pro 2; "The typical user of the Pro2 has a big tripod and big glass, and doesn’t necessarily care about overall weight. We designed it for 600mm F4 and 300-800mm zooms originally as we felt that the focal lengths that people were shooting at nowadays (like 2000+mm in some cases) warranted a much sturdier mount to reduce vibrations. Overall, the head is fundamentally the same size/weight as other leading gimbals on the market (yes it LOOKS bigger, but it’s not!), although we believe we beat it in features such as ball bearings, lockout, stiffness and overall smoothness. Not to mention, this unit is completely water and dust proof in design with sealed bearings (as compared to exposed roller bearings in most other gimbals on the market). Make sure to throw in the tidbit that you had mentioned we should try bearings in the product when we met years ago in Montreal!!!"
Will I switch to the JOBU PRO 2? Yes & no; I will continue to use the Jobu Jr. 3 when travelling and weight & size is an issue or when carrying my camera around on my shoulder during migration, etc., but I will add the JOBU PRO 2 to my kit when shooting near my car - it's simply so smooth and solid to ignore!

SAVE 15% on any purchase @ www.jobu-design.com by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the checkout.

Saturday
May282011

HALF is TWICE as good - JOBU Jr 3

Burrowing Owl PORTRAIT  (Athene cunicularia, Chevêche des terriers, BUOW) Cape Coral, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Teleconverter III & Canon 25mm Extension Tube. Jobu Jr. 3 & tripod. ISO 400, F11 @1/320s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

HALF is TWICE as good!

I was sitting here, in front of my computer, thinking of concepts to help remind people how to make better images, when it suddenly dawned on me: HALF is TWICE as good! Well, it’s no brilliant marketing slogan, but as a concept, I think it works.

Take half the pictures, but spend twice the time composing each one; your images will, most likely, be twice as good. It's a simple principle; make the image, instead of taking the picture.

Take half the number of trips, and spend twice as much time photographing in each place; sounds simple enough, right? But imagine how much more you will learn about the place, the culture, your subject and it’s behavior. If you are shooting landscapes, you will learn about the weather, the light and how the light interacts with the scene. If you are shooting wildlife, then you will develop an intimate knowledge of your subject, it’s behavior and it’s habits. Guess what? You will probably make images that are; you guessed it, twice as good!

Keep half the pictures and those you keep will be twice as good? Well, I’m not certain that this one is true, but I am always telling people to edit, edit, edit! People tend to take so many pictures these days, and I cringe every time someone wants to show me pictures from a trip, birthday or event; they want me to sit there and see all of them! For crying out loud people: keep the best and trash the rest!

My new LOVE: Meet JR.

I confess: I’ve been using the Jobu JR. 3 Compact Gimbal Head since April, and although I got one to reduce space and weight while travelling on aircraft, I haven’t been able to use anything else since! As you all know, I have owned, and used, a Wimberley gimbal head forever. I have tried many other makes and models of gimbal head that are smaller and lighter, but never found anything that I could even settle for. The Jobu Jr. 3 was designed for smaller lenses like the 70-200mm f/2.8, 300mm f/2.8, 100-400mm and 400mm DO, etc., but I have been using mine exclusively since I left for Texas in early April; It works remarkably well with my 500mm F4 IS L, even when working with the 1.4 or 2X extenders! The level of customer service, after sale support and engineering expertise from Jobu is unmatched in the industry today!

At HALF the size and less than HALF the weight of the Wimberley Head II (23 ounces or .65 kilograms VS. 60 ounces or 1.4 kilograms), the Jobu Jr. 3 has become my main tripod head!

I have also developed a love for their one piece flash bracket, so be sure to check that out as well.

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.

I'm thrilled to announce that I am an official distributor of the Jobu line, and have forged a terric partnership with them. Jobu heads, flash brackets and assorted items will be available for you to test-drive and purchase on all of my Canadian workshops, presentations and lectures.

Workshop updates & FREE JOBU JR.3!:

This is a tough business, I have had a few people cancel at the last minute due to illness recently, leaving some new openings is what were full workshops. We will give anyone who fills a spot a brand new Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal head and one piece top-mount flash bracket FREE. This amounts to a $499.00 bonus, just for signing-up at the last minute!

Gannets Galore on Bonaventure Island June 15-17, 2011 - 2 spots due to illness.

Puffins Galore July 1 to 3, 2011 - 2 spots due to illness.

Puffins Galore July 5-7, 2011 - 1 spot due to illness

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