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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


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Entries in Jobu Designs (5)


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… 

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


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


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:

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).


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.


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.


Winter DreamScape and TravelCoat by LensCoat review

American Bald Eagle WINTER DREAMSAPE (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm F2.8 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 2,000, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's another Bald Eagle fishing image from my EPIC Bald Eagle Photography Workshop/Safari in March. Yet again, the conditions were some of the very best Eagle photography on the planet. Looking at the results from everyone who joined the workshop; I'd have to say I achieved my goal of making sure everyone went home with images I would be proud to call my own. My years of experience there put us all in the right place at the right time and Mother Nature gracefully co-operated and added a sprinkle of icing sugar every now and than when it snowed. Join me in March 2014 for my Bald Eagle Photography Workshop / Safari - there's still a few spots up for grabs.

Canon 600mm f/4 L IS USM II with TravelCoat and Hoodie Lens Cap by LensCoat & replacment foot by Jobu Designs (use coupon code NATURE at the Jobu store to save 15%)©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 85mm f/1.2 L USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 1,000, f/2.8 @ 1/125s Manual mode.

TravelCoat by LensCoat

I travel an awful lot with camera gear and have seen everything while clearing airport security. Although I have never had anything broken by the airport security agents, I have seen my share of big lenses take tumbles while they have opened my camera bag in awkward positions. Once, I saw my 500 f/4 IS L USM almost hit the floor while they were swabbing my open camera bag; the agent flipped the cover closed and turned the bag over to swab the harness without zipping it closed. When I lunged forward and caught my lens ... well, you can imagine the outcome was a little over-the-top with guns out of holsters. Both my lens and I survived the ordeal when everyone realized what had happened; phew!

I have only just recently discovered the TravelCoat by LensCoat and am now comforted knowing my expensive lenses are protected so very well for so very little. The TravelCoat for my 600mm f/4 L IS USM II is only US$64.99. Well designed, custom fit and made of 3mm thick closed cell neoprene, the TravelCoat is a tiny investment to protect your ulta expensive lenses. Once in the field, the TravelCoat stows nicely in my camera bag and my LensCoat and Hoodie Lens Cap take-over the job of protecting my lens when I'm out & about.

Do consider suporting this site and purchase your TravelCoat, LensCoat and Hoodie Lens Cap by clicking on this banner:



Jobu Designs Canon 1DX L-Bracket announced

Great Grey Owl TWO STEP (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm F4 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,500s, f/4 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Well, I've lost track of time and think I'm about to leave for week number six or seven of my winter Snowy Owl photographic workshop safaris. Here's one from last week during an epic shoot in a field of fresh snow. Do note the exposure used reflects that is was cloudy and almost dark - Read more about Sunny 16 Rule from a prior blog enty.

New Jobu Designs 1DX L-Bracket

Jobu Designs has come up with a unique way of solving the mounting problems with the Pro size Canon camera bodies. The LB-C1DX is a two-piece L bracket with unique side-plate that only contours to the back of the camera, leaving lots of room out front for access to the battery and rubber covers. They have also integrated a unique magnetically captured hex wrench in the base plate. The tiny magnet will hold several pounds of steel, so the hex wrench is securely attached without rattling, yet it is still easy to remove. Shoot in portrait or landscape, or remove the side-arm easily and use just the base-plate if you want to save weight and space in your backpack. Proudly made of solid aircraft grade aluminum in Canada, it is compatible with most Arca-Swiss type clamps.

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.

Le Nichoir Photo Geek Christmas Party Fundraiser


Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoir. 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 his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 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. 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!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

If you would like to contribute door prizes for, or sponsor, this worthy cause, please email me ( to discuss. It's a great way to have your product or brand mentioned in every blog post until the main event while helping an awesome cause!

Last year we raised over $2,500.00 and I am asking for your help to at least double that!