Osprey with Fish (Pandion haliaetus, Balbzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress (near Vero Beach), Florida ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm f/4 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket Hand Held ISO 1,600, f/4.5 @ 1/800s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.
Osprey Workshop Kudos
I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Dodds a few weeks ago in Florida when I signed up for his Osprey workshop. The sign up process and pre workshop communication was excellent and concise. I must admit that as I drove over from Tampa to the hotel I was a bit uneasy after looking at Chris's images wondering if he was approachable, patient, and a good teacher with someone like me who didn't have a lot of experience shooting wildlife before. We met in the hotel lobby , chatted for 30 minutes or so and thankfully Chris put my concerns to rest. I went to bed that night knowing that the next few days would be an adventure.
I can honestly say that Chris Dodd's workshop for Ospreys far exceeded my expectations. Chris is a great guy, very happy to answer your questions and the best thing of all, fun to shoot with. I learned a lot, met a new friend and best of all was blown away at the quality of my images because of Chris's help/techniques. I cannot wait to meet Chris somewhere else in the wild and experience another awesome outdoor shooting experience. Thank you Chris, I hope to see you again soon!
Mark Weaver - Tampa, Florida, USA
I recently joined Chris on his Ospreys Galore Photo Safari and Expedition. This was actually the second year in a row that I have joined Chris for this photo safari. Including myself, there were three repeat clients for this experience. All three repeat clients are from Florida. I have a chance to photograph ospreys year round but I have found this to be THE BEST EXPERIENCE to photograph ospreys in their natural environment. I agree with Chris that Lake Blue Cypress is one of the most beautiful places in Florida. The lake is surrounded by land that is designated as conservation land. That means no development and pristine environment around the lake. Cypress trees ring the lake and I have never seen as many ospreys in one place.
One of the things I particularly like about being with Chris is his genuine concern for the safety and well being of his clients. On this last trip we had some weather passing through the area. Chris delayed going out in the pontoon boat until the stronger weather had passed. He also talked about the possibility of rain showers and made sure everyone was prepared even though it did not rain on us while we were out.
Chris’ knowledge and expertise was evident in getting us close to the ospreys. Most of my images taken during the three days were taken at less than 300mm. I was able to get in-flight and very close up images hand holding a 500mm lens, but most of my images were taken with a 70-200mm lens with a 2X extender. I didn’t need the big lens to get very good images.
While we were all shooting Chris would be keeping an eye out for all of us. He tailored his field instruction for each individual. His insight into the latest thinking on shutter speeds with DSLRs was especially invaluable to getting crisp images. Chris even shared his camera equipment with people to give them some experience with the latest equipment.
I have joined Chris on several trips and look forward to future adventures with him.
Jim Boland - Titusville, Florida, USA
CANON EOS 5D Mark III Firmware Version 1.2.1 Available
Canon EOS 5D Mark III users should be thrilled to learn that has just released exciting new free firmware. The highlight for nature photographers is that Canon has enabled centre AF point auto-focus when extender/lens combinations have combined maximum aperture of f/8. If AF point expansion is selected with an f/8 maximum aperture lens/extender combination, the four AF points surrounding the center point will act as AF Assist points. This option effectively expands the size of the AF detection area to enhance autofocus performance with subjects that appear small in the viewfinder and difficult to track, such as small animals and birds in flight. AF points above and below the center will be sensitive to vertical contrast, while points to the left and right will be sensitive to horizontal contrast.
Check-out the comprehensive list of fixes and other improvements and download Firmware V. 1.2.1 HERE