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Entries in Northern Gannet (15)

Saturday
Jun162018

Black and White Portrait of a Northern Gannet

Northern Gannet B&W PORTRAIT (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) From my Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island at Parc National de l'île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm and minimum focusing distance. Full frame image. ISO 800, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode.
Friday
Jun012018

Gannets Galore Workshop Last Minute Openings

Northern Gannet with Seaweed (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) From my Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island at Parc National de l'île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 164mm. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 640, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode.

Two last minute openings

I have two last minute cancellations/openings for my Gannets Galore workshop on Bonaventure Island at Percé, Quebec from June 5 to 7, 2018 due to sudden illness. This is a last minute opportunity for what I feel to be the very best workshop to improve and perfect your bird photography skills! Includes daily four hour Zodiac excursion under the colony and all the Gannets you can imagine at the very best place to photograph them in the world. One of the true natural spectacles in the world! Read more & sign-up: CLICK HERE.
Sunday
Jan282018

Northern Gannet a la Sony a9

Northern Gannet BOUQUET (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS  @176mm. ISO 640 f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a Northern Gannet from a rare opportunity to photograph alone on Bonaventure Island while I was testing the new Sony a9 mirroless camera with the new Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS lens. I was blessed with a cloudy bright day, which is my absolute favorite lighting for my all-time favorite bird photography place where I have spent more than a year of my life since falling in love with the Gannets there! (If you were to add up all of the days spent teaching workshops there over the years).

I still have a couple of spots available for my June 5-7, 2018 Gannets Galore workshop there. Read more about the workshop I host there every year HERE.

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

Thursday
Oct162014

Canon 7D mark II hands-on mini review

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, 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II, (@200mm). ISO 800, F5.6 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.

Canon EOS 7D mark II review

My friends over at Canon Canada have been keeping me busy testing and trying the newly announced Canon EOS 7D Mark II. I have been busy building a portfolio of images made with the new camera that I will present at various dealer launches of the camera for Canon. In keeping with tradition, I won't list all of the features and specifications which can be found on the Canon 7D Mark II product page found HERE.

I had access to the first generation pre-production unit on Sept. 15, but didn't get my hands on it until I returned from Arizona on Sept. 23. There were rules in place to prevent images from being posted from the pre-production unit; easy to understand that Canon didn't want the critiques to get their hands on images before the firmware and hardware were tweaked enough to properly represent what the camera is capable of. To be crystal clear: I am A Canon Northern Explorer of Light, an ambassador for the brand. I am not under any obligation to mislead you or misrepresent this camera; I am not begging you to purchase through an affiliate link here which will give me any commission.  This is simply my review of this much anticipated camera.

I wanted to put the camera through it's paces at one of the best locations I know;  somewhere there are beautiful birds and lot's of them, somewhere that if the weather is right, there would be non-stop action to photograph. I jumped behind the steering wheel, set my GSP and drove the 14 hours to one of my favourite places: Bonaventure Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) off the southern coast of Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula.

The weather, the Northern Gannets and the new camera performed flawlessly. I was blown-away by the Dual Digic-6 processor driven auto focus system. In low contrast,  cloudy and slightly foggy conditions, shooting white birds against near white backgrounds, the auto-focus was unbeatable. I started with my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens, and quickly went through all of the lenses and extender combinations to see if there were limits. Even shooting with a lens+extender combination with a maximum aperture of f/8 (600mm f/4L IS USM II and 2X III extender … yes, 600mm  with doubler =1200mm X 1.6 crop factor= 1920mm), the auto-focus proved it may even be slightly faster/better than the professional Canon 1DX. Throw in 10 frames per second capture rate and no noticeable shutter lag and this truly is a dream camera body for bird photographers and action/sports/press photographers alike.


The BIG Question: how is the noise?


Almost every single time someone on a workshop tells me that their camera is noisy at any given ISO, I can clearly show them they are constantly underexposing their images and correcting their poor  field craft via software after the fact. There are various ways to correct poor exposure mistakes; the most obvious of which is to slide the exposure slider to brighten it. Since digital cameras see and record light like our eyes see it, there is much more detail in the highlights, than the shadows. Underexposing an image limits the data captured at the time of exposure and there is no way to replace that missing information without introducing noise to the image. I see these mistakes mostly amongst photographers using some of the most expensive cameras on the market; they have paid a lot of money for a camera, but are recording about half of the data it is capable of recording had the image been properly exposed to start with.

While discussing the performance of a camera at high ISO, it is important to note that physics dictates that a smaller sensor would have more noise than a larger sensor of the same type. This is of particular importance while comparing the 7D mark II to Canon's flagship professional camera body, the 1DX. The 1DX, in my opinion, remains the very best camera money can buy for high ISO noise preformance; but at a much higher price point.

So, what about the 7D Mark II noise? Simply put: the camera produces amazing results. I used the camera at 200, 400, 800, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,600 ISO without feeling concerned at all. The files are rich and full of detail; images made at 1,600 ISO did show a little noise in the shadows, but there is a tremendous improvement over those same files from the original 7D. I have played around with ISO settings up to 16,000; impressive performance for an APS-C sensor, but I might start to reach for my 1DX if anything above 3,200 ISO is required for the task.

In conclusion

The Canon EOS 7D mark II totally rocks! If you weigh the features, file size and quality against the price, it is a worthy 1DX contender. There is little reason to own a 1DX if you regularly work below 1,600 ISO and the 7D mark II makes an awesome and economical back-up to anyone with a 1DX. I know that I will replace my second 1DX with the lighter 7D mark II. I will be keeping a 1DX in my camera bag, but will likely favour the lighter 7D mark II on most occasions; to be honest, I haven't picked-up my 1DX since getting my hands on the 7D mark II. The 1.6X crop factor was a welcome treat after using full frame cameras for so long; not having to add an extender also meant not loosing a stop from the maximum aperture of the lens I was using, which meant I didn't have to increase my ISO to maintain my desired shutter speed.
I love the weight and feel of the camera, which truly is much more rugged, weatherproof and professional feeling than the original 7D. I will have a hard time using any camera now without all of the information available through it's new viewfinder display; level, shooting mode, settings, file format, etc. are all available without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. Throw in 10 frames per second capture rate and no noticeable shutter lag and this truly is a dream camera body for bird photographers and action/sports/press photographers alike. The GPS and compass is a very welcome addition and the camera, as a whole, represents tremendous value.

Stay tuned for more about the 7D mark II in future posts.

Tuesday
Jun112013

Canon EOS 1D X Firmaware Version 1.2.4 and Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island mini report

Northern Gannets LOVING  (Morus bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA ) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D X, 70-300mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @ 277mm Hand Held ISO 800, f/7.1 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

I'm just in the door from my Gannets Galore workshops and can honestly say that the Northen Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island is better than ever! We had a mix of weather and I enjoyed some fabulous company from the wonderful participants. The conditions are so good that I have decided to return and have just announced an August 21-23, 2013 Gannets Galore workshop / photo safari. If you want to experience a true photographer's paradise and learn tons about bird photography while there, then this is the trip for you - I guarantee it! This is one of those workshops that 500 or 600mm lenses are not obligatory to make some killer images! No one on earth knows the place better than I do! Do consider joining me and read more about the August 21-23, 2013 Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island, Quebec HERE.

TESTIMONIALS

Thanks again for a great workshop. The gannets were awesome and I am really, really happy with my pictures. You did a great job of making sure everything went smoothly and I appreciated your help with camera settings, techniques, etc. I had high expectations going into the workshop and I can honesty say that my expectations were exceeded and then some.

Ian Nicholson Fredericton, NB, Canada


I had a wonderful time on your Northern Gannet workshop on Bonaventure Island. I only wish I could go back now, knowing what I learned from you and using it to produce even better and memorable images. You were an inspiration and very patient with me. It has whet my appetite for more and I'm thinking of your Texas workshop next.
I especially like the way you showed respect for the gannets and the park in general. I haven't stopped talking about my experience and the not-so-difficult climb to the colony, about the zodiac on the sea, about the Kawasaki mule taking our gear up so we didn't have to, about the beauty of Perce, about our leader; a kind and expert photographer.

John L. Block Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada

 

Canon EOS 1D X Firmaware Version 1.2.4 released

Canon has released a firmware update Version 1.2.4 for the EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera. It incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

1. Improves the speed of the camera’s acquisition of focus when using a Canon Speedlite’s AF-assist beam.
2. Reduces the time it takes to display the metering result on the LCD or Viewfinder when the meter has been activated.
3. Fixes a phenomenon in which a “Caution 02” message is unnecessarily recorded in the camera status log.
4. Fixes a phenomenon in which continuous shooting pauses when using a Canon Speedlite.
5. Fixes a phenomenon, when the Canon GP-E1 is attached, in which the GPS device settings are reset to default settings when the camera has been powered off.

Download the new firmware HERE

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.