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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in Owl (16)


All about Watermarks: Visible and Invisible

Great Grey Owl SPRING SHOWERS  (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Île Bizard, Montreal, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100-400mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @ 360mm Hand Held ISO 1400, f/6.3 @ 1/800s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's an old favourite from 2005. I have re-processed the image using my current workflow after negotiating a generous licensing fee after the image was found by a legitimate buyer in a blog that had "re-posted" my image. This kind of thing happens almost every day to my images and I maintain a vigilant watch for them and quickly follow-up with invoices that are usually paid in full quite quickly.

I'm bringing this to your attention after reading several rants from a couple of "famous" photographers who regularly try to make you believe that you should be posting your images on-line without any watermarks; be they visible or not. This despite my not remembering many artists who didn't sign their work.

Here's my thoughts; those of a professional who does still post to the web, my blog, Facebook, Google Plus and 500px. It's fun and it's good for business.

All of my images are posted with a huge visible watermark and they all contain a digital watermark in the event that someone decides to remove the visible watermark before they share them without my permission. The visible watermark is there to build my brand and inform the viewer that it is my work; the invisible watermark to protect myself from image theft and the possibility of the work being rendered an orphan work.

An orphan work is a copyrighted work for which the copyright owner cannot be contacted. That's what happens after someone strips your image of the visible watermark …. or, if you never put one on the image in the first place.

Why is this all important? Once you post an image without a watermark, or, if someone re-posts your image without your watermark, then a legitimate buyer doesn't know who to buy the rights from. It could be the editor of a very prestigious magazine, or an advertising agency representing a very prestigious brand; there are still people out there right now who pay large sums of money to licence an image.

How to prevent this from happening to you? Simple, place a visible watermark somewhere on your image with your name or website address AND be sure to Watermark your image with an invisible, digital watermark by running it through the Digimarc for images filter  in Photoshop.

A digital watermark embedded in your image carries a unique ID and can link to contact information or a website for viewers interested in learning more about you or purchasing your artwork. The watermark stays with your image regardless of the path it travels across the Internet. No matter where your digital image ends up, others will be able to determine your copyright ownership and find you. If anyone finds your image on-line and wants to contact you, they need only read the Digimarc invisible watermark to either find your co-ordinates via the Digimarc site, or be directly connected to your website.

As an added bonus, Digimarc for images also offers premium services which searches for, and index all of the images it finds on-line with a Digimarc invisible watermark; it's a search engine for protected images - now you can see who has been stealing your work and pursue them.

Find out more about Digimarc for Images and Save 30% off your subscription to Digimarc for images by using the coupon code "naturephotography" at


Great Grey Owl and more Kudos

Great Grey Owl OFF BALANCE (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 70-300mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 3,200s, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

It's safe to say that this owl season has reached EPIC! Here's another testimonial that I have received from my recent Snowy Winter Owl Workshops:

"Five days in temperatures between –5°C and –15°C plus a snow blizzard just to learn how to photograph Great Grey Owls in their own habitat in the snow! Was it worth crossing the Atlantic for? Yes, definitely – Chris Dodds is an excellent photographer and patient tutor.  From him I learnt lots about manual exposure, histograms, and composition with these owls as the subject.  I used a Canon 7D handheld with a Canon 100mm-400mm lens, and although this was not a pro-camera – like Chris’ and others in the group – I did not feel underpowered or even overwhelmed! Many thanks again Chris."

- Jo Latham Norfolk | UK




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.