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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in Photography (5)


Freeze action for birds in flight photography

American Bald Eagle ICE FISHING from my recent Bald Eagle Photographic Expedition (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS II USM @200mm ISO 500, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's a fun one from my recent Bald Eagle Workshop. I have some secret, and out of the way, spots where I head as fast as possible once it snows; the dark, flat water really makes the snowflakes pop. It's not a bad place to be when there is no snow and the light is nice too ;)

Freeze Frame

The image is made with Canon's new 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens and my 1DX. Talk about a sweet and versatile lens! I keep finding myself going on about just how sharp and quick the lens is, that I forget to remind you all that techinique and practice both play a major roll in the final product. In keeping with my mantra; I used a shutter speed of  1/4,000 of a second to be sure to freeze every detail of the Eagle's wings, and any motion I may have made with the lens while following the Eagle's flight path. Like a windmill blade, slow movement of my lens results in a really fast movement at the distance where you are focused. Always ensure you have enough shutter speed to freeze movement and extract every ounce of detail from your images. A good start is 1/3,200 of a second and 1/4,000 or 1/5,000 is even better!


I recently returned from Chris’s Eagle Workshop in Homer Alaska. Over the years, I have traveled extensively and can say without hesitating that this was the best trip I’ve ever been on. Chris is a very cordial but no nonsense guy. Everything about the trip was organized to the max. I’ve been photographing wildlife for 35 years and thought I had a pretty good idea about how to do it so I wasn’t expecting to learn a whole lot that was new. Wrong! Over the years, other “professionals” had encouraged me to shoot in aperture priority or auto ISO. When Chris told us he was going to teach us to set our camera exposures manually, I thought that sounded like a lot of unnecessary effort. That notion turned out to be false. If you attend this workshop and don’t already shoot in manual mode, your life will be changed. The exposures of the photos I took are spot on and better than any I have ever achieved.
In addition to the new material I learned, the “eagle shooting” was beyond anything one could ever imagine. It was both action packed and challenging. Our group was only five people and Chris bent over backward to make sure that each of us got the best photos of our lives. Even though I had substantial problems with my equipment, I now have more killer eagle photos than I could have ever hoped for. If you want an informative and fun packed trip, I encourage you to sign up for this or any of Chris’s workshops. I have signed up again for next year’s Eagle Workshop, in spite of my truck load of eagle photos, which I believe tells the whole story.

Ron Brown Colorado USA


Snowy Owl Photo Tour Update

Snowy Owl Wings-up (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's one from one of many memorable moments during my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops last season. The outlook for this winter season is simply superb! I currently know where there are more Snowy Owls than I did this time last year. Remarkably, I have had three cancellations due to illness. Each of the three folks have asked me to try to find someone to fill their spot and have agreed to a discount. Be sure to have a look at the workshop and take advantage of $500.00 savings if you book a 2015 owl trip before midnight Dec. 24, 2014. Space is limited, so don't wait too long!

January 12-16, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT

January 26-30, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT

February 2-6, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT


2014 Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour Announced

Atlantic Puffin CLOWN OF THE SEA (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II, Canon 12mm Extension Tube II, Canon 1.4X Extender III. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin & Razorbill Heaven

Puffins Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

July 26-28, 2014 (3 Days/4 Nights)

SOLD OUT in less than 9 hours!

I am thrilled to finally announce my Puffins Galore Photo Tour at Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

I have been in search of the ultimate destination for an Atlantic Puffin workshop / safari for a very long time.  The mandate was simple; find a location that is within reach, safe and easy to get to without a dangerous boat landing on slippery rocks and a place where we can get close to these comical little seabirds without hauling our gear up, and over, huge distances or having to hang over towering cliffs; a place where anyone can comfortably reach, regardless of age or physical ability; a place with reliable , safe and easy boat landings. I have photographed Atlantic Puffins in Iceland, Maine, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec; All of these "known" places have their drawbacks., and I simply can't imagine subjecting my clients to the abuse.  Mission accomplished; I have found Puffin Paradise. This is the very best place in the world to photograph Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills fishing, with fish in their bills, in flight and in golden light.

Beyond the 50th parallel, along the North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lies a remarkably beautiful scattering of some thirty limestone islands and more than 1000 granitic islets and reefs. The territory, the "Mingan Archipelago", became Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada 1984.
This necklace of land carved out of the limestone bedrock is the site of spectacular natural monuments which bear witness to the never-ending wear of the sea and of the centuries. And there is an abundance of life in this strange half-world: plants of variegated hues and shapes, seabirds gathered in colonies, seals, dolphins and whales, swarming the blue vastness in which the islands bathe.

Join me, Canadian Wildlife Photographer Christopher Dodds, for a Puffin photography workshop / safari. This trip will be limited to five participants and will surely be the trip of a lifetime for anyone seeking to get close and personal (safely) to Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. We will spend a few hours photographing fishing Puffins each morning from a boat, before landing on an island where we spend the rest of the day until sunset for three full days. I have secured special access, so we will be the only people on the island during the first, and last, few hours each day.

Price is $2,995.00 (plus sales tax) including four nights single occupancy accommodation (with full kitchenette), three days private boat tour with highly experienced captain (weather permitting), three days park access fees and three days expert instruction. Other subjects might include Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Great Cormorants, Savannah Sparrow (there are many) Common Eider, Grey Seals and whales. Meals, beverages, transportation to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec and souvenirs are not included.

Getting there:

Our base of operations, accommodations and starting point are in the town of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan.

Havre St. Pierre Airport or YGV (serviced by Labrador Air) is 46km or 28.5 miles

Sept-iles Airport or YZV (serviced by Air Canada) is 152km or 94.5 miles

Quebec City Jean Lesage Airport or TQB (Serviced by most carriers) is 831km or 516 miles

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport or YUL (Derviced by most carriers) is 1,086km or 675 miles

Sign-up for my Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour HERE


Bald Eagle Photo Tour was EPIC - Full Nik Collection by Google for only $127

American Bald Eagle Fishing in light snow  (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 1,250, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Bald Eagle Photo Tour / Workshop a huge success

I'm just back from my Bald Eagle Photo Tour / Workshop / Safari and the Bald Eagle photography was EPIC! We had hundreds of Eagles, a fantastic mix of weather and each hour on the water averaged hundreds of dives and gigabytes of images! The Canon 1DX continues to blow me away with it's amazing autofocus and low noise at high ISO settings. Accurate and fast autofocus in heavy snow simply blows me away! The gorgeous sunlight faded to cloud after three full days, and it finally snowed on our last morning out. The water was calm and we constantly stayed out on the water for much more time than was budgeted - we were often out for hours beyond the other boats running out of time, ammunition and budget. Simply put; it was over-the-top and mind blowing!

Learn more about my March, 2014 Bald Eagle Photo Tour HERE

Get the full Nik Collection by Google, now just $126.65

WOW!!! Nik Software by Google just announced an INSANE 70% OFF DEAL! You can purchase the entire NIK Collection suite of all 6 plugins for just $149. And use the code CDODDS for an additional 15% off, making it only $126.65. I could not get the results I do without Nik!

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Buy yours here: and be sure to add the code CDODDS at the checkout


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, Christopher Dodds reviews The Jobu Pro 2 (BWG-PRO2B) during a winter blizzard while on location photographing Snowy Owls in Canada. SAVE 15% at 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 @ by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the checkout.