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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Point Pelee (5)

Saturday
May032014

Spring Migration Special Event with Canon Canada Northern Explorers of Light and Henry's School of imaging

Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta vary, Paruline noir et blanc, BAWW) Point Pelee National Park, Leamington, Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DS II, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Extender. ISO 640, f/8 @ 1/160s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I am thrilled to announce that Canon Canada's Northern Explorers of Light program and Henry's have teamed-up to offer you some extraordinary events during spring migration at Point Pelee National Park of Canada. The cold spring and late arrival of the warmer weather is likely to make this spring's migration epic! These events are timed to coincide with the very best birding Pelee has to offer photographers; the highest possibility of a fallout (high number of birds), before the leaves obscure our view.

Events include an hour long slideshow, portfolio reviews, half day walking tours and full day walking tours. Not only will I help you improve your bird photography technique, I will share my strategy to maximize your opportunities during spring migration at Pelee. I can help beginners leap forward on the technical side and offer site guidance to advanced amateurs and pros.

The events are open to everyone and Canon equipment is not mandatory - I will be teaching bird photography that will improve your images regardless of the brand camera you own. Henry's will have both Canon and Nikon gear on site for rent.

Check it out and register at Henry's School of Imaging HERE

Tuesday
Apr022013

Worse Weather = Better Bird Photography

American Bald Eagle Fishing in light snow  II (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.

Worse Weather = Better Bird Photography

Here's another from my recent Bald Eagle Photography Photo Tour. I'm still an advocate of getting out in worse weather to make better and more dynamic images. Here, the pose, action, low angle of view, dark reflection of the nearby steep shoreline, flat water all came together with the snow as the icing on the cake. Do consider joining me for my Bald Eagle Photo Tour & Workshop next March; it's perfectly timed for perfect weather conditions!

Songbirds of Pelee Photo Tour May 9-13, 2013

It's not too late to join me at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario (Canada); the most renowned inland location in North America to photograph spring migrants, including colourful warblers, tanagers and orioles. Located in Southern Ontario, Pelee is a small peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, and is first landfall for waves of northbound songbirds crossing the Great Lakes. Birders regularly see more than 100 bird species in a day in the Pelee area, including 25 species of warblers!
This is the kind of place that birding legends about epic fallouts are made. We will also visit Rondeau Provincial Park where we will be setting-up feeders and perches to round-out our portfolios. Register for the Point Pelee Photo Tour Here.

Two Canon EOS 1D Mark IV cameras for sale

Long time friend and multiple Photo Tour participant John Z is selling both of his Canon 1D Mark IV cameras at the incredibly low price of only $2,500.00 each. contact John directly and quickly if interested or for more details: 2010photoman@gmail.com

Wednesday
May192010

Lincoln's Sparrow & Point Pelee Workshop / Safari Report

Lincoln's Sparrow vertical look-back with reflection, Melospiza lincolnii (Bruant de Lincoln) Point Pelee National Park of Canada (Southwestern Ontario, Canada). Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4L IS USM and 2X II Tele-extender. ISO 800, 1/200s F9. Canon 580 EX II Flash in manual mode. Tripod and Wimberley Head II. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Point Pelee Spring Songbird bird photography workshop / safari report

Just back from leading my annual spring bird photography workshop / safari at Point Pelee National Park near Leamington, Ontario. I was joined by Robert Parent & Sylvie Desjardins of Lac-Beauport (Quebec), Gail Bisson of Sydney (Nova Scotia), Multiple workshop veterans (and friends) Rick & Melody Curtis of Flower Mound (Texas) and Jerry Purdy of Kalamazoo (Michigan); a fine crew. There was lots of speculation about what kind of photography would be possible with the early leaf-out and unusually warm spring. Things did start slowly and, in keeping with tradition Jerry Purdy had to leave early to take care of business; sparking the start to the best spring migration I've ever witnessed at Point Pelee (sorry Jerry). The days are all blurred into one in my memory, but once things got started, the quantity and quality of birds dripping out of trees keep increasing. Unfortunately, the most memorable moments were the afternoon after the workshop had ended, so only Rick and Melody Curtis joined Julie and I for the dozens of Blackburnian Warblers dripping from the trees in Tilden Woods that afternoon. The next morning brought a gorgeous male Kirtland's Warbler that stuck around all day on East beach. Suffice it to say; it was the best I have ever seen it at Point Pelee! My only wish would have been for everyone in the workshop to have witnessed Pelee's best.Lincoln's Sparrow , Melospiza lincolnii (Bruant de Lincoln) Point Pelee National Park of Canada (Southwestern Ontario, Canada). Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4L IS USM and 2X II Tele-extender. ISO 800, 1/200s F9. Canon 580 EX II Flash in manual mode. Tripod and Wimberley Head II. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Hydrophobia to the rescue

The weather ranged from cold to freezing cold with a fair mix of rain and cloud. Greg Downing (NatureScapes.net) and Bian Erwin (Think-Tank Photo) conspired to send me a rather thoughtful assortment of rain gear for my camera as an early birthday gift (it was my birthday on May 6 when I drove to Pelee); suffice it to say that their timing was impeccable and the Hydrophobia 300-600, Hydrophobia 70-200 & Hydrophobia 70-200 Flash were all put to good use - watch for a full review after more field testing during my Bonaventure Island Gannets Galore workshop series in June. We even endured hail and sleet between a rather monsoonish downpour while photographing at our set-ups at Rondeau Provincial Park. This gear is the ONLY camera rain covers that have ever worked for me; Thank-you Greg & Brian.

Kudos...

"Hey Chris, 

We wanted to thank you for the great time and wonderful experience.  It was just awesome to see so many birds including all the Warblers and Tanagers all in one area.  "I got a feeling" that having the rare opportunity to photograph and hear the Kirkland Warbler singing was an experience that many birders would have been very envious of.  The Yellow Billed Cuckoo was outstanding to see and we were got some marvelous shots even for the Texas Zoomers.  We had the opportunity to take great shots of the Northern Parula, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Blue, Cape May, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Pine, Black-and-white and  American Redstart Warblers.  We saw many other birds and Warblers adding to the excitement of the workshop (even the "OMG" Bay-breasted Warbler).

It was a fun workshop and a pleasure to met Julie, Jerry, Robert, Sylvie, and Gail.  Thanks again for all your advice, counsel and exercise (hahaha).  Looking forward to another workshop in the future and anytime you are in Texas give us a shout.  
Sincerely,
Texas Zoomers (aka Rick & Melody Curtis from Flower Mound, Texas)"

Lincoln's Sparrow with crest raised, Melospiza lincolnii (Bruant de Lincoln) Point Pelee National Park of Canada (Southwestern Ontario, Canada). Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4L IS USM and 2X II Tele-extender. ISO 800, 1/200s F9. Canon 580 EX II Flash in manual mode. Tripod and Wimberley Head II. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.Lincoln's Sparrow vertical portrait, Melospiza lincolnii (Bruant de Lincoln) Point Pelee National Park of Canada (Southwestern Ontario, Canada). Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4L IS USM and 2X II Tele-extender. ISO 800, 1/100s F9. Canon 580 EX II Flash in manual mode. Tripod and Wimberley Head II. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii (Bruant de Lincoln, LISP)

A species only seen during migration for most Great Lakes Region birder, William Brewster (1936, in Bent 1968) describes the Lincoln's Sparrow as "a keen, intelligent little traveler, evidently, quite alive to the fact that dangers threatened at all times, but too cool-headed and experienced to be subject to the needless and foolish panics which seize upon many of the similar birds." Lincoln's Sparrows are remarkable for staying well hidden, but a careful observer, with patience, can often get quite a good look. These Sparrows often raise their crown feathers when alert or concerned, giving their heads a bit of a peaked appearance. The Lincoln's Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii, bruant de lincoln, is a medium-sized sparrow. Adults have dark-streaked olive-brown upperparts with a light brown breast with fine streaks, a white belly and a white throat. They have a brown cap with a grey stripe in the middle, olive-brown wings and a narrow tail. Their face is grey with brown cheeks, a brown line through the eye and an eye ring. They are somewhat similar in appearance to the Song Sparrow. Their breeding habitat is wet thickets or shrubby bogs across Canada, Alaska and the northeastern and western United States; this bird is less common in the eastern parts of its range. The nest is a well-concealed shallow open cup on the ground under vegetation. These birds migrate to the southern United States, Mexico and northern Central America; they are passage migrants over much of the United States, except in the west. They forage on the ground in dense vegetation, mainly eating insects and seeds.
They are very secretive. Their song is a musical trill, but this bird is often not seen or heard even where they are common. This bird was named by Audubon after his friend, Thomas Lincoln, of Dennysville, Maine. Lincoln shot the bird on a trip with Audubon to Nova Scotia in 1834, and Audubon named it "Tom's Finch" in his honor.

Friday
Feb262010

American Bald Eagles Tumbling - Breaking the rules - Save 25% off Point Pelee Annual Pass

 Bald Eagle Tumble Abstract (Haliaeetus leucocephalus Pygarge à tête blanche) Kachemak Bay, Homer Alaska, USA. ©Christopher Dodds http://www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 500mm F4 IS, 1.4X II Tele-converter, Gitzo tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F5.6 1/1600s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. Cropped from left and right to 4x5 Aspect Ratio for visual impact. BUY A PRINT OR LICENCE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Bald Eagle Tumble Abstract  (Haliaeetus leucocephalus Pygarge à tête blanche) Kachemak Bay, Homer Alaska, USA. ©Christopher Dodds http://www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 500mm F4 IS, 1.4X II Tele-converter, Gitzo tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F5.6 1/1600s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. Here is the original, un-cropped image. BUY A PRINT OR LICENCE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Breaking the rules...

I strive to always challenge myself to break the standard rules of art, composition and photography; especially when mother nature works against me. In the case of the image above, I was simply making the most of a bad situation; the wind was blowing against the afternoon sunlight and all of the other photographers had opted to take the afternoon off to rest or edit their images. I watched and saw that I might have a chance at something artsy, or abstract, to salvage the afternoon. As I typically challenge myself to compose my images in-camera and shoot full-frame, without cropping, I thought I would include the original, un-cropped version for you to see how cropping, or changing the images aspect ratio, changes the visual impact of the image. While it's generally a good idea to include your subject's face, or eyes(preferably with good eye contact); once in a very great while you can create something nice without including either.

The broken rules:

  • Always photograph birds-in-flight with the wind and sun at your back.
  • Always include your subject's face
  • Always ensure at least one eye is critically sharp & in-focus
  • Always ensure strong eye contact between viewer and subject
  • always follow the rules

Kudos

"I wanted to thank you for a wonderful owling trip last week.  It was great to be in the field with you and I learned a great deal about the birds, environment and my camera.  Thanks so much for being such a great naturalist, photographer and trip leader.  I will go on another trip with you in the future."                                                                                                                                                         - Lynda Goff Santa Cruz, CA (Professor Emeritus Ecology & Evolutionary Biology UC Santa Cruz)

Save 25% on your Season pass to Point Pelee National Park of Canada

Buy or renew your annual pass to Point Pelee National Park of Canada and save 25%. From February 1, until March 31, 2010, take advantage of this great offer to start your preparations for this year's spring migration. Simply call (519) 322-2365, extension 200 from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. I always recommend the Family (or group) pass, as this let's you enter through the automated gate and skip the sometimes lengthy line-ups each morning.

Wednesday
Apr082009

Songbirds of Pelee May 8-12, 2010 Workshop Announced

Image #1: Black-and-White Warbler

Due to the overwhelming popularity of my May, 2009 Pelee Songbird workshop (thanks to all who registered: We sold-out quickly!), I'm announcing my 2010 dates now. Join noted Canadian Wildlife photographer Christopher Dodds at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario (Canada); the most renowned inland location in North America to photograph spring migrants, including colourful warblers, tanagers and orioles. Located in Southern Ontario, Pelee is a small peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, and is first landfall for waves of northbound songbirds crossing the great lakes. Birders regularly see more than 100 bird species in a day in the Pelee area, including 25 species of warblers!

Image #2: Re-Headed Woodpecker

For bird photographers, Pelee can offer some legendary experiences. Each day is different, so we begin our morning at the tip, to see what new migrants have arrived overnight. If we're lucky, there may be a wave or fallout of birds, with weary warblers feeding low in warm morning light. Although days like that are rare, we'll find birds to photograph - there is always something around Pelee! I am well connected to the birders and photographers in the park, and get current tips about cooperative or rare birds! I also have some great feeder set-ups (for Orioles, Grosbeaks, Sparrows and Red-Headed Woodpeckers) outside the park, to keep us busy on slow days ... while all the other bird photographers stand around and only talk about photography.

 

There are no guarantees when photographing migrants at a place like Pelee, but we stand a good chance of getting photos of numerous warbler species (ie. Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white), vireos, scarlet tanager, and more. The most exciting thing about photographing migrants at a place like Pelee, is that you just never know what you might get!

 

Image #3: Chestnut-Sided Warbler

What's included? ... Five full days of in-the-field photographic instruction and introductory slideshow on the evening before the workshop (May 7, 2010). Hotel, transportation, meals, drinks, park access fees, etc. are not included. I do have a block of rooms reserved (at a favorable rate) at the Leamington Howard Johnston (formerly the Ramada Hotel).

Price: CAD$1,695.00 per person (tax included). Non-refundable deposit of CAD$695.00 due to secure your spot, with the remaining non-refundable balance of CAD$1,000.00 due 120 days prior to the workshop (January 7, 2010). Please note that your reservation is not guaranteed until the non-refundable deposit is received. We strongly suggest you purchase trip cancellation insurance.

How to book: Please email me your contact information (chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com), and mail the required non-refundable deposit to:

 

Christopher Dodds

(450) 827-1007

Dodds Visuals Inc.

Box 112

Franklin Centre, QC

Canada

J0S 1E0