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Entries in Puffin (8)

Wednesday
Aug102016

Atlantic Puffin TROPHY

Atlantic Puffin TROPHY (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 1DX mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @400mm. ISO 400, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I'm just back from my annual back-to-back deluxe Atlantic Puffin workshops at the Mingan Archipelago National Park of Canada. The birds (puffins and Razorbills) and the folks in my groups were awesome! We had tons of laughs, epic photographic opportunities and some incredibly delicious food while staying in the lighthouse on the island for the four day (three night) trip.

Here's a favorite "grab shot" from the trip; I was putting my camera and lens together on an otherwise quiet morning while I noticed this Puffin circling. It was making it's way into it's burrow to feed it's Puffling (baby puffin) in some pretty sweet light. I called-out that it would continue to circle to those in the group who were near me. I quickly set the manual exposure and then pre-focused my camera at the distance I thought the Puffin would fly past me. This is the first of three frames captured. Call it a lucky shot, but years of photographing and watching seabirds, learning their behaviour and ensuring that my groups have the very best dates does ensure ample opportunities - smile.

Do be sure to book early for next year, as the trips are already starting to fill! Read more about my Deluxe Atlantic Puffin trip July 29 to August 1, 2017 HERE.

KUDOS

The four days and three nights on the I'ile aux Perroquets (Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop) will go down in my mind as one of those life experiences that will stay with me forever.  That isle is a very special place. You did an incredible job.  I was thinking about you on the trip back.  What does it take to be a top notch photographer as well as a gentlemanly guide, teacher, chaperone, and friend?  You have a unique set of skills that somehow pull off the attributes necessary.  Each and every one of us that left that island felt as though we had made a personal connection with you.  That is no easy task.  Must be a Canadian thing!  Keep doing what you're doing.  A very sincere "thank you" to you.  This trip exceeded all expectations.

- Paul Treseler Massachusetts | USA

Tuesday
Sep222015

Jacques-Andre Dupont Guest Blog Kudos

Northern Gannet LOVERS (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright and courtesy ©Jacques-Andre Dupont All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 7D mark II, 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 L IS II (@263mm). ISO 800, F5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

I received a wonderful letter from J.A. (Jacques-Andre) Dupont; a wonderful person, and great photographer. As an educator and workshop/safari leader, I love sharing what I've learned during my workshops and it truly is wonderful to see a workshop participant improve their skills and learn how to reliably create awesome images filled with visual impact during a workshop/safari. Congratulations, J.A., much continued success. Many thanks for your wonderful letter. - Christopher Dodds.

Without further ado, here's J.A. Dupont:

This is a testament to my The butterfly photo effect or how my Chris Dodds workshops started things for me:
 
Dear Chris,
 
I wanted to write you a few words to tell you the story of how meeting you created a true butterfly effect for me.
 
I have been on two workshops so far with you.  Last year we did the Atlantic Puffin on beautiful Mingan Islands. And this year we did the Northern Gannet on the world renowned Bonaventure Island.
 
Both workshops were outstanding in many waysI learned quite a lot on a technical level.  But I believe that your workshops helped me do much more…  In a way, you helped me open my (photo) eyes.  You have showed me how to look at the birds, understand their behaviour and in a way use my images to bring them to life. You have helped me understand light in a new way, so the animals are almost as beautiful as in real life.   And you help me dig deeper within the tools that I brought with me; and of course I mean my Canon DSLR and my trusted L series lenses.
 
Both workshops were also amazing because you helped us discover amazing sights for wildlife photography and animals that are highly photogenic.
 
So in a nutshell, I believe I am a better photographer because of you.
 
And because of these two amazing photo trips and your guidance, I got to live quite a rushing experience in the last few weeks.
 
It all started after I put my gannet pictures on National Geographic web site.
 
Just a few days after I uploaded them online, things started to move in a new way for me.
 
๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปIt started by two of my pictures making the cut by being selected in the Daily Dozen section of National Geographic web site.
 
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/6491757/
 
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/6516046/
 
Then it went on turbo gear.  The next four things all happened within 48 hours
 
๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปI was contacted by a National Geograhic photo editor who offered to do a feature on my series of gannet photos as well as an interview with me. See the interview HERE.

๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปNational Geographic Senior Photo Editor also contacted me because she wanted one of my photos to be Photo of the Day on National Geographic (as photo of the day you get to be published on all Nat Geo social media platforms and you are on the first page of the web site… I received 21 000 likes on facebook just from being on their Facebook page). See the National Geographic Photo of the Day HERE.

๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปA 500PX editor contacted me because a Spanish magazine wanted to licence one of the photos for a feature (yet to be published). See my 500px portfolio HERE.

๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปAnd finally Solent News, a UK News and Photo agency contacted me to represent me and sell my pictures. After we agreed, my gannet pictures were published within a few days in the London’s Daily Telegraph. See the Daily Telegraph image HERE.

๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปAnd in the paper version:

๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปThis same agency is now selling other of my photos.
 
๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปAnd to top this tsunami of photography love, I was published last week in Canadian Geographic Special Collector Edition Best Wildlife Photography with a Cedar Waxwing photo. 
 
๐Ÿ‘๐ŸปAnd then last week I received an email and learned that three of my Gannets Photos were selected by Canadian Geographic as finalists in this year Wildlife Photography of the Year Photo Competition!
 
So this long email, is just my way of saying thank you. I feel very lucky to have been taught by you and this will not be the last time!
 
Best,

Jacques-Andre Dupont Montreal Canada

 

 

Tuesday
Sep152015

Upload Landscape and Portrait images to Instagram 

Well, it's finally happened! I have opened an Instagram account! I resisted for a very long time, because I felt working within the square was too restricive for my imagery. Now that Instagram lets you upload Landscape and Portrait images, this platform is much more appealing to me. If you would like to read how to post non-square images, go head and click on this link to the Instagram blog post announcing the change.

Do click on the link below and follow me and I'll follow you back:

https://instagram.com/chrisdoddsphoto/

 

Instagram

Wednesday
May072014

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

Tuesday
Jul162013

How to Stack Extenders for Mega Reach

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.

After spending so much time with Atlantic Puffins, I've come to realize that few portraits of them truly reflect their true character. I love getting close and making portraits that truly represent my subject, in this case these comical and animated seabirds or Clowns of the sea.What do you think, did I suceed?

How to stack extenders

The idea is to use my super-telephoto 600mm f/4 IS II with both the 1.4X and 2X (version III) Extenders (or tele-converters). In order to physically connect everything together, you need to add at least an extension tube between both extenders; I use both the Canon 25 and 12mm Extension tubes (version II) connected together because they reduce the minimum focusing distance of the lens and allow me to get even closer to my subject. As far as I can tell from the images, it does not matter which order I install the extenders.


There are a few technical considerations:

  • A sturdy tripod and tripod head are required
  • Working at these extreme focal lengths so close to your subject will severely limit the depth of field, so do remember to stop-down.
  • All of this stacked equipment does cost some light, so remember to add 1 & 1/3 stop if you are shooting in manual mode.
  • Although we have some pretty amazing cameras, the only way to focus this monster is fully manual.
Thursday
Aug092012

Canon 7D Firmware V2.0 Available NOW

Horned Puffin PORTRAIT (Fratercula corniculata, Macareux cornu, HOPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/250s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Canon EOS 7D Firmware V2.0 Available NOW

Canon has finally made the new firmware V2.0 for the Canon EOS 7D that we told you about HERE back in June available for FREE download. With improved buffer size increase to a whopping 25, this will be like getting a whole new camera upgrade free. For a list of features, simply follow THIS LINK to my blog post where I shared the Canon Press Release. To Download the free update, simply click the link below:

DOWNLOAD CANON EOS 7D FIRMWARE V2.0 HERE

Wednesday
Aug012012

Tufted Puffin Safari Workshop Update

 

Tufted Puffin PORTRAIT (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 1.4X Teleconverter III & 25mm Extension Tube, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 400 f/9 @ 1/400s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer in manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

 

Upcoming workshops:  http://bit.ly/X7GaVv

Wednesday
Nov022011

How to photograph birds in flight in low light

Tufted Puffin In Flight #1 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Photographing birds in flight in low light is quite challenging; it's not easy. I love photographing seabirds, and that often means shooting small, and often erratically moving targets; fast and unpredictable little fliers from the top of coastal cliffs in bad weather. The biggest problem to overcome is our need to always grab our longest lens and our reluctance to shoot wide open at high ISO (for Canon users, anyway). I recently had a discussion with a photographer who told me he didn't need a camera capable of shooting 10 fps (frames per second); he timed the wingbeats and only took one frame at a time. Well, let's just say that was one photographer who had a couple of good birds in flight images in his portfolio, but Florida Great Blue Herons are tame, huge, fly slowly and do have predictable wingbeats. What I want to share today is how I succeed (more, or less) at shooting bullets that move at 55 MPH with 100-400 wing beats per minute; I'm talking, of course, about photographing Puffins in flight. I was fortunate to photograph all three North American species of Puffins this summer, on both the East, and west coast. In June I hosted my annual Puffins Galore (and so much more) workshop for the Atlantic Puffin, and then I photographed the Horned and Tufted Puffins of Saint Paul Island (more images to come soon).
Tufted Puffin In Flight #2 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

First of all, get over your phobia of shooting wide open and using a high ISO. You are going to need a shutter speed of at least 1/2,500 of a second, but I prefer 1/3,200 of a second to freeze the fast action; this usually means using an ISO of at least 1,600 and an aperture of at least f/5.6 (always in manual mode). I try to get as close as possible in low light and low contrast conditions; I try to use the shortest lens possible, while trying to fill the frame. Using only the centre auto-focus point only usually helps the autofocus system lock onto your subject, but it's going to take more than relying on your camera to acquire focus. I generally try to pick-up repetitive flight patterns; I try to predict where the bird I am trying to shoot will fly and pre-focus on something near there so the auto-focus system doesn't have to spin the lens much to acquire sharp focus. Once locked-on to my subject, it's all up to me to keep the focus point on the subject and hit the stutter button at 10 fps; the best way to be able to do that is practice; over, and over again.
Tufted Puffin In Flight #3 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I decided to post three sequential, full frame images of Tufted Puffins from a recent trip to Saint Paul Island (The Pribilof Islands), Alaska to demonstrate that it is possible to pull off what seems like the impossible. I left my tried, tested and true Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens at home, instead opting for my favorite new 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM and threw it on my Canon EOS 1DMKIV. I set-up my exposure in manual mode and checked the histogram to make sure the blacks from the wet rocks below the cliffs I was standing on weren't blocked-up against the left edge to minimize noise, and carefully made sure I had no over-exposed whites on the right edge to ensure the most detail in the whites. Once sure of my exposure, I watched for the Puffins flight path and pre-focused on a rock where I thought the bird would fill the frame. Now pre-focused on the rock, I saw the bird fly in and followed it until it started to fill the frame, partially depressed the shutter button to activate the auto-focus system and hit the trigger at its maximum capture rate of 10 fps. Truth be told; I waited a fraction of a second too long for this sequence, and ran the risk of clipping the Puffin's wing-tips, but it worked-out fine with three action shots that I liked enough to keep (No, I won't teach you how to reconstruct the wingtips if you clip them, but I will teach you how to capture the image right, in the camera - smile).

Which of the three images here is your favorite & why? Leave a comment and you could win a free copy of the new Mac editing software FirstPass.

Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party

Great news! Jobu Designs (makers of my favorite Gimbal Head - the Jobu Jr. 3), Think-Tank Photo, Cotton Carrier, have all jumped on-board and offered tons of prizes to show their suppoort for my Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party. I expect other sponsors to make offerings and encourage contributions - email me if you would like to donate and promote your product chris(at)chrisdoddsphoto(dot)com

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on November 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM at the Hudson Village Theatre (28 Wharf Road, Hudson, QC   J0P 1H0) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit this great cause which is so close to my heart. 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 my images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 148 seats. Tickets are only $15.00 each and are available for advance purchase only - every penny is collected by, and goes to Le Nichoir. Please call or email Le Nichoir (communication@lenichoir.org 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. Finger food and hors d'oeuvres are included and there will be a cash bar (please drink responsibly).
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!

Read more about it HERE