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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in Razorbill (4)

Wednesday
Aug302017

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Atlantic Puffin RAINFLIGHT (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. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 8,000 f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin THE RETURN (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. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Razorbill (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Here are a few more images from my recent Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop. As I am sure you can tell from the camera settings, we had a day of really foul weather. It was the perfect occasion to get the Sony a9 wet and see what it is made of! Although I did use a LensCoat rain cover, the rain was so hard and constant that I did manage to fog the viewfinder by the end of the day; I put the camera body with its body cap off into a zip-lock bag full of white rice to clear it out overnight.

Yet again, the camera amazed me; not only was it locking onto everything I pointed it at in low contrast and heavy rain, it excelled at high ISO! The details in the files are exceptional; Do take the time to read the setting I used under each image. The images above are all full-frame and lightly processed with some mild noise reduction applied. I don't post raw images, because I don't use Raw images for anything other than a starting point. It wasn't that long ago when 800 ISO was noisy, and here I was using 8,000 and 20,000 ISO!

The Sony Raw images require much less processing than my Canon 1DX Mark II, or files I have from other digital cameras that I have used. Although there is noise at 20,000 ISO as expected, the details in the darks are exceptional!

TIP: In order to get the most out of an image, but particularly at extreme ISO, remember that it is critical to expose the image correctly and try not to crop much! All cameras see light like us, they haven't yet figured out how to record darkness. If you brighten an image while processing it, then you are introducing noise.

Stay tuned for more about my time with the Sony a9

Monday
Jul152013

Bird Photography Quick Tip ANGLE OF VIEW

Razorbill VERTICAL PORTRAIT (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) 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 2,500s, f/16 @ 1/250s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Quick Tip

Here's a simple Razorbill portrait which also uses the same technique as described in my last post. Want to know the simplest, but most often missed trick to creating engaging and intimate portraits in nature? Simply get down to, or below, your subject's eyes; it's a simple and effective way to connect the subject to the viewer.


TESTIMONIALS


I found Chris via the strong images on his web site.
 
Having now taken two of his photo workshops, I have seen a significant improvement in my images due to improved capture and post processing techniques.  Having taken many other wildlife photo workshops, Chris stands out for his top notch instruction. His workshops provide many excellent photo opportunities.
 
If you are serious about your photography and want to get better, Chris can help you in many ways.  He is willing and able to explain what he is doing and why he is doing it.  He emphasizes not only the vision but also the execution in the field and the post processing.  
 
It was fun shooting with and learning from Chris.  I give a hearty recommendation to anyone considering a photo workshop with Chris, a recommendation I plan to follow.

Carl Zanoni Connecticut, USA


I want to thank you again for one of the best photo workshops I have ever attended.  The trip to Northern Quebec to photo Puffins was truly an adventure.  I was very impressed with the planning you put into ever aspect of the tour.  Everything ran smoothly and the opportunity to photograph these amazing birds was an experience I will not soon forget.  I also appreciate the time you spent with each of us to make sure we got the best possible result from whatever equipment we were using.  Your technique for reducing noise while maximizing detail when shooting at high ISO's was particularly helpful.  No one had ever explained the science behind this and now it makes a lot of sense.  This trip was everything I had hoped for and I look forward to joining you again in the future.

Chuck Raines Camarillo, California

Tuesday
Dec062011

How to choose a workshop leader and Kudos

 Razorbill at sea in The Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) Bonaventure Island, Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV800mm F5.6 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 500, f/5.6 @1/2,000s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION. This one from my Gannets Galore and so much more workshop CHECK IT OUT HERE.

How to choose a workshop leader

Making decisions about photographic travel is no easy matter; there are more, and more, photographers offering photographic workshops, photo safaris, instructional photo tours and photo tours than ever before. As a consumer, you need to be sure that you are signing-on with a photographer that can create amazing images and has the ability to help YOU learn how to!
I recently spent time reviewing offerings from other photographers. One had two average images, had written a book about how good he and his images were and felt the need to emphasize that he had been leading the same trip for over five years. His testimonials all looked similar and were all written by people who had only first names. I was shocked to see the trip listed as sold-out!
Another said he didn't take a single image during a workshop, instead he made sure that his clients got all of the shots. A quick visit to his blog left me quite puzzled after seeing all of his image from a recent workshop! I find it quite hard to imagine a photographer who could lead you to making extraordinary images without a camera in his or her hand. In my opinion, it's about balance; leading and inspiring by example.
When choosing where to go and who to go with, please be sure to spend some time reviewing the tour leader's images; are they world class, impressive and filled with visual impact? Are they the images you dream of making? Invest the time to read client testimonials (be sure they are written by real people with real names and are from real places) and try to get a flavour for the type of personality you will sign-on with; does the leader have a huge ego? Do they feel the need to constantly tell you how bad other leaders are? or why you shouldn't sign-up with anyone but them or their "friends" who pay them for advertising or "certification"? I'm not going to write a sermon here about why to choose my safari/workshops - I never have and I never will; instead, I'll let others tell you all about it on my testimonial page.

Kudos

From my Moose and Fall Colors Workshop Safari: "I recently participated in the Moose and Fall Colors of Maine workshop/safari led by Chris Dodds. The photo safari was in Baxter State Park, Maine. Throughout my time with Chris during the workshop I came to appreciate several things.
Chris has been doing this workshop for years. He has developed a rapport with local business owners. This rapport makes the stay for participants much easier. Whether it was topping off the ice in our coolers at night just before closing, making sandwiches for the next day’s lunch, or allowing for a late checkout, the people at our hotel were very helpful and accommodating.
The second thing that struck me was how much Chris new about the area. Baxter State Park is a 200,000 acre wilderness area. Chris has come to know the area like a local guide or woodsman would. He takes people to different locations to provide them with the very best photo opportunities.
Another thing I appreciated about the workshop was Chris’ instructional ability. I have taken workshops from different people over the last few years and I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to talk with. He has an ability to explain complex subjects in an easy and understandable way. He also is sincerely interested that people understand his instruction and feel comfortable implementing the newfound knowledge in the field.

I look forward to my next photo workshop/safari with Chris."

- Jim Boland Titusville | FL | USA www.jbophoto.com

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From my second annual Photo Geek Christmas Party: "Your talk yesterday evening in Hudson was amazing!  I belong to the MCC and I often do photography for le Nichoir and volunteer my time and artwork for the wild birds whenever I can.  I was truly, greatly inspired and motivated by your images.  (As were others judging by all the ooooohs and ahhhhs!)  I have been to many photography conferences and workshops and I have never seen a crowd so awed and moved!  It was beautiful to see.... You have a great handle on the technical aspects as well as offering creative and unique ways of looking at animals.  Some of my favorite shots yesterday were ones of the more common birds and animals posed in unique ways that we are not used to seeing them: like the v shaped wings goose shot, or even the Gannet looking straight up (very different.)  These are why a talk like that is great. I recognized two shots from National Geographic: one of the snowy owl and one of the puffin shots, but seeing some of your more abstract framing and images was really a treat.  The ultra sharp close up of the Gannet eye was also incredibly striking."

- Andrea Cook Montreal | QC | Canada www.elephantmauve.com
Thursday
Dec012011

WOW Thank You

 Razorbill PORTRAIT (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV800mm F5.6 L IS, 1.4X Extender IIITripod & Jobu Jr. 3 with Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 400, f/8 @1/320s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION. This one from my Puffins Galore and so much more workshop CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party a HUGE Success - THANK YOU!

I'm thrilled to report that last night's presentation at the Hudson Village Theater to a sold out crowd was a huge success and raised $2,510.00 for Le Nichoir; well over the goal of $1,500.00, and almost my secret goal of $3,000.00. Thank you to The Hudson Village Theater for the free use of your amazing theater. Thank you to all who came out on a week night to support such a worthy cause. Thank you to the volunteers (who already work tirelessly for the birds at Le Nichoir) for working so hard to make the event a huge success. Many thanks to the sponsors who contributed more than $3,000.00 worth of prizes! Read more about Le Nichoire HERE

Be sure to encourage our sponsors (great Christmas ideas for photographers):

Jobu Design (Makers of my favorite tripod head, the Jobu Jr.3)

Cotton Carrier (Makers of my favorite camera harness system)

Think Tank Photo (Camera bags for every need)

Digimarc for Images (Digital watermarkes to protect your images online)

Tiffen (Makers of Tiffen Dfx Digital filters)

FirstPass Image Editing Software for Mac