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Entries in Saint Paul Island (14)

Thursday
Aug232018

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT (Aethia psittacula, Starique perroquet, PAAU).  Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 800mm. Full frame image. ISO 2,000, f/11 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode.

Thursday
Jul192018

Tufted Puffin LANDING

Tufted Puffin Landing (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPUSaint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 10,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure mode.

Friday
Jul132018

Parakeet Auklet THE FOOT

Parakeet Auklet THE FOOT (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds.  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 2,000, f/8 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode. 
Tuesday
Aug122014

Least Auklet Portrait and Visitags

Least Auklet Portrait (Aethia pusilla, Starique minuscule, LEAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II. Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/13 @ 1/160s Manual exposure. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another image from my hugely successful Saint Paul Island Photo Expedition. Just love getting to within minimum focusing distance of the seabirds that call Saint Paul Island home.

Simply amazing just how quickly the July 2015 trip is booking; do have a look at the workshop details HERE

Canadian Wildlife and Nature Photographer and Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds photographing owls in the Canadian winter (Feb,. 2014). Photographed with a prototype of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3, Canon 200-400mm f/4-5.6 with built-in tele-extender, 600mm f/4 IS L II, Tamrac Expedition 9X camera bag and two Canon EOS 1DX camera bodies. Photo copyright and courtesy of Michael J. Lang (thanks, Michael)

I shared this image of me from my Winter Snowy Owl Photo Expeditions some time last winter. It has become the subject of many emails asking where I got the yellow name tag. I love my bright yellow luggage tags and have at least enough so every bag gets one. These really do ensure there is no confusion if another similar bag shows-up on the luggage carousel at the airport. There is a clear pocket on the inside for your contact details (where you should indicate your email address and mobile number). These tags are simply bombproof! Get yours at www.visitag.com

Tuesday
Jul222014

Creating Intimate bird portraits

Crested Auklet Portrait (Aethia cristatella, CRAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II , 2X Teleconverter III & 25mm Extension Tube, Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,500 f/16 @ 1/500s Manual Mode.  PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's an intimate portrait (of what has to be my favorite bird) from my recent Saint Paul Island Workshop; the Crested Auklet. Getting close and isolating the subject against the dark cliffs requires lots of patience, but the real secret is simply approaching the cliff edge slowly so they don't flush before you even know they are there. Always remember to use a small enough aperture to maximize the depth of field, which is extemely narrow at the lens/extender/extension tube minimum focusing distance. Choose your shutter speed to freeze the birds sudden movements and any feathers blown around by the wind if there are any.

Using a sturdy tripod with a good tripod head and micro-calibrating your camera are, of course, the foundation to crisp and sharp images.

Thursday
Mar282013

Saint Paul Island Photo Tour Invitation

 

 

Saint Paul Island

Photo Tour Safari & Expedition

June 16-23, 2013 (8 Days/7 Nights)

SPACE AVAILABLE!

 

Join me, Christiopher Dodds for the photographic adventure of a lifetime to Saint Paul Island in the Bering Sea between Alska and Russia.


St Paul is the largest of four volcanic islands which make up the Pribilof Islands in the middle of the Bering Sea (Otter, Walrus, St. George and St. Paul) between Alaska and Russia. It's one of the few places left in the world where you can sit quietly for hours and watch the birds fly past without hearing or seeing any human influence. Along with the small community of Aleut and the seasonal employees at the Trident seafood factory, St Paul is home to over 248 species of birds, the vast majority of the world's population of Northern Fur Seals, blue fox and reindeer.


Nestled amongst the island's vertical cliffs are many thousands of nesting Horned and Tufted Puffins, Least, Crested and Parakeet Auklets, Red-faced Cormorants, Red-legged and Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, Thick-billed and Common Murres and Glaucous-winged Gulls. Winter Wrens, Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, Ruddy Turnstones, Rock Sandpipers and the Island's own race of the Grey-Crowned Rosy Finch all nest on Saint Paul Island.


Our small group of only six participants is the key to gaining access to the island's very best offerings, and our exclusive transportation and guide ensure we get where we want to when we want for the absolute best photography. This photographic adventure is all about being out there with our cameras; we have travelled too far to spend time indoor in front of a computer or projector! Our days will be long and rewarding with our time split between seabirds, songbirds and shorebirds, and safe access to the Northern Fur Seal blinds.


$4,995.00 includes return air transportation from Anchorage, Alaska, all ground transportation while on Saint Paul Island, profession photographic instruction, our own private guide and sightseeing services and shared accommodations (single supplement is $800.00). Price does not include food or drinks ($50.00 per person per day. payable in advance), gratuities for local guides ($10-$15 per day suggested), souvenirs or items of a personal nature.

Sign-up for the Saint Paul Island Photo Tour / Photographic Expedition of a lifetime HERE

Please scroll down the page to the sign-up form at the bottom.

Tuesday
Aug142012

Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe Swing-arm Upgrade Announced

Red-faced Cormorant PORTRAIT (Red-faced Shag or Violet Shag, Phalacrocorax urile, Cormoran à face rouge, RFCO) 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, 12 & 25mm Cabnon Extension Tubes Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 (with Deluxe Swing-arm upgrade) ISO 400 f/5.6 @ 1/125s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Junior 3 Deluxe Swing-arm

I first introduced you to my Jobu Jr. 3 Lightweight gimbal head last April HERE and have tried several new and improved prototypes along the way. Ian at Jobu Designs has been actively listening to users and refining the design and has just released a major upgrade making it even better.  They have integrated the quick-release clamp into the swing-arm (something I've asked for since last April), making the entire gimbal lighter, increasing the swing-capacity (max lens collar foot size can be taller & lowers the centre of gravity on big glass) and integrating a premium, custom designed fluted knob for better grip.

I can wholeheartedly attest to this being the very best gimbal for the traveling nature photographer available today.
It is, and has been the only gimbal head I use. If you have any concerns, whatsoever about image sharpness from the new design, simply have a glance at the image of the Red-faced Cormorant above (@ 1/125s), or any of the extremem close-ups made with this tripod head with the new swing-arm in the last few posts here.

Be sure to check out the one piece flash bracket while you are shopping.

SAVE 15% OFF your purchase at the JOBU store and support this site just by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE.

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
Jul252012

Design Images with Visual Impact

Thick-billed Murre or  Brünnich's Guillemot VERTICAL PORTRAIT (Uria lomvia, Guillemot de Brünnich, TBMU) 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 @ 1/320s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ -1/3. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a couple of images from my recent Saint Paul Island Photo Safari / Workshop. We arrived there as spring was late emerging from the worst winter anyone can remember and there were shaded areas at the bottom of cliffs where the snow had not melted yet. Although I generally don't like bright white backgrounds in images, I decided to make an exercise of designing some images with white backgrounds; there is a certain quality to the white out-of-focus snow that's much more appealing to me than that of a bright & backlit white sky.

I really like getting close and designing intimate portraits with big glass, so I installed my 500mm f/4 and a 2X extender and moved so close that I had to back away to the lens' minimum focusing distance. Once set-up on my tripod and Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal tripod head, I installed my Jobu off-camera flash bracket and my Canon 580 EXII flash.

Designing these tight, almost high-key portraits can be challenging, but careful attention to balancing all of the images' elements can be quite rewarding. Be sure to spend time studying the colours, tones and textures, (or, perhaps, the lack of colours tones and textures), the positive and negative space and the lines, shapes and where they lead the eye. Look for angles and perspective, and try to visualize how changing them by moving your angle of view will impact, help or hinder your image's design.

Black-legged Kittiwake PORTRAIT CALLING (Rissa tridactyla, Mouette tridactyle, BLKI) 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 @ 1/500s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ 0. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Be sure not to overlook the creative element of your exposure values; should you use an equivalent exposure with slower shutter speed and larger depth-of-field?, or will a shallow depth-of-field with higher shutter speed blurr the background (or foreground) and draw the viewer in for a closer look at the subject?

No matter where you are, what your subject; stop and think a little about designing the image and not taking the picture.

Monday
Jul022012

THE X FACTOR Canon EOS 1DX

Crested Auklet Profile (Aethia cristatella, CRAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsCanon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 1,600 f/14 @ 1/160s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ -3. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another Crested Auklet from my recent Saint Paul Island Photo Safari. I really do love these dark, out-of-focus wet rocks as backgrounds that we got by pointing straight down from the top of the cliff edge. 

The X Factor

Canon Canada has loaned me a Canon EOS 1DX from their VIP loaner pool. I've just taken it ouf the box and set it up for birds in flight photography and will be "putting the boots to it" during my Puffins Galore Workshop; Stay tuned for my mini review after my return home. I am quite excited to try out the latest and greatest offering from Canon - Thank you CPS services Canada!