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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in telephoto (2)


Tele-compression Explained

Atlantic Puffin POP-UP PUFFIN (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, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,000s, f/9 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's an Atlantic Puffin from my recent Puffin Photo Tour. I love the out of focus foreground and background grass which isolate, and frame, the Puffin so well in this image. Using the super sharp 600 f/4 IS L USM II with the 2X III Extender compress those elements and helps render them so perfectly out of focus and smooth; the painterly quality I was after. The effect is known as tele-compression. At a given aperture, a telephoto lens has a smaller depth of field than a wider lens. Had I used a wider lens and got closer, then the depth of field would have been much larger, there would have been much more details in the grass and the result would have been much less appealing and much more like an average "snapshot".


Chris’ skills go far beyond photography.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him!  Sure, he is able to provide advice on lensing, and framing and exposure, but his lectures go far beyond this.  His knowledge of wildlife is encyclopedic!    He teaches you how to observe and reposition in anticipation of that next great shot.  And when it comes to tweaking your photos, his mastery of colour, light and texture truly becomes evident.  If you can, take one of his lectures or wilderness photography workshops.  It will help up your game!

Graham Peddie Product Strategist, Canon Canada Inc.


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.