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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in tripod (3)

Tuesday
Apr012014

Ultimate birds in flight workshop and kudos

Snowy Owl FRIGID SUNSET @ -34℃ (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 1.4X Extender III, Jobu Jr. 3 and Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod ISO 2,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

It's been a whirlwind of a year so far, with eight weeks of sold-out owl prowls and three weeks of sold-out Bald Eagle workshops under my belt so far ... and it's only April 1. I have had an awesome year so far, and it's only just begun!

Here's a Snowy Owl from one of the coldest days of the winter, in some of the sweetest light. There are still a few (only a few) openings for my 2015 owl prowls ... have a look HERE

The Ultimate Birds in flight Workshop

If you want to attend the premier workshop to learn bird photography, then this is it. There are birds to photograph all day long, thousands at point-blank range. I stopped counting after spending more than a year of my life on Bonaventure Island, have an intimate knowledge of the location, the subjects and the people (we often get special privileges, among them is the park transporting our gear up to the colony each day).

I have hosted hundreds of workshops on Bonaventure Island and my record stands for itself. Simply put; if you want to master birds in flight photography, then this is the workshop for you.

Read more about my Gannets Galore workshop HERE

I attended Christopher Dodds’ “Gannets Galore” workshop in Perce, Quebec, Canada. I have attended many wildlife photo workshops over the years and this workshop was a 10+ without a doubt. The trip was exactly as he described on his web site; no overpromising and under delivering.

Chris provided access to a colony of 63,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets (and at least as many non-breeding birds) and his relationships with the local park staff allowed us to get to locations in the park that were closed to the public.  Throughout the trip he was cheerful, very well organized and took care of all  those details (and this was a complicated location) that can ruin an experience..  I was able to concentrate on what I came to do…..photography. 

As a professional photographer I know my field, but it is a major bonus to find someone who can provide instruction to me.  My flight shots improved dramatically!  Chris has an uncanny understanding of composition and light and presented me with many opportunities to test my skills.  He understands creativity in photography as well as being a technical master. This trip was perfect for a beginner or a professional and he gives as much instruction and guidance as you need without arrogance, attitude or making you feel too shy to ask.  I would encourage any photographer, no matter what level,  to sign up for Chris' workshops."

Terry Turrentine San Francisco, California USA

Testimonial

Winter owl photography was near the top of my bucket list.  My research kept ending up with one name, Christopher Dodds.  I had participated in nine previous field instructional photo tours throughout the USA, Canada, Japan and the Falklands with six different professional photographers all of which were excellent but this one was a cut above.

The best field photography instructors are professionals, formally trained in photography and have extensive experience in studio work as well as other areas.  Chris Dodds comes with those credentials and 20 plus years as an outdoor photographer and is a sub specialist in winter owl photographyHe understands and teaches from the basics to the most advanced science and technical knowledge in the field.

Beyond the photography Chris’ Owl Prowl stands out as the model for a highly successful experience.  After 20 plus years of developing relationships and infrastructure his photo tours are characterized by superb organization, logistic, transportation, and communication.  We stayed on schedule at a relaxed pace and he was always mindful of our small group's personal safety during extreme weather conditions.

The return on my investment and expectations in Chris Dodds' Great Owl Prowl was excellent.  It's true! you get what you pay for.

CJ Hockett Vermont USA www.cjhockett.com

Tuesday
Mar042014

Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod Announced and mini review

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 deluxe gimbal head, 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)

Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod

I have spent the better part of the winter testing prototypes of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin tripod and am thoroughly impressed with it's solid and reliable design. I make no secret of the frustrations that I have felt working with a variety of very expensive carbon fiber tripods over the years. None of the ones I have used worked reliably in the extreme temperature fluctuations and harsh conditions that I often subject them to. The weak point often being the collar that tightens and locks the leg at the chosen height. I have even experienced one manufacturer throw my tripod in the trash when it was still covered under warranty, stating it was abused and therefore not covered under warranty; not bad for a $1000.00 tripod!

Finally a tripod that is designed for nature photography! The Jobu Algonquin tripod has worked flawlessly during my extreme testing in the winter conditions in temperatures as low as -34℃ (-29℉). When I was sent the first prototype, I was warned it would be a rough, mill finish sample and asked to "give it hell". When I received the prototype, it was a beauty; much, much nicer than I had expected. After just one session in the cold with the new tripod, I was impressed and hooked! After most of the winter working with it, I can endorse it! Paired with my beloved Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe Gimbal head, it is one killer rig! I am proud to have been part of it's design and testing.

The tripod adjusts from 3-3/4" (9.5cm) to 62" (157.5cm) and is 27.7" (70.6cm) long when collapsed. It's current weight is 4 pounds (1.81kg) , but this may change slightly during production. The leg sections are made of 100% carbon fibre without the usual filler or cosmetic wrap (which actually weakens the integrity of the tube) and each of the legs has a foam leg cover built-in. The leg collars (the knobs that tighten to secure each leg section at the desired length) are made of Aluminum without the rubber grips that often spin endlessly in the cold. The feet are stainless steel snow/ice spikes with a rubber foot cap that stays securely in place when the spikes aren't necessary; a great design advantage.

Be amongst the first to order your Jobu Design Algonquin tripod and get a special introductory price is $600.00 with an expected delivery of 4-6 weeks. Order yours here: http://jobu-design.3dcartstores.com/product.asp?itemid=122

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 deluxe gimbal head, Canon 200-400mm f/4-5.6 with built-in tele-extender and Canon EOS 1DX. Photo copyright and courtesy of Michael J. Lang (thanks, Michael).

Wednesday
Feb292012

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 www.NaturePhotographyBlog.com, Christopher Dodds reviews The Jobu Pro 2 (BWG-PRO2B) during a winter blizzard while on location photographing Snowy Owls in Canada. SAVE 15% at www.jobu-design.com 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 @ www.jobu-design.com by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the checkout.