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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Winter (21)

Thursday
Nov292018

Great Grey Owl BOO

Great Grey Owl BOO (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS ISO 2,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual Exposure mode and Sony's eye AF. Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Yet another example of how well the Sony Eye AF works! I am loving the new Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS

Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Wednesday
Nov212018

Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM Mini Review

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS  ISO 1,250, F2.8 @ 1/5,000s Manual Exposure mode. Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS Mini Review

I am just back from a cross Canada road trip that took just over six weeks and covered more than 17,500km. I was honoured to stop and present at various camera stores across the country, then ended the trip with presentations at ProFusion (Canada's largest camera show); all sponsored by Sony of Canada. Thank you Sony. I got to meet so many great photographers along the way; it was a blast!

I have received a lot of email asking about my thoughts on the new Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS lens; if I had one, and if I thought it was worth the price tag. Yes, I do own one and YES, it is worth the price! When paired with the Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera, the Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS is the fastest, most reactive with the most accurate auto focus lens that I have ever used. It is light and very well balanced (there was a lot of engineering involved to carefully design the lens with most of it's optics toward the back to make it really easy to hand-hold; a real win for birds-in-flight photographers). Add the Sony 2X Tele-extender, and you end up with a prime killing 800mm f/5.6 that is sharper and more capable than the Canon or Nikon prime lenses that I have used.

Sony took a huge step when thy developed the hybrid AF system that the Sony a9 uses; they have leapt forward with the XD Linear focus. There is no camera and lens that can focus as fast!

From the Sony website: "The XD Linear Motors have been newly developed to deliver higher thrust and efficiency than conventional types in order to make the most of the rapidly evolving speed performance of current and future camera bodies. Linear motor design and component layout have been thoroughly revised to achieve significantly higher thrust. Two of these new motors are used in the SEL400F28GM, achieving up to a 5x improvement* in moving-subject tracking performance. This means that the full speed performance of advanced camera bodies can be applied to capturing perfect images of the most dynamic sports or wildlife subjects. The XD Linear motors are further supported by new algorithms developed specifically for them, notably improving the motors’ response to control signals and minimizing lag and instability that can occur when driving a large aperture focus lens group for quiet, low-vibration operation. "

In summary, XD Linear focus is so much faster than the conventional rotational focus because it quickly and efficiently "thrusts" forward and backward to achieve tack sharp focus. Since conventional lens elements rotate like a nut on a bolt, they have to travel about five times further (think how little a nut moves in relation to how many times it must be turned). There is a limit as to how fast a lens (or lens group) can safely move in a rotational manner. 

Saturday
Jan272018

Bald Eagle a la Sony a9

Bald Eagle JUVINILE Landing on Lake Ontario Ice (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Lake Ontario, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS  @371mm. ISO 2,500 f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a Juvinile Bald Eagle that we photographed while waiting for a ferry during last week's Winter Owl Workshop. We were trying for Mergansers in flight as they would congregate in the chanel that the ferry had carved through the ice. It looked like the Eagle would land on the dock beside us, but ended-up landing below the dock on a dead duck that it must have been snaking on before being scared away from by the previous ferry.

Bald Eagle Workshop update

It's not too late to join me for my Bald Eagle Workshop. I have just had another cancellation for the March 5-9, 2018 slot in Homer, Alaska due to illness. Find out more about my Eagles Galore Workshop HERE.

Monday
Dec252017

Thank You Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays


Great Grey Owl SOLITUDE (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. 244mm ISO 3,200s, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Peace, Joy & Love

To everyone who visited this blog or my Facebook page, attended a workshop, safari, seminar or lecture, purchased a print or licensed an image: Thank you for making 2017 my best year yet. I am so very lucky and grateful!

Thursday
Nov242016

Snowy Owl FIRE FLIGHT

Snowy Owl FIRE FLIGHT  (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontario, Canada ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm f/4 L IS II USM. ISO 3,200, f/5.6 @ 1/1,250s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

More Kudos: Chris Dodds knows how to do a workshop!

I had the pleasure of attending Chris' Snowy Owl Workshop this past January. To be honest, I did not know much about Chris before the trip. All I knew was the quality of his images on his website and that I wanted Snowy owl pictures. Needless to say, Chris met and exceeded my expectations. He goes over and above to get you in the right place at the right time to capture the best images possible. Having been on numerous workshops around the world with various leaders, I can say Chris worked harder than most..... He also made sure that we were in position to get a variety of images and not just 1000 photos of the same animal behavior. Chris knows his birds and what they are going to do next (as much as humanly possible). He teaches in a way that things make sense. I was getting frustrated with my photography before this trip. I was able to get great shots before the workshop but felt that the percentage of great shots to missed shots needed to be better. Chris explained ways to change a few of my bad habits in a way that no one else ever did. I have tried manual exposure in the past but never got comfortable with it but after a day or two with Chris it clicked in my mind and my images improved and percentage of keepers went up.
If you get a chance to go on a workshop with Chris I would highly recommend it. I know I will again.


Rick Susi  Orlando, FL, USA

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.

READ MORE TESTIMONIALS HERE

Wednesday
Nov162016

Snowy Owl Warm and Fuzzy

Snowy Owl WARM & FLUFFY  (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontario, Canada ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm f/4 L IS II USM and 2X III. ISO 1,600, f/8 @ 1/1,250s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

A Snowy Owl basking in the very last drops of sweet light on a very cold winter's night.

Kudos:

I just wanted to thank you for the time we spent with you on your Snowy Winter Owl Workshop. I felt that I really learned a great deal that will be of benefit to me in the future. I was extremely pleased with my photographs and look forward to seeing you again. You pushed me outside my comfort zone in exposure and that elevated my images to a higher level!

James Whittle Great Falls, Montana, USA

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.

Sunday
Nov132016

Snowy Owl FLIGHT IN LAST LIGHT

Snowy Owl FLIGHT IN LAST LIGHT  (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontario, Canada ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm f/4 L IS II USM with 1.4X III. ISO 4,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

KUDOS:

What can I say? Your Winter Owl Photo Tour was an absolute sensory overload of owls, knowledge and fun! A smashing success! I have to say this was the very best photo trip I have ever joined (and I have joined many). It was an EPIC adventure, and it was a huge success; with your help, I managed to pull off an incredible portfolio of Owl images that was miles better than I could have imagined! Just like your stated goal; I can attest to the fact that the single most important objectives for you as the leader is for your clients to achieve an EPIC portfolio that you would have been proud to call your own, and for everyone to learn. Mission accomplished, my friend…many fold. I would have been thrilled with just one of the hundreds of EPIC images that I created under your wise guidance. You will see me again on another workshop soon. I can offer anyone considering this trip the following advice: DO IT! You won’t regret it. Chris works extremely hard for you to get the very best images; images that will impress everyone. He’s fun and eager to teach anyone, regardless of their abilities. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Peter Frost London | England

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.

Friday
Nov112016

Great Gray Owl BLIZZARD of WHITE

Great Grey Owl Blizzard in White (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100-400mm @ 105mm. ISO 800, F8 1/640s Manual Exposure. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE AN IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

More Kudos:

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

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.

Wednesday
Nov092016

Snowy Owl GOLDEN MOMENT

Snowy Owl GOLDEN TOTEM Bubo scandiacus (Harfang des neiges) Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II USM. ISO 1,250, F5 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO ORDER A PRINT OR LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Kudos:

I recently attended the snowy owls workshop with Christopher Dodds and had an amazing experience.  Not only was I extremely impressed with Chris' knowledge and expertise in photography but also how he really cared about the shots we got.  He made sure that everyone in the groups had the shots they wanted and that we all experienced success. His knowledge of cameras and photography is phenomenal.  I have never met anyone who is a knowledgeable in photography as he is.  He was able to answer any and every question and always explained the reasons behind his recommendations to make sure we learned as much as possible.  The instruction didn't stop after shooting in the field.  I learned so much in the Photoshop and Nik Software post-processing session that took my photography to a whole other level.  The small group atmosphere was great as we were able to blend in with nature ensuring that the owls and other wildlife were not disturbed resulting in great shots every time.  Chris made sure each of us were able to develop our skills at our own pace.  The experience and the results were more that I could have asked for.  I would definitely recommend Christopher Dodds workshops to anyone who is looking to improve their photography skills and learn from a real pro.

Fred Lemire Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.

Saturday
Nov052016

Great Grey Owl THE HUNTRESS

Great Gray Owl THE HUNTRESS (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Ontario, Canada ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. ISO 640, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

KUDOS:

I wanted to thank you for a wonderful winter owling workshop last week.  It was great to be in the field with you and I learned a great deal about the birds, environment and my camera.  Thanks so much for being such a great naturalist, photographer and trip leader.  I will go on another trip with you in the future.

Lynda Goff
(Professor Emeritus Ecology & Evolutionary Biology UC Santa Cruz) Santa Cruz, California, USA

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.