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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds


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Entries in Workshop (75)


Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET

Northern Gannet THE BOUQUET (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @400mm. ISO 1600, f/8 @ 1/3,200s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another Gannet from the first day of my Gannets Galore workshop. This one in heavy fog. Foggy images lack contrast, and look washed-out when exposed properly.

You can adjust the contrast several ways, to reflect how much fog you would like in the image; I used the levels tool (in Photoshop), and adjusted the darks by grabbing the left slider and dragging it to the right. Hold down the "ALT" Key while moving the slider, and you will see when the darks start to clip. If you move the slider far enough to clip the darks, you loose details in the darkest parts of the image. Be aware that this might increase any noise in the image; An effect that is amplified if you start with a poorly exposed image.



Snowy Owl TUNDRA GHOST High Imapct vs Low Impact Images


Snowy Owl TUNDRA GHOST (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM ISO 2,000 f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

High Impact vs. Low Impact images

We all know the “shock & awe” value of a close-up action image posted to your favourite critique forum, web site, Facebook Page, Instagram or Twitter feed; The instant connection between the viewer and the high impact, awe inspiring thumbnail is often rewarded with lots of Likes, comments and kudos. Do you take the time to step back, zoom-out and see the bigger picture? Do you think about more distant views?   Do you think about including some habitat in your images? Do you strive to make the kind of image that often looks better on your wall or in a calendar, but is often over-looked on websites because the thumbnail is not as visually “exciting”? Do you think about making "low impact" images?

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




Carl from Survivor Africa survives my winter owl prowl

Great Gray Owl SYMETRY  (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM. ISO 1,250, f/3.5 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's a note I received from Carl Bilancione, or "Dr. B" from Survivor: Africa television fame, after he attended (survived) my Snowy Winter Owl Workshop. It's not too late for you to get in on the action this winter; there are just a few spots left. Read more HERE.


I'm happy to say I survived  Africa and now I survived the bitter cold and wind of Ontario. Once I saw the movie the "Big Year"  the Snowy Owl went to the top of my bucket list. There was only one photographer who combined excellence and instruction that I wanted to help me achieve capturing the Snowy Owl; Chris Dodds. Chris is an amazing photographer who taught our group to use manual setting and fully explain the technical aspects of our cameras(we were all Nikon users & Chris is a Canon guy). Chris made sure we were all in the position to capture a great image and he constantly was helping us and reviewing our skill set and lack of skill set. I was able to get a lot of great images and fully understand photography at a professional level. I am now a better photographer.. His preparation for his workshop was the best I have been part of. The small group workshop allowed Chris to spend individual time with each of us and that was the real bonus. If you want to capture great images and learn from a master photographer there is no one better in my opinion. The workshop and the accommodations were great. I look forward to my next outing with Chris.

Carl Bilancione (Survivor Africa contestant) Winter Park, Florida


Bald Eagle Photo Tour more Kudos


American Bald Eagle GRAVITY from my Bald Eagle Photographic Expedition (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS II USM @400mm ISO 4,000 f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Full Frame, shot vertical in manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.


There are a lot of photographers to choose from when deciding to take a workshop.  I had come across Christopher Dodds Photography on Facebook and really like his photographs.  I read about Chris’s workshops.  They all sounded well organized and he has years of experience going to various places.

I love Alaska and had been dreaming of taking an Eagle photography workshop and decided to sign up with Chris.  I am so glad I chose Chris for a lot of reasons.  The workshop was very well organized.  Chris provides the attendees with a list of suggested clothing to be sure you are comfortable in the Alaskan winter weather.  He provided us with a list of suggested equipment so that we knew exactly what was needed to get the kind of photos posted on his workshop page.  The group was limited to 5 attendees, so we each had ample opportunity to get feedback and suggestions from Chris. Chris is extremely knowledgable about Kachemak Bay and knows where to go to get the best shots depending on the wind and the weather, and whether there is sun or snow.  Chris uses the same boat and captain for this workshop, so the captain knows exactly what Chris wants to do and how to get us into those best areas…. Chris believes in safety above all else, but snow, sleet and rain did not keep us from going out.  In fact, it made for some great photos depicting the Alaskan winter eagle environment.  It was an amazing trip and I got a lot of great photos.  I would definitely choose Chris for another birding workshop as he is dedicated to doing everything he can to make sure you come home with lots of amazing photographs!   Thanks, Chris, for a fantastic workshop and wonderful adventure!

 Jessica Duke Eagle Nest, NM, USA


Eagles Galore in Alaska with Christopher Dodds

Adult American Bald Eagle REGAL (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D mark III, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM (version 1) @ 210mm  Hand Held ISO 250, f/7.1 @ 1/250s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

It's not too late to join me, Canon Canada Northern Explorer of Light and X-rite Photo coloratti, Christopher Dodds, for the premier Bald Eagle photography photo tour:

March 7-11, 2016 (5 full Days)


March 12-16, 2016 (5 full Days)


March 17-21, 2016 (5 full Days) 



Based in Kachemak Bay, near Homer, AK, this is where all of my famous Eagle images were made. This is your chance to make a truly awesome portfolio of Eagle images; dramatic flight shots, dynamic portraits and there is truly no prettier place than this for Eagles in their environment with mountains as the background. Get more information about my Bald Eagles Galore Workshop HERE.


I’ve long been wary about joining a workshop with a “big name” pro.  I’ve heard (and witnessed) a litany of workshop horrors, ranging from egomaniac leaders to unwieldy, unhappy groups.  Plus, as a professional photographer, I did not think that I would learn much from a workshop.  Indeed, I teach photography and postproduction.

Chris Dodds’ Eagles Galore workshop changed my mind.   Although he is a supremely talented photographer, Chris is approachable and friendly, and he works tirelessly to make sure that everyone in the group has a fantastic experience.  He limits the workshops to a small, manageable size.  And, in spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I am a better photographer for having joined the workshop. After spending a week with Chris, my flight photography is materially improved. (Chris is an expert on the nuances of servo autofocus, for example.)  Chris also taught several useful post-production techniques that I now use routinely in my workflow.

The true measure of any photo trip, however, is the photos.  Chris’ stated goal is for every workshop participant to go home with images that Chris would be proud to call his own. He means it.  The eagle photography was fantastic.  I came home with several dozen “portfolio grade” images, plus thousands of strong shots. Indeed, the single biggest complaint from my fellow workshop participants is the number of eagle shots that they had to sort through when they got home.

I’ve already registered for another workshop with Chris.

Andrew Kelley Denver, Colorado USA


Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photo Workshop Update

Northern Gannet SEAWEED IN YOUR FACE (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 200-400mm F4 L IS USM XT, (@274mm). ISO 1,000, F4.5 @ 1/4,000s Manual. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Northern Gannets of Bonaventure Island

Gannets Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

June 5-7, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 8-10, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Sold Out!

June 11-13, 2015 (3 Days/4 Nights)

Only 2 Spots left!

A spectacle not to be missed! This is, by far, the very best workshop to master your birds in flight technique. I have invested well over a year of my life at this site, so I know the birds and I know the site intimately, and I know the best way to maximize the photographic opportunities in any wind or weather. I know, and work with, the people at the park & in the village, so from having our gear hauled to the colony in an ATV, to getting special access, I have all of the bases covered. I have hosted over one thousand photographers for this adventure and it  truly is my favourite and most productive workshop.

Join Canon's Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds at the largest Northern Gannet colony in the world. Bonaventure Island, off the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec, is home to more than 55,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets and it is such a beautiful place that National Geographic Traveler Magazine ranks Gaspé number three tourism destination in the world (Nov./Dec. 2009). You haven’t really seen a Gannet until you see the activity at a breeding colony. Bonaventure Island is perhaps one of the world’s best places to teach avian flight technique. Other photographic opportunities will include all aspects of breeding behavior; courtship display, bowing (territorial display), sky pointing, fencing (two mates clashing their bills together while pointing skyward), mutual preening and copulation. Most of the nests will be occupied and will contain babies at various stages of development. In June, we’ll be feet away from hatching eggs and adults feeding their young on their nests. The workshop is timed to coincide with the annual Caplin run in June, so we should have plenty of opportunities to photograph these magnificent birds diving; sometimes forming huge diving funnels containing thousands of birds. Other photographic possibilities include thousands of nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Black Guillemots, Rozorbills, Gulls, Grey Seals and various Whales. Highlights will include a daily four hour adventure on a 24 foot Zodiac Hurricane (weather permitting). We should have ample opportunities to photograph Gannets diving and feeding in large funnels.

More information and sign-up for Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Photography Workshop HERE

Gannets Galore: A recent trip to the gannet colony on the Gaspe’s Ile Bonaventure with Chris Dodds proved to be all that I could have hoped for.  The colony is large, active and readily accessible, Chris’ familiarity with the birds and how they would react to the frequent changes in weather and wind direction gave us access to some pretty unique shooting opportunities, and his knowledge of the area and personal connections within the local community allowed us to get to the island when construction on the town’s only pier could easily have prevented us from getting there.  This, combined with Chris’ almost unique ability to teach the principles of photography at the simplest and most complex levels, made this a trip that should not be missed.
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado



Snowy Owl Photo Tour Update

Snowy Owl Wings-up (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontrario. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's one from one of many memorable moments during my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops last season. The outlook for this winter season is simply superb! I currently know where there are more Snowy Owls than I did this time last year. Remarkably, I have had three cancellations due to illness. Each of the three folks have asked me to try to find someone to fill their spot and have agreed to a discount. Be sure to have a look at the workshop and take advantage of $500.00 savings if you book a 2015 owl trip before midnight Dec. 24, 2014. Space is limited, so don't wait too long!

January 12-16, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT

January 26-30, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT

February 2-6, 2015 Snowy Winter Owl Workshop - NOW SOLD OUT


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


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.


2014 Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour Announced

Atlantic Puffin CLOWN OF THE SEA (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, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II, Canon 12mm Extension Tube II, Canon 1.4X Extender III. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin & Razorbill Heaven

Puffins Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

July 26-28, 2014 (3 Days/4 Nights)

SOLD OUT in less than 9 hours!

I am thrilled to finally announce my Puffins Galore Photo Tour at Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

I have been in search of the ultimate destination for an Atlantic Puffin workshop / safari for a very long time.  The mandate was simple; find a location that is within reach, safe and easy to get to without a dangerous boat landing on slippery rocks and a place where we can get close to these comical little seabirds without hauling our gear up, and over, huge distances or having to hang over towering cliffs; a place where anyone can comfortably reach, regardless of age or physical ability; a place with reliable , safe and easy boat landings. I have photographed Atlantic Puffins in Iceland, Maine, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec; All of these "known" places have their drawbacks., and I simply can't imagine subjecting my clients to the abuse.  Mission accomplished; I have found Puffin Paradise. This is the very best place in the world to photograph Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills fishing, with fish in their bills, in flight and in golden light.

Beyond the 50th parallel, along the North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lies a remarkably beautiful scattering of some thirty limestone islands and more than 1000 granitic islets and reefs. The territory, the "Mingan Archipelago", became Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada 1984.
This necklace of land carved out of the limestone bedrock is the site of spectacular natural monuments which bear witness to the never-ending wear of the sea and of the centuries. And there is an abundance of life in this strange half-world: plants of variegated hues and shapes, seabirds gathered in colonies, seals, dolphins and whales, swarming the blue vastness in which the islands bathe.

Join me, Canadian Wildlife Photographer Christopher Dodds, for a Puffin photography workshop / safari. This trip will be limited to five participants and will surely be the trip of a lifetime for anyone seeking to get close and personal (safely) to Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. We will spend a few hours photographing fishing Puffins each morning from a boat, before landing on an island where we spend the rest of the day until sunset for three full days. I have secured special access, so we will be the only people on the island during the first, and last, few hours each day.

Price is $2,995.00 (plus sales tax) including four nights single occupancy accommodation (with full kitchenette), three days private boat tour with highly experienced captain (weather permitting), three days park access fees and three days expert instruction. Other subjects might include Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Great Cormorants, Savannah Sparrow (there are many) Common Eider, Grey Seals and whales. Meals, beverages, transportation to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec and souvenirs are not included.

Getting there:

Our base of operations, accommodations and starting point are in the town of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan.

Havre St. Pierre Airport or YGV (serviced by Labrador Air) is 46km or 28.5 miles

Sept-iles Airport or YZV (serviced by Air Canada) is 152km or 94.5 miles

Quebec City Jean Lesage Airport or TQB (Serviced by most carriers) is 831km or 516 miles

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport or YUL (Derviced by most carriers) is 1,086km or 675 miles

Sign-up for my Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour HERE