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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Workshop (67)

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.

Wednesday
May072014

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

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

Friday
Mar282014

2015 Bald Eagle Workshops announced and Kudos

American Bald Eagle SNOWGLOBE (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, EF 200-400mm F4 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Jobu Jr.3 deluxe gimbal head and Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod ISO 6,400, f/4 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's one of many new Bald Eagle images added to my portfolio during my three recent back-to-back Bald Eagles Photo Tours. There were no shortage of amazing opportunities for everyone who attended and my site knowledge over the years took us to many new bays and private beaches which we had exclusive permission to use.

I used my Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 with built-in 1.4X extender almost exclusively during this year's trips; what a lens! Expect a mini-review soon, but suffice it to say it is one mind-blowing lens!

My 2015 Bald Eagle Photo Tours are starting to fill, so be sure to book early to avoid disapointment! Learn more about my Eagle workshops HERE.

Testimonial

I just got back from a 10 day trip to Homer, Alaska., the place to shoot the majestic Bald Eagle. My host was Christopher Dodds and what a host he has been. He gave the 2 groups I joined a lot of field time and put us in the best positions to take epic shots every single day. There are others out there but Chris has been doing this for more than 25 years so I think it’s justified to call him the primus inter pares. A great workshop leader, excellent photographer, teacher and above all a really nice guy. If you ever consider shooting Bald Eagles and get the best for your money go see Chris , he will not disappoint you.

Dennis Binda The Netherlands

Tuesday
Oct152013

Bald Eagle Photo Tour update

American Bald Eagles HOT PURSUIT (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 500mm F4 L IS, 1.4X Tele-Extender, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 1,250, f/5.6 @ 1/1,2500s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE for PUBLICATION HERE.

Bald Eagle Photo Tour Update

Just a quick note today to let you know that both of my Bald Eagle Photo Tours are sold out; Thank you! I have added a third Bald Eagle Photo Tour from March 7-11, 2014 which has only 4 seats left. If you are looking to build an awesome portfolio of Eagle images and love a little adventrue, then this is the trip for you. Read all about my Bald Eagle Photo Tour HERE.


Chris, Thanks for another great photo adventure to Alaska during your Eagles of Alaska photograpic Expedition!!!!!!
This is the third trip with you and they keep getting better. Always challenging. Always easy-going. Always taking my photography forward. (Take a look at my site for a few new pictures from Alaska.) Your instruction is the best I've experience in taking these kinds of trips. You always seem to know where to put us in the absolute best place. Top Notch!!!! Can't wait till the next one.....wherever that might be. Thanks again!!!!!!!  

Jeff Moore Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA

Be sure to check-out many more TESTIMONIALS HERE

Monday
Jul152013

Bird Photography Quick Tip ANGLE OF VIEW

Razorbill VERTICAL PORTRAIT (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) 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 2,500s, f/16 @ 1/250s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Quick Tip

Here's a simple Razorbill portrait which also uses the same technique as described in my last post. Want to know the simplest, but most often missed trick to creating engaging and intimate portraits in nature? Simply get down to, or below, your subject's eyes; it's a simple and effective way to connect the subject to the viewer.


TESTIMONIALS


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


I want to thank you again for one of the best photo workshops I have ever attended.  The trip to Northern Quebec to photo Puffins was truly an adventure.  I was very impressed with the planning you put into ever aspect of the tour.  Everything ran smoothly and the opportunity to photograph these amazing birds was an experience I will not soon forget.  I also appreciate the time you spent with each of us to make sure we got the best possible result from whatever equipment we were using.  Your technique for reducing noise while maximizing detail when shooting at high ISO's was particularly helpful.  No one had ever explained the science behind this and now it makes a lot of sense.  This trip was everything I had hoped for and I look forward to joining you again in the future.

Chuck Raines Camarillo, California

Tuesday
Jul022013

Snowy Owl from Saint Paul Island Workshop

 

Male Snowy Owl SAINT PAUL BLAST-OFF (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) 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, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 4,000s, f/9 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

We had an awesome time photographing the beautiful male Snowy Owl one morning during my Saint Paul Island workshop. The owl was much more tolerant of our presence than I expected, and kept taking-off to hunt Least Auklets along the shore, only to return to perch near us each time it failed. Finding this, and the Lesser White-fronted Goose the next day is a testament to the diverse and rare birds of Saint Paul Island.

It's not too late to learn bird photography!

If you want to learn bird photography at the very best place in the world for me to teach it, then it's not too late. I have just announced that I'll be returning to Bonaventure Island to teach another Gannet Galore workshop from August 21-23, 2013. This is the best time to photograph the babies and all of the usual Gannet behaviour. Do take the time to read one of the many testimonials from this workshop - if I could recommend a single workshop for you to learn the most, this is it! There is something to photograph from dawn to dusk and the birds in flight opportunities will not disappoint! Click the link for more information or to sign-up: Gannets Galore August 21-23, 2013

Testimonial

My very first birding workshop (Gannet Galore on Bonaventure Island) with a new lens AND camera was filled with much anxiety until the thorough briefing prior to our 1st shoot. After meeting Chris for the introduction to exposing to the right, the Sunny 16 rule and its variances, and the promise of capturing some bird images HE would be proud to call his own my mind was set to rest. I have only been in photography for 3 years and still struggle with exposure, composition, and sharp focusing(especially when bobbing in a Zodiac) but there I was actually able to come away with some great images of Razorbills on the fly! Chris is one of best teachers of photography and wildlife habits I have ever had the pleasure to be around, his knowledge of the Northern Gannets Colony and Bonaventure Island is exceptional. I have already signed on for my next workshop with him, his enthusiasm for wildlife is contagious!

Mel Geer Saint Simons Island, Georgia, USA

Tuesday
Apr022013

Worse Weather = Better Bird Photography

American Bald Eagle Fishing in light snow  II (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm F2.8 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 2,000, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Worse Weather = Better Bird Photography

Here's another from my recent Bald Eagle Photography Photo Tour. I'm still an advocate of getting out in worse weather to make better and more dynamic images. Here, the pose, action, low angle of view, dark reflection of the nearby steep shoreline, flat water all came together with the snow as the icing on the cake. Do consider joining me for my Bald Eagle Photo Tour & Workshop next March; it's perfectly timed for perfect weather conditions!

Songbirds of Pelee Photo Tour May 9-13, 2013

It's not too late to join me at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington, Ontario (Canada); the most renowned inland location in North America to photograph spring migrants, including colourful warblers, tanagers and orioles. Located in Southern Ontario, Pelee is a small peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, and is first landfall for waves of northbound songbirds crossing the Great Lakes. Birders regularly see more than 100 bird species in a day in the Pelee area, including 25 species of warblers!
This is the kind of place that birding legends about epic fallouts are made. We will also visit Rondeau Provincial Park where we will be setting-up feeders and perches to round-out our portfolios. Register for the Point Pelee Photo Tour Here.

Two Canon EOS 1D Mark IV cameras for sale

Long time friend and multiple Photo Tour participant John Z is selling both of his Canon 1D Mark IV cameras at the incredibly low price of only $2,500.00 each. contact John directly and quickly if interested or for more details: 2010photoman@gmail.com

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
Mar262013

Bald Eagle Photo Tour was EPIC - Full Nik Collection by Google for only $127

American Bald Eagle Fishing in light snow  (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 300mm F2.8 L IS USM with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 1,250, f/2.8 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Bald Eagle Photo Tour / Workshop a huge success

I'm just back from my Bald Eagle Photo Tour / Workshop / Safari and the Bald Eagle photography was EPIC! We had hundreds of Eagles, a fantastic mix of weather and each hour on the water averaged hundreds of dives and gigabytes of images! The Canon 1DX continues to blow me away with it's amazing autofocus and low noise at high ISO settings. Accurate and fast autofocus in heavy snow simply blows me away! The gorgeous sunlight faded to cloud after three full days, and it finally snowed on our last morning out. The water was calm and we constantly stayed out on the water for much more time than was budgeted - we were often out for hours beyond the other boats running out of time, ammunition and budget. Simply put; it was over-the-top and mind blowing!

Learn more about my March, 2014 Bald Eagle Photo Tour HERE

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