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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Workshop (60)

Tuesday
Dec062011

How to choose a workshop leader and Kudos

 Razorbill at sea in The Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) Bonaventure Island, Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV800mm F5.6 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. ISO 500, f/5.6 @1/2,000s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION. This one from my Gannets Galore and so much more workshop CHECK IT OUT HERE.

How to choose a workshop leader

Making decisions about photographic travel is no easy matter; there are more, and more, photographers offering photographic workshops, photo safaris, instructional photo tours and photo tours than ever before. As a consumer, you need to be sure that you are signing-on with a photographer that can create amazing images and has the ability to help YOU learn how to!
I recently spent time reviewing offerings from other photographers. One had two average images, had written a book about how good he and his images were and felt the need to emphasize that he had been leading the same trip for over five years. His testimonials all looked similar and were all written by people who had only first names. I was shocked to see the trip listed as sold-out!
Another said he didn't take a single image during a workshop, instead he made sure that his clients got all of the shots. A quick visit to his blog left me quite puzzled after seeing all of his image from a recent workshop! I find it quite hard to imagine a photographer who could lead you to making extraordinary images without a camera in his or her hand. In my opinion, it's about balance; leading and inspiring by example.
When choosing where to go and who to go with, please be sure to spend some time reviewing the tour leader's images; are they world class, impressive and filled with visual impact? Are they the images you dream of making? Invest the time to read client testimonials (be sure they are written by real people with real names and are from real places) and try to get a flavour for the type of personality you will sign-on with; does the leader have a huge ego? Do they feel the need to constantly tell you how bad other leaders are? or why you shouldn't sign-up with anyone but them or their "friends" who pay them for advertising or "certification"? I'm not going to write a sermon here about why to choose my safari/workshops - I never have and I never will; instead, I'll let others tell you all about it on my testimonial page.

Kudos

From my Moose and Fall Colors Workshop Safari: "I recently participated in the Moose and Fall Colors of Maine workshop/safari led by Chris Dodds. The photo safari was in Baxter State Park, Maine. Throughout my time with Chris during the workshop I came to appreciate several things.
Chris has been doing this workshop for years. He has developed a rapport with local business owners. This rapport makes the stay for participants much easier. Whether it was topping off the ice in our coolers at night just before closing, making sandwiches for the next day’s lunch, or allowing for a late checkout, the people at our hotel were very helpful and accommodating.
The second thing that struck me was how much Chris new about the area. Baxter State Park is a 200,000 acre wilderness area. Chris has come to know the area like a local guide or woodsman would. He takes people to different locations to provide them with the very best photo opportunities.
Another thing I appreciated about the workshop was Chris’ instructional ability. I have taken workshops from different people over the last few years and I found Chris to be very approachable and easy to talk with. He has an ability to explain complex subjects in an easy and understandable way. He also is sincerely interested that people understand his instruction and feel comfortable implementing the newfound knowledge in the field.

I look forward to my next photo workshop/safari with Chris."

- Jim Boland Titusville | FL | USA www.jbophoto.com

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From my second annual Photo Geek Christmas Party: "Your talk yesterday evening in Hudson was amazing!  I belong to the MCC and I often do photography for le Nichoir and volunteer my time and artwork for the wild birds whenever I can.  I was truly, greatly inspired and motivated by your images.  (As were others judging by all the ooooohs and ahhhhs!)  I have been to many photography conferences and workshops and I have never seen a crowd so awed and moved!  It was beautiful to see.... You have a great handle on the technical aspects as well as offering creative and unique ways of looking at animals.  Some of my favorite shots yesterday were ones of the more common birds and animals posed in unique ways that we are not used to seeing them: like the v shaped wings goose shot, or even the Gannet looking straight up (very different.)  These are why a talk like that is great. I recognized two shots from National Geographic: one of the snowy owl and one of the puffin shots, but seeing some of your more abstract framing and images was really a treat.  The ultra sharp close up of the Gannet eye was also incredibly striking."

- Andrea Cook Montreal | QC | Canada www.elephantmauve.com
Wednesday
Nov022011

How to photograph birds in flight in low light

Tufted Puffin In Flight #1 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Photographing birds in flight in low light is quite challenging; it's not easy. I love photographing seabirds, and that often means shooting small, and often erratically moving targets; fast and unpredictable little fliers from the top of coastal cliffs in bad weather. The biggest problem to overcome is our need to always grab our longest lens and our reluctance to shoot wide open at high ISO (for Canon users, anyway). I recently had a discussion with a photographer who told me he didn't need a camera capable of shooting 10 fps (frames per second); he timed the wingbeats and only took one frame at a time. Well, let's just say that was one photographer who had a couple of good birds in flight images in his portfolio, but Florida Great Blue Herons are tame, huge, fly slowly and do have predictable wingbeats. What I want to share today is how I succeed (more, or less) at shooting bullets that move at 55 MPH with 100-400 wing beats per minute; I'm talking, of course, about photographing Puffins in flight. I was fortunate to photograph all three North American species of Puffins this summer, on both the East, and west coast. In June I hosted my annual Puffins Galore (and so much more) workshop for the Atlantic Puffin, and then I photographed the Horned and Tufted Puffins of Saint Paul Island (more images to come soon).
Tufted Puffin In Flight #2 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

First of all, get over your phobia of shooting wide open and using a high ISO. You are going to need a shutter speed of at least 1/2,500 of a second, but I prefer 1/3,200 of a second to freeze the fast action; this usually means using an ISO of at least 1,600 and an aperture of at least f/5.6 (always in manual mode). I try to get as close as possible in low light and low contrast conditions; I try to use the shortest lens possible, while trying to fill the frame. Using only the centre auto-focus point only usually helps the autofocus system lock onto your subject, but it's going to take more than relying on your camera to acquire focus. I generally try to pick-up repetitive flight patterns; I try to predict where the bird I am trying to shoot will fly and pre-focus on something near there so the auto-focus system doesn't have to spin the lens much to acquire sharp focus. Once locked-on to my subject, it's all up to me to keep the focus point on the subject and hit the stutter button at 10 fps; the best way to be able to do that is practice; over, and over again.
Tufted Puffin In Flight #3 (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Mode Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I decided to post three sequential, full frame images of Tufted Puffins from a recent trip to Saint Paul Island (The Pribilof Islands), Alaska to demonstrate that it is possible to pull off what seems like the impossible. I left my tried, tested and true Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens at home, instead opting for my favorite new 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM and threw it on my Canon EOS 1DMKIV. I set-up my exposure in manual mode and checked the histogram to make sure the blacks from the wet rocks below the cliffs I was standing on weren't blocked-up against the left edge to minimize noise, and carefully made sure I had no over-exposed whites on the right edge to ensure the most detail in the whites. Once sure of my exposure, I watched for the Puffins flight path and pre-focused on a rock where I thought the bird would fill the frame. Now pre-focused on the rock, I saw the bird fly in and followed it until it started to fill the frame, partially depressed the shutter button to activate the auto-focus system and hit the trigger at its maximum capture rate of 10 fps. Truth be told; I waited a fraction of a second too long for this sequence, and ran the risk of clipping the Puffin's wing-tips, but it worked-out fine with three action shots that I liked enough to keep (No, I won't teach you how to reconstruct the wingtips if you clip them, but I will teach you how to capture the image right, in the camera - smile).

Which of the three images here is your favorite & why? Leave a comment and you could win a free copy of the new Mac editing software FirstPass.

Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party

Great news! Jobu Designs (makers of my favorite Gimbal Head - the Jobu Jr. 3), Think-Tank Photo, Cotton Carrier, have all jumped on-board and offered tons of prizes to show their suppoort for my Second Annual Photo Geek Christmas Party. I expect other sponsors to make offerings and encourage contributions - email me if you would like to donate and promote your product chris(at)chrisdoddsphoto(dot)com

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on November 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM at the Hudson Village Theatre (28 Wharf Road, Hudson, QC   J0P 1H0) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit this great cause which is so close to my heart. The show is designed to be entertaining and informative to all; nature lovers and photographers alike. Stories of adventure, natural history facts and information are all on the menu and this show is designed to offer helpful tips & techniques sure to improve your photography efforts with everything from a camera phone, point & shoot camera or professional SLR camera system. Over one hundred of my images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 148 seats. Tickets are only $15.00 each and are available for advance purchase only - every penny is collected by, and goes to Le Nichoir. Please call or email Le Nichoir (communication@lenichoir.org 450-458-2809) to secure your tickets, or make a donation if you can't make it (be sure to tell them it's on behalf of Chris' Photo Geek Christmas Party) Major credit cards and cheques accepted. Finger food and hors d'oeuvres are included and there will be a cash bar (please drink responsibly).
There will be ample time to mingle, meet my friends and contacts and share some of your images with others, so feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favourite images to share. I hope to see you there and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

Read more about it HERE

Friday
Sep232011

Bald Eagle Workshop Announcement

American Bald Eagle REFLECTION Screamin' Eagle II (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS, 2X Teleconverter III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800, f/16 @ 1/100s Manual mode. Full Frame. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Eagles Galore A Christopher Dodds Nature Photography Workshop / Safari.

 

It's back - by popular demand.

 

Join me, Christiopher Dodds in the Kachemak Bay where many 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 prittier place than this for Eagles in their enviroment with mountains as the background. Don't miss this limited opportunity - SPACE IS LIMITED!

March 12-16, 2012 Five Days

March 19-23, 2012 Five Days

March 17-18, 2012 Two Days


 

MORE INFORMATION AND SIGN-UP HERE

Wednesday
Jun222011

Moose and Fall Colors of Maine with Chris Dodds and E.J. Peiker Sept. 26-30, 2011

Moose Cow & Calf MOOSE MOMENT (Alces, Elan, Orignal) Baxter State Park, Maine Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKII, 500mm F4 and 2XII tele-converter ISO 500, F8 1/250s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

I'm thrilled to announce that E.J. Peiker will be co-leading my Moose and Fall Colors of Maine Workshop / Safari Sept. 26-30, 2011.

REGISTER HERE

Join Christopher Dodds and E.J. Peiker in Baxter State Park and surrounding areas (near Millinocket, Maine) for a truly unique workshop. Our primary focus will be the Moose that are renowned for allowing close human approach. Our trip is also timed to coincide with the amazing fall colors that illuminate Baxter State Park every fall. Though not guaranteed (Moose are wild and free, after all), We often have Moose walking so close to us that we can feel their warm breath in the cool, fall, Maine air. We have traveled far to photograph these majestic giants of the Northern forest, so we won't be spending much time indoors at the computer (like many other photography groups); this trip is all about being out there with the Moose - seeing, being and documenting their behavior during the annual Rut. Other subjects may include White-Tailed Deer, Black Bear (we photographed two cubs in 2009 SEE HERE) and various birds.

REGISTER HERE

Bull Moose Giant of the Northwoods (Alces, Elan, Orignal) Baxter State Park, Maine Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 and 2XII tele-converter Gitzo 1325 Tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F8 1/160s Manual. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Like all wild and free mammal photography, there will be quiet times in the field while we wait for our subjects to appear, that's when we'll be focusing on the natural beauty of Baxter State Park, Mount Katahdin and the magical fall colors that will surround us.

REGISTER HERE

Bull Moose Vertical (Alces, Elan, Orignal) Baxter State Park, Maine Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 and 1.4XII tele-converter Gitzo 1325 Tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 500, F5.6 1/200s Manual. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Who should attend:

This workshop is highly recommended for any level photographer. Whether you are completely new to nature photography, an experienced amateur, or a seasoned pro. There will be something to photograph all day long and we will have plenty of time to tailor your instruction to your abilities. The seasoned pro can take full advantage of our site and subject knowledge.

What's included....

Five full days in-the-field photographic instruction and introductory slideshow and information session on the evening before the workshop on September 25, 2011. Transportation to Baxter State Park, local transportation during the workshop, meals, snack, beverages, etc. are not included. Accomidations are not included, but we have a block of rooms reserved at a reasonable price.

Group size....

Our group will be limited to eight participants with two instructors.

REGISTER HERE

Bull Moose Vertical Portrait (Alces, Elan, Orignal) Baxter State Park, Maine ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 and 2XII tele-converter Gitzo 1325 Tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F8 1/125s Manual. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Price....

CAD$1,695.00 per person. Non-refundable, non-transferable Deposit of CAD$695.00 is due with booking, non-refundable, non-transferable balance of CAD$1,000.00 due July 26, 2011.

REGISTER HERE

Questions....

Feel free to email me at: chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com or call me at +1 (450) 827-1007

White-tailed Deer Doe & twin fawns at Sandy Stream Pond (Odocoileus virginianus, Cerf de Virginie) Sandy Stream Pond (Roaring Brook Campground), Baxter State Park, Maine, USA ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, F14 1/200s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Inhabiting dense forests throughout Canada, Maine and Alaska, Moose (Alces alces) are the giants of the deer family. They may lack the grace of other deer, but they are among North America's most magnificent mammals. A bull moose crashing through the underbrush in a northern bog is a sight not soon forgotten.
Alaska boasts the largest males: they weigh some 1,800 pounds, stand seven feet tall at the shoulder, and have antlers with a spread of over six feet. In addition to a massive body and a big, overhanging muzzle, the moose is characterized by a fold of skin on the throat called the bell. Though long and spindly-looking, its legs are well suited for moving swiftly across snow, wading in water, and swimming.
During the fall rutting season, when their low, mooing calls echo through the forest, bulls battle over cows in savage antler-to-antler confrontations. By December the contests end and the bulls shed their hefty headgear.
In summer, moose wade into ponds and streams to eat aquatic plants, and in winter they browse on twigs and bark. Once exterminated in parts of their range- they were used as food by native peoples and early settlers, and their antlers have always been prized as trophies- moose have lately made quite a comeback.

REGISTER HERE

Eastern White-tailed Deer Fawn Portrait (Odocoileus virginianus, Cerf de Virginie) Sandy Stream Pond (Roaring Brook Campground), Baxter State Park, Maine, USA ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, 500mm F4, 2X II Tele-converter Gitzo 1325 Tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F8 1/500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

REGISTER HERE

Wednesday
Mar302011

Snow Geese Galore Workshop Safari

Snow Goose Golden Goose (Chen caerulescens, Oie des neiges, SNGO) Réservoir Beaudet, Victoriaville, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS, 1.4X Teleconverter II,  Tripod & Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F8 @1/800s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

October 22-23, 2011 TWO DAY WEEKEND Workshop Safari. Limit of 6 photographers


October 24-28, 2011 FIVE DAY Workshop Safari. Limit of 6 photographers.

This is the very best place that I have found to photograph Greater Snow Geese up-close, portraits, in-flight and in golden light.

Located just a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from Montreal Airport (YUL), Réservoir Beaudet is immediately adjacent to the city of Victoriaville, in the Eastern Townships of southern Québec. I have photographed Snow Geese in many locations around North America including Bosque del Apachee National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, but none compare to the 80,000 to 1,000,000 (one million) Ducks and Geese that frequent the Reservoir in Victoriaville during migration. This workshop is timed perfectly to coincide with peak migration.

Join me, Canadian wildlife photographer Christopher Dodds, for a two, or five day Snow Geese photography Workshop / Safari. These trips will be limited to just six participants and the proximity and volume of geese will astound you.

Snow Goose landing (Chen caerulescens, Oie des neiges, SNGO) Réservoir Beaudet, Victoriaville, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS, 1.4X Teleconverter II,  Tripod & Wimberley Head II. ISO 320, F5.6  @1/2000s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

From equipment choice and overview, to portrait and flight shot techniques, Chris will be there to teach and answer your questions. Chris is comfortable teaching and answering questions from any level photographer; from the seasoned pro, to the beginner who has no real experience in the field; all in his usual, casual and easygoing style. Exposure, composition and flash will all be discussed and demonstrated. Chris is very open and always willing to help and share with his students.

REGISTER HERE

Wednesday
Mar022011

OSPREYS GALORE WORKSHOP ANNOUNCED April 22-24, 2011 Lake Blue Cypress, Florida

OSPREY Top-Side Dive (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS.  ISO 320, F9 @ 1/1000s Manual.

I'm just in the door from an amazing seven weeks of sold-out Owl Prowls and anxious to share some exiting news and head out to a warmer place. My clients two weeks ago were, as is often the case, gifted photographers that I have known on-line for years. We became instant friends and quickly realized that we all shared the same ego-free love of teaching, and sharing wildlife photography. Alfred and Fabiola Forns are residents of Florida, gifted photographers and experienced workshop leaders; and they will be joining me for a SPECIAL, LIMITED EDITION WORKSHOP / SAFARI from April 22-24, 2011 (with a slideshow on the evening of April 21) at one of the most beautiful places in Florida; Lake Blue Cypress in southern Osceola County (just 20 minutes from Vero Beach).

OSPREYS GALORE (and so much more) a SPECIAL, LIMITED EDITION WORKSHOP / SAFARI

April 22-24, 2011 (with a slideshow on the evening of April 21) at one of THE most beautiful places in Florida; Lake Blue Cypress in southern Osceola County (just 20 minutes from Vero Beach).

Maximum of 8 participants with 3 leaders; Christopher Dodds with Alfred and Fabiola Forns.

The Crown Jewel of Florida, Lake Blue Cypress is the perfect habitat for the hundreds of Osprey nests that cover the ancient Cypress Trees which pierce the pristine water and surround the lake. We will have tons of opportunities to photograph Ospreys on their nests at (or below) eye level, diving for fish or gathering nesting materiel. Our trip is timed perfectly to see the parents bring fish to their babies. We will photograph other species of Florida birds and will have constant urges to capture the true beauty, spectacular sunrises and all it illuminates in landscape images of the unspoiled, wild and spectacular setting of Lake Blue Cypress.

With three veteran photographers / instructors, and a maximum of only eight participants, this workshop / safari represents exceptional value! We'll spend four hours photographing the many Ospreys of Lake Blue Cypress from our two pontoon boats on each of the three mornings. After lunch and a break, we may even head over to Vierra wetlands or Merrit Island for afternoon sessions on Friday and Saturday.

Who should attend: This is a great workshop for any level of photographer from the seasoned pro to a complete novice with basic equipment. Amazing flight images can be made with your crop factor camera and focal lengths of just 300-400mm; a fantastic venue for 100-400mm, 300mm, 400mm and 500mm lenses.

Price is only $1,095.00 per person with a limit of eight participants and THREE instructors. Price includes three 4 hour Pontoon Boat cruises (weather permitting). All Hotels, meals, beverages and items of a personal nature are not included.

REGISTER HERE


OSPREY with green nesting material (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Image Copyright ©Fabs Forns. Canon EOS 7D, 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 L IS @400mm.  ISO 800, F5.6 @ 1/2000s

REGISTER HERE

OSPREY pair framed by moss (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Image Copyright ©Fabs FornsCanon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS.  ISO 2000, F4 @ 1/1250s

REGISTER HERE

OSPREY pair interaction (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Image Copyright ©Fabs FornsCanon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS, 1.4X Extender.  ISO 400, F7.1 @ 1/2000s

REGISTER HERE

Tuesday
Sep072010

LCDVF Digital Viewfinder / Magnifier Review & Maine Moose; it's not too late

Bull Moose Giant of the Northwoods (Alces, Elan, Orignal) Baxter State Park, Maine Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 and 2XII tele-converter Gitzo 1325 Tripod and Wimberley Head II. ISO 400, F8 1/160s Manual. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Moose & Fall Colors of Maine September 27 to October 1, 2010; It's not too late

Only two spots left, so it's not too late to join Christopher Dodds in Baxter State Park and surrounding areas (near Millinocket, Maine) for a truly unique workshop. Our primary focus will be the Moose that are renowned for allowing close human approach. Our trip is also timed to coincide with the amazing fall colors that illuminate Baxter State Park every fall. Though not guaranteed (Moose are wild and free, after all), I often have Moose walking so close to us that we can feel their warm breath in the cool, fall, Maine air. We have traveled far to photograph these majestic giants of the Northern forest, so we won't be spending much time indoors at the computer (like many other photography groups); this trip is all about being out there with the Moose - seeing, being and documenting their behavior during the annual Rut. Other subjects may include White-Tailed Deer, Black Bear, fox and various birds. SEE MORE INFORMATION HERE.

See the blog entries from the 2009 Moose & Fall Colors Workshop / Safari:

The White-Tailed Deer of Baxter State Park Trip Report Part I

American Black Bears of Baxter State Park Trip Report Part II

The Many Moose of Baxter State Park Trip Report Part III

Testimonial

"I was impressed on how much Chris cared about making sure everyone was learning, engaged, and getting the most out of the trip. I look forward to my next workshop with Chris!" Michael Lyncheski Gladstone, NJ


LCDVF Digital SLR Viewfinder / Magnifier Review

The LCDVF is a 2X loupe that is designed as a LCD viewfinder for video-enabled digital SLR’s. Not only for the video enthusiast, the LCDVF is an invaluable aide to achieve more accurate and precise focus for the still photographer. The loupe also acts to block ambient light while shooting outdoors in live-view mode, or reviewing images on the LCD screen for sharpness and the histogram for exposure accuracy. The LCD ViewFinder turns your DSLR LCD screen into a huge electronic viewfinder for precise image evaluation - it’s like viewing a 42" screen from 140cm (4.6 feet).

The part I like most about the LCDVF, is it’s ingenious adhesive ultra-slim metal frame that secures the LCDVF to your camera using four small magnets (located at the camera end of the loupe frame). The LCDVF ships with two magnetic/adhesive frames; only one frame is needed, the extra one is a spare or could be used on a second camera. The magnets are strong enough to securely hold the LCDVF against your camera, but weak enough to break-away if you forget that the lanyard is around your neck and walk away from your expensive camera set-up with a long lens on a tripod; preventing a possible disaster. The company promises these four magnets aren’t strong enough to damage your camera, it’s electronics or the data on your memory card.

There are two models available; the LCDVF for most cameras with a 3” LCD screen, and the LCDVF 3/2 which is custom fit to the Canon 550D, Rebel T2i and the Kiss X4.

The LCDVF has a removable, rotating rubber eye-cup, and was shipped with a foam/microfiber eye cushion that I found useful and comfortable, it includes are a neck strap with quick release buckle and a neoprene pouch (which is well built, but could be about 20% bigger, in my opinion).

I spend an enormous amount of time reviewing images in the field while photographing and teaching outdoor nature photography workshops. The LCDVF has already proven itself to be durable and water resistant and I already can’t imagine shooting without it. The optics are bright and crisp and the LCDVF offers a great view of the whole 3” screen without loosing sight of the corners.

Help support this site and Purches the LCDVF HERE or LCDVF 3/2 HERE

Visit the LCDVF website HERE.

Monday
Aug092010

Atlantic Puffin Paradise found (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU)

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Vertical Portrait île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS with 2X Teleconverter II, Canon 25mm Extension Tube, Tripod & Wimberley Head II. 580EXII Flash manual mode. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, F16 @1/60s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Puffin Photography Workshop/Safari announced July 5-7, 2011

I'm just back from another trip; this time, I went out in search of the ultimate destination for Atlantic Puffins. 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. I have photographed Atlantic Puffins in Iceland, Maine, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec; All of these "known" places have their drawbacks. Mission accomplished; I have found Puffin Paradise. Special thanks to the Loiselle Familly of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan for their gracious hospitality during my time there.

If you are interested in joining me for a Puffin photography workshop July 5-7, 2011, then be sure to send an email to chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com. This trip will be limited to six participants (two spots booked already) 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 CAD$2,495.00 including four nights single occupancy accommodation, three days private boat tour with highly experienced captain, 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 and Grey Seal. More details after my return from teaching the August Gannets Galore workshop in about 10 days. Meals, beverages, transportation to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec and souvenirs are not included.

Testimonial

Many thanks to Chris for a wonderful and exciting photography experience. Your professionalism, talent, patience and knowledge helped to make the Gannets Galore photo trip an experience of a life time. The hundreds of thousands of Northern Gannets on Bonaventure Island were unbelievable. I took thousands of photographs of Northern Gannets in their everyday activities. They were elegant, comical, clumsy, arguing, fishing, sleeping, working, copulating, preening and fencing. It was nonstop and exhilarating. Now, I get to my favourite part - the Zodiac tour around Bonaventure Island. It’s 5:00am and we start the 4 hour trip to see dozens of species of birds and seals as well as couple of Minke whales. The 4 hours seemed to pass like minutes. The Harlequin ducks and Black Guillemots were among my favourites and a real treat to observe and photograph. - Gordie Kadonoff Hampstead | Quebec | Canada

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU)

The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) is a seabird species in the auk family. Also know as “common puffin”, “clown of the ocean”, “clown of the sea” and “sea parrot”, these squat little pelagic birds look comically awkward on land and rather heavy in the air, but once in their element, the water, they become able predators. “Flying” through the sea on stubby wings, they dive-bomb shoals of herring, sand eels, sardines, and other small fish and sometimes squid. These pursuit divers collect their victims one at a time, but can hold as many as 20 small fish crosswise in their brightly coloured beaks at the same time. The Atlantic Puffin is 26–29 centimetres (10–11 in) in length (bill 3-4 cm), with a 47–63 centimetres (19–25 in) wingspan. The male is generally slightly larger than the female, but they are coloured alike. A puffin can fly 48 to 55 mph (77 to 88 km/hr). The puffin beats its wings rapidly to achieve this speed reaching up to 400 beats a minute.

This species breeds on the coasts of northern Europe, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and eastern North America (Canada and New England), from well within the Arctic Circle to northern France and Maine. It is the only Puffin species found in the Atlantic Ocean. The winter months are spent at sea far from land - in Europe as far south as the Mediterranean, and in North America to North Carolina.  Puffins often nest in well populated colonies usually on remote, rugged islands free from egg and chick eating land predators. They deposit a single egg deep within a burrow excavated in soft earth, or in a feather, or grass, lined lair in a rocky cleft. After fattening-up their hatchlings on fish, the parents return to the sea. The young Puffins, still unable to fly, eventually scramble to the shore by night and plunge into the water.

Tuesday
Jun292010

Bear Boat Katmai July 12-18, 2010 Massive Discount due to illness

Coastal Brown Bear CUB OF HEARTS (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park, AK ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 5DMKII, 70-200mm F2.8 @125mm ISO 400, F8 1/320s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

It’s only two weeks away, but I have two spots available at a massive discount. A couple who booked early last year have had to cancel due to a unexpected and sudden health crisis. They have no trip insurance and are willing to forfeit half of the US$4,995.00 workshop fee that they have paid. Please email (chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com), or call me (450) 827-1007 if you are interested in the trip of a lifetime. Bargain US$2,500.00 fee includes seven days instruction, guide service food and accommodation aboard the Coastal Explorer. Airfare to Kodiak Island and float plane from Kodiak Island to the boat (approx. US$475.00) are not included. Act quickly....MORE INFORMATION HERE

Wednesday
Apr082009

Songbirds of Pelee May 8-12, 2010 Workshop Announced

Image #1: Black-and-White Warbler

Due to the overwhelming popularity of my May, 2009 Pelee Songbird workshop (thanks to all who registered: We sold-out quickly!), I'm announcing my 2010 dates now. Join noted Canadian Wildlife photographer Christopher Dodds 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!

Image #2: Re-Headed Woodpecker

For bird photographers, Pelee can offer some legendary experiences. Each day is different, so we begin our morning at the tip, to see what new migrants have arrived overnight. If we're lucky, there may be a wave or fallout of birds, with weary warblers feeding low in warm morning light. Although days like that are rare, we'll find birds to photograph - there is always something around Pelee! I am well connected to the birders and photographers in the park, and get current tips about cooperative or rare birds! I also have some great feeder set-ups (for Orioles, Grosbeaks, Sparrows and Red-Headed Woodpeckers) outside the park, to keep us busy on slow days ... while all the other bird photographers stand around and only talk about photography.

 

There are no guarantees when photographing migrants at a place like Pelee, but we stand a good chance of getting photos of numerous warbler species (ie. Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Black-and-white), vireos, scarlet tanager, and more. The most exciting thing about photographing migrants at a place like Pelee, is that you just never know what you might get!

 

Image #3: Chestnut-Sided Warbler

What's included? ... Five full days of in-the-field photographic instruction and introductory slideshow on the evening before the workshop (May 7, 2010). Hotel, transportation, meals, drinks, park access fees, etc. are not included. I do have a block of rooms reserved (at a favorable rate) at the Leamington Howard Johnston (formerly the Ramada Hotel).

Price: CAD$1,695.00 per person (tax included). Non-refundable deposit of CAD$695.00 due to secure your spot, with the remaining non-refundable balance of CAD$1,000.00 due 120 days prior to the workshop (January 7, 2010). Please note that your reservation is not guaranteed until the non-refundable deposit is received. We strongly suggest you purchase trip cancellation insurance.

How to book: Please email me your contact information (chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com), and mail the required non-refundable deposit to:

 

Christopher Dodds

(450) 827-1007

Dodds Visuals Inc.

Box 112

Franklin Centre, QC

Canada

J0S 1E0

 

 

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