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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Workshop (67)

Monday
Feb252013

Great Grey Owl and more Kudos

Great Grey Owl OFF BALANCE (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 70-300mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm with Jobu L-Bracket  Hand Held ISO 3,200s, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

It's safe to say that this owl season has reached EPIC! Here's another testimonial that I have received from my recent Snowy Winter Owl Workshops:

"Five days in temperatures between –5°C and –15°C plus a snow blizzard just to learn how to photograph Great Grey Owls in their own habitat in the snow! Was it worth crossing the Atlantic for? Yes, definitely – Chris Dodds is an excellent photographer and patient tutor.  From him I learnt lots about manual exposure, histograms, and composition with these owls as the subject.  I used a Canon 7D handheld with a Canon 100mm-400mm lens, and although this was not a pro-camera – like Chris’ and others in the group – I did not feel underpowered or even overwhelmed! Many thanks again Chris."

- Jo Latham Norfolk | UK

Le Nichoir Fundraiser ONLY LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE!

 

BUY TICKETS ONLINE HERE

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoir. 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 his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 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. 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!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

 

Sunday
Feb172013

Jobu Designs Canon 1DX L-Bracket announced

Great Grey Owl TWO STEP (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm F4 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,500s, f/4 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Well, I've lost track of time and think I'm about to leave for week number six or seven of my winter Snowy Owl photographic workshop safaris. Here's one from last week during an epic shoot in a field of fresh snow. Do note the exposure used reflects that is was cloudy and almost dark - Read more about Sunny 16 Rule from a prior blog enty.

New Jobu Designs 1DX L-Bracket

 
Jobu Designs has come up with a unique way of solving the mounting problems with the Pro size Canon camera bodies. The LB-C1DX is a two-piece L bracket with unique side-plate that only contours to the back of the camera, leaving lots of room out front for access to the battery and rubber covers. They have also integrated a unique magnetically captured hex wrench in the base plate. The tiny magnet will hold several pounds of steel, so the hex wrench is securely attached without rattling, yet it is still easy to remove. Shoot in portrait or landscape, or remove the side-arm easily and use just the base-plate if you want to save weight and space in your backpack. Proudly made of solid aircraft grade aluminum in Canada, it is compatible with most Arca-Swiss type clamps.


SAVE 15% OFF your purchase at the JOBU store and support this site just by using the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE.


Le Nichoir Photo Geek Christmas Party Fundraiser

BUY TICKETS ONLINE HERE

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoir. 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 his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 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. 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!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

If you would like to contribute door prizes for, or sponsor, this worthy cause, please email me (chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com) to discuss. It's a great way to have your product or brand mentioned in every blog post until the main event while helping an awesome cause!

Last year we raised over $2,500.00 and I am asking for your help to at least double that!

Sunday
Feb032013

Great Grey Owl CLOUDY BRIGHT EXPOSURE MAGIC

Great Grey Owl CLOSE ENOUGH? (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Ottawa, Ontario ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 500mm F4 L IS, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,500, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Snowy Winter Owl Workshops/safaris

I am having amazing times with my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops Safaris. Some amazing opportunities with Great Grey Owls this year! I have only two spots left from February 25 to March 1 this year, with only limited space left for next winter. Check it out HERE!

Cloudy bright f/5.6 rule

This is not magic - it's science! It is amazing to realize how few people have heard of the sunny 16 rule; some actually know the rule for sunny conditions, but few know what to do when it's not sunny. This is an easy way to set the correct exposure without even thinking about it with no meter and no fumbling! In cloudy conditions (when you no longer see your shadow), simply set your camera to f/5.6 and the shutter speed to the nearest to the reciprocal of the film speed (or an equivalent exposure). Take a look at the camera settings I chose for the image above, and see I used f/5.6, ISO 2,500 and 1/2,500s. Check-out my earlier post about the Sunny 16 Rule to get a better understanding and impress your photo buddies.

Canon 1DX Firmware update

Firmware Version 1.2.1 for the EOS-1D X incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

  • The function to disable the Image size selection button has been added.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which Err 70 and Err 80 may occur in very rare instances depending on the camera settings or shooting scene.

To download the latest firmware, visit Canon Canada EOS 1DX Driver page

Photo Geek Christmas Party in MARCH!

BUY TICKETS ONLINE HERE

Please do book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoire. 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 his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 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. 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!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

If you would like to contribute door prizes for, or sponsor, this worthy cause, please email me (chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com) to discuss. It's a great way to have your product or brand mentioned in every blog post until the main event while helping an awesome cause!

Last year we raised over $2,500.00 and I am asking for your help to at least double that!

Wednesday
May022012

Best of Texas Workshop Safari a Huge Success

Harris's Hawk  (Parabuteo unicinctus, Buse de Harris, HAHA) Martin Refuge, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKIII, 500mm F4 L IS,  & 1.4X Extender III. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 800, f/6.3 @1/2,500s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

I'm just in the door from the amazingly successful BEST OF TEXAS workshop/safari. The birds were spectacular and the participants were 100% repeat clients and great friends. What a trip! What fun! Here's just a few of the plethora of the images from the last two days we spent at the Martin Refuge in the Rio Grande Valley. The number of hawks and Crested Caracaras that came for our secret recipe offerings (a mix of chicken and various repulsive wild red meat leftovers from a taxidermist) was astounding!

I will be sharing more images of some of the other species photographed during the next few days, so stay tuned for more and be sure to sign-up early for next year's BEST OF TEXAS workshop/safari.

Harris's Hawk  LANDING (Parabuteo unicinctus, Buse de Harris, HAHA) Martin Refuge, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 500mm F4 L IS. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @1/1,600s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Harris's Hawk  Banking (Parabuteo unicinctus, Buse de Harris, HAHA) Martin Refuge, Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM @300mm. Jobu Jr. 3 (save 15% OFF use the coupon code "NATURE" at the Jobu website store checkout HERE) & tripod. ISO 2,500, f/5.6 @1/1,600s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION

Tuesday
Apr172012

Ospreys Galore Kudos

 OSPREY CATCH A GLIMPSE (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS-1D MKIV500mm F4 IS & 1.4X Extender III. ISO 800  f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Amongst the many great things about leading photo safaris and teaching workshops are the people I get to meet and spend time with. Geoff sent along this great note after the Ospreys Galore workshop/safari and I thought I would share it today with another couple of images from that trip - million thanks Geoff!

"Osprey safari: An incredible opportunity.

I recently attended the Osprey safari offered by Chris Dodds, and I was positively thrilled with the excursion. The people in our small group were fantastic.  The environment was magical. The photographic opportunities were amazing and abundant. Every part of the physical expedition was most impressive, but what I was really taken with was the panoply of knowledge Chris demonstrated throughout the trip. Whether identifying various birds dozens of yards away simply by call, or exuding masterful control over the camera, Chris was able to display his expertise and offer assistance when needed. Chris is very amiable and approachable. No matter what skill level a photographer has, Chris always made one feel important with his one on one attention and did so without any air of condescension. It was very much like shooting with great friends with your own personal tutor to turn to if needed. I can honestly say that both my skill level and knowledge base increased from my trip with Chris. Thanks again Chris."

- Geoff Powell Vero Beach | FL | USA http://www.artisticpx.com
OSPREY CATCH A GLIMPSE (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS-1D MKIV500mm F4 IS & 1.4X Extender III. ISO 800  f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.
Tuesday
Apr102012

Ospreys Galore Workshop a huge success

OSPREY FISH-ON (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV,  500mm F4 IS. ISO 1000, f/5.6 @ 1/2500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

I can't believe that it's been over a month since my last blog entry! Many thanks to all who wrote to check and see if I was okay.  Much like many things in life; the break was not a planned one. After moving House, home, studio and office on March 1, our washing machine sprung a leak and flooded our new basement. Nothing was lost or damaged, though it did look quite disastrous at first; I was to set-up computers, workstations, bookcases and studio equipment that day, so the floor was littered with books, computers and camera gear (thankfully, everything was still in the double walled boxes and their thick walls kept the water out long enough for rescue).  Renovations start tomorrow and the new ceiling, floor and walls should be finished in about a week.

A large part of my moving logistics was dedicated to making sure that my image files were not susceptible to loss during the move, and to ensure that I knew where every copy was at all times, and that multiple copies existed in multiple geographic locations in the event of theft, loss, or simply being submersed under water during a flood! I made four fresh copies of my entire collection and placed each into a small watertight & bombproof case before distributing them to four separate locations (all will remain top-secret). Do consider taking inventory of your image collection and making at least one copy that you can keep in your safety deposit box, at your parents or a friend's home in the event of a disaster.

My Ospreys Galore (and so much more) photography workshop/safari at the beginning of April was a huge success! We were blessed with a mix of weather which ranged from fog to spectacular golden light. The small group was amazing (50% were repeat clients), as was our Captain Kevin who usually captains cruise ships and did a spectacular job of following my instructions and keeping us at the right angle and in the very best spots - leaving me free to teach and photograph - thank-you Kevin! Watch-out for more images over the next few days and be sure to consider signing-up early for this one next year and avoid the planned price increase of $100.00:
Ospreys Galore & so much more April 5,6 & 7, 2013   

Tuesday
Jan172012

Ospreys Galore and so much more

OSPREY FISHERMAN (Pandion haliaetus, Balbuzard pêcheur, OSPR) Lake Blue Cypress, Florida. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS 1DMKIV,  500mm F4 IS. ISO 800, f/5.6 @ 1/2500s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Ospreys Galore and so much more Workshop

 

April 1-3, 2012 & April 4-6, 2012  - 5 Participants with Christopher Dodds and fully licensed USCG Captain

It's not too late to join-in on the fun photographing Ospreys on the Beautiful Lake Blue Cypress in Florida. Join me at one of THE most beautiful places in Florida for three action packed days of Osprey photography. Lake Blue Cypress in southern Osceola County (just 20 minutes from Vero Beach) is known for it's high Osprey density; More than 240 pairs of nesting Ospreys build their nests in the Cypress trees along it's shores and many of them are at eye level and accustomed to human activity and close approach.

Large, stable 24 foot pontoon boat to ensure freedom of movement and excellent photography opportunities without being bothered by any space restrictions during our daily 4 hour morning light photography cruise. New this year is a US Coast Guard licensed sea captain to ensure our safety, and get us into the very best possible positions to photograph the many Ospreys.

Land-based afternoon photography sessions at some of the best hot-spots in Florida with exceptional access, diverse species and action packed, card filling photo fun!

Huge telephoto lenses are not required for this one; in 2011, I made many of my favourite images with Canon's 70-300mm zoom lens.

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.

REGISTER HERE

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