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 found Chris via the strong images on his web site.
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
Gannets Galore: A recent trip to the gannet colony on the Gaspe’s Ile Bonaventure with Chris Dodds proved to be all that I could have hoped for. The colony is large, active and readily accessible, Chris’ familiarity with the birds and how they would react to the frequent changes in weather and wind direction gave us access to some pretty unique shooting opportunities, and his knowledge of the area and personal connections within the local community allowed us to get to the island when construction on the town’s only pier could easily have prevented us from getting there. This, combined with Chris’ almost unique ability to teach the principles of photography at the simplest and most complex levels, made this a trip that should not be missed.
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado, USA
Chris’ skills go far beyond photography. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him! Sure, he is able to provide advice on lensing, and framing and exposure, but his lectures go far beyond this. His knowledge of wildlife is encyclopedic! He teaches you how to observe and reposition in anticipation of that next great shot. And when it comes to tweaking your photos, his mastery of colour, light and texture truly becomes evident. If you can, take one of his lectures or wilderness photography courses. It will help up your game!
Graham Peddie Product Strategist, Canon Canada Inc.
Chris Dodds is one of best teachers of photography and wildlife habits I have ever had the pleasure to be around
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
Bonaventure Island GANNETS GALORE with Christopher Dodds (June 2013). This location and subject matter was challenging, photographically superb, and an outstanding learning opportunity. I’ve been on several tours similar to this format — a well-known photographer, great location, and variable learning opportunities.
Christopher is by far the best at teaching the fundamentals of photography such as achieving correct exposure using manual settings, introducing the best locations for photography, and giving honest feedback in a non threatening manner. He was willing to repeat technical instructions and show me how to use the techniques he discussed. Furthermore he took the additional step of being ‘present’ when needed for information and facilitated my getting the most out of this wonderful location. I recommend Christopher Dodds without reservation - the very best.
Dwight Tomes Grimes, Iowa, USA
I recently had the pleasure to join Chris on one of his Gannets Galore workshops on Bonaventure Island, and it is very quickly obvious why this trip is a favourite among many photographers. Reading the many glowing testimonials really did not prepare me for how amazing the experience is - truly a spectacle of nature. The photo opportunities abound, and with over 20 years experience there, Chris knows where to be, and when. And should you need help or guidance with settings, etc. he is a patient and informed instructor. Most important to me, his experience with the local businesses and park service is amazing, which help to make sure that your time spent there is a great on. A perfect example of this relationship he has built arose when there was the potential that we might not be able to make it to the island one day to circumstances beyond his control (government closing the pier that anyone going to the island for construction work) and Chris was not only able to make alternate arrangements with the ferry service to bring the group out, but also was able to make arrangements for the park service to be on the island as well so that we wouldn't lose a day of shooting on the island.
Without a doubt, Chris is one of the best out there, and I hope to be able to join him on another workshop soon.
Christopher Ciccone Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
Thanks again for a great workshop. The gannets were awesome and I am really, really happy with my pictures. You did a great job of making sure everything went smoothly and I appreciated your help with camera settings, techniques, etc. I had high expectations going into the workshop and I can honesty say that my expectations were exceeded and then some.
Ian Nicholson Fredericton, NB, Canada
I had a wonderful time on your Northern Gannet workshop on Bonaventure Island. I only wish I could go back now, knowing what I learned from you and using it to produce even better and memorable images. You were an inspiration and very patient with me. It has whet my appetite for more and I'm thinking of your Texas workshop next.
I especially like the way you showed respect for the gannets and the park in general. I haven't stopped talking about my experience and the not-so-difficult climb to the colony, about the zodiac on the sea, about the Kawasaki mule taking our gear up so we didn't have to, about the beauty of Perce, about our leader; a kind and expert photographer.
John L. Block Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada
Just a note to thank you for a great Bonaventure Island workshop. There certainly were Gannets Galore as promised. What a fun trip! I really enjoyed shooting from the Zodiac on the water. The diving Northern Gannets with the amazing chocolate coloured reflections, the beautiful golden cliffs with nesting birds…. all breathtaking. The best part for me however was on the island, where I had the opportunity to shoot Gannet after Gannet in flight, taking off, landing and showing so many behaviours. I was able to dramatically improve my flight shooting skills on the trip. I would recommend this trip to anyone who would like to improve their flight shooting skills. Of course I came back with wonderful photographs. Thanks for all you taught including the proper use of balanced and fill flash. What a great trip! Thanks again. I'm sure I will be traveling with you in the future.
Michael Gotthelf Fithburg, Massachusetts, USA
I just wanted to thank you for the time we spent with you on your Snowy Winter Owl Workshop. I felt that I really learned a great deal that will be of benefit to me in the future. I was extremely pleased with my photographs and look forward to seeing you again. You pushed me outside my comfort zone in exposure and that elevated my images to a higher level!
James Whittle Great Falls, Montana, USA
I also raised my birds in flight shooting skills to a new level thanks to your extensive professional guidance
Chris, Thank you for an amazing experience during your Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island. We have spend 4 days shooting Northern Gannets on Bonaventure Island and not only I came out with some amazing results, but I also raised my birds in flight shooting skills to a new level thanks to your extensive professional guidance and nonstop shooting opportunities.
Uri First Ramat-Hasharon, Israel
Talking to Chris before I signed-up for his famous owl workshop safari, he mentioned he has had many customers attend more than one workshop. Now I understand why. We had a small group, so there was plenty of time to really talk about many things and make sure everyone understood everything. I’ve spent so much money and time on gear, books and “camera user guides”, but I still didn’t really understand the basic fundamental of exposure theory. Before I left, I anticipated learning how to properly expose for snow, etc. If you had dropped me off in front of one of the owls, I would not have been able to get the shots I wanted exposed properly. What I didn’t realize was that I would finally learn how to evaluate the scene and determine the correct exposure, whatever the subject, situation, scene or light level. Now I finally have the answers to so many questions ... I finally understand exposure theory! I’m from Alabama, so an unexpected treat was to learn how to deal with the cold temperatures. It got down to -9° F while we were there. As a testimonial, I most definitely plan to attend another workshop with Chris. Now I’ve just got to decide where I want to go.
Rhett Gibson Auburn, Alabama, USA
This was our fourth Owl Safari with Chris Dodds and as usual he exceeded all our expectations! We know that nature photography is dependent on the presence of birds and over the years we’ve had a varied diet of owls. This year the great greys were epic! As usual Chris controlled the site (made sure we didn’t stress the birds, trample all over the snow), made sure we all had great vantage points and by his continual checking of our techniques and gentle suggestions we got the best pictures we’ve ever taken. Each time we go out with him (and this was our 13th trip) we learn something new and eliminate some of the not-so-good habits we have picked up on the way. However the greatest advantage his trips have for us is that he customizes them to our physical abilities. We are getting pretty long in the tooth and are not as nimble as we were at 65, slower in walking, carrying our equipment and setting up. We have suffered on other workshops with other leaders by being the last to arrive at the shoot, the last to set up and subsequently the worst spot for photographing the birds. Chris scouts ahead but when at last we get there he makes sure the other photographers change positions and wait until we have got our pictures before moving on. Chris also knows how strenuous these workshops are and insists that we take time out to rest or nap. If we miss anything, and it does not happen often on a 5 day trip, he will do his utmost to ensure we have the same opportunity again. And finally, if we tell him we would like to photograph a specific bird, he will find the best places to photograph it, bearing in mind that we don’t do long boat trips or hot weather, customize a special trip for us maybe with one other person, and then offer this trip as workshop the next year. We both think he is the best bird photographer we have been out with, the best teacher, the most fun, and the most patient at dealing with all our quirks! We will continue going on his safaris until our health gives out.
Gill Arden & Bob Zarnke Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Dodds a few weeks ago in Florida when I signed up for his Osprey workshop. The sign up process and pre workshop communication was excellent and concise. I must admit that as I drove over from Tampa to the hotel I was a bit uneasy after looking at Chris's images wondering if he was approachable, patient, and a good teacher with someone like me who didn't have a lot of experience shooting wildlife before. We met in the hotel lobby , chatted for 30 minutes or so and thankfully Chris put my concerns to rest. I went to bed that night knowing that the next few days would be an adventure.
I can honestly say that Chris Dodd's workshop for Ospreys far exceeded my expectations. Chris is a great guy, very happy to answer your questions and the best thing of all, fun to shoot with. I learned a lot, met a new friend and best of all was blown away at the quality of my images because of Chris's help/techniques. I cannot wait to meet Chris somewhere else in the wild and experience another awesome outdoor shooting experience. Thank you Chris, I hope to see you again soon!
Mark Weaver Tampa, Florida, USA
I recently joined Chris on his Ospreys Galore Photo Safari and Expedition. This was actually the second year in a row that I have joined Chris for this photo safari. Including myself, there were three repeat clients for this experience. All three repeat clients are from Florida. I have a chance to photograph ospreys year round but I have found this to be THE BEST EXPERIENCE to photograph ospreys in their natural environment. I agree with Chris that Lake Blue Cypress is one of the most beautiful places in Florida. The lake is surrounded by land that is designated as conservation land. That means no development and pristine environment around the lake. Cypress trees ring the lake and I have never seen as many ospreys in one place.
One of the things I particularly like about being with Chris is his genuine concern for the safety and well being of his clients. On this last trip we had some weather passing through the area. Chris delayed going out in the pontoon boat until the stronger weather had passed. He also talked about the possibility of rain showers and made sure everyone was prepared even though it did not rain on us while we were out. Chris’ knowledge and expertise was evident in getting us close to the ospreys. Most of my images taken during the three days were taken at less than 300mm. I was able to get in-flight and very close up images hand holding a 500mm lens, but most of my images were taken with a 70-200mm lens with a 2X extender. I didn’t need the big lens to get very good images. While we were all shooting Chris would be keeping an eye out for all of us. He tailored his field instruction for each individual. His insight into the latest thinking on shutter speeds with DSLRs was especially invaluable to getting crisp images. Chris even shared his camera equipment with people to give them some experience with the latest equipment. I have joined Chris on several trips and look forward to future adventures with him.
Jim Boland Titusville, Florida, USA
I recently attended the snowy owls workshop with Christopher Dodds and had an amazing experience. Not only was I extremely impressed with Chris' knowledge and expertise in photography but also how he really cared about the shots we got. He made sure that everyone in the groups had the shots they wanted and that we all experienced success. His knowledge of cameras and photography is phenomenal. I have never met anyone who is a knowledgeable in photography as he is. He was able to answer any and every question and always explained the reasons behind his recommendations to make sure we learned as much as possible. The instruction didn't stop after shooting in the field. I learned so much in the Photoshop and Nik Software post-processing session that took my photography to a whole other level. The small group atmosphere was great as we were able to blend in with nature ensuring that the owls and other wildlife were not disturbed resulting in great shots every time. Chris made sure each of us were able to develop our skills at our own pace. The experience and the results were more that I could have asked for. I would definitely recommend Christopher Dodds workshops to anyone who is looking to improve their photography skills and learn from a real pro.
Fred Lemire Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
John Abbott College Casgrain Theatre - “A benefit ‘performance’ in support of Le Nichoir”
If you were not at the Casgrain Theatre of Cegep John Abbott College on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 then you missed a unique opportunity to spend an evening with Mr. Christopher Dodds. He is an inaugural member of the Canon Northern Explorer of Light and elite X-Rite Coloratti initiatives. He is a full-time freelance nature and wildlife photographer, nature photography workshop & safari leader/instructor, photography educator, blogger and lecturer.
Chris generously dedicated his time and shared his “Canon” of knowledge in support of Le Nichoir, the renowned wild bird rehabilitation centre based in Hudson, Québec. Every year Le Nichoir rehabilitates up to as many as 1700 North American birds and relies heavily upon monetary donations and an avid army of volunteers.
This benefit evening, hosted by the Theatre Department and John Abbott College was the second such benefit evening donated by Chris Dodds, but was the first with John Abbott’s contribution. The 200 or so audience members who attended were privy to a 3-hour spectacular soiree. Chris animated an evening which included countless examples of his diverse wildlife photography; polar bears at James Bay, grizzlies in Alaska, lions in Africa, great grey owls in Gatineau, blue herons, ospreys, hawks, clown faced puffins, geese, terns and gulls to name but a few. Exquisite examples of mammals and birds were beautifully shot in a myriad of diverse landscapes in weather ranging from blinding blizzards to searing desert dust storms. Chris spoke about the challenges of his work with very amusing anecdotal tales of some of the difficulties of being a professional wildlife photographer. He explained his photographic techniques, sharing his knowledge of cameras, lenses, f-Stops, film speeds, shutter speeds, exposure, depth of field, sharp and soft focus, white balance and histograms.
He had impromptu camera fact quizzes, rewarding people who had answered correctly by hurling wool tuques at them. In addition to the tuques, Chris had generously gifted photography accessories to the benefit raffle and hosted the draw mid-way through the evening’s activities.
Was the evening a workshop? A seminar? A lecture? A show and tell? Or a fascinating combination of all? It’s hard to say, but what is not hard to say that it was excellent and that Chris is a world class wildlife photographer, an avid wildlife enthusiast and that he is profoundly committed to his art and craft. Above all he is exceptionally generous of spirit and time and Le Nichoir’s meagre revenues have benefitted greatly because of his benevolence.
Thank you to the Theatre Department and John Abbott College, and thank you to the tireless efforts of Le Nichoir, but most of all thank you Christopher Dodds for your exceptional accomplishments and boundless generosity.
Christopher Brown Chair Department of Theatre and Music John Abbott College
I was one of the attendants at last Saturdays (Mar. 9/13) Le Nichoir Fundraising event. Your presentation was all I expected and much much more. As a nature photographer myself and a long time Lakeshore Camera Club member, I witnessed suburb photography by you. The accompanying anecdotes and photo technical comments added a very personal note to it all. Your photographs of the presented subjects are outstanding, technically and visually superb. My Granddaughter had asked me if she could come along and so she did. She said to me, that this was a wonderful evening. For a 20 year old (who could spend a Saturday evening otherwise) it is definitely quite a compliment. I am looking forward in perusing your website and reading your blogs. Thank you very much and good luck.
Hans J. Kandert Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I just returned from the Winter Snowy Owls photo tour. I had a fantastic time, and came away with great images. Chris proved himself to be indefatigable trip leader; he worked above and beyond to give us the best experience possible. For example, one morning we had car trouble (frozen hand brake cable), and within minutes he had rented a replacement car, transferred our gear and we were on site right on time. It was clear that the extra expense of the rental was not the slightest concern, he was just focused on getting us on the birds. This being a nature trip, there are some things beyond his control. Despite concerted effort, we could not locate some of our target species. We more than made up for it with thousands of wonderful images of Great Gray Owls, which I will treasure forever. I would go back out with Chris in a heartbeat. If you have an interest in photography in the areas he covers, he is your man.
Jack Stephens Edmonds, Washington, USA