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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds is a patient & skilled teacher

Being a female on my first photo safari, I had some apprehensions before joining Chris on his acclaimed Winter Snowy Owl Safari.  I worried about safety, that I wasn't a good enough photographer for someone with Chris's acclaim, and that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the group on treks. My fears subsided on Day One, and I knew this would be a week I would never forget.  With the small group size, Chris was able to give each member the level of instruction they needed.  Beyond having great opportunities for owl pictures, I learned helpful things about owl behaviour, owl spotting techniques, operating the camera, processing images,  best clothing and gear for winter, and things like the "Dodds duffel toss" that help prevent injuries while putting my camera backpack on.
Chris has an extensive knowledge of exposure theory. He is a patient teacher, skilled in helping his participants gain a deep understanding of this critical element of photography. He demonstrated why it is important to capture as much detail as possible for the best possible print, then showed us how to accomplish it. During the week of ever changing light, he kept checking our work to make sure we were getting the best possible results.
I usually learn from books and enjoy photography as a solitary pursuit, but I enjoyed the camaraderie of this group experience and received many tips on world travel. The photo safari gave me time to immerse myself in photography and nature.  I'm already planning my next safari with Chris.

Karen Miller Pennsylvania, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds Workshops now on my "A" list!

My criteria for signing up for a photo workshop are:  the opportunity to get some very strong images, to learn new things related to capture, post processing, & animal behavior and to have an enjoyable experience.
Your recent owl workshop met these criteria in spades thanks to your expertise, knowledge, & leadership. You did everything humanly possible to make the workshop as successful as possible for your clients.

I have been on many photo workshops.  Yours are now on my short "A" list which means i shall be a repeat client beyond the puffin photo workshop this July. Thank you again for the outstanding owl workshop.

Carl Zanoni Connecticut, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds is an excellent photographer and patient tutor

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

Monday
May272013

I can honestly say that both my skill level and knowledge base increased from my trip with Chris Dodds

Your Osprey photo safari was 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, Florida, USA

Monday
May272013

I feel fortunate to have had the experience of learning from one of THE BEST. I learned a TON!

Hi Chris, Great trip, EH!!

 Seriously, I want to thank you for a wonderful week. Great company, wonderful opportunities on the Snowy Owls during the owl workshop and lots of fun.

 I have been on quite a few photo workshops, and what sets yours apart (aside from the fun), is your knowledge of the natural history of the subjects, and your encyclopedic knowledge of nature photography and photography in general. You seemed to know what the Owls would do before they did, and thus we got great shots. 

I profited as much from the down time between shots as from the shooting time.  What was so helpful to me was that I not only learned your recommendations for settings, but the why, in detail. You have a depth of knowledge such that when I challenged assumptions (which is natural for me as a physician), there was always a firm explanation leading back to a scientific or photographic principle. As a result I understand exactly why I am using that particular technique, and am completely comfortable with it. I learned a ton!!! The focus was always on us getting the shots (after the welfare of the wildlife), on learning, and thirdly on fun. 

I would go on another workshop with you in a minute, because no matter where it was I know I would learn something.

 I really appreciate your scientific approach to photography, your having researched and tested your choices! 


I feel fortunate to have had the experience of learning from one of THE BEST.  Thanks for a great week. 

Until the next workshop.

Mike Gotthelf Fitchburg, Massachusetts, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds has an ability to explain complex subjects in an easy and understandable way

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, Florida, USA

Monday
May272013

I have never seen a crowd so awed and moved!

Your talk yesterday evening in Hudson was amazing!  I belong to the Montreal Camera Club 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, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

This workshop was a 10+ without a doubt

In September, I attended Christopher Dodds’ “Gannets Galore” workshop in Perce, Quebec, Canada. I have attended many wildlife photo workshops over the years and this workshop was a 10+ without a doubt. The trip was exactly as he described on his web site; no overpromising and under delivering.

Chris provided access to a colony of 63,000 nesting pairs of Northern Gannets (and at least as many non-breeding birds) and his relationships with the local park staff allowed us to get to locations in the park that were closed to the public.  Throughout the trip he was cheerful, very well organized and took care of all  those details (and this was a complicated location) that can ruin an experience..  I was able to concentrate on what I came to do…..photography. 

As a professional photographer I know my field, but it is a major bonus to find someone who can provide instruction to me.  My flight shots improved dramatically!  Chris has an uncanny understanding of composition and light and presented me with many opportunities to test my skills.  He understands creativity in photography as well as being a technical master. This trip was perfect for a beginner or a professional and he gives as much instruction and guidance as you need without arrogance, attitude or making you feel too shy to ask.  I would encourage any photographer, no matter what level,  to sign up for Chris' workshops."

Terry Turrentine San Francisco, California USA

Monday
May272013

An incredible experience for me

I want to thank you for a great "Gannets Galore" workshop. The Gannets and Bonaventure Island were an incredible experience for me. The workshop was enhanced by your knowledge of the birds behavior and great relationship with the officials on the Island gained over more than 25 years. It's incredible that you are able to recognize individual birds, remember their nesting sites, and predict their behavior so well. I felt that I had made a wise decision when I decided to experience Bonaventure with you.

The highlight of the shoot was the early morning Zodiac trips. I've always been fascinated by Gannets diving for food and experiencing it from the boat, so close to them, was something I'll never forget. In addition the photography from the Zodiac was great.

I'm in the process of editing the thousands of images I photographed. I appreciate your expert advice on how I should improve my photography. Your technical grasp of digital photography and the toys used to create it was another benefit of doing this workshop with you.... Best regards, Shelly

Sheldon "Shelly" Goldstein Boynton Beach, Florida, USA

Monday
May272013

Everything about your day on this workshop is special

I recently went on the Gannets Galore workshop with Chris.... It has been 3 weeks now and I still can not come up the the words to describe this experience. The world Chris takes you to defies description. The colony is beyond words. Everything about your day on this workshop is special. This is a trip of a lifetime for anyone who loves birds. Chris runs his workshop so all you have to do is show up at the appointed time and shoot for 10 hours, every detail beyond that is taken care of. The Day is spent with no other care than to photograph beautiful gannets, whales, murres, razorbills, kittiwakes, seals, and he threw in 2 bald eagles for good measure. I had so many great shots when I returned home that I still can not believe it. My birds in flight technique improved 100 percent. Chris gives you as much or as little instruction as you want. He even let me shoot a couple of cards in his camera with his lens. All I can say is, if you love birds, and want to see gannets, I don't believe you can do any better than a Chris Dodds workshop.

Carole Wiley Torrington, Connecticut, USA

Monday
May272013

Thanks to your help and individual attention I was able to figure out some issues that would have taken me a long time to solve on my own

Thank you for the wonderful day I spent with you on Saturday photographing the snow geese. Thanks to your help and individual attention I was able to figure out some issues that would have taken me a long time to solve  on my own. Your tips on memory cards and how to keep the dust out of my lens when in Africa were things I’d never thought of. I look forward to doing another workshop with you and wish you all the best. Once again, thank you for a great day.

Wendy Altona Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

I thoroughly enjoyed your expertise and advise on how to take breathtaking photos

Chris, I can't thank you enough for this most inspiring weekend photographing wild snow geese. I thoroughly enjoyed your expertise and advise on how to take breathtaking photos. After quickly reviewing 2,000 photos I'm proud to say that close to 200 will be keepers. At least 3 or 4 of the really interesting ones actually had their beaks open. Also I'd like to thank you for the use of the 800mm lens and Mark IV; by day 2 I got the hang of using it and some of the close-ups are outstanding." 

George Liberman Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

A fantastic experience for me in many aspects

Hi Chris. The September Moose and Fall Colors Photo Workshop has been a fantastic experience for me in many aspects. I want to thank you warmly for everything you have done for me, not only with respect to photography but in every respect, such as wildlife and nature, the English language, travel tips, etc. You never hesitated to share your knowledge with the group in general and with me in particular. You amazed me more than one time with your wide array of knowledge. Furthermore, you have been a very pleasant companion all along. I would not hesitate to book another workshop with you, which I intend to do later, depending on my budget and schedule possibilities. I already told you that you are a real gentleman, and I just want to tell you again.

Serge Gagné L’Île-Bizard, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

One of the top photo trips I have taken

The trip with Chris on the Yacht along the Katmai coast was fantastic.  Without a doubt it was one of the top photo trips I have taken over the last several years due to the amazing variety and density of wildlife in such completely unspoiled and uninhabited wilderness.  Unlike land based lodges, with the Yacht you have the opportunity to photograph in several of Katmai's secluded bays versus being limited to an area adjacent to a land-based lodge.  What helped make the trip so successful was Chris's work ethic where he is always ready to shoot in any weather conditions and will stay in the field as long as there is any possibility for high quality photography.  This is essential in a place like coastal Alaska where it can go from direct sunny conditions to heavy overcast to rain in the blink of an eye and where the sun doesn't set until the late evening.  If the best time to photograph Brown Bears chasing down salmon was after 10:00PM, you bet we'd be on the river bank waiting on the massive Brown Bear boars to make their spectacular runs--photography is top priority after safety of course.  The daily great fresh seafood didn't exactly hurt the trip either.

As I write this I've only a little over two weeks removed from returning from Katmai and I'm still having serious withdrawals--right now I really want to be on the Yacht's skiff heading to shore to photograph more bears, eagles, and wolves.

Steve Metildi Southern California, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris is a terrific person, and a great teacher

I fell in love with Northern Gannets when I saw them fishing off the north coast of Florida many years ago during migration.  What beautiful birds!
 Researching where to see them best included Bonaventure Island in Quebec, Canada.  When I saw Chris Dodds' photos I was smitten.  The workshop experience was far better.  Chris is a terrific person, and a great teacher.  Eastern Quebec is charming and Chris knows all the folks and all the ropes to get the photographer to the best sites for shooting both on the island and on the waters surrounding the island.  The birds and their behavior are unquestionably amazing to observe and record.  Chris shared his strategies and shooting techniques freely.  He is laid back and we who attended his photo-op had the very best time. I was pleased to have learned more about flight photography with this experience.  If you have the opportunity and are interested in bird(flight) photography, this is a best experience.

Paul Herd Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Monday
May272013

Many thanks to Chris Dodds for a wonderful and exciting photography experience

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

Monday
May272013

You lead an outstanding tour

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for an amazing trip to Bonaventure Island. I especially enjoyed shooting from the zodiac for all kinds of great shots. You lead an outstanding tour, and I would certainly consider future trips with you. I can tell that you could be of great help as I finish off my wish list of species for the new waterbirds book, as you know many of the key spots for specific species and behavior. I also have a lot to learn about the digital process, and you are gifted in this area. Many thanks my friend!

Middleton Evans  Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Monday
May272013

Your low key approach and readily available technical knowledge really helped me to focus on what it was I wanted

My thanks Chris for introducing me to the tremendous experience (both visual and olfactory) offered by not only the Gannet colony on Bonaventure Island but also by the Gaspe peninsula during your amazing Bonaventure Island workshopYour low key approach and readily available technical knowledge really helped me to focus on what it was I wanted to do and maximize my chance of getting the pictures that I wanted.  Standing in a zodiac on the rolling ocean watching you photograph flying seabirds using a hand held 800mm lens pushed me to believe I could actually do the same using a 420mm lens......and the resulting photos show that it can be done!  My 6 and 3 year old children cannot thank you enough for the endless slide shows I now make them endure.

Ron Kellner  Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Monday
May272013

We have been on many photo tours and yours was one of the best!

Pat and I had a great time on your recent Gannets Galore photo tourWe have been on many photo tours and yours was one of the best.  We have never seen so many excellent photo opportunities.  Even the 5 AM Zodiac trip around the island offered great opportunities.  The small size of the group, 6 photographers, added to our enjoyment since you were able to spend considerable time with each of us.  Your tips on using manual camera settings were excellent.  I now use manual settings for virtually every photograph, flight or static. Thanks again for a truly outstanding photographic experience.   

Stokes Fishburne  Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Monday
May272013

I really appreciated your patient, attentive instruction

Thanks for a great Gannet workshop.  I got some great shots, learned some new things and met some terrific people.  You and Julie were perfect hosts.  I really appreciated your patient, attentive instruction........

 Amanda Reed   
Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA