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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in instructional (14)

Monday
Oct242016

one of those life experiences that will stay with me forever

The four days and three nights on the I'ile aux Perroquets (Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop) will go down in my mind as one of those life experiences that will stay with me forever.  That isle is a very special place. You did an incredible job.  I was thinking about you on the trip back.  What does it take to be a top notch photographer as well as a gentlemanly guide, teacher, chaperone, and friend?  You have a unique set of skills that somehow pull off the attributes necessary.  Each and every one of us that left that island felt as though we had made a personal connection with you.  That is no easy task.  Must be a Canadian thing!  Keep doing what you're doing.  A very sincere "thank you" to you.  This trip exceeded all expectations.

- Paul Treseler Massachusetts | USA

Thursday
Oct292015

Chris is an amazing photographer who taught our group to use manual setting and fully explain the technical aspects of our cameras

I'm happy to say I survived  Africa and now I survived the bitter cold and wind of Ontario. Once I saw the movie the "Big Year"  the Snowy Owl went to the top of my bucket list. There was only one photographer who combined excellence and instruction that I wanted to help me achieve capturing the Snowy Owl; Chris Dodds. Chris is an amazing photographer who taught our group to use manual setting and fully explain the technical aspects of our cameras(we were all Nikon users & Chris is a Canon guy). Chris made sure we were all in the position to capture a great image and he constantly was helping us and reviewing our skill set and lack of skill set. I was able to get a lot of great images and fully understand photography at a professional level. I am now a better photographer.. His preparation for his workshop was the best I have been part of. The small group workshop allowed Chris to spend individual time with each of us and that was the real bonus. If you want to capture great images and learn from a master photographer there is no one better in my opinion. The workshop and the accommodations were great. I look forward to my next outing with Chris.


Carl Bilancione (Survivor Africa contestant) Winter Park, Florida

Thursday
Oct292015

I highly recommend Christopher Dodds

Being a novice photographer, I initially hesitated to sign up for a class with a professional wildlife photographer. I'm glad I overcame my apprehension; Chris is incredibly approachable and his workshop was immensely productive and, more importantly, a blast.

My photos improved more during the Ospreys Galore workshop than they have for years. And I'd be remiss if I didn't give proper credit to Chris;

1. With his extensive knowledge of the shooting location, he positioned us where the subjects, light, and background were best

2. With his "whisperer-like" ability to predict the subjects' next move, we were ready to catch the action, and

3. With his succinct technical recommendations, we were able to get better captures in the field and then polish the end product in post-production.

After witnessing how Chris operates his workshops (particularly how much he genuinely cares about the satisfaction of his participants) not only would I highly recommend him, but I am looking forward to joining him on more and more of his trips.

Carlos Carreño Miami, Florida, USA

Monday
May272013

The Shoot of a Lifetime!

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

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

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

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

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

We had a phenomenal time

Thank you so much for wonderful time we had in Homer, AK during your Eagles of Homer Workshop. Both Rick and I are so excited about learning "M" (manual). We have attended several other photo workshops lead by others but did not learn as much as we did in the 6 days under your guidance in Homer. We came home with some outstanding photos, so many more than we thought possible. We had a phenomenal time and hope to do another workshop with you in the near future.

Melody & Rick Curtis Flower Mound, Texas, USA

Monday
May272013

You are an excellent professor of the art

Now in September, with the images of our Northern Gannet workshop processed and filed, I want to thank you for your outstanding planning and execution of the our adventure/trek/shoot on Bonaventure Island this summer. It was a pleasure to be your customer/client.
 Your execution provided an experience to make it one of the two best that I have been a part of in my many years of summer shoots. Given the uncertainties of rain, tides, winds, and clouds, you exploited so well every opportunity that came our way. On these trips the purpose is to get good looks at the birds. The some 3,100 exposures that I came home with were solid evidence that I got the looks at this magnificent gannet I was hoping for ---I netted many quality images. Good stuff now in the files. 
Our housing was just what we want: accessible, comfortable, clean and a good buy. The schedule was chock full, we did not have avoidable down minutes, and we squeezed all of the looks available to us out of the time and conditions available. The access to an ATV to tote our gear from the dock to the colony, for a guy of my age, was a real plus and that comes about only with your obvious advance work and solid relationships with the park folks.
 The trip on the water to the far side of the island was a highlight for me and shows best your foresight and planning to get us in not otherwise available, shooting positions. That was unique time, extraordinary. 
But most of all, Chris, your ever-present availability to be immediately responsive to our technical photographic and logistical questions makes this trip so exceptional. So many of the shoot producers put themselves above and before the client-photographer and are spending more time getting their own shots or just not being around when you need their advice. You stay available to provide professional guidance to the guys and gals paying for the experience. I observed that no question is too mundane; you patiently helped the rookies, just as you did the most advanced. Personally, I improved my techniques and banked a good range of knowledge, thanks to you. 


My summary: You are an excellent professor of the art, a solid expedition planner, a constant steward of the details, and a good guy with whom to spend days on a trek. 
I'm very interested in getting some Spring/nesting shots of that Atlantic Puffin. If you put together such a trip, please let me know. 
I look forward to another shoot with the unique Dodds' touch. 
Continued success to you, with all best wishes,

Andy Hays Chicago, Illinois, USA

Monday
May272013

I found the workshop very educational

I want to thank you for the photography workshop you led to Ile Bonaventure, an area of Canada I probably would have never visited and for the opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of the other photographers that attended. I found the workshop very educational. It catered to all levels of photographers. You managed to spend quality time with everyone helping us learn from your experiences as a bird photographer. I learned how to properly use my handheld light meter, how to improve my flash photography and that you can shoot in rain and fog with excellent results. Once we got inside you had a very interesting guest speaker and on the other nights during the Photoshop tutorials, you changed me from a lazy user to a more skilled user without taking up much more time on the computer. The accommodations you arranged and your dining suggestions were wonderful. Overall I would say that I would be happy to attend your workshops whenever I get a chance to do so.
Keep up the good work. 


John Zimmerman (President Montreal Camera Club) Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds photographic knowledge was immense and his instruction was never intimidating

My wife Marla and I attended Chris Dodds' Gannets Galore photo workshop on Bonaventure Island, Quebec in August. We both found it a tremendous advancement for our photographic skills and vision. We felt Chris’ knowledge of both the wildlife and the area was supreme, always looking for the perfect spot and technique to make better images. His photographic knowledge was immense and his instruction was never intimidating.
 Always cheerful, Chris kept a constant vigil to satisfy the group as well as providing personal attention along the way. I don’t believe anyone felt shorted either way. He put us in front of so many unique situations. As a result, my wife (even with an awkward arm cast) and I shot the most remarkable nature photos of our lives.
 The workshop was intense but the atmosphere was always kind, low-key and generous. At the end of the last day, we felt we had witnessed one of the great places on earth, accomplished something remarkable photographically and gained a friend in the process. Well done, Chris.

Jeff Moore Arlington Heights, Illinois , USA