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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in Photo (29)

Monday
Nov092015

Chris Dodds knows how to do a workshop

Chris Dodds knows how to do a workshop!


I had the pleasure of attending Chris' Snowy Owl Workshop this past January. To be honest, I did not know much about Chris before the trip. All I knew was the quality of his images on his website and that I wanted Snowy owl pictures. Needless to say, Chris met and exceeded my expectations. He goes over and above to get you in the right place at the right time to capture the best images possible. Having been on numerous workshops around the world with various leaders, I can say Chris worked harder than most..... He also made sure that we were in position to get a variety of images and not just 1000 photos of the same animal behavior. Chris knows his birds and what they are going to do next (as much as humanly possible). He teaches in a way that things make sense. I was getting frustrated with my photography before this trip. I was able to get great shots before the workshop but felt that the percentage of great shots to missed shots needed to be better. Chris explained ways to change a few of my bad habits in a way that no one else ever did. I have tried manual exposure in the past but never got comfortable with it but after a day or two with Chris it clicked in my mind and my images improved and percentage of keepers went up.
If you get a chance to go on a workshop with Chris I would highly recommend it. I know I will again.


Rick Susi  Orlando, FL, 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

Friday
Oct162015

He is dedicated to doing everything he can to make sure you come home with lots of amazing photographs!

There are a lot of photographers to choose from when deciding to take a workshop.  I had come across Christopher Dodds Photography on Facebook and really like his photographs.  I read about Chris’s workshops.  They all sounded well organized and he has years of experience going to various places.

I love Alaska and had been dreaming of taking an Eagle photography workshop and decided to sign up with Chris.  I am so glad I chose Chris for a lot of reasons.  The workshop was very well organized.  Chris provides the attendees with a list of suggested clothing to be sure you are comfortable in the Alaskan winter weather.  He provided us with a list of suggested equipment so that we knew exactly what was needed to get the kind of photos posted on his workshop page.  The group was limited to 5 attendees, so we each had ample opportunity to get feedback and suggestions from Chris. Chris is extremely knowledgable about Kachemak Bay and knows where to go to get the best shots depending on the wind and the weather, and whether there is sun or snow.  Chris uses the same boat and captain for this workshop, so the captain knows exactly what Chris wants to do and how to get us into those best areas…. Chris believes in safety above all else, but snow, sleet and rain did not keep us from going out.  In fact, it made for some great photos depicting the Alaskan winter eagle environment.  It was an amazing trip and I got a lot of great photos and learned so much!  I would definitely choose Chris for another birding workshop as he is dedicated to doing everything he can to make sure you come home with lots of amazing photographs!   Thanks, Chris, for a fantastic workshop and wonderful adventure!


 Jessica Duke Eagle Nest, NM, USA

Wednesday
Oct142015

In spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I am a better photographer for having joined the workshop

I’ve long been wary about joining a workshop with a “big name” pro.  I’ve heard (and witnessed) a litany of workshop horrors, ranging from egomaniac leaders to unwieldy, unhappy groups.  Plus, as a professional photographer, I did not think that I would learn much from a workshop.  Indeed, I teach photography and postproduction.

Chris Dodds’ Eagles Galore workshop changed my mind.   Although he is a supremely talented photographer, Chris is approachable and friendly, and he works tirelessly to make sure that everyone in the group has a fantastic experience.  He limits the workshops to a small, manageable size.  And, in spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I am a better photographer for having joined the workshop. After spending a week with Chris, my flight photography is materially improved. (Chris is an expert on the nuances of servo autofocus, for example.)  Chris also taught several useful post-production techniques that I now use routinely in my workflow.

The true measure of any photo trip, however, is the photos.  Chris’ stated goal is for every workshop participant to go home with images that Chris would be proud to call his own. He means it.  The eagle photography was fantastic.  I came home with several dozen “portfolio grade” images, plus thousands of strong shots. Indeed, the single biggest complaint from my fellow workshop participants is the number of eagle shots that they had to sort through when they got home.

I’ve already registered for another workshop with Chris.

Andrew Kelley Denver, Colorado USA

Monday
Jul152013

a hearty recommendation to anyone considering a photo workshop with Chris Dodds

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

Wednesday
Jun262013

Without a doubt, Chris Dodds is one of the best out there

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

Tuesday
Jun112013

I can honesty say that my expectations were exceeded and then some

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

Monday
May272013

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

Monday
May272013

Now I finally have the answers to so many questions

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

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

I was blown away at the quality of my images because of Chris Dodds' help and techniques

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

Monday
May272013

I have joined Chris on several trips and look forward to future adventures with him

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

Monday
May272013

The experience and the results were more that I could have asked for

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

Monday
May272013



I would go back out with Chris in a heartbeat

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

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 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