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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index
Saturday
Sep142019

Regal Horned Lizard

Regal Horned Lizard and Harvester Ant  (Phrynosoma solare) in the desert Box Canyon, Arizona, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens  @600mm ISO 800, f/8 @ 1/640s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's another from my bat photography workshop in Arizona. We had a great time exploring and searching for wildlife during our morning excursions. I spotted this Regal Horned Lizard on the dirt road while driving towards Box Canyon.

Regal Horned Lizards eat mainly Harvester Ants; as many as 2,500 in a single meal!

Do consider joining me in Arizona next September for my annual High-speed bat photography workshop. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Friday
Sep132019

High-speed Bat Photography

Long-eared Myotis Drinking from a pond  in the desert Amado, Arizona, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS Lens  @600mm ISO 800, f/16 @ 20s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

I'm just back from my bat photography workshop in Arizona. The monsoon season had an early start which dispersed the local bat population to the many available water sources, but we still had fun and got some remarkable images.

In it's simplest form, we set-up our cameras on tripods at the edge of a pond and focused on the plane of the infra-red beam which triggered the flash when it was broken. The ultra-short duration of the flash illuminated our subjects and froze them in flight. The cameras were set to make continuous 20-second exposures at f/16 ISO 800. At the end of the night, there were a ton of black frames with no bats, but when a bat flew through and broke the beam, the flash fired and we were rewarded with some pretty remarkable images.

Do consider joining me in Arizona next September for my annual High-speed bat photography workshop. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Friday
Sep062019

Semipalmated Plover Foraging in the Seaweed

Semipalmated Plover foraging in seaweed (Charadrius semipalmatus, Pluvier semipalmé, SEPL) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 4,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's a Semipalmated Plover foraging in the seaweed covered rocks at low tide in the rain from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. The sharpness of the new Sony 600mm f/4 and 2X teleconverter is unmatched.

KUDOS

Hey Chris,

Once again, great trip and I wanted to thank both you and Julie for being such wonderful hosts. The island is a unique place to spend time with the Puffins and, now, my collection of Puffin shots is making it somewhat overwhelming to choose my favorites. I guess that's the objective.

Frank Sheets

Wednesday
Sep042019

White-rumped Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis, Bécasseau à croupion blanc, WRSA) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 2,500, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

A White-rumped Sandpiper photographed foraging in the seaweed with my Sony a9, Sony 600mm f/4 and 2X Teleconverter from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP.

KUDOS:

My wife and I have taken two trips with Chris Dodds, Eagles in Homer, Alaska (EAGLES GALORE), and Puffins in Quebec (PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE EDITION), and both trips have produced a portfolio of epic photos.

The first trip to photograph Eagles was well-organized: transportation was outlined, a meeting place was established, and we received  suggestions as to equipment, clothing, weather, and what to expect well in advance. Chris had arranged our lodging, and upon arrival, we have a short briefing on what to expect during the course of the workshop. Transportation to the site was supplied, and to say the location and the subject was excellent is an understatement.
At times, we had forty-plus eagles overhead. Chris provided suggestions as to camera settings and provided whatever guidance was required during the shoot. Chris is very helpful and a fountain of knowledge of photography, but he doesn’t push it on you. And his head was never in the viewfinder of our cameras; he photographed, but never gave the feeling that he was on a shoot and his clients were just along for the ride.

The second trip was to Quebec to photograph Puffins. Again, the workshop was well-organized as outlined above: transportation to the site was suggested along with places to spend the previous night as we were to meet in a remote area with meager places to spend the night and dine. Boat transportation to the site was provided, and at times the puffins seemed to swarm. Chris gave us pointers on shooting small, fast-flying birds as well as the equipment necessary for closeup portrait of shy little subjects.

My wife and I have travelled all over the world, and Chris stands out among the many professional photographers we have been with. He is low key, has a good sense of humour (humour, in Canada) has a great knowledge of photography which he will share with any photographer in his groups, regardless of their experience level. We will certainly travel with Chris again.

Carl (and Cheryl) Shneider


Wednesday
Sep042019

Semipalmated Plover with shrimp

Semipalmated Plover with a Shrimp (Charadrius semipalmatus, Pluvier semipalmé, SEPL) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 4,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's a Semipalmated Plover with a shrip at the absolute minimum focusing distance from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. We had a great time with shorebirds on the seaweed covered rocks at low tide.


Tuesday
Sep032019

Herring Gull and Sea Urchin

Herring Gull with a Sea Urchin (Larus argentatus, Goéland argenté, HEGU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 1,600, f/8 @ 1/3,200s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's a Herring Gull about to drop a Sea Urchin from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. There was an abundance of Sea Urchins and the Herring Gulls were taking full advantage.

While researching the 950 species of Sea Urchin to correctly identify the species I had photographed, I discovered an interesting Oceans and Fisheries Canada document about the Green Sea Urchin Fishery in Canada. You can find it HERE https://waves-vagues.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/245512.pdf

Tuesday
Aug272019

Atlantic Puffin Portrait in the fog

Atlantic Puffin PORTRAIT in the fog (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 1,600, f/8 @ 1/400s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's another Atlantic Puffin portrait from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. We woke to fog on several mornings and there were Puffins perched everywhere. We used the park information signs as blinds, and were able to spend hours making portraits at just about point blank range. After making the standard tight head shots, I always explore more interesting poses while working at minimum focusing distance with an extremely limited depth of field.

Monday
Aug262019

Atlantic Puffin Portrait

Atlantic Puffin PORTRAIT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 1,600, f/8 @ 1/400s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

KUDOS:

Chris: Just a quick note to express my appreciation for the fine workshop (PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP) hosting provided by you and Julie, along with Louise and Marie-Josée and the charming Auberge facilities.  We were fortunate to have such good weather and abundant puffin activity, and your guidance and tips were very helpful, even for a long-time Sony mirrorless shooter.  I found the other clients quite interesting and enjoyed sharing the experience with all of them.  Despite some travel challenges to and from the Mingan Archipelago, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to the prospect of joining you in another workshop in the future.
 
Again, thank you for your excellent leadership and engaging fellowship on Iles aux Parroquets – now to plough through the 30,000+ images I brought back to find the “exceptional” few!
 
Best regards,

Gordon Norman

Friday
Aug232019

Atlantic Puffin a la Sony 600mm f/4 and 1.4X

Atlantic Puffin Landing in golden light (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moineATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 1.4X Teleconverter @840mm ISO 2,000, f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

KUDOS

"Puffins Galore" is a very apt name for this photography workshop with Christopher Dodds on L'Ile Aux Perroquets in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, and many shorebirds use this little island in the Mingan Archipelago as their nesting home during the breeding season and the place is alive with activity with many opportunities for images of birds in flight and birds around their burrows. Chris Dodds is acquainted with every aspect of puffin behaviour and is very generous with time and advice; he helped me improve my skills capturing images of fast-moving birds. Everyone in the group came away with images that they were thrilled with. The guest house on the island is a converted lighthouse keeper's residence and provides a very comfortable experience. The meals alone would be worth the trip. Puffins Galore and much, much more.

-Paul Ludden

Thursday
Aug152019

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla, Bécasseau semipalmé, SESA) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 600mm f/4 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @1,200mm ISO 2,000, f/8 @ 1/3,200s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here is a Semipalmated Sandpiper landing on the seaweed covered rocks at low tide during my Puffins Galore (and so much more) workshop in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada. I got down low and installed my 2X onto the new Sony 600mm f/4 which made for an incredible 1,200mm f/8 lens when paired with the Sony a9.

Stay tuned for a mini-review of the new lens soon!