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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Bald Eagle Deadliest Catch a la Sony a9

American Bald Eagle DEADLIEST CATCH (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO 1,250, f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual mode.

Centre spot & Lock-on a la Sony a9

The light was perfect during my recent Bald Eagle Photo Tour; we just needed an Eagle and a fish to collide - smile. If you would like the chance to make many images like this, then do join me next March 5-9, 2019 near Homer, Alaska for Eagles Galore! CLICK HERE to learn more.


American Bald Eagle HANGNAIL (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 333mm Full Frame image. ISO2,500, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode.

More Eagles Galore

Here's another favorite from the last day of my Eagles Galore Photo Tour earlier this month. We had some great fun in the snow with the Eagles. I love the variations in their plumage. Learn more about my March 5-9, 2019 Eagles Galore Photo Tour HERE

Ospreys Galore Last Chance

I only have two spots left for my April 5-7, 2018 Ospreys Galore Photo Tour, and the April 8-10 trip sold out months ago. Please visit my Ospreys Galore Page HERE to learn more and sign-up.

Special Thanks

I recently joined Chris on his Osprey Galore tour in southern Florida.  Not having been on this type of photo tour before, I did not know quite what to expect.  I can honestly say it was well worth the time and money and one of the best photographic experiences I’ve ever enjoyed.  Chris runs a very organized photo experience to say the least, but keeps the pace and daily routine very relaxed and informal, making everyone feel comfortable and able to get the most out of their photographic experience.    His body of work and experience in the field,  has made him not only a world class photographer, but an extremely knowledgeable outdoorsman, greatly adding to the entire experience.  I particularly enjoyed how instruction, tips, and techniques were tailored to the experience level of each photographer individually.  There was no pressure to compare images, nor did Chris spend a great deal of time taking his own shots.  Instead he devoted his efforts to not only putting us in the very best position to achieve a meaningful shot, but continually answered any and all questions throughout the day, reminding us of small details that were very helpful, regardless of anyone’s level of expertise.  It is rare to find this level of photographic expertise coupled with such a comprehensive knowledge of the natural surroundings, all shared in a very friendly and engaging manner.  I learned a lot, enjoyed my time thoroughly, and came home with some incredible images I would never have achieved on my own.  You can’t ask for much more than that.  I will be joining Chris again in the near future for another photo tour.  Five stars!!
Brian Shul Gallery One



American Bald Eagle SNOWDRIFT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO2,500, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Eagles Galore

This is the very last image I made during my Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska. I decided to travel light, and took only two Sony a9 camera bodies, my Sony 100-400mm G Master lens with both the 1.4X & 2X Tele-converters.

We had some great sessions with the Eagles, despite the small craft advisory interrupting our photography on the second to last day (best to stay safe, and heed the warnings from the Coast Guard, Weather Office and our Captain; High winds and big seas are not to be messed with).

The last day was a real treat, with the forecast snow delivering a beautiful canvas and backdrop for my group. I love the "Snow as fill" that reflects the ambient light and illuminates the underside of the dark wings, revealing all of the wonderful rich details in the Eagles feathers.

Remarkably, this is the third workshop in a row where Sony photographers outnumbered both Canon and Nikon shooters. Do note that all brands are welcome on my workshops; I can teach in any language - smile! 

Join me for my March 5-9, 2019 Eagles Galore Workshop. Read more and sign-up HERE.

Sony of Canada Presentation at Vistek Mississauga March 16 2018


Northern Gannet a la Sony a9

Northern Gannet BOUQUET (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS  @176mm. ISO 640 f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a Northern Gannet from a rare opportunity to photograph alone on Bonaventure Island while I was testing the new Sony a9 mirroless camera with the new Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS lens. I was blessed with a cloudy bright day, which is my absolute favorite lighting for my all-time favorite bird photography place where I have spent more than a year of my life since falling in love with the Gannets there! (If you were to add up all of the days spent teaching workshops there over the years).

I still have a couple of spots available for my June 5-7, 2018 Gannets Galore workshop there. Read more about the workshop I host there every year HERE.


Bald Eagle a la Sony a9

Bald Eagle JUVINILE Landing on Lake Ontario Ice (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Lake Ontario, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS  @371mm. ISO 2,500 f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a Juvinile Bald Eagle that we photographed while waiting for a ferry during last week's Winter Owl Workshop. We were trying for Mergansers in flight as they would congregate in the chanel that the ferry had carved through the ice. It looked like the Eagle would land on the dock beside us, but ended-up landing below the dock on a dead duck that it must have been snaking on before being scared away from by the previous ferry.

Bald Eagle Workshop update

It's not too late to join me for my Bald Eagle Workshop. I have just had another cancellation for the March 5-9, 2018 slot in Homer, Alaska due to illness. Find out more about my Eagles Galore Workshop HERE.


Wood Duck Drake

Wood Duck Drake (Aix sponsa, Canard Bronchu, WODU) Tingley Ponds Albuquerque, NM, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS and Sony 1.4X @560mm. Full frame image. ISO 1,600 f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a Drake (Male) Wood Duck from my recent Better Than Bosque Workshop last December. Aside from the usual suspects (Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese), the variety and number of ducks were a huge hit with everyone on the trip. I spent a lot of time with the Sony a9 and the 1.4X and 2X on the 100-400mm G Master lens and love the results with incredible detail.


Hi Chris-  I am also a friend of Rob P living in Colorado.  Switching to Sony from Canon. Had most canon lenses from 16-35 to 500mm.  Shot with 1dMk4 and 7d2 for wildlife. Just getting used to settings on the Sony. Today was shooting with the a7riii, 100-400 sony with 1.4 converter. Photographing a soaring red tail hawk in manual settings,  auto iso, 25oo sec., 6.3 in zone focus mode.  I use back button focus and locked on to Hawk but all of the images were not sharp.  With my canon 7d2 and 100-400 II every image would have been sharp.  What am I doing wrong?  Can't believe some images were sharp and some soft in a continuous burst.  Rob said you may be able to help.  I have a couple photo trips coming up in January and February and am leery on the sony setup.  Have not sold my canon gear yet...Thanks, Bob K
Hey Bob,
A careful read of your question leads me to suspect a few reasons for your soft images:
1. Crop vs. Full Frame: You were using crop sensor cameras, but have switched to a full-frame camera with the 1.4X extender. Instead of the in camera crop with the shorter focal length, you are now hand-holding a longer lens on a full-frame camera to acheive the same "reach". This requires much more care.
2.  Shutter Speed: While I don't doubt that you got a lot of keepers with your crop sensor camera and 1/2,500s, I strive to work at 1/5,000s for flight photography. In the past, most would agree that 1/focal length to be sufficient shutter speed for sharp images (1/500s when using 500mm). In my experience, the resolving power of modern lenses and sensors requires around ten times that to ensure razor sharp images.
3. Focus Mode: I seem to be using Centre Spot Lock-on most of the time for birds in flight with my Sony Cameras.
4. Back Button Focus: There are some ergonomic differences between your old and new cameras; perhaps button size, placement and the amount of pressure it needs to be kept pressed continuously. I have never been a fan of Back Button Focus, because it is simply too easy to make a mistake and release a little pressure from your thumb. Back Button Focus is also near impossible in sub-zero temperatures. Consider assigning focus back to the old fashioned shutter button.
Hope this helps!



Bald Eagle Workshop Update and Used Canon Equipment

Bald Eagle GRAVITY from my Bald Eagle Photographic Expedition (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. 400mm ISO 4,000 f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Full Frame, shot vertical in manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

March 5-9 & 10-14, 2018 Eagles Galore Workshop Space available

Join me, Christopher Dodds, for an Epic Eagle adventure in Alaska. This five day Eagle photography workshop is designed for all levels of photographer to come home with an awesome portfolio of Eagle images and a deep understanding of the fundamentals of bird photography. Don't delay! Space is limited. Learn more HERE.


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.  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


It is really quite amazing to be part of what seems like a revolution! It seems like friends and clients are switching to Sony on a daily basis. Here is an updated list of my gear for sale, followed by some offered by friends. Shoot me an email if you are interested in buying or making an offer on anything.

  • SOLD: Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x 
  • SOLD: Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM Telephoto Lens 
  • SOLD: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Zoom Lens (Version I)
  • SOLD: Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L IS USM Lens 
  • SOLD: Canon Speedlight 580EX II Flash
  • SOLD: Canon 1.4X Teleconverter III
  • SOLD: Canon 2X Teleconverter III
Michael L:
  • SOLD: Canon 1DXI US$2,500 Shutter: 85k. (2 batt.) 7/10 condition (some wear, CF door sticks)
  • SOLD: Canon 1DXII
  • SOLD: 600mmII
  • SOLD: Canon 100-400II
  • Canon 70-200II 2.8 US$1,500
  • SOLD: Canon 24-70II 2.8
  • SPLD: Canon 1.4 III
  • Canon 2.0III US$300 real tree lens coat
Dennis S:
  • Canon 1DX US$2,500.00 Shutter 100K
  • Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x US$8,000.00
  • Canon 180mm Macro US$600.00
  • Canon 8-15mm US$700.00



Thank You Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Great Grey Owl SOLITUDE (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Gatineau, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. 244mm ISO 3,200s, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Peace, Joy & Love

To everyone who visited this blog or my Facebook page, attended a workshop, safari, seminar or lecture, purchased a print or licensed an image: Thank you for making 2017 my best year yet. I am so very lucky and grateful!


Snowy Owl Photo Tour Last Minute Openings

Snowy Owl MORNING GLORY  (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) Ontario, Canada ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved.  300mm ISO 3,200, f/2.8 @ 1/2,000s Manual. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Snowy Owl Photo Tour Last Minute Openings

There are two last minute openings for my January 29 to February 2, 2018 Snowy Owl Workshop. Don't miss out on what is looking like an epic season ahead. Read more about the workshop and sign-up for my Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, 2018 winter Snowy Owl Workshop HERE.

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 expectationsHe 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