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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in AK (20)

Saturday
Jul132019

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cubs

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub Triplets (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 400, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual exposure.

We had so many encounters with mothers and cubs during my bear boat trip, but this set of triplets stole the show. These are spring cubs that were born in the den sometime between December and March after a gestation period of 180-270 days; likely while the mother was still hibernating. They were toothless and only weighed about a pound when they were born.

Friday
Jul122019

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub 

 

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub Standing (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual exposure.

 

KUDOS:

Last week I finished editing my photos from the Alaska Bear Boat Trip, and I have lots of photos that I consider good.  After what I have learned in your workshops, I am very conservative to call a photo “good” but can report that I have many more good photos from the trip than I expected to get.

The photo opportunities in Katmai National Park were numerous, the weather was cooperative, and trips to shore resulted in excellent light.  You work hard to make your trips productive, informational, and an opportunity to improve one’s photography, and this trip was no exception.

The other participants were courteous and positive individuals with whom it was fun to share travel and photographic experiences.  As you know I have been on more than a dozen trips with you and often there are other repeat customers/photographers on the trips.  My experience is that the photographers who make multiple trips with you are always individuals with whom it is a pleasure to spend 3-7 days.  Many of these people are as interested in my photography as they are in their own, and frequently it is possible to learn from one another. These folks are friends by the end of the trip, and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.  The crew of the boat is helpful, the cook is experienced, the bear guide is knowledgeable, and the food is elegant.  It was amazing to eat so much good food on the boat considering the limited facilities and space in which to prepare the meals.

This trip is not inexpensive but is the most memorial trip which you offer.  The success of my photography from this trip is a result of the specific organization of this trip but also from the invaluable photographic expertise that I have gotten from your trips in this past.  I have and do recommend your trips to other photographers as a fun way to spend time and improve their photography.  You have helped me become a better photographer and I am happy to call you “friend”.   Best wishes to you and your wife, Julie.

Dennis

 

Tuesday
Apr302019

Glaucous-winged gull

Glaucous-winged gull (Laurus glaucescens, GWGU) from my BALD EAGLE WORKSHOP in Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  ISO 2,000, f/2.8 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure.

Here's a Glaucous-winged Gull from my recent back-to-back Bald Eagle photo tours. Sony A9 Auto Focus performance continues to impress, with unimaginable gains with the newly released Firmware V5.0. Be sure to update your firmware HERE.

Wednesday
Sep122018

Caption me contest

Coastal Brown Bear Mother and Spring Cubs (Ursus arctos) Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 380mm. Full frame image. ISO 3,200, f/13 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Here's a fun image from my recent Katmai Bear Boat Workshop. Leave a comment with a caption or title and my favorite will win a free signed print of this image including postage to anywhere in the world.

Thursday
Jul262018

Brown Bear Cub

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub (Ursus arctos) Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 800mm. Full frame vertical image cropped to square. ISO 2,000, f/13 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

KUDOS

I am writing to express my gratitude for the great help with my photography that I have received participating in Chris Dodds’ photographic workshops, which are enjoyable and in interesting places. Most of the workshops are places to which Chris has been going for many years so he is intimately familiar with the details and best opportunities of each location.  He goes out of his way in an attempt for participants to get images that are the best they can possibly get to take home with them. His knowledge of photographic technique translates into suggestions that are tailored to each participant’s needs.  He encourages attendees to ask any question and is patient in answering to try to make sure the questioner understands the answer thoroughly.  His knowledge of the technical aspect of photographic equipment and the computer equipment and programs needed in post-processing has always amazed me, and he is eager and willing to share this knowledge with all of the participants. In the first workshop I learned that the manual setting was preferable for photographing nature and as I have mastered this technique, I am forever grateful.  Chris is excellent at teaching the best light angle and reminding the participants to watch the light angle when they are repositioning themselves for a better composition.

The biggest benefit to me personally of Chris’ photographic experience was the purchase of my own Sony A9 camera after he made the switch form Canon to Sony in August 2017. This new camera and lens combination enables me to hand-hold 400mm, 560 mm, and 800 mm, and the camera focuses with both teleconverters. Because I no longer need such heavy photo equipment, I can use a smaller camera bag that fits in any airline overhead bin and allows quicker and more comfortable travel through the airport.  The Sony has improved my photography and made it easier and more enjoyable.

I would encourage you to consider one of Chris’ workshops, because they are fun and in such diverse locations.  I have never failed to come home with better images than I had imagined prior to the experience.  I have found the other participants to be interesting and nice people, and because the workshops are so excellent, there are a lot of repeat customers who have been in previous workshops.  Each workshop is a highlight of my year. Chris is a positive person who makes the experience as enjoyable as possible even with early morning and late afternoon hours to take advantage of the best light of the day.  Thanks Chris for helping me become a better photographer.

Dennis Stone Indiana, USA

 

Friday
Mar312017

Bald Eagle FISHING FRENZY

American Bald Eagle (with Pacific Saury) FISHING FRENZY from my Bald Eagle Photographic Expedition (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX mark II, EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS II USM @234mm ISO 1,000 f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication
This year's Eagles Galore workshops were a huge success. We were blessed with EPIC light and more Eagles than I have ever seen in all of my years leading workshops to Alaska (and I thought we had a record turn-out in 2003). We were across Katchemak Bay and on the beach well in advance of sunrise and the wind was blowing perfectly from behind us. There were at least 150 Eagles fishing right in front of us! The Eagles were close, the action was hot & heavy, light golden and memory cards were smoking!  

This image is made with the new Canon EOS 1DX mark II and Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @234mm! What can I say? This combo is easy to hold for long periods of time, has amazingly reactive auto-focus, and seems so good it is impossible to put down!

Be sure to learn more about my March 5-9, 2018 Eagles Galore Photo Workshop HERE and read my testimonials HERE.
Thursday
Mar302017

Bald Eagle DREAM CATCHER

American Bald Eagle DREAM CATCHER from my Bald Eagle Photographic Expedition (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX mark II, EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 IS II USM @300mm ISO 800 f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.
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Knowing where to find flat water, getting low on the beach and being out before the sun rises usually results in some EPIC images in Alaska - smile. Join me in Alaska next March for a pretty exciting (and well rehearsed) Eagle photography workshop. Read more about the March Eagles Galore Photo Tour HERE
Wednesday
Sep302015

Eagles Galore in Alaska with Christopher Dodds

Adult American Bald Eagle REGAL (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D mark III, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM (version 1) @ 210mm  Hand Held ISO 250, f/7.1 @ 1/250s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

It's not too late to join me, Canon Canada Northern Explorer of Light and X-rite Photo coloratti, Christopher Dodds, for the premier Bald Eagle photography photo tour:

March 7-11, 2016 (5 full Days)

ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!

March 12-16, 2016 (5 full Days)

ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT!

March 17-21, 2016 (5 full Days) 

ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT!

 

Based in Kachemak Bay, near Homer, AK, this is where all of my famous Eagle images were made. This is your chance to make a truly awesome portfolio of Eagle images; dramatic flight shots, dynamic portraits and there is truly no prettier place than this for Eagles in their environment with mountains as the background. Get more information about my Bald Eagles Galore Workshop HERE.

Kudos:

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

Tuesday
Aug122014

Least Auklet Portrait and Visitags

Least Auklet Portrait (Aethia pusilla, Starique minuscule, LEAU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II. Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/13 @ 1/160s Manual exposure. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another image from my hugely successful Saint Paul Island Photo Expedition. Just love getting to within minimum focusing distance of the seabirds that call Saint Paul Island home.

Simply amazing just how quickly the July 2015 trip is booking; do have a look at the workshop details HERE

Canadian Wildlife and Nature Photographer and Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds photographing owls in the Canadian winter (Feb,. 2014). Photographed with a prototype of the new Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3, Canon 200-400mm f/4-5.6 with built-in tele-extender, 600mm f/4 IS L II, Tamrac Expedition 9X camera bag and two Canon EOS 1DX camera bodies. Photo copyright and courtesy of Michael J. Lang (thanks, Michael)

I shared this image of me from my Winter Snowy Owl Photo Expeditions some time last winter. It has become the subject of many emails asking where I got the yellow name tag. I love my bright yellow luggage tags and have at least enough so every bag gets one. These really do ensure there is no confusion if another similar bag shows-up on the luggage carousel at the airport. There is a clear pocket on the inside for your contact details (where you should indicate your email address and mobile number). These tags are simply bombproof! Get yours at www.visitag.com

Thursday
Jul242014

Northern Fur Seal Pups of Saint Paul Island

Northern Fur Seals NEW FRIENDS (Callorhinus ursinus, L’otarie à fourrure du Nord) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II , 2X Teleconverter III, Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 4,000 f/8 @ 1/1,6000s Manual Mode.  PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a couple of Northern Fur Seal pups from my Saint Paul Island workshop. Seals only have one baby at a time, so these two are neighbors meeting for the first time. They are fascinating to watch, and their calls sound very much like a barn full of baby sheep. I shot this image with my Canon 600mm f/4 IS II and 2X Teleconverter wide open at f/8 to isolate the subjects from the volcanic rocks, and used a shutter speed of 1/1,600 of a second to be sure to freeze the rapidly vibrating mouth and teeth while they were calling.