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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Atlantic Puffin (19)

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


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

Wednesday
May022018

Atlantic Puffin Portrait a la Sony a9 and Sony 100-400 G Master Lens 

Atlantic Puffin PORTRAIT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORLKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm @ minimum focusing distance. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 400, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual exposure mode.

VERO

I have download the new media sharing app Vero; It's kind of like Instagram, but without the advertining. Anyway, I am learning the ropes and do hope you join my network at VERO. I don't seem to be able to locate a specific URL which would point to my page, so please do search for me, Christopher Dodds, and join my network to see what all the fuss is about:
Tuesday
May012018

Deluxe Atlantic Puffin Workshop August 7 to 10 Just Announced

Atlantic Puffin with SAND EELS (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORLKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm @ minimum focusing distance. Full frame image (top to bottom; left and right cropped to square aspect ratio). ISO 640, f/5.6 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Puffins Galore Deluxe Edition just announced August 7-10!

Well, it looks like I get to spend another two weeks living the dream in Puffin Paradise again this year. By popular demand, I have just announced another back-to-back Deluxe Puffin Workshop from August 7 to 10. If you like Puffins and Razorbills, and like the fairytale-like dreamy idea of living on a small island in a newly restored lighthouse eating gourmet food while being surrounded by hundreds of Puffins and Razorbills, then this is the workshop for you.

This truly is a dream location and the Puffins and Razorbills get really close; so close, in fact, that my favourite lens there is the Sony 100-400mm G Master lens.  We get close enough for headshots, portraits and full-frame flight shots with fish in their beaks all at 400mm.

The long days in Eastern Canada ensure plenty of time with these comical seabirds, and we are on the island and on site ready for the golden light and action.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more about my August 7-10 Atlantic Puffin and Razorbill Workshop. This is your invitation to Puffin Paradise!
Thursday
Oct262017

Atlantic Puffin CATCH OF THE DAY

Atlantic Puffin CATCH OF THE DAY (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 800 f/5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Getting back to the immense number of Puffin images produced with the Sony a9 & Sony 100-400 G Master during my Deluxe Puffins Galore workshop in July/August. Here is another Puffin with Capelin image; full frame at 400mm. I have said it before, and I will say it again: The new auto-focus is unstoppable! The number of Puffins returning to their burrows with Capelin was similar to other years, but the number of tack sharp images @ 20fps was tough to edit thanks to the Sony a9.

Sony RX-10 mark IV Mini-review

I am in the midst of preparing for a bunch of presentations, but want to share that I  received my Sony RX-10 Mark IV a couple of weeks  ago, and the first results are remarkable. Although it won't fit in a pocket (I didn't expect it to, and my phone is already there and ready for those shots), the idea is to always have a camera with me that has fast auto-focus (.03 second focus acquisition), 24 frames per second and a built-in zoom that covers from 24 to 600mm at f/4. This is for those times when you see a something and wish you had brought your full camera rig. Of course, like all things in the photography world, there are trade-offs, so you shouldn't expect it to produce files like the a9 at higher ISO. Overall, the Sony RX-10 Mark IV has impressed and delivers everything promised. It is a great introduction to the Sony world for those photographers fully invested in other brands, and a great camera choice for all naturalists, birders or sports fans and parents!

Canon Lenses for Sale

Email me an offer! chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com

  • 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
Wednesday
Aug302017

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Atlantic Puffin RAINFLIGHT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 8,000 f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin THE RETURN (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Razorbill (Alca troda, petit pingouin, RAZO) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 400mm. Full frame image. ISO 20,000, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Sony Alpha a9 High ISO Birds in Flight Performance

Here are a few more images from my recent Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop. As I am sure you can tell from the camera settings, we had a day of really foul weather. It was the perfect occasion to get the Sony a9 wet and see what it is made of! Although I did use a LensCoat rain cover, the rain was so hard and constant that I did manage to fog the viewfinder by the end of the day; I put the camera body with its body cap off into a zip-lock bag full of white rice to clear it out overnight.

Yet again, the camera amazed me; not only was it locking onto everything I pointed it at in low contrast and heavy rain, it excelled at high ISO! The details in the files are exceptional; Do take the time to read the setting I used under each image. The images above are all full-frame and lightly processed with some mild noise reduction applied. I don't post raw images, because I don't use Raw images for anything other than a starting point. It wasn't that long ago when 800 ISO was noisy, and here I was using 8,000 and 20,000 ISO!

The Sony Raw images require much less processing than my Canon 1DX Mark II, or files I have from other digital cameras that I have used. Although there is noise at 20,000 ISO as expected, the details in the darks are exceptional!

TIP: In order to get the most out of an image, but particularly at extreme ISO, remember that it is critical to expose the image correctly and try not to crop much! All cameras see light like us, they haven't yet figured out how to record darkness. If you brighten an image while processing it, then you are introducing noise.

Stay tuned for more about my time with the Sony a9

Wednesday
Jul302014

Hip to be Square

Atlantic Puffin SQUARE PORTRAIT (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Canon 25mm Extension Tube II, Canon 12mm Extension Tube II, Canon 1.4X Extender III. Jobu Designs Algonquin Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual exposure & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

The forecast was dismal; mostly rain and high winds for the three day Puffin trip, with a heavy rainfall warning in effect for our last day. I didn't sleep much the night before the workshop; I was too excited to get back to the island, but worried the high winds would sabotage our safe boat landing once there. As is often the case, the forecast was wrong. We had an awesome time and I had an awesome group of passionate photographers.

This image was made when an Atlantic Puffin flew-in and sat almost right beside me while I sat on the seaweed covered rocks as the tide went out. I quickly added both extension tubes and both tele-extenders to my 600mm lens and began manually focusing the monster rig. I just love getting close and personal with Puffins!

Hip to be Square

Always remember to think about the aspect ratio of the image when you first open it in your RAW converter; avoid always using the same aspect ratio and remember that many social media outlets make best use of the square format. Use whatever aspect ratio works best for the image, rather than the the aspect ratio of the original capture.

2015 Luxury Live on the Island Puffins Galore

Be sure to email me to join the wait list for my 2015 luxury trip! The lighthouse and the keeper's home have been totally restored and we will be sleeping on the island within feet of the Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots. A gourmet chef will prepare our meals and we will have the island all to ourselves during the golden hours. Be sure to be among the first to know all of the details as soon as they are released by emailing me your co-ordinates to chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com

Wednesday
Jul102013

Tele-compression Explained

Atlantic Puffin POP-UP PUFFIN (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,000s, f/9 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.


Here's an Atlantic Puffin from my recent Puffin Photo Tour. I love the out of focus foreground and background grass which isolate, and frame, the Puffin so well in this image. Using the super sharp 600 f/4 IS L USM II with the 2X III Extender compress those elements and helps render them so perfectly out of focus and smooth; the painterly quality I was after. The effect is known as tele-compression. At a given aperture, a telephoto lens has a smaller depth of field than a wider lens. Had I used a wider lens and got closer, then the depth of field would have been much larger, there would have been much more details in the grass and the result would have been much less appealing and much more like an average "snapshot".


TESTIMONIAL

Chris’ skills go far beyond photography.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him!  Sure, he is able to provide advice on lensing, and framing and exposure, but his lectures go far beyond this.  His knowledge of wildlife is encyclopedic!    He teaches you how to observe and reposition in anticipation of that next great shot.  And when it comes to tweaking your photos, his mastery of colour, light and texture truly becomes evident.  If you can, take one of his lectures or wilderness photography workshops.  It will help up your game!

Graham Peddie Product Strategist, Canon Canada Inc.