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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

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Entries in ATPU (12)

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

Thursday
Aug232018

Razorbill and Puffin Silhouette

Atlantic Puffin & Razorbill SILHOUETTE (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU, Alca torda, Petit Pingouin, RAZO). From my DELUXE PUFFIN WORKSHOP in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 1.4X Tele-extender @ 560mm. Full frame image. ISO 1,600, f/8 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode.

As I was carefully tracking the Razorbill with my camera vertically, when I got photobombed by an Atlantic Puffin :) 

Wednesday
May072014

2014 Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour Announced

Atlantic Puffin CLOWN OF THE SEA (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. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Atlantic Puffin & Razorbill Heaven

Puffins Galore

Photo Safari & Expedition

July 26-28, 2014 (3 Days/4 Nights)

SOLD OUT in less than 9 hours!

I am thrilled to finally announce my Puffins Galore Photo Tour at Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada.

I have been in search of the ultimate destination for an Atlantic Puffin workshop / safari for a very long time.  The mandate was simple; find a location that is within reach, safe and easy to get to without a dangerous boat landing on slippery rocks and a place where we can get close to these comical little seabirds without hauling our gear up, and over, huge distances or having to hang over towering cliffs; a place where anyone can comfortably reach, regardless of age or physical ability; a place with reliable , safe and easy boat landings. I have photographed Atlantic Puffins in Iceland, Maine, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Quebec; All of these "known" places have their drawbacks., and I simply can't imagine subjecting my clients to the abuse.  Mission accomplished; I have found Puffin Paradise. This is the very best place in the world to photograph Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills fishing, with fish in their bills, in flight and in golden light.

Beyond the 50th parallel, along the North Shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, lies a remarkably beautiful scattering of some thirty limestone islands and more than 1000 granitic islets and reefs. The territory, the "Mingan Archipelago", became Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada 1984.
This necklace of land carved out of the limestone bedrock is the site of spectacular natural monuments which bear witness to the never-ending wear of the sea and of the centuries. And there is an abundance of life in this strange half-world: plants of variegated hues and shapes, seabirds gathered in colonies, seals, dolphins and whales, swarming the blue vastness in which the islands bathe.

Join me, Canadian Wildlife Photographer Christopher Dodds, for a Puffin photography workshop / safari. This trip will be limited to five participants and will surely be the trip of a lifetime for anyone seeking to get close and personal (safely) to Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. We will spend a few hours photographing fishing Puffins each morning from a boat, before landing on an island where we spend the rest of the day until sunset for three full days. I have secured special access, so we will be the only people on the island during the first, and last, few hours each day.

Price is $2,995.00 (plus sales tax) including four nights single occupancy accommodation (with full kitchenette), three days private boat tour with highly experienced captain (weather permitting), three days park access fees and three days expert instruction. Other subjects might include Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Great Cormorants, Savannah Sparrow (there are many) Common Eider, Grey Seals and whales. Meals, beverages, transportation to Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, Quebec and souvenirs are not included.

Getting there:

Our base of operations, accommodations and starting point are in the town of Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan.

Havre St. Pierre Airport or YGV (serviced by Labrador Air) is 46km or 28.5 miles

Sept-iles Airport or YZV (serviced by Air Canada) is 152km or 94.5 miles

Quebec City Jean Lesage Airport or TQB (Serviced by most carriers) is 831km or 516 miles

Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport or YUL (Derviced by most carriers) is 1,086km or 675 miles

Sign-up for my Ultimate Puffins Galore Photo Tour HERE

Tuesday
Jul162013

How to Stack Extenders for Mega Reach

Atlantic Puffin CLOWN OF THE SEA (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. Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 3,200s, f/16 @ 1/200s Manual mode & manual focus. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

After spending so much time with Atlantic Puffins, I've come to realize that few portraits of them truly reflect their true character. I love getting close and making portraits that truly represent my subject, in this case these comical and animated seabirds or Clowns of the sea.What do you think, did I suceed?

How to stack extenders

The idea is to use my super-telephoto 600mm f/4 IS II with both the 1.4X and 2X (version III) Extenders (or tele-converters). In order to physically connect everything together, you need to add at least an extension tube between both extenders; I use both the Canon 25 and 12mm Extension tubes (version II) connected together because they reduce the minimum focusing distance of the lens and allow me to get even closer to my subject. As far as I can tell from the images, it does not matter which order I install the extenders.


There are a few technical considerations:

  • A sturdy tripod and tripod head are required
  • Working at these extreme focal lengths so close to your subject will severely limit the depth of field, so do remember to stop-down.
  • All of this stacked equipment does cost some light, so remember to add 1 & 1/3 stop if you are shooting in manual mode.
  • Although we have some pretty amazing cameras, the only way to focus this monster is fully manual.
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.

Tuesday
Jun122012

The Perfect Puffin Patience and Proficiency 

Atlantic Puffin PEACE (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/6.3 @1/3200s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

"Hey Chris, I've been a huge fan for a very long time and have been meaning to send a note to inquire how you managed to get those perfect Puffin images on that flat, calm water last year. I just saw a huge print at a trade show and WOW!" James M.

Thanks, James. The image was made during my 2011 Puffins Galore workshop in Quebec. I have spent a huge amount of time studying the habits of the nesting Puffins and realized that they liked to bathe in a shallow cove near their nesting grounds at the end of the day. We managed some fun images while the water was a little choppy with 6-10 inch waves, the very best were made one very calm afternoon. Being patient helped us keep checking the cove each afternoon and being proficient meant we were ready when the stars aligned and we got calm water with Puffins galore.

Note the technicals: ISO 800 with a shutter speed of 1/3200s meant we were ready to freeze the action when the Puffin stretched, took-off, and when others landed nearby. The relatively shallow depth of field from the f6.3 aperture and low angle of view helped keep the foreground and background clean and free of details.

I still have limited space available for my July 4-6, 2012 Puffins Galore Workshop/Safari. Please check it out HERE.

Wednesday
Aug312011

Color management & i1 Photo Pro mini-review

Atlantic Puffin Portrait (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS, Canon Extension Tube EF 12 II & Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/5.6 @1/500s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Color Management & i1 Photo Pro Mini-review

Achieving consistent color from camera to monitor to print and projector is easier than ever with X-Rite's new and improved X-Rite i1Photo Pro . I have owned a GretagMacbeth Eye One Photo since I switched to digital with the purchase of my Nikon D1X (2001). It seems like a lifetime ago now. I realized that I wanted my prints to mach my screen, and my projected images to match my prints. So much has changed since then; I switched to Canon when they released the EOS 1D Mark II and GretagMacbeth was bought by X-Rite.

I was thrilled to learn recently that X-Rite had released the all-new X-Rite i1Photo Pro and was offering upgrade kits to existing users. I quickly got an upgrade for review and am delighted. The heart of the system; the spectrophotometer remains best in class, so it's easy to see why you need only upgrade the software, a few accessories and the bonus is finally having a proper case to keep everything together and safe.

With X-Rite i1Photo Pro you can quickly and easily create custom profiles for cameras, monitors, digital projectors and RGB printers, ensuring color accuracy from capture to output. With the new i1Profiler software, which combines the best features of its predecessors i1Match, ProfileMaker and MonacoPROFILER software, users can choose between a 'basic', wizard-driven interface, or an 'advanced' user-driven interface to create high quality, precise, custom color profiles.

With an all-new user interface, i1Profiler offers an unprecedented level of flexibility to address the needs of a photographer's workflow. i1Profiler seamlessly combines the ease of use of the wizard driven interface found in the basic mode, and the flexibility of the menu driven user interface found in the advanced mode. Whether a novice, expert or somewhere in between, i1Profiler easily adapts to any skill level and workflow needs, while maintaining the ability to produce outstanding profile quality results.

All-in-all, I don't think there is a better color management solution on the market for a photographer wanting to deliver consistent color results over various output mediums and devices.

Be sure to support this site and order yours here: X-Rite i1Photo Pro Professional Color Management for Photographers

Friday
Jul152011

Puffins Galore and so much more

Atlantic Puffin SOLITUDE (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/6.3 @1/3200s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

Atlantic Puffin FLIGHT ON WHITE  (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) île aux Perroquets, Réserve de parc national du Canada de l'Archipel-de-Mingan, Quebec, Canada. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3. Think-Tank Photo Hydrophobia 300-600. ISO 800, f/5.6 @1/2000s Manual mode. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

I'm just back from two fun and exciting, back-to-back PUFFINS GALORE AND SO MUCH MORE workshops. What a trip! We had tons of fun photographing tiny Atlantic Puffins that fly at 55 mph. Here's just two of the more than 1,200 keepers from the trip that I still have to edit and cut down by a great deal. I've just announced two trips back there next July. Be sure to book early!: PUFFINS GALORE AND SO MUCH MORE

Jobu Jr. 3 Does it again!

My tried and trusted Jobu Jr. 3 Gimbal head proved itself yet again! This time we noticed that it also is the right choice for getting down low. It's smaller size means that you are closer to the ground when your tripod is at it's lowest; not only offering a lower perspective, but also putting less strain on your back and neck as you look through the viewfinder. The lock-down of both the vertical and horizontal adjustment knobs are still holding strong, and second to none! Be sure to check out my mini-review of the Jobu JR. 3 and find a discount code HERE.

Wednesday
Nov172010

Cotton Carrier Review & Nik Software SHOCK & AWE!

Atlantic Puffin Vertical PuffinScape(Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) latrabjarg, Iceland. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKII, 17-40 F4 @21mm. 550EX Flash manual mode. ISO 250, F10 @1/250s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION. An old favorite REMASTERED using NIK SOFTWARE's VIVEZA 2 and Color Efex Pro 3.0 PRO CONTRAST.

Nik Software

**UPDATE OCTOBER 6, 2016: Since writing this post, please note that Nik Software was bought by Google and is currently offered as a free download HERE.

 

Just when I thought I had mastered Photoshop, Nik Software comes along and changes everything. I've been oohing and awing over the latest offerings from Nik Software since I received my review copy of their Complete Collection late last week. I've never really worked with anything other than Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture in the past, so it's been quite an eye-opener for me. Consisting of Dfine 2.0, Viveza 2, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex Pro and Sharpener Pro 3.0, this is one sweet suite of plug-ins! Shock and awe hardly describes how I feel after re-working several older images. I'll probably never get to a full review of each of these amazing plug-ins, but it's certainly not the last you've heard about them here. Be sure to check out Nik Software's latest offerings HERE and save 15% by using the coupon code cdodds at the check-out. I like Viveza 2 so much, we're giving one away on Dec. 15th (thank-you Nik Software) - simply sign-up for my newsletter in the column to the right of this post. Be sure to check-out the details of the other great prizes below.

Testimonials

I had a blast teaching a mini-workshop for the Montreal Camera Club this past week-end with 100,000 Snow Geese, and many of them came very close. Special thanks to Canon Canada Professional Services for loaning a Mark IV and 800mm F5.6 lens for everyone to try.

"Chris, I can't thank you enough for this most inspiring weekend photographing wild snow geese. I thoroughly enjoyed your expertise and advise on how to take breathtaking photos. After quickly reviewing 2,000 photos I'm proud to say that close to 200 will be keepers. At least 3 or 4 of the really interesting ones actually had their beaks open. Also I'd like to thank you for the use of the 800mm lens and Mark IV; by day 2 I got the hang of using it and some of the close-ups are outstanding."  

- George Liberman Montreal | Quebec | Canada

"Thank you for the wonderful day I spent with you on Saturday photographing the snow geese. Thanks to your help and individual attention I was able to figure out some issues that would have taken me a long time to solve  on my own. Your tips on memory cards and how to keep the dust out of my lens when in Africa were things I’d never thought of. I look forward to doing another workshop with you and wish you all the best. Once again, thank you for a great day."

- Wendy Altona Montreal | Quebec | Canada

Cotton Carrier Review

I have been meaning to check out the innovative camera carrying system from Cotton Carrier since first seeing one last winter. It’s a vest type harness made of ballistic nylon with a polycarbonate breast-plate receiver that allows you to keep your camera in a comfortable, ready to use intuitive position. Simply screw an adapter (camera hub) to your camera, and it slides right into the receiver - twist to release. If carrying one camera is not enough, then install the second receiver (or side holster) on the side cinch strap (or any belt) and you are ready to go with two easy to access and use cameras. Right after I published the Spider Holster review HERE, Cotton Carrier sent one over for review. I was thrilled to discover the Cotton Carrier is invented and designed in Western Canada.
The very first thing I noticed when I opened the plastic UPS shipping bag was the whole deal is in a nylon mesh bag and there was no box - unusual today, but a great sign of respect towards the environment. No box not only saves trees, it reduces the greenhouse gas emissions required to ship the smaller volume package.

The Cotton Carrier is well engineered, designed to fit comfortably and made of some pretty durable materials; ballistic nylon, polycarbonate and aluminum. There’s no doubt that the right choice for the impending winter season is the Cotton Carrier ; it’s versatile design will allow me to adjust it to fit over my bulky Canada Goose winter parka while trying to keep warm in the coldest conditions. The Cotton Carrier holds my camera much higher than the Spider Holster, so it is also the best option to keep my camera with my 70-200mm or 100-400mm lens from getting full of snow as I navigate waist deep snow drifts that I often have to traverse while photographing during my winter owl prowls. Be sure to use the included camera tethers as insurance against dropping any gear if you miss the receiver or have freezing cold hands. There is a wide Velcro horizontal strap to ensure your cameras safety while doing physically demanding photography like mountain-biking, motor-biking, skiing, rock climbing, hiking or dog-sledding. It's important to properly adjust and fit the Cotton Carrier, so I strongly recommend watching this "stellar" video by Andy Cotton ;)

If you are already familiar with the Cotton Carrier , then there are a few new items you should be aware of; I skipped the regular adapters and installed their brand new Arca-Swiss compatible adapter plate. The Cotton Carry-Lite is the newest addition to the Cotton line-up; it is designed to hold one camera at waist level and has a unique built-in shoulder strap. Also new is the Cotton Lens Bag System. Be sure to check them out at www.cottoncarrier.com

Great FREE Gear Giveaway Continues

Sign-up for my newsletter before Dec. 15th, 2010 and you will automatically be entered to win some amazing prizes. Simply fill-in your name and email address in the form in the column to the right of this post and you are entered automatically (only sign-up once please). Tweet, Like or Share this blog entry on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a meaningful comment here for additional chances to win. Don't forget to tell your friends or fellow camera club members about the prizes.

  • WH-200 Wimberley Head version II (retail value of US$595.00)
  • Think-Tank Photo Urban Disguise 50 (retail value US$169.00)
  • Nik Software Viveza 2 (retail value US$199.95)
  • Digimarc for Images Professional Edition 1 year subscription (US$99.00)
  • One of eight Canon Long Lens Rain Covers (US$125.00 each)
  • More to come

Dec. 15th PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY

I'm hosting my first annual PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY at the ROCKBURN PUB (2461 Mtee Rockburn, Hinchinbrook, Quebec J0S 1E0 (450) 264-2239). All amateurs and hobbyists welcome! It's an à la carte menu and there is no fee (other than paying for your own food & drinks) - I will pass the hat for a soon to be announced charity; donations are optional but encouraged. Come on out and meet me, my friends and make new contacts while networking and showing off a few of your favorite images from 2010. Feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favorite images. RSVP required - email me at chris@chrisdoddsphoto.com (please type PHOTO GEEK CHRISTMAS PARTY in the subject line) to reserve your spot. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve soon. I will be drawing some great prizes for the Great Gear Giveaway Contest and you get another name in the hat @ the party. Special thanks to Joann for opening the pub just for us!