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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Black-legged Kittiwake (2)

Thursday
May022019

Black-legged kittiwake Love Nest

Black-legged Kittiwake LOVE NEST (Rissa tridactyla,  Mouette tridactyle, BLKI) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 1.4X Teleconverter @560mm ISO 6,400, f/8 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure.

 

Here's a simple enough composition of a Black-legged Kittiwake in its nest on the cliffs of Bonaventure Island on the Gaspe Penninsula in Quebec. I photographed this from one of the Zodiac cruises during my Gannets Galore workshop last June. I love studying the rocks and looking for patterns and shapes - If you look long enough, you will see the heart shape in the upper right-hand corner :)

It's not too late to join me at one of my favourite places on earth! No one has spent as much time photographing on Bonaventure Island as I have. I have hosted many hundreds of photographers there of all levels of photographers from pros like Arthur Morris who wanted expert logistics and local knowledge to complete amateurs who want to learn the basics; many of whom have won photography competitions with the images made there with me. I know where to be in any given weather or light to get you the very best images possible.


Gannets Galore: A recent trip to the gannet colony on the Gaspe’s Ile Bonaventure with Chris Dodds proved to be all that I could have hoped for.  The colony is large, active and readily accessible, Chris’ familiarity with the birds and how they would react to the frequent changes in weather and wind direction gave us access to some pretty unique shooting opportunities, and his knowledge of the area and personal connections within the local community allowed us to get to the island when construction on the town’s only pier could easily have prevented us from getting there.  This, combined with Chris’ almost unique ability to teach the principles of photography at the simplest and most complex levels, making this a trip that should not be missed. 
 
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado, USA

 

Wednesday
Jul252012

Design Images with Visual Impact

Thick-billed Murre or  Brünnich's Guillemot VERTICAL PORTRAIT (Uria lomvia, Guillemot de Brünnich, TBMU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & , Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/320s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ -1/3. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a couple of images from my recent Saint Paul Island Photo Safari / Workshop. We arrived there as spring was late emerging from the worst winter anyone can remember and there were shaded areas at the bottom of cliffs where the snow had not melted yet. Although I generally don't like bright white backgrounds in images, I decided to make an exercise of designing some images with white backgrounds; there is a certain quality to the white out-of-focus snow that's much more appealing to me than that of a bright & backlit white sky.

I really like getting close and designing intimate portraits with big glass, so I installed my 500mm f/4 and a 2X extender and moved so close that I had to back away to the lens' minimum focusing distance. Once set-up on my tripod and Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal tripod head, I installed my Jobu off-camera flash bracket and my Canon 580 EXII flash.

Designing these tight, almost high-key portraits can be challenging, but careful attention to balancing all of the images' elements can be quite rewarding. Be sure to spend time studying the colours, tones and textures, (or, perhaps, the lack of colours tones and textures), the positive and negative space and the lines, shapes and where they lead the eye. Look for angles and perspective, and try to visualize how changing them by moving your angle of view will impact, help or hinder your image's design.

Black-legged Kittiwake PORTRAIT CALLING (Rissa tridactyla, Mouette tridactyle, BLKI) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & , Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/500s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ 0. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Be sure not to overlook the creative element of your exposure values; should you use an equivalent exposure with slower shutter speed and larger depth-of-field?, or will a shallow depth-of-field with higher shutter speed blurr the background (or foreground) and draw the viewer in for a closer look at the subject?

No matter where you are, what your subject; stop and think a little about designing the image and not taking the picture.