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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Gannets Galore (7)

Saturday
May042019

Red Fox of Bonaventure Island

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpus, Renard Roux) 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/9 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure.

We had a few really great encounters with the resident Red Fox during my Gannets Galore workshop last June. Traditional symbols of cunning and craftiness, foxes are, in fact, agile, intelligent, and above all, adaptable creatures. Bushy-tailed, long-snouted members of the dog family, they are quick and skilful hunters that eat a broad range of wild fare, including insects, rabbits, berries, and all sorts of rodents, birds and their eggs.

The predatory behaviour of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to a large multi-species seabird community was studied on Baccalieu Island, Newfoundland, from 1983-1986. Fox diet was assessed by examining the faecal composition, avian prey remains and larder hoarded prey. Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) made up of 75% of scat by wet weight, 89% of remains and 95% of prey items in and scattered about larders. Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica), Common Murres (Uria aalge) Northern Gannets (Sula bassanus) and Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) formed 19% of scat by wet weight and 11% of remains.



"An excxellent professor of the art"


"Now in September, with the images of our Northern Gannet workshop processed and filed, I want to thank you for your outstanding planning and execution of the our adventure/trek/shoot on Bonaventure Island this summer. It was a pleasure to be your customer/client.
 Your execution provided an experience to make it one of the two best that I have been a part of in my many years of summer shoots. Given the uncertainties of rain, tides, winds, and clouds, you exploited so well every opportunity that came our way. On these trips the purpose is to get good looks at the birds. The some 3,100 exposures that I came home with were solid evidence that I got the looks at this magnificent gannet I was hoping for ---I netted many quality images. Good stuff now in the files. 
Our housing was just what we want: accessible, comfortable, clean and a good buy. The schedule was chock full, we did not have avoidable down minutes, and we squeezed all of the looks available to us out of the time and conditions available. The access to an ATV to tote our gear from the dock to the colony, for a guy of my age, was a real plus and that comes about only with your obvious advance work and solid relationships with the park folks.
 The trip on the water to the far side of the island was a highlight for me and shows best your foresight and planning to get us in not otherwise available, shooting positions. That was unique time, extraordinary. 
But most of all, Chris, your ever-present availability to be immediately responsive to our technical photographic and logistical questions makes this trip so exceptional. So many of the shoot producers put themselves above and before the client-photographer and are spending more time getting their own shots or just not being around when you need their advice. You stay available to provide professional guidance to the guys and gals paying for the experience. I observed that no question is too mundane; you patiently helped the rookies, just as you did the most advanced. Personally, I improved my techniques and banked a good range of knowledge, thanks to you. 
 

My summary: You are an excellent professor of the art, a solid expedition planner, a constant steward of the details, and a good guy with whom to spend days on a trek. 
I'm very interested in getting some Spring/nesting shots of that Atlantic Puffin. If you put together such a trip, please let me know. 
I look forward to another shoot with the unique Dodds' touch. 
Continued success to you, with all best wishes,

Andy Hays Chicago, Illinois, USA"

Andy will be joining me this August for my Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop in Quebec. Learn more about my Puffin workshop HERE.

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

 

Tuesday
Jul022013

Snowy Owl from Saint Paul Island Workshop

 

Male Snowy Owl SAINT PAUL BLAST-OFF (Bubo scandiacus, Harfang des neiges, SNOW) 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, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 4,000s, f/9 @ 1/3,200s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

We had an awesome time photographing the beautiful male Snowy Owl one morning during my Saint Paul Island workshop. The owl was much more tolerant of our presence than I expected, and kept taking-off to hunt Least Auklets along the shore, only to return to perch near us each time it failed. Finding this, and the Lesser White-fronted Goose the next day is a testament to the diverse and rare birds of Saint Paul Island.

It's not too late to learn bird photography!

If you want to learn bird photography at the very best place in the world for me to teach it, then it's not too late. I have just announced that I'll be returning to Bonaventure Island to teach another Gannet Galore workshop from August 21-23, 2013. This is the best time to photograph the babies and all of the usual Gannet behaviour. Do take the time to read one of the many testimonials from this workshop - if I could recommend a single workshop for you to learn the most, this is it! There is something to photograph from dawn to dusk and the birds in flight opportunities will not disappoint! Click the link for more information or to sign-up: Gannets Galore August 21-23, 2013

Testimonial

My very first birding workshop (Gannet Galore on Bonaventure Island) with a new lens AND camera was filled with much anxiety until the thorough briefing prior to our 1st shoot. After meeting Chris for the introduction to exposing to the right, the Sunny 16 rule and its variances, and the promise of capturing some bird images HE would be proud to call his own my mind was set to rest. I have only been in photography for 3 years and still struggle with exposure, composition, and sharp focusing(especially when bobbing in a Zodiac) but there I was actually able to come away with some great images of Razorbills on the fly! Chris is one of best teachers of photography and wildlife habits I have ever had the pleasure to be around, his knowledge of the Northern Gannets Colony and Bonaventure Island is exceptional. I have already signed on for my next workshop with him, his enthusiasm for wildlife is contagious!

Mel Geer Saint Simons Island, Georgia, USA

Tuesday
Jun212011

Kudos and Gannets Galore September 7-9, 2011 Announced

Northern Gannet Portrait on the sea (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MK IV, 800mm f/5.6 L IS. ISO 1,250 f/5.6 @ 1/1,250s Manual. Hand-held from a Zodiac. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Northern Gannet Missing Man (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MK II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L @ 70mm. ISO 400 f/6.3 @ 1/1,000s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

September 7-9, 2011 Gannets Galore Announced

By popular demand, I'm thrilled to announce that I will be heading back to Bonaventure Island from September 7-9, 2011. This is the best time to photograph baby Gannets up-close and personal. Workshop/Safari includes four nights accommodation, park access and 3 highly sought after Zodiac voyages under the seabird colony (weather permitting). REGISTER FOR THE SEPTEMBER 7-9, 2011 GANNETS GALORE PHOTO SAFARI/WORKSHOP HERE.

KUDOS

"In June of this year, I joined Chris Dodds on one of his Gannets Galore Workshops on Ile Bonaventure in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Quebec. Wow! What a place. Not only is the area surprisingly beautiful, the sheer number of Gannets nesting on this island is mind boggling - several hundred thousand Northern Gannets. In addition to Gannets there are other species photographable along the sea cliffs which Chris's participants get to experience like no others. Under a special clause, exclusive to Chris's workshop a zodiac with the participants is allowed to get up close to the sea cliffs to photograph Razorbill, Common Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake, Harlequin Duck and much more in their habitat. In addition, we spotted Blue Whale and Minke Whale and photographed Gray Seal and Humpback Whale. Nice touches like transportation of photo gear the 1.8 miles to and from the nesting colony really make this a worthwhile and productive trip. For seabird lovers, Ile Bonaventure is a must and the way to experience it is with Chris Dodds who has nearly 30 years of experience on this island."           - E.J. Peiker, Nature Photographer

Friday
Jun252010

Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus, Goeland argente, HERG)

American Herring Gull Emerging with fish (Larus smithsonianus, Goeland argente, HERG) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS-1D MKIV, 800mm F5.6 L IS. ISO 400, 1/2000s F5.6 Manual. 580EXII Flash manual full power . Tripod & Wimberley Head II. Full Frame. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

A quick post today to further demonstrate the power of side light to make dramatic, action stopping images in harsh light. This is another image from a good collection produced while Bonaventure Island was closed to visitors during a recent Gannets Galore Bonaventure Island Bird Photography workshop. We made the most of the day by visiting a favorite spot for Common Eider Ducks (we had males, females and babies really close). The gulls (Herring and Great Black-backed) would harass and steal fish from the diving Eiders.

Gannets Galore August 13-15, 2010 - still space available - more information HERE

Canon 800mm F5.6 IS L First impressions....

Yowsa, what an amazing piece of glass! This lens was razor sharp, fast and snappy to acquire auto-focus when used with my EOS 1D Mark IV camera body. Special thanks to Canon Canada for the loan and for giving a chance for workshop participants a chance to "get behind the wheel" and give it a try. New coatings, IS system and design all add up to make this a must have lens - anyone wanna chip-in? (grin).

Tuesday
May252010

Gannets Galore Bird Photography Photo Tour / Workshop / Safari June 10-12 & August 13-15, 2010

Northern Gannet landing with sea weed (Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan, NOGA) Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS, (@200mm). ISO 400, F5.6 1/2500s Manual. Canon 580 EXII Flash in Manual - full power. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Gannets Galore Bird Photography Photo Tour / Workshop / Safari June 10-12 & August 13-15, 2010

I still have limited space available for my June 10-12 and August 13-15, 2010 Gannets Galore Photo Tour / Workshop / Safari (June 14-16 & 18-20 are SOLD OUT; Thanks to those who registered). This is THE best place on earth to learn the art of avian photography. There is non-stop action and a plethora of artistic models at close range. Sure to be the photographic adventure of your lifetime, the daily (weather permitting) four hour Zodiac cruise under the largest Northern Gannet colony in the world offers close views of thousands of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, Razorbills, grey seals & whales and, of course, diving Gannets.

Be sure to read client TESTIMONIALS HERE

JUNE 10-12, 2010 GANNETS GALORE INFORMATION HERE

AUGUST 13-15, 2010 GANNETS GALORE INFORMATION HERE

 

Wednesday
Mar102010

Gannets Galore Bird Photography Safari / workshop June 10-12, 2010 & August 13-15, 2010 Just Announced!

Northern Gannets SPOONING (fencing = pair bonding), Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D S MKIII, 500mm F4 IS Gitzo 1325 tripod, Wimberley Head II.  ISO 400, F18 1/200s Manual. Full Frame. Click HERE to purchase a print or license an image for publication.

Northern Gannet Painted Flight, Morus Bassanus, Fou de Bassan Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Bonaventure Island, Quebec Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D MKIII, 70-200mm F2.8 IS, 1.4X II Tele-Converter (270mm) Hand-held from Zodiac.  ISO 250, F8 1/1600s Manual. Full Frame. Click HERE to purchase a print or license an image for publication.

Gannets Galore; New Dates Added!

Due to the overwhelming popularity of my Gannets Galore Photo Safari / Workshop series (both the June 14-16, 2010 and 18-20, 2010 are SOLD OUT), I've added some new dates. June 10-12, 2010. June is the best time to photograph the thousands of Razorbills, Common Murres, Black Legged Kittiwakes, Grey Seals and thousands of adult Gannets in perfectly prime breeding plumage. Please see HERE for more information.
August 13-15, 2010 still has a few spots left; simply the best time to photograph the many thousands of baby Northern Gannets - some at just arms length.
All of the Gannets Galore series workshops / safaris include four nights hotel, 3 four hour Zodiac excursions under the colony (weather permitting) with breakfast once landed on the island, three full days photographing at the colony and expert instruction and guiding by Christopher Dodds (more than 350 days experience guiding guests on Bonaventure Island). Did I mention the motorized transportation to the colony for your heavy camera gear? - that’s just one of the little bonuses when traveling with Chris (smile).

Be sure to read the many testimonials found HERE; all real people, from real places!