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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in great grey (2)


Great Grey Owl a la Sony a9 Eye AF 400mm f/2.8 G Master

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS ISO 3,200, F5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual Exposure mode and Sony's eye AF. Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Sony is very careful to note that Eye AF is designed to work with human subjects; they make no claims about it's ability with birds or mammals..BUT, with every firmware update, it seems to work better with non-human subjects. Make no mistake, it is not flawless, but when it works, it really nails the shots ;) The rumours are that Sony is continuing their efforts to improve this feature, and hope to announce it officially sometime in the future.

Do note the intentional movement in the wing-tips, even with a high shutter speed of 1/3,200 of a second. When I want to freeze the motion, and zoom into every detail, then I am working with a minimum shutter speed of 1/5,000 of a second.

In case you missed it, I wrote a mini-review of the new Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS in a recent blog post HERE

Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.


All about Watermarks: Visible and Invisible

Great Grey Owl SPRING SHOWERS  (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) Île Bizard, Montreal, Quebec ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1D Mark II, 100-400mm F4-5.6 L IS USM @ 360mm Hand Held ISO 1400, f/6.3 @ 1/800s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Here's an old favourite from 2005. I have re-processed the image using my current workflow after negotiating a generous licensing fee after the image was found by a legitimate buyer in a blog that had "re-posted" my image. This kind of thing happens almost every day to my images and I maintain a vigilant watch for them and quickly follow-up with invoices that are usually paid in full quite quickly.

I'm bringing this to your attention after reading several rants from a couple of "famous" photographers who regularly try to make you believe that you should be posting your images on-line without any watermarks; be they visible or not. This despite my not remembering many artists who didn't sign their work.

Here's my thoughts; those of a professional who does still post to the web, my blog, Facebook, Google Plus and 500px. It's fun and it's good for business.

All of my images are posted with a huge visible watermark and they all contain a digital watermark in the event that someone decides to remove the visible watermark before they share them without my permission. The visible watermark is there to build my brand and inform the viewer that it is my work; the invisible watermark to protect myself from image theft and the possibility of the work being rendered an orphan work.

An orphan work is a copyrighted work for which the copyright owner cannot be contacted. That's what happens after someone strips your image of the visible watermark …. or, if you never put one on the image in the first place.

Why is this all important? Once you post an image without a watermark, or, if someone re-posts your image without your watermark, then a legitimate buyer doesn't know who to buy the rights from. It could be the editor of a very prestigious magazine, or an advertising agency representing a very prestigious brand; there are still people out there right now who pay large sums of money to licence an image.

How to prevent this from happening to you? Simple, place a visible watermark somewhere on your image with your name or website address AND be sure to Watermark your image with an invisible, digital watermark by running it through the Digimarc for images filter  in Photoshop.

A digital watermark embedded in your image carries a unique ID and can link to contact information or a website for viewers interested in learning more about you or purchasing your artwork. The watermark stays with your image regardless of the path it travels across the Internet. No matter where your digital image ends up, others will be able to determine your copyright ownership and find you. If anyone finds your image on-line and wants to contact you, they need only read the Digimarc invisible watermark to either find your co-ordinates via the Digimarc site, or be directly connected to your website.

As an added bonus, Digimarc for images also offers premium services which searches for, and index all of the images it finds on-line with a Digimarc invisible watermark; it's a search engine for protected images - now you can see who has been stealing your work and pursue them.

Find out more about Digimarc for Images and Save 30% off your subscription to Digimarc for images by using the coupon code "naturephotography" at