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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Longue-pointe-de-Mingan (7)

Tuesday
Sep032019

Herring Gull and Sea Urchin

Herring Gull with a Sea Urchin (Larus argentatus, Goéland argenté, HEGU) 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 @ 1/3,200s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's a Herring Gull about to drop a Sea Urchin from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. There was an abundance of Sea Urchins and the Herring Gulls were taking full advantage.

While researching the 950 species of Sea Urchin to correctly identify the species I had photographed, I discovered an interesting Oceans and Fisheries Canada document about the Green Sea Urchin Fishery in Canada. You can find it HERE https://waves-vagues.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/245512.pdf

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.

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

Thursday
May032018

Savannah Sparrow with Caterpillar Mind the Background

Savannah Sparrow with Caterpillar (Passerculus sandwichensis, Bruand des prés, SASP) 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. ISO 640, f/8 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Mind the background

Aside from getting close to your subject, one of the more difficult things to accomplish is aligning the subject with the light source (The Sun) and a pleasing background. All too often I see photographers fill albums of photos of the same subject with the same backgrounds. The key to achieving a complete portfolio of a particular subject is to include many backgrounds and poses. Here I carefully manoeuvred myself so the sundried seaweed on the rocks below at low tide became my background of choice.
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!
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