Search Nature Photography Blog

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format
SPONSORS

 

 - 

Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in photo tour (74)

Wednesday
Sep042019

White-rumped Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis, Bécasseau à croupion blanc, WRSA) 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 2,500, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

A White-rumped Sandpiper photographed foraging in the seaweed with my Sony a9, Sony 600mm f/4 and 2X Teleconverter from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP.

KUDOS:

My wife and I have taken two trips with Chris Dodds, Eagles in Homer, Alaska (EAGLES GALORE), and Puffins in Quebec (PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE EDITION), and both trips have produced a portfolio of epic photos.

The first trip to photograph Eagles was well-organized: transportation was outlined, a meeting place was established, and we received  suggestions as to equipment, clothing, weather, and what to expect well in advance. Chris had arranged our lodging, and upon arrival, we have a short briefing on what to expect during the course of the workshop. Transportation to the site was supplied, and to say the location and the subject was excellent is an understatement.
At times, we had forty-plus eagles overhead. Chris provided suggestions as to camera settings and provided whatever guidance was required during the shoot. Chris is very helpful and a fountain of knowledge of photography, but he doesn’t push it on you. And his head was never in the viewfinder of our cameras; he photographed, but never gave the feeling that he was on a shoot and his clients were just along for the ride.

The second trip was to Quebec to photograph Puffins. Again, the workshop was well-organized as outlined above: transportation to the site was suggested along with places to spend the previous night as we were to meet in a remote area with meager places to spend the night and dine. Boat transportation to the site was provided, and at times the puffins seemed to swarm. Chris gave us pointers on shooting small, fast-flying birds as well as the equipment necessary for closeup portrait of shy little subjects.

My wife and I have travelled all over the world, and Chris stands out among the many professional photographers we have been with. He is low key, has a good sense of humour (humour, in Canada) has a great knowledge of photography which he will share with any photographer in his groups, regardless of their experience level. We will certainly travel with Chris again.

Carl (and Cheryl) Shneider


Wednesday
Sep042019

Semipalmated Plover with shrimp

Semipalmated Plover with a Shrimp (Charadrius semipalmatus, Pluvier semipalmé, SEPL) 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 4,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual exposure. Full Frame.

Here's a Semipalmated Plover with a shrip at the absolute minimum focusing distance from my recent PUFFINS GALORE DELUXE WORKSHOP. We had a great time with shorebirds on the seaweed covered rocks at low tide.


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.

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

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
Jul252019

Brown Bear Cub Portrait

 

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub PORTRAIT (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 1,000, f/8 @ 1/400s Manual exposure.

Another spring cub from my recent Coastal Brown Bear boat trip in Katmai National Park, Alaska. Getting down low below eye level makes for a much more intimate portrait. Not always easy when the subject is in long grass, so having this cub stand on the edge of it's day bed looking directly at us for a fraction of a second was a gift - smile.

Friday
Jul122019

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub 

 

Coastal Brown Bear Spring Cub Standing (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual exposure.

 

KUDOS:

Last week I finished editing my photos from the Alaska Bear Boat Trip, and I have lots of photos that I consider good.  After what I have learned in your workshops, I am very conservative to call a photo “good” but can report that I have many more good photos from the trip than I expected to get.

The photo opportunities in Katmai National Park were numerous, the weather was cooperative, and trips to shore resulted in excellent light.  You work hard to make your trips productive, informational, and an opportunity to improve one’s photography, and this trip was no exception.

The other participants were courteous and positive individuals with whom it was fun to share travel and photographic experiences.  As you know I have been on more than a dozen trips with you and often there are other repeat customers/photographers on the trips.  My experience is that the photographers who make multiple trips with you are always individuals with whom it is a pleasure to spend 3-7 days.  Many of these people are as interested in my photography as they are in their own, and frequently it is possible to learn from one another. These folks are friends by the end of the trip, and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.  The crew of the boat is helpful, the cook is experienced, the bear guide is knowledgeable, and the food is elegant.  It was amazing to eat so much good food on the boat considering the limited facilities and space in which to prepare the meals.

This trip is not inexpensive but is the most memorial trip which you offer.  The success of my photography from this trip is a result of the specific organization of this trip but also from the invaluable photographic expertise that I have gotten from your trips in this past.  I have and do recommend your trips to other photographers as a fun way to spend time and improve their photography.  You have helped me become a better photographer and I am happy to call you “friend”.   Best wishes to you and your wife, Julie.

Dennis

 

Thursday
Jul042019

Coastal Brown Bear Cubs Jousting

Coastal Brown Bear Cubs JOUSTING (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  with Sony FE 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 1,600, f/5.6 @ 1/2,000s Manual exposure.

I'm just home from my Coastal Brown Bear boat photo tour in Alaska. We had amazing weather, epic opportunities with mothers and cubs, and one fantastic group of repeat clients who have all become great friends over the years!

We spent about an hour with these two siblings jousting in the golden last light at about 10:30PM. Shooting at 20FPS when the action was hot and heavy left us with more images than some knew what to do with. To quickly cull the images down to a manageable portfolio, I always look for captivating expressions, at least one eye visible on each bear & preferably a catch-light in both visible eyes.

Thursday
May162019

2019 Point Pelee Migration Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca, Paruline à gorge orangée, BLWA) on the beach at the tip of Point Pelee National Park of Canada during my Songbirds of Pelee Workshop. 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 2X Teleconverter @800mm ISO 2,500, f/7.1 @ 1/2,000s Manual exposure.

 

The spring migration during my Songbirds of Pelee workshop was off the charts! It was the best migration I have ever seen. All of the birds were low and slow, with day after day of warbler bliss for photographers.

May 9th started like most at The Tip, relatively quiet at first, then a slow trickle of warblers that seemed to appear out of the leaf litter started to build and become a mega reverse migration. There were 9 species of warblers on the sand on the beach alone, and 26 species of warblers at the tip! It was, without doubt, the biggest and best spring migration that I have witnessed at Point Pelee; warblers were dripping off the trees!

Bird photography during spring migration is usually quite challenging in a National Park without using water drips, food or bird song playback to attract the birds. It can be quite frustrating to get the high-quality images that we all dream of with nice poses, clean backgrounds and nice perches. The results are well earned and some of the most rewarding photography that I have in my collection.

Technology certainly has made it easier to keep track of rare bird sightings with Twitter and WhatsApp providing a constant stream of messages with bird reports. As a photographer, it is important to "qualify the lead" before charging past a dozen species of warblers posing down low in nice light while trying to track down a rare warbler seen with a scope at 80 feet. Always ask when it was seen, how close, how high and if it seems to hang around. Try to determine the pedigree of the person who reported it to ensure it is an accurate identification, and always be sure that you want to give up the photo opportunities in front of you before chasing "phantoms".

This Blackburnian Warbler was photographed while foraging for insects with my Sony a9, 400mm GM lens and Sony 2X extender which was the set-up I carried around for the whole trip. I stopped-down to f/7.1 to increase the very shallow depth of field while working so close.