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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in photo tour (74)

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
Mar202019

Bald Eagle Shadow Huntress

American Bald Eagle SHADOW HUNTRESS (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) from my BALD EAGLE WORKSHOP in Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 G Master OSS Lens  ISO 4,000, f/4 @ 1/5,000s Manual exposure.

On the third day of my first group of Bald Eagle photo tours the conditions were perfect for my friend and our captain Dave to navigate into one of my favorite back coves in Kachemak Bay. Thanks to Dave for being a loyal friend and a professional mariner who works tirelessly to keep us in the heart of the action while keeping us all safe!

It was dark and overcast with still water and the action was non-stop! I have tried this sort of "backlit in the shadow" fishing shot before, but the other camera brand I used always let me down. Now armed with the Sony 400mm f/2.8 G Master prime lens with the Sony a9 I had so many razor sharp images that it was hard to choose what to keep! Learn more about why it can focus so quickly with its linear movement HERE.

Join me in Alaska Eagle Heaven next March for my annual Eagle extraviganza. Get more information and sign-up HERE.

Tuesday
Jan012019

Happy New Year

American Bald Eagle SNOWDRIFT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) from my BALD EAGLE WORKSHOP in Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless camera & Sony FE100-400mm F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS Lens @ 400mm Full Frame image. ISO2,500, f/5.6 @ 1/4,000s Manual mode.

Happy New Year!

This image of a Bald Eagle from my Bald Eagle workshop in Homer, Alaska might be my favorite image from 2018. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year ahead to all! 

Wednesday
Nov282018

Great Grey Owl LAUNCH

Great Grey Owl LAUNCH (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS ISO 5,000, F5.6 @ 1/5,000s Manual Exposure mode and Sony's eye AF. Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Another example of how well the Sony Eye AF works! I am loving the new Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS, early start to winter (did I really say that) and having this beauty all to myself :)

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.

Wednesday
Nov212018

Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM Mini Review

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa, Chouette Lapone, GGOW) ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS  ISO 1,250, F2.8 @ 1/5,000s Manual Exposure mode. Join me for my winter owl workshops this January/February to learn More CLICK HERE.

Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS Mini Review

I am just back from a cross Canada road trip that took just over six weeks and covered more than 17,500km. I was honoured to stop and present at various camera stores across the country, then ended the trip with presentations at ProFusion (Canada's largest camera show); all sponsored by Sony of Canada. Thank you Sony. I got to meet so many great photographers along the way; it was a blast!

I have received a lot of email asking about my thoughts on the new Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS lens; if I had one, and if I thought it was worth the price tag. Yes, I do own one and YES, it is worth the price! When paired with the Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera, the Sony FE 400 f/2.8 GM OSS is the fastest, most reactive with the most accurate auto focus lens that I have ever used. It is light and very well balanced (there was a lot of engineering involved to carefully design the lens with most of it's optics toward the back to make it really easy to hand-hold; a real win for birds-in-flight photographers). Add the Sony 2X Tele-extender, and you end up with a prime killing 800mm f/5.6 that is sharper and more capable than the Canon or Nikon prime lenses that I have used.

Sony took a huge step when thy developed the hybrid AF system that the Sony a9 uses; they have leapt forward with the XD Linear focus. There is no camera and lens that can focus as fast!

From the Sony website: "The XD Linear Motors have been newly developed to deliver higher thrust and efficiency than conventional types in order to make the most of the rapidly evolving speed performance of current and future camera bodies. Linear motor design and component layout have been thoroughly revised to achieve significantly higher thrust. Two of these new motors are used in the SEL400F28GM, achieving up to a 5x improvement* in moving-subject tracking performance. This means that the full speed performance of advanced camera bodies can be applied to capturing perfect images of the most dynamic sports or wildlife subjects. The XD Linear motors are further supported by new algorithms developed specifically for them, notably improving the motors’ response to control signals and minimizing lag and instability that can occur when driving a large aperture focus lens group for quiet, low-vibration operation. "

In summary, XD Linear focus is so much faster than the conventional rotational focus because it quickly and efficiently "thrusts" forward and backward to achieve tack sharp focus. Since conventional lens elements rotate like a nut on a bolt, they have to travel about five times further (think how little a nut moves in relation to how many times it must be turned). There is a limit as to how fast a lens (or lens group) can safely move in a rotational manner. 

Monday
Nov122018

Bald Eagle Photography Workshop

American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) from my Bald Eagle Workshop in Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 271mm ISO 2,500, F5.6 1/5,000s Manual mode.

Here's another one from my Bald Eagle Photo Tour in Alaska last March. Both workshops in March 2019 were sold out, but I have just had a couple cancel, leaving two spots open. Learn more about my March 10-14 Bald Eagle Photo Tour HERE.

Saturday
Nov102018

Bald Eagle Photo Tour

American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) from my Bald Eagle Workshop in Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds  Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS @ 192mm ISO 2,500, F5.6 1/5,000s Manual mode.

Here's one from my Bald Eagle Photo Tour in Alaska last March. Both workshops in March 2019 were sold out, but I have just had a couple cancel, leaving two spots open. Learn more about my March 10-14, 2019 Bald Eagle Photo Tour HERE.

Wednesday
Sep122018

Caption me contest

Coastal Brown Bear Mother and Spring Cubs (Ursus arctos) Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 380mm. Full frame image. ISO 3,200, f/13 @ 1/640s Manual exposure mode.

Here's a fun image from my recent Katmai Bear Boat Workshop. Leave a comment with a caption or title and my favorite will win a free signed print of this image including postage to anywhere in the world.

Tuesday
Sep112018

911 Tribute Lest We Forget

 

 

American Bald Eagle MOURNING SONG (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Pygargue à tête blanche, BAEA) from my Bald Eagle Workshop in Kachemak Bay, Alaska ©Christopher Dodds www.chrisdoddsphoto.com ISO 400, F4 1/250s Manual mode.

My tribute to September 11, 2001 Let us never forget.

Thursday
Aug232018

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT

Parakeet Auklet PORTRAIT (Aethia psittacula, Starique perroquet, PAAU).  Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska, USA. Image Copyright ©Christopher DoddsSony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Camera & Sony FE100-400 F4.5-5.6 G Master OSS with 2X Tele-extender @ 800mm. Full frame image. ISO 2,000, f/11 @ 1/2,500s Manual exposure mode.