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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Vertical (8)



American Bald Eagle SNOWDRIFT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) 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. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.

Eagles Galore

This is the very last image I made during my Eagles Galore workshop in Alaska. I decided to travel light, and took only two Sony a9 camera bodies, my Sony 100-400mm G Master lens with both the 1.4X & 2X Tele-converters.

We had some great sessions with the Eagles, despite the small craft advisory interrupting our photography on the second to last day (best to stay safe, and heed the warnings from the Coast Guard, Weather Office and our Captain; High winds and big seas are not to be messed with).

The last day was a real treat, with the forecast snow delivering a beautiful canvas and backdrop for my group. I love the "Snow as fill" that reflects the ambient light and illuminates the underside of the dark wings, revealing all of the wonderful rich details in the Eagles feathers.

Remarkably, this is the third workshop in a row where Sony photographers outnumbered both Canon and Nikon shooters. Do note that all brands are welcome on my workshops; I can teach in any language - smile! 

Join me for my March 5-9, 2019 Eagles Galore Workshop. Read more and sign-up HERE.


American Bald Eagle TOP OF THE DIVE (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @400mm. ISO 400, f/5.6 @ 1/3,200s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another image from my Bald Eagles Galore Photo Tour in March. If you want to come home with a portfolio full of Bald Eagle images, then this is the trip of a lifetime for you. I have guided more photographers in Kachemak Bay than anyone else and know where to be in any given weather, wind and light conditions. I know where to find flat dark water when it's snowing, and I work very hard at getting us the very best opportunities. No matter if you are a beginner, or seasoned professional, this is the right trip for you.

Be sure to book your EPIC Bald Eagles Galore Photo Tour spot before it's too late; March 2017 dates are live. Get more information HERE.


Bald Eagle ALOFT

American Bald Eagle ALOFT (Hailiaeetus leucocephalus, Pygarge a tete blanche, BAEA) Kachemak Bay (near Homer), Alaska ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM @300mm. ISO 1600, f/5.6 @ 1/2,500s Manual. Full Frame. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's an immature Bald Eagle from my Bald Eagles Galore Photo Tour in March. Although I was making portraits of this first year Eagle, I was ready for any action by using a higher ISO and the resulting higher shutter speed; being prepared for the extra-ordinary while photographing the ordinary!



Shoot Vertical

Parakeet Auklet DORSAL VIEW (Fratercula cirrhata, Macareux huppé, TUPU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II USM Handheld. Full Frame. ISO 800 f/4.5 @ 1/4,000s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's another image from my Saint Paul Island Expedition; A Parakeet Auklet against the pastel Bering Sea. Shooting small birds in flight while holding the camera vertically is quite a challenge; shooting over the top of a cliff while pointing down and looking at the Bering Sea below adds a whole new dimension and is not for the faint of heart. As always, practice is the key to success and best done in excess well before your departure to any exotic location.


Tele-compression Explained

Atlantic Puffin POP-UP PUFFIN (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. Canon EOS Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm F4 L IS II, 2X Extender III, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 2,000s, f/9 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's an Atlantic Puffin from my recent Puffin Photo Tour. I love the out of focus foreground and background grass which isolate, and frame, the Puffin so well in this image. Using the super sharp 600 f/4 IS L USM II with the 2X III Extender compress those elements and helps render them so perfectly out of focus and smooth; the painterly quality I was after. The effect is known as tele-compression. At a given aperture, a telephoto lens has a smaller depth of field than a wider lens. Had I used a wider lens and got closer, then the depth of field would have been much larger, there would have been much more details in the grass and the result would have been much less appealing and much more like an average "snapshot".


Chris’ skills go far beyond photography.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy working with him!  Sure, he is able to provide advice on lensing, and framing and exposure, but his lectures go far beyond this.  His knowledge of wildlife is encyclopedic!    He teaches you how to observe and reposition in anticipation of that next great shot.  And when it comes to tweaking your photos, his mastery of colour, light and texture truly becomes evident.  If you can, take one of his lectures or wilderness photography workshops.  It will help up your game!

Graham Peddie Product Strategist, Canon Canada Inc.


Happy Holidays

Red Deer WHITEOUT (Cervus elaphus, cerf élaphe). Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1DX, 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM @130mm ISO 400 f/5 @ 1/160s. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.


Happy Holidays, peace, love, good health, joy and laughter to you and your family throughout the New Year.

Please help me to give back by joining me and/or spreading the word about my annual Christmas fund raiser:


Join me, Canadian nature photographer Christopher Dodds, on March 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Casgrain Theatre (CEGEP John Abbot College 21275 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec H9X 3L9, Canada) for an hour and a half long slideshow presentation to benefit Le Nichoire. The show is designed to be entertaining and informative to all; nature lovers and photographers alike. Stories of adventure, natural history facts and information are all on the menu and this show is designed to offer helpful tips & techniques sure to improve your photography efforts with everything from a camera phone, point & shoot camera or professional SLR camera system. Over one hundred of his images will be projected, many unseen.  Everyone is welcome!
Hurry! Only 280 seats. Tickets are only $18.00 each and are available for advance purchase only - every penny is collected by, and goes to Le Nichoir. Please call or email Le Nichoir ( 450-458-2809) to secure your tickets, or make a donation if you can't make it (be sure to tell them it's on behalf of Chris' Photo Geek Christmas Party) Major credit cards and cheques accepted. There will be ample time to mingle, meet my friends and contacts and share some of your images with others, so feel free to bring prints, iPads or laptops with your favourite images to share. I hope to see you there and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

The door prizes were over the top last year, and thanks to my good friends and sponsors, we have secured an even better stash for this year.

If you would like to contribute door prizes for, or sponsor, this worthy cause, please email me ( to discuss. It's a great way to have your product or brand mentioned in every blog post until the main event while helping an awesome cause!

Last year we raised over $2,500.00 and I am asking for your help to at least double that!


Coastal Brown Bears of Katmai Workshop / Photo Safari July 24-30, 2011 Announced

Coastal Brown Bear Female (Sow) Fishing in Last Light Vertical (Ursus arctos) Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, AK Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DMKIV, 500mm F4 L IS with 1.4 Teleconverter II, Tripod & Wimberley Head II. ISO 1600, F5.6 @1/2000s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

2011 Coastal Brown Bears of Katmai Workshop/Safari Announced

Join me, Christopher Dodds, and some of the more than 2,000 Coastal Brown Bears at the best place in the world to photograph Coastal Brown Bears. Claiming the world’s highest concentration of Coastal Brown Bears, Katmai National Park in Alaska also has to be the most beautiful setting on the planet to photograph them. Truly the adventure of a lifetime, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see, study and photograph Coastal Brown Bears in their undisturbed, natural environment without the influence or pressure that large groups and camps often cause. I have secured the much coveted dates of July 24-30, 2011; timed to coincide with the annual Salmon run. With a limit of only six participants, there will be plenty of time for instruction and personal attention from Chris. MORE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION FORM HERE.


Register for the 2011 Coastal Brown Bears of Katmai Nature Photography Workshop/Safari early and you save $380.00 per person AND receive a limited edition (rare) Canon rain cover for your camera. Choose between the large (400/2.8, 500/f,600/4 or 800/5.6) or medium (200/2, 300/2.8 or 400/4) versions. Supplies are limited; offer valid only while supplies last. Special thanks to Canon Canada Professional Services for the rain covers. REGISTER HERE.

N-Rain Cover E2-M (medium) or E2-L (Large): Keeps your professional camera clean and dry when shooting in a wet environment. Compatible with current profesional Canon EOS Cameras. Transparent window enables clear visibility of the top and rear LCD panels and LC monitor. Front fastener enables easy attachment and removal of all lenses. Displays a large printed "Canon" logo and includes a soft case for compact packing.

CANON EOS 7D and CANON EOS-1D Mark IV firmware updates
Find out more about the latest firmware updates for the EOS 7D (Version 1.2.2) and EOS-1D Mark IV (Version 1.0.8) DSLRs that include a fix to ensure set apertures stay in place when shooting EOS Movies in manual.

Updates available for download HERE


Lens Envy

Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica, Macareux moine, ATPU) Vertical PuffinScape latrabjarg, Iceland. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DsMKII, 17-40 F4 @21mm. 550EX Flash manual mode. ISO 250, F10 @1/250s Manual mode. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION.

I hear it all the time: "I could make some great bird images, if only I had a 500mm Lens" or "wow, look at that lens, I bet you get some great shots with that".

There's nothing better than the resulting dramatic storm clouds from bad weather to add drama to a wide-angle image of a bird in it's environment, and I love being out in the rain or snow to increase my chances of creating  artistic images. The problem during a recent trip to Latrabjarg in Iceland was that the better part of the first half of the trip was plagued with very heavy rain and a featureless, dark and less than pleasing sky. I first visualized this image shortly after arriving, so I was ready the moment the clouds started to lift, and become more appealing. Pre-visualization and planning is key when conditions are likely to change.


Think wide, think different and think environment. The lens of choice among bird photographers is the 500mm F4, but don't limit yourself to close-up "bird on a stick" images. The lens you choose is probably the single most important decision you make while trying to create unique images. While out in the field, I strive to capture compelling, artistic images of birds, often including the environment that my subject lives in and the weather they often endure. Try to step back and visualize unique, wide images that give a sense of place to your subject. I love being out in foul weather, and stormy clouds certainly add emotion to wide-angle captures. Some of my favorite bird images were made with the Canon 17-40mm F4 and the 16-35mm F2.8 Lenses.

To learn about my Deluxe Puffins Galore Photo Tour, CLICK HERE.