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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds

 

Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in gaspe (11)

Wednesday
Jul102013

A trip that should not be missed

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, made this a trip that should not be missed.
 
Steve Goodman Denver, Colorado
, USA

Wednesday
Jun262013

Christopher is by far the best at teaching the fundamentals of photography

Bonaventure Island GANNETS GALORE with Christopher Dodds (June 2013).  This location and subject matter was challenging, photographically superb, and an outstanding learning opportunity.  I’ve been on several tours similar to this format — a well-known photographer, great location, and variable learning opportunities.  

Christopher is by far the best at teaching the fundamentals of photography such as achieving correct exposure using manual settings, introducing the best locations for photography, and giving honest feedback in a non threatening manner.   He was willing to repeat technical instructions and show me how to use the techniques he discussed.  Furthermore he took the additional step of being ‘present’ when needed for information and facilitated my getting the most out of this wonderful location.  I recommend Christopher Dodds without reservation - the very best.

Dwight Tomes Grimes, Iowa, USA

Wednesday
Jun262013

Without a doubt, Chris Dodds is one of the best out there

I recently had the pleasure to join Chris on one of his Gannets Galore workshops on Bonaventure Island, and it is very quickly obvious why this trip is a favourite among many photographers. Reading the many glowing testimonials really did not prepare me for how amazing the experience is - truly a spectacle of nature. The photo opportunities abound, and with over 20 years experience there, Chris knows where to be, and when. And should you need help or guidance with settings, etc. he is a patient and informed instructor.  Most important to me, his experience with the local businesses and park service is amazing, which help to make sure that your time spent there is a great on.  A perfect example of this relationship he has built arose when there was the potential that we might not be able to make it to the island one day to circumstances beyond his control (government closing the pier that anyone going to the island for construction work) and Chris was not only able to make alternate arrangements with the ferry service to bring the group out, but also was able to make arrangements for the park service to be on the island as well so that we wouldn't lose a day of shooting on the island. 
Without a doubt, Chris is one of the best out there, and I hope to be able to join him on another workshop soon.

Christopher Ciccone Woburn, Massachusetts, USA

Monday
May272013

I also raised my birds in flight shooting skills to a new level thanks to your extensive professional guidance

Chris, Thank you for an amazing experience during your Gannets Galore Workshop on Bonaventure Island. We have spend 4 days shooting Northern Gannets on Bonaventure Island and not only I came out with some amazing results, but I also raised my birds in flight shooting skills to a new level thanks to your extensive professional guidance and nonstop shooting opportunities.

Uri First Ramat-Hasharon, Israel

Monday
May272013

Chris is a terrific person, and a great teacher

I fell in love with Northern Gannets when I saw them fishing off the north coast of Florida many years ago during migration.  What beautiful birds!
 Researching where to see them best included Bonaventure Island in Quebec, Canada.  When I saw Chris Dodds' photos I was smitten.  The workshop experience was far better.  Chris is a terrific person, and a great teacher.  Eastern Quebec is charming and Chris knows all the folks and all the ropes to get the photographer to the best sites for shooting both on the island and on the waters surrounding the island.  The birds and their behavior are unquestionably amazing to observe and record.  Chris shared his strategies and shooting techniques freely.  He is laid back and we who attended his photo-op had the very best time. I was pleased to have learned more about flight photography with this experience.  If you have the opportunity and are interested in bird(flight) photography, this is a best experience.

Paul Herd Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Monday
May272013

Many thanks to Chris Dodds for a wonderful and exciting photography experience

Many thanks to Chris for a wonderful and exciting photography experience. Your professionalism, talent, patience and knowledge helped to make the Gannets Galore photo trip an experience of a life time. The hundreds of thousands of Northern Gannets on Bonaventure Island were unbelievable. I took thousands of photographs of Northern Gannets in their everyday activities. They were elegant, comical, clumsy, arguing, fishing, sleeping, working, copulating, preening and fencing. It was nonstop and exhilarating. Now, I get to my favourite part - the Zodiac tour around Bonaventure Island. It’s 5:00am and we start the 4 hour trip to see dozens of species of birds and seals as well as couple of Minke whales. The 4 hours seemed to pass like minutes. The Harlequin ducks and Black Guillemots were among my favourites and a real treat to observe and photograph.

Gordie Kadonoff Hampstead, Quebec, Canada

Monday
May272013

I really appreciated your patient, attentive instruction

Thanks for a great Gannet workshop.  I got some great shots, learned some new things and met some terrific people.  You and Julie were perfect hosts.  I really appreciated your patient, attentive instruction........

 Amanda Reed   
Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

Monday
May272013

My workshop experience was better that I had anticipated (and I had expected it to be a great experience)

...I am a reasonably good nature photographer, and have always been interested in macro photography (especially flowers). I enrolled in this workshop to learn bird photography because many of my previous attempts at bird photography have been less than satisfactory. I found Chris to be extremely knowledgeable about the area, the birds, and photography techniques but also enthusiastic about photography and about helping the workshop participants to improve their individual photographic skills. I needed help with using flash, and Chris was able to make suggestions which are helping me to use flash with much more confidence. He was always offering suggestions to help me with my photography. He knew what I needed, because he asked what I wanted to get from the workshop. After this workshop, I also have much greater confidence in using the histogram in the field to evaluate my exposures. This area of improvement in addition to the improvement with using flash will help my photography going forward.
 I was amazed at the non-stop action of the birds flying all day and the endless possibilities of photographing birds flying, landing, and taking off. Chris recognized changes in the direction of the wind and he was able to have us move to a better vantage point for better photo possibilities. There were some vantage points on the ground where the nesting birds were no more than 10-12 feet from the board walk (and sometimes much closer). Because of this, there was ample opportunity to photograph the birds with moderate telephoto lenses. 
Chris has been to this area many times and the people know him well. The people of the area like him and as members of his group, the people were very friendly to the workshop participants. Chris has arranged nice accommodations and was able to suggest good restaurants for our evening meals. The day started early but Chris was able to offer a variety of photo opportunities from daylight to sundown. I was very pleased with the images I was able to make on the second day when it was cloudy with a light rain for much of the day. I will have more confidence in the future about the possibility of photographing on rainy days.
 Above all, I had fun at this workshop. I enjoyed talking to Chris about all sorts of his previous experiences, and he was interested in the experiences of the workshop participants. I would recommend Chris as a workshop leader and look forward to being a "student" in one or more of his future workshops. My workshop experience was better that I had anticipated (and I had expected it to be a great experience).

Dennis Stone Columbus, Indiana, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds is everything I could ask for in a workshop leader

Chris is everything I could ask for in a workshop leader. He is patient, accommodating, and knowledgeable, both about photography and birds. I learned a lot and took hundreds of great pictures that would not have been possible without Chris' instruction and experience. Aside from being a great teacher and leader, Chris is an all-around great guy and a pleasure to spend time with.
 Bonaventure Island itself is spectacular, and the Zodiac trips around the island in the morning are incredible experiences, both photographically and visually, in part because this is the only way to see and photograph gannets in morning light, since the island is inaccessible until 9AM. Chris knows the place backwards and forwards, and always knew where the best photography experiences would be under a variety of conditions - an important resource to have on an island containing several large colonies. 
In short, if you're on the fence about going, do it! Chris' Gannets Galore Workshop truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Matthew Barr Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA

Monday
May272013

Chris Dodds is a terrific teacher

If you want a really fun adventure as well as a great learning opportunity, you must visit Bonaventure Island with Chris Dodds and sign-up for his Bonaventure Island Photographic Expedition. Perce, the island and its surroundings are beautiful; every day was a wonderful surprise. It’s amazing how different everything looks with the changes in the weather and that’s something that’s guaranteed; the weather will vary, sometimes from one minute to the next. Gannets are amazing birds to watch and photograph. They can go from looking really graceful to really goofy and everything in between. The time spent in the Zodiac was fabulous, a real challenge photographically speaking. Lastly, Chris Dodds is a terrific teacher. He was patient, informative and really concerned with the participants’ well being. He made sure everyone’s questions were answered and that we were all having a good time. He’s a true gentleman and lots of fun to be with. I learned a lot from him in a very short time by asking lots of questions and simply watching what he does. L’Isle de la Bon Aventure is just that, a truly magical place and seeing it with someone who is truly at home there was a plus. A word of warning: if you go make sure you schedule vacation time for after the vacation, Chris packs a lot of activity into a very short time-you’ll be exhausted, but it will be a happy exhausted.


Jacqueline Leader Miami Lake, Florida, USA

Monday
May272013

I found the workshop very educational

I want to thank you for the photography workshop you led to Ile Bonaventure, an area of Canada I probably would have never visited and for the opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of the other photographers that attended. I found the workshop very educational. It catered to all levels of photographers. You managed to spend quality time with everyone helping us learn from your experiences as a bird photographer. I learned how to properly use my handheld light meter, how to improve my flash photography and that you can shoot in rain and fog with excellent results. Once we got inside you had a very interesting guest speaker and on the other nights during the Photoshop tutorials, you changed me from a lazy user to a more skilled user without taking up much more time on the computer. The accommodations you arranged and your dining suggestions were wonderful. Overall I would say that I would be happy to attend your workshops whenever I get a chance to do so.
Keep up the good work. 


John Zimmerman (President Montreal Camera Club) Montreal, Quebec, Canada