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Photography Workshops by Christopher Dodds


Nature Photography Blog Journal Index

Entries in Photo tour (19)


the very best photo trip I have ever joined

What can I say? Your Winter Owl Photo Tour was an absolute sensory overload of owls, knowledge and fun! A smashing success! I have to say this was the very best photo trip I have ever joined (and I have joined many). It was an EPIC adventure, and it was a huge success; with your help, I managed to pull off an incredible portfolio of Owl images that was miles better than I could have imagined! Just like your stated goal; I can attest to the fact that the single most important objectives for you as the leader is for your clients to achieve an EPIC portfolio that you would have been proud to call your own, and for everyone to learn. Mission accomplished, my friend…many fold. I would have been thrilled with just one of the hundreds of EPIC images that I created under your wise guidance. You will see me again on another workshop soon. I can offer anyone considering this trip the following advice: DO IT! You won’t regret it. Chris works extremely hard for you to get the very best images; images that will impress everyone. He’s fun and eager to teach anyone, regardless of their abilities. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Peter Frost London | England

Learn more about my Snowy Winter Owl Workshops HERE.


EPIC, Exhilarating Pictures, Instructional Colossus

Thank you so much for a memorable week during your Snowy Owl Workshop, I have enjoyed it immensely.

The week has been EPIC, Exhilarating Pictures, Instructional Colossus, what more can I say.

It has been a long held ambition of mine to photograph Snowy Owls and in choosing your trip all my expectations have been filled and some. The company has been an important and enjoyable part of the trip and I will recall with great fondness many of  the hilarious moments we have shared together.

I appreciate all the hard work that you have put in to ensure the success of our trip and I wish to thank you for that.

I hope the season continues to go well for you and I wish you happiness in your life.  

Again a heartfelt thanks.

John Sheppard Banbury | England


The winter owl workshop was excellent

The winter owl workshop was excellent. From the pre-planning through the last spectacular day with the snowy owls.  In addition to the skills and nature experience Chris brings to the workshop, he also brings his passion of nature photography as well as a genuine focus on the safety of the owls and wildlife.  The group size was great and the team composition was excellent, travel was pleasant, safe and comfortable.   It was great to be able to peak into Chris's personal life, spending time with Chris opened up a new world for me that I want to explore.  I learned value insights and lessons related to exposure, histograms and the habitats and behaviours of owls.  It was great being out in the nature and cold, learning not only to capture razor sharp images, but how to do so in extreme weather.  Most americans will not know the excitement of seeing a Tim Horton's in the distance or the comfort of fresh Poutine, I can say I am now a fan.

Kim Ringeisen Flying Monkey Photography North Carolina | USA


I would definitely recommend a Chris Dodds photography workshop

A Great Week With Chris and Snowy Owls.  

Chris leads a great workshop.  It quickly became clear the amount of prework Chris had done in the weeks leading up to the trip.  Chris knew where the owls would be each morning when we arrived in the fields.  Another amazing ability Chris has, is he can spot a snowy owl hundreds of yards away.  I remember laughing a few times as I am looking through binoculars saying are you sure and every time he was correct.

Chris is an amazing photographer and extremely knowledgeable on both Nikon and Canon photography equipment.  I came home a much better photographer, with a better understanding of my camera gear and how to adjust for the environment and light.  Throughout the day Chris was continually making sure everyone had the correct setting and reminding us to check our exposure/histogram.

Additionally Chris is just a great guy.  He is what i would consider a true outdoorsman and has the adventure stories to go with them.  I really enjoyed the travel and downtime with Chris and we had a lot of good laughs.

I would definitely recommend a Chris Dodds photography workshop especially the winter owl workshop and am looking forward to my next trip with Chris.

Brad Lewis Gilroy | California


one of those life experiences that will stay with me forever

The four days and three nights on the I'ile aux Perroquets (Deluxe Puffins Galore Workshop) will go down in my mind as one of those life experiences that will stay with me forever.  That isle is a very special place. You did an incredible job.  I was thinking about you on the trip back.  What does it take to be a top notch photographer as well as a gentlemanly guide, teacher, chaperone, and friend?  You have a unique set of skills that somehow pull off the attributes necessary.  Each and every one of us that left that island felt as though we had made a personal connection with you.  That is no easy task.  Must be a Canadian thing!  Keep doing what you're doing.  A very sincere "thank you" to you.  This trip exceeded all expectations.

- Paul Treseler Massachusetts | USA


Chris is an exceptional photographer, teacher, and all around good guy

The Puffins Galore Workshop on I'ile aux Perroquets exceeded my expectations. Chris is an exceptional photographer, teacher, and all around good guy.  He was quick to point out the best photographic opportunities for the group, taking into account the constantly changing weather, light and tides.  He was always available to answer questions and give tips, catering to all levels of experience in the group.  The accommodations were excellent and the food was first rate. Our chefs/housekeepers/hostesses, Louise and Johanne, were amazing. The photographic opportunities were endless with an unbelievable number of puffins as well as razorbills, guillemots, gulls, whales and seals.  This was my first photography workshop and I am looking forward to my next adventure with Chris.

Mark Adkins Rochester| MN


In spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I am a better photographer for having joined the workshop

I’ve long been wary about joining a workshop with a “big name” pro.  I’ve heard (and witnessed) a litany of workshop horrors, ranging from egomaniac leaders to unwieldy, unhappy groups.  Plus, as a professional photographer, I did not think that I would learn much from a workshop.  Indeed, I teach photography and postproduction.

Chris Dodds’ Eagles Galore workshop changed my mind.   Although he is a supremely talented photographer, Chris is approachable and friendly, and he works tirelessly to make sure that everyone in the group has a fantastic experience.  He limits the workshops to a small, manageable size.  And, in spite of my I’m-a-professional-and-don’t-need-help attitude, I am a better photographer for having joined the workshop. After spending a week with Chris, my flight photography is materially improved. (Chris is an expert on the nuances of servo autofocus, for example.)  Chris also taught several useful post-production techniques that I now use routinely in my workflow.

The true measure of any photo trip, however, is the photos.  Chris’ stated goal is for every workshop participant to go home with images that Chris would be proud to call his own. He means it.  The eagle photography was fantastic.  I came home with several dozen “portfolio grade” images, plus thousands of strong shots. Indeed, the single biggest complaint from my fellow workshop participants is the number of eagle shots that they had to sort through when they got home.

I’ve already registered for another workshop with Chris.

Andrew Kelley Denver, Colorado USA


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


I thoroughly enjoyed your expertise and advise on how to take breathtaking photos

Chris, I can't thank you enough for this most inspiring weekend photographing wild snow geese. I thoroughly enjoyed your expertise and advise on how to take breathtaking photos. After quickly reviewing 2,000 photos I'm proud to say that close to 200 will be keepers. At least 3 or 4 of the really interesting ones actually had their beaks open. Also I'd like to thank you for the use of the 800mm lens and Mark IV; by day 2 I got the hang of using it and some of the close-ups are outstanding." 

George Liberman Montreal, Quebec, Canada


A fantastic experience for me in many aspects

Hi Chris. The September Moose and Fall Colors Photo Workshop has been a fantastic experience for me in many aspects. I want to thank you warmly for everything you have done for me, not only with respect to photography but in every respect, such as wildlife and nature, the English language, travel tips, etc. You never hesitated to share your knowledge with the group in general and with me in particular. You amazed me more than one time with your wide array of knowledge. Furthermore, you have been a very pleasant companion all along. I would not hesitate to book another workshop with you, which I intend to do later, depending on my budget and schedule possibilities. I already told you that you are a real gentleman, and I just want to tell you again.

Serge Gagné L’Île-Bizard, Quebec, Canada


One of the top photo trips I have taken

The trip with Chris on the Yacht along the Katmai coast was fantastic.  Without a doubt it was one of the top photo trips I have taken over the last several years due to the amazing variety and density of wildlife in such completely unspoiled and uninhabited wilderness.  Unlike land based lodges, with the Yacht you have the opportunity to photograph in several of Katmai's secluded bays versus being limited to an area adjacent to a land-based lodge.  What helped make the trip so successful was Chris's work ethic where he is always ready to shoot in any weather conditions and will stay in the field as long as there is any possibility for high quality photography.  This is essential in a place like coastal Alaska where it can go from direct sunny conditions to heavy overcast to rain in the blink of an eye and where the sun doesn't set until the late evening.  If the best time to photograph Brown Bears chasing down salmon was after 10:00PM, you bet we'd be on the river bank waiting on the massive Brown Bear boars to make their spectacular runs--photography is top priority after safety of course.  The daily great fresh seafood didn't exactly hurt the trip either.

As I write this I've only a little over two weeks removed from returning from Katmai and I'm still having serious withdrawals--right now I really want to be on the Yacht's skiff heading to shore to photograph more bears, eagles, and wolves.

Steve Metildi Southern California, USA


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


You lead an outstanding tour

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for an amazing trip to Bonaventure Island. I especially enjoyed shooting from the zodiac for all kinds of great shots. You lead an outstanding tour, and I would certainly consider future trips with you. I can tell that you could be of great help as I finish off my wish list of species for the new waterbirds book, as you know many of the key spots for specific species and behavior. I also have a lot to learn about the digital process, and you are gifted in this area. Many thanks my friend!

Middleton Evans  Baltimore, Maryland, USA


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


Your instruction is the best I've experience in taking these kinds of trips

Chris, Thanks for another great photo adventure to Alaska during your Eagles of Alaska photograpic Expedition!!!!!!
This is the third trip with you and they keep getting better. Always challenging. Always easy-going. Always taking my photography forward. (Take a look at my site for a few new pictures from Alaska.) Your instruction is the best I've experience in taking these kinds of trips. You always seem to know where to put us in the absolute best place. Top Notch!!!! Can't wait till the next one.....wherever that might be. Thanks again!!!!!!!  

Jeff Moore Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA


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


Stan Buman Top 10 reasons to join Chris Dodds Workshop

I joined Chris for the Gannets Galore Workshop in June. It was a great learning experience and a wonderful three days. Here are the top ten reasons why I would recommend attending a workshop with Chris.

1. Chris knows the workshop locations and subjects. He has been to the Northern Gannet colony over 375 times, giving him intimate knowledge of the island and bird behavior. All professional wildlife photographers will tell you that knowledge of the subject is crucial for obtaining quality images.

2. With this knowledge, he works hard to put you in the right place by constantly monitoring weather conditions (such as wind direction) and bird activity.

3. Chris is respectful of, and well respected by, the Park Service employees. He treats them well and they treat him well.

4. The Gannets Galore Workshop is more than just photographing on the island. Photography from the Zodiac boat adds a whole new dimension to the diversity of images and bird species.

5. While birds are his primary focus, he is willing to photograph other subjects; Gray Seals come to mind.

6. He is a good birder. It isn’t just all about Gannets.

7. Being a top-notch photographer, Chris knows what it takes to get great images. He is willing to share his knowledge with his participants.

8. I am a better bird photographer because of Chris. Leading by example, he challenged me to work harder on my skills and work outside my comfort zone.

9. For those of you who live to eat, Chris will make sure you are well fed (quality and quantity). I eat to live but think I gained weight on this trip.

10. His ability to speak French comes in handy for us ignorant Americans who never learned to speak anything but English.

Stan Buman Carroll, Iowa, USA


We had a phenomenal time

Thank you so much for wonderful time we had in Homer, AK during your Eagles of Homer Workshop. Both Rick and I are so excited about learning "M" (manual). We have attended several other photo workshops lead by others but did not learn as much as we did in the 6 days under your guidance in Homer. We came home with some outstanding photos, so many more than we thought possible. We had a phenomenal time and hope to do another workshop with you in the near future.

Melody & Rick Curtis Flower Mound, Texas, USA


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