Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conversation with Christopher Dodds

 I recently had the privilege to speak to Christopher Dodds of Nature Photography Blog talking about wildlife/nature photography. Chris' passion for nature and wildlife photography is undeniable, his photos prove that. I had set out to hold a question and answer format "interview" with Chris. It turned out of be a fun and informal conversation about photography ranging from favorite subject to showing your work online.

Christopher Dodds is a full-time freelance nature photographer, nature photography workshop leader, safari leader, teacher and lecturer specializing in birds. Many of his images have been published in world-class publications including: National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer Canada, Bird Conservation (American Bird Conservancy) to name just a few.

Chris first discovered his love of the great Canadian outdoors during family and boy scout camping, and canoe and backpacking trips, after moving to Canada from England when he was eight. By the time he was fourteen, Chris was thrilled at freezing fleeting glimpses of birds and the resulting ability to study every detail of their intricate beauty. Chris' passion for photography has taken several paths through the years; photojournalism, studio portraiture, commercial and wedding photography to name just a few. He apprenticed in colour and black and white chemical darkrooms, but today embraces the computerized, digital workflow. Chris is passionate about capturing images of nature in an artistic, yet technically perfect, manner.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Birds in general are among Chris' favorite subject to photograph. There are so many different species, coloration, and the best part they're always around!  Of the birds, sea birds such as Gannets located  at Bonaventure Island, Canada. 

Chris enjoys photographing Gannets at or near 7 weeks of age when they're at their most beautiful, interesting  in character, and  in the process of loosing their baby feathers. Chris likes to cover the spectrum of isolating a single bird along with interactions with one and another.

What is one of your favorite locations to shoot?
Iceland. There is great diversity for a photographer around every turn.  The more you move around, the more there is to see something new. From unearthly moon like landscapes, black volcanic sand, rough rugged landscape, mountains to seabirds. 

What motivates you the most to get up early to go out and shoot?
Creating an image in the camera, and not behind a computer. Chris went on to say "this is how it was in my camera, sparking emotion in that frame." I've got many quotes from Chris in this segment, but there is one I personally like, "spend more time in field not in Photoshop." Not that Chris has anything against Photoshop, but he believes that you can learn more and get better at your craft out in the field than you can sitting behind a computer. There is always a new opportunity to shoot each time you go out. “Keep the out in the outdoors.”

Now, what every photographer wants to know. What camera and lens combo do you most enjoy using?
Chris' favorite equipment includes: Canon 1DS mark III and Canon 1D mark IV professional digital camera bodies and Canon 500mm F4 IS, 300mm F2.8 IS and 70-200mm F2.8 IS II lenses. I have bags full of other lenses and accessories, but these are my favorite, most used tools.

One of the latest ways I have connected with Chris is on Chris and I both like this site for various reasons. Among those reason's, Chris likes to find photographers that aren't that popular or known around the internet. 500px is a great way to display your work and have great photographers like Chris see it and comment on it. 

Here are some of Chris' upcoming workshops.