Sunday, November 19, 2017

Costa Rica - it was one of our free days, but that did not stop us from shooting birds and crocodiles.

My workshop in Costa Rica is here for more than a week, so I added two free days for people to relax or do other activities (zip line, kayak, spa). And even though people are taking advantage of the other activities, we still started the day with our bird photography.

The resort has bird feeders in numerous places around the main lodge, which attracts all these amazing species.

After lunch, some people went to the spa and others took a nap. I walked down to the creek and found this Caiman lounging in the water. I took a couple of photos but was not happy with the high reflectivity of the water. I walked quickly back to my room to grab my Tiffen Circular Polarizing filter hoping that he would stay in the same spot long enough to get a better shot.

As you can see, the Caiman was nice enough to stick around for another 10 minutes so that I could get this shot. For those of you who are into photography, take a minute to compare the two photos to see how much of a difference the polarizing filter made. It removed all of that glare from the water and made a much better final image.

I was photographing the big Caiman in the water, when I looked down and saw this little lizard at my feet. Better than the other way around I guess. :)

I was walking around the property here at Crocodile Bay when I saw Bob and his wife Tracy in the front of the property. I told them about the cool caiman in the water and they told me about a group of Macaw that were hanging out in the trees. We both went our different directions to get new photos.

I have captured many photos of the Macaw on this trip, but have been working hard to get some nice shots of them in flight. I am still working on that challenge. This was one of the best so far.

Later in the day I saw Tracy once again. Bob was not feeling great, and was taking a rest. But Bob gave her his loaner Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 100-400mm lens to play with. Even though she is on the tour as a non-photographer I reveled at the chance to teach her about photography. I explained aperture, shutter speed and ISO and worked with her on camera settings. I also showed her the best way to hold a big camera as steady as possible.

In the distance, we saw this Road-side hawk in a tree. I showed her how I take a photo and then creep closer to get a tighter shot. We then repeated this to get as close as possible to our subject. She steadied the big camera and got a shot just like this one. It was so awesome to see someone learning the basics of photography and nailing a great shot.

We then met up with another guest, David, and walked over to the river. We saw a large 9-foot long crocodile cruising around in the water. We stood at the edge of the water and watched as this big guy swim towards us. As he got about 10 feet from us, he opened his mouth and showed us his pearly white teeth. I think I was the only one who got the shot, because the other two were moving back up the sloped river's edge. (Note: I have been here before and know that these animals are more afraid of us than we should be of them. But even with that said, I did not get too close to this guy.)

It was another awesome day in the rain forest. The storm which had previously dumped a ton of rain on us was now gone and we had our first day without rain. And then sunny skies would remain. Stay tuned for more photos from this photo tour.

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