Wednesday, December 5, 2018

My favorite photography gift ideas (organized by price ranges)


It is that time of year when everyone asks me for my recommendations for gifts for themselves or their friends and family who are into photography. This year I decided to create a blog post with my suggestions for great products (most of which I use on a daily basis). I have broken them down by price categories to make it easier for you all.

I hope this helps make your shopping a little bit easier. And feel free to pass this on to your friends and family.

Happy holidays!


Under $60

Powerex Pro Rechargeable AA NiMH Batteries
ProGrade Digital 64GB UHS-II Memory Card

Under $100

BlackRapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap
MagMod Starter Flash Kit
Powerex 8-Cell 1-Hour Charger
ProGrade Digital Dual-Slot Reader
Tiffen UV Haze Digital Filter
Spyder 5PRO Display Calibration System

Under $250

Tiffen Digital HT Circular Polarizing Filter
FitBit Versa Fitness Watch
Apple TV 4K
Google WiFi (3 pack)
ProGrade Digital 64GB UHS-II SDXC cards (2-Pack)

Under $500

Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Rolling Backpack
Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet (Medium)
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT II Flash
Drobo 5C
Bose QuietComfort 35 II WirelessNoise Cancelling Headphones
DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal
Acratech GP Ball-head


Favorite things over $500

Canon 5D Mark IV camera body
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens
Canon EF 100-400mm IS II lens
Canon 24-70mm II lens
Gitzo Traveler Tripod





Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________



Friday, November 23, 2018

Some of the best Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals I have seen (in one place for you)

I have been watching the flood of emails coming into my inbox, all of them announcing deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some of the deals are good and some are great.

Here are some of the best deals I have seen for the the products I love the most.

Canon 5D Mark IV camera bundle - $3149 (Saving $550) - LINK HERE
Canon 100-400mm II lens - $1799 (Saving $400) - LINK HERE






25% off all ProGrade Digital cards and readers - LINK HERE



20% off and free shipping for all BlackRapid products - use code BRBFCM18 HERE


$50 off Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet (Medium) - LINK HERE

10% off all MagMod products - LINK HERE



Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar - $1699 (Saving $700) - LINK HERE


Luxli Cello 10" LED light - $329 (Saving $170) - LINK HERE


Most of these are good through through Monday. I hope this helps you get some new gear and save some money too.





Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It is Thanksgiving here in the United States, and for all of you who live here, I wanted to reach out and say Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

I have a ton to be thankful for. I have an amazing family, great friends, a job that I love, good health and all of you who continue to inspire me every day.


So much of this holiday is based on eating, so I figured I would post this photo of one big mouth, ready to be stuffed. Even though turkey is not likely on the menu for this herbivore. In another 7 weeks I will be back in Africa for another month of photo tours. Another thing to be thankful for, as I love Tanzania so much.

I hope that each of you have as much to be thankful for, and that you all have a happy and healthy holiday today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Jeff

Friday, November 16, 2018

A new free video called "How to go from Amateur to Professional Photographer"

B&H has released another one of my presentations to their YouTube channel. This video is called "How to go from Amateur to Professional Photographer", and I talk about the business of photography.

For all of you interested in turning your passion for photography into a business, this video should be very helpful for you.

Click the image above to watch the video

As always, I don't hold back any information, and am proud to be open about the challenges and triumphs of being a professional photographer. Enjoy!



Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

I have been waiting more than a year for this - The new Drobo 8D direct attached RAID drive!!

I have been storing all of my data on Drobo RAID systems for more than 8 years now. Yes, that means that I have EVERY photo I have ever taken, all stored safely in my office and remotely. For my direct attached drive (connected to my Mac Pro) I was using the Drobo 5D3, but I really wanted an 8-bay unit with more capacity and speed.

It was more than a year ago that my friends at Drobo let me know that this was on the roadmap for them. And my response was "I need one!!!!" A couple of months ago, I actually ran out of space on the first volume of my Drobo 5D3 and I had to start putting my photos onto a second volume. At the same time, I knew that a new 8 drive system was almost here, so I just used two volumes and waited...

Well folks, the wait is over! Drobo announced the new Drobo 8D this morning.

I have actually been using the Drobo 8D for a couple of weeks now and loving it!


What is new with the Drobo 8D?

* This is the fastest Drobo ever made
* You can now create volumes up to 128TB for a total of 256TB in one box
* There are 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports (second port for daisy chaining)
* There is a slot in the back of the unit for a 2.5" SSD (which is used to Hot Cache data to make everything faster).
* The 8D is compatible with the newer 14TB hard drives
* They have new volume management software (basically "tech talk" to say that now volume creation and management is more flexible, easier and more efficient.)

What is most important to me?

Sure, I want all the speed and capacity of the new 8D, but what is way more important to me is that my data is safe. Speed and capacity mean nothing if my data is lost! I used to use multiple external hard drives to store my data, but that left me vulnerable if one of the drives crashed. With the Drobo RAID system, if a hard drive dies, I can replace it with another and I will not lose any data.

The transition from the Drobo 5D3 to the Drobo 8D

As soon as I got the new Drobo, my first thought was, "how long is it going to take me to move all the data from the 5D3 to the 8D and how painful will this be?" I have all my data backed up on 2 Drobo 810n NAS drives, so I was not worried about losing data. It was more about the pain of the transition.


As it turned out, the transition was amazingly simple. I turned off my Drobo 5D3, and took all the drives out of the unit. I figured that while everything was out, I would clean them all and proceeded to vacuum all the dust from the hard drives. I then inserted all 5 of the drives into the new Drobo 8D and waited in anticipation. Within a couple of minutes, the unit was powered up and showed up on my Mac desktop. My first thought was "that was too easy!" All the data was there, but still in the smaller volumes. To take full advantage of the 8D, I created a new volume set at 128TB. Again, this took a couple of minutes and after the system rebooted, there it was.


And now that I had space for 8 hard drives instead of 5, it was time to load more capacity to this bad boy. I added a couple of 12TB Seagate Barracuda Pro drives and a spare 8TB WD drive. That process took no time at all. Lastly, since I want all the speed I can get out of the unit, I added a Seagate Nytro SSD to the back of the unit.

I have since copied most of the data from the two smaller volumes into the new 128TB volume and plan to delete the older volumes once all the data is completely moved to the large volume. But that can be done over time and is not a worry for me.

When starting this transition, I prepared for a full day of tech support phone calls and hair loss (which does not come easy for me). After all was said and done, it was the complete opposite. Everything went so smoothly that it almost seemed unreal. After an hour or two I even called my wife and told her that all my "data fears" were gone and I was already back to photo editing.

My new Drobo ecosystem (and how the CA wildfires changed my way of thinking)

I am now totally invested in the Drobo world with 3 different 8-bay RAID systems. I have the Drobo 8D as my primary working drive connected directly to my Mac. I then have two of the Drobo 810n units (which also hold 8 hard drives each) for my Network Attached Storage (NAS). One of those 810n units is at my office and used as a backup and a sharable server. The second Drobo 810n is located more than 200 miles away, at my brother's house, and is my ultimate backup solution in case of something catastrophic at my Bay Area office. Using Drobo's free software, called Drobo DR, my first NAS drive automatically synchronizes all data over the Internet with the second every night at 11pm. This provides a HUGE sense of security for me, knowing that all my data is safe and sound, and far from the other storage devices.



Note: For the past year, my second Drobo 810n was located about a mile from my office, thinking that this was great redundancy. In the past, I figured that the odds of my office being destroyed and another being destroyed miles away, would be almost unheard of. But after the big fire in Sonoma last year and the even bigger fire raging right now in Northern California, I decided to move the second unit much farther. The good news is that, using Drobo DR, the second unit could be half way around the world and the solution would still work well. 

The investment

As you read this, you might be thinking that all of this equipment is costly. And, it is true, with the Drobo 8D bare box starting at $1299, this is not an inexpensive solution. And yes, I am lucky to be sponsored by Drobo and get some of their equipment for nothing. But for someone who makes his living capturing images for personal and corporate clients, I feel that it is imperative to keep their images safe for a REALLY long time. As I have said for many years, I do not consider myself a photographer, I consider myself a historian. And keeping my images safe means that I am preserving history for myself and my clients.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How to get the best performance from your camera and memory card!

Recently, I had someone write to me and ask me some questions about the best way to use memory cards in Canon cameras. I started to write back to him and then realized that this is good information to share with all of you as well. Hence this blog post.

My goal here is to help you shoot more efficiently in your camera. Believe it or not, the way that you shoot your images to your memory cards does have a big effect on the performance of your camera. Answering questions like "Should I use both memory card slots?" and "Should I shoot RAW to one card and JPEG to the other card?"

Since I am a Canon user and very familiar with their line of cameras, this blog will mostly be focused on their cameras, but rest assured, this information will still be useful for all you other camera owners. Hopefully it will inspire you to learn more about your camera's memory card slot(s) and help you get the most out of your camera.

The different memory card slots in cameras 
As camera technology has evolved, so have the memory cards which go in those cameras. Actually, this whole process is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. The camera companies are hesitant to adopt newer memory card formats until the cards are readily available, and the memory card companies are hesitant to ship cards if there are no cameras which use the technology. So, each time a new card format is announced, it takes a while to determine which technology will stick and which will not.

If you look back, you will see that there were many types of memory cards that came out and didn't last very long. Formats like MiniSD, MMC, xD, Memory Stick M2 came and went pretty quickly. The most common memory cards used today are Compact Flash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), with the common new comers being XQD and CFast. But even with these form factors, there have been many iterations of each of them and the camera companies have not always been up-to-date with the latest technology when releasing their cameras. It is for this reason that you need to be aware of your camera and what its data moving capabilities are.


Redundant shooting to two cards 
Having spent 12 years in the memory card business, I can tell you that there is no memory card that will last forever. Since I value every photo I take, I almost always recommend shooting to two cards. Today I am using Pro Grade Digital memory cards because I think they are the best on the market, but even using the best, I still want to protect myself from potential card corruption.

Shooting RAW to both slots or RAW to one and JPEG to the other? 
Before heading to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I had a plan to shoot full sized RAW images to one card of my Canon 1D X and medium sized JPEGs to the other card slot. I figured that, with this method, I would be able to write faster to both card slots (since the second card would be writing a smaller file than the first card) and I would be able to store a ton of images on the second CF card. Well...after testing this, I found that the camera was taking twice as long to clear it's buffer. This surprised me and lead me to some more testing and phone calls to the technical people at Canon. As it turns out, when writing both a RAW file and JPEG file (to one card or two) the camera has to process both formats, which takes more time. It is for this reason that I never shoot in RAW+JPEG mode. I almost always shoot RAW to both card slots. Heck, if I need JPEGs, I can convert my RAW files to JPEG on my computer in seconds.

Cameras with two different types of card slots 
The Canon 1D X camera had two Compact Flash slots, which meant that both slots allowed me to write at 1066x speed. But many cameras have come out with different types of slots in the same camera body. The Canon 1D X MarkII has a CFast slot and a CF slot, which means that one slot can write at a blazing speed of 3500x and the other can only write at 1066x. When I shoot to both cards (which I mostly do) I am now limited to 1066x for the maximum write speeds.

The same is true when I shoot to my Canon 5D cameras, which combine a CF card slot and a slower SD card slot. More on that in a minute.

The cameras memory buffer matters too
As I just mentioned, when writing to both the CF card and CFast card on my Canon 1D X MKII, it  does slow the write speed, but luckily the memory buffer in the camera is large enough that this is rarely an issue. This is less true on the Canon 5D MKIV which has a smaller internal buffer. The smaller the buffer size, the less the camera can hold internally. For cameras with smaller buffers, it is even more critical to write to the memory cards fast. You need some free space in the buffer before you can take more photos.

Why does Canon ship with different card slot types in one camera? 
Canon is a very conservative company which has been hesitant to release a new camera with an unproven card technology. For this reason, they have created cameras with one newer card technology slot and one older slot. They feel that this helps photographers who have a large investment in the older memory cards, and also helps them hedge their bets with the new formats. I understand that thought process, but it does hinder the new camera when it comes to the optimum writing speed.

Compact Flash (CF) slots 
CF cards have reached the end of their development lifecycle and what we have today is the best that the cards will ever do. Yes, that 1066x speed that you see on most CF cards is the best they will ever achieve. And for the last 5 years, almost all cameras that have come out with CF card slots have been able to take full advantage of this speed. Why? Because the cameras were designed with memory card slots that took advantage of the final spec (called UDMA 7). Because the cameras and cards spoke the same "language", the performance was optimal.



Secure Digital (SD) slots 
SD cards have been around for a long time, but have changed a lot in all those years. They have increased wildly in their capacities and speeds, but because of all those changes, not all cameras can use all SD cards at their full potential. When the Canon 5D Mark II came out, the SD card slot did not support the then current SD speeds and seriously hampered the performance of writing to the SD memory card in that camera. Then, with the release of the Canon 5D Mark III, I was looking forward to a faster SD card slot, and Canon totally let me down. Their engineers in Japan who designed the camera failed to include the current technology (called UHS) once again. Arghh!!! Then, after waiting another couple of years, Canon announced the Canon 5D Mark IV and I thought "for sure Canon has finally put the latest in SD card slot technology into their camera" and once again I was let down. Yes, they did put a SD UHS-1 slot in the camera, but UHS-2 technology has been out for more than 7 years.

What does this mean to you and I? It means that, when writing to both memory card slots of the Canon 5D Mark IV, with one being a lot slower than the other, the camera takes a lot longer to write the data and clear the buffer. So...we have to wait longer to shoot more images. Today, if I am using the Canon 5D Mark IV for shooting sports, I have to shoot only to the CF card. Otherwise I have to deal with the frustration of the "Please Wait" message on the camera as I watch action unfold in front of me.

Newer and faster memory cards 
The fastest memory cards on the market today are the CFast and XQD cards with speeds ranging in the 3500x range. But, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, it looks like we are about to see the new CFexpress card format very soon. These cards have the ability to write at much faster speeds than CFast and XQD. But the big question is: Will Canon and other camera companies release a camera with two of these card slots or will they have one CFexpress slot and one older slot? Only time will tell.

I hope this helps you understand the subject a little more, and helps you shoot more efficiently in the future.

Related blog post: Why you should not delete images in your camera

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The fall colors of Spokane, Washington and the river at night

I am currently in Spokane, WA speaking at Whitworth University, and had some time yesterday afternoon to walk around the city and grab some photos. Since I am staying along the river, I started my 10 mile walk on the riverside.


This was one of the first views I saw, with the great colors in the trees, and the dramatic cloudy sky.


I walked to the main falls and took this photo. I liked the composition, but thought that this would make an even better night shot.


After walking along the river, I went to Manito Park. Most of the park was without color, since it is the wrong time of year for their blooms.


Within the park, they have a Japanese garden, which had great fall colors. I got down low for this photo, to show the colorful leaves on the ground.


There was one tree in particular that was in full red color, and I moved to many positions to get these two photos. My goal was to get the red leaves in front of a complimentary colored background.



Even though my feet were tired from walking all afternoon, I could not resist the temptation to walk back to my original river location to get this night shot.  I waited in this spot for an hour to get the perfect deep blue skies. I had my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 24-105mm lens mounted on my Gitzo travel tripod and Acratech ball head. Unlike the day shot that was taken with a fast shutter speed, this night photo was taken with a 15 second exposure. The long exposure blurs the water perfectly and adds to the drama of the photo. Compare this night shot to the day shot, and I think you'll agree that this one is much more interesting.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, October 28, 2018

From New York to home (to shoot a Bar Mitzvah), and now off to Spokane, WA

I guess there is no rest this month. Last week I was speaking at B&H Photo and at Photo Plus in New York, and flew home just in time to photograph a Bar Mitzvah all day yesterday.  Now I am off to Spokane, Washington to speak at Whitworth University tomorrow and Tuesday. 

For those of you who live in the Spokane area, I will be presenting (for the first time ever) all my favorite Olympic images from the last 6 Games. This is on Tuesday evening and is free to the public. You can get more information HERE from the university web page.


I have not been up to Spokane in a long time, and am excited to spread the passion for photography and meet new people.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Back in New York City


I am back in New York and getting ready to present at the Event Space at B&H Photo tomorrow (Wed). If you are here in the city, or somewhere nearby, come by tomorrow and say hello.

I am presenting twice.

10am EST: Keeping Your Images Safe - Sign up free here

1pm EST: Technology Changes That Make Photography Better - Sign up free here

Both of these presentations will be live streamed and eventually posted to their YouTube channel.

On Thursday I will be at the PhotoPlus trade show at the Javits Center in NY. You can find me at the Drobo booth at 11am and 1pm. Come say hello!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Costa Rica Photo Tour - A very RARE sighting of an Ocelot in the rain forest!

The best part of Costa Rica is the diversity of the wildlife in the area. As you will see from this blog post, there is everything from amazing birds, crazy reptiles and even big cats!


One of my favorite birds to photograph is the Scarlet macaw. These colors in these birds just fascinates me. You can hear these birds from very far away, making it pretty easy to find them in the wild. I saw this macaw hanging from a tree and quickly grabbed this shot.


For the first time ever, I took the tour group on a boat trip on a river in the Osa Peninsula. As we cruised along the river, we were treated to some really cool photo opportunities. This Kingfisher was hanging out on a nearby branch, so we cruised in slowly to get a nice tight shot.


I have seen monkeys many times in Costa Rica, but never seen them get near the water, let alone IN the water. We saw a group of young monkeys playing in the low hanging trees and laughed as they chased each other into the water. I love this photo of the monkey hanging halfway in the river.


We saw this Caymen sitting on the river bank, with his mouth wide open. He was not threatening us, they open their mouths to regulate their body temperature. Just like I have done in Africva, when photographing the crocodiles there, I got down low in the boat to try and get eye level with the Caymen. I also liked the way that the surrounding plants framed the animal in the shot.



The next day, we took the group to my favorite animal sanctuary where we could interact with the local Spider monkeys.


 We were even lucky enough to see this one mother with her toddler.


So cute!


On one of our last nights on the photo tour, we took more macro shots of the tree frogs. They stay in one place for a pretty long time, so we could set up our tripods and light them with my little LED lights.



This photo made me laugh. I was taking photos of this frog, when a bug decided to fly in and test the frog's patience. I was wondering if the frog would try to eat the bug, but it never happened. Either way, I like the stare-down happening here.


At one point, I noticed that my LED light was casting a shadow of this little yellow tree frog on the leaf. I moved back and took this wide shot of the scene. It does not show the close-up detail of the frog, but is one of my favorite frog photos ever. I like the way that the yellow frog stands out in the otherwise dark frame.


On our last game drive, we had been out photographing birds, sloths, and monkeys, when we decided it was time to call it a day and return to the lodge. We were cruising down a local road when I saw something large out of the corner of my eye. I was in the front seat of the Mercedes Sprinter with Dennis (our guide) helping to spot wildlife, but never thought I would spot a large cat. I yelled at Dennis to stop, and pointed out my window to have him identify what we were seeing. He was as excited as all of us, and said that it was an Ocelot. I was out of the vehicle before it even rolled to a stop. In 12 years of being a guide in the area, Dennis had never seen a Ocelot in the wild. I didn't even have time to change my camera settings as I started shooting. But being that it was late in the afternoon, and the sunlight was low, I could hear that my shutter was pretty slow. Instead of trying to change settings and risk missing the shot, I decided to pan along with the cat. I took this with the Canon 1D X Mark II and the Canon 100-400mm lens. I was at ISO 800 and an aperture of f/5.6. This gave me a shutter speed of 1/100th sec. The decision was the right one and  I was THRILLED to get this shot. This was definitely a highlight shot from the trip.


Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Monday, October 8, 2018

Costa Rica Photo Tour - A full day of macro photography

You can't go to the rain forest of Costa Rica without a macro lens. There are so many cool small things to photograph there. On Aug 16th, I took our group to one of my favorite places to photograph the tree frogs and snakes in the area.


We started with the red-eyed tree frogs and everyone had so much fun capturing images of these beautiful little creatures. I would set my Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 100mm macro lens on my tripod, determine best camera settings for everyone, and then they would take turns getting their photos, using my suggestions and experimenting on their own.


This frog is about half the size of the red-eyed tree frog (about 1/4 inch in length), and very difficult to photograph.


This lizard was about two feet long and much easier for us to photograph. I suggested that everyone move to this location, to photograph the lizard with a solid background behind our subject.


When it came time to photograph snakes, we all stood a little farther away and switched to our longer lenses (many of which were loaned at no cost by Canon Professional Services!)


Even the snakes in Costa Rica are colorful.


At this point I was using my Canon 1D X Mark II with the Canon 100-400mm lens (the same lens that most of the group was using).



This Eyelash viper was the coolest of them all. Look at those amazing markings!



We had lunch at the top of the mountain, and after taking more macro shots, we headed back towards the resort. As we were heading down the mountain side, I saw this scene and asked Dennis (our trusty guide) to stop for a group photo. Being an experienced photographer himself, I asked him to take the group shot for me. Thanks Dennis for taking this photo of our happy group!

Stay tuned for more Costa Rica shots. And if you are interested in going on the 2019 trip (only time for one next year), please contact me. We have 4 spots left.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________

Monday, October 1, 2018

Costa Rica Photo Tour - The first couple of days of our tour

In August I lead another photo tour to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, one of my favorite places in the world. This was the only photo tour to the rain forest for 2018 since my schedule is just too busy to fit in any others. But it was an epic trip for the ten of us, as you will see in the following images from day one and day two of the adventure.


Since we had 10 of us, we were able to charter our own plane to get us to the rain forest from San Jose, CR. This was a twin engine plane that made the trip in a brisk 40 minutes, and allowed us to take as much luggage as we wanted.


Having done this flight many times, I told my guests that we may have visibility of the rain forest on the flight in, or may not. It really depended on the weather. I recommended that everyone have one camera with a medium length zoom lens. I was using my Canon 5D Mark IV with the Canon 24-105mm lens. Well...as you can see, it was very clear and we all got great shots from the plane.


We landed at the resort early enough to have a nice breakfast, and then went out for a walk on the resort grounds. This time I took my Canon 1D X Mark II with the Canon 100-400mm lens. In the first couple of minutes we saw this Cayman swimming in river. They are pretty harmless, so we took turns getting down low to the water and taking photos, loving the reflection in the still water surrounding him.


Also along the river's bank is a tree that is almost always covered in these birds. The difference this time was that we could see the babies in one of the nests. This is why I took the Canon 100-400mm lens, so I could zoom in on subjects like these little ones. Almost everyone else on the tour was using the same lens (other than the Nikon shooters) since Canon loans them for free to anyone who comes on one of my photo tours.


One of the great things about the Canon 100-400mm II lens is that it can focus on subjects that are very close to the lens. I was able to use the long zoom to get this "macro type" shot of a butterfly.


We saw this Tucan in a distant tree and we were able to get a reasonable photo of this awesome bird.


We did take a short drive from the resort and found some Squirrel monkeys moving from one tree to another.


On the second day, we drove out searching for the four species of monkey in the area. Not long into the drive, Dennis (our faithful guide) spotted some Howler monkeys in the branches above the road. We all got out of the vehicle and captured photos of these monkeys. This one had some bad teeth, but gave me that Elvis Presley look. That made me laugh.


While stopped on the roadside, Dennis spotted this lizard in a nearby bush. I moved to a position where the light was really nice and grabbed this shot. This was also a good teaching spot, showing how to move to avoid distractions in the background.


We also saw this Roadside hawk watching us from above.


The group was excited to see this adult and baby Squirrel monkey.


Costa Rica has the coolest looking birds!



It isn't easy to capture photos of the monkeys jumping from one tree to another, but these monkeys followed each other, taking turns jumping from the same branch, which made it a little easier.


This Squirrel monkey stopped in the perfect place for a portrait, helping all of you see just how long their tails are.


It was later in the day when we saw our first Spider monkeys. They were pretty high in the trees and Dennis and I were deciding whether it was worth stopping to try and photograph them. We decided that it might be worth it. And I am so glad that we did.

While we were photographing the monkeys, Dennis spotted a Three-toed Sloth low in the tree.



The sloth was only 15 feet from the road and almost at eye level! Usually we see sloths high in the trees, and get the typical "sloth butt" shot. But not this time!

At first, the light on the sloth was not good, but we saw that clouds were coming in, which would neutralize the light. We must have photographed this sloth for at least an hour and a half as it ate and moved around.


I told all of the photo tour guests that this was a rare treat, not only seeing the sloth so close, but also having it be so active. We all drove back to the resort happy as can be, knowing that we got some really epic photos of the sloth!

Stay tuned for more Costa Rica shots. And if you are interested in going on the 2019 trip (only time for one next year), please contact me. We have 4 spots left.

Subscribe to the Jeff Cable Photography Blog by clicking HERE!
__________________________________________________________________________
If you are interested in purchasing ANY equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. It does not change the cost to you in any way, but it helps me keep this blog up and running.
__________________________________________________________________________
Check out my upcoming photo tours to amazing places around the world. I have photo tours to Africa, Costa Rica, Europe, Asia, India and more. And Canon will loan you any gear you want for FREE for any of my tours.
__________________________________________________________________________