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.

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3 comments:

Jeff said...

Jeff, these are AMAZING photographs. The lighting on the lizard is stunning, but then again all the pictures are incredible!

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