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.

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1 comment:

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