Monday, June 6, 2022

Another visit to the rain forest of Costa Rica!

It has been a while since I have written a blog. It is not for a lack of wanting to, it is just that things have just been a little crazy lately. In the last month I have spent 10 days in Costa Rica, then came home to photograph some large events and then back out on the road again. While in the rain forest for another photo tour, we saw some great wildlife, and I wanted to share some of those photos with all of you.

For our first day, the rain forest showed why it is called that. It rained just about all day. This is unusual, since we usually do not get the heavy rains until the late afternoons. But nonetheless, we had some really nice photo opportunities.

Almost all of these photos were taken with the Canon R3 and the Canon RF100-500mm lens. I did also use the Canon R6 and Canon 100-400mm EF lens with the Canon EF-RF adaptor.

We usually see monkeys on the first day, but due to the rains and chance, we ended up seeing more birds on this day trip along the coast. But we were all good with that, knowing that we would likely see all four species of monkeys throughout the week. 

We watched this roadside hawk move from one perch to another.

Dennis, our guide, spotted this toucan in its nest.  As you can see from the photos, the overcast skies provided good light for photos.

After many trips to this area I finally got a decent photo of a macaw in flight with a dark background as opposed to blue skies. And we saw this one flying with a nut in its mouth.

Our second day was our macro day, photographing the frogs, lizards and snakes.

While our guides were setting up our shooting locations, myself and my guests looked for other photos. I saw this bee repeatedly flying to these flowers and happened to get it tack sharp in a couple of frames. 

Then it was time to photograph the frogs from the area.

I never get tired of photographing the red-eyed tree frogs.

This is a dart frog, which is really tiny. These things are less than an inch long and they move pretty fast. This little guy provided a real challenge to my students.

The red-eyed tree frogs tend to stay put for a longer time, making them much easier to photograph.

This lizard has great features and made for a perfect vertical shot.

Our guide, Eduardo, placed this eye-lash viper on this plant for us to photograph. For the snake photos, we used our longer zoom lenses!

We always eat lunch at Eduardo's place. While we were eating lunch, we watched the birds in the bushes around us, and had fun photographing them as well.

This one caught a small moth and was bringing it to the nest. One of my guests saw my photo and said "the fact that you got that shot shows that you are a professional photographer", only to look in his own viewfinder to see that he got the same shot! I love that.

The next day was a free day to explore the property. We started with some of us photographing the butterflies. They were all over the plants in front of our resort.

We also had a visit from these howler monkeys, who were on the fringes of the resort.

Then we were back to the butterflies...

...and awesome hummingbirds.

These egrets were mating, hence the enhanced color in their heads.

The following day, we headed across the bay to the sanctuary to see more wildlife. For this shot, I set the camera's ISO to 50, the aperture to f/29, and the shutter speed at 1/20 sec to motion pan our second boat going next to us.

The spider monkeys never disappoint!

This time around, we had a rare chance to photograph a 3 week old sloth that had been found without its mother. We all loved taking photos of this little sloth only to find out that it passed away on the following day. Very sad.

On our boat ride back to the resort, we were super excited to see a large pod of dolphin. A couple of us were able to grab shots of them jumping and spinning.

Another boat was following along as well. I think we saw a total of 150 dolphins on all sides of us.

On our second "day off" I decided to walk the property of the resort to see what good photo could be found. I really did not see much until I got back to my room and saw these howler monkeys from my balcony. It was a rare chance to photograph down on these animals as opposed to pointing up into the trees. I saw this one rubbing it's back on the tree branch. This made me laugh.

I sent a WhatsApp message to all the guests to come to my room (where I would do our critiques and lessons) to shoot with me from the 4th floor balcony.

Here is some fun interaction between the howlers.

Again, I loved photographing these monkeys from their level.

A couple of years ago, I added a sloth day to the trip, and this has been a highlight. We visit the La Perica Sloth Garden and this time we were lucky to get great shots of sloths and even this one with a youngster. I love the interaction between the mother and child.

On our final full day on the Osa Peninsula, we did the boat tour on the Sierpe river. We came across a large group of grasshoppers and had fun shooting images of them up close and personal.

Our boat captain brought us in close to this birds nest. We were taking photos of this young chick, when it briefly opened its mouth. Bam! Got the shot. 

We always see lots of iguana on the Sierpe river. It was fun to get in close to this one using the Canon 100-400mm lens all the way at 400mm. 

For only the second time on this river tour, we got to see a snake in one of the trees.

This is a crop of another image, but still looks pretty nice.

This last shot was also taken from the river boat. Just before we turned around to go have lunch, we saw this white face monkey grabbing some lunch for itself.

The next Costa Rica photo tour is already sold out, but I have added two more trips in 2023. Please contact me if you would like to join me on this awesome trip.


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