Monday, October 2, 2023

Up close and personal in Costa Rica

I will be heading back to the rain forest of Costa Rica late next month. That photo tour is sold out, but I have new tours scheduled for 2024 if you would like to sign up. In today's blog post, I am sharing with you some of the close up photos from the last trip.  Some were taken with the Canon RF100mm macro lens and others were taken using the Canon RF100-500mm lens, which does an amazing job of focusing up close. On this trip, I decided to leave the Canon R3 at home, and took the Canon R5 and Canon R6II bodies.

I love these close up shots, because it shows you detail that one might miss otherwise.

On our "macro day" we had a chance to photograph this helmet lizard. I have photographed this type of lizard before but never seen one with a dark blue eye. To capture this, I zoomed the Canon RF100-500mm lens to 370mm to just get the upper part of the body. When capturing the whole body (head to tail), the blue eye was not as noticeable. 

If you have followed my blog for a long time, and seen other images from Costa Rica, you know that I love photographing the red eye tree frogs. Since I have captured thousands of images of these little guys, I now look for interesting positions that they might be in. I really liked the way that this frog was positioned on the plant. Mainly it's foot placement and the way that it is looking out towards me. This photo was taken with the long lens.

This is the same frog photographed with the Canon RF100mm macro lens. When getting this close, you can see much more detail and more vibrant colors.

This frog was just hanging out and not moving much. This allowed all of us to easily capture images from all different directions. Straight on...

...and profile. Which lens do you think I was using to get these photos? If you guessed the macro lens, you would be wrong. 😀

I was testing pre-production units of the new Crucial x9 and Crucial x10 solid state drives (which are my new go-to drives). I wanted to take some "lifestyle photos" of these drives in the rain forest, and decided to have a little fun with one of our little models. I put the drive in front of this dart frog and waited for it to hop on for a ride. 

Whenever we take photos of the snakes, we always use the longer zoom lenses. Our handler placed this Eyelash Viper on this mossy log and I encouraged everyone to wait for the tongue to come out and shoot at that moment. 

In between photographing the reptiles, I always encourage my guests to look around capture the beautiful foliage. I was photographing this plant when I saw this insect flying into the frame. I quickly changed my focus to my new subject and took this shot.

On one of our free mornings, I decided to walk through the grounds of the resort to see what fun wildlife I could capture. Yeah, I know...some people might wonder why I would keep shooting after almost a week of teaching photography, but the passion runs deep and I love what I do! This young Iguana was hanging out on a branch down by the pier. I leaned over a railing, zoomed the Canon RF100-500mm lens all the way to 500mm to get as close as I could, and grabbed this shot. Because I was so close (maybe 6 feet away) and shooting at 500mm, I was able to get really narrow depth of field, with the focus mainly being on the face of the animal. 

Almost anywhere you go in the rain forest, you will be treated to butterflies, and they come in all shapes and colors.

Whenever I take groups to the rain forest, I always include a visit to a local "farm" where they grow and make chocolate. Although this stop is more about the culture and a little less about the photography, there is still plenty to shoot there.  Many times we are joined by White face monkeys in this location (which did happen on this trip, but those images will come in another blog post), and we always see cool insects. I saw this fly on top of this flower and loved the shiny green body against the yellow flower pedals. It is a simple photo, but one of my favorites from that day.

We saw this Dragon fly taking a break, and I wanted to zoom in to show the amazing patterns in it's wings. Again, this is something we don't usually see when they are flying around in the distance.

The majority of people who go with me on a photo tour to Costa Rica are excited to capture great images of the monkeys, sloths and birds. This just shows you how much more there is to photograph in this beautiful region.  Come join me in 2024!


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