Wednesday, July 24, 2019

All my favorite photos from the Costa Rica trip in one blog post!

It has been a couple of days since returning from the rain forest of Costa Rica, and I have had a little bit of time to look back at all the photos and take it all in. It is so much fun to be a photographer and teacher, and to see the excitement in everyones faces as we hunted for the great shots and celebrated amazing sitings.

For all of you wondering what equipment I took to Costa Rica, here is my list:

* Canon 1D X Mark II
* Canon 5D Mark IV
* Canon 24-105mm II lens
* Canon 100-400mm II lens
* Canon 100mm macro lens
* Gitzo travel tripod
* Acratech ball head
* Black Rapid strap
* Thinktank rolling backpack
* Pro Grade Digital memory cards and readers
* 15" MacBook Pro
* Tiffen HT UV filters in front of my lenses

As opposed to previous Costa Rica trips where I blogged the photos broken up by the day, this time I have decided to do one blog post with all of my favorite photos from the trip. This gives you an idea of what we saw in the 9 days we were in the rain forest. I hope you enjoy viewing the photos as much as I did taking them!

On our first day, we took a walk around the resort and saw these Tiger heron chicks being tended by their mother. We went back on our last day and were amazed at how much the chicks had changed in one week.

While still walking about the property, we were lucky to have some Howler monkeys low in the branches to welcome us.

On our second day, we drove through the rain forest looking for interesting photo opportunities. This was a great one, with four owls all huddled together in this tree!

We also saw some Spider monkeys swinging through the trees above us.

This was our lunch stop on our second day in the rain forest. Not too shabby huh?

Even though we see many Scarlet macaw throughout the resort and on our drives, I am always looking for them to be down low in the trees and with their wings open. This one was nice enough to pose for us.

This Yellow-throated toucan was hanging out in the trees above our swimming pool and just begging for a portrait.

As we do on every one of my photo tours to Costa Rica, we visited a place where we could photograph the Red-eyed tree frogs and other cool reptiles in a more controlled environment. All the frog photos were taken with the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Canon 100mm macro lens.

I just never get tired of photographing these little wonders.

Look at how amazing those eyes are!

This time we had some larger frogs to photograph as well.

..,and a lizard.

We also had two other species of poisonous dart frogs, including this dark one who was sporting a nice orange racing stripe.

At one point, I decided to try and get this frog in action. I cranked up my ISO to 6400 and set my aperture to f/8 to get a shutter speed of 1/1600 second. I waited for the frog to jump and hit the shutter release. It took me many tries before I got the apex of the jump the way I wanted.

This is a Yellow eyelash viper. It is a poisonous snake, and we wanted to keep our distance, so we all used our long lenses to photograph this amazing creature. I shot this and the other snake photos with the Canon 1D X Mark II with the Canon 100-400mm lens.

Just to reiterate, these photos were taken in a controlled environment, with a naturalist by each snake and keeping them in a nice photographic place, but also safe for all of us.

Check out the amazing colors in this Eyelash viper.

These butterflies were a little less intimidating than the snakes, but equally fun to photograph around the property.

This is a Squirrel monkey grabbing a snack in a tree.

I saw this Great Curassow walking amongst the trees, got down low and shot this profile of him.

While visiting our favorite animal sanctuary (accessible only by boat), we all had a chance to photograph this Ocelot.

I had two favorite photos of this awesome cat.

We even had a chance to get up close and personal with this Two-toed sloth. I used the long zoom lens to isolate just the face and toes of the sloth.

On the boat ride back to Crocodile Bay, we saw some dolphins and some flying fish. I saw this flying fish cruising across the water and quickly fired some shots to see if I could get it in focus. I was excited when I downloaded the images and caught this one in perfect focus, and with the trail of water behind it.

Whenever we had free time at the resort, you could see individuals from our group walking the grounds to get nice shots like this.

This is one of my favorite photos from this trip, and it was taken about 20 feet from the swimming pool. One of my tour attendees was really into photographing birds and showed me images of this hummingbird with it's back wings spread out. I just had to capture this for myself. It took patience as I held the big camera and lens steady for a really long time, waiting for this moment. My back hurt afterwards, but it was worth it. I got the back wings spread out and the amazing color of the bird's throat!

I also managed to get a nice shot of the same hummingbird in flight, with it's back wings out.

Here are a couple of Scarlet macaw that were hanging out on the property.

Believe it or not, I took this photo of a lizard at the pool. It was up on a ledge by the hot tub, allowing me to shoot up on it and get greenery behind it.

On the second to last night, I asked our guides if they could find some more critters for us to photograph on the property. They went out and came back with a couple more reptiles for us to photograph. I brought some small LED lights with me, so that we could light the little subjects appropriately, and it yielded some really nice photos for everyone.

We were able to get really close to the frogs with our macro lenses.

Actually, so close that this little guy hopped onto my camera. Click on the image above (or click HERE) to watch the video.

It was our last full day in the rain forest and we were all preparing to load into the vehicles, heading out to a boat cruise on one of the local rivers. But before loading up, our guide spotted an Anteater in a nearby tree. I had only seen one other anteater in the region and was excited about the opportunity to see one once again. We all moved around the tree to see if we could get clear shots. At one point, I saw my subject in perfect back-light and framed by the leaves in the foreground. Got him!

The anteater was nice enough to roam around the tree, giving all of our guests ample opportunities to get a clean shot. This just made my day!

On our river cruise, we stopped to watch these White-faced monkeys as they dropped down into the water to cool off and for a drink. I was able to catch this shot with a nice reflection of the monkey's face in the water.

Most of us flew out from the local airport on Thursday at 9am. Some of us got up early to walk the grounds one last time. We walked to the spot where we normally find a couple of crocodiles in the water. As I approached that spot, I stopped short as I saw this big guy hanging out on the shore. We got a couple photos of him, before he got scared and backed into the water.

As you can see, the photo opportunities from this last trip were plentiful, with a wide variety of wildlife and landscapes. This is probably why National Geographic calls this location "the most biologically intense place on earth".

If you would like to get photos like these for yourself, join me for one of my upcoming trips to the Osa Peninsula. I take everyone from beginners to professional photographers. You can find information on those trips HERE.

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Golden Solve Center said...

Excellent Photos! It is very amazing. Thanks for sharing your favorite photos.

Tom Spine said...

Very nice collection of photos. My favorite is the first photo of the red eye tree front inside the red leaves of the heliconia (?) flower. The red flower and green background are perfect.

One slight identification correction, though. That very first photo of the adult tending to the chicks -- that's a Cattle Egret, not a Tiger Heron.