Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A BIG surprise that happened in Costa Rica!

One month from now, I will be back in the rain forest of Costa Rica leading another photo tour, but I never had a chance to share an awesome story with you all from the last trip! But before I get to this first time ever event on one of my photo tours, let me share some more favorite images from the trip.

Here is a photo of the great group of people on the tour. Everyone got along so well, the weather was perfect for photography, and we saw so much!

We saw all four species of monkeys in the area, but especially loved the Howler monkeys. Not only are they fun to photograph, but they are amazing to listen to.

Click on the video above to hear them in action. They are SO loud!

It is a challenge to photograph these dark animals in a dark environment, but when done right, you can really see their details and expressions. 

I always teach my guests to wait for the right lighting on the animals faces, and to look for the catch light in their eyes. This male (and yes, we know for sure that it is a male) was staring right at us for this portrait.

Most of the time we are pointing our cameras up into the canopy, but for this White-nosed coati we were at eye level. 

The coati are pretty plentiful down in this region, but not always in the best positions to photograph. This last group had some of the clearest shots so far.

And, of course, we loved photographing the amazing birds. We found this one toucan hanging out in a tree about 30 feet above us. If you missed the blog showing the incredible Macaw, you can click here to see that.

I love this photo of all of us were pointing up and concentrating on the shot. (You will notice that almost everyone has an orange piece of gaffer tape on their loaner lenses. This is because I tape the sliding filter door shut on the lens hoods. It really bugs me that they slide open all the time.)

We came across a group of White-face capuchin monkeys who were swinging from one tree to another. In between their movement, they took a break to clean each other. 

These monkeys move pretty fast, making it a challenge to capture them in a good pose.

On our visit to the local chocolate farm, we were joined by a large group of Squirrel monkeys.

Any time we get a chance to photograph babies of any species, we take full advantage of that!

And then there was the big surprise!!!

We almost always stop at this one beach to have lunch. While we were there, I saw that we had nice diffused light and offered to take portraits of each of my guests. I took this photo of Jason and Stacy and then took photos of all the others. Yeah - we were all hot and sweaty, but we didn't care.

One by one, I recruited them for photos. I thought that my shot of Karen and Mike (seen here) was the last one in the bunch, but then Jason asked me if I could take a couple more of Stacy and himself. 

Of course, I agreed, but as I was looking through the viewfinder I wondered why he was holding something in his hand. I thought it was a remote to his camera, but it wasn't. It was a wedding ring, and without me even knowing it, I was photographing a marriage proposal! (Hey Jason - you could have given me a heads-up on this! 😀)

As soon as I realized what was happening, I started hammering the shutter to grab as many reactions as possible.

It was an awesome moment, and everyone was caught up in it, watching this unfold in front of us.

Of course, she said yes and he put the ring on her finger. We all celebrated with them.

I had them hold the ring out away from them, focused on the ring instead to their faces, and took this photo. 

The rest of the trip was so special for them to have this magical moment in the rain forest.

On our day of macro photography, I had an idea. This one frog sat in the same spot for an eternity, posing for us as we took turns taking it's portrait. I asked Stacy if I could borrow her ring, and gently placed it on the frog's head. It still did not move, so I took this fun shot to share with them. (And no, the frog was not harmed in any way during the taking of this photo.) 

I have done countless photo tours, but never had anything like this happen before. It was a really special moment, taken in a really special place, and we were all glad to be witnesses to it all. Now the big question is...are we all invited to the wedding?


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