Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Another photo tour to the rain forest of Costa Rica!

One of the things that I love about the rain forest of Costa Rica is that, no matter how many times I am down there, I see something different every time. Myself and my 12 guests have all returned home with a whole treasure trove of great images. 

Not only did they get awesome photos, but we all had an amazing time. It was another group that got along so well, shared their enthusiasm, took incredible photos, and had a lot of laughs. That the goal for all my photo tours: shoot well, and have a blast while doing that!

In this blog post, I am going to show you some of my favorite photos from the trip. In the next blog post, I hope to share some of the awesome images that my guests captured.

Everyone has been asking me if I took a new Canon camera with me on the trip. The answer is no. I was mostly shooting with the Canon R3 and the Canon R5. Almost all the photos were taken with the Canon RF 100-500mm lens (even the shots that look like macro images). And everything was edited on the MacBook Pro using Adobe Photoshop.

Here are my favorites (in chronological order)...

There are butterflies all over the place. This photo was taken in the first hour of our trip, during our walk of the resort property, I really like the colors in this photo as well as the lighting that was on the butterfly, casting an interesting shadow on the leaf.

The parrots are loud and plentiful as in the rain forest. We watched this one feeding on a nearby tree limb. You can see that we had a little bit of rain, but not enough to keep us from shooting. 

On our first full day, we saw all 4 species of monkeys. I love this shot with the Squirrel monkey wrapping itself with it's tail.

Any time we see babies (of any animal), we got excited. And we saw lots of them on this trip.  I love this cluster of White-face monkeys, with a baby in the mix.  

This White-face monkey was just chilling in a tree, watching all the others moving around. Love the pose.

Still on the first day, we came across a pack of Howler monkeys. Once again, we paid extra special attention to the youngsters.

Even though we didn't get a great photo opportunity with the Spider monkeys omn the first day, we did have fun watching them follow each other and they jumped from tree to tree. Knowing that we would only get silhouettes, I shared the camera settings and we had fun capturing them mid-flight.

The second day was our macro day, and everyone had a blast photographing the Red-eyed tree frogs. 

I never get tired of these cute little frogs.

We also had some other subjects to capture, including this Iguana (which only show this color in their younger days)

For the first time in all of my trips to Costa Rica, I had a chance to photograph the tiny little Glass frog.  We were all amazed that Eduardo (the man who finds the animals for us) could find this thing amongst all the foliage of the rain forest.

After spending the first half of the day in the macro location, we returned back to the resort. I walked around with some of my guests, and showed them how to get the attention of the crocodiles in the nearby pond. This one came towards us, and I showed them how we could get down low to get a shot of just it's eye. So cool!

On our fourth day, we went to an area that is known for having a lot of Two-toed and Three-toed sloths. We found a couple of juveniles and waited to see if they would stay in a ball, or if they would move around. One of them became really active and we all had a blast photographing this Three-toed sloth as it posed for us. 

All of my photo tour guests were thrilled with their photos, which makes me really happy!

While looking for more sloths, our guide showed us a couple of Hummingbird nests. This was the first time I have photographed this with such clarity. And even more exciting...

...we were told that there was a Pacific screech-owl nearby. We all made our way to the back of the property to see this beauty!

The next day was our time on the bay, looking for dolphins. We saw some Bottle-nosed dolphins within minutes of leaving the dock, but they were not very active. We had a great tour of the bay, photographing some of the birds and local scenery, and then found an active pod of dolphin. I had arranged for two boats (so that we would have room to move around and get good photos) and I was photographing the other boat when this dolphin jumped high in the air. A couple of the guests got really nice photos of this jump.

Dolphins have always been my favorite animals, so it is a treat to photograph them.

The following day was our day off, which gives everyone a chance to relax, go to the pool, go through their photos, and shoot some more. Actually, half of the group wanted to go back to the sloth area, so I arranged that for them. I stayed back at the property to get some work done, and then went out to shoot some more. I love it when I walk around and see my guests searching for more great photos. The passion runs deep! In this case, we saw this bird eating berries from a nearby tree and I captured this photo.

Since I have photographed the monkeys, sloths and other larger animals so much, I decided to spend some of the free day photographing the smaller insects of the region. Believe it or not, I was using the Canon R5 and the Canon RF 100-500mm lens for all these photos. Nope, these are not from a macro lens! I saw this phosphorescent bug flying around the flowers and let the subject detection of the Canon R5 help me lock in and get a sharp image of this little one in flight. Of all my photos from this trip, this is actually one of my favorites. I really like the colors, the sharpness, the position of the bug, and the fact that it is different from what I usually capture down on the Osa Peninsula.

I was walking around and saw this Dragon fly on the edge of a leaf. I zoomed all the way to 500mm with the long lens and got this photo. I love showing the detail in this insect that you might otherwise never see. 

I saw these Leaf-cutter ants walking on a log, passing some mushrooms. I got down low and took some photos of these crazy strong ants.

On our second to last day, we drove out towards an area where we hoped to get photos of the Scarlet macaw. And just as planned, we found some macaw feeding on palm fruit. I encouraged everyone to crank up their ISO (to get a shutter speed of at least 1/2000 sec) and wait for the birds to grab a fruit and fly away. 

The beauty and color of these birds always blows away my guests.

I almost always save the Sierpe River tour for the last full day in the rain forest. On this trip, we usually see all kinds of cool wildlife, but the boat ride itself is really pretty and a highlight for the guests. The ride down the river last week was especially good. We had perfect shooting weather and saw a lot of cool animals. The river cruise started with this large iguana who peeked up over this log to check us out. 

Our driver maneuvered the boat so that we could get a shot of this Green Heron guarding her baby in the nest.

This is not wildlife, but I saw these two guys paddling towards us (even though the boat is backwards) and I just thought it was a cool scene. 

We had been out on the river for 3 hours and were making our way back to the dock and restaurant for lunch, when our guide saw a crocodile by the edge of the water. We were going pretty fast, and creating a wake in the water. As the wake reached the crocodile, he opened his mouth. I already had the croc locked in focus, and fired off a bunch of photos as the water went into it's mouth. I really like this shot, which make the croc look fierce, even though he was just hanging out in the river and soaking up the waves (literally).

Those are some of my favorite photos from the last trip. As I said, I am collecting some images from my guests and hope to share those with you next.

If you are wanting to join me in Costa Rica for one of my photo tours, please click HERE to see which tours are coming up. This year is already sold out, but I have added three tours for 2025. The May 2025 trip is almost sold out already, but I have an October and November trip as well.

I also have space in the upcoming trip to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, which was AMAZING last year. You can see images from Vietnam HERE and Cambodia HERE. If you are interested in join me for that tour, please let me know soon!


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope to be on one of those exciting tours some time in the near future.!!!