Few from Cosra Rica. 60D+100-400- 430EXII+ BB

Started Dec 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
JAF_AZ Senior Member • Posts: 2,774
I've been to Costa Rica a few times ...

... I am not suggesting that I'm an expert on Costa Rica. But I learned a couple of things from my 5 weeks in total there and would suggest that you consider the following: Just about every species of birds, monkeys and whatever you'll be looking for are hiding high up in the thick foliage of trees. And some of these trees are enormous. There's a reason why they're called jungles. (You are going at a good time in that February is one of the drier months - not completely rain-free, but not the heart of the rainy season like September to mid-December). You will be surprised how dark it is in the forest where the 'good stuff' is that you want to shoot. Add cloud cover which is common there all the time and you'll find that you will be struggling to get decent shutter speeds. I would never go there without a tripod and a Wimberley Sidekick, especially for birds and tree dwellers. In fact, I bought a 4-section tripod just so I was assured that it would fit into a suitcase (didn't want to play games with the TSA and carry on issues). If you're going to incur the expense of getting to this fabulous place, take the best gear you've got. If you own some f/2.8 glass (or maybe rent something), take it. You'll be glad you did. You want reach and speed. Bring a macro lens if you can; great for butterflies, frogs etc.

Having said all of that, for sure you can find monkeys, iguanas, and the like down low in some parks like Manuel Antonio that you can easily photograph. However, it's not the most natural experience. I didn't get much of a thrill throwing my half-eaten sandwich on a picnic table and waiting for the "white faces" to show up just to get a snap shot.

Also, I think you should know that flash photography (as seen in the OP's samples) is actually frowned upon by local nature guides and by a number of locals themselves. I know; I got chewed out a few times during my first few days there. And I think it's stressful on the animals too. I like the original poster's image compositions, but I am really turned off by the flash. Just look at the faces on the subject. Bottom line: Let you conscience be your guide. Enjoy your trip to Costa Rica. I cannot wait to get back there.


 JAF_AZ's gear list:JAF_AZ's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro +2 more
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