For remembering your vacations, we want to share a few Tips for taking photographs in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is one of the most photogenic places on earth. Dozens of National Parks protect hundreds of beaches, pristine rainforests, cloud forests and volcanoes where the resident wildlife, plants and flowers provide endless subjects for great images.
Photography in Costa Rica poses many unique challenges:
Difficulties of Low Light Photography:
The interior of the rainforest is typically about as bright as a large room lit by a single 60w bulb hanging from a high ceiling. In other words dark!
Some cameras are better than others at taking photos in low light but one thing that is true for every one from a five thousand dollar Canon 5D Mark III to a little point and shoot is that the steadier the support the better the picture can be.
One way to steady the camera is to carry a huge sturdy tripod, but decent stabilization can often be accomplished without professional gear.
One of the best ways to steady a camera without using a tripod is to put it down on a solid surface then use the self-timer or a remote control to snap the picture.
Another possibility is to hold the camera but steady your arms by bracing against a tree or post (careful of the bullet ants and urticating spines…) or to sit and brace your elbows on your knees.
The Challenge of shooting obscured, moving subjects a long distance away:
If you’ve never heard of it you’ll be delighted to discover digiscoping.
Digiscoping is using a point and shoot digital camera pressed up against the eyepiece of a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope to take amazing closeup photos of birds and wildlife from a long way off.
There’s no consistent formula for making digiscoping work well with every equipment combination so just give it a try and play around with focusing and zooming to see what works best for you.
Whether you’re taking pictures through a telescope or just using the zoom on your digital camera another tip to get great wildlife shots is using manual focus.
Manual focusing can solve the problem of your camera accidentally focusing on small twigs or stands of moss that are in the foreground or background. It’s often easier to focus on the branch an animal is sitting on or moving towards.
Finally, just being patient and persistent can pay off with great shots.
If all else fails ask the guy with the HUGE lens taking pictures of the same bird/monkey/butterfly/sloth to e-mail you his photos.
Dealing with camera gear and water:
Rain, humidity, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and oceans surround photographers in Costa Rica.
The best way to deal with it is to simply buy a waterproof camera. There are a number of inexpensive ones on the market and many do a very good job both above and below the surface.
The gopro has become very popular recently but if you’re considering this option you should be aware that it is a fixed focus at a very wide angle to give the best results when taking video of surfing and other active sports. It gives a weird fisheye appearance that you may not want for photos of your family and you’d have to get within a couple of feet of any wildlife that you expect to see in the photo as much more than a dot.
If you aren’t using a waterproof camera you just have to be very careful, make sure you have a good supply of ziplock baggies handy at all times and make sure you keep the camera in a case or bag when taking it from the cool dry air of an air conditioned hotel room to the warm moist air outside.
The Problem of Theft
Keep a very close eye on your camera gear at all times. Tourists’ photographic equipment is highly targeted by thieves.
SANSA Regional flies directly to Quepos, Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Drum, Liberia, Drake Bay, Tamarindo, Punta Islita, Nosara and South Palmar. For more information visit the website www.FlySansa.com or by contacting us at: (506) 2290-4100 skype 1-877-767-2672, or toll-free reservation anywhere in the world.
See you on board to explore the best destinations to explore in Costa Rica!