Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Costa Rica

My wife, Ruthe, and I went on a photo workshop to Costa Rica in January 2008. It was a great experience and we extended our stay with a trip to the Monte Verde Cloud Forest. Here are some of my photos from our trip. We began our photography in the large garden of our hotel in San Jose. We arrived a day early so we could look around town a bit.

Our first day of the workshop was spent traveling to our first overnight location, Arenal Lodge, at the foot of Arenal Volcano. We would spend 2 nights at each location and at each one focus on a specific subject. However, advantage was taken of targets of opportunity, such as the 3 Toed Sloth pictured below which was encountered along the road to Arenal.

When we went to breakfast at Arenal the staff had set out food for the birds. Here are 2 that were attracted.

After breakfast we headed for a butterfly and bird sanctuary. It was interesting how challenging it was to shoot some of these critters.

In the afternoon we rode a funicular to the top of a mountain where we had great views of Arenal. On the way we encountered a falcon.

At our next location the emphasis was on tree frogs in the morning.

During one of our drives we stopped to shoot Land Iguanas. These were along a river in back of a souvenier shop.

We also visited a garden. When the owner of the property told us of a large owl the tour leader went to see if he could find it and I followed.

While moving to our third location we stopped at fruit vendor along the side of the road. This was an opportunity to try some abstract photography, however, I also saw some people shots.

This was our third overnight location. We were at about 6000 feet and it got really cold at night. First up was shooting moving water. The rowboats were in a small pond we passed while walking around. Other subjects here include hummingbirds and the Magnificent Quetzal. The Magnificent Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala although we told it is now extinct there.

The main focus of our last stop was sunsets. We went to 2 different spots along the Pacific Ocean for this.

After the workshop ended we continued to the Monte Verde cloud forest. We encountered Howler Monkeys on the trip up and Capuccin Monkeys while there. The final photo was taken at snack bar and gift shop.

Ruthe and I learned a great deal during the trip. We were challenged to try new things as well as by the other participants. On 2 evenings the instructor projected 5 photos from each participant. We booked the trip through Elderhostel and plan to do more of these in the future. I hope you enjoyed the photos. Bob Kaplan