Author Topic: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica  (Read 2023 times)

Mikes

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2018, 11:13:50 »
Fantastic series, Ann. I admire your tenacity, as well as your photographic capabilities. The series is interesting and informative, with great catches, especially the night time bat images. Persistence and innovation paid dividends here, with many memorable images.

I like the closeups of the sloths - you have created quite a nice selfie in the second last sloth image. Attractive teeth - was the showing of teeth to warn you off?

Many thanks for the effort you put into posting them and providing background information for each of the segments. Very enjoyable series, and well worth revisiting.
Mike Selby - Tokyo and Sydney (occasionally)

armando_m

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2018, 16:32:01 »
Wow , another two fantastic series , so again thanks so much for sharing the, they are truly enjoyable

I have shot hummingbirds but none as beautiful as yours

My favorites were:
White-necked Jacobin feeding from a Furry Heliconia (H. vellerigera)
Violet-eared Green Hummingbirds
Violet-eared Green Hummingbird
Armando Morales
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Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2018, 21:12:21 »
Thank you all so much for your very generous remarks.

Anthony:
I think you would find a 400 mm lens too short for many of the oportunities that will occur on a trip like this.

Juan himself used his 600 mm much of the time but handling that lens is way beyond my physical strength.

I rented a 500mm (and frequently needed to use it with a TC) because the small song-birds are very small and canopy-dwelling creatures can both be small and the canopy very high overhead.

We have the excellent LensRentals company here in the States (which I used) and there is probably a similar operation in the U.K.. I think that it would be worth the costs of the rental to have a suitable lens for a trip like this and I am certainly glad that I had that 500 mm with me.

You also need something in the 300mm range (I kept that on my camera while we were driving so that if we came across anything interesting during the journey I would be ready for quick action.

You will also find that you need a macro too for small things like insects and the tiny tropical Poison Dart Frogs which you will undoubtedly want to photograph.

(More about the Frogs later!)

Anthony

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2018, 21:22:02 »
Thanks, Ann, that is very helpful.  I have never shot with more than 400, so a new set of challenges.  Costa Rica is definitely on my list.
Anthony Macaulay

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2018, 21:35:56 »
Armando:

This was the first time that I have had the chance to photograph Hummingbirds.

The various gardens where I photographed these always have freshly-filled hummingbird feeders hanging in them which means that the hummingbirds hang around in substantial numbers. The feeders themselves are distinctly unphotogenic so the trick of replacing them temporarily with syrup-injected natural flowers (in good light and angled so that they are in front of a nice, homogenously colored distant background) means that one has a very good chance of getting plenty of clear shots of the birds both in flight and when feeding.

Some of the longer telephoto lenses have a programmable pre-focus button and setting its focus-point on the flower means that you can then get back into the focus-zone quickly between shots.
A lighting-stand or other support for the target flower; a hypodermic syringe and a bottle of sugar-syrup proved to be the other vital accessories for hummingbird photography.

Remembering to replace the Feeders (which you had hidden!) before you leave the garden is also rather important.

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2018, 21:42:30 »
Anthony:

I think that you would thoroughly enjoy photographing in Costa Rica and would suggest that you might like to contact Juan if you plan to go there — he certainly organised a simply marvellous experience for me!

armando_m

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2018, 21:45:31 »
Thanks Ann, replacing the ugly feeders with flowers is a GREAT idea
Armando Morales
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Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2018, 21:56:57 »
Mikes:

I think that my lens was much too close to that low-hanging Two-toed Sloth for his comfort so he hissed his annoyance at me — which is how I got the Dentist's office shot of his black teeth!

Anthony

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2018, 22:25:27 »
Anthony:

I think that you would thoroughly enjoy photographing in Costa Rica and would suggest that you might like to contact Juan if you plan to go there — he certainly organised a simply marvellous experience for me!

Thank you, Ann.  You know me too well!
Anthony Macaulay

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica: Wild Macaws in Flight
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2018, 04:14:22 »
Wild Macaws in Flight:

We were able to spend a morning visiting a private farm in the far north of the country where there are a substantial number of wild Macaws living in the surrounding woods.

The owners of the farm only have to go out into the fields carrying a bowl of peanuts and call: "Lapa, Lapa, Lapa" (Lapa being the local name for Macaw) and every Macaw within earshot comes flying!

Most of the birds were Scarlet Macaws but there were a few of the scarcer Great Green Macaws among them and I was able to get plenty of photographs of these magnificent birds in action. These are just a few of them.







The farmer threw few peanuts on the ground for the earliest arrivals; and then walked to the far-end of a large paddock and called the birds again. They would then all fly to him — flying very fast and very close to the ground. I was using my 300 mm PF lens and needed a shutter speed of 1/3200 to stop the action.



Two photographs of Great Green Macaws in flight (these are on the list of endangered birds).





Some more Scarlet Macaws:





They were flying in large groups but I found it worked most effectively when I locked onto a particular bird and just followed it as it flew from one end of the field to the other.

This Scarlet Macaw landed in a small tree just above my head and then quickly descended from its branches, head-first, to get his share of the scattered peanuts.





Coming in for the Landing . . .



Some portraits:


Great Green


Scarlet


and a colourful scramble for peanuts . . . .






Akira

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2018, 06:44:38 »
Ann, you keep me floored!  The image with the macaw hanging head over heels made my day.  And the last one is a fantastic color composition.

Thank you for posting!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

Hugh_3170

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2018, 08:20:52 »
What a set.  I especially like No.8 for some reason - one wing up, one down, and that eye looking at you.
Hugh Gunn

armando_m

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2018, 01:11:27 »
Masterfully captured
Armando Morales
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Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica: Serpents & Dragons
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2018, 02:27:16 »
Serpents & Dragons

While we were at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge: Juan; Olman (who chauffeured us during the trip); and some of the Lodge staff; caught some snakes for us to photograph one morning.

This was extremely courageous (if not entirely wise!) on their parts because, although these were all baby snakes, and less than a half-meter long, they were no less venomous for being young.

Juan and the other guys set-up some moss-covered logs in the shady veranda of a pavilion which overlooks the river and the forest beyond and provided nice homogeneous backgrounds for the photographs. They used Herpetologists' steel-hooked sticks to keep the snakes under control (which was a good thing as most of us were using macro lenses and getting less than sensibly close to the snakes.)

The shade from the mid-day sun was nice for both us and the snakes and we used off-camera flash to accentuate the texture of their scales!

We had four different species of highly venomous Pit Vipers and a couple of very pretty and benign tree snakes.

The first photograph shows a very prettily coloured Eyelash Pit Viper (Bothriechis schlegelii):



Extended scales above their eyes produce the "eye-lashes" for which they are named).
You can see the "Pits" on its snout: these act as infra-red and heat-sensors so that these snakes can sense the body-warmth of nearby prey even in complete darkness.

Bothriechis schlegelii exists in many different coloured variations (although they all share the same species name) and this golden-yellow version is sometimes called the Palm Pit Viper:




The sensory "Pit" is clearly shown on the snouts of these two.

Another species of Pit Viper:



Hog-nosed Pit Viper (Porthidium nasutum)

While all of the previous species are seriously venomous (although victims do usually respond well to anti-venoms) this next one is deadly.
I talked to one man whose sister had been bitten by a "Fer-de-Lance" and, although she was able to get treatment quickly enough to survive, it was not without amputation of part of her leg.



The extremely venomous Fer-de-lance (Bothrops asper) is also known locally as "Terciopelo".
I watched very carefully where I put my feet when walking in the forest searching for frogs at night.

These very pretty Parrot Snakes (Leptophis ahaetulla) are non-venomous tree-dwelling snakes which prey on frogs, mice and nesting small birds:





The Blunt-headed Vine Snake (Imantodes cenchoa) is another very pretty mildly-venomous arboreal snake which feed on frogs and small lizards. They are nocturnal and have thin bodies, large heads and huge eyes.







Another portrait of the venomous Yellow Pit Viper (shot from much too close!):


------

Dragons

These astonishing Basilisk Lizards (Basiliscus basiliscus) are popularly known as Jesus Christ Lizards because, in spite of their size, their enormous feet allow them to run on their hind-legs across the surface of water.

I didn't see one walk on water but found this one in the branches of a tree which was growing at the bottom of a steep cliff (on which I was standing) so that the Basilisk was pretty well at my eye-level but I still needed 700mm of lens to get these shots.


Notice his disproportionately large feet!


Long, slender Basilisks have these wonderful dorsal crests, a head-crest like a crown and an incredibly long tail..
This one was about a metre in length from head to tail and we found him in the Savegre River valley on the Pacific side of the country inland from Quepos.











 








 

Olivier

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2018, 04:05:16 »
Hello Ann,

Now THAT was a productive trip... Your pictures top everything I can remember from you, and that says a lot. I say nothing like that when I visited Costa Rica 18 years ago!
As for snakes, well you are definitely a courageous lady.