Author Topic: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica  (Read 3237 times)

Anthony

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #75 on: April 30, 2018, 11:07:02 »
These Quetzals are so beautiful, I have not seen them before.  Thank you for posting, and also for your efforts to reach the birds.
Anthony Macaulay

armando_m

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #76 on: April 30, 2018, 15:05:57 »
Ann, Outstanding mages of the Quetzals, thank so much for sharing them , these sure were worth all the efforts you had to go through

I'm amazed by the amount of species you were able to capture and also by your very methodical organization,
you certainly make a great explorer
Armando Morales
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Hugh_3170

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2018, 16:40:01 »
Ann your Owls and Quetzals are splendid.  Just reward for effort!  Thank you so much for sharing.

P.S. What were the typical focal lengths used - the Quetzals look quite small and I am guessing that the Owls may have been further away from you.
Hugh Gunn

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2018, 05:37:45 »
Hugh:

You are absolutely correct: Quetzals are really quite small and only measure about 15 inches from head to the base of their tails; but the tails of the males are double their body-length.

The other problem is that they mostly perch deep in the forest, often among thick foliage, so seeing them at all (let alone getting a clear shot of the complete bird, including the full extent of their tails) does take a large slice of luck.

Couple that with the low light-levels in the forest and that their long wispy tails blow around in the breeze means that one needs long lenses, fast shutter speeds and will inevitably be using high ISO speeds.

I was using a rented copy of the magnificent new 500mm f/4E AF-S NIKKOR FL ED VR for the male Quetzals.

Unfortunately that lens proved to be a bit too heavy for me to shoot hand-held so when I was shooting the females and the final shot of the male in a very distant tree (and was needing to scramble up and down a steep, slippery and muddy bank in the rain to do it) I used a 300 mm PF with a TC 1.4 (for a total of 420mm). You can see the rain against the dark backgrounds in those shots.

The male in the last Quetzal shot was perched in a wild avocado tree far away across the valley but the branches were widely spaced and my big hope was that he would fly and I could get a clear in-flight shot but by that time it was very cold (and very wet!) and the light was fading so he obviously decided that he had no wish to fly anywhere.

The Owls were all shot with the 500mm plus the TC 1.4 (so 700 mm).
The Ferruginous Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) is incredibly small — less than six inches tall — so even with 700mm of focal length, these photographs are from heavily cropped frames.




Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2018, 05:44:39 »
Anthony and Armando:

I am so glad that you enjoyed the Resplendent Quetzals.

They are so incredibly beautiful and I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see them — and at such close-range too.

Hugh_3170

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2018, 06:03:26 »
Ann - many thanks for your explanations of the lenses and TCs used.  Appreciated - I learn a lot on this site.  :)
Hugh Gunn

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2018, 21:32:14 »
Checking through my files again, I found that I did have a front view of a female Quetzal after all which shows the patterning of the underside of her tail feathers.





This is the wild avocado which provides their favourite food:



I have no idea if the fruits ever grow any larger than this because they get eaten before they have the chance.

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica: Lay of the Land
« Reply #82 on: May 25, 2018, 20:35:07 »
Lay of the Land:

I went to Costa Rica primarily to photograph its remarkable wildlife so mostly enjoyed its dramatic landscapes as we hurtled past them in the car. We were planning to shoot in several different areas which are many hours apart so we really couldn't stop at every bend in the road to photograph the landscape.

Here are just a few Landscapes to give you some idea of the countryside:


Approaching San Jose from the southwest.


Waterfall near Cinchona on the northeast side of Volcano Poas.


Early morning at the Arenal Lake below Volcano Arenal.


Evening after the rain at Arenal.


Stormy sky over the Naranjo River. (Photographed inland from Quepos from a dirt road which runs through virgin forests but is only passable in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle with a very skillful driver!)


A very long suspension bridge which crosses a deep gorge and the Savegre River at Los Campesinos.
(This is further along the same dirt road. It had been buried in a landslide at one point and we had to wait while a bulldozer cleared a way for us to pass through



and, to finish this story:
A panorama of a sunset shot as the sun burst through after a rainstorm in the Talamanca Mountains although there is still wet mist in the air:



This pano was merged from a set of 12 images which I shot with my 300 mm + 1.4 TC handheld as I swung though about 180°.
Stitching software is amazing!

Unfortunately I can't show you a taller rendition because the internet software limits us to 1800 px horizontally.






pluton

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #83 on: May 28, 2018, 05:45:38 »
Thanks for posting the general views.  They help capture a sense of the place.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Akira

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #84 on: May 28, 2018, 09:18:32 »
Amazing landscapes, Ann!

The unapproachable landscape should have been a great contribution for preserving rare animals, critters and plants.

The last sunset pano is priceless!

Did you use a fisheye for the second image (and perhaps the first one as well) ?
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #85 on: May 30, 2018, 07:10:22 »
You are extremely observant Akira!
Yes, the first two were both shot with my 16mm Fisheye.

My gambit for getting all of my gear onto a flight is to pack my secondary camera body and most of my lenses into my "Carry-on" camera bag; and to keep my best camera and a very small lens (the 16mm) in my computer bag (my "personal item") under the seat in front of me so that is what I had readily available on the flight and also during the five and a half hour taxi ride to join up with my friends after my late arrival in Costa Rica. The shot of the waterfall was taken in the pouring rain during a very brief stop during that long drive.

Interestingly, a study of Google Earth seems to show that the terrain shown in the aerial shot is, by happy co-incidence, the very same area where we later explored the dirt road along the Naranjo River and up to that string bridge across the gorge of the Savegre River. The mountains in the distance are where we found the Quetzals and from where I shot the Pano.

The Pano was shot when the sun suddenly re-emerged after we had all got extremely cold trying to photograph the Quetzals in pouring rain at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Just 9° north of the equator but I was freezing!

armando_m

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #86 on: May 30, 2018, 16:46:31 »
The images in this thread would make a wonderful photography exposition, and I can picture the sunset pano adorning the entrance corridor
Armando Morales
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Akira

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #87 on: May 30, 2018, 23:09:09 »
Thank you, Ann, for the disclosure.

I re-realized that a fisheye is a very handy lens rather than "just" one for the special effects of excessive distortion.  You used the lens so that the distortion is not obvious.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #88 on: May 31, 2018, 06:15:21 »
The conversion software which I use lets me adjust the geometry of the lens profile (either automatically or manually) so that Mr. Fish can render either as a Fisheye or as a rectilinear wide-angle. That makes the very compact little 16 mm a very versatile lens which I always have with me.

I used to use a plug-in called Fisheye-Hemi for 'de-fishing" but I haven't updated it in years because my regular editing software now handles those functions itself.

Ann

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Re: Resplendent Rainforests of Costa Rica
« Reply #89 on: May 31, 2018, 17:51:31 »
Armando: An Exposition is such a lovely idea: it would be wonderful if I can find a way to do something like that.