The Costa Rica shots, my personal favs

•February 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Costa Rica was a great trip, and one I wholly recommend to any photographer interested in shooting wildlife. There are ample opportunities to see animals in their natural habitat (sure beats shooting at the zoo!) and nothing beats the satisfaction of having captured a really tricky wildlife shot. Make sure you take a solid zoom lens (minimum of 100mm, though even a cheap 70-300mm will give you great results as long as the light is good, make sure to stop down your aperture a bit, or beware of colour abberetions in your shot!) and if you can, a macro lens (for the butterflies! I recommend using a cheap telephoto lens with kenko extension tubes if you’re a budget macro-shooter, otherwise drop the $$ and get the 100mm prime macro lens from canon, combine that with the kenko tubes and you’ll be able to count the spots on a compound eyeball!). Make sure you take a water-resistant camera case with a separate, dry compartment for an extra battery pack (see tips for shooting in all-weather conditions for more tips on keeping your gear functioning in the humidity!)

Below I’ve posted some of my personal faves, enjoy!

Emerald Hummingbird feeding her young

Emerald Hummingbird feeding her young


White faced Monkey

White faced Monkey


White faced monkey

White faced monkey


Mangrove Swallow

Mangrove Swallow


Iguana

Iguana


Hummingbirds on the wing

Hummingbirds on the wing

All-weather shooting tips

•February 3, 2009 • 2 Comments

weather

PREVENT CONDENSATION INSIDE THE CAMERA BODY

These little moisture-absorbing packs (you’ve all seen them in new shoe boxes) can make all the difference when transporting the camera between dramatically different environments. Most camping supply and shoe stores are more than happy to hand you bags of this stuff for free. Put a few inside the camera case and keep the rest in a cool, dry place. Rotate the ones in the case every so often for maximum effect. I used this technique to take my camera safely from the warm, wet Amazon to the cold, high Andes and it worked like a charm.

IF YOU’VE JUST COME IN FROM THE COLD, AVOID CHANGING THE LENS


Opening the camera can cause moisture to condense on your mirror and inside the camera body – while you can wipe this off with a soft, lint free cloth I recommend just leaving the lens on and packing the camera in your case for a while (see point #1) until it acclimatizes to the new temperature.

BATTERIES CAN DRAIN FASTER IN THE COLD

Buy yourself an extra battery if you’re planning on taking the camera out for extended periods of shooting in the cold. Lithium batteries seem to be the best for cold weather performance, but still typically last a much shorter time than they do when kept at room temperature, and if your camera has any type of living viewing function on the LCD expect that time to be cut down even farther.

KEEP A LINT-FREE CLOTH IN YOUR CASE


Use this (it’s tempting to use tissue paper but don’t do it!) to wipe down the front of your lenses when moisture collects on them.

GET A CAMERA CASE WITH A PULL-OUT RAIN HOODIE


A little ‘rain coat” just for the camera case is extremely useful when visiting tropical countries. Many camera case manufacturers (Lowerpro makes great ones, http://www.lowepro.com/)  build in a zippered pouch that contains the ‘hoodie’ for quick deployment in case of rain.

I hope this has been helpful for all-weather shooters out there, please send me some feedback and let me know!