20 Jul 2021

Stunning Wildlife in Costa Rica

There are basically two different ways of photographing wildlife in Costa Rica: the classic way is to visit National Parks, take a guide and hope for the best...I tried that on my first visit to Costa Rica a few years ago but it proved rather difficult to discover the typical Costa Rican wildlife in between the incredibly lush vegetation and even more so to take really good pics of the animals and birds which were hiding behind the bushes or sitting way up on the trees...

The second way to do it is to visit little private “zoos” where you can take pictures of all kinds of the tiny Costa Rican frogs - above all the famous and photogenic Red Tree frog - in an arranged but very natural setting as well as of all kinds of reptiles among which poisonous snakes under the guidance of experts and sometimes there are even some birds and mammals. I had been very skeptical about this way of photographing “wildlife” but in the end the photographic results spoke for themselves...


My second and third trip to Costa Rica was a photo workshop during which we actually did a mixture of both ways. The technical focus of this tour was working with different kinds of flash systems and settings. We started with photographing the tiny glittery hummingbirds in the cloud forest and ended up with using a special multi flash setting with light barriers to take pictures of bats in the middle of the nocturnal jungle. In between we visited several little “zoos“ and we had lots of opportunities for classic wildlife photography of the beautiful Costa Rican birds - the gorgeous Quetzals, different Toucans, Aracaris, Oropendolas, the impressive King Vultures from a special hide and many more. 


It was a really impressive tour perfectly organized by Uwe Hasubek and our wonderful Costa Rican photo guide Jose. 


And still…I’ve been quite hesitant to publish these pictures on my web site, since due to COVID-19 and the ongoing discussions about climate change my attitude towards this kind of photo travels has undergone a substantial change. Today I would definitely no longer travel around half of the world just to catch some images of posing little frogs and then return home without having seen much of the country and its people and leaving a big CO2 foot print. Since I wouldn’t want to do at all without traveling and photographing, I decided to travel less often but stay much longer on the spot…


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