Costa Rica Birding Journeys

365 Days

Is a journey to capture 365 species of birds on a 15 days’ bird photography tour.  Unlike other expeditions we are presenting you fiction versus reality. Most bird expeditions lack a true exposition of what you are facing, the challenges, the possible scenarios, the ups and downs, how weather affect or benefits the quality and quantity of success rate.

We will be on a mission to achieve multiple goals during the entire length of the trip. Many are left to know the where and the how but many others are mere luck” or to nature.

In our first week the chosen destinations would give us a good number of species but more importantly many opportunities to capture the same species on plenty different momentums.

In the second week the focus would be in capturing more wild behaviour.

Challenges: if we let aside photography skills as a main subject to address. Several are at the top of our list.

Tropical Forest during the dry season has some disadvantages: strong sunlight in the early morning for a short time, this would put us in a rush to be before it builds up until it turns white and the golden glow fades away. Is very similar at the end day until complete darkness which happens very quickly this close to the ecuador.

Possible Scenarios: As photographers we believe that we can “stage” the moment, the capture in other words we know what is possible at certain locations, and hours.

Weather can be a critical role but not necessarily in a bad way in few places such as highlands and few others rain is a key factor of success during and/or after.

Ups and Downs: We are aware that both of them could happen suddenly with the influence of nature. We like to split them in order to provide a broad idea of what you might see during our tours.

Ups: it could be very hard to mention them all but a comprehensive list would be of great help.

Phenology: Fruiting and flowering time. Not a secret that birds are heavily attracted to them.

Stable weather: Although this can be sort of predicted by month and by region or destination.

Access to the right places: Knowing the where and when is essential to the daily progress of the expedition. Moving and covering certain distances, terrains or even changing the set up daily itinerary can fluctuate.

Downs can be narrowed to weather; with 56 micro climates Costa Rica and overwhelming topography in matters of minutes everything can change.

Nonetheless, in some of the areas extreme sun rain, overcast skies, and even wind might help to capture unique images.

We had added only some of the hundreds of possible real life scenarios during a photography trip in Costa Rica, we truly hope to get ourselves understood on the challenge of what millions are passionate about. Birds and their secret lives.

365 days

Acorn Woodpecker

Background is also important. 

Lesson to be learn

Physically placing yourselves in a higher position and with the background far enough from the subject aloud you to have that lovely smooth effect called Bokeh. A good portion of our images or in general our photography focus is on the first plane of the image or the target, sometimes we don’t have the time to think before the photo happens right in front of our own eyes with zero possibilities to get a second chance. Therefore, our trained staff would prepare you to take a few steps ahead by teaching you special techniques to frame capture as wished.

Here is a little information about Bokeh.

365 days

Agami Heron

A rare bird in a rare moment

Lesson to be learn

Rare birds are hard to catch a glimpse of. But how about a rare, scary or unique moment in an equally unique moment. Spending time outdoors is the only true way to master such situations. If you leave it by the so-called “beginners luck” your chances of getting a dreamy photo would be reduced to at least 80%. But how to be “prepared” or ready for it? Understanding behaviour and analysing the immediate surroundings is a key factor to the high success level of the photo wanted. This Agami Heron was captured on a small lagoon peeking through the dense foliage and ready to take off. The shutter speed was 1/1000 a 1250 ISO on a very slow shutter speed camera D800 at F3.5. Therefore, there is one good thing and one bad thing about it.

The bad thing was for sure the shutter speed and the FPS of the Nikon.

365 days

American Dipper

The impossible is possible

Lesson to be learn

This is a very long and debatable topic. Dreaming about an impossible moment behind cameras is what we do when someone’s asking “What are you thinking about it?” Freezing an American Dipper at very slow shutter speed to have the silky effect on the water seems to be a 007’s dirty job. But it was done around 530 pm at the remote cloud forest lodge stream using an amazing exposure time of 1/13 at ISO 1600 mounted over a double gimbal UA 180 from Feisol. We don’t think it would not be done without this gimbal head, we have tested all the others in the market and when it comes to stability under extreme situations as such Feisol has not disappointed.