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Author Topic: Photography And Video From Costa Rica To Come  (Read 23306 times)
robertwatcher
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« on: January 14, 2008, 02:52:43 PM »
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Hey - if you want to keep up with what I am doing over the next couple of months, you are welcome to visit our TravelVirgins website at:

http://asifweknow.com


Anne and I are heading down to Costa Rica in 2 1/2 weeks and will be there for 2 months this year - hopefully more later this year. I will be shooting and posting lots of stock photography and video footage. We are not going for a vacation, but to live for part of the year and to get into the culture of the cities, towns and highlands where we will be staying.

I will still be checking in here and posting new stuff as well as maintaining by businesses from our apartment down there. The beauty of the web is that everything carries on as normal. I will be checking in to see how much freedom Canadians and Americans have to work at their craft in Costa Rica. Hopefully I can find a wedding or two to shoot with that beautiful backdrop.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 05:03:01 AM »
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A few shots from our first days:









Anne posting in the http://asifweknow.com journal:
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 10:35:37 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 07:24:25 AM »
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For the next 2 months while I am away from home, I have to get used to a quite different approach to editing my images as I do not have Photoshop on my Macbook. I was hoping that Lightroom (which I have installed on the Mac) would do what I wanted, but that is not the case - - - and so I am attempting to get used to the Open Source Software GIMP and it's functioning. Most of the PS tools are there - some aren't - - - but the difficulty of switching from a familiarity and comfort level I have with Photoshop from hours a day working with it, is proving to be the same challenge that I had when I moved from years of using Corel Photopaint, to Adobe Photoshop a couple of years ago. Oh well - I am of the opinion that being put in difficult situations many times expands our abilities. Probably more than anything I am missing my handy and efficient specialty Windows programs like Irfanview, Porta, etc along with the custom PS actions I have created - that I use on a daily basis for fast conversion, layout and manipulation  of images for web use.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 02:53:25 PM »
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Being I am unable to converse in Spanish yet and am very shy about approaching people and intruding on them, I finally got the nerve up and simply held my camera up and smiled and nodded my head to the natives I came across today - as if to ask if I could take a picture. They nodded back letting me know it was OK, posed (which I will work around in the future) and then chuckled when I showed them the picture on my camera screen. For the mot part everyone was cooperative in letting me take my pictures without having to sneak them or use a long lens  so they wouldn't see what I was doing. I found that my Olympus E-510 with 12-60mm f2.8 is a perfect companion to this type of street shooting - providing wider angle, faster operating, dead accurate focus where I wanted it, and a fast zoom for increased light capture.


These 2 young men were sitting at the bus stop with their crates of eggs and were pleased to have me take their picture - - - as were the different food vendors in the Central Market. The man with the bananas, actually grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously with a huge smile after I showed him what I had taken. I wish I had a photo printer here so that I can take them back a copy - I may have to check into getting one or finding a place to print them for me:

















I PREFER PEOPLE TO SCENERY

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 01:31:53 AM »
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NOT 106 Flavors - but 108 Flavors of Chicken Wings














All pictures in this series taken with Olympus E-510 and 12-60mm f2.8/4 Zuiko lens ISO 200 to 800 handheld - processed in Adobe Lightroom
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 12:25:56 PM »
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A Morning in Atenas - Mercado Central

1 - Butcher



2 - Municipal Worker - as Anne and I were walking by he pointed to my camera and indicated that we may want to take his picture. He set himself up with his broom and wheelbarrow and so I took that shot - - - I followed up with a quick closeup, showed him his picture on the screen and he smiled and shook my hand. Even though there was no place to get out of the sun, the facial character came through





3 - Reading paper at Bus Terminal

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 12:26:55 PM »
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4 - Shredding Cabbage - I implied  that I wanted to take a picture, she hesitated and turned and asked her husband who nodded positively. The fellow in the blue shirt (looked like Engelbert Humperdinck) was encouraging her and directing her where she should stand so that everything could be seen





5 - Vegetable Vendor - I saw this cute young woman attaching bags of beens to a string when I first approached her - - - asked if I could take her picture which she obliged - - - then after getting a couple of shots of her looking at me, I waited for a few seconds for her to go back to her business so I could get the shot I really wanted

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 12:28:16 PM »
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At the local Super Market on the way back to La Garita I captured these 2 shots - - - with their permission of course. First is the man supplying our meat and next is the young fellow weighing, pricing and bagging our vegetables and fruits.
(Now I just have to find a One Hour lab so I can print up a few 5x7's to take back to them all)  



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robertwatcher
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 08:56:32 AM »
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I have found that my skills at getting people to relax and forget about me quickly, which I have developed with my style of wedding work - - - has benefited me with this street type of documentary photography also. My normal approach however had to be altered a little  as I have to ask my subject (really it's imply to them, being I don't speak Spanish) if I can take the picture - which takes a little bit away from the spontaneity of the moment - - - but has still resulted in some nice captures for me. An advantage too is that being many ticos have high speed internet access, I can provide them with the link to our www.asifweknow.com website. We know some have checked in to the site, as they have sent us messages via the "Contact Us" page - a few complimenting how friendly we were and how people like us are welcome in their country. Makes us feel good - - - like we aren't imposing on them (which was one of my biggest concerns in taking street pictures).
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 06:12:15 AM »
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Sugar Cane Harvest

While winding through the mountainside roads, high in Costa Rica yesterday I was fortunate to come across workers hand cutting the sugar cane with their machetes. Although the road was very narrow with treacherous curves, and busy with large trucks, buses and cars all vying for their space on the road, we managed to turn around and pull off the road enough so that I could approach these workers and ask to take a few shots of them. After I did, a friendly handshake and pat on the shoulder ensued.





« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 09:24:10 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 06:14:19 AM »
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The modes of transporting the cane through the mountainside was first by tractor from the fields and then by transport truck to the destinations around the country. Traditionally done with OxCarts.



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robertwatcher
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 06:22:49 AM »
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JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE - high in the jungle trees

« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 09:22:19 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2008, 05:40:11 PM »
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Very productive day today

I engaged some conversation at the bus stop with locals that spoke a little English. Was able to get some beautiful expressions on the children:





Standing in line in Alejuela, this little boy was being held by his mother - beautiful lighting under the overhang:



I figure that I will run in to them again and have some prints for the parents
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2008, 05:59:10 PM »
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Friendly Market Vendors:



As soon as we walked in to the very busy indoor market in downtown Alejuela, these fellows hollered at me to take their picture (not sure if the word had gotten around from when I was in a week or so ago). Everyone is getting used to me and calling me the "guy with the camera"



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robertwatcher
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2008, 05:59:47 PM »
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This time I delivered prints to the vendors that I had taken pictures of last time I was there. They were laughing like crazy and thanking me. At one butcher shop, the father (who is the owner) refused to take our money for the 4 smoked Pork Chops that we purchased. I tried to get him to accept - but he wouldn't. I said "I'd be back" and the one son said "we know you will". It was so nice of them and not expected at all.

Always warm freshly made potato chips from this vendor. Will have a hard time going back to our favorite Lays when we get back:
 


Street vendors hamming it up for the camera:



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robertwatcher
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2008, 08:52:39 PM »
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HAVING PRINTS MADE

I was having a terrible time getting decent print results from the One Hour labs in the Alejuela area. It was recommended that I try a Professional Photography Studio located in the heart of the city - right across from Central Park and the large church.

It ended up that they had a Kodak system  that provided me with prints within seconds - and very good quality from my Mac processed files.

Here are a couple of shots of the Studio's interior where huge enlargements line the walls of this large space:





Anne took this back shot of me attempting to explain in English and sign language - what I wanted done with the CD files I presented the young man behind the counter:




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robertwatcher
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2008, 11:43:35 AM »
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So far I have a bit over 2000 shots that I have to edit and get posted in the "snapshots" section of the "Travel Virgins" website. The few that are posted there now are from the first couple of days in Costa Rica.

I realized that my OnePageGallery script that I adapted for this website that I built several months before leaving, is not ideal as it places the newest images at the end of the list and does not allow for notes made by me about the shot and its location. So I haven't bothered updating that section with new images in some time. Today I am going to start working on the code for that particular page - so that I don't end up too far behind.
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Petrjay
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2008, 02:16:20 PM »
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Sounds like you're enjoying your stay down there. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Costa Rica's a place I've always wanted to visit.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2008, 07:52:10 AM »
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Thank you. We are enjoying bringing the bright side of our journey to our stories and pictures of Costa Rica - - - and it is encouraging for Anne and I when different ones comment to us (whether by the "Contact Us" page, forum replies or phone/Skype) that they are enjoying seeing the country through our eyes and experience. We're hoping that our slant on things will make our efforts good viewing for many.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2008, 06:31:41 PM »
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Just got back from a long day busing through the hairpin turns of the mountains, to visit some of the small towns there. We were up around 2500 feet above our normal 3500 foot elevation here in La Garita.

Waiting at the bus stop has provided me with different photographic opportunities during this excursion. This morning was no different.

Stopped at the Super Market across from the bus canopy to get a bottle of water and saw this good looking young man:



Across the street sitting alongside the soccer field were these two young fellows sharing a set of earbuds as they listened to American music on their mp3 player:



After I took the shot so that they wouldn't notice and destroy the mood, I approached them and showed them the shot then asked for this shot:

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