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Author Topic: 2009 Lots Of Photography From Costa Rica  (Read 10626 times)
robertwatcher
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« on: January 22, 2009, 12:44:09 PM »
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Well - Anne and I are at it again. We're heading back down to Costa Rica - although this time only for a one month period as we have another couple going with us. We are leaving 2 weeks from yesterday (wednesday) on February 4'th 2009.

So it will be high intensity to capture thousands upon thousands of images showing the people and scenery of this beautiful country - just as it is and as they are carrying on their daily lives. Knowing the country this time (because of our extended 2 month excursion last year), makes it far easier to know exactly where we want to go and what we want to do.

As well as shooting in the streets of San Jose and Alajuela, we will be travelling to a few small towns on both the Pacific and Atlantic side of the country. The culture is quite different on each coast from what we have heard.


You will be able to keep up on Anne's Journal and my daily posting of images and video as you did last year at:

AsIfWeKnow.com



Also as I did last year, I will be posting theme, story and interest images on this forum thread on  a regular basis.
I am even contemplating doing a live online video broadcast from down there where I will answer questions about this style of shooting, by responding to a chat. I have to work out the details of that yet.

Anyway - we are excited to get down there (even with the recent devastating earthquake) - - - and I'm excited to get back on this forum posting my images about the experience for you all to enjoy. Keep following here.

Here is the 2008 thread:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....p;hl=costa+rica
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 01:53:47 PM »
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Great news Robert. I look forward to seeing your new photos. I enjoyed last years's thread a lot!
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Francois
Snook
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 10:28:21 AM »
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Do be careful though. I have been surfing in Costa Rica for the past 15 years or so.
About 5 years ago one of my best friends was there shooting for 1 months and when he was leaving through San Jose he stopped at the markets there for 1 second. Left his car for 5 seconds and sure enough someone broke into his car and stole ALL his equipment and worse of all ALL is Film for the whole month.
He was absolutely destroyed as you can imagine.
Make back ups also as you go, but I am sure you know that!
If you have time check out the NEXTO system. Very easy to back up cards, FAST and the battery last for EVER!
Sounds like a great trip and would love to do it myself.
Snook
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 07:26:53 AM »
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Well our Costa Rica exploraton has begun again this year. Anne and I and our friends Bruce and Nadine, arrived in Alajuela Wednesday evening at 10:30PM - - - to very windy conditions. Unfortunately the internet has been down at the place we are staying, and so Anne and I are a little restricted as to how much and when we are able to post my work and Anne's journal. Hopefully everything will be sorted out before long.

We have been very busy over the last couple of days and already several projects have been completed and photographed (both still and video) - and everything just has to be compiled and uploaded to our Travel Virgins website at www.asifweknow.com. Again it appears that I will have success capturing the people of Costa Rica in all their splendor. I have a good start with excellent captures of the locals including the owner of a coffee processing operation where the passion just oozes out of him and his runs his product through his fingers. I will post here, as soon as Anne has written up her journal posts about those experiences.

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While last year, we flew from Detroit to Dallas, without the ability to see the ground - - - this year provided spectacular views. IT WAS MY CANVAS IN THE SKY. These were taken from about 36,000 feet in the air

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« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 11:28:56 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 07:27:45 AM »
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« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 11:29:21 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 07:28:38 AM »
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« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 11:29:47 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 07:29:19 AM »
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10 )


11 ) Flying out of Dallas - - - I  loved the wing expanse and its tip, and the magical lights


12 ) Started my "people photography" in the Dallas airport:
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 11:30:16 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 01:50:55 PM »
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Some Pretty Shots:

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15 ) Up in the Cloud Forest - cold and a steady spray of rain
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 02:02:18 PM »
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People pics from Thursday drive through the mountainside - - - I simply pointed my camera toward them and nodded my head, implying that it is OK to take their picture.

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17 ) I peeked through a window and saw this fellow preparing food - opened the door implied I wanted to take his picture - and when he looked at me, gestured to keep working and not look at me


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robertwatcher
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 02:10:38 PM »
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19 ) these security guards have been shot at, have shot intruders and robbers, and have been held hostage - while doing their thankless job in these areas of the world


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robertwatcher
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 02:20:25 PM »
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22 ) These 2 fellows approached me while I was taking a vista shot of the "Central Valley" from high atop a clearing part way up Poas Mountain. I gestured to them and they obligued. I pointed for them to look out over the valley:


23 ) Good looking fellow - had to get a nice portrait of him. Hopefully I bump into them again so I can provide them with a print:


24 ) A bartender at an Inn up in the mountainside:
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Snook
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 09:32:13 AM »
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Are you going to post everything you shoot...?
Might be better to post when you get back and make a ggod selection..
What camera are you using b/c a lot of images are looking soft,OOF ,camera movement, or the likes!

Snook

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 10:09:44 AM »
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While there are several commercial coffee processing operations around the country of Costa Rica that provide tours and have canned presentations and hired spokespeople providing the details of the coffee bean production process . . .

. . . Anne and I were very fortunate to have been taken to a more hands on operation where the owner Hurberth exuded passion as he handled and played with the coffee beans as he explained thoroughly each step in the washing, drying, and packaging process - along with tidbits about the various qualities of beans that he had sitting around in wheel barrows, hoppers and on the floor.

We were greeted at the door with a wonderful smile:



Conservation of resources is important as he explains how the waters from this soaking process are recycled and not expelled into the river system as was the process in times past:



Beans on the floor ready to be scraped into the large bags for storage:

« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 03:57:41 PM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 04:13:48 PM »
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Of course the thing that intrigued me most was Herburths hands and the beans constantly running through his fingers as he explained as best he could in his broken English, all of the details we needed to understand:








Something else that entrigued me was that this man is quite well off financially and owns much of the coffee growing hillside for miles, along with many of the businesses in Sabanilla just up the road a bit from this processing plant hidden in the Cloud Forest on the side of Poas Mountain. The work that he does could all be easily hired out. He is also known to many in the area to be a very gracious and humble man who helps people out when trouble strikes them.

Just before leaving, I showed him a few shots on the back of my Olympus E-3 - - - and he replied "That Camera Takes Good Pictures"

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This is Anne's take on the visit:

www.asifweknow.com/index.php?crnt=1&entry=9

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 09:05:02 AM »
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While we aren't able to access the remote areas affected by the January 2009 earthquake, where roads and mountainsides are missing - - - we were able to witness the remnants while on the mountainside roads above the epicenter of the earthquake, that had a significant impact on the lives of those who lived in this area of Costa Rica hardest hit.

Neither Anne of I have ever witnessed the "dreaded" opening up of the ground that can happen with an earthquake - - - and may never again. I had to stop and take a few shots of this phenomenon. Many large cracks were filled so that card could continue their path. Many like these ones we found high up on the mountainside, were gaping wide open as much as a foot or so wide and several feet deep. Where the crevice ran along the side of the road in the soil, it was evident that only a little more shaking could have sheared the side off of this mountain as it did others. For miles we could see local homes and farmland still in rubble or disrepair.





This is a short video clip that I quickly grabbed (there are no road shoulders to pull off on and cars were flying by). I was able to stick the camera right down in the wide cracks:

Remants of Earthquake Video

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Profile Character Study:

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robertwatcher
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 05:33:27 AM »
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Construction Worker on 3'rd floor stops working for a photo:


Market Vendors running their small shop:


This man was sitting reading his newspaper and having a smoke at a local soda. His demeanor and compelling eyes, caught my attention:
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2009, 07:06:12 AM »
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A few street scenes. A fun set of images generally always comes out of my snaps taken while walking down busy streets with my camera (in this case Olympus E-3 and 12-60 f2.8 lens) at my hip or waist. In most cases I hold the camera as inconspicuously as possible with my hand wrapped around the front of the body and my thumb on the shutter. It seems to work well for me:

Olympus E-3 : 12mm : f6.3@1/200'th : 100ISO


Olympus E-3 : 12mm : f7.1@1/200'th : 100ISO


Olympus E-3 : 12mm : f5.6@1/125'th : 100ISO
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2009, 08:13:52 AM »
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I have never seen a Nobel Peace Prize in the flesh before - so that made this interesting. But why I posted it was as much about the value of Live View and the Articulating Screen on my Olympus E-3. It would have been impossible to get this view without it. The document was encased in an acrylic box that was about 5 feet high - requiring that I either settle for the same angle with glare as when viewing it with my eyes, or reaching over the top to shoot straight down on it (which was my preferred method). I articulated the screen to the proper position and held the camera high over my head and over the box foe this shot:  




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Anne and I popped into a Soda for a slice of pizza.  By now, I have learned a new Spanish phrase to ask to take a picture - instead of pointing my camera at the subject and nodding me head. I have to see if it worked, and so approached the counter and said "Puedo tomar una foto" - - - and surprisingly this fellow responded favorably. I found the black and white print on the wall interesting and included it in the frame. Because the place where the pizzas being made was packed with people, I could not find out if it was a shot of him or relatives or just a picture he liked - - - but it works well in the frame although it does bear a resemblance and may be him and a son:

Olympus E-3 : 24mm : f3.4 @ 1/40'th : 2000 ISO


While sitting at a table eating our Pizza, the waiter served a humungous 24" pizza to these 2 fellows sitting next to us. They started into eating it, laughing uncontrollably - - - we did too. I couldn't resist capturing the moment, although it was a little more staged as a result of them being aware of what I was doing after asking their permission:

Olympus E-3 : 12mm : f2.8 @ 1/30'th : 640 ISO
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 08:15:32 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2009, 04:54:11 PM »
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THE POWER OF A PRINT

Last year, while wondering through the streets of Alajuela, I came across a fellow in a wheelchair, working on motorcycles in a small garage in amongst retail stores and homes on a side street. It was evident that he was dealing with customers at that time and so I kept track of the location and checked back a few times to see if I would be able to get a shot of him working.

It never happened. 2 or 3 times I went there and the place was closed. Then one day near the end of our stay, I passed by and he and a couple of friends were sitting chatting. I just walked by as I did not want to disturb them - - - but then realized that may be my only chance to photograph him, so turned around and approached and asked if I could take a picture of them (again, I implied  - as they did not speak English and I did not speak Spanish).

I only saw them and interacted with them for one brief minute - and then on the day that I left Costa Rica, I went by the shop to drop off the small 4x6 print that I had printed for him to keep. He wasn't there and so I left it with the fellow looking after the shop.

. . . . well today was the day that I returned. I didn't know what to expect, but was shocked when they recognized me walking up the street approaching the garage. Friendly smiles and welcome by all - and then when I stated that I took a "foto" of them last year, they said "Yes Yes, it is right there" (pointing to the black and white oil covered print glued to the wall). I was extremely proud and thanked them profusely for valuing the small print of a stanger so much that they would display it in full view even a year later.

The ice was broke and I asked if I could take pictures of him working on a motorcycle. That has been "one of my main goals since last year for when I returned". I said to keep his "ojos" (eyes) on the cycle and not me. He and the others complied. I left so satisfied.

Here are a few of the shots. After I took the pictures of them working, I left - only to return realizing that i had to have a shot of my picture from last year on their wall to complete the story. So here it is:



and here is the picture as I posted it on our Journal last year:

« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 05:24:05 PM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2009, 04:54:31 PM »
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And here are 3 of the several shots that I took today to complete the story of this impared man and his motorcycle repair shop:

Olympus E-510 : 12-60mm @ 12mm : f5.6 @ 1/125'th : 800 ISO


Olympus E-510 : 12-60mm @ 24mm : f5.6 @ 1/200'th : 800 ISO


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His young intern in behind working inside the shop
Olympus E-510 : 12-60mm @ 32mm : f5.6 @ 1/40'th : 800 ISO
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