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2003 Costa Rica Workshop

Member's Images

______________________________

Andy Jones

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Perry Smith

Introduction

The trip to Costa Rica was my first photography trip with a photography group. It was also my first major trip with the Canon 1Ds. I purchased it just about a month before the trip. I also brought along probably too much equipment. I had the Canon100-400mm, 28-135mm, 16-35mm, and the 50mm f/1 lenses. I also had the 1.4x and 2.0x extension. The 1.4x I used a lot but the 2.0x never came out of the bag. The flash was a 550EX with the Better Beamer used often. My tripod is the Gitzo G1329 with the Acra Swiss B1 ball head and the Gitzo G1321 leveling base. I used a Lowepro Stealth backpack to get all my stuff on the plane but I used the Lowepro Street and Field system while hiking. I use SanDisk 1G compact flash cards rather than the IBM microdrives. And my trusty Titanium Apple Laptop was used for bulk storage.

First Lesson

I came back with 1200 images. One thing I learned along the trip is to keep shooting. Often I would stop but then notice the Michael was still shooting. The picture of the Caiman is a great example. I had stopped shooting but noticed that Michael was still taking pictures and looking at the LCD on the back of the camera. If finally struck me what he was doing; plus he mentioned to watch out that the whites are going to burn out. So I started shooting and looking at the images on the LCD, make adjustments, and try again. The Caiman just sat there perhaps because he was "hidden" but the leaf. Evantually I got this picture which I feel is exposed perfectly with just the right amount of flash. The few highlights were there to the eye as well.

 

Photo Competition

Along the trip we had come to a place with lots of hummingbird feeders. We rediscovered the difficulties of taking pictures of hummingbirds. I got a few good shots with them sitting on branchs but nothing really great. Later in the trip, we came across another place with hummingbird feeders and Michael spoke up and joked about a competition. This is my entry in that competition. It has been cropped and you can see a little bit too much flash. But I really love the colors and the position of the bird. His eye also appears to be looking at us.

My basic trick was to go to manual focus and prefocus at a range. Then sit and wait with the camera almost to my eye. I still got a lot of frames that were completely void of hummingbirds.

"Thats where I want to live"

When I show my pictures to my friends, consistantly they say "thats where I want to live" when they see this picture. I took this a number of different ways and picked this version because it has a slight amount of haze that adds to the dreamy look of the picture. I also like the way the sun through the trees comes through as a six pointed star pattern. I believe I had a polarizer filter on but to be honest I can't remember if I started with it on and then removed it or vice versa.

And this is what you see...

I then tell my friends that this is what you see from the hut above. This was taking just a few minutes before. The storm out at sea and the three or four places where you can actually see the rain coming down I think is a nice contrast to the bright sunlite beach in the forground. As is often the case with sea scapes, this seems very peaceful to me.

Woulda Coulda Shoulda

What trip (or day) is complete without at least one regret. I wish I would have focused on the closest leaf or did the depth of field mode that the Canon cameras offer to get the front leaf in focus. But the framing of the picture and everything else makes up for it. I still really enjoy this picture and the out of focus leaf in front does not distract me. With aging eyes, I don't have the depth of field I use to so it is actually more realistic to me this way. But I still with I had both versions to compare to.

I was more worried about shutter speed. The wind was whipping pretty fast at times and so that is what I kept looking and and worrying about.

The other thing about this shot and many other shots was the use of the polarizer. At the start of the trip, Michael suggested to just put it on the lens and just leave it on. It was the first time that I actually came to understand how much of a difference it can make in scenes like this. The highlights reflections on the leaves are tamed down which lets the rest of the scene come out.

Simple

This is a very simple picture but the blue is so pretty to me and the splash of red in the center makes the colors outstanding to me. For some reason, my flash was off at this time

Conclusion

I really can not say enough positive things about this trip. The people, accomodations, places, everything was great. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it highly.

Also, since this is my first public display of pictures, I would enjoy having feedback about any of them (positive or negative).

 

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George Smiley

Blue-Crowned Motmot.jpg

Blue-Crowned Motmot
Hotel Fonda Vela Grounds
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Feb. 6th, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 200, 1/80s, evaluative metering -1 stop
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS, 300mm, f/4.5
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash -2/3rds stop

Groove-Billed Ani.jpg

Groove-Billed Ani
Hotel Villa Lapas Grounds
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Feb. 5th, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 320, 1/125s, evaluative metering +1/3rd stop
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS (+EF 2x II), 600mm, f/8
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash -1 1/3rds stop, Better Beamer

Male Bare-Throated Tiger-Heron.jpg

Male Bare-Throated Tiger-Heron
Caño Muerto, Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Feb. 2nd, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 500, 1/250s, evaluative metering
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS, 300mm, f/4.5
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash -1 stop, Better Beamer

Orange-Headed Gecko.jpg

Orange-Headed Gecko
Hotel Villa Lapas Grounds
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Feb. 5th, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 320, 1/125s, evaluative metering
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS, 300mm, f/4
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash -1 1/3rds stop

Owl Butterfly.jpg

Owl Butterfly
Monteverde Butterfly Garden
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Feb. 7th, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 200, 1/100s, evaluative metering
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS, 300mm, f/4
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash

Violet Sabrewing.jpg

Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird
Hummingbird Coffeeshop
Vera Blanca, Costa Rica
Feb. 4th, 2003

Canon EOS-1Ds, ISO 320, 1/1250s, evaluative metering -2/3rds stop
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS, 300mm, f/4
Canon Speedlite 550EX, fill flash -1 stop

Photographs and a commentary on this workshop by Michael Reichmann can be found here.


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Concepts: Photography, CompactFlash, Eye, Camera, Coming out, Photographic filter, Flash memory, Trip

Entities: Canon, SanDisk, Apple, IBM, Michael Reichmann, Michael, Gitzo, branchs

Tags: pictures, trip, flash, hummingbird feeders, Michael, leaf, Swiss B1 ball, trusty titanium apple, Lowepro Stealth backpack, compact flash cards, cameras, bright sunlite beach, major trip, photography trip, Canon 1Ds, competition, Costa Rica, One thing, polarizer filter, Better Beamer, shutter speed, little bit, bulk storage, closest leaf, great example, focus leaf, simple picture, good shots, sea scapes, nice contrast, Lowepro Street, photography group, vice versa, dreamy look, different ways, star pattern, positive things, highlights reflections, basic trick, Canon cameras