Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Why a Wonder: National Geographic calls the Osa Peninsula “The most biologically intense place on Earth.” The lush rain forest here is filled with half the species – birds, mammals, insects and reptiles – of Costa Rica.
Where: Southwestern Costa Rica.
When: December and January when it is cooler than in other months . . . but it can still be very hot and humid.
Photography: In most cases, you’ll be photographing under the canopy of the rain forest. That means photographing in relatively low-light conditions. To get sharp shots of the wildlife, you’ll need to boost your ISO and/or use a tripod.
You’ll want to pack a variety of lenses: a telephoto zoom in the 100-500mm range for photographs of birds and monkeys, a macro lens for close-ups of butterflies and reptiles, and wide-angle zoom for photographs of the rain forest itself.
Adding a ring-light to a macro lens will let you photograph at small apertures, which yield good depth-of-field, but you may need to clone out the light’s reflection in a subject’s eyes. A fast telephoto lens (f/2.8) will let you photograph at a lower ISO for a cleaner (less noise) shot.
You’ll definitely want a water-resistant camera bag or camera bag cover to keep your gear dry in case it rains. Remember, you are in the rain forest. You’ll also want a camera cover for the same reason.
When composing a photograph, move around a bit and try to select a relatively clean/uncluttered background. Branches and bright light coming through the branches can be distracting in a photograph. When a busy background can’t be avoided, it’s Photoshop’s Clone Stamp tool to the rescue.
Learn More: Check out this KelbyOne class, “Uncovering the Magic of the Rainforest.”
© Rick Sammon
For on-site learning with skilled naturalists, book with the local folks and naturalists at Crocodile Bay Resort.