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08 Jan 2010

Costa Rica

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I am finally getting to post about our trip to Costa Rica.  We stayed in two areas.  On the Caribbean side in Tortuguerro and on the Pacific side in Quepos.  Tortuguerro is an area famous for it’s Sea Turtle nesting area, hence the name.   While strolling the beach you can see the many abandoned nests since the season is pretty much over by the end of November.  We did catch one nest with a few baby turtles making their way to the sea.   This is a rainforest and travel through the area is by water taxi.   We took two boat tours of the canals in search of wildlife.  Many different birds, monkeys, and lizards were easily viewed.   Shooting was difficult as it was very overcast and dark.  It was high ISO time for sure.  The guides were very knowledgeable and this is no place to try going on your own.  It is very easy to get lost in the maze of canals.  We stayed at the Laguna Lodge.  This is supposedly one of the best in this area.  Not bad if you don’t mind high humidity and no air conditioning.   The food was tolerable but not great.  The people in this country are just great and very willing to please.  Prices are very reasonable for everything and they take dollars everywhere.

Out next stop was Quepos.  If you are traveling within Costa Rica I would recommend flying instead of the bus rides offered by many travel groups.  The roads are pretty bad and a 25 minute plane ride beats a 3 1/2 bus ride any day.  The only downside is the 30lb luggage weight limit on the small 14 seat twin-turbo props.  Quepos is near Manual Antonio Park which is right on the ocean and another good place to view wildlife.   It is also not too far from a whitewater rafting area.   We stayed at the Hotel Costa Verde which I highly recommend.   The rooms were large and were more like a suite with a King and double bed, a small kitchen, balcony and air-conditioning.  The food at the restaurants was excellent and nearby restaurants were excellent as well.  Costa Rica experts put our package together and did a great job with our transportation, flights and touring.

07 Jan 2010

The weather outside is frightful

What do you do when it’s nasty outside?  Go and shoot.  Sometimes you don’t have to go very far.  I was running an errand and of course brought my camera.  On the way back I noticed this river as I drove over a bridge.  There was a close parking lot so I parked and found my way down to the banks.  10 minutes later I came away with a few decent shots. Quick processing in camera RAW and Nik Silver Effects Pro and voila.

07 Jan 2010

Arches & Canyonlands


These two National Parks are a great place to shoot in the fall.  There are very few visitors making it easy to get the shot without having to wait for folks to move out of the way.   I went the weekend of the time change so getting up at the crack of dawn isn’t so bad and you don’t have to wait until 8 pm to get your sunset.   I spent a few hours driving around the La Sal Moutains which are just east of Moab.  When I arrived they were in the middle of the first snowstorm of the year so the mountains had a beautiful fresh coating of snow.  I only spent 4 days in the area but could have easily spent a couple weeks.  Rent a 4 x 4 and take the backroads to get a totally different perspective of Canyonlands.
More at my website

21 Oct 2009

Next Trip

One week to go before my next trip to Arches. Can’t wail.

12 Jul 2009

My New Book

I have created a book containing the best of my travels around to country. It is available for purchase at blurb.com

28 Jun 2009

Arizona



Arizona is a wonderful state with so much to see. Last week I visited Sedona, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Canyon DeChelley. This has been an unusually cool spring for the area so the weather was fantastic. I have been to the Grand Canyon before and was looking forward to Monument Valley. The big surprise was Canyon DeChelley. There are two roads you can take to view the Canyon from above. One on the north and the other on the south, with various lookout points along the way. For a more unique view from inside the canyon be sure to hire a Navajo guide and have him take you in his own 4-wheel drive vehicle. It is worth it to have him drive. The guide was very willing to stop anywhere I wanted in order to take some photos. The trip lasts about 3 hours but you can pay extra by the hour if you need it. There are still about 40 Navajo families living in the canyon.

23 May 2009

Look who’s been eating the Woodpecker suet

I have been replenishing the Woodpecker feeder daily and haven’t seen one in about a month. This morning I finally found out who’s been eating it.

29 Apr 2009

Still at home


Having the bird feeder is at least keeping me shooting until my next trip. I saw a Baltimore Oriole for the first time in my life in Illinois.



Only have to wait until June before my trip to Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. But in the meantime I’ll do what I can here.

24 Apr 2009

in my own backyard

I recently set up a bird feeder in my backyard. We have a large variety of birds in the area but they never stay still long enough or in one area in order to get a shot. The bird feeder is the solution. I attached a number of branches to the feeder so my shots don’t include the feeder itself. After only a day in the yard I have, goldfinches, house finch, cardinal, redwing blackbird, and a woodpecker. Didn’t get a shot of the woodpecker though. He was here and gone in about 3 seconds.

06 Apr 2009

Color Efex Pro


You just never know when you have to make a quick decision. We were driving south on the highway from Albuquerque when I saw this group of trees. It was only accessible from the highway. We pulled onto the shoulder and shot from the window of our car. We found out later that these trees had burned last year. I finished the photo using Color Efex Pro. A quick way to get a cool sepia look.

D300 70-200VR
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