A few weeks ago I was standing in the the very hot and humid rainforest of Coast Rica. It was a totally new environment to me and along with a vast array of bizarre and highly fascinating subjects surrounding me, it was overwhelming to say the least. Sometimes it was just nice to stand back and admire it all without my camera.
Being under the dense canopy of the rainforests, meant that light was the biggest issue for photography. But foreknowing this I bought a small soft box for my speedlite (Lastolite Ezybox), which turned out to be one of the best investments I have made during my time as a photographer - it’s small compact and weighs very little, so perfect for traveling where size and weight always matter.
I spent most of my time exploring during late evening when the wildlife just seems to go into a league of its own. So armed with a 100mm macro lens and a single speedlite (soft box attached) I went in search of creatures of the night.
I came across this Red-thighed Wandering Spider that was just meters from my room where I was staying. Every night it would appear and lay in the same position, waiting for its prey to walk on past.
I can honestly say that I have never seen a spider move so fast. It grabbed a beetle that strolled by with such speed and accuracy that my eyes barely registered it. It was definatly one of the best finds of the trip.
Red-thighed Wandering Spider
Everywhere you go in Costa Rica you will see the red eyed tree frog being exploited on post cards, t-shirts and gifts etc.
If you listen carefully you can identify this particular frog from others, as they call to each other in the dark. After looking on-top and the undersides of every leaf I eventually found one. They really do live up to their reputation of being one of the most photogenic species.
Another frog that I came across was the gladiator frog.
A lot of the wildlife in Costa Rica is designed to blend into its surrounding environment, making it hard to find unless you know where to look. You defenatly need to spend a lot of time there to really reveal the hidden world.
These bats were found inside a termite mound that was seven feet up in a tree. A hole had been bored about twenty centimetres into the mound from the underside - it proved to be the perfect resting place for this colony of bats. (species to be confirmed)
Hanging flower found in the cloud rainforest (species to be confirmed)
Hummingbird (species to be confirmed)
Swarm of tiny black bees (species to be confirmed))
After spending just over ten days in Costa Rica, I merely even scraped the surface of what can be found. It contains some the most diverse wildlife on the planet, making it a must see place.
If possible go for as long as you can. As it takes a while to get used to the humidity (in parts).
Exploring with your eyes is one thing but when taking a lot of camera gear, I would say it was quite challenging work at times (especially when there is so much to see and photograph). But this gets easier once you acclimatise.
High resolution images can be viewed with the following link:-