Country of the growing rain forest, beautiful beaches, and hot springs. Famous for the red-eye frog and the sloth. You could describe it as paradise on earth.
Best Time: Nighttime or early morning
Remarks: What are the most famous photo subjects in Costa Rica? From my point of view, they are the sloth and the red-eye frog. Sloths are not really photogenic so here we are with the red-eye. Like most of the frogs, these fellers are night active. During the daytime, they are hiding in trees and leaves. It took me a while until I finally found one that was motivated to model a bit for me. I visited a small private park right next to or even in La Fortuna. The place is called Bogarin Wildlife Trail. I called a day before to check when they open. They told me, that I could come very early and just walk around. Later on, they would provide me with a guide. For the first 2-3 hours, I was all on my own finding some sloths, frogs, birds, and reptiles. But, I have to admit, with the guide I saw much more ;). So the best tip for Costa Rica, take always a guide. If you hire a private guide and you bring photo equipment they will know what to show you. So in this case, the frog was waking up, not happy to see us, and finally moving to another hideout. Not much time, but I got at least two got shots. If you find these animals, please don't touch them. Your sunscreen and especially your mosquito repellant are killing them.
GPS Location: 10°28'13.0"N 84°39'02.5"W
Best Time: All day
Remarks: I guess this not that little feller is a Black Iguana. Found it in the woods at the Manuel Antonio national park just close to the beach. It was sunbathing a bit - so more or less a perfect composition. The Iguana in the sun the rest in the shade. I was sitting there at least 20min waiting and shooting. This one was finally my favorite. I shot it with a 200-400mm lens which turned out very good for Costa Rica. You need a monopod but it's still flexible enough to carry it the whole day around.
GPS Location: 9°23'05.3"N 84°08'46.0"W
Best Time: Typical Sunset spot
Remarks: From my point of view, this picture is almost too cheesy but this is how it was. The beach is not part of the national park, so you can stay as long as you want. There was a little surf shop. With the sunset, all the surfer came back to return their board. Very good opportunity to get a nice foreground. As you have to set up your gear on the sand, try to tough everything as little as possible. Tripod, remote control, and a battery change before you start shooting are helping with this. Everything else is the basics. Shooting exposure series will help you deal with the extreme dynamics. In this environment of the very dark palm trees in the foreground and the very bright sky, I used a seven-step bracket from -4 to +2.
GPS Location: 9°23'46.5"N 84°09'32.5"W