I apologize for taking such a long break from my blog! SO MUCH has been happening lately that I chose to focus on the ride and write about it later. I’m finally getting some time to catch up on organizing and distributing images, and I wanted to let you know what a great Costa Rica workshop we had this year.
For starters my friend Bob Fitzgibbons returned as my guest instructor and did a great job. Bob’s knowledge and enthusiasm are exactly what you’re looking for when you are looking for a second instructor.
We had our largest group yet with fourteen attendees. We had two return students (one for a THIRD time), and generally a great bunch of photographers. Everyone was enthusiastic, adventurous and ready to make some great photos.
I get a lot of grief from folks about taking a group of photographers to Costa Rica in September. It is the rainy season in some parts of Costa Rica, but we have always had great weather where we go. This year was no exception. In fact we had such god weather that we could see the Arenal Volcano from the cloud forest 70 kilometers away. They don’t call it the “cloud forest” for nothing… sometimes you can’t see your hand in front of your face!
We saw LOTS of rare wildlife. We even got up close and personal to a 2-toed sloth. I think the biggest treat was getting to see and photograph a Margay in the wild. This small jungle cat is so rare that our guide (who basically grew up in the rain forest) had never seen one outside of an animal park!
My LUMIX GH3 and GX7 cameras performed flawlessly. I had LUMIX lenses and cameras to lend, and most of the attendees were already shooting with micro four thirds gear. The LUMIX 100-300mm lens was the go-to glass for much of our shooting because it was so centered around wildlife.
My favorite new piece of kit I had with me is my Gitzo 2531LVL tripod and Gitzo Soulid 238 head. The legs have a leveling center column that makes setting up for stills or video a breeze. I found the small, lightweight 238 fluid head the perfect tool for hybrid photography. These sticks are so solid and lightweight that it’s scary. If I had any doubts about Gitzo being top-of-the-line tripods, those doubts are GONE.
Another tool I used for the first time is a camera slider. Even the inexpensive Glide Gear rig I have is so versatile and easy to set up that I can’t believe I didn’t get one sooner. Maybe the best $99 I’ve spent on photo/video gear this year.
Enjoy the hybrid eScapes from the event, and stay tuned for details about next year’s event!