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Thread: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

  1. #1
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Seeing these lovely creatures was one thing but hearing them was another. Boy these guys can be loud for their size.

    C & C welcome.

    Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica
    Last edited by Peter Ryan; 28th July 2011 at 05:42 AM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    For me it's the first one that grabs the attention. I think it's essentially the composition. The angle of the monkey in the frame; the fact that it is relatively clear of distracting foliage in front and behind it's body and head; The heavy foliage above giving a 'top' to the image and ensuring our attention is brought down onto the monkey, which is backed by a much lighter tone (the sky). And, just to cap it off, it's nailed to perfection in terms of sharpness and exposure.

    A beauty. The others are nice too, but .....!

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Thanks Donald, I have been away for a couple of days. I have to say that shooting in the Costa Rican rainforest was the hardest shooting conditions I have had. On the floor the light was so dark you were shotting at 800ISO and still often only getting 60th Sec on a 70 -300m VR lens. When you see birds or monkeys in the canopy the backlighting created a large dynamic range - I have never shot at +5 before - never new when I would need to do so. This then created issues with PP.

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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    I Really enjoyed these,Peter.That's a great place to go. For a while now I've been on the mailing(Email) list of this company which is based in Costa Rica. http://www.deepgreenphotography.com/ They do photo.Tours .

    The country doesn't have a permanent standing army (abolished in 1948) but does have a defence agreement with the US. Eco-Tourism is the main industry and 25% of the land is protected. Just for sheer diversity of tropical wildlife it's the place to go.I don't know if I'll ever get there but it's interesting what you say about the photography. I met two Brits. on a Storm Chase Tour who had been there and they said the birds are fantastic and they walked out of their hotel one morning to see 6 of these sitting in a tree and you don't get to see them easily they said. http://vacationcosta-rica.com/bird.php

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Thanks John, yes their attitude to eco-tourism and the safety aspects are what drew us to Costa Rica and we were not disappointed. The bird life is wonderful and the mamals as well. You do hear these guys a lot but living in the top of the tree canopy they are hard to see.

    Nearly every shot is a compromise and the amount of foliage you have to deal with is incredable.

    I had a look at the web reference above and they have some great images and are typical of what you see although this person has time on their side to get some of the shots they have. I did see a lot of hummingbirds. I did manage to get a couple but they are hard to get and if they are on the floor of the rainforest you have no hope because shutter speeds are just to slow.

    I would encourage you to visit if you are only just half thinking about. A great place for a photographic holiday. I have a lot more shots on my website at the moment if you want to have a look - see below in signature line.
    Last edited by Peter Ryan; 1st August 2011 at 07:01 AM.

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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Just been through your signature line,Peter. Stunning shots,it's been a long day for me today so I'll go through again tomorrow. It's not really half-thinking about going there,it's a matter of when really .I may well go there instead of the Storm Tour - I've done 6 of them,maybe time for a change. I'll have a very close look and see what's involved ,it maybe that my wife will want to go on the Costa trip but she never wanted to go on the storm tours and who could criticise her for that. Hours and hours travelling from one state to another I'd feel awful having her along and putting her through it.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    When you go make sure you get off the beaten track so to speak. Try headingdown to Tortaguera on the East coast where all your excursions are done on theriver delta amongst tall rainforest along the bank. You travel for an hour bysmall bus (arranged by the hotel) and then a boat for 40 minutes down the river.We did fly back. The bird life is fantastic along with Green Iguanas, Cayman, Basilisklizards, Howler and Spider Monkeys. The leafcutter ants are something else tosee. If you get the right time of year you will see nesting Green Turtles – we justmissed it. Make sure you also take good binoculars as well as a long lens. Youwill need a long with image stabilization for shooting in low light conditions –tripods don’t cut it in a boat.

    Up around Arenal and Monteverde it is more commercial. If you get to Monteverdemake sure you arrange a night walk in the cloud forest and make sure you have astrong flash. Almost more to be seen at night than during the day.

    On the west coast we went to south to the Orso Peninsula. You fly intoPalmer Sur from San Jose and then boat it down the river for 30 minutes to themouth with the Pacific Ocean and then a further 20 minutes or so down the coastto your accommodation. It is very remote and this is the only way to get there.

    You can do more storm tours but your wife will enjoy this one. My partner loved it.

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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Many thanks,Peter. A lot of information here. I was talking to my wife about it today. Mike's(Dizzy) sister runs Tours there - 'Wonderful Video' thread.

    I've just bought a pair of Swarovski 10 X 42 bins,they're brilliant,the light and clarity is exceptional.I have the Canon 100-400IS so those two items are sorted.

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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    I think that you did quite well exposure wise. You were shooting in difficult conditions to say the least! I have been photographing in the heavy tree covered jungle just northwest of the city of Vung Tau in Vietnam and the lighting was misearable. to say the least...

    I wonder how much fill flash might have helped. It would certainly have filled your subjects and, perhaps, lowered the exposure ratio but, the foliage might have cast shadows from the flash which could have been more trouble...

    I have recently purchased a Flash X-tender for my Canon 550EX flash for situations like this but, have not tested it yet.

  10. #10
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Howler Monkeys of Costa Rica

    Very good point Richard,

    This is one of the very few times I actually use flash. I do use fill flash in this type of situation and just mentioned to John in a PM about travelling to Cosat Rica that a good strong flash is more important than a tripod, given how fast the animals move. I first used it to good effect in Africa. I didn't use it in this case as they were just too far away. All three images have been cropped by around 40 - 50%.

    But a very good point to make.

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