When asked how we find so much wildlife and produce so many unique pictures, my answer is unintentionally flippant. Simply put, our photographic outcomes are the product of practice and perseverance. We take many pictures, shoot most weekends, edit ruthlessly, and learn from our mistakes. After working all week to pay for the photography addiction, I look forward to sunrise Saturdays or Sundays with the intent of producing something new within the boundaries of my home range. This is the practice; it is the investment we make that prepares us for the fleeting moments.
When traveling, we don’t travel like tourists. It’s not about seeing it all, it’s about making the most of the opportunity. We are “nesters.” We plan ahead, strategically select a few places to stay, and we study the patterns in these novel locations.
We are patient and we persevere. After eight trips to Costa Rica, we have become more thoughtful and intentional when making pictures. Repetition is the key to our success. Rather than spray and pray, we’re on the trail early and make return visits to wildlife and landscape hotspots throughout the day. This type of forethought, patience and knowledge is attainable to those willing to nest. The longer we stay, the more we learn, and the greater our productivity.
The quetzal images posted were produced because we knew how to use our gear, learned where the birds would feed, and invested the time to revisit a likely roost. While we photographed many individual quetzals during our prolonged visit to the Savegre Hotel, these two pictures were made as we departed the lodge. Shot during our fifth and final day at this location, these images exemplify what is possible when you create the time to nest and are willing to persevere.
All images Canon 5D mark iii and Canon 300mm f2.8L IS + Canon 2x mark iii converter
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