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Costa Rican photography trips are super popular for good reasons. Costa Rica is full of outstanding scenery, amazing wildlife, is close to the USA, is budget friendly, and is very friendly to photography tours.
We love Costa Rica, so we came up with some Costa Rica photography tips and suggestions for your own Costa Rican photography trip.
Do Some Research
Before travelling anywhere for a photography trek, you need to learn what you can about the place. This applies to nearby locations as much as it does Costa Rican photography trips.
Google and other online sources are a good place to start. Not only will you learn things about where you’re going, you’ll also see pictures others have taken of local areas. Reading the accompanying commentary can also be enlightening to us in regards to local customs, ideas, and possible dangers.
Amazon and other booksellers will have Kindle and paper books full of Costa Rica wildlife photography tips and images that might provide some ideas and inspiration for your own photography as well.
Narrow Down Your Gear
photo by chee gin tan via iStock
Costa Rican photography trips will involve a lot of hiking, sometimes over terrain that is challenging. Carrying all of your cameras and lenses probably won’t be a good idea.
The research you did will give you some idea of what gear you won that might be the most useful for your own Costa Rica photography. You’ll want to use the best quality cameras and lenses you have and if that gear is pro or prosumer level gear with weather sealing, that will be a plus.
Since much of the trip will be in the wilderness, you might be further away than you were expecting (unless you’re on a guided tour), so longer lenses are a good choice. You may also be under some extremely varied lighting conditions, so fast lenses might also be in order.
Even if I’m planning on using long, fast telephoto lenses most of the time, though, I rarely go on a trek without a good wide angle option and my trusted Nifty Fifty. Your previous research will help you decide.
photo by jacoblund via iStock
Your gear will need special protection when on a Costa Rican photography trip, and you should also consider your personal protection as well.
First and foremost for the protection of your photography gear is choosing a really good bag. I like to use a backpack or sling pack style for comfort while hiking. An essential couple of features are weatherproofing and padding.
Rain shields or bags are a good idea since you may be alternating between intense sunlight and instant heavy downpours within mere minutes. Humidity alleviation for your bag and storage area is a great idea, too.
Your personal comfort and safety are vitally important. First on my mental list is always footgear. You want them to be strong, comfortably fitting, and providing excellent stability. Don’t skimp on the footwear!
The Sun, the humidity, the bugs, the plants, all of these are issues to watch out for and prepare for with sunscreen, repellents, emergency medication, and protective wearable gear.
Try It All Out Before You Leave
photo by michaeljung via iStock
There’s a lot to consider when planning a Costa Rican photography trip, you really don’t want any unwanted surprises in the middle of it. What I like to do with any new or unfamiliar gear or clothing is to try it out in the comfort of my home or studio.
You really don’t want to be figuring out camera controls while a fleeting wildlife subject flies, runs, or slithers by. Plus, you don’t want to learn that your new footgear hurts like the dickens after the first hour when that hour puts you an hour hike away from the vehicle or camp.
Try a Guided Tour
To help alleviate any of the issues we’ve discussed, you might want to look at taking a guided photography tour, especially for your first Costa Rican photography trip.
One of my favorite tour companies is ColorTexturePhotoTours, they have a Costa Rican photography trip guided tour planned for April of 2021 that you should consider.
ColorTexturePhotoTours organizes various photography treks several times a year to multiple locations. Their Costa Rican photography trip will cover just about everything we discussed above.
They provide guidance for your preparation to travel and arrange the transportation down to Costa Rica plus guide you through a wondrous wilderness to show you wildlife and scenic views you probably couldn’t find on your own.
Guided photography tours are incredible values when you add together all they provide, including consulting guidance, transportation and accommodations, and the wonderful guides leading you to where you want to be for amazing images.
Enjoy Your Costa Rican Photography Trip!
Whichever way you go about planning your Costa Rican photography trip, the one most important thing is to have fun with it. You WILL get amazing images, you will have an amazing experience, you may even make some new friends.
When you get back, visit our PhotographyTalk forums and show us your pictures. Enjoy the experience and enjoy your images for a long time.