Costa Rica

Frogs Heaven, Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

As I write this, it is already late January 2020. This trip I am about to tell you about was already in September 2019.. Quite some lag time there…

At least I have a good excuse. 2019 was a very challenging year for me personally. Just a good month before this trip to Costa Rica my relationship ultimately came to an end. That time was the hardest in my life. As I scrabbled to get my life under control, I thought that I would really benefit from going far away to a place I always dreamed about visiting. Spend some time alone somewhere beautiful.

And so a hastily planned trip to Costa Rica happened. I relished in my two great past times, travel and photography. I think it turned out to be a healthy thing which got me focused on the future.

Enough about that. This trip was mostly about photography and nature for me. I planned this trip by looking at photos from places in Costa Rica, and deciding where to go on the photo merits. This led me to lots of national parks and beautiful coastlines. I hired a car and booked accommodation as I went – the style of travel I find most flexible and rewarding. Driving in Costa Rica is easy, and it’s a very handy way to get around. Below is a map of my locations (little hearts J).

Points of interest on my journey – Google Maps

Favorite sights

  • Frogs Heaven – Up close and personal with frogs and birds.
  • Uvita – Whale watching and great coastline.
  • Manuel Antonio – Great park with wild life and beaches.
  • Santa Teresa Beach – Surfers paradise in Costa Rica
  • Sierpe River – Great mangrove boat trips teeming with wildlife

Whale watching, Uvita Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II

Kokopelli Mangrove Tour, Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve. Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II

Photography Considerations

  • Wet weather – If traveling in the wet season like I did you need a proper rain solution for your pack and camera. I used a rain cover for my camera and my pack has a built in rain cover which worked OK.
  • Heat & Humidity – Be mindful of condensation when traveling from a cold A/C environment to the hot outdoors. Humidity can damage cameras. Let them acclimatize slowly.
  • Macro Lens – A must in Costa Rica, bring a 100mm or longer.
  • Telephoto Lens – A must in Costa Rica, I brought my 100-400L IS II and 1.4x converter and needed the reach.
  • Ultrawide Lens – Depending on taste, but there are many great confined spaces like close forests that benefit from an ultrawide.

 

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 12mm 2.8 Fisheye

Somewhere in Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 100-400mm 4.5-5.6L IS II | 1.4x

Frogs Heaven, Costa Rica. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

Travel Tips

  • Don’t plan too much! – Keep your schedule loose in case you love or hate an area. Accommodation is easy to find on Booking.com or similar.
  • Know the locations – You should research the great destinations you really want to see before setting off.
  • Driving / Roads – A car is a great way to get around. I strongly advise a 4×4 and good insurance. Many roads are very bad.

Donate a coffee!

Buy me a coffee! I can only take great photos and produce all this awesome content when I am fueled up on coffee.

€3.00

Full Gallery

For the full album please click here!

Happy Shooting

 

 

Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg – Part II

So if you enjoyed the first post on the awesome Munich-Nymphenburg Gardens then you are in for a treat, because here is part two!

Munich-Nymphenburg, Canon 5D Mark III | Sigma 180mm 2.8 EX OS Macro

I ended up revisiting this place with a friend, and got a few more keepers! I soon realized that the gardens looked totally different than on my initial visit – the power of nature. I won’t repeat what has been said, so sit back and enjoy the pictures.

Munich-Nymphenburg, Canon 5D Mark III | Sigma 180mm 2.8 EX OS Macro

Happy Shooting

Gallery:

Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg

Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg. Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 OS Macro

I have always loved botanical gardens. I spent a lot of time in my early photography days taking photos in city gardens. I remember well the botanical gardens in Brisbane were I really first got into photography. I even had a small photography club at that time. Funnily enough it took quite a while before I first visited the Botanical Garden of Munich-Nymphenburg – 3 years in fact!

Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg. Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 OS Macro

Well now I finally got there! Its a great garden. I has many lovely green houses with plants from around the world. I particularly love the topical green houses. I also has wide open spaces, tons of flowering plants and of course a small lake. It costs money to get in, which I find a bit unusual, but the 5 euros is well worth it. I spent the whole time more or less with my 180mm 2.8 Macro lens.

Botanical Garden Munich-Nymphenburg. Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 OS Macro

This is bliss.. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Happy Shooting

Gallery:

Bavarian Summer

So far its been a wonderful summer in Bavaria. The best thing is that we are only half way through. Here are some everyday shots to share! Hope you enjoy.

Ettaler Weidmoss

There are a number of wetlands in the region we live, including Pulvermoos, Murnauer Moos, and Ettaler Weidmoss. There is lots to see, particularly if you like the flora and fauna found in this kind of environment. I went to Ettaler Weidmoss to check it out,as I spotted it coming back from the famous Schloss Linderhof. I went there a couple of hours before sunset. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I brought a few lenses including the 180mm 2.8 Macro and my landscape filters along.

Well I didn’t make it that far, despite the fact that there are lots of walking tracks there. I found lots of very pretty wild flowers, and got a bit carried away. I will have to go back and continue exploring some day soon.

Ettaler Weidmoss, Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro | f4.5

Some tips for visiting:
  • Wear a pair of hiking boots or gumboots. Can we quite wet.
  • Go on a quiet day. You need to have no wind in order to get the best shots from a tripod.
  • Its good to go after rain. The rain brings out colour, and cleans everything up.
  • Best to use a tripod and low ISO. If there is no movement by the wind.
  • There is lots to photograph, but a macro lens will bring out a lot of small wonders.

Ettaler Weidmoss, Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro | f4.5

I used mostly the 180mm 2.8 Macro as it allows me to selectively focus on the subjects I want, in an artistic way that has a lot of background blur or bokeh. I would not like to shoot these subjects with a lot of depth of field, because all the elements will be distracting to the viewer. A short macro lens will give the detail and close focus, but will not give the subject isolation possible with a longer lens.

Avoid taking these kinds of photos in the middle of the day, because the harsh sun will never allow the same kind of mood as that captured in this series. Here are some of my favorites from the evening!

Ettaler Weidmoss, Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro | f5.0 | Tripod.

Ettaler Weidmoss, Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro | f2.8.

Ettaler Weidmoss, Canon 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro | f2.8 | Tripod.

All in all it was a very nice evening. I did not get any landscape shots in, but plenty of wildflowers which is also nice. I only managed to walk about 400m as I got rather distracted by all the subject matter. I will have to go back and see what else I can find. There are a lot of insects, and anyone interested in macro would enjoy the photo opportunities there.

Location:

Gallery

Below are the keepers from the day. Most are taken with the 180mm 2.8 OS EX Macro lens which really came into its own on this adventure. No other macro lens can obliterate busy backgrounds like this lens.  I have previously made a review of the lens, which you can read about here. I highly recommend the lens, its big and heavy, but it really delivers the goods in the right conditions. Enjoy!

Signs of Summer

I found that my signs of spring post was fairly popular, so here is a signs of summer! It certainly is becoming summer here in Bavaria. Its been quite warm, and the flowers, grasses, and trees have been exploding. Its now bright green everywhere with lots of life! I once again took my 180mm 2.8 Macro lens out for a walk, and had a look at what I could find.

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 12mm 2.8 fisheye

Macro or close up photography is somehow quite.. therapeutic. Concentrating on the detail, one little part of the world is refreshing. Modern life is complex.

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

Bad Kohlgrub, Bavaria. 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro

Gallery

Signs of Spring!

Spring is here!!! 5D Mark III | 180mm 2.8 Macro @ f2.8, Bad Bayersoien, Bavaria

So after a long and some-what disappointing winter I’m ready for Spring. Luckily, there are a few early signs of spring starting to show already! I am looking forward to the wild flowers blooming, and all the wonderful colour in the mountains. I hope to post much more this Spring, but I went for a morning walk the other day with my 180mm macro, and here is what I found! Finally some green on top of all that grey: