2009 Costa Rica Travelogue

This picture of the scarlet macaw was taken on December 24th in an almond grove along Tárcoles beach. The shot was taken using the little camera (Olympus 790SW) through the bird watching telescope (bird scope) of our guide, Leo Chávez.

Here is my narrative describing our trip to Costa Rica. I've linked the corresponding pages from Jonathan's web site so that folks can jump back and forth between them. I took 1,036 shots (2.4 GB) while on the trip, and the images on the site represent a subset of those pictures.

The background on the webpages for this trip is a shot of the wetted bark of the rainbow eucalyptus tree (eucalyptus) taken in the rain on December 20th. I've taken the liberty of lightening the color, but not the pattern, to match the color scheme of this site.

17 to 18 December
LA to San José
19 December
San José to Arenal
20 December
Arenal mountain rainforest
21 December
Arenal to Monteverde
morning 22 December
Monteverde - cloudforest canopy walk
mid-day 22 December
Monteverde - El Trapiche
afternoon 22 December
Monteverde
23 December
Monteverde to the Pacific coast, Carara
24 December
Carara National Park
25 December
Carara National Park
26 and 27 December
Carara to San José to Pasadena

The images on the site, unless otherwise noted, were taken either using an Olympus C8080 Zoom (3264x2448 pixel JPEGs), or an Olympus Stylus 790 SW (3072x2304 pixel JPEGs). I occasionally had a circular polarizing filter installed on the C8080 depending on the light. The image size of the resulting JPEGs are about 3.5 MB each. I burned the unedited version of all images onto a DVD before editing them.

The left image is maximum zoom on 790SW without using the bird scope, while the right image used the scope

We made the happy discovery that the 790SW could take pictures through Leo's bird scope and got some really nice wildlife shots that would not have been possible otherwise. In the example above the difference with and without the birdscope is pretty evident.

Also because the 790SW has an incredibly short focal length available, most of the flower close ups were shot with that camera. I have to confess to a brain cramp - I totally forget about the macro setting on the camera. So I was constantly wrestling with getting a good focus, where if I had just put it into macro mode, things would have been peachy. Oh well. Also, on the rainy days (Dec. 19 - 21), I used the 790SW camera to as it is waterproof, and being pocket-sized, it was also used at dinner and traveling when I didn't want to pull out the big camera.

On this site, I've whittled the image size down to two sizes - a thumbnail I use on the page for the day, and a 640x480 pixel (or 480x640 pixel, assuming I haven't cropped or altered the size) image that I've saved optimized for web usage.

A lot of the images I doctored using Photoshop Elements, a trimmed down version of Adobe Photoshop. My most frequent adjustment was "Adjust Light & Shadows" to cope with the extremes of light and dark, "Auto Contrast" and "Auto Levels".

If you'd like the high resolution image (1 - 2MB each), drop me an email (MarkTKing mac.com) and I'll either email you a copy or set up a page where you can download the image.

Pura Vida
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updated 17 June 2015