Join Rich Harrington and family on a trip to Costa Rica and see a variety of ways to capture the beauty and diversity of a tropic destination.
(music) (tropical Caribbean music) - Hi, my name's Rich Harrington and welcome to this course as we take a look at Costa Rica.
We're gonna take a photographic safari and explore the country but it's not just about seeing the country, it's gonna be a chance to learn tons of techniques that you could use out in the field. This is a very diverse country with lots of challenging photographic situations, so you're gonna see how to shoot in those conditions and how to make some great shots but the cool thing here is that you can take this knowledge and apply it to lots of places. Costa Rica has a lot of unique features but it shares a lot of things in common with other Central America and South American countries so this is gonna give you skills that you can use on your next trip.
This course is organized geographically. Now, that may sound strange but I just group things by how the country was, where we visited and each situation is then broken down in the activities that we did there. I think this is gonna be easier because you can now search for the type of photography that you're interested in. For example, when we go out into the rainforest and we are photographing animals, that's all grouped together versus when we go down a zipline so let's take a look at how this course is actually structured. First up, we're gonna talk a bit about getting ready for the trip.
What gear do you need, what sort of things should you pack, what does this country hold, so you sort of know what Costa Rica is like and how you're gonna get around the country. (instrumental music) Then, we'll start with Monteverde which is a very cool mountain town. Now, this town is remote and the rental car companies, some of the tour places won't want to take you there because it's really rough going. You drive about 10 miles an hour to get there but it is just filled with fantastic shooting opportunities, cloud forest, butterflies, hummingbirds, wonderful things and I found that by bringing some of my close up lenses, macro lenses, I'm able to get everything from beautiful butterflies to incredible boa constrictors and this is just a wonderful shooting opportunity if you love nature.
One of the other activities that I highly recommend you check out in Costa Rica is that of ziplining. Now, you need to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie, if you like roller coasters or fast cars, you're gonna like this, but you're gonna be strapped to a line with a safety harness flying through the air going upwards of 50 miles an hour and great breathtaking views but normal camera equipment is not gonna be safe to use and it will be locked by the tour operators but I'll show you what gear you can bring and how to get some fantastic point of view shots.
(instrumental music) Then we'll head on over to beachside town of Maniel Antonio. There's a great national park here and let's face it, if you're gonna go to a warm, tropical location you might as well get some beach time in but this is gonna be a fun opportunity to do some shooting at the beach and in the ocean. I'm gonna go ahead and show you how I like to get underwater shots or shots from the shore that really just capture the energy of the ocean. We'll take a look at some long exposure time lapse and opportunities to make beautiful images with the clouds stretched out using things like ND filters.
(instrumental music) Then we'll head on over to Arenal which is a great region filled with a volcano and all sorts of wonderful landscape images. If you love nature, you want to see a rainforest, this is a great chance. We're gonna explore this region fully and you're gonna see the wonderful diversity. Some of the things you associate with Costa Rica, like chocolate and coffee, grow in abundance there and if you're looking for a region that's filled with a lot of culture, this is a great place to visit.
Personally, I love seeing the truly native side of a country and I found that Arenal was a great place to do that. (instrumental music) We'll then head on over to Cano Negro and this is a river that we're gonna float on down to really get an idea of some of the wildlife. While the forests are great, the river ecosystem here supports all sorts of animals. You're gonna see things like crocodiles and alligators and monkeys and lizards and incredible vegetation that is truly amazing and impressive.
If you love landscape and nature photography, this is a great stop and we're gonna talk about shooting situations that are tough. You're gonna be out under the bright midday sun on most of these tours. How do you respond quickly, spotting the wildlife because the boat is just gonna keep on cruising, so they're not gonna stop for photographs. You're gonna have to be ready and know what to look for and what gear to bring so you can react very quickly to capture the shots. (instrumental music) And then to close out my trip, I'm gonna stop in the capital city, San Jose.
This is a great bustling, metropolitan city with some wonderful old-time architecture and historical landmarks. If you love street photography or architecture, this is gonna be a fantastic place for you to spend a day or two shooting. It's like most metropolitan cities, but of course it has its own culture and some great, unique things that you're not gonna want to miss including some wonderful churches. Of course, it's not just enough to shoot great photos, there are some other areas that we're gonna focus on in this course. We'll close things out by showing you some in-field work flow so you keep your images safe, properly backing them up, strategies to use when you're in the field to make sure that you don't lose any shots and that when you get back home, all your photos make the trip and, I want to share with you some of my favorite post production techniques.
There's gonna be some wonderful opportunities to make great photos and of course, with modern photography software, you can make them just that much better. So, I'm gonna share some of my favorite techniques that made some fantastic images that were just absolute keepers from this trip. I hope you're excited, so let's jump in and start to explore the country of Costa Rica.
Rich organizes the lessons by location and activity, so you can dive right into the type of photography that interests you: nature, landscape, macro, underwater, street, or architecture. First he covers packing and planning for a trip to Costa Rica. Then he visits five uniquely beautiful locations, starting with the remote mountain town of Monteverde, where he gets "close up" to wildlife and takes a GoPro along on a zipline tour. At Manuel Antonio, he shows how to shoot at the beach—in and out of the water—and create awe-inspiring time lapses. In Arenal Rich enters the rainforest and shoots with local chocolate and coffee growers, and in Caño Negro, he takes a river-boat tour. The trip ends in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, which offers great opportunities for shooting street photography and architecture.
The course closes with some in-field workflow tips to keep your images safe, and some post-production techniques to develop your photos in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Camera Raw.
- Understanding the geography of Costa Rica
- Packing and planning
- Photographing wildlife
- Taking a GoPro on a zipline ride
- Shooting at the beach and on the river
- Visiting the rainforest
- Enjoying local products: coffee, chocolate, and more
- Managing your data in the field: storage cards and drives