Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Frogs Of The OSA
In a Costa Rica refuge, preservation tactics are leading to a stable ecosystem where amphibians are thriving
In fact, after a rain is the perfect time to go looking for frogs. In addition to the Golfo Dulce and granular poison dart frogs that are most easily found in the leaf litter along the creek banks, the semi-arboreal green-and-black poison dart frogs can best be found as they traverse the ground when moving from tree to tree. The various tree frog species tend to find a perfectly camouflaged position to lay low and sleep during the day, becoming active as the sun goes down. They can be found by homing in on their distinctive calls, aided by a headlamp once close. The photogenic red-eyed tree frog is commonly found on vegetation near the El Remanso pool, perfect for a pre-dinner shoot. At night, it's often easiest to photograph handheld with flash, freezing subject and camera motion with the quick strobe. A softbox, handheld or on a flash bracket, can be positioned just out of frame for soft, even lighting.
Logistically, a visit to the Osa is an exotic adventure balanced with surprising convenience. The Costa Rican capital of San José is a short hop from the U.S., and the quick puddle-jumper flight over the mountains and along the coast to Puerto Jiménez is spectacular. From there, visitors can rent a vehicle (4WD is recommended), arrange ground transfers with their lodging or hire a local taxi. The unpaved road to El Remanso fords three small rivers and passes through areas that are perfect for photographing monkeys as they cross in the low canopy overhead. Once deep in the rain forest, one can't help but feel very, very far away from all.
See more of Justin Black's work at www.justinblackphoto.com. Sign up for his workshops at www.visionarywild.com.
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