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Page 9 Glenn Bartley

Written By onci on Friday, October 30, 2009 | 7:17 PM


In part 1 of this article I started to outline some of my favourite tips for photography in the tropics. Below are a few more tips to make sure that you have a successful and productive photography trip when visiting these exciting photo destinations.

Tip #3 - Stay dry:

The greatest biological riches on earth are found in tropical rain forests. It is here where biodiversity can be absolutely mind boggling. But these places are often very, very wet. To be successful in the tropics a nature photographer must prepare for rain and, perhaps even more importantly, humidity. When it comes to rain there are fantastic camera covers available on the market (e.g. www.stormjacket.com). Zip-lock bags are invaluable to keep other items in your backpack dry and a waterproof backpack cover should envelop all of your gear. These physical barriers to rain act as the first line of defense against the water that can be seen. Yet it is more often the case that photographers encounter problems with the water that we can’t see (i.e. from humidity). Humidity and heat can also lead to undesirable fungus growing inside of expensive lenses. To combat this problem I once again recommend turning to zip-lock bags. For humidity though, it is absolutely essential that you are equipped with silica gel. Packets of silica are widely available to be purchased or can be acquired by raiding a local shoe store. By placing all electronic equipment inside of a large, heavy-duty zip-lock bag each night I have never experienced problems with humidity.

Tip #4 - Bring your own light:

In addition to being very rainy, many of the places that have the most potential for photography are also very dark. Shooting from a tripod is usually a necessity and learning to use fill flash will almost certainly lead to more pleasing tropical nature images. I highly recommend using a “Better-Beamer” flash extender in the tropics (to extend the flash range and reduce the recycling time of batteries). If possible, I would also try to use a tripod flash mount to raise the flash up off of the camera and reduce the undesirable “steel eye” effect that often occurs otherwise.

Stay tuned for more tips for nature photography in the tropics coming soon to Natures Images Online Magazine.

Glenn Bartley is a professional nature photographer who focuses on photographing birds in their natural habitat. He resides in Victoria, British Columbia on Canada’s West Coast. Glenn is the co-owner of the nature photography tour company: www.naturesphotoadventures.com.

Glenn Bartley

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