Tips for Nature Photography in the Tropics (PART 3 of 3)
In part 1 and 2 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 #5 - Find the fruit:
Bird photographers who visit the tropics are often frustrated by the fact that they simply cannot get close enough to the birds. The techniques that many of us employ at home (such as water drips, taped calls, or feeder stations) may or may not be effective. Even if these techniques have the potential to be successful, for the traveling photographer there is likely insufficient time to allow for them. I have always found however, that if you can locate a good fruiting tree in a tropical forest - sooner or later the birds will come. For example, I once staked out a fruiting Cecropia tree and photographed ten species of tanagers in ten minutes when a feeding flock passed through. If you find the fruit you will often find the birds.
Tip #6 - Back it up!
Another tip for the traveling photographer is to be absolutely certain that you back up your images diligently. There is no worse nightmare than working so hard to capture irreplaceable images of a lifetime and then to have them lost. I believe that you should keep at least three copies of your images while on vacation. These might be on flash cards, a laptop, external hard drives (such as the Hyper-drive), or DVD’s. Whatever storage media you chose to use - make sure you back everything up each night. You should also not keep all of the stored images in one bag (in case it is lost or stolen). A final tip is to burn DVD’s of your RAW files and have them mailed home on the last day of your trip. This way even if the worst happens, and your luggage disappears on the trip home, you will at least still have your images.
For me there is nothing more exciting than nature photography in the tropics. There are so many colourful and incredible subjects in these regions just waiting to be discovered. With a little bit of preparation you can increase your chances at capturing the images of your dreams. Tropical environments can be challenging and hard on camera equipment - but the rewards of photographing these special places, and the species that live in them, are well worth the frustrations. I suppose a final tip is to make sure to have fun and enjoy the unique experience of visiting some of nature’s most sacred places.
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.
To see more of Glenn’s images visit: www.glennbartley.com