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ProvokedGrizz Apr 06
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Behind The Lens


I was walking along Costa Rica's Eastern, Caribbean, coast. It was a good hike away from San Francisco de Tortuguero, maybe two or three hours.


Must have been in the late afternoon, but I was there, escorting the hatchlings down from their nest at the top of the beach to the surf for a few hours.


All natural. I don't tend to have a flash with me, and would never use it on wildlife.


I had my Fujifilm XH1, a much ignored camera, but really the closest thing Fuji had at the time to a proper professional camera.


I was there too late to normally see turtles hatching, and actually was not looking for them, for that reason. However, I was lucky to find one last nest which was just beginning to emerge, really not even broken through the sand yet. I was with a local, and he made sure that I knew what I should and should not do. You often see people carrying turtles down to the surf, but many zoologists believe that they need that journey to get their lungs and muscles pumping. The chance of one reaching adulthood is single digit percentages, so every step is important. At this point their biggest risk was from the vultures. My local friend and I kept our distance from the hatchlings, close enough to guard and watch them (and I am not saying I didn't move anything out of their way), but not otherwise interfering. We counted 84 out of the nest and 84 into the sea. Even the last which we thought simply didn't have the strength. He made it in the end. I took some pictures that day, but I spent most of the time just watching them.


Sure, a little. I have others where less was needed, but I liked that this image was less than perfect. It is not really in focus, and the little guy was tearing it down the beach. I used lightroom classic to add a little drama, bring out the natural navy tone, and I think it shows the volcanic beach well.

In my camera bag

Now, I have a GFX 100s, and I am trying to show that medium/larger than full frame is actually good for wildlife. Alongside that, I have a gopro for action, a ricoh for instant. And I still love my XH1, which now seems v compact next to the GFX.


My main advice for this, is to not miss the experience by seeing it through the lens. I am very lucky to see extraordinary things for my job, and I know I am there in order to take these shots, but a camera is a tool to mark the occasion, to remember it, and share it, but it is not the occasion itself.

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