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chrisnaturegraphy
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melkav August 07, 2017
Congrats on your contest win
 
Staar79 August 11, 2017
what an amazing capture!
 
terrydelude August 21, 2017
Long day....
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Robb January 08, 2018
love it eh?
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terrilarkin Feb 09
To cute

First Journey



Few animals must fight so hard in the beginning of their lives like this just hatched olive ridley sea turtles, which is now on its way to the ocean. Many hungr...
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Few animals must fight so hard in the beginning of their lives like this just hatched olive ridley sea turtles, which is now on its way to the ocean. Many hungry predators, like vultures, crabs or street dogs are waiting on its way. But this is just the beginning. Good luck little fellow.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018
Peer Choice Award
Contest Finalist in The Marine Wildlife Photo Contest
Runner Up in Tiny Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Tiny Photo Contest
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Contest Finalist in Low Vantage Point Photo Contest
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Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken at the beginning of my student exchange program in a small village called Ostional on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Ostional is considered as one of the most important beaches for the olive ridley sea turtle, because roughly once a month this particular species comes ashore in big numbers to lay their eggs there. So my expectations were quite high and the way there was already an adventure. A bumpy and muddy road took me from Nicoya to Ostional and as it was rainy season, I got stuck at night in the middle of nowhere trying to cross a river to reach the place.
Time
Ostional has a black sand beach and obviously in the tropics it heats up quite fast as sun comes out. So normally, when turtles lay their eggs or hatch, they do it at night when temperatures are low. I already checked the beach for hatchlings several times the night before. One should take care about flashlights, as it is quite dangerous for turtles because they orientate themselves by the moon to reach the sea (need to use red light or better no light at all as the moon is normally sufficient once the eyes adapted to the dark). So from the biological station where I stayed, I just went down the beach like half an hour before sunrise, not to miss any opportunity and get the first decent light on the hatchlings.
Lighting
I had the sun in my back and with the nice black-colored sand, I did not need any additional lighting. Generally that is how I prefer it, as I don’t like to shoot with flash if it is not necessary. In my personal view natural light, if available, is the best to go and as an extra it doesn’t bother the animals that much.
Equipment
This photo was taken with my old Sony Alpha 65 and my already replaced Tamron 70-300 mm. I did not use any tripod as I wanted to move around quickly around the beach. There were hatchlings and unfortunately for them also heaps of black vultures almost everywhere.
Inspiration
The olive ridley sea turtle is a threatened species which has to face many dangers during their life. Especially the just hatched nestlings doesn’t have it easy but hopefully the one or other will come back to this particular beach to start over again. In the sea there are waiting sharks, ship’s propeller and fishing nets for them. Some of them doesn’t even make it to the sea. Artificial light guides them away from the sea and they got stuck under street lights and numerous black vultures, street dogs and raccoons are patrolling the beach.
Editing
For post-processing I am now using Capture One. First of all I took out a tiny bit of contrast and saturation of the image because unfortunately I shot this image as a jpeg and my camera likes to overkill it for my taste. Afterwards I made three layers, one for the turtle, which I gave back some warmth but slightly desaturated it, one for the background which I basically cooled down a bit and the last layer for the black sand which I darkened slightly and desaturated with a gradient mask. Finally I added some clarity to the image.
In my camera bag
I got a couple of lenses I am right now about to replace step by step. The first replacement was my tele lens. Now I don’t leave the house without my Sony SAL 70-300 GII. The other lenses like some fixed focal length lenses I also take with me but it seems to be just for the purpose to get some fresh air for them. I also try to have always my tripod with me, but as it is a wooden one, this thing is kind of heavy. Sometimes I feel like a mule, but it is definitely worth it.
Feedback
Go down on eye level with your subject and make yourself dirty. Then it is not that big thing, but please don’t stalk the baby turtles on their way to the sea. If one is clearly trying to escape from you, go for the next one or just have yourself a sit and wait for them to come along. And most important of all, have fun and “Pura Vida”.

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