Mobile Masterpieces in Costa Rica & Panama
By Luis Vega, Expedition Guide
As an expedition guide, I’m outside 90% of the time; in the forest, in the ocean, in the wild are my everyday adventures.
I’m a passionate explorer who loves photography. I carry my camera with me always—I never know what kind of animal, bird, or reptile will cross my way. This feeling of adventure and passion I share with many of our guests on the Safari Voyager, as well the desire to get better pictures.
For this reason, I created a photo presentation in which I share simple tips and ideas for getting better photos using a simple tool: a mobile phone. However, you can apply these tips to all kinds of cameras and nature photography in general.
Many of you reading this may have found yourselves in a common situation: you wish to capture the moment in a photo, and all you have is your cellphone camera. The good news is we all can get better photos just by knowing the right settings and how to adjust the focus and exposure manually, along with a couple of composition rules like the "Rules of Thirds" and the use of leading lines.
It’s amazing to me how our guests react after just the first ten minutes of the presentation; many of them have their own phones but never knew their phones' potential. Asking how they can take panoramic photos and amazed at the multiple ways they can use their new skills, they smile and laugh like kids discovering the world around them.
My biggest gratification is watching all their adventures, looking for colors, shapes, and magical moments to get into frame. When they get back in the afternoons, they talk about their day, sharing their experiences and their photos. I hear them chatting about how a simple presentation has opened their minds and expanded the way they see nature through their phone screens.
Of course, the nature and landscape along our route from Costa Rica to Panama never disappoints. The beauty of the flowers and colorful birds, the mystique of the ocean creatures captures our imagination and our attention.
By the end of the trip, it is always nice to see the guests' photos, to hear them talk about how much they have learned in a week and how proud they are of all the amazing photos they have to share with their families back home.
Because if you can make your friend look at a photo and said, “Wow, I have never seen it that way!” then you are doing it right. You have been creative.