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Digital Photography in Nature: Capturing the Best of Costa Rica

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Road Scholar
Program #15114RJ

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11 Days | 10 Nights
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Susan Lawrence Feb 03, 2016 at 08:26 AM

Geepers, hadn't checked this board since before Christmas---missed all the activity! Nancy-Jo and Annette, I'm a solo traveler, too. Arriving from Asheville, NC on the Feb 8. My 2nd RS photo program. Did Grand Tetons/Yellowstone last year. Can't wait! Looking forward to meeting everyone!
Annette Perpignano Feb 03, 2016 at 08:53 AM

Likewise Susan! See you on Monday!
Sophia Noll Feb 03, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Hi Susan, I too live in Asheville but not going on this trip. Going to the Costa Rica trip in March. Have fun!!
Susan Lawrence Feb 05, 2016 at 02:02 PM

Will touch bases with you after you return to swap notes!
Sophia Noll Feb 05, 2016 at 03:28 PM

Sounds great! :)

Susan Burroughs Feb 02, 2016 at 05:23 PM

We just got back. Incredible trip. It was colder than we expected. But it was late January. US dollars accepted everywhere. However, there is really no place for souvenirs. Get a rain cover for your camera before you leave home. Bring quick drying clothes. It helps to bring along the birds of Costa Rica book to identify all the birds you see. We saw 60+ different varieties.
Anna Osborn Feb 02, 2016 at 06:05 PM

Sorry they didn't take you to the great souvenir place. We stopped there for lunch on the way back to San Jose. I think the guides don't understand that Americans want to have something for gifts back home. You have to pester them to stop, I think. Glad you had a good trip. Never been in January.
Sophia Noll Feb 03, 2016 at 10:56 AM

Thank you Susan for the info above...I am leaving from Asheville, NC on the March 9th trip. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Sophia Noll Feb 02, 2016 at 02:41 PM

Hi, First Road Scholar trip and first time to Costa Rica! Wahoo!! Going on the March 9th trip. Any suggestions from those who have been there? Thanks and look forward to meeting all of you :)...Sophia
Marilyn Wisegarver Feb 02, 2016 at 03:19 PM

Bring the longest telephoto lens you can manage.
Marilyn Wisegarver Feb 02, 2016 at 03:21 PM

Also, no need for a lot of cash and US$ are accepted everywhere. Bring small bills. If your leader offers early morning outings, GO! You'll be up at 5:30am but it'll be so worth it; you didn't come to Costa Rica to sleep in. Enjoy!
Sophia Noll Feb 02, 2016 at 03:28 PM

Haha!! Ya, not a morning person but will have to change that for this trip for sure!! Unfortunalety I do not have a long telephoto lens but will just have to make do. Perhaps I can find one to borrow for the trip. Thank you so much for responding! Will you be there? Sophia
Marilyn Wisegarver Feb 02, 2016 at 03:39 PM

Borrow or rent one if you can - there are many birds you'll want to photograph. I was on this trip last year - pretty good weather, but prepare for some rain just in case.
Sophia Noll Feb 03, 2016 at 10:53 AM

thank you Marilyn :)

Roy Gordon Jan 23, 2016 at 05:48 PM

Anyone on Mar 9 trip going from SFO or LA?
Sophia Noll Feb 04, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Leaving from Asheville, NC ...see you there!

Susan Burroughs Jan 15, 2016 at 10:38 PM

Hi Susan and Keith. We are from Atlanta, GA We will be on the January 23 to 31st trip. Just curious how many people will be on this trip?

June Damanti Jan 04, 2016 at 08:48 AM

Curious as to which lenses to bring. A macro and a walk around medium zoom for sure. Any need for really long telephoto?
Annette Perpignano Jan 04, 2016 at 09:33 AM

Good quesion wondering if I should bring my heavier 200-500 for wildlife.
Annette Perpignano Jan 04, 2016 at 09:35 AM

Is it possible to email Priscilla Mora the photgrapher leading the group?
June Damanti Jan 04, 2016 at 09:36 AM

I just did a Google search and it seems the consensus is bring the long lens.
Annette Perpignano Jan 04, 2016 at 09:39 AM

Okay. I am bringing a macro, medium zoom, long zoom and ultra wide angle for landscapes.
Marilyn Wisegarver Jan 04, 2016 at 02:50 PM

Yes, bring the longest telephoto you can manage. There'll be birds far off in the trees you'll want to capture. I had a 300mm (450 equivalent) - wish it were more!
Elizabeth Laverty Jan 05, 2016 at 08:38 AM

I don't recall shooting landscapes when I did this trip last January. But did use my Macro and my 16 - 300 a lot ! You will want the longest lens you have to photograph birds. Bring a macro if you have one as you will use it a lot on this trip for the beautiful flowers, colorful frogs, and insects. Bring a rain cover for your lenses and camera, an umbrella, rain poncho, or windbreaker with hood for yourself - you spend time in the rainforest. January is a dryer month but there will be rain.
June Damanti Jan 05, 2016 at 08:40 AM

Thanks Elizabeth.
Annette Perpignano Jan 05, 2016 at 08:49 AM

Thanks for the info Elizabeth. Checking off items on my list early!
Annette Perpignano Jan 05, 2016 at 08:51 AM

This is my first trip with RS. Has anyone done photo trips to the National Parks
Elizabeth Laverty Jan 05, 2016 at 09:06 AM

Yes Annette, I have been on at least 3 Road Scholar photo vacations to National Parks and recommend all 3. Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Utah National Parks are the 3 that I have been on and am happy to provide more detail on any of these.

Nancy-jo Funaro Dec 30, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Hi All: I am going on the Digital Photography trip 15114, Feb. 8, 2016. Anyone else going solo? Just curious if you have heard who you are rooming with. Looks like I should purchase a "speed light". I wasn't aware of this. Thank you for the heads up. Also, Have any of you gotten the Hep A or the Typhoid injections before going to Costa Rica. Not sure if I should get them. Thank you in advance :-)) Nancy-jo
Stephanie Schoap Dec 30, 2015 at 01:44 PM

Hi Nancy, It sounds like you may have already gotten advice, but I would recommend bringing along a separate flash. They spend time instructing you on use of the flash, and also field instruction on using a flash. Stephanie
Elizabeth Laverty Jan 01, 2016 at 09:39 AM

Hi Nancy, I did not get any special vaccinations before going to Costa Rica. I also was one of the participants who earlier recommended the speed light. I had never used a camera mounted flash (can also be used off camera if your camera has this capability) and now use it every time I shoot indoors. Take a look at youtube videos on the brand of speed light you would be purchasing to see the many ways you can benefit from owning a speed light. Should run you about $200 for a good quality.
Nancy-jo Funaro Jan 02, 2016 at 08:22 PM

Thank you, Stephanie and Elizabeth, I was able to purchase a speed light. Good to know.
Stephanie Schoap Jan 03, 2016 at 04:35 PM

Hi Nancy-jo, Mike and I did get immunization so for our trip to Costa Rica. We got Hep A and made sure we had Hep B immunity. We did not do any malaria medicine, because we were not going to be in the jungle. Kaiser did definitely recommend the Hep vaccinations to guard against water or food borne illness.
Annette Perpignano Jan 04, 2016 at 09:43 AM

Hi Nancy-jo...I am going solo and as of yet do not know who I'll be rooming with.
Annette Perpignano Jan 04, 2016 at 09:44 AM

I am going to ask my PCPif he recommends vaccinations for Costa Rica.

Nancy Caldwell Dec 29, 2015 at 02:42 PM

Hello. I am going on the February 20th tour. In the program details, it says that an external flash is very helpful. How helpful is an external flash? Is a speedlight recommended or just the flash on your camera, or is an external flash really not that useful? My camera bag is getting a bit full at this point!
Elizabeth Laverty Dec 29, 2015 at 03:58 PM

Cindy Rhodes Dec 29, 2015 at 03:59 PM

Hi, Nancy: My husband Bob & I took this RS tour in Jan 2015 and LOVED it. One of our favorite photo tours ever. Monica our instructor was marvelous and we learned so much. Bob's comments about an external flash: The only time we really needed a flash was for the night photography exercise (shooting colorful frogs). That said, we are not really big flash users. If you do the jungle walk, a flash of sometime will likely be required. It’s dark in there. On our walk, we would have gladly traded or flash for more rain gear. Smile So, what to do? There are some good, shoe-mount affordable flashes on Amazon. They weigh about a pound and can go in your luggage. There will be days on which fill flash is helpful. My guess is that 90% of the time you will not need a flash.
Elizabeth Laverty Dec 29, 2015 at 04:02 PM

I went on this trip last year and have been on several RS photography vacations - so far, the Costa Rica trip was my favorite! I highly recommend the speed light. I bought one specifically for this trip and was so pleased that a photographer friend recommended that I do. He had also been to Costa Rica and said I must take a speed light. He was right. There is at least one night shoot where you take photos with only the speedlight in the black night - it was awesome!
Elizabeth Laverty Dec 29, 2015 at 04:04 PM

Hey Cindy and Bob! Funny to see you post about our Costa Rica trip the same time I did. I'm heading to Cuba next week with Road Scholar, any chance you and Bob will be on that photo vacation too?
Cindy Rhodes Dec 29, 2015 at 04:45 PM

Elizabeth - So nice to hear from you! Ref: Cuba. No, we are planning a RS Canadian Maritimes trip this year but maybe Cuba in 2017. We would be very interested in hearing about your Cuba adventure.
Nancy Caldwell Dec 29, 2015 at 06:24 PM

Thanks so much, Cindy and Elizabeth, for your advice. Elizabeth, I was part of your Utah photography tour in April and am taking this tour on your recommendation. Dianne Armer and Carroll Johnson are also taking it.
Elizabeth Laverty Dec 29, 2015 at 06:47 PM

Hey Nancy! Nice to hear from you! So exciting that you and Dianne & Carrol are going to Costa Rica. That UTAH trip was fabulous because of you and the other great travelers. I hope you love Costa Rica as much as I did. On your questio of buying a speedlight - Cindy makes excellent points. I used mine for Costa Rica and then did not use it again for a long time until I started photographing shelter dogs indoors. Now I use it all the time, I just needed a motivation (photographing dogs indoors) to force me to learn to use it for additional types of photography. You might look at YouTube videos for the use of speed lights like I did to discover the full value of adding a speedlight to your equipment list. I'm going to Cuba next week and then to Italy in Aprill, both are RS photography vacations - hope to see you all there!

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Our Value Promise To You

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at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
8 Field trips
5 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances


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