The Amazon: Challenging photography

Going to the Amazon was such a treat.  I was quite excited to admire new things and capture them with my relatively new camera gear.  I have been into photography for several years, and I thought this was my time to shine: Nothing but time, my favorite camera, good lenses, and the shots of a lifetime.

I got an education in what serious photographers must go through.  The Amazon is a tough animal to tame.

Here are a few examples of the challenges I faced:

  • Constantly moving boats through the rivers
  • Wildlife that would not stay still (birds, monkeys, dolphins, etc.)
  • Insects that never stop moving (ants, wasps, butterflies, etc.)
  • Night time walks in the jungle where the only light is what you bring with you
  • Trees that provided too much coverage and camouflage
  • Distances in excess of my lenses
  • Low light settings from dawn to sunset to shade to thick foliage
These challenges provided a much more even playing field of photographer against nature.  I took plenty of pictures, and I can’t use more than half to due lack of focus, focus in the wrong area, blur, or unable to tell what I took a photo of.  It was supremely challenging.  Here are some examples; the crap photo followed by a better version:

They never stop moving, so you have to compensate as best you can.

The best of my leaf ant photos.

Tough to get a sharp shot even when they are sitting still!

At least a decent shot when it wasn't trying to fly away from us.

A good shot in flight is even tougher!!

One of my better panning shots of a kingfisher in flight.

A bright blue butterfly in the air, since they never seem to land.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed my time in the Amazon shooting pictures of everything that moved.  I learned so much about light, camera settings, and even my own gear and its limitations.  I did take some crackin’ shots, but I left many out there.  Well, I’ll just have to go back and give it another go.
So continues my incomplete photography education during my year off and abroad…

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