In August, the Danish media visited Costa Rica. Why would a photojournalist and two biologists travel more than 10,000 kilometers to Costa Rica and spend a month here? Because there is so much to see! Costa Rican nature is unique. That's why we left Denmark last July, with Costa Rica as our final destination.
Our assignment was to capture this special nature and bring it back to northern Europe, where we have started the production of a series of articles. In August we visited San José, Corcovado National Park (among others) and Ostional, where the Olive Ridley sea turtles crawl onto land to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs.
Professional pictures are not easy to come by. Therefore we needed local cooperation in Costa Rica. With assistance from a biologist at Universidad de Costa Rica, we managed to find most of the animals and plants we needed to shoot. For example, we learned that many of the most interesting species of animals are only active during the night, and that the only way of finding them is listening for them.
The problem is, the rainforest is so dense that it is almost impossible to find the animals with the naked eye. The rainforests of Costa Rica are true treasure chests of experiences. So much life gathered in one place is something none of us had ever seen before. Because of this diversity and the amazing colors of different species, our cameras worked serious overtime. We shot almost 4,000 pictures during our stay.
Naturally, there were many challenges. First was the logistics problem. We captured pictures from some of the most inaccessible parts of Costa Rica. To get the pictures perfect we needed a lot of gear - digital and traditional cameras, lenses, flashes and lamps of all kinds, tripods, raingear, film, etc. Of course, it is not easy to carry around more than 30 kilos of expensive gear when the rain is pouring down from the sky and the trail is a deep pile of mud.
Getting around inside a rainforest takes time. It is physically challenging to move forward in many places, but other problems exist. Snakes, for example. Several venomous species of snakes inhabit the rain- forests of Costa Rica, and therefore it is necessary to be very alert when walking. The snakes can hide next to a falling tree or they can sit almost invisibly between the leaves of a bush.
Many snakes have well developed camouflage. Because it is necessary to look out for the snakes at all times, it takes time to move forward. We worked our way through all the practical problems and, with help from locals, we managed to get all the pictures we wanted. We couldn't have done it without Gerardo Chávez, Eduardo Torral, Branco Hilje, Kattia Chaverré, and Sergio Calvo After almost three weeks of traveling around, we were able to go back to San José with big smiles on our faces.
Now we have returned to Denmark and the many thousands of pictures have been organized. The production of articles is going well. During this autumn and winter many Scandinavians will learn more about the rainforest of Costa Rica, but what about the Ticos themselves?
Naturally you are also invited to enjoy some of these images of your fascinating nature, which is why we wrote this article.