Tanzania

The photos in the Tanzania Gallery were made possible by the help of two dedicated conservationists: Anglebert Pantaleo and the late Dr. Michael Hutchins.

Friends

Michael was a past Executive Director of The Wildlife Society and a noted international advocate for conservation.  In 2013, he began leading tours of the Serengeti. Vicky and I joined his first tour in January of that year.  I knew Michael professionally through The Wildlife Society but it was on our safari that  we really became friends.   His passion for the Serengeti, its people,  and the conservation of its resources was evident.  

Michael's close friend, Anglebert Panteleo, served as our guide and introduced us to the intricacies of the Serengeti ecosystem.   As a university trained wildlife biologist,  his knowledge concerning all of the species we observed was invaluable.  His experience in guiding professional wildlife photographers enabled the pictures in this gallery.  


       

Costa Rica


The Cost Rica Gallery is the largest, in part because it is the country I have visited the most over the last 25 yrs.  In 1993 I attended the First International Wildlife Management Congress in San Juan.  After the conference I spent a week exploring.  Along the way, I spent two nights  at a research station in Palo Verde National Park learning about the tropical dry forest of Guanacaste and  listening to huge male green iguanas battling for territory on the tin roof above our beds in the bunk house.  I was impressed with the growing conservation movement in the country , the beauty of the landscape and the friendliness of the Ticos.

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Since then Vicky and I have returned an number of times by ourselves and with friends, mainly to add to our bird lists .  Only the last two trips have been primarily devoted to photography.  In 2016 we joined four other folks on a small tour organized by Tropical Birding and led by George Lin.  George arranged for us to be in locales that provided excellent photo opportunities of the phenomenal biodiversity of Costa Rica.  Photos from that trip occupy much of the Costa Rica Gallery.

At the start of 2018, I learned that Steve Perry of Back Country Galley was going be holding photo workshops in Osa Penninsula, a part of Costa Rica I hadn't explored yet.  I  very much enjoy  Steve's instructional  YouTube videos and e books on techniques and thought a workshop and face to face interaction with a good instructor might improve my slowly developing skills.  It proved to be a wise choice.  Beside the opportunity to interact with a great group of fellow participants, the bulk of the macro and mammal photos in the gallery are a product  of  the lessons I learned on the Osa.

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Brazil

A 2013 Cornell Alumni "Ecologist's Tour of the Pantanal" opened my eyes to a vast country I frankly knew very little about beyond what I knew of the Amazon Basin.  Wetland and savanna ecosystems are fascinating areas to explore.  The Pantanal at the end of the dry season provided the opportunity to observe an amazing suite of birds concentrating at remaining water features.  That trip kindled a desire to return  and learn more about this fascinating country.

I finally did return in the Fall of 2019 to explore entirely different ecosystems in the Atlantic Forests of Southeast Brazil.  I joined 5 other folks on a Tropical Birding tour that combined birding and photography on  journey that ranged from the chilly cloud forests and endangered Araucaria angustifolia communities at elevations up to 2,300 m,  down to the tropical rainforest at sea level.  Over the span of 2 weeks we observed 242 species of birds, 156 of them new additions to my life list.  

A few of the species observed during my time in this fascinating country are contained in this gallery.



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Jim and Friend -  Hood Is.

Ecuador

Vicky and I first visited Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in 1974.  We were completing a 2 yr. tour as Wildlife Biologists with the Peace Corps in Colombia.  We had hardly taken any vacation time during our tour, so we decided to burn all of our Annual Leave and most of our savings to spend a month traveling in Ecuador.  The bus ride to   Quito took several days.  Then it was another day's travel by ferrocarrill to reach Guayaquil where  we eventually boarded a small Ecuadorian Naval ship headed to the Galapagos Islands.  We could only afford to buy 10 rolls of slide film for our two cameras (a Pentax Spotmatic and an Exacta SLR).  The images we took during our time on the islands and main land pale in comparison to those generated by today's equipment, but the memories are indelible.

Forty years later we decided to return, bringing old friends who had never traveled in Latin America.  We booked a custom tour with Tropical Birding in hopes of seeing more of the country and its birdlife.  My target species for the trip was the Andean Cock of The Rock  and that goal was fulfilled early in the trip.  The photo opportunities presented to us throughout the trip were phenomenal and whetted my appetite to return.


Earlier this year (2019) I happened to see that Photoverde Tours had an opening  for workshop focused on capturing the Biodiversity of Ecuador - from the Amazon Basin to the Paramo.  Greg Basco, the tour leader, is a photographer whose work I've admired ever since I stumbled on to his Deep Green Photography website.   I jumped at the chance  to go and try to learn more to improve my photography.  I was not disappointed.  Many of the images in this gallery were the result of the coaching provided by Greg and his partner from Tropical Herping, Lucas Bustamante. In addition to being  a skilled biologist and ecologist, Lucas is a phenomenal photographer as well.

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