The poison frogs in Costa Rica are outrageously beautiful. But the little buggers can be elusive. In the remote Corcovado National Park, I hired an incredible local guide named Roger Muñoz to help me find little species like this, and at the end of an all day search, we finally found one deep in the jungle, perched on a leaf blowing lazily in the breeze.
The light was really dim, so I had to keep cranking the ISO up, and up. I grew up on slide film where 80 ISO was really fast. But today’s digital camera sensors are outrageously sensitive and many can get incredible images at extremely high ISOs. My ISO here is 3200.
The light was still so dim that my shutter speed was almost a second long. That creates a challenge when you are trying to shoot a tiny frog on a leaf blowing in the wind.
Solution? I shot over and over (live view with mirror lockup) every time the wind died down. I shot some at smaller apertures and a few at f/11 and smaller to try to get it all sharp. I added a touch of fill flash to bring out some color and freeze the image a bit as well. I got one shot where everything came together.
The image here is my favorite.
Granular poison frog (Oophaga granulifera) , Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.Canon 1DX. 1800mm macro. ISO 3200. f/11@.8 seconds. Fill flash (-1). +2.3 EV.