Poison Dart Frog, Sarapique region, Costa Rica
On our visit to Cope’s private nature reserve and photo studio, in a small village 45 minutes from Selva Verde Lodge…otherwise known as the quarter acre around his home which he has converted into a minature paridice that attracts a truely amazing number of rare birds and reptiles…he set up this shot for us by capturing the Poison Dart Frog, collecting the Claret Cup Mushrooms on their little chunk of fallen tree branch, and putting them together on top of a oil drum in his yard. Just below eyelevel it made for a truely striking arrangement. One that could have happened naturally, and that we might have been lucky enough to stumble across…but still, even as a set-up, not a shot to be missed. If you are sensing a bit of ambivalence here, you are in tune with my emotions. It is common practice at lodges where I have stayed in Panama to set up shots like this with Poison Dart Frogs, and I suspect that most of the best shots of the tiny critters are set ups…still, I would have prefered to stumble on this naturally. Who wouldn’t? Sony Rx10iii at 600mm equivalent. Anti-motion Blur mode. Nominal exposure ISO 1600 @ f4 @ 1/125. (AMB takes up to 4 exposures and stacks them to eliminate motion and reduce noise in the final image.) Processed in Polarr.