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Tip of the Month

The Guide to Tropical Nature Photography
by Greg Basco and Glen Bartley

February 2013


3In January Mary and I conducted our second Photo Tour to Costa Rica and, as usual, it was a real success (see the group's portfolio). Our in-country guide and tour operator, Greg Basco, showed me the PDF book he had just co-authored with Glen Bartley. I quickly scanned the book and decided, quickly, that I must have a copy. And so must you, if you have an interest in photographing in the tropics, understanding electronic flash, or needing a great refresher on many different aspects of nature photography.

The book is well laid-out and attractive, with truly beautiful and, for potential visitors here wishig to photography, very inspirational. Stunning photos illustrate the text, driving the text's points home, while at the end of each chapter there is a portfolio of images that further complement the points made in the preceeding text. Greg's son, Christopher, did the graphics, which are simple but direct, clarifying points in an easy to understand illustration.

I enjoy the challenges of electronic flash and I use flash often, but Greg may be an even heavier user than I am, and that's saying a lot! However in the tropics, in often contrasty or very dark conditions, flash can make all the difference in making a good image and this Guide stresses that. There is a great chapter on flash that's easy to read and understandable, with excellent comparison images showing flash and no flash, and flash at varying exposure compensations.


Here's an easy to understand description and illustration of how a shutter works with flash, and how high speed flash works and why a fast shutter may cause problems.

An example of flash, fill-flash, and full flash.

While this illustration deals with automatic exposure compensation, the book covers manual exposure as well, and this illustration is applicable to that method as well. Simple illustration, but very effective!


There is a great chapter on optimizing images, with links to how-to videos for understanding concepts even further.


The book is over 400 pages in length and can be ordered via their website where there are also interesting links for further information about the authors, videos, sponsors and more. Buy it, the book is definitely worth it!

Previous Tips, July 2009 onward


Hoodman Compact Loupe CH32
Essential Gear for Safaris

Take our Digital Nature Photo Course FIRST!

GPS and Home Security

Range IR Camera Remote

Gitzo Monopod 5561T Monopod

Easy Macro with Extension Tubes and Zoom Lenses

FotoSharp Camou Rain Covers

Canon 17mm T/S Lens
Locking Button for the Canon 7D

NIK HDR Program

Silver Efex Pro for Black and White Images

Beware the DELL Software Solution Rip Off
How and What We Pack for Trips

Canon Digital Learning Center

The Movie Mode with the Canon Mark IV
Batch Renaming in Bridge and CS5
Alternate Uses of some Bogen Products

Hoodman Products

Using High ISO and Live View for Focusing in Dim Light

Art Print Scams for Hungry Photographers

Hungry Vultures ruin vehicles in the Everglades

Use a Short Lens for Depth of Field

Get Professional Help!

Mini-Molar Bag
Access America Trip Insurance
Bogen Base for Macro Work

Archived Tips of the Month
prior to July 2009
Most of my original Tips of the Month for the last several
years are available through this link. Warning - some of the links are broken, so some are not available at this time. Also, the 'look' is from my
original web site, although if I ever have enough time I might redo these pages to match the new web site But that's not a high priority.

Check out our latest website,

where we'll be adding portfolios and eventually building up
a searchable data base for photo buyers. We've just started,
and the selection is limited, but it is still worth a visit!

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