Las Brisas is a private nature reserve located on the lower slopes of Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica. Our primary goal is conservation and scientific inquiry.
Adventure/Documentary Photographer Naturalist
Fellow photographer, naturalist and good friend, Jim Vanas, first introduced me to Las Brisas Nature Reserve in 2008. Jim had met Erick, the owner of Las Brisas Nature Reserve, some years prior and wanted to introduce us. At that time, I had been intermittently living in Costa Rica for three years. I was familiar with the general flora and fauna of Costa Rica, but Las Brisas Nature Reserve brought my level of appreciation and learning for the natural world to a whole new level. To this day, after living near the Las Brisas Nature Reserve for a total of six months in the past four years, I am not only in awe but also simply astounded by the evolution of the reserve.
My photographic experiences at Las Brisas Nature Reserve have been nothing short of amazing. I am from Naples, Florida, and almost every time I venture into the swamp (The Florida Everglades), I encounter a unique experience. The same can be said for Las Brisas Nature Reserve, but there is one key practical difference between the two and many other hard to get to places in the world like The Florida Everglades, and that is accessibility. The accessibility to Las Brisas Nature Reserve is one of the biggest draws for me to return time and time again. The last two years, I have rented the same villa not even 100 meters from Las Brisas Nature Reserve. I do not need to drive an hour (if not more) and then walk an hour to arrive at my destination. From my own front door, I am where I want to be within a 10-minute walk and I am introduced to a side of nature that is almost un-comparable.
I have two favorite times of day for photography at Las Brisas Nature Reserve. The first is to wake up at the crack of dawn and experience the warm ambient morning light and the rebirth of the new day with all the birds and other creatures. I find the morning light warmer and lasts longer than the afternoon light does. There are two primary reasons for this; first, the mornings are less cloudy than the afternoons, and secondly, the hills block the afternoon light as the sun sets, thus cutting the light short. My second favorite time of day to photograph is at nighttime. Las Brisas Nature Reserve has single-handedly been responsible for my love of macro photography. Each and every subject seems to stand out at night and the intimacy with the subject in regards to macro photography is something beyond comparison to other photographic disciplines.
The wildlife at Las Brisas Nature Reserve is absolutely special. There are over 400 species of birds and a diverse population of insects, frogs, snakes, and mammals. This is where the relationship between Las Brisas Nature Reserve and the people who care for it are so important. Erick, Santos, Juan, Felipe, Donald and many others have spent countless hours walking the trails and learning about flora and fauna. I have been fortunate to experience Las Brisas Nature Preserve with the assistance of their knowledge. If you get the opportunity to visit and spend time with one or more of the people whom are familiar with Las Brisas Nature Preserve, it is a privilege.
In conclusion, the photographic opportunities, day and night, are endless (literally) and the experience is one you will remember for a lifetime. If you have read this far, then maybe I will see you at Las Brisas Nature Reserve one day soon.
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