Nature Photography in my Garden, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Over my years here in Costa Rica, I have hiked into the rainforest countless times, but to tell you the truth I see so much wildlife right here at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love being out in the undergrowth, listening for rustles in the foliage, armed with my trusty camera. But there s something spectacular about being able put down my coffee and get photos like these, from the comfort of my balcony, and being able to share the experience with my family.
This is a collection of photographs I have taken over the last 2 weeks from my home in Manuel Antonio.
Two toes Sloth – Mother and baby travelling between mango trees
Squirrel Monkeys (Mono Titi) – with babies, eating mangoes and relaxing
White-Face Monkey (Capuchin)  – Mother and Baby on the move
Orchid Pollinator Bees – Only there for an hour on one day.
Golden Naped Woodpecker – looks like a pair are building a nest in a dead palm tree.
Chestnut Mandibled Toucan – Back for the rainy season
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – Been round for a few weeks
Scarlet Macaws – permanent residents, thanks to the local rehabilitation and release program
**Please note that all photographs were taken with a telephoto lens (apart from bee photos), so not to disturb the wildlife.
Enjoy and Pura Vida!

Costa Rica’s Phosphorescent Waves – 2014

Several year ago I was in Montezuma photographing a wedding at the Ylang Ylang beach Resort. That night walking back along the beach after the ceremony, I was amazed be the phosphorescence in the water.

This weekend, again I was walking back after a wedding at Ylang Ylang and looking out to the ocean I could see an incredible phosphorescent light show in the water.  I stopped for about an hour playing with my camera and taking some amazing long exposure photos. Even as I stepped in the waves I could see the phosphorescence sparkling around my feet in the wet sand, it was a magical photo session.

Nature Photography in Costa Rica - John Williamson Nature Photography in Costa Rica - John Williamson

The first photo is a 3 1/2 minute Exposure, I love the movement of the water around the rocks, it gives a really ghostly appearance.

The second photo was a 7 minutes exposure. The streaks in the sky are the star moving and the lights on the water are fishing boats in the distance. I am proud to say that this photo was selected by the National Geographic to be their lead image in their weekly space gallery!

Why does this magic light show occur? Certain types of oceanic plankton produce a phosphorescence in a chemical response to the energy produced by the waves movement.

If you would like to see the 2012 of the phosphorescence go to Costa Rica’s Phosphorescent Waves . The photo from 2012 was selected for National Geographic’s Daily Dozen you can compare both photos from 2012 and 2014 on my NatGeo site.

Have a great week,  To find out more about what I am up to follow my Facebook Page and to see more of my Nature and Landscape Photography visit my website


A Bird that lives in a Burrow?

A Bird that lives in a Burrow?

How strange!
But this is the Blue-crowned Motmot that we are talking about; one of Costa Rica’s many beautiful birds. They live in burrows up to 15 feet in length, but like to hang out in the day-time in trees and swing their fancy tail feathers.

I took this photo near my house in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. I often hear the call of the Motmot in the morning or late afternoon.

If you would like to see more of my Nature Photography in Costa Rica please visit my website.

Nature Photography in the Rainforest, Costa Rica 2012

Over my years here in Costa Rica I have hiked into the jungle countless times, carrying not much more than my camera and water. This is when I feel alive, creeping along listening out for a rustling of leaves, a “ting” of a glass a hunter armed with a gentler sort of Canon. I realized that I have not been sharing these photographs of various Costa Rican critters that I have found, this is a collection of photographs I have taken over the last 6 months…and have been meaning to post!

Most of these photos have been taken at Rainmaker; during some amazing adventures with friends and family, hikes with their incredible nature guides, plus several night excursions, the last photo is of me on one of the hanging bridges.

Feliz Lunes!

Costa Rica’s Phosphorescent Waves

A couple months ago I went to Montezuma, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, to photograph a wedding, it was a few days before the full moon and the beach was really light even at 10pm at night. Looking out to the ocean, I could see this electrical charge of light as the large waves crashed against the beach. Certain types of oceanic plankton produce a phosphorescence in a chemical response to the energy produced by the waves movement. This gave me a wonderful light show and a slow shutter speed gave the beach an ethereal effect. Glad I had my camera but I think I would have preferred my surf board!

What would you have preferred your Camera or your Board?!

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend. To find out more about what I am up to you can like my Facebook Page “Photography in Costa Rica”


Here comes summer…

Many people seem to think that Costa Rica is all about endless sunshine, playing on the beach and romping through the sun-dappled rainforest. Well, I am pleased to say that is mainly true, BUT in Costa Rica, we do have a “Green Season” too.

So what is this “Green Season”?? A typical day has beautiful sunny mornings and then in the afternoon, like clockwork  the clouds gather and there is rain……hard, tropical rain for an hour or two, sometimes more sometimes less, but one thing is for sure there is nearly always rain.

I personally quite like the rainy season. Firstly, the rain is warm! In the rainy season the rainforest is much lusher and filled with fabulous waterfalls, there are beautiful sunsets created by the clouds and there are fewer people!

From a photographers point of view it is the quiet season, fewer people means less weddings and less portraits. But it gives us a breath of fresh air to rejuvenate us for the crazy, high season that is just starting.
Amongst nature photography and house repairs, this green season I have been able to spend lots of time with my family and wonderful new baby daughter. We are however looking forward to the high season…someone has to pay for all those diapers!

Why Costa Rica?

So how did  I end up in Costa Rica?

I think I have always had a lust for travel, nature, photography and adventure…It all started when I was a wee baby born in Ireland, when I was just 1 years old, my parents decided to start a new life for our family in the USA, so my parents, 2 older sisters and I all moved to the east coast state of Virginia. This is where I developed my deep love of nature and later for photography. As a child, I had the freedom to roam in the Blue Ridge Mountains, putting insects in my pockets and following tracks of animals, only coming home as dusk started to settle. As I grew older I realized I wanted to capture moments of nature’s glory to remember forever and this is when I first started to take photos.

Living in Costa Rica gives me daily moments that I can be immersed in nature, and more than enough adventure to fulfill my childhood dream of being Indiana Jones. Manuel Antonio, the town where I live, is like an adventure activity playground where kayaking, canyoning, surfing, and scuba diving are the normal weekend activities, I live in a house where the monkeys run across my roof every morning and back again in the afternoon.

Some of my more memorable nature photography moments have taken place here. Photographing the amazing diversity of creatures, from the tiny, colorful insects to the slow-moving moss-covered sloths. You are never quite sure what might surprise you, like the 15 ft boa constrictor I found outside my house last week…my motto is always keep a camera handy!

For these reasons I chose to settle here in Costa Rica, now I have been here over 10 years and can really call the jungle paradise my home.