Cindy Walpole and Chuck Fritsch

We photograph in Costa Rica because it is the country where I grew up and where my family and many of my friends still live. First hand knowledge of the geography and available resources help us solve the logistical puzzles that traveling in the humid tropics with 150 pounds of equipment can entail.

There are about 50 different species of hummingbirds in the varied micro climates of our small mountainous country. They range from the endemic and endangered Mangrove Hummingbird found in the Pacific lowlands, to the rainbow-colored Fiery-throated at 11,000 feet. By comparison in the US, east of the Rocky Mountains, only one species, the Ruby-throated, is generally seen. 

Once we have set up our outdoor studio, my itchy trigger finger, often wrapped in a band-aid, gets to work. I take between 5,000-20,000 shots in a single day, of which a handful are destined for consideration as the foundation for an artwork. This marks the beginning of a process of careful processing and trial and error until I can see on my computer screen what my mind’s eye saw on location. Only then will I finally fire up one of our printers and get to see the first proof of a finished image.