High-Definition Digiscope Adventures Costa Rica 1

I just returned from my Birder of the Year trip in Costa Rica. Sponsored by WildBird and Swarovski Optik. Accompanied by my Scope Sherpa Husband Al, we had an incredible, adventurous, time. So fun! I’ll be writing about this trip for awhile in between other posts. Watch for my write up about the trip in an upcoming issue of WildBird. But for today we’ll talk about my attempts at digiscoping. This is not something I’ve done much of.

Can you say I was digiscope challenged? I was using a nice Swarovski 65 mm scope that Clay Taylor (below) of Swarovski brought on the trip and my little Canon Powershot SD1000. I love this little camera, but there is no easy way to adapt it to a scope. At least I haven’t looked hard for one. So in order to digiscope with it I had to delicately balance and prop it to the scope at a just-right angle and distance all the while holding it perfectly still and hoping the bird would do the same. I think I’ll work on getting a camera and adapter that will work for my set up. I know with that and practice I can get much better pictures. I know for sure my optics were the best!

Here are a couple of trys shooting a Violaceous Trogan. Not great focus and vignetting on the lower right corner.A bit better here, but still dark. I’m pretty happy with this one. The lighting is extremely tough in a shady rainforest anyway, but this is a respectable voucher picture. But I want better.A couple of tries of an Acorn woodpecker. Focusing issues here.A bit better here I think.Trying this shot of a Violet-crowned Woodnymph in deep forest shadow just did not work for me.. maybe with a camera mount and timed shots it could have been better. Ewww, yuck. Way too dark on this Black-throated Trogan. Much better, but still not great quality, or great light. I obviously have focussing issues too! This would have been a great shot of a Rufous-winged Woodpecker and I still like it. Gee can I blame it all on bad lighting? I’m sure not. Especially if I get a chance to see all the pictures Clay took. I think I focused better on this immature Northern Barred Woodcreeper, but I’m not holding the camera evenly to the scope. See the transition from light to dark as you go down the photo?
Ok, if you’ve stayed with me this far, well the torture is nearing a close. I loved this bird, a Pale-billed Woodpecker. He stayed put long enough for me to get lots of mediocre photos, but I was encouraged that maybe good digiscoping – for me – is possible!

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One Response to High-Definition Digiscope Adventures Costa Rica 1

  1. DaveABirding says:

    Can’t wait to read and see more from your trip. To my eye, for handholding your camera to the scope the pics look pretty good. The third Trogan and keeper woodpecker shots look like good souveniers to me.

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