A while back, I made the decision to produce a website featuring a selection of my neotropical bird photographs from the last 25 years. Once I began the project, I expanded the concept somewhat to include some photos of North American birds and a smattering of photos of other wild animals and of plants. Initially, I thought I would sprinkle in a handful of photos from the early 1980s of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and of the Mayan Ruins at Copan in Honduras and Quirigua and Tikal in Guatemala. As I reexamined this latter group of photos, I felt that many people interested in birding the neotropics will also be interested in these themes.

BIRD PHOTO METHODS AND PHILOSOPHY:

All of the bird photos on Neotropical Bird Photography are of wild birds in their natural habitat. There are no zoo, aviary or pet bird photos. My photographic philosophy is to photograph birds in their natural habitat and I strive to show the natural environment surrounding the bird where I found it. My goal has always been to seek the soul or essence of a bird in its natural environment. That is where the thrill and challenge lie for me.

I might mention that the photographer I most admire is the late Galen Rowell. Though not a bird photographer, Galen Rowell possessed great talent and vision and it shows in his magnificent, unrivaled photos.

TECHNIQUES NEVER USED:  I have never used the technique of mist netting a bird and then placing the captive into a fabric enclosure with perches and fragments of vegetation to simulate the natural environment. The technique of placing fake backgrounds (e.g., netting or fabric or even a greatly enlarged photo) behind the anticipated position of the bird in an "artificial setup" has never been used. I have never manipulated the environment by placing twigs and branches and pieces of vegetation for the bird to perch on and/or be seen together with. I have never attempted to "lure" a bird to a predetermined perch using food items or by placing flowers, etc. The techniques described in this paragraph have been used by some. I have never used or contemplated using them. These methods essentially amount to, or are somewhat akin to, using a "studio" in the field.

I welcome the challenge and thrill of nature photography. The greater the challenge, the more satisfying a successful end result. I do not use "studio" techniques precisely because they would obviate the challenge and destroy the excitement of nature photography for me and because I want first to please myself with my photos and then others.

All of the photos utilized exclusively natural, ambient light.
No flash, fill-flash or any other form of artificial light was ever employed.

All of the photos on Neotropical Bird Photography from 1984 through 2008 were taken using Nikon SLR film cameras.

I began using a Nikon DSLR in 2009. The reason I waited until recently to use a digital camera is in no way a criticism of digital photography. I was happy with my results in film and early digital cameras produced results inferior to those with film. I never doubted that digital cameras had great future potential and many practical advantages. I just wanted to wait until I was satisfied that digital cameras had advanced to the point of equalling or surpassing the results possible with film. Obviously, that has happened.

I have never used a spotting scope for photographic purposes.

COPAN:

There are two galleries exhibiting 55 photos of the magnificent Mayan Ruins at Copan, Honduras, the site of some of the most astounding Mayan Sculptures. The photos show incredibly detailed, 3-dimensional stone carving on stelae, altars, glyphs and other artifacts.

These photos were taken in 1984 just prior to the program of erecting roofs over many of the pieces and a tarpaulin over the Hieroglyphic Stairway in an effort to protect those treasures from acid rain. The installation of these roofs and the tarpaulin has had the side effect of creating problematic lighting that makes it very difficult to obtain aesthetically pleasing photographic images of many of the most sensational Mayan sculptures.

Hace tiempos, tomé la decisión de producir un sitio web para desplegar un escogimiento de mis fotos de aves en las zonas tropicales de América Central y América del Sur. Una vez en marcha el proyecto, amplié el concepto a incluir unas fotos de pájaros de América del Norte más otros animales y flores. Después de examinar unas de mis fotos de 1984 del Lago de Atitlán en Guatemala y de las Ruinas Mayas de Tikal y Quiriguá en Guatemala y de Copán en Honduras, pensé que gente con interés en aves neotropicales también podrían ser interesados en esas temas.

FOTOS DE  AVES, METODOS:

Todas las fotos de aves y otros animales en el sitio web Neotropical Bird Photography (Fotographía de Aves Neotropicales) son de aves silvestres en su habitat natural. No hay ninguna foto con origen de un parque zoológico, ni de una pajarera, ni de mascotas.

La técnica de capturar pájaros en una red fina y despues meterlos dentro de una jaula grande hecha de tela con perchas y otros pedazos de vegetación con el fin de fingir el ambiente natural nunca se utilizó.

Todas las fotos se sacaron solamente con la luz natural del ambiente. Nunca se utilizó ninguna clase de flash ni cualquier otra forma de luz artificial.

De hecho, todos las fotos se sacaron con cámaras reflex de Nikon y nunca se usó un telescopio.

COPAN:

Dos galerías exhiben 55 fotos de las Ruinas Mayas magníficas de Copán, Honduras, el sitio de algunas de las más asombrosas esculturas Mayas. Las fotos mostran piedra tallada a un nivel increible de detalle y de tridimensionalidad en las estelas, altares, jeroglíficos y otros artefactos.

Estas fotos se sacaron en 1984 justamente antes del programa de levantar techos por encima de muchas de las piezas y una gran lona sobre la Escalinata Jeroglífica en un esfuerzo para protejer las obras de las lluvias ácidas. La instalación de los techos y la lona ha creado condiciones problemáticas de la luz y es muy dificil ya conseguir imagenes fotográficas estéticamente agradables de muchos de los ejemplares más magníficos de la escultura Maya.

Neotropical Bird Photography displays photos of completely wild and free birds in their natural habitats (with all natural light and the genuine, natural backgrounds) from Guatemala and Costa Rica in Central America and Ecuador in South America. There are also some photos of neotropical migrants taken in the US such as singing Prairie Warbler and nesting Black-and-white Warbler. There is also a photo of a Wild Turkey nest with eggs.

Photos from Guatemala include the courtship displays of Ocellated Turkeys, close up photos of Great Tinamou in the shadows and Olive-throated Parakeets feeding on flowers. Costa Rica bird photos include the Buff-fronted Quail-Dove in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, close up photos of a pair of Great Curassow at La Selva, and a Green Violetear (hummingbird) along the Rio Savegre in the Cordillera de Talamanca. Bird Photos from Ecuador include close up photos of the Ecuadorian Hillstar (hummingbird) on Volcan Cotopaxi and, in Amazonian Ecuador, a daylight photo of the Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl and photos of the Mealy Parrot (Amazon), Yellow-crowned Parrot (Amazon), Blue-headed Parrot and the Dusky-headed Parakeet.

There are a few mammal photos: a photo of a Squirrel Monkey resting on a liana in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica and Desert Bighorn Sheep photos in California. There is a beautiful butterfly photo from Reserva Las Gralarias, Mindo, Ecuador and an orchid photo from the Biotopo del Quetzal in Guatemala. The lone lizard photo is of a golden-colored Smoothhead Helmeted Basilisk in the Biotopo Chocon Machacas in Guatemala.

There are also photos of scenery such as a sunset at Lake Atitlan and volcanoes at Antigua, Guatemala. The Copan Mayan Ruins in Honduras are represented by 55 photos. Tikal National Park and the Mayan Ruins at Quirigua in Guatemala are represented by 11 and 8 photos, respectively.

El sitio web Neotropical Bird Photography (Fotografía de Aves Neotropicales) presenta fotos de aves totalmente silvestres y libres de América Central (Guatemala y Costa Rica) y América del Sur (Ecuador). Hay unas fotos de los Estados Unidos, por ejemplo la Reinita Galana cantando y un nido con huevos del Guajalote Silvestre.

Fotos en Guatemala incluyen Pavo de Petén cortejando, fotos de primer plano del Tinamú Grande a la sombra selvática y Pericos Aztecos comiendo flores. Fotos en Costa Rica incluyen la Paloma-Perdiz Costarriqueña en La Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde, una foto de primer plano de una pareja de Paujil Magnífico en La Estación Biológica La Selva y el Colibrí Orejivioláceo por el Río Savegre en la Cordillera de Talamanca. Fotos de pájaros del Ecuador incluyen la Estrella de Páramo Ecuatoriana (una especie de colibrí) en las faldas del Volcán Cotopaxi y, en las Amazonas Ecuatorianas, una foto del día de la Lechucita Ventrileonada y fotos de Loros Harinosos, Loros Coroniamarillos, Loros Cabeciazules, y Pericos Cabecioscuros.

Presento unas fotos de mamíferos: una foto del Mono Ardilla (Mono Tití) descansando sobre una liana en el Parque Nacional Cordovado, Costa Rica y fotos del Borrego Cimarrón del Desierto en California. Una foto de una mariposa bellisima tiene origen en la Reserva Las Gralarias, Mindo, Ecuador y una foto de una orquídea proviene del Biotopo del Quetzal en Guatemala. La única foto de lagartija es de un basilisk en el Biotopo Chocon Machacas en Guatemala.

También hay unas fotos del paisaje tales como una puesta del sol por el Lago de Atitlán y volcanes alrededor de la Antigua, Guatemala. Las Ruinas Mayas de Copan, Honduras se representan por 55 fotos. El Parque Nacional Tikal y las Ruinas Mayas de Quiriguá en Guatemala se representan por 11 y 8 fotos, respectivamente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please contact Neotropical  Bird  Photography.com if you have questions or if you wish to make comments.

This website - Neotropical Bird Photography.com - was conceived and designed by Peter W. Wendelken, Ph.D. 

All content and photography © 1984 - 2010 Peter W. Wendelken.  All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced without written permission from Peter W. Wendelken.

Peter  W.  Wendelken   Photo
In   His  Home  in  Teculután,  Departamento  de  Zacapa
the  Base  for  Field  Studies  of  Birds.   Guatemala    1984

Photographer  for  Neotropical  Bird  Photography

 

Peter W. Wendelken in Home in Teculután, Departamento de Zacapa, Guatemala 1984
Avian consumption of Guaiacum sanctum Fruit in the Arid Interior of Guatemala. 1987.
Peter W. Wendelken and Robert F. Martin. Biotropica 19(2), 116-121.
Avian Consumption of the Fruit of the Cacti Stenocereus eichlamii and Pilosocereus maxonii in Guatemala. 1988.
Peter W. Wendelken and Robert F. Martin. American Midland Naturalist. 119, 235-243.
Two publications presenting the results of the field studies carried out in Zacapa, Guatemala in 1984:
Peter   W.   Wendelken     Photo
In  Restaurant  at  Cabañas  San  Isidro
Ecuador   2002
Peter W. Wendelken in Restaurant at Cabanas San Isidro, Ecuador 2002
Peter   W.   Wendelken     Photo
Central   Park  in  Antigua
Guatemala    1984
Peter W. Wendelken in the Central Park in Antigua, Guatemala 1984