Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Morning Shootout -- Breaking the rules, as usual

I know the theme is about celebrating the holidays but I've been busy enough preparing for the holidays -- made difficult since the grandchildren are around and trying to get their presents hidden and then revealed and then wrapped and then hidden again leaves little time for shooting the celebration.

Of course, I will shoot lots of snapshots of family over the next couple of weeks but while they will certainly be cute, I sometimes wonder how many pictures do I really need of children opening presents and adults eating. 

So...while Butler will be irritated with me...I'm going to completely ignore the theme this week.  Apologies to all. 

Photographically, I've been devoting almost all my free time to processing (and deleting) 528 raw shots that I took last month when Karen and I excaped the daily grind and give ourselves a well-needed vacation in Costa Rica.  Mostly in the Southwest around San Isidro del General. 

I'll probably miss next weeks shoot entirely but with any luck I'll get back to the correct theme in 2014.  

I'm so glad to be back in touch with you all again...old friends and making some new ones.  Have a wonderful holiday season.  I love you all. 

Mark's FHTSO "Wrong Theme": Costa Rica

I was going to try and re-arrange these in some kind of order that made sense but, as usual, time is running away from random is the order.

Great two hour horseback ride to reach these falls

No...I didn't climb the falls, nor jump from them...
just cheered those that did.

From the tops of mountains, you look down on clouds...
Of course, driving up, the clouds become great foggy challenges on twisty roads.

Mother and baby sloth -- in the wild
but visible from the balcony of a restaurant.

These white capuchins come down to the beaches from the surrounding trees
and steal potato chips from sunbathing tourists.

Throughout the Southern part of Costa Rica there are handcarved Baruca Indian masks for sale.  But if you want to destroy your rental car on a 7 kilometer rutted dirt road straight up a mountain you can reach the town of Baruca, itself.  In a bit of pure luck there was a Baruca woman at the bottom of the road looking for a ride.  On the way up, I asked her who the best mask-carver in the village was.  She took us deep into the village and introduced us to Ishmael Gomez and his family -- at 95, he is the village carving teacher.  He and his family were the nicest people, just opened up their home to us for a wonderful two or three hours.

Ishamel at work

Incredible clouds everywhere

View from Baruca

Town of San Isidro del General

Thanks, in advance for letting me sneak into the Friday Shoot with the wrong theme. 


  1. Well, you're actually not that far off the theme, are you? "Celebrating the holidays" - you were on holiday there in Costa Rica, so that counts!

    Some of your pictures, especially the "cloudy" ones, are breathtakingly beautiful. And the mask carver is 95? Wow! He doesn't look a day older than 70. Must be all that clean mountain air and quiet village life.

    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones, too!

  2. Oh wow! stunning images and a real treat away from holiday images.

  3. First there are no rules except you show photos of your town, and I always interpreted that as your town of choice. And this week is the color of the season, course that can mean holiday season, or the time of year.... Or just gray and white of a great snow fall, it being snow season in the USA. And to me what you have here is color. Jeez what beautiful colors. Costa Rica - many of the photos reminds me, heart jaringly - remind me of Brasil and I swear.... That as I looked through them as a slide show (wonders of iPad) , moving the screen quickly from photo to photo, that lizard moved his head up and looked at me..... Wonderful collection Mark.

  4. Your photography is getting stunning. Now that you are retired you have time to hone such a great skill, I guess. Love all of these, but the best is that your personality makes people feel safe enough to trust you with their eyes!

  5. Since the photos are not in any order, I am assuming that Butler is still away.

  6. Mark, This is wonderful! I want to see more of Ishmael - he and his family seem to be amazing, and I'm sure his historical accounts are interesting. Since you were shooting this season, I think these are awesome, and make me long for warmer weather.

  7. Thanks for the tour. You just want to make us all jealous. My neighbor spent a week there on their vacation right around Thanksgiving. Just think no cooking!

  8. Wow, this looks like an amazing vacation. You captured some interesting shots. What a treat to have been able to immerse yourself in the culture with the Gomez family. Every single photo has impact. Thanks for sharing.

  9. As said above you were celebration. What a wonderful place to visit. We have friends who moved to CR but don't really know which part. She keeps inviting us down but will probably not get there. I thoroughly enjoyed your photos of that beautiful place. We don't care what you blog about just keep ablogging brother.

  10. I'm sure we can all think of a connection between your images and the topic. It would be awful if we had to miss seeing your holiday shots because we lacked a bit of imagination. I love them all, the people, the animals, the scenery. So glad to see you joining up again. You know we would forgive you anything, don't you?

  11. So much color and drama in your fantastic shots, Mark. I would love to go to Costa Rica some day.

  12. Your photos are beautiful . Thank you for sharing !
    Have a great weekend1

  13. Beautiful photography. Those landscapes are amazing and the way you captured them is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Have a great Sunday.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  14. I definitely want to go to Costa Rica now. Your photos are topnotch. I know what you mean about purging photos. I try to do that annually. It's on my to do list this week. Merry Christmas!

  15. These are wonderful photographs! We were in Costa Rica a couple of years ago and I loved it. You did a little more exploring than we did but we also saw sloths and capuchin monkeys as well as the green lizard -like creature that walks on water. We also saw real life crocodiles -- not alligators. Loved this post!

  16. No...I didn't climb the falls, nor jump from them... don't you wish you were 20, and you really have jumped. I really enjoyed doing that coffee table book, besides my published books, I told my daughter to adorn my coffin with it. LOL

  17. Your photos are amazing, and the way you point out every single detail makes people really get into it. I definitely want to go Costa Rica now!

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