In spite of its name, the Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica has some days of very sunny weather which create difficult light for photography. Naturally they happen every time I happen to visit…
Patchy sunlight inside a forest creates a very confusing pattern of bright spots and deep shadows. Older camera sensors and slides film just could not deal with this and only multiple shot techniques like HDR photography helped to get a useful image.
I was very happy to see a current sensor (Nikon Z7) doing quite well in these conditions, even though I did not use a polarizing filter to tame the reflections. Naturally, whenever possible, I waited for an occasional cloud to diffuse the sunlight or composed my photos around shady areas. A subject that worked fine in full sunlight was plant leaves lighted from behind by the sun, showing their structure and transparency.
I did some bird photos: you never miss a chance to do wildlife even if you are doing landscape! Here is a Green Violet-ear hummingbird and the Black-faced Solitaire, that has the most haunting sound you can hear in the Cloud Forest… (link for the song)
I tried to do HDR for the ferns picture but the masking of direct sun reflections is difficult. I like however the spotlight effect of the overhead Sun (it actually gets right overhead this time of the year in Costa Rica) and I will try to capture in the future. I have more photos of this trip in my Photoshelter website.