It was our very first day at Luna Lodge, Costa Rica and we were in meetings about our shoots for the next two weeks. We were in the open dinning area overlooking the rainforest when Gary, our guide came up to use kind of excitedly. “They found a Two-toed Sloth and it’s really low!” The species (Two-toed being the harder to find) and being low were both the important part of the statement. “You want to photograph it?” It was on the list so we suited up with gear and headed out.
With the D7100, 70-200f4 & TC-20e3 in hand, we got in the Rover and headed down the canyon. In not too long of time, there we were right next to the Sloth. Man, what a cool animal! Not really much bigger than a watermelon, there is “sat.” It wasn’t going anywhere until nightfall so we could take our time to make the shot. There was a number of avenues through the forest to get the shot, I looked for the one bringing out the character of this unique critter. I had to shoot stills and video so I was busy. In my mind, the priority was the stills first, video second so that clicks were being made.
It was all going really well. In fact, despite the tremendous pressure I was putting on my self to produce, I was having fun. The one feature about the D7100 I enjoyed was the dynamic range. You’ll notice in this photo the highlights on the leaves in the background aren’t blown out, the camera held the detail, which made the shooting just a little easier. With the stills in the can (I shot everything on Lexar 64GB 600x SD cards), I moved to get the video. I needed to shoot both DX and Cropped video (New feature for a Nikon DX camera). So I moved over to capture some more forest for movement in the video since the sloth wasn’t moving, a hair! With it all set up, there I stood whispering with the rest of the group what I was doing.
The D7100 was on the Really Right Stuff Tripod / BH-55 just running away. I had set up so I was standing on the edge of a cliff with the tripod right in front of me. The group was at my three o’clock and the sloth at my ten o’clock. The filming was going great, really cool stuff being captured. I was standing there behind the tripod talking with the group when, all of a sudden….NO MORE MOOSE! The tripod was there and the D7100 was still running, but I had completely disappeared!
Without any warning, the edge of the cliff gave way and like an elevator ride, I went straight down into the tangles of the rainforest below! One moment I was looking at the gang and the next, I was staring at rock and dirt! I didn’t know what happen but all of a sudden, I heard a bunch of excited voices and hands grapping me. They got me up and back on top of the cliff without seeming too much problem and amazingly, I didn’t have a scratch on me. But I had injured my right wrist in the fall, fractured it (didn’t tell anyone until after we left Costa Rica). Everyone was pretty calm, making sure I was OK and then after a short time, looking at me, they all broke out in full blown laughter shaking the monkeys from the trees!
I didn’t get it until I looked where they were staring. They were all starin at my crotch! I looked down to see that my convertible pants had completely and fully, blown out from front to back leaving EVERYTHING hanging out! I mean everything! Well, I finished the video and we all got back in the Rover. All I had to do now was figure out how to get through this five star lodge and to my bungalow without embarrassing myself further. And there you have the glamorous life of a Nikon shooter on assignment for a new product launch on his first day….. and there’s more to come!
(Note: This photo was taken with D7100, 70-200f4, TC-20e3 and this is a Jpeg from the Raw file, no processing)