Cameras in the Jungle

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

When using a camera in the tropics, it can be challenging at times. Here in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest where working with a DSLR, it can be tricky enough just finding wildlife and carrying the equipment as we all know. Cameras can really be difficult to use under extreme conditions but once you have mastered the art of photographing wildlife in a tropical Rainforest such as the Rainforest of Tambopata, you can begin to gain great results and quickly. This is because of the variety of wildlife that flourishes through the canopy tops, the mid canopy and the lower vegetation.

Leaf-mimic Katydid

From the Leaf-mimic Katydid, master of camouflage to the king of hunting, the Amazon Boa Constrictor, these stunningly designed subjects of interest keep a photographer at work for days or even weeks. Wildlife photographer Mark A Fernley quotes “When I first photographed an Amazon Tree Boa Constrictor (Corallus hortulana) in 2013, I was stunned by its coloration of yellows and oranges. After working in the Amazon Rainforest, to this day in 2020 I still find them fascinating as each image turns out differently due to their variety in coloration and size”. Mark tells us that he is still finding more of these snakes that enhances his creativity each night as he goes out exploring with his photography clients in Tambopata.

The humidity in the Neotropics here in the lowlands of the Amazon Rainforest can get very high during the rainy seasons and even during the dry season. Our wildlife photographers at Untamed Photography always keep lens cloths at hand as lens’s steaming up is a constant issue that any rainforest photographer must deal with. Mark tells us that “When I get up and close to a subject and my lens fogs over, I have to remove it and clean it every 20 seconds. I manage to clean the lens and focus and take a shot but instantly it fogs due to the humidity. After the frustration of this once you have the photograph you want, it becomes extremely rewarding to see that final award-winning shot”.

When it comes to rain, keeping a dry back is key to walking through the rainforest here in the Peruvian Amazon. It is interesting how a simple sturdy waterproof dry bag can increase your cameras life span.

Storing your equipment is key to all wildlife photographers when shooting in the Amazon. Wildlife photographer Mark A Fernley always suggests to his photographers travelling with Untamed Photography that silica gel is vital to the survival of equipment. Keeping lenses in camera bags will keep them safe from the humidity but he states that after use, keeping the lens in direct sunlight will allow the UV rays to kill off the fungus that can grow in the lens from extended time in the forest. From his many years working in the Amazon Rainforest Mark suggests that keeping a lens in dry rice after use is as good as keeping your camera in a bag with silica gel. So when your silica packs have run out do not worry.

But after all, when on a photographic tour, workshop or internship, do not worry, your equipment will be safe in this tropical environment. Enjoy what nature has to offer and photograph its wildlife and natural wonders with Untamed Photography.