Travelogue Day 7: First Iguana Spottings in St. Thomas

This would be Sue's last full day of the tour and despite weather concerns with reports of a pending blizzard at home, we decided to push ahead and enjoy the sights to the fullest. I'm glad we did as the drive to St. Peter Great Botanic Gardens proved fruitful.

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We spotted six very large Iguanas lounging in tree tops along a roadside pull-off. I was so excited to see these reptiles up close with their colorful scales, gremlin-like faces, and long powerful tails.

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Once again, the 70-200mm lens was the perfect tool to zoom in and create sharp portraits of these creatures. Depth of field varied from f2.8 to f5.6 as I didn't want to shoot too wide, preferring to keep more of the body sharp. I did have the ISO raised to about 800 in order to achieve a fast enough shutter to reliably hand hold things and make sure it would all be sharp. 

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The leafy foreground worked in my favor to create a soft green area in front of the Iguanas. No matter how wide of an aperture I used, it was challenging to blur many of the branches and sticks that were right next to, or just behind it. Nevertheless, these were incredible to see in the wild, and I shot several hundred photos before it was obvious that we had to board the bus. Perhaps I'll be able to return to this spot next week, but in nature photography, nothing is a guarantee. 

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Our tour continued to the Botanic Gardens where I found a very nice Pygmy Water Lily. Using a super wide aperture of f2.8, I brought my lens very close to a Lily and shot through it, towards the other Lillies which were set against a dark shadowy background.  The result was a very soft wash of white from the out of focus flower in the foreground, with two sharp Lillies that really pop against a nearly black background. There were a few other plants and flowers that were unique, but none that worked out as well as this one.

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I'll have another week in the Caribbean with a whole new set of guests joining us tomorrow. Join me here for more adventures from paradise.

TravelogueChris Corradino