My Photos Place 3rd & 5th in Local Photo Contest

A large number of expats living in Atenas depend upon a local Facebook Group called Atenas Costa Rica Info and the administrator recently asked for photo submissions to be used as the header on the group page – photos made of or in Atenas. I submitted about 10 and 2 of mine placed in the top 10 as voted on by local users of the group. The above sunset photo placed 3rd and the below dancers placed 5th in the contest.


And the winner is . . .

And the winning photo was of this Oro Tree in the front yard of one of the local expats, Walter Wengrowich. It is beautiful and a good choice, representative of Atenas! I’m glad he won and owns such a beautiful tree!

  • “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”
    — Destin Sparks

¡Pura Vida!


The Dilemma of So Many Photos . . .

First Plan Was Everything on this Website

Even though WordPress websites have photo galleries and I could put all my photos on the website – my original plan – so far they do not have the flexibilities and quality options that I have with my photo gallery which recently purchased and incorporated Flickr where I also still have a small class-related gallery.   I will eventually close it, even though free.

Currently I Have 2 Large Online Photo Galleries

Now back in my first 12 years of retirement in Tennessee I chose to use the online photo gallery called Pbase, which the Nashville Photography Club used. Images I sold in galleries and arts & crafts fairs are there in 5 categories plus all my travel photos by trip, and others. It is a great database type program with lots of sub-sub-gallery possibilities, etc. but not quite as user-friendly or as visually attractive as SmugMug which I chose as my new photo gallery after moving to Costa Rica and comparing several online galleries, thus came   Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA,  which has had only Costa Rica photos thus far.

Move Both Galleries With Website & Blog or Not?

This year when I decided to move my website AND blog to WordPress (from Joomla & Blogger), I really wanted to move all my photo galleries here too – the luxury of everything in one place! And WordPress has that option! But I quickly learned that the more photos I put on this site, the slower it runs! And that is with me reducing the size of most photos since the web does not need large files, but then they are not good for you to download and print if you want. While I upload full-size photos to SmugMug & Pbase that are not only good for you to download and use but they are big enough (except some zoomed in birds) for you to use the SmugMug “BUY” Button and order prints, wall art, etc.

Thus I changed my mind and decided to not move my photos to the new website. Though I will continue to use photos on the site & blog (web-sized), since photography is central to almost anything I do or write about.

One Gallery As a Linked Part of the Website

So on the top MENU of this site is the 3rd item GALLERY,  which is a link to my SmugMug Gallery that I want to become my only gallery. And what about the hundreds of photos still on Pbase? Well I started with some of the Family History photos as inefficient little galleries within this website’s articles, adding to the slowdown. Then I decided to move all of those to the SmugMug gallery which is created to handle a volume of pix. That means I have now started my first non-Costa Rica gallery inside my Costa Rica gallery!  🙂

Just Added Family History to My Photo Gallery

It is called Family History Photos and currently has 4 sub-galleries:

Only the first two sub-galleries are moved now from Pbase and they are both a part of the web pages Family History that includes much more like cemeteries and stories from WWII, etc. While the other two sub-galleries will eventually have their own web pages and likewise include a lot of other information! So lot’s of work still to do here. Keeps me out of trouble!  🙂

More Non-Costa Rica Galleries Coming!

Then I anticipate at least two more non-Costa Rica sub-galleries on SmugMug:

  • My Pre-Costa Rica ART PHOTOS  (In 6 Categories)
  • My Pre-Costa Rica TRAVELS  (64 Trips by dates)

These too will be related to and linked from pages on this personal website. Eventually it will seem like my whole life is reported somewhere on this website. I cannot explain why I have a passion to do this, but somehow I am driven to complete it all long before I die. It is like my passion for nature, travel, photography, stories, my family history and reporting on it all here!

 “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.”

—Vincent Van Gogh


¡Pura Vida!



Newest Book is Now Out! Caribe Tuanis

Here’s the LINK to the photo book of my trip two weeks ago: Caribe Tuanis    Click title to REVIEW the book electronically in my bookstore, all pages for free!  Best seen at Full Screen!

Jumping at Bribri Watsi Waterfall

The title is my fusion of two Costa Rica slang words and is not grammatically   correct Spanish! One Tico tried to get me to add “El” like “The” in English. No. “Caribe” is CR slang or short for Caribbean which I think is used in English some also and the slang word “Tuanis” is like the American slang of earlier years “Cool.” So my English translation of the title would be “Caribbean Cool.” 

Three-toed Sloth this year – Rare face shot

Since my last year’s book on the Caribbean was all birds and nature, I wanted to do something different this year, featuring teens jumping off a waterfall and surfers riding the waves plus Bribri Indigenous People, and of course the Rastas of all Caribbean Culture.  Enjoy!

¡Pura Vida!

New Business Card

Well, not really “business” but “contact information” for people I relate to here and how to get to my photos and blog which is a little simpler with everything now at my website,   –   I like this card better than earlier ones!



No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.        ~Robert Adams


New CR Birds Photo Gallery

My Costa Rica Birds Gallery is still big with almost 270 species of birds included but is a little cleaner and easier to use now, especially for birders. Instead of one gallery with a jumble of 400 to 500 photos arranged alphabetically, it is now a folder with a SEPARATE GALLERY FOR EACH SPECIES so there is no longer the confusion of having multiple images of some species, but when you browse you will only look at one image of each species and then click it if you want to see that image larger or see multiple images of that bird. A separate gallery for each species. That will make it even more efficient as my collection of bird photos grows and gets better!

Plus birders will especially like that I have them ARRANGED BY FAMILIES or in the order found in the book The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide. 

Go directly to my new bird gallery:   Costa Rica Birds by Species (269)

Emerald Toucanet — One of the 269 species in my new CR Birds gallery.


And you might want to know that I am uploading the full-size image here so you can DOWNLOAD ONE FOR FREE and use as you wish or PURCHASE A PHOTO (like the above Toucanet) as a “Card,” “Paper Print,” “Wall Art” print (I’m favoring high-gloss metal now) “Keepsake,” or “Phone Case.” It is a service of with multiple vendors at their prices with me getting only $1 per order which is okay with me because I’m retired now!  🙂 And not in business! At the bottom of each enlarged photo is a green button BUY for you to go to the purchase options. Check it out for all the neat options for some of my birds or other Costa Rica photos!

Flash Postscript!  2 of my photos made the final 10 cut for header of the Facebook Group Atenas Costa Rica Info  Mine are the Spanish Dancers & the Pink & Blue Sunset Mountains. For a header I prefer the sunset photo as better for type face going over it, but I do not expect to win, believing that either the orange tree or green landscape will win and of those two I prefer the landscape also because it is better for titles printing over it. Members of the facebook group vote for the new group header photo.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

Hopefully I am beyond 10,000 by now!   🙂   ¡Pura Vida!

My New Toy: Macro Lens

Not the expensive one, just a simple Canon 100mm zoom, 1:28, Image Stabilizer (for hand-held) and auto focus. Here’s a few flowers with it and MY VERY FIRST HIBISCUS in my garden! I only recently got the plant which is slow-growing, but here’s the first bloom!


My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica


Once de Abril  (haven’t found an English name yet)
My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica


My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica


My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica


Red Ginger
My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica


Porter Weed
My Garden, Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

I think I did okay on close-ups of flowers before with a telephoto lens from a distance, but this is suppose to be better! It has the capability of a 1:1 ratio if I get close enough. Insects will be more difficult because they scare off, so I’ll probably continue with my 300 mm for them. Though, note the little tiny ant on the Porter Weed above.  🙂 And it is so nice having flowers blooming year around!

My Flora & Forests photo gallery