This website displays some of my favorite Panama bird photos for your enjoyment and shares my experience with digiscoping. We retired in 2005 relocating from Sequim, Washington to a small coffee farm in the highlands of western Panama in the Province of Chiriqui and the District of Boquete. We enjoy nature and more specifically birding. In 2009 we bought our first spotting scope and I started taking pictures through the scope with my handheld point-and-shoot camera. This method of bird photography is called digiscoping. Eventually an adapter was added to better align and hold the camera in place. Gradually I learned the details and started taking photos as I trailed the Boquete Birders on their outings and ventured with individual birding friends. We also went on birding adventures to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Borneo. As the collection of bird photos grew, I shared them with family and friends. I gave some talks on digiscoping and my bird photos. I was encouraged to share the photos with a broader audience. Although hesitant, I decided to go public and make the photos available to you. This website is the result.
My approach to bird photography is simple. I go birding and carry my equipment along. If I see a cooperative bird, one that sits still long enough, I try to zero in as quickly as possible and get a photo. I not only capture images of these special feathered creatures, but also try to capture the context in which they live. I strive for a bit of artistic composition as well as a good bird image. The backgrounds and compositions are all natural. I do not cut and paste images or doctor the backgrounds. My hope is that the images will give you a better understanding and appreciation of nature and inspire you to learn more about the many birds on our planet and their importance. Perhaps you will be inspired to venture out for a walk and start seeing more of the-wonder-of-it-all. Checkout the website, enjoy the moments and participate in part of my journey through the blog.
No adventure like this is the product of an isolated person. Many people have influenced, inspired and supported my bird photography adventure. I want to thank them all. More specifically, I want to mention several that have been essential. Foremost is my wife Sandra whose lifelong love of birds and birding infected me to pay more attention to these creatures. Her example and encouragement was and is an essential catalyst for my creativeness. I also want to mention my deceased father, Kenneth Cripe, who loved the great outdoors and activities of hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. His enjoyment was an early influence that deeply conditioned my love of nature. A special thanks goes to Dan and Kay Wade for their insatiable appetite for knowledge and exploration of the natural world. They have generously shared and created many memorable birding adventures for us. Both are exceptional birders and laudatory students of nature. They are the photographers and digiscopers who first introduced me to the possibilities and joys of capturing images of birds. Besides all of this, they are good friends and a lot of fun. I also want to thank Gene and Marilyn Cripe, my brother and sister-in-law, for all the hikes and fun wilderness adventures we have shared. Birding is always a part of their outdoor experience. Marilyn invited us to visit Panama on a birding trip in 2001 which fueled our enthusiasm for Panama and blazed the trail for the decision to live here during our retirement. Several persons have individually accompanied me and helped spot the birds I photographed. They include: Jack and Shari Doyle, Peter Sterling, Craig Bennett, and Craig Owings. The Boquete Birders have generally been helpful. Without their keen eyes, many of these photos would have never happened. I am grateful to Gaby Bacon for the photos of my digiscoping in action. To Craig Miller for believing in my creative efforts and spurring me on to make the images public. Thanks to all of you for your support in making this possible, appreciating my work and enriching my journey.