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Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica


Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica, 1989, from IN THE RAINFOREST: The Specification of Life I long hankered to make photographs in tropical rainforests. In 1989, rainforest issues came into public focus and I found the funding to travel to the virginal forests of Costa Rica. In their stifling interior, I became immersed in the planet's most teeming concentration of life—a thick soup of DNA. Life here pulsed in its utmost diversity. This photograph is one of the hundreds I made whilst trekking-schlepping three cameras, a tripod and pack stuffed with film—in the country's forest preserves. It was raining at the time. I had figured (with questionable wisdom) that if I was heading into rainforests, why not go during the rainy season? It was unyieldingly hot and I was always drenched—with rainwater or my own sweat. The rains came by mid-afternoon and I tried to get off the trail by then. Downpours are dangerous-limbs plummet down. I was solo and tried to avoid peril. But, I never could steer clear of the sweltering heat. A major pain: I love the cold! I thrive at the Poles! I felt such torrid and demanding conditions warranted my drawing hardship, duty pay. But, I persevered on my self-imposed mission: when I'm out making photographs, be it ferocious or frigid, I just do what needs to be done.
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