Costa Rica and the X-Pro 1

Andy Gallacher is an international TV correspondent based in Miami. 

The drug runners blast up and down the Rio Colorado with impunity, they aren’t afraid of much in this remote corner of Costa Rica. We’re about 6 miles from the border with Nicaragua at a Tarpon fishing lodge run by Dan Wise a former judge from Mississippi. He’s been here for years and tells us when drugs do wash ashore they’re sold straight back to the cartels at a handsome price. He also tells us it’s not hard to tell who found what locals refer to as square fish. ‘If they’re in rags one day,’ says Dan with a wry smile. ‘And the next day they’re in gold chains with a Rolex you know who got lucky.’  It’s the perfect place for my X-Pro1, stealth is a way of life on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline. 

When I stumble across Dan’s abandoned boat yard the timing couldn’t be better. The sun is low over the jungle casting a golden light across the unkempt clutter surrounding the lodge. As a photographer moments like this are when you lose yourself. The setting is perfect, the light and subjects inspiring but time limited. For the next few minutes I maneuver through the long grass trying to capture the splendor of Dan’s cast aways aware that the sun is setting fast. My little Fuji, and its almost constant companion the 35mm f/1.4 lens, cope admirably with the changing light and before I realize it an hour has gone by and the sun is almost gone.

costa rica-1-6.jpg

This was the last part of my assignment in Costa Rica and a fitting end to a great trip. We’d traveled from the west coast, through the central highlands to Dan’s lodge on the east coast and been thoroughly charmed by the entire country and its people (well maybe not the drug runners). As ever my X-Pro1 was tucked away in my ThinkTank bag and performed beautifully. All those initial gripes and frustrations have been melting away with each firmware update and although it's still not a perfect camera it is a perfect traveling companion.  

My patient cameraman Jim Hoffman.