San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Spanish Eyes Focus on Costa Rican Nature

The ancient arid land of their Iberian Peninsula did little to prepare four Spanish photographers for a recent journey to shoot the immense lushness and biodiversity contained in this little tropical country on an isthmus.

The new exhibit at the CalderónGuardiaMuseum in eastern San José displays their fresh look at Costa Rican nature, with large prints of landscapes, insects, frogs and snakes, all of which seem to dance before the Spanish photographers’ lenses.

Costa Rica, Objetivo Pura Vida” showcases nearly 70 colorful images captured by Cristóbal Serrano, José Benito Ruiz, Isabel Díez and Eduardo Blanco, who toured the country’s parks and nature reserves in January and February.

“I’ve done several exhibitions of photography, but never nature photography,” said Miguel Albero, cultural adviser to the Spanish Embassy in San José, who curated the show.

Albero picked photographers from different regions in Spain, such as the Basque Country in the north and Alicante on the Mediterranean coast, and set them loose on Costa Rica’s wild nature.

“These photographers are used to doing things for magazines or books, but always with a purpose,” he said. “My idea was there’s no purpose; this is not a guide. They could give a more personal view of their work, and that’s what they’ve done.”

While the exhibit’s attractive catalog could make an excellent coffee-table book, the show offers an opportunity to see the book’s images large and close-up.

“We all have the postcard of Poás and Manuel Antonio,” Albero said, referring to the volcano northwest of San José and the popular national park on the central Pacific coast, respectively. “We’ve seen this, but we’ve never seen it like this.”

The National Biodiversity Institute, which assisted the group in identifying the species featured in the photos, will exhibit the pictures after the show’s run at the museum through June 27.

The CalderónGuardiaMuseum is in Barrio Escalante, 100 meters east and 100 meters north of the Santa Teresita Church. It’s open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 2221-1239.


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