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As Seen by Janine’s Adventures in Panama!

“Adventure is worthwhile in and of itself.” ~ Amelia Earhart had it right about that, which is why I came to Boquete, Panama on perhaps the grandest adventure and photography expedition I’ve ever undertaken.

Panamanian Locals Including Traditional La Pollera Dresses

Panamanian Locals Including Traditional La Pollera Dresses

Lest I had any doubt I was in another part of the world, a chance encounter with this tour group of Panamanian locals gave me that “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto” feeling!  The dresses worn by the two women in the front are known as La Pollera, the beautiful traditional style Panamanian dress which is considered the national costume.

How did this trip come about? Well, never underestimate the value of meaningful serendipitous coincidences. This entire adventure is the result of a chance encounter with another photographer while we were both stranded at Dulles International Airport for the better part of a day back on June 3. There I met Ron Elkind, a U.S. citizen and very talented amateur photographer who is now retired in Boquete. Ron founded Boquete PhotoGrafia, a photography club to help others learn more about developing a photographer’s eye.

While stuck in the airport, Ron and I had such a connection, both as photographers and on a personal level, that we decided we were meant to meet to share in a bit of each others’ lives. But our planes weren’t grounded forever, so our time at Dulles wasn’t long enough. Long story short, I ended up coming to Panama for a three week visit, with Ron serving as my gracious host and photography tour guide!

Here is a photo of Ron taken on a full day photo expedition from Boquete to Volcan, Chiriqui, Panama a few days ago:

My Host and Photo Tour Guide, Ron Elkind

My Host and Photo Tour Guide, Ron Elkind

Here are just a few more of the photos I’ve taken thus far:

Rustic Bridge Between Boquete and Vulcan, Panama

Rustic Bridge Between Boquete and Vulcan, Panama

Crossing Rustic Bridge on Road to Vulcan, Chiriquie, Panama

Crossing Rustic Bridge on Road to Vulcan, Chiriquie, Panama

Panamanian Dairy Farm and Bus Stop Shelter

Panamanian Dairy Farm and Bus Stop Shelter

Panamanian Free Range Dairy Cow on the Mooooove

Panamanian Free Range Dairy Cow on the Mooooove

Local Girls in Traditional Dress - Vulcan, Chiriqui, Panama

Local Girls in Traditional Dress – Vulcan, Chiriqui, Panama

Below is my favorite photograph I’ve taken since arriving in Panama, which has also been the favorite of my friends and followers on social media. On our way to photograph a Heliconia Flower farm in Volcan, Chiriqui, we couldn’t help but stop to capture this stunning scene of the storm clouds brewing over the mountains and incredibly green cattle pastures.

Storm Clouds Over Mountains and Cattle Pasture on Road to Volcan

Storm Clouds Over Mountains and Cattle Pasture on Road to Volcan

Another personal favorite is this black and white conversion of the Rustic Old Suspension Bridge, processed using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 with a slight sepia toner. This one will be enlarged and hung in my home for certain!

Crossing Rustic Bridge near Volcan, Panama

Crossing Rustic Bridge near Volcan, Panama

The hardest part about a trip like this is being torn between processing my gorgeous photo captures in Lightroom and going out for more photos! A bit of both is the compromise.

Add to that mix a dose of Panamanian cooking and food photography thrown in for good measure. So stay tuned for not only more scenic photographs of Panama, but also some photos of traditional Panamanian styled foods I’m learning how to prepare. It is super fun to learn about new foods and spices never before encountered, not to mention the wild experience of shopping for groceries in Central America!

Just to give you a hint of what’s to come, tonight I prepared an incredible dinner of fresh Tuna Steaks in a Coconut Citrus Marinade, Salad, and Yuca Fries, which beat the pants off of any french fries I’ve ever had! Not to mention the freshest seafood this landlocked Colorado girl has had in a very long time! Photos and recipes to follow so stay tuned.

Watch for more to come…. Hasta luego!

By Janine Fugere

As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

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"As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images Photo Blog"  by Janine Fugere. 

Come take a look at the world "As Seen by Janine." 

My cameras and lenses are my "Eyes of the World."  Please enjoy the view! 

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