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name and portrait Isaac Martinez

website name
website url
city and country San José, Costa Rica

personal statement

My passion for photography was inherited from my father who was also a photographer and film producer. Since I was very young I was attracted to cameras and photographic equipment and learned to use them very spontaneously. I remember in 1987 while attending my last high school year I worked on my first "multimedia" production, based on two Ektagraphic projectors with Kodak Ektachrome slides in conjunction with a dissolve unit. I also did the screenplay and the narration of this projection as my farewell to my '87 generation. 

In 1988 I started working as an instructor at the Apple Training Center in Costa Rica and was associated then with the Support Department until 1996 when I was sent to receive specialized training in 360 degree photography with Apple Technicians at the University of California in San Diego. With the precedent of having my father as my mentor in photography, everything I learned in this course took an interesting meaning and since then I have been very interested in the topic so I have continued to develop self-taught processes in 360 degree photography. 

In 2000, after leaving the Support Manager position at the largest distributors of Apple Computer in Costa Rica,  I was determined to start my own business producing virtual and panoramic photography. Since then I have attended many fairs and events around the world and I have been actively involved in the International VR Photography Association, which organizes annual activities and has been a source of inspiration for enthusiasts of this technology. This group of photographers has been my greatest source of inspiration and training in the past 10 years. 

What attracts me to photography is the ability to express what is inside the photographer. We all have a very strong need to communicate something and in the case of photographers it is through our work that we can start a dialogue with people. It's a two way process as we constantly receive from our audience a lot of re-interpretations of photographic work. That's the magic of photography — that everyone interprets it according to their reality. In my case, panoramic photography has become a new way to travel and share that journey with many people virtually through the presentation of photographs on the internet. This has perhaps been the greatest satisfaction from photography in my personal case. 

In the process of taking pictures I also saw the opportunity to influence others positively by using themes and images that I share. I firmly believe that the photographer must have a philosophy of work and responsibility to use his work as a tool to impact people's opinion and we must be very careful as we can affect our environment positively or negatively depending on how strong we are in our convictions.

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first image
first image title Rainforest in the Middle of the Ocean
first image subject Mirador El Aguacate
first image place date Cocos Island, Costa Rica – September 29, 2010
first image caption I shot this panorama on my second diving trip to Cocos Island on a nice sunny day. This is a very special place because it requires a 36 hour boat journey to reach this Island in the Pacific waters of Costa Rica and this was just one day after my birthday number 40.

With almost 46.6 square kilometers, 24 kilometers of coastline and located three hundred miles Southeast of Costa Rica; Cocos Island represents a world renowned natural jewel which the memorable Jacques Ives Cousteau(1910-1997), scientific oceanographer, professional diver and filming director of sealife documentaries, deemed as ”the most beautiful island in the world…” and Michael Crichton wrote “Jurassic Park” with this place in mind. Cocos Island was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1997 by UNESCO and more recently has been nominated as a candidate in the second phase of the New 7 Wonders of the World contest.

second image
second image title Sunrise Over the Clouds
second image subject
second image place date Chirripo National Park, Costa Rica – November 3, 2008
second image caption After a 20 km walk from the town of San Gerardo de Rivas I reached Cerro Chirripo which is the highest point in Costa Rica at 3,820 meters (12,533 feet). It is also the coldest, boasting the lowest temperature ever registered in my country, a bone chilling -9 C (16 F). The sunlight glowing over the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the mountains and mist in the dark on the other made this image one of my most visited 360º photos since 2008.

Thanks to differences in altitude, soil, climate and topography, the park offers visitors a variety of habitats. High-altitude microclimates include the paramo (a high, Andean-type woodland consisting of wind-stunted shrubs, grasslands and perennial herbaceous plants), as well as marshlands and fern groves.

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third image title Tropical Rainforest on the Osa Peninsula
third image subject
third image place date Aguila de Osa Lodge, Costa Rica – August 23, 2009
third image caption This pristine rainforests and the rugged natural beauty of the Osa Peninsula make this region one of the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. Declared one of the most biologically intense places on earth by National Geographic, this peninsula has 5% of the species and Biodiversity of the whole planet.

In the last eight years the government and Costa Rican Tourism Board has developed the "Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program – CST" a five level classification designed to differentiate businesses in the tourism sector based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. Osa Peninsula, along with Drake's Bay has become the first eco-tourism destination in the province of Puntarenas.

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