Originally posted on BioDiverse Perspectives.
In a previous post, I wrote about the power of photography for ecologists. Now, it is time to provide some real tips for photographing ecologists. How to take home some pictures that will impress others, without – importantly – losing any working time?
Most ecologists will take a camera into the field anyway. It is used to take pictures of their research site or subject, or record some important details for later. As you already have your camera in your hand, it will not cost you too much effort to take just one more picture.
In that case, it might be a smart idea to get a little bit lower, up to the level of your study object, to check the world from its point of view.
The combination of integrating your study object in the landscape and letting it stand out of the background results in more interesting images. It makes it possible for an observer to feel a connection with the subject and it makes the picture tell a much more interesting story.
Even if your study object is a dull bird or a boring plant, getting on its level will bring out the best in it and give it a soul.
If possible, try to include the horizon in the picture. It will ask a lot more of your knees, but the rewards are big. As the (obviously real) Lappish proverb goes: ‘A beautiful horizon can even make a dead lemming look poetic’.
I invested a lot of effort in getting a nice overview of my study species, the nonnative plants in my plots. An awfully difficult subject for an artist, I have to admit, but by quickly spending two minutes as a photographer before you dive into the science, was highly rewarding even in this case.
Take home message: low! Take your pictures from a low angle and give their stories a boost!