Photography for Biologists

The following links provide content and examples related to field photography.  I have put the material into a Google Photos format.  Be sure to select the “i” icon when viewing the images since there is usually quite a bit of text there explaining the rationale for showing the slide.

Again, the material here does not pretend to be a complete self-contained nature photography course.   The material presented in the links below should be used as a supplement to more conventional material on cameras, their operation, and basic photography techniques.

In case you think your cell phone is adequate for photography, it can be very useful, but see a dissenting opinion here.  We like his statement that the more equipment you have the less creative you are.

Photography for biologists (Introduction)

Cameras and equipment

Examples of cropping

Helicon Focus examples

Photography Examples

Photography Examples 2

Photography Examples 3


Outline of course to Biology students, taught in Cochabamba, Bolivia in Nov 2017.

Why teach photography to biologists? What do biologists need photography for? Research, education, publicity, other uses.

Basics of composition (independent of photo equipment) Rule of thirds, selective focus, lighting

Basics of equipment, types of cameras, sensors, tripods, flash, camera bags etc etc.

Specialization of your photography. Birds, insects, plants, landscapes. Field research documentation.

Expedition considerations – what to bring and not to bring. Protecting your gear.

Manipulating your digital images. What is legitimate and what is not. Croping, contrast and brightness, sharpening etc.

The new big players in digital photography: High Dynamic Range (HDR) and focus stacking techniques.

Organizing and storing your imagery. Metadata, Making your photos visible – websites and publicity. Facebook isn’t good enough! Networking with other biologists.

In-class “exam” with test images

Summary of key concepts

Cochabamba Yungas trip webpage (Spanish)

Cochabamba Yungas trip webpage (English)

Cochabamba Photography field trip