Discover Life | Protocol for taking Photographs | Support | Back to Main Page
How To Participate with People's Online Plant Atlas

  1. Get a photo album and install software -- Ask for a personal photo album on Discover Life for each team member from Joe and then install secure upload software on your Mac or PC.
  2. Upload images -- Upload your photographs to your album (see existing albums), documenting when and where you took each. (You'll need a photo album and password from Joe as explained in the previous step.)
  3. Identify species -- Identify the species in your photographs.

Protocol for taking Photographs

    • At the start of each photographic session in any given habitat, first photograph:
      • The time and date on your cell phone, if you have one.
      • The latitude and longitude (and time) on your GPS unit, if you have one.
      • The people participating with you.
      • The horizon in all four directions, starting from North, to East, to South and lastly West.
      • The sky above you, but not into the sun!
    • If there are several plants choose one that seems typical of the group
    • In the case of woody plants (trees, shrubs, vines) shoot separate groups of images of the most mature specimens and of immature specimens
    • Try to find a plant that stands out against its background, or is far forward so background is out of focus
    • Whole plant and leaves
      • A photo of the plant habit: fill the screen with the entire plant -A closer photo of a few leaves on the stem to see leaf arrangement, petiole length, leaf position (sessile vs pendulous vs erect etc) buds, leaf scars and twig color/ texture
      • If leaves are different on various parts of plant take pictures of different areas (e.g. basal rosette leaves plus stem leaves)
      • A close photo of leaf upperside from base of petiole to apex - if you have a large leaf, take at least one photo of apex and one photo of base/petiole
      • A close photo of leaf underside, from base of petiole to apex - if you have a large leaf, take at least one photo of apex and one photo of base/petiole
    • Buds, Flowers and Fruit
      • Take photos of the Buds, if present, and show leaf scars as well, if possible
      • Take photos of the Flower if present - try capturing an inner view showing all sexual parts. If the male flowers are separate from the female flowers, take pictures of each. Try to show how the ovary is positioned (above or below petals)
      • An outer view of the flower showing sepals or bracts
      • If there are multiple flowers, take a photograph of the entire inflorescence to show arrangement
      • Optional: Dissect flower longitudinally to show ovary position, attachment of parts, this may be necessary to see reproduction parts, especially if the flower is deep throated
      • Take photos of the Fruit if present
      • Optional: dissect flower / fruit transverse to show # of chambers in ovary
    • Bark and other features
      • Take photos of the Bark if present, both mature bark and young bark if possible
      • Vines - the mode of climbing (adhesive rootlets? tendrils? twining stem?)
      • Ferns - undersides of pinnae closeup of sori/ if sporangia on separate structure photo that?. also see if gametophyte present on soil near plants
    • Enter scientific name: Genus species, then include common names
    • Include Authority on Scientific Names if Available

Technical support

Updated: 7 February, 2011

Discover Life | The Polistes Foundation | Top