50% Off Portrait Pro + An Extra 15% For EPZ Members With Code: EPZ421

Naming natural history subjects


oldhat 13 20 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2007 9:36AM
Camera Clubs have specific rules about 'Natural History' subjects - animals and plants photographed in the wild, making the main subject of the picture, and not manipulated in any way.

One is that the proper name should be given. I've noticed a few submissions here recently where a bird, flower etc has been beautifully photographed, but not given any sort of name. I feel that this detracts from the interest of the subject. I'm not saying that we should put Cygnos olor every time that we show a picture of a Mute Swan, but a definite identification is desirable. By the way, if you do give a scientific name, the first word has a capital letter, the second does not; and all in italics if available.

Apologies if you think I'm being pedantic. Put it down to the fact that I was a biology teacher for 30 years. Smile
Digicat 14 127
15 Dec 2007 9:40AM
I totally agree but having been ridiculed for trying to identify a bird recently I stopped
Henchard 16 2.7k 1 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2007 9:48AM

Quote:Camera Clubs have specific rules about 'Natural History' subjects


do they? Not mine.

Sorry I don't agree. Might be fine on a natural history site but I find most photography (and certainly camera club judges) far too constrained by rules as it is. Togs should give as much or as little information as they want.
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
15 Dec 2007 10:04AM

Quote:Camera Clubs have specific rules about 'Natural History' subjects - animals and plants photographed in the wild, making the main subject of the picture, and not manipulated in any way.


But this isn't a camera club, so what rules they choose to stipulate are neither here nor there really.
Although I can appreciete your point, and have often wondered when seeing images entitled 'A bird on a stick', 'a brown bird', 'a bird on wire', 'a duck' if the person posting it has actually got the slightest interest in what they've photographed. But saying that, everyone has different levels of interest in the natural world I guess and what may be an exciting and beautiful species to one, may indeed just be 'a duck' to another.
I personally always find it far more rewarding to try and learn a little about the subject you've photographed, even if that only means learning what species it is.
Not sure I'd agree with including the scientific names though, all well and good for the more recognisable species, but getting a 100% accurate ID on such things such as: fungi, insects, lichen, flowers, can be easier said than done.
oldhat 13 20 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2007 10:09AM
Sorry if I gave the impression that I was suggesting that we should have rules - no, that would go against the whole ethos of the site. I'm just hoping to encourage people not to just label something 'a bird on a branch' but to give a bit more info - or even to ask for information on the species from others. And to start a bit of a debate, which I seem to have succeeded in !
justin c 17 5.1k 36 England
15 Dec 2007 10:23AM

Quote:I'm just hoping to encourage people not to just label something 'a bird on a branch' but to give a bit more info - or even to ask for information on the species from others.


Totally agree.
User_Removed 17 455 13 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2007 10:57AM
I wouldn't want rules, or people to be vilified for not identifying - but generally I agree. I think taking an interest in your subject is part of photography - although identification won't make it a better photograph.

I have posted with my identification and asked for anyone to correct me if they know differently. It is harder with fungi and the like - but there is a lot of knowledge here and posters often come up with the answer. I wouldn't go for scientific names when posting here - I think I'd feel a bit pretentious - but them I'm not a biology teacher! If it comes naturally to you do it.

When I am focusing on natural history subjects delving into books for the identification is part of the enjoyment for me.

When I was posting them on my website (which I don't have at the moment) I included all the information I could find, including scientific names.
Just Jas 19 26.3k 1 England
15 Dec 2007 12:44PM
If you specialise in, say, bird photography I would tend to agree naming the bird is helpful.

However, I would not decline to photograph a bird (feathered variety of course!) and upload it it just because I didn't know its name - birds (feathered or not) being a mystery to me! Wink

jas
csurry 19 9.2k 92
15 Dec 2007 12:57PM
I think that there is something to be said for correctly identifying species, however, I would restrain from going down the route of some sites where it seems compulsory to "cut and paste" the full biological information.

Generally I do put the latin name but little else as I feel that most people are looking at the image and not for a lesson in habitat, etc.

I also try and correct other posting where the species is clearly wrongly identified, though as I know myself sometimes this is down to copying from another image on my drive and picking the wrong set of tags. Or thinking about loading one image and then loading something different.

A lot of people do ask for help in identification and I think a number of people do respond regularly to these sorts of posts.

But camera club rules - please no. All a bit to pedantic for my liking - we're already starting down some of the path which I choose not to tread by not joining a PS or PC Wink
Sep 13 1.3k England
15 Dec 2007 12:57PM
What if you dont want to name the bird,but use something else.In my PF is a Vulture portrait,and i titled it Down in the Dumps.No mention of Vulture or whatever in Latin.Are you saying i should have named it as i did,then underneath,the latin name?
This is a question,not a gripe.
Joe
oldhat 13 20 United Kingdom
15 Dec 2007 1:46PM

Quote:.... a Vulture portrait, and i titled it Down in the Dumps. No mention of Vulture or whatever in Latin.Are you saying i should have named it as i did,then underneath, the latin name?
Joe



In the case of your vulture, I don't know if the actual species could be identified from your great shot. I'd call this more of a 'feeling' shot than a natural history shot.

But I still feel that a shot of a species which is fully identifiable should ideally have the name given in the notes, though not necessarily in the title. My 'Swan - applauding?' this morning is an example.

As for the Linnean ('Latin') names, I think this is entirely up to the interest of the individual. Definitely not needed for birds, as the English names are universally agreed. But for many wild plants and fungi, only the scientific names are precise. A cowslip in Britain may not be the same plant as a cowslip in the States.
Just Jas 19 26.3k 1 England
15 Dec 2007 1:52PM

Quote:a shot of a species which is fully identifiable should ideally have the name given


If you can identify it why do you need the name given?
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
15 Dec 2007 2:38PM
Any wildlife shot that does not have the english name, genus and species in the "about" should be deleted.

I'll knock up some code to check for the presence of valid Latin nomenclature.

Smile

Deary me...

I guess I should really put the architect's name and construction date next to my photos of buildings too?
hobbs Plus
17 1.3k Japan
15 Dec 2007 2:41PM

Quote:I guess I should really put the architect's name and construction date next to my photos of buildings too?


and many bricks were used Wink
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
15 Dec 2007 2:43PM
yes - I forgot that, and the brick manufacturer...

hang on, many modern buidlings don't use bricks, more like steel frames and panelling with breeze blocks

I can see the need for many new rules to be created - lets form a committee to discuss this further Smile

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.