THE PHOTOGRAPHY PAGE
Pacific anemone (Anemone multifida), photo by Jim Riley.
Photos are how we visualize our wild plants, and photos on E-Flora BC are a big part of the project. Donations of photos are always very welcome. If you are interested in donating photos for use on the E-Flora site, details on how to submit them, the types of photos we are looking for, copyrights and permissions, and how photos will be selected are provided below.
If you wish to submit photos to E-Flora, please use the link on the home page to register with us (right hand column). Complete the registration form and submit it. This way our computers will automatically attach copyright, and a blind contact form, to each of your photos. We will send you a password so you can begin uploading photos to our database.
All photos published in the E-Flora photo galleries are reviewed by experts who donate their time to check identifications and ensure the accuracy of the photo galleries. In fact, the entire photo section on E-Flora is run by volunteers. Photos that are accepted for publication will appear in our photo galleries. They may also appear on our information pages, or as the lead photo on our atlas pages. Note that we periodically rotate the lead photo. Please also note that sometimes we cannot use a submitted photo, and will delete it from our database.
Our software automatically reduces the resolution of your photos before they appear in our photo galleries. That is, we reduce the size and the dpi (dots per inch). This is aimed at discouraging photo theft.
Once your photos are published in E-Flora, we provide a way for you to keep track of them. You can edit your photo details at any time using our 'edit my photo' feature, and you can also add more details, including precise location details, at any time.
BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST ON E-FLORA BC
If you are interested in making your photo contributions count for more, then participate in the citizen science component of E-Flora BC. In this component we use photo records to map new species locations and range extensions, and fill in species distributions. Learn more here about how to become a citizen scientist and participate in mapping our wild species through your photos.
Seaside bittercress (Cardamine angulata), photo by Gary Ansell.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT PHOTOS
Can I use photos from E-Flora?
There are many demands to use photos from the E-Flora photo gallery. All photos on E-Flora BC are copyright protected, however, so for permissions to use any photograph, please contact the photographers directly. Use the little envelope that is located beside each photo in the photo gallery.
How Good Do My Photos Need To Be?
Photographs on E-Flora have multiple purposes. They document species occurrences, they assist with species identifications, and they provide insights into a species ecology. For this reason, though we would like the best photos possible, the photos you submit do not have to be exceptional. If you are unsure about the quality of your photos, send them in and let our reviewers decide if they should be published on E-Flora.
Will my photo be accepted for publication?
Photos of many types are accepted for publication on E-Flora BC. Sometimes, though, photos that are submitted are not accepted and are deleted from our database. There are several reasons why this happens:
1) Sometimes, identification to the species level from the photo cannot be made or confirmed. If there are several species that look similar, and the key characters to separate these are not visible in the photo, then often we cannot verify an identification or make an identificaiton. Then we cannot publish the photo and will delete the photo. It is important for us to be as accurate as we can in species identifications because photos are used by others to help identfy plants, and because we map photo records--we don't want to map an erroneus record.
2) Sometimes photos that are submitted are too dark, too blurry, or the object of the photo is too indistinct. If we can't easily see the object of the photos, or clearly see what it looks like, then we cannot publish the photo.
HINT: Try making your photos lighter if they are too dark, or crop them to make the object of the photo more distinct. Don't be afraid to resubmit a photo if you have made it better through editing.
What If I Can't Name the Plant in My Photo?
If you have some good and clear photos of a BC wild plant species, but don't know what it is, don't be afraid to send them in. Just label the species as 'unknown' and we will see if we can name it. Sometimes, new species or subspecies for BC have been found this way.
How Many Photos Of Each Species Do We Want?
Because of the multiple purposes of photos on E-Flora, we aim to provide multiple shots of each species in the photo gallery. Don't be put off from submitting a shot because there is already a photo of that species in the gallery, or even if there are many photos. We have no limit on how many photos of each species we will post. If your photos illustrate something useful ecologically, or distributionally, or provide good insight into habitat--or if they are just plain beautiful--then we would love to have them. We need many photos to help users identify the plants they find. And many users just simply like to browse collections of species photos.
But there is another important reason to send in your photo. Because we will be mapping photo records, it is also important for us to obtain photos for each species from significant new locations. This mapping component of E-Flora is an important addition, and will help to fill in distribution information for our wild species. This is important for species where there is no specimen-based dot on our maps.
Pink sand verbena ( Abronia umbellata var. breviflora ), photo by Matt Fairbarns.
What Kind Of Photos Are We Looking For?
- We are interested in photos of BC species that are part of our flora, native or naturalized (gone wild and spreading).
- We are interested in habitat shots, whole plant shots (habit), close-up shots of flowers, flower parts, seeds and fruits, twigs, buds, mushroom caps, etc.
- Photos do not need to be taken in BC, but should represent species, subspecies and varieties that are found in BC.
- We can only accommodate digital photos in our photo galleries.
- We do not accept photos of garden plants unless they are of species that have naturalized, or 'gone wild', in BC and have been included in the official BC flora. That is, species that are listed as part of the BC Flora.
Because there is growing use of E-Fora for plant idenfication, we need an assortment of photos that show the important characteristics of a species. That is, photos of leaves, hairs, stems, roots, seeds, fruits, undersides of mushrooms caps, capsules on mosses, and so on. The more of these sorts of photos we have, the better, both for users trying to identify a plant they have in hand, and for our reviewers who work to verify identifications. We might not publish all of your photos but they can be important even at the review level. Photos that cannot be named to species or are blurry will be deleted.
More Frequently Asked Questions
A Photographers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) page and an Photo Use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S) page are available. Please note that these pages will be subject to change as the photo submission process and our Photo Gallery display pages evolve over time.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR SUBMITTING PHOTOS
- Any size photo may be submitted to E-Flora BC.
- Image file formats that we currently accept include .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .bmp, .gif, .img and .png.
- Note that large files may take some time to upload, depending on your computer and modem. Sometimes the upload time is too long for your upload 'session'. If this happens, and the upload times out, you can fix the problem by reducing the size of your mage. Smaller images will upload more easily on a dial-up connection.
Western pasqueflower (Anemone occidentalis), photo by Allan Carson.
THE PHOTO PUBLISHING PROCESS
Photos on E-Flora BC are generally published following review by experts in each group. This sometimes means that photos may sit for a while in our database while we wait for a review to be carried out. Reviewers check both the identification accuracy of the species in the photo and will often make an assessment on suitability for publication.
All photos are published against a verified species list for the province. If the species you have photographed is not yet confirmed for the province, then publishing your photo may take some time while the species occurrence is investigated by experts. Confirmation requires specimen documentation before a species is added to the provincial list.
Importantly, in order to identify, or verify an identification of, the species in your photo, we sometimes need more than one photo. Multiple photos allow our reviewers to see the key characters needed for identification. It is very hepful to submit a suite of photos so that key characters can be seen, particularly for difficult groups such as fungi. This usually means you need to know the species you are photographing so that you can include the appropriate features in your photos. If the key characters for a species cannot be seen in a photo, and our reviewers cannot make a confident identification, then your photo may be deleted. We strongly recommend that you send in at least two photos of a species, particularly for fungi.
Pseudohydnum gelatinosum (toothed jelly), photo by May Kald.
COPYRIGHT AND OTHER SPECIFIC DETAILS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
1. As the photographer, you retain copyright of any image that you submit to E-Flora BC.
2. E-Flora BC will not provide permissions to use your photos, we direct all contact to the photographer.
3. By submitting your photographs to E-Flora, you agree to allow E-Flora BC to use the photograph as part of E-Flora BC, an online atlas and associated database that is openly accessible to the public on the world wide web. The photo will appear in our photo gallery, and may also appear in our general botanical information pages, or as the lead photo on the atlas pages.
4. E-Flora BC will display the following information with respect to your photo(s):
- Your name will be displayed next to the photograph in the photo gallery.
- Copyright information will be displayed on each photo gallery page.
- Your name will be included in the scrolling list of photographers that is provided in the search section of each page in the photo gallery. Users will be able to view all of your photos by clicking on your name.
- The URL to your home page, or other site, will be linked to beside your name, if you provide it.
5. Note that a blind contact form is attached to each photo in the E-Flora photo gallery that allows people to contact you without revealing your email address. Your email address will not be displayed in the photo gallery. Photos used in our introduction pages provide email address links only with permission.
6. Note that any photos that are published on the web are open to photo theft, and this includes photos on E-Flora BC. We aim to protect your photos through automatic reduction of the resolution of each photo you submit in order to render them unusable. However, we do not use photo blocks to prevent copying, simply because these are so easy to work around using screen captures. There are many articles on the web about protecting photos, and how this is very difficult, if not impossible, to do. Read more here.
7. We clearly designate that all photos in our site are protected by Canadian copyright, and provide a link to the Canadian Copyright Act.