Take pictures

Reptiles of Ecuador | Contributor | Take pictures

Another way you can work with us for the Reptiles of Ecuador book project is by taking white background pictures the same way we do. We can purchase your images of any of the 50 missing species or almost any other reptile that occurs in Ecuador, provided you follow Tropical Herping's ethics, style and settings for white background photograpy, as outlined below.


Your white background photography must be done ethically, legally and justified under the scope of a scientific project, never for the sake of achieving an aesthetic image. As such, you must proceed in strict accordance with the guidelines for use of live amphibians and reptiles in field research, and only in the presence of a trained herpetologist. Finally, make sure to contact us to make sure which procedures you can use that have been reviewed by the Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador (MAE) and specifically approved as part of obtaining the field permits for scientific photography.


To follow Tropical Herping's style of white background photography you must always keep an eye on the picture's main objective: to maximize the amount of pixels useful for species diagnosis in a format that can be recreated and used for systematic comparison. To this end, it is important that you adapt the pose of the animal to fill a 3:2 image ratio, and that such pose shows the diagnostic features for each animal group. It is also important that you:

Shoot on a non reflective white surface Use two off-camera flashes at a 45° angle, the flash pointing to the chin should be one stop weaker than the opposite Use diffusers that are larger than the animal.


Before you start to pose the animal in the white background, it is important that you set your camera to take pictures as follows:

Shoot on RAW Set your shutter speed to 1/250, aperture to f/16 and ISO to 100 Set the color space to Adobe RGB Remember that the animal must fill the frame and be photographed dorsolaterally at a 45° angle.


Eye and head scales in focus; head slightly raised, showing infralabials, and closer to the camera than any other body part Body curves not overlapping so dorsal scales can be counted Spacing between coils should allow proper lighting of the entire body Tail not hidden and facing away from the direction of the head.


Eye in focus and body raised Arms stretched and not covering sides of chest, both hands visible and fingers evenly spread out Chest captured during inhale Both legs visible, all toes of first foot visible, those on second foot can be partially hidden Tail behind body and curved near the base, tip facing away from direction of the head when possible.


Eye and head scales in focus, head raised and neck visible Carapace clean so scutes are visible Limbs and inter-digital membranes stretched.