Taking Plant Photos

One of the best things about the New Year Plant Hunt recording app is that you can record a plant even if you don't know what it is - just capture and upload a photograph or two, and the NYPH Support Team will try to identify your plant.

Top tips to help you get your plant identified:

Photograph the plant from the side, not from above. This applies particularly to groups of similar-looking plants, like the dozen or so dandelion look-alikes!

Try to capture the green sepals below the flower - as in Bert Barnett's award-winning photo (above right) of Yellow Mountain Saxifrage.

Photograph the leaves (see below) as well as the flower - including where the leaf joins the stem (or to show that the leaf doesn't join the stem!)

A contrasting background can be useful - try holding a gloved hand or book behind your plant to make it 'stand out'.

If your plant is growing in a particular way - e.g. it's a climber, or it's creeping along the ground - take a picture showing that growth habit.

Be sure to zoom in so your plant can be seen clearly. Philippa Swann's lovely image of a botanist admiring a Sneezewort plant (below right) was a worthy winner in the 'Plants and People' category in this year's Photo Competition. But it wouldn't help us to identify the plant!

Be careful not to damage the vegetation around your plant in pursuit of a good photograph. The BSBI Code of Conduct has useful advice to help you photograph plants with conservation in mind, and check out this blogpost about what not to do in 'the pursuit of botanical beauty'!

The golden rule is: if in doubt, leave it out! So only put a name to a plant if you are 100% sure: otherwise, take a photo, or several photos, and let the New Year Plant Hunt Support Team help you with identification.