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Four Weeks to Proficiency in Photography - The next class begins March 21. Truly knowing photography is a great gift for yourself or someone in your life!
Check out our free webinar video to learn about what you need to know and to experience Peggy's teaching style! https://understandphotography.leadpages.co/4-weeks-photography-education-video/
Larry's interest in working with researchers was inspired by Wayne Lynch, Canadian photographer.
Science is a tough field and has never been well-funded. People doing scientific research in enviornmental conditions don't have the funding or expertise to document what they do. It's not cheap but we do a lot of things on the shoestring.
The goal is to shoot images that tell the researcher's story with good documentary photographs, which are also artistic too, with the intent that people might take more pause to see what's going on in the scientific world. Doing this helps research, garners more funding, and supports their work.
As a photographer, your photographs are helping them to tell their story and share their findings, similar to advertising for science. Another huge way that it helps them is that the photos sometimes capture details that they couldn't see at the time, such as louse flies, etc.
Larry says the work is very exciting - you get to go places you've never been before and probably wouldn't go otherwise. You get to see things that nobody gets to see, and you get to explore new worlds.
You are essentially donating the photos, although you keep the copyrights. You can ask the researchers for photo credits, and you can put your copyright in the metadata and your signature/watermark on the photo. You are providing them a service, but you're also giving, and in this day and age that's pretty important. You get a good feeling doing it, and there are rewards, maybe even long-term.
How to get started:
Places to volunteer:
All of the state facilities, parks, etc. thrive on volunteers. Check out both nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government organizations. Examples include: zoo, conservancies, Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge group. It doesn't have to be outdoors! Universities perform research in almost every science department.
While working at the zoo, he has gotten to meet and work with National Geographic, research scientists from all over the world, the Giraffe foundation, and others. The zoo brings in volunteers all the time, and the volunteers can photograph quite a bit - and sometimes the zoo will use them!
Larry typically has a verbal contract with researchers, and informs them that yes, he intends to try to sell the images down the road. You just have to respect the ethical line of trust between yourself and the researcher. When Larry lets the researchers review the photos, he asks if there are any photos that they don't want the public to see.
For your first expedition, ask the researcher what they'll be doing so that you can assess what camera and equipment you'll need by how close your quarters will be, what the conditions will be, etc.
When taking bat photos, Larry typically uses the following equipment:
- full-frame camera
- 16-35mm with top flash
- 100mm macro with macro flash attachment
NEVER use your photography in any way that will embarass the researcher. Don't violate their trust. It can ruin the work they are doing. You will quickly land yourself on a blacklist amongst researchers that way.
"I have a purpose out there. I want these people to do good work and I want it to show in my images."
- Larry Richardson
Larry wants to assure new photographers that all the successful photographers in the world who have done wonderful things in photography started out just like you, knocking on doors and asking for opportunities.
"Be ready for anything."
- Larry Richardson
Top tips for photographing resesarch:
"Relationships are key."
- Larry Richardson
Top tips for working with researchers:
Contact Larry Richardson:
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Peggy Farren is an award winning, professional photographer, instructor, writer and speaker.
With over 17 years as a full-time professional photographer, Peggy offers photography training through her training center, “Understand Photography”.
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