Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate taxa on the planet. The latest figures from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species show that there are nearly as many threatened species of amphibians as birds and mammals combined, and that the proportion of threatened species is potentially greater than 40%. The data are clear, but many people are unaware of the problems faced by amphibians today. While many ‘charismatic mega fauna’ are chosen to serve as ambassadors for the message of conservation, we believe it is appropriate and necessary to tell the story of all species in need of protection – even the sessile, and the creepy, and the brown ones. This is important, not only because fluffiness does not equate to conservation value, but because we acknowledge the adage that humans will not protect what they do not love and cannot love what they do not know. If we only tell the story of the popular species, those which are less photogenic or hidden in the swamps and caves of the world are likely to be forgotten. In the race to halt species extinctions, we must understand and appreciate all species.
Fortunately, amphibians can be as charismatic as any large mammal. They live in nearly every corner of the planet and are fascinatingly adapted to their surroundings. We are compelled to share our passion and tell the stories of forgotten species by capturing the unique beauty and character of amphibians.
Designed for researchers and conservationists working with amphibians, the “Photographing Frogs and Other Amphibians” ebook by Robin Hoskyns, aims to provide an overview of techniques that can be used to create engaging images and demonstrate how these images can be utilized to tell the stories of amphibians and amphibian conservation.
“When most people think of charismatic animals, frogs are not usually the first ones that come to mind. This lack of general appeal can often have negative results when decisions are being made about their conservation. Robin’s ebook is a fantastic “How to get the best photograph!” guide which will enable people who encounter frogs to portray them in an engaging and professional way. Not only is this book incredibly useful for people wanting to get better shots of frogs, but also for people who are interested in photographing wildlife. Frogs are very good subjects for nature and macro photography and this ebook will ensure that people can portray frogs in their true form – as wonderfully endearing, charismatic animals who deserve our full attention to ensure they do not disappear in the near future.” Phil Bishop, Co-Chair, IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and Chief Scientist, Amphibian Survival Alliance
The ebook does not delve too deep into the technicalities of each approach, but will hopefully stimulate further learning for those that wish to take their photography and communication skills to the next level.
Some of the topics covered include: visual storytelling, basic settings, post processing, flash techniques, biosecurity, dealing with the elements, and so much more.
“This ebook is a great resource for all who wish to start or upgrade their storytelling about the world of amphibians. Let’s keep these weird and wonderful animals alive in our imaginations and in our lives. Happy snapping!” Jennifer Luedtke Global Coordinator – Amphibian Red List Authority IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Although the title and text make greater reference to frogs, most techniques can be applied interchangeably between frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians. Any bias towards frogs is purely due to the availability of frog images and approachability of the word ‘frog’.
“The Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG) and the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) are proud to launch the “Photographing Frogs and Other Amphibians” ebook. Exquisitely illustrated and with practical advice on amphibian and habitat photography offered in an accessible and easy to understand format, Photographing Frogs is a guide that is bound to become a go-to source for using compelling photography for amphibian conservation. We encourage everyone to download this freely accessible resource to help inform and build their amphibian photography and visual story-telling skills.” Ariadne Angulo, Co-Chair, IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and Interim Executive Director, Amphibian Survival Alliance
About the Author
Robin Hoskyns is a science communicator and photographer from the UK, who has a passion for amphibians and a love of tropical rainforests. He has a background in conservation and behavioural ecology and has worked on research and conservation projects in a background in conservation and behavioural ecology and has worked on research and conservation projects in South Africa, Central America and Madagascar. See more of Robin’s work at http://www.robinhoskyns.co.uk/