Science and Photography

It’s been a long a ago since I first thought in a way to work my background, in biology sciences and my work as a photographer.

Brain at work!

Living in Brazil leaves you very short options, since full time wildlife photography is more an exception than a possibility for a young professional. Using photography as a tool is very common and there would be no chance of me finding the holly Graal with a picture…

Some decapod at Petar State Park, Brazil

Than I turned my attention to what researchers were doing in means of photography. Are they any good? It’s it just for a documentary purpose? What’s is going on?

My last time with a researcher I could understand some of the needs and frustrations. The task of shooting his collection was  ” so huge” that he could even imagine it happening…

Fishes are my main interest  in biology so, I was clear about what would be my focus. As a fan of scientific papers, I could understand where the pictures published could be improved.

Working in one of the first essays: “life” fish stack photography.

 That’s where ”  Updated on live specimens photography, using digital technology ” was born =D

 It was my first time working in a scientific work, and my goal was to set a standard for shooting live fish, with digital technology (there were some publications from the 90’s, mainly dealing with film photography - very useless for today’s conditions).

Took me sometime to really start working. And for sure this guy was an 

inspiration:  Levon Biss.


and more diagrams..

This was when I started: look the lack of focus, due the deept of field.

problem solved =D

After 4 months, the manuscript was ready, thanks by the help of some friends and collegues.

The whole thing was submited to a Zoology Journal and hope they take the bait!  =)

Here follows de abstract and the refferences:

Abstract: An updated in the fish tank photography is presented, with improved techniques, based on previous articles. A flexible system for photographing without shadows is suggested, in field and under controlled lighting situations.

A method for photographic improvement in live fish sharpness is suggested and the results discussed.


Davenport, C.J & Roop, K.L.  (2000). Teaching fish Identification with a Simple Teaching  -Photographic Tank. The American Biology Teacher, Volume 32: 202-203.

Emery, A.R. & R. Winterbotton, 1980. - A technique for

fish specimen photography in the field. Can. J. Zool., 58: 2158-2162.

Herler, J; Lipej, L. & Makovec, T. (2007). A simple technique for digital imaging of live and preserved small fish specimens., 31(1) : 39-44.

Holme,E. 1988. - Improved technique for fish specimen photography

in the field. Can. J. Zool., 67: 2330-2332.

Jenkins, R. L; Howe, W.M; Wood, L. F. (2003). Teaching field Biology with Photography. The american Biology teacher. 65: 450-454.

NOUE, L. A. Kiosh, A.i; SANTOS, N.C; MORAES, G.(2003). Clove oil as anaesthetic for juveniles of matrinxã  Brycon cephalu (Gunther, 1869). Cienc. Rural vol.33 no.5 Santa Maria Sept./Oct. 2003

Wilson EO. 1992. The Diversity of Life. Cambridge (MA), Harvard University Press.

Rinne J.N. & M.D. Jakle, 1981. - The photarium: A device for taking natural photographs of live fish. P rog. Fish-Cult., 43: 201-204.

Freshwater shrimps in the Atlantic Forest.

Shooting day!

Macrobrachium sp.

 After a few weeks without having a proper bath in the housing, I decided to give it a go in the old Jaguareguava river, close to Bertioga, in São Vicente area, São Paulo.

Jaguareguava river.

 The last time I’ve been there was in October (check the post here!), and the water was in easy 27C’s.

Like flying! Shrimps usually ” walk” backwards in long swims. In short ones, they go front way!

 This time that was not the case, reaching 15C ,in some places. That’s not the recommended for a 3mm suit. Anyway, I was decided to try a new ” base layer”.. so, was ready for a few shakes.

The weather was also good, for macro shootings: lots of clounds and zero chance of meeting anyone up on the river.

Geophagus sp. are also very easily spoted. Locally they are know as ” Cará”.

The subject of the day were the shrimps, a generic term for some decapod crustaceans. Mostly known for their salty friends, they also exists in freshwater. There are many species native from Brazil, and they only live in places with hight quality water; so they might not be in danger, but they enviroinment is, for sure. 

This one is from the prewiew visit. A look from outside.

This tiny creatures are very overlooked and most people don’t even imagine that they exist! The small ones are translucent and usually have lots of colorfull details. The bigger are usually darker and with intricate paterns.

Alien landscape.

Funny guys!

This one was shoot in Lídice, a  higher altitude river. It’s the same specie, but a little bigger!

A camaleon from the atlantic forest, Brazil.

Enyalius catenatus, is a camaleon from the atlantic forest, Brazil.
The males can change their colors from intene leaf green to almost dark brown.
Their are considered a sensible specie and depends of the conservation of the remais fragments of the atlantic forest.
This was was shoot at RPPM Serra Bonita, as part of an article for National Geographic Brazil.

Want to visit Serra Bonita?

#wildlife #lizzard #camaleon #nature #atlanticforest#brazil #tourism

Chapada dos veadeiros!

Savannahs is by far the most un expected biome in Brazil. The place that everything can happen: you start a hick in the middle of a open field..

Try to convince your partner that you are actually going to find water…

In the Savannahs, 75% of the life lives IN the ground, to avoid the heat. The plant’s are really different and adapted to the conditions.

Barbarinha waterfall, in the Kalunga people land.

Fish frenezy in more isolated areas =)

and TOO many fish…

You need to be ready to dive in pools, and rapids, since the fish stay most of the time IN the rapids

Mangroove like the desert. Mind blowing..

More to follow ;)

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