21/12/2011
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Photos needed for BTO atlas

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Now that fieldwork for the BTO Bird Atlas is over, we're at the very exciting stage of pulling together all the results, writing species accounts and planning the book that will follow. The book will be called Atlas of Breeding and Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland 2007–11 and it will be one of the most important books for the conservation of birds in Britain and Ireland published this decade.

We need your photographs!

We are looking for high-quality colour photographs of birds for inclusion in the book. We need photographs of all species that have occurred in Britain and Ireland during the last four years. The book will include species accounts for c.300 species: the regular winter and breeding species plus a few scarcer species. So that means everything from Marsh Harrier, Goldcrest and Robin to Little Bittern, Black Swan and Helmeted Guineafowl! We hope to produce an online supplement to the book in due course and for that we will require photos of an additional 200 species.

Helmeted Guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl, undisclosed site, Norfolk (Photo: Keith Chapman)

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Photo formats

Photo for species account

Each species page will feature a photograph of the bird itself. This is a fixed format — landscape/square (9×7.5 cm), but with plenty of opportunities to crop (from a landscape or portrait format original). We are looking for a range of photos including typical portraits and birds in flight. We're keen to show birds within their habitat as much as possible, so the bird does not have to be full frame in the photo. We are particularly interested in receiving photos of birds 'doing things'. Many of the species in the book will be present in Britain and Ireland in both the winter and the breeding season so the photograph can be from either season.

Coot
Coot, Regent's Park, Greater London (Photo: Ben Andrew)

Example of landscape photo

Some species pages will include extra images in landscape formats (see below) and these come in two sizes: a classic landscape, roughly 16×12 cm, and a more extreme landscape, filling the full page width of 20×11 cm. These photos, rather than showing close up studies of the bird, should ideally show the bird in its habitat (winter or breeding). These can be photos of a flock of birds in winter, birds in flight, and so on. We're keen these photos should show something of the local landscape and may even have a local landmark in the background! We do not require the photos to be cropped to the above sizes. In fact, we would rather they were not cropped to give us editing flexibility. The sizes are given to guide you in your selection process.

Images should ideally be supplied as RAW, JPEG or TIFF and need to be high resolution (at least 300 ppi). This normally means the original images from a DSLR camera set to highest quality (file size normally between 2 and 15 MB).

Submitting your photographs

There are three ways you can send your photos:

  • flickr — send to http://www.flickr.com/groups/1801532@N20/ (you will need to set up an account if you don't already have one). We can only view your submissions but if we think your photo(s) are suitable we will contact you via flickr email to ask for the originals.
  • e-mail — via http://www.sizablesend.com/. You can send single or batch files to us at atlasphotos@bto.org.
  • CD/DVD disc — send by post to: Jeff Baker, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU

All photos used will of course be fully credited on the page the photo is used.

Species requiring landscape photos

The following species require landscape photos:

Bewick's Swan
Barnacle Goose
Pintail
Scaup
Long-tailed Duck
Smew
Golden Pheasant
Lady Amherst's Pheasant
Great Northern Diver
Little Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Black-necked Grebe
Osprey
Hobby
Crane
Stone Curlew
Little Ringed Plover
Dotterel
Grey Plover
Bar-tailed Godwit
Green Sandpiper
Turnstone
Common Tern
Arctic Tern
Cuckoo
Long-eared Owl
Snowy Owl
Swift
Shorelark
Sand Martin
Wood Warbler
Willow Tit
Garden Warbler
Whitethroat
Grasshopper Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Ring Ouzel
Spotted Flycatcher
Nightjar
Pied Flycatcher
Redstart
Whinchat
Tree Pipit
Lapland Bunting
Written by: BTO