Encouraging users to upload more than just one photo

A colleague and I were just discussing this. For example, if you have a turtle in hand, photo top, bottom, side, head shot. Many times I’ve seen a single pic of a turtle that might’ve been IDable if only they’d flipped it over. I’m still learning the necessity of multiple angles for plants, including the underside of a leaf.

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comes from a ‘blonde’ cereal box. No idea there WAS a pattern there till I photographed it. See what’s in your recycling box …

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That needs to be added to Life Hacks https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/life-hacks-for-naturalists/4636 - please.

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Copypastaed as requested

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I agree! People new to mushroom identification don’t understand that it’s VITAL to have two shots, one of the underside with stem, and we get pretty used to letting them know. Even after posting many, I appreciate knowing what particular feature differentiates, for example, this one Russula from one much like it. While the more the better is the best number for mushrooms, there still are exceptions when only one is needed (Amanita muscaria, for example), and sometimes a lone blurry shot will still establish that a particular species (that the poster can identify in life) was up at that particular date and place.
I think it’s best to politely and succinctly ask the poster about the specific detail you need for identification–they can either remember or say to themselves “I’ll get a picture of it next time”. If it’s just impossible, blurry, distant, etc, just cross your fingers they get better at photography with practice and move on without comment.

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This is a good topic. There are some iNat users with many observations that seem to take pride in posting only a single photo regardless of the subject. I often skip doing ID’s for such users because of the frustration I feel. I hesitate to suggest to the user that more photos would be helpful.

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When I worked in environmental education, we taught the kids to look but don’t touch with any herps in the wild. Someone with that ethic probably isn’t going to flip the turtle over. Of course, if your comment referred only to turtles in the hand, that is another matter.

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Often you don’t have the opportunity to take more than one photo, let alone good quality ones. Then, if you’re not using the mobile app, there is editing and such.

Personally I think the focus should be on quality, regardless of whether it is one photo or several.

Adding more sub-quality images won’t help things much, but having 1 good quality photo makes an enormous difference.

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It also depends a bit on your definition of quality. Ive seen some very arty photos of flowers that show nothing of the plant (soft focus, blurry background,etc). The photographer might take offence at any suggestion the photo was of poor quality, but shots like that are often useless for identification.

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There are iOS apps that let you do manual focus! I use Yamera but there are other good ones too

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If, the observer wants an ID - then they have to provide enough information. Yesterday was a picture of a piece of coral? Photo taken at home, with the location neatly IN a house. I asked if it was found on a nearby beach? Observer said - of course! For me as an identifier, the location is wrong - could be anything from anywhere - can’t help that ID, sorry.

You do need to bring either a few photos, or the missing info in notes. Sometimes the hike is rushed and they only had a chance for one blurry photo - but the IDs will suffer in turn.

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Nono, my point was when I saw the experts only posting one photo I assumed I was doing it wrong, that I was only meant to post one photo.

Regarding items in homes: you are kind to have inquired rather than utilized that little toggle “location is accurate” on the DQA. (I once had someone toggle against one of a possum in my kitchen, would have loved to agree the possum was not in fact in my kitchen.)

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Why you need to travel with other botanists. :-)

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off-topic but I totally agree. Botanizing alone in the wild, maybe along a mountain crest, is so immersive, so helpful for reflecting.

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Could this issue be partly related to the option available in the app to upload a single photo made “live” rather than choosing a set of good photos from the gallery?

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Selecting a group of unrelated photos (ie, 5 different species) is also a problem among new/uninformed users. So perhaps the app default aims to prevent that.

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Usually I take at least three pictures. For I cant know if all pictures are good enough, I also want to show a bit of the environment, and some detail of the beeing´s body.

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Good point about first photo IDs, and I can’t say I haven’t done that. But I hope all these posts serve as a real repository of the diversity pf plants on this planet in the early 21st century, even if I don’t look at them. so, multi-photo observations from the same population by all those present and interested is the gold standard, as some people like to say.

I did not mean photos made in different periods maybe months bofore, but a set of photos made in the meanwhile. Then one could choose the better ones to upload. To be frank, I think that the option of the photo made live is totally unuseful.

Agree completely with the multiple shots even though some experts post one or two. I have plenty of real experts around me who are mostly good with this and the occasional not so much. I think what goes on with some of them is some thing like “I know I’m an expert and everyone knows I’m an expert so they confirm the ID from my sIngle shot.” I have one species that I can confidently say that I am THE expert and I want everyone to have access to every view possible in every situation, every breeding stage (it’s a plant: Exocarpos bidwillii) that’s available to me.

I for me it’s a matter of personal pride, professional attitude and contribution to this amazing community. I occasionally comment on a beginner’s single photo and suggest multiple pics would be better in future observations. Not that I’m perfect yet… :smiley:

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