Recycling natural beauty: what ELSE do you do with your observation photos?

Like many of you (at least in the northern regions), I’m spending a fair bit of time going through the photo collection and tidying things up. Also, like most of you, I have shyly shared quite a few of my better shots with friends and fam for their enjoyment.

But that leads me to wonder what other ways do we ‘recylce’ the natural beauty we try to capture with our hobby?

I have a ‘decent’ deskjet that I print a lot of 4x6 photo postcards on. I’m starting to use the iNat pics for these and have been getting some lovely (blush) feedback. And it doesn’t have to be traditionally cute or beautiful–some of the young kids we know just love the oddballs of the macro world as much as I do. (And that cheers me up!)

So what about you? Have you found any interesting ways to re-use your nature photography?

Birdcall recordings perhaps as contact ringtones?

A t-shirt or a calendar?

Personalized screensavers

I’d love to hear from you about stuff like this.



I don’t do anything with them other than occasionally posting in two of social websites. But I know some people love printing their photos, even not their best, and hang them on the walls, especially if you work somewhere were you can do it, it’s an opportunity, you can even have own expositions. If you have a decent following you can have your own merch.




Well, it isn’t an observation picture, and it isn’t a screensaver, but my desktop background is this one I took of Bora Bora:


I’m kinda lame, I post them on my instagram page.

Other than that, I keep them in a photos folder.

maybe I will try decorate my room with some small prints! or give some as gifts to friends and family.


I found out about mastodon on this forum a few weeks ago and have been posting my favorite observation of the day there ever since, don’t even really know why, I think mostly so I myself can look at all the things I’ve seen :grinning:


I print my best shots in mass an donate them to wildlife centres so they can sell them and use the funds to help with rehab. Win/Win for me and them.


That’s great!

And coming from a career as a print designer, I’ve pondered about organizing something like this myself.

Ideally, I’d like to work out a way to use the collective beauty of our collective photo archives into supporting existing outdoor and nature education efforts as well as possible fundraising.

I think rather than focus on the obvious best known ‘Disney’ level species, wouldn’t it be great (and hopefully, inspiring) for people (especially children) to see great shots of species that are actually spotted in the locales they are visiting?


@broacher , thank you, I only print picture of local flora/wildlife/insect growing/roaming on my land, as weird as that seem, the grey ratsnake the various frogs and colourful insect are quite a hit with the kids. I have a printer that allow me to print various size from postcard up to poster size and when I get a bit of extra money, I will frame some of them, people donate more money for those one.

As a print designer, the sky is the limit for you, I betcha you can come up with great ideas that would be love and share by the populace while educating them at the same time. I wish government teach people about our beautiful flora/wildlife by putting ads on TV as often as you see ads about McDonald Berkguer


@broacher, don’t you have pure white fluffy leucistic squirrels (not the albinos) in your area, that would be quite a hit since they are concentrated in a small area of Ontario, add a funny meme to it, print on cloth and voila…….I take 2


White can’t be melanistic though.

I have a blog - and post each month - our wildflowers and biodiversity - from those hikes.

I do like words and context with my ‘pretty pictures’ To remember the good, and iffy, bits. (And to reach a wider audience) For me it pairs nicely with iNat’s Life List and Calendar features etc.

Note to self - Aptosimum - those Karoo violets. Have blog photos, can make a from the archives iNat obs for my LL.


I’m with the calendar people, and I’m posting “what’s in bloom” wildflower updates on social media. I even infected my mom with that bug and now she makes calendars full of plants and animals that can be found each month and she’s not even on iNaturalist! She certainly has plenty of suitable material but I haven’t been able to get her to try it yet. I’m also using pictures for class materials and have contributed to publications from gardening guides to academic textbooks. I’m hoping to one day have the time to make a coffee table book with my best nature photography and some stories to go along with them. Maybe when I retire…


I always have some ideas for my pictures, like using them to create new wikipedia articles like this one or this one

I have a flickr account as well as an instragam account and I also tried starting a blog a while back

… but honestly, at some point I am always getting to lazy to keep up with it :-)


I put the better ones on Flickr because you can post them at full size, and I had one public photo exhibit of my work at the nature center where I was formerly employed. I’ve pretty much stopped using Instagram for a host of reasons. Otherwise I just keep them on my computer and go through them for nostalgia’s sake. Which makes me wonder why I’m obsessed with camera gear.


Instagram, and a Facebook page, Grant County Flora, as I really want folks to see and appreciate our local flora.

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Instagram is definitely lame. My mom and sister convinced me to start using it last year.

You do a great job representing NM, Andrew!


Some years before I discovered iNat, when I was taking nature pictures just for my own enjoyment, I decided to submit one to a photo competition: a Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) in full puffy-throated song. The competition was juried, and my submission didn’t make the cut, but the photo is now framed on my wall. Only now do I think I see why it didn’t make it: the focus was slightly too short, so the toad is slightly blurred, with the plants a few inches in the foreground in better focus.

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I put my best shots in my portfolio and on my Instagram. iNaturalist is my main use for them though.


I meant lame more in the sense that based on the topic instagram is probably not a very creative one. Overall the macro photography and wildlife community over there is in general supportive and non toxic. I have certainly been inspired by many of the posts there, but it’s sad that it’s now slowly evolving into a platform where photographs aren’t as popular as those reels.

I have been considering to use Flickr too. Would you say it is also another way to backup your photos?

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