Who should sign off on 'as good as it gets'?

I would encourage anyone who is frustrated, ticked off, irritated etc… with the act of identifying… to please take a break. I take LOTS of photos of asters. Most are out of focus because I have poor vision and can’t tell in the field if the photo is in focus or not. I bring each batch home and take a stab at identifying them and then realize I haven’t gotten the details I need to go to species. Then, the next time I’m in the field, I think… let me try that again. When I’m walking late in the fall, or in the snow, or early in the spring, I am fascinated with the seeds and seed heads I see. I think the graphical structure is lovely. (never the ‘worst of all’). I don’t know what types of seeds these are so I take a photo and iNat says ‘some kind of aster’.

The thing is, I’m happy. I’m happy to have some kind of optimism that some day I’ll get a id on more than 1 or 2 types of asters. I’m happy that on a snowy day in the middle of a way too long winter, I found something in nature to catch my attention. I don’t actually think anyone else can identify most of those photos but I’m content with genus, tribe or family. I don’t learn if I stop after I fail.

Everyone in the world was invited to use iNaturalist. Everyone will use it for different reasons. Everyone will go through levels of understanding the site and understanding nature. Everyone will have different expectations of what’s a good enough photo or what is fine enough id. That has to be understood and accepted. If that can’t be accommodated without getting angry or frustrated or ticked off, perhaps a break is needed or just a reconfiguring of expectations. No one is being compelled to do anything on this site.


I’d recommend to use your second hand in shots more, it’s making focusing ten times easier, some don’t like hands in the frame (and honestly you can focus first and then get your hand away), but it not only helps with focus, but bright background helps saturating small details needed for id like small hairs, plus imo it adds personal connection to this particular plant and later over years seeing your own hand in the frame helps realising it was a real event.) And sure, photograph everything you want, tons of winter plants are perfectly idable, even if it’s a bare stalk, so do it!


I’ve just started using it more liberally with turtles.

I’m not great at turtles, but there’s so many blurry shots of a kind of sort of visible shell underwater with the barest part of a nose peeking out that yeah, not ID’ing. And it takes upa lot of time for people working on a backlog to keep running into them. Ditto a lot of partial snake sheds; it’s just not possible really ID a snake from a few inches of the ventral shed skin

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If you mean for photos which aren’t very identifiable or could be blurry, a strategy I use is marking them reviewed from the Identify page without enlarging them, IDing, or marking DQA. This strategy is very time effective, although assumes that those photos may become casual grade anyway as the result of those who do ID it, and that casual obs. are less of a priority to ID overall.

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mark as reviewed and move on


yeah please just mark as reviewed and move on unless you are absolutely certain they can’t be identified to the level the other person did. iNat just isn’t a place to harass others for taking non diagnostic photos.

As for who should sign off on ‘as good as it gets’ I think only James L Brooks can do that.