Assignment

Biodiversity

This assignment ran from Mar 1 to Mar 21, 2014.

How much life can you find around you?

An environment's biodiversity is determined by the number of different species of plants and animals that inhabit it. The sample size can be as large as a forest or as small as your backyard. It can even be just a handful of earth. You can focus on a single group of creatures, a defined window of observation, or only animals of a certain size. Maybe it’s as simple as plants that live along a single transect. Show us what biodiversity looks like to you, and from these photos, we’ll find out what it means to you too. More...

Curated by:

David Liittschwager
National Geographic Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

  • Closed

  • Published

Published Mar 28, 2014.
Thank you for your contributions!

Meet the Editors

Posted mar 14, 2014

The Your Shot team is coming to San Francisco for National Geographic’s BioBlitz, a 24-hour species count held March 28-29 in which scientists, explorers, photographers and community members will come together to identify plant, animal, insect, fungi and other organisms living in Golden Gate National Parks.

We want to invite the Your Shot community to join us for some special photography events during and after the BioBlitz. There are a few ways you can participate:

  1. Join a scientist-led inventory team to help identify species in Golden Gate National Parks. 
  2. Meet the Your Shot team for an Ask the Editors discussion at the BioBlitz festival on Saturday, March 29 at 11am, or attend a panel with National Geographic explorers and photographers. 
  3. Stick around after BioBlitz to join us for an exclusive Your Shot member meet-up Sunday, March 30. Photographers David Liittschwager, Anand Varma, and Richard Koci Hernandez will lead us on a photo walk through the Presidio.  An email will be sent to community members in California with more details on how to sign up for the photo walk.

If you can’t join us in person in San Francisco, submit to this assignment and your photos may be displayed at the event. We'll publish the biodiversity story at the festival and project the editor's favorites. And don't worry, we hope to do more of these events in the future—the Your Shot team may be coming to a city near you!

Citizen Scientist

Posted feb 28, 2014

I've spent weeks photographing just one cubic foot, and other times spent just a few hours documenting organisms from a much larger community. Use different tools to see your subjects, from SLR cameras to microscopes. It can be interesting to explore what happens to the types and numbers of creatures you see when you change the scale. Biological diversity is so broad that it can be useful to narrow your vision. Above all, challenge yourself.

I’ll leave you with a short excerpt from my One Cubic Foot story that I hope will inspire you.

“A small world awaits exploration. As the floras and faunas of the surface are examined more closely, the interlocking mechanisms of life are emerging in ever greater and more surprising detail. In time we will come fully to appreciate the magnificent little ecosystems that have fallen under our stewardship.” 

—Edward O. Wilson

David Liittschwager

David Liittschwager

National Geographic Photographer
David Liittschwager is a freelance photographer who, after working with Richard Avedon in New York in the '80s, left advertising to focus on portraiture and natural history. Now a regular contributor to National Geographic, Liittschwager has produced a number of books. Among his many honors is a World Press Photo Award in 2008 for his article “Marine Microfauna” in National Geographic.
322 comments
Joan Rankin Hayes
Joan Rankin Hayes

The photos in the final story are superb, and David did a wonderful job of commenting on them.  Congratulations to the photographers and to you, David, for compiling such a beautiful array of images showing the detailed, interesting, colorful biodiversity of our planet!!  Great story!!! 

Adrian Poe
Adrian Poe

Agreed, the link doesn't work to see the published story. :( 

Cheryl Burnham
Cheryl Burnham

Hi David, Thank you very much for your comments re my ogre spider. It really is an amazing spider in that it also makes a " net " the size of a postage stamp to trap it's prey in . It is also known as a net casting spider. I didn't have enough room to write all about it . I really appreciate your time and Editors note ,   thank you again, Cheryl Burnham

Bruno Manduca
Bruno Manduca

This has been the most scientific assignment so far. The interpretation of the theme was entirely left to the YS members and I can see how challenging it could be for the curator to filter through his own sensibility the photographic interpretation of his words by a legion of 5000 photographers. In the hours that separate us from the final verdict, I’m sure that more than one cup of coffee will be poured, given the enormous amount of images scrolling through the curator’s computer screen. But I can sense that a lip-biting decision-making process is ongoing and just because David is like anyone of us, he knows that rewarding one’s talent will let someone else’s down.

I, therefore, humbly propose that David may consider adding his own favorites after the story is published and separately from it, in a fashion similar to what an honorable mention does in a traditional photographic contest. The winners will still remain winners, but the curator will reconcile some tormented decisions with the unfulfilled hope of many that were close to the ripe fruit, but not enough to taste it.

No matter what David will decide, it was fun and it was a challenge for us as well. 

And, after all,  that’s what it is all about.

Paul Martens
Paul Martens

15K plus submissions... a very fine collection for this assignment !   I wish everyone good luck with his or her submission :-)

Christopher T.
Christopher T.

Hi,David and everyone who is assisting David for Curating Pictures to be published with story,i too wish that take a Look on my Work i have submitted,a close-up of Spider,A beetle on a Dried,palm Leaf,and most Fascinating,is the Third Picture of a Caterpillar on a Green leaf,it took Hours to Photograph that stuff as she was not Ready to show her Mouth,after long Hours of waiting i was able to capture those Moments.Best of Luck and Have a Nice Time.

Julia D'Costa
Julia D'Costa

Hi Mr. Liitschwager, though I've uploaded three submissions, the system seems unable to associate them with the Biodiversity assignment. Please curate them if possible, as the assignment was advertised to remain open today. I have added the hashtag #biodiversity for your convenience. The photos in this collection are beautiful and I hope to be a part of it. Thanks and keep up the great work!

Paresh Reddy
Paresh Reddy

 The submissions are amazing has inspired me more active and improve..i am happy to be here in between one of u... thank you and friends all the best to everyone

Ravi Hegde
Ravi Hegde

Dear David Liittschwager,


Here is my final submission for the assignment, Biodiversity.


Bubbling on Beach: These are the tiny sand balls created by Sand Bubbler Crabs on sandy sea shore. While feeding, the sand bubbler crabs sieve micro-nutrients between each grain of sand and then repack unwanted particles in the form of tiny balls which measure approximately 2-3 mm. During the low tide time, these tiny sand balls which dispersed around wet sandy bed adorn the beaches with beautiful intricate patterns. The sand ball's patterns created by sand bubblers are unique in nature.


http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/712845/


Regards,

Ravi Hegde

Basic science researcher from India

Sneha John
Sneha John

this is such an excellent way to encourage and support talent. 

i feel so good, after posting my pictures. THANKS NAT GEO.

Beate K.
Beate K.

I enjoy all the great pictures here so much! I am new to the community and added pictures to an assignment for the first time. If somebody likes ice and snow, check out my pictures, always love to read commentaries :) good luck to everybody!

Mario Villalobos
Mario Villalobos

 There are a few bugs affecting the site. I wish they had a forum section to report these issues. Most of the time My Member Center does not work, so email notifications, public profile etc. is inaccessible. 

Lorraine Lamont
Lorraine Lamont

Hi,

Fairly new to this, and greatly enjoying all the photos, as well as sharing my own. I was somewhat saddened to realize that instead of 15, we could only post 3 photos for the Biodiversity assignment -- I would have been sure to post more of my 'boat mallards.' They are in my portfolio, but not all in the assignment. Next time!! :-)

Luis Long
Luis Long

I uploaded a photo of a frog and a bug, Let me know what you guys think ! I'd love some feed back please (:

Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

i put up a pic of a butterfly and a lizard as well as a scenic shot in san francisco of people walking. Let me know what you guys think! id love some feedback :)

Harshil Darji
Harshil Darji

I have uploaded pic of a puppy captured nearer to my college canteen using my mobile...

Gaganpreet Singh
Gaganpreet Singh

I spotted a pair of sunbirds ( biological name Cinnyris asiaticus) building their nest on a tree in our backyard.I have been observing them for the last couple weeks and waiting for the eggs to hatch. A few days ago the egss hatched and the parents are now busy feeding their young tirelessly throughout the day.

Hopefully i can take some more pics before the assignment ends. Here is the picture.

http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/3247370/ 

Janet Dunaway
Janet Dunaway

I had some technical difficulties either Monday or Tuesday night. I thought I posted this photo and story, but it does not show up on in my gallery of photos.    I shot a picture of some tulips that were given to my brother and his new bride.  A good friend gave them the flowers and they were so beautiful.  They live in a Swedish -style home in San Clemente, Cal. and the light was pouring in the window onto the vase of flowers.  It just took my breath away because of the light, the colors of the flowers, and the background was blurred so perfectly.  I am sad now because I thought it was posted and it's not and, of course, I've met my 15 picture limit.  It would be great if it miraculously appears one of these days.  But if not, I will post it again on another assignment.  And by the way, this is the greatest photo sharing site I have ever seen.  You all post some remarkable photos.  I just hope one day I can be as great as most of you.  YOU ALL INSPIRE ME!!!      Thank you.     :-)

Ronald Zimmerman
Ronald Zimmerman

I picked one of the nicest areas of the Netherlands :) Compared to other countries very small, but rich in biodiversity. :)

Danilo Milhomem
Danilo Milhomem

Interesting topic, it's always so broad, it's hard to pic a photo when you can only post 3. Haha I've submitted 2 already, I'm trying to come-up with more ideas for my third. There are so many amazing shots, good luck to everyone. :D

Katherine Kastan
Katherine Kastan

This is the 2nd assignment I've uploaded to.  I find it's getting me to want to do more photography.  I'm noticing I may have a bit of talent in how I photograph.  I'm seeing so many amazing photos.  What a great community! 

Juan Zulayka
Juan Zulayka

Thanks for this opportunity I am in the north of Mexico every body see problem with my lovely Country but I can tell you that we have one of the most beautiful  places in earth.. come and see my photos.. good lock to all my new friends...  

Kiran Nagendra
Kiran Nagendra

Does anyone knows on how to change the photo. I have posted the photo with watermark by mistake. I wanted to post the same photo without watermark. Any advice on this will be of great help

Arun Chandran
Arun Chandran

This is my first time. Hope u all like my uploads. Love to hear from u all. Thank you!

Dones Rinaldi
Dones Rinaldi

As one who studied of ecology, initially I was very interested in studying large animals ... but after I did experiment with homemade macro lens, I get the excitement to reveal the details of the little creaturers in my yard. Almost 97% of the 312 photos that I've taken my share on the blog in an area of ​​approximately 80 sq. m. I can not imagine, how many lives were lost for nothing when thousands of hectares of forest damaged or burned ...

Dyanne Kessler
Dyanne Kessler

Hey, All. First-timer here. :)
Hoping  to study photography at college in the fall, but I'm so new...like newbie-new with an iPhone new...so I'
d love some feedback/critique. 

Here's my biodiversity submission:  
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/3239228/

Looking forward to future assignments and interaction! :)

John Beatty
John Beatty

I think I have submitted 1 image to Biodiversity Assignment. When I try to submit another, sometimes I am told I have submitted 2 and sometimes I get the message that I have submitted 15 of 5. Highly illogical.

Fernando Caceres
Fernando Caceres

hi, first time here, so i am nervous about the assignment.  take a look at my pictures and give some feed back please. thank you.

Michele Sutton
Michele Sutton

@Mario Villalobos Mario.....if you use the "feedback" window in any of the sections, they will get the message.  I hope you can resolve your issues soon.  They have been wonderful in fixing mine!

Grace G.
Grace G.

@Katherine Kastan  This is my 2nd assignment too! I agree; the topics that they pic are really open to interpretation. Your Shot is an awesome place.

K_ S.
K_ S.

@John Beatty I had the same problems with the old assignments... I gave some feedback to the tech-team and after a while it got better. Maybe you should tell them about your problem now, because it is quite similar to the problems I had a few weeks ago...

John Beatty
John Beatty

@Kai Schenke @John Beatty  I did send a comment thru the tab over there on the right side of this page... up a little bit.. there it is. Feedback. Tried that tab before on other issues and did not get response. 

Linda B.
Linda B.

@Kai Schenke @John Beatty  I am having technical difficulties as well.  All of my photos have disappeared since they did maintenance on the site on Saturday.  I had about 98 and all are gone.  Anyone else have a problem like this?