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Plant Kingdom

This assignment ran from Mar 5 to Mar 26, 2019.

Of all the natural history documentaries that I have ever seen, my favorite to date is “The Private life of Plants” by the BBC. I was always intrigued by plants, but this documentary made me understand how charismatic plants can be. The fact that they can produce their own food (photosynthesis), communicate with each other, cooperate, and literally go to war! was fascinating to learn. Due to my interest, I took on a photo documentary project last year about giant fig trees in northeastern India, and this was the time I came to realize how challenging—as well as satisfying—it is to photograph plants.

We are still learning so many fascinating things about plants, so I thought of engaging with you with the subject for this assignment: I want all of you to explore the fascinating and enormous world of plants. From the most bizarre to the most beautiful, from small plants all the way to trees, flowers to seeds, roots to mosses, and giant sequoia to cacti. Show images of traces of their beginning through to their vital place in nature and human lives. Share pictures that will make us admire and feel the awe of the plant world. Take pictures of indoor plants, your gardens, laboratories, greenhouses, all the way out to the wilderness. Create images of plants as individual entities as well as human resources, as companions, and explore positive and negative associations that will spark our curiosity about them.

Now, the beauty of plant photography lies in the fact that plants are found almost in any landscape or garden, which means you have plenty of subject material with which to create unique and creative images. So pick up your camera, identify unique patterns and diverse colors in plants, and start making stunning images using natural or artificial light. At the end of this assignment, I will be picking 20 to 30 images based entirely on the aesthetics of the photograph. Having said that, it will be great to hear your stories associated with the pictures.

I am looking forward to exploring our planet’s green heritage—through your photographs!

Assignment deadline is March 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm, EST.

Curated by:

Prasenjeet Yadav
Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
Assignment Status
  • Open

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  • Closed

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  • Published

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Published Apr 11, 2019.
Thank you for your contributions!

Discussion Board Q&A

Posted mar 22, 2019


At 12pm EST, guest editor Prasenjeet Yadav will be on the assignment discussion board answering any questions you might have about photography, the assignment or his curation process. 

Editor's Update #1

Posted mar 19, 2019

Dear all,

Hope you are enjoying this assignment and exploring the world of plants.The entries are pouring in and I have gone through a lot of them already. In this pool of images, I have come across a lot of wonderful portraits, landscapes etc. of plants and I would say that’s a great start. This is exactly how I approach my assignments, I begin with shooting portraits and then try to shoot unique angles. Once I have done that, I start adding layers to the image by exploring what all is associated with the person, wildlife, or floral and can add value as well as beauty to it. This is what I would like to see in the remaining half of the assignment.

If we think about it, plants are such an integral part of human life, they comprise most of our food directly or indirectly. Their relationship with other life forms like insects, birds, animals etc can also help you make interesting images. So in the next few days, I would love to see more images that highlight these aspects of plants and add more layers to your images.

Thank you for sharing your images and perspectives towards plants, I am looking forward to seeing more images. As always, you can send me a directed question in the discussion section and I am happy to answer your queries. When needing help selecting images for the assignment continue to ask your fellow community members for their opinions. 

Good luck!

Prasenjeet Yadav

Prasenjeet Yadav

Photographer & National Geographic Explorer
Prasenjeet Yadav is a molecular ecologist turned photographer and a National Geographic Explorer. Early in his scientific career, he realized that his real passion lay in storytelling. He now combines his research experience with his photography skills to tell stories about science, exploration, and conservation. Under his explorer's project, he produced a story on the evolution of species in the Shola Skyislands of the Western Ghats. He is represented by National Geographic Creative and is currently working on a film about the Skyislands of India.