As an amateur or professional photographer, you will intern with us for 1-3 months, during which you will visit some of the most remote, fascinating and largely unspoiled parts of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Photography has now become an important component in many of our projects, as a way for us to answer certain biological questions (see below), to better communicate what our field teams are trying so hard to achieve, as well as to illustrate our research, education, community development, and ultimately our biodiversity conservation outcomes for the benefit of policy makers, our donors, and our followers. With help from one of our partner organisations, Untamed Photography, we can provide the necessary professional-led skills training for those people who may be unfamiliar with the photography techniques that work in this awesome if challenging environment. In parallel to providing Fauna Forever with the imagery that it requires, photography interns are free to collect imagery for their own portfolios. Header image: Photography Team leader Mark Fernley.
With help from one of our partner organisations, Untamed Photography, we can provide the necessary professional-led skills training for those interns who may be unfamiliar with the digital photography techniques that we use in this awesome if sometimes challenging environment. Beyond providing Fauna Forever with the imagery that it requires, photography interns are free to take images for their own portfolios. Consider yourself a good candidate if you have a digital SLR camera (no matter how proficient or not you may be at using it), a laptop on which to edit your imagery, a love for wild nature, the resourcefulness to deal with sometimes challenging environmental conditions, a sense of adventure, the funds to cover the basic in-country costs for a period of at least 1 month, and ideally previous travel experience in developing countries. We can provide you with professional accompaniment and guidance every day or as required, free access to our photography equipment pool (tripods, lenses, flashes, white-box, GoPro, etc.), and access to our scheduled boats to travel up and down the rivers to/from our field sites. You can join for periods of 2 weeks (US$1,560), 1 month (US$3,000), 2 months (US$5,100) and 3 months (US$7,460) throughout 2016 and 2017. The in-country costs cover all airport transfers (on arrival and departure), accommodation (shared rooms), food (3 meals pe day), clean drinking water at all times, boat transport, access to our photography equipment pool, and any supervision or photography training required. “I had so much fun & learnt so much about photography. It was organised tightly and packed a lot into two weeks, I was surrounded by friendly and supportive people and even when things went wrong (airline lost my luggage) I felt I was in safe professional hands. Really glad I came and I’ve built a great portfolio with skills I’ll use for all my life.” - Laura Liddell
Photography techniques are now commonly used to study wildlife and ecological processes, particularly as stills images and video allow for more detailed and repeatable examination of wildlife encounters and thus more accurate identification of species themselves and their behaviours. The types of photography-based biological research that interns will be involved with, includes: (A) Predation and herbivory studies – Capturing imagery and video evidence of predation and herbivory events on focal species. In the case of predation, we are interested in understanding which species feed upon certain types of herbivores, such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, termites, ants, and various species of beetle. In terms of herbivory, evidence is required of which insects consume the leaves of seedlings and flowers of multiple plant species, as well as mushrooms, in addition to the rodent species that consume the fallen seeds and fruit of Brazil nut trees, Astrocaryum palms, and Dipteryx trees. The data will be used to improve our understanding of food webs and for identifying keystone predator and herbivore species; (B) Pollination studies – Imagery showing what types of insect and bird pollinators (butterflies, hummingbirds, hawkmoths, beetles) visit certain species of flower are required in order to identify keystone pollinators for these flowering plants. Temporary capture of some insects will be required in order to take high-definition macro images to assist with species identification; (C) Wildlife abundance and home range size – Using camera traps placed in a grid to determine relative abundance, area occupancy rates, and home range size of identifiable individual animals (such as jaguar, ocelot, and margay due to their unique coat patterns). An ability to use GPS equipment will be vital for this task, as camera trap locations will be located well off the marked trail system.
The diversity in form and colour both within and between species in the Amazon rainforest means that correct identification of wildlife to species level can be problematic. Most existing published guides to the species of this region only contain one or two images of a species, and may rely on textual descriptions for other colour morphs. Our ambitious and long-term aim is to document (with HD macro imagery where necessary) the diversity of colour morphs and body shapes for numerous taxa in the Madre de Dios and Cusco regions of the Peruvian Amazon, with an emphasis on amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, moths, dung-beetles, mushroom-eating beetles, grasshoppers, ants, stink bugs, and snails. Close contact with taxonomists will ensure quality identification of live specimens. Photography interns will use their own cameras in combination with project equipment (such as white-boxes, black-boxes, flashes, and tripods), to capture the required imagery, with training and photo-editing assistance provided by the experienced professional photography team leading this initiative. Collecting additional background ecological information on species will be an additional activity, requiring access to published material and communicating with specialists.
Photography interns will have access to the field sites where our research, education, community development, and forest conservation teams are active. These teams frequently require photos and videos to help document their activities and biological discoveries. Having discussed their photography requirements, interns will follow these teams around their project areas, taking representative images and video of their activities. The teams that require the most photographic documentation tend to be those studying birds, frogs, reptiles, insects, plants, and how native communities use their forest resources. 4. Assisting professional nature photographers with training workshops Our partner organization, Untamed Photography, at times requires assistance in the field with bespoke photography expeditions and workshops, people who are willing to help with some of the legwork and logistics involved in undertaking these activities in sometimes remote locations.
2 weeks - US$1,560
3 weeks - US$2,190
These costs are all inclusive, and cover airport transfers, accommodation, meals, local road and river transport to field sites, access to limited photography equipment (ring flashes, tripods, white-box, etc.), and all supervision and training as required.