Stephen Sharnoff Photography

This website provides access to over 9,000 photographs, of which about 7,000 are images of lichens. Except for lichens and wild plants, most photos are presented two ways: in a thumbnail size on index pages and in a larger size with one photo per page. With Lichens and Wild Plants, there are index pages of scientific names that link to the pages with photos, but no thumbnails. There are six major divisions within the site:

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Lichens

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Wild Plants

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Humans and
Nature

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Places

Within each division are a number of sections and each section contains one or more index pages, most with thumbnail photos. The large LIchens and Wild Plants sections don't have thumbnails, but instead have lists of species names with clickable links.

You can also use the search engine below by entering a word or combination of words.

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A Field Guide to California Lichens, which illustrates and describes approximately 500 species, is available from Yale University Press, or from your local bookstore.

For a description of the book, go to http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300195002
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For a gallery of recent photos click here.

The informational website about lichens, www.lichen.com is no longer functional, but its contents have been moved here. Please go to Lichen Information.

Work is in progress on a new field guide to the wildflowers and flowering shrubs of the Sierra Nevada. For a short preview (formerly on the website www.sierraplants.com) go to Sierra wildflowers book.

Go to Vanishing (Portraits) to see my 2008 exhibit at the University of California, Berkeley
with text by Suzanne Guerlac.

I have published a book called, Restless Peace; Images from the
Cemeteries of Paris
. It contains about 185 photos and can be
ordered from amazon.com.
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Use of Images

The photos on this website are copyrighted and available for purchase. The images are presented at a low-resolution for viewing on the site, but each one is backed up by a high-resolution version that I would be pleased to send. Scroll down for more information on pricing and quality specifications.

To order an image, or for comments or questions, please contact me at lichen@idiom.com.

Purchasing Images

I charge for photo use on a sliding scale, since every situation is unique. Typical prices range from $500 for a commercial book cover to $20 for use by a teacher in a classroom slideshow. The factors that determine the price include:

-Commercial use or non-profit?
-Size the image will be displayed
-Number of copies to be distributed
-Used in a printed publication or online, or both?
-Amount of work involved for me to provide the image

If images are small enough files, up to about 5 megabytes, and are in the form of jpeg files, I can send them as email attachments. Larger images, up to 2 Gb, can be sent with sprend.com.  If I have to put them on a disk, and use mail or courier, I charge a shipping fee.

I give discounts for quantity. If you are interested in a particular subject and if I have alternate versions of a photo that's on the website, I'd be happy to send low-resolution alternates as email attachments for $10 each. To find out what would apply to your situation, please contact me at lichen@idiom.com.

You can pay with PayPal by clicking on the link below.

Technical information and image quality

All of the photos on the website are displayed at a low resolution for viewing on a monitor, and all of them are available as high-resolution files suitable for printing. I can supply them in any resolution as TIFF files (for Mac or PC), as jpegs at any quality level, or in any format or color space available on Photoshop CS.

The older photos were taken as 35mm slides and scanned on a Nikon ED 4000 or 5000, typically producing a file of about 55 megabytes, or about up to 5400 x 3600 pixels.  Newer photos were taken either on a Nikon D70, a 6-megapixel camera, a Nikon D200 (10-megapixels) a D300 (12 megapixels) or, most recently, a D7100 with 24 megapixels that produces images that are 6000 x 4000 pixels in size. All of the scanned slides are in 8-bit color.  Some of the images which were taken as digital originals are in 16-bit color; please inquire if this is a concern to you.  The photos that originated on a digital camera vary from about 16 to 64 megabytes in size, depending on which camera was used (or double that if they are in 16-bit color.) If requested, I can rescan a slide in 16 bit color.

Most of the images are uncropped, but sometimes I have cropped them a little, or occasionally (especially with images of people) a lot. With the cropped images, the shape may be different than the normal 2:3 ratio, and the resolution will be less. If you want an image to be printed in a large size, please let me know and I can help you decide if it will be adequately sharp to serve your purpose. I can also send a section of an image on a trial basis if you wish.

There are 2 kinds of defects, those in the original image, like unintended blurryness or excessive film grain, (especially in old Kodachromes) and those from external sources like dirt or scratches on a slide, or dust on a digital camera sensor. Sometimes, of course, a blurred image from motion or soft-focus is an artistic choice, not a defect.

Whether a particular defect is visible depends on how big the image is enlarged; a speck of dust that can be seen in a 11" x 14" print may be completely invisible in a quarter-page textbook photo.

Most of the images are quite sharp, and quite clean, but there are some which are either a bit soft, or a bit grainy, and some that have minute residual defects. All of them should be good enough to make a print at least 8 x 12 large, and most of them could be larger.  To be safe, if you want to make a bigger enlargement than that, please ask if the image is suitable.  Or if you are in doubt as to whether a particular image is clean enough or sharp enough for your purpose, I would be happy to send a cropped section of the high-resolution version so you can see if it will work for you.

Almost all of the low-resolution versions on the website have been slightly sharpened in Photoshop; most of the high-resolution versions are unsharpened. And, of course, the high-resolution versions do not have watermarks.

Some of the photos on this website appear in more than one place; for example photos in the Trees section are also in the Wild Plants section.

Acknowledgements and miscellaneous information

Thanks to Bob Gill for help with designing this website, to Steven Stephenson for some slime mold identifications, and to William Ferguson for a number of insect identifications. A number of the earlier images were taken by my late wife, Sylvia Sharnoff, and are acknowledged on the single-photo pages. See the lichens home page for acknowledgements pertaining to lichen photos.

Out of respect for the privacy of people who are pictured on this site, the usage of those images is restricted to purposes that I feel would not be offensive or exploitative. For example, I would not knowingly allow the image of a person to be used in an advertising commercial without their written permission. A few of the photos of people have signed model releases, and I have indicated that on the single-image pages where appropriate, but the same general considerations about usage apply. Please contact me if you have questions about this.

Many of my images of natural organisms are featured on the Visuals Unlimited website, and may be viewed at http://visualsunlimited.photoshelter.com/gallery/Stephen-Sharnoff-Lichen-Fungi-and-Wildflowers/G0000e05tud.uOr0