Picture Post Taking Pictures

Each time you take photographs at a Picture Post, you will want to take 9 photos - 8 of the landscape and 1 of the sky. (If for some reason you don't get all 9 photos, you can still upload as many as you have on the website).
Created by John Pickle, DEW Educator, Arlington, MA

Tips

  • If you are uncertain how to upload pictures, you can use the camera to take ALL of your pictures at the post. Then, follow these instructions to upload them later, or at home!
  • If you have a zoom lens, make sure camera is set to the widest angle lens setting.
  • Consistently align a feature of your camera to a corner or marking on the octagon.
  • To check your camera’s date and time settings, take a picture of a watch.
  • If you are taking pictures from more than one post, include the post information in the picture.
  • For the first photo, place the back of the camera against the octagon so the camera is facing North.
  • Continue taking photos in a clockwise order. You will be able to arrange your photographs in the correct views when you upload them. If you are using a mobile device, you will be asked to take a new picture or upload an existing one. A set of reference pictures taken at the post will help you place your pictures in case you forget the direction each picture was taken at.
  • Shoot the last photo with the camera on its back and the lens pointing skyward. Be sure that you place the camera the same way each time, say set the back of the camera against the north face of the octagon, and you will get "UP" pictures that you can put together into a time series or movie, just like the other 8 pictures.

Step 1. Go to your Post Page. Click on "upload your photos".

taking a photo of a watch to verify date and time

Step 2. Press "Upload" on the N Reference Photo.

how to align your camera on the post top

Step 3. Place your camera facing North (N). Take your photo, OR, if you already took the photos, choose the correct one from your photo library.

how to align your camera on the post top

Step 4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 around the octagon, and for the UP photo.

taking a photo of a watch to verify date and time

Step 5. Enter the correct date & time, and click "Save".

how to align your camera on the post top

  • You can type in a photographer's note, too.
  • You can click save at any time, even if you don't have all 9 pictures.

  • How Often To Take Pictures?

    • To study the seasonal plant cycles, at least once a day during spring "green up" and during autumn "green down".
    • During the remainder of the year, take pictures once a week unless there is an event of interest that you want to capture more often.
    • If possible, try to take photographs around the same time each day - this standardizes sky conditions for later analysis.
    • Coordinate with a group of photographers during the busy weeks.

    taking a photo of a watch to verify date and time

    how to align your camera on the post top

    camera facing up to take sky photo