To help facilitate our identification of footprints from your photographs , please note the following:
Always include some form of scale in each photo – ideally a small ruler/tape-measure with mm and cm markings. Place this at the same level as the track and near to the track/sign (without damaging it or casting any shadow).
Try to use the angle and direction of light to reveal as much detail in the track as possible. This best achieved by considering the following:
Photograph the track from directly above it, not at an angle or from the sides.
Overcast (no direct sunlight) conditions are best. Consider shading the track to reduce high contrast.
In particularly extreme lighting conditions (bright sunlight or deep shadow) you can create the necessary contrasts with a mirror or bright torch held at a low angle to the side, and (in the case of bright sunlight) with something to create shade (like a hat or clipboard). Try to avoid casting strong shadows within deep tracks.
For each track, make sure you take the following photographs (with scale included):
A close-up showing the whole track in detail (several from different angles is helpful).
A view of the immediate surroundings within 1-2m radius of the track, particularly one that includes other possible tracks from the same animal (the “track group”), and the substrate (ground surface) that ‘captured’ these.
A view of the wider context (surrounding habitats, terrain, etc.).