logo Calflora About Photo Essays
Updated July 2, 2021
Introduction Advantages Notable Photo Essays

A Photo Essay is a kind of report that can be generated from either Observation Search or My Observations. Those two search applications only show a single small photo for each observation. A photo essay, on the other hand, will show every photo available for each observation, in addition to Notes and Location Description.

Here is an example. This is an Observation Search for records of Hoffman's bristly jewel-flower with photos.

This is a Photo Essay generated from that search.

This is the part of that essay that describes Hayley Ross' record, with five photos:


Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. hoffmanii   Hoffman's bristly jewel-flower

Hayley Ross   2015-05-21

Location: Near top of Cliff Ridge, S-facing slope. 6.5 km ESE of mouth of Elk Creek
Mendocino County

Notes: Below rocky outcrop in opening in redwood forest. Lots of bare, unstable soil. Associates included Scutellaria californica, S. antirrhinoides, Acmispon brachycarpus, Pteridium aquilinum, Cirsium occidentalis.

21 May 2015

21 May 2015

21 May 2015

22 June 2015

22 June 2015
These are some of the advantages of a photo essay.
  • A photo essay includes all photos for each observation.

  • A photo essay is generated in pure HTML including full URLs for each photo. This means that, if you would like to modify a photo essay (and are comfortable writing HTML), you can save the source of the essay and edit it. You can put the modified essay up on a different (non-Calflora) server, or send it in an email, and it will work.

  • A photo essay will find the same records as the original search, as long as they are published. This means that, if new records are added to Calflora which fit the criteria of the search, then they will be automatically included in the photo essay the next time someone views it.
Preparing Your Records for a Photo Essay: You can generate a photo essay from My Observations. This is a good way to share your best photos -- all of them -- with others. If you are planning to generate a photo essay from your own records, you can add photos and notes to those records so as to tell a story. Make sure that all observations included in your essay are published, so that other people can see them.

Sort Order: The default sort order is by observation date, with the most recent first. To change the sort order for an essay, click on the column you want to sort by before generating the essay. For instance, if you want records in the essay to be sorted by scientific plant name, click on the Plant column -- the column head will turn green, indicating ascending (A - Z) order.

Number of Records Limitation: Currently a photo essay can show a maximum of 250 observations.

Notable Photo Essays
Photos of Hoffman's bristly jewel-flower

Salix species at Jasper Ridge

Early Detection Weeds in Orange County since January, 2020