Join the Arundel Camera Club on 21 September 2023 at Severna Park Baptist Church for a program by club member Hope Brooks on Botany. The talk will also be broadcast via FaceBook Live.

My name is Hope Brooks, and I guess—provided one defines a photographer as someone who is on the life journey of taking photos—I can count myself as a photographer. I work as a botanical research technician at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland where I study a wide variety of plants, from our native orchids to wetland plant communities and what makes them “tick,” from a changing climate to the omnipresent threat of invasive species. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Plant Sciences in 2014 and attended the University of Pittsburgh for graduate studies in Ecology from 2016-2019. My photographic interests have always focused on plants and landscapes, and I am fortunate enough to have a chance to capture my chosen subjects using a variety of different photographic techniques and tools both for my work at the Smithsonian and for personal pleasure.

Plants have served as artistic inspiration for as long as humans and plants have coexisted on the face of this planet. Botanical art, including—and especially—photography, serves a wide variety of purposes ranging from a creative outlet to a scientific endeavor used to describe and document species. For my upcoming talk, I would like to share a bit about botanical photography with a heavier focus on photography in the sciences, as that is my area of relative expertise. I plan to provide a brief introduction to plant biology and the ecological contexts in which plants exist and how to integrate biological and ecological information into botanical photography. I will also spend some time discussing the photographic gear I use for my plant photography, how I integrate photography into my field research duties, and my unique perspective on what makes useful botanical photos in a scientific context.