The UPLB Museum of Natural History again offered a free course on biological photography last 31 January to 02 February 2018 as one of its public service initiatives. It was attended by eight researchers and museum technicians from the UPLB MNH, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE), Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE) and the Forest Canopy (CANOPI) project.

During the 3-day course, the participants were introduced to the basic parts and operation of a DSLR camera supplemented by hands-on practicum wherein they took several photographs of biological subjects at the Makiling Botanic Gardens and nearby environs.

The current course design was slightly modified from the previous courses. "We felt that two days are not enough to cover all the lectures and the hands-on components of the course so we extended the duration to three days," said the course coordinator Mr. Florante A. Cruz.

Other activities included in the course were macro-photography of minute biological specimens, photo post-processing, and stacking of multiple images using software like Adobe Photoshop and CombineZM. The participants also learned how to play with artificial light to achieve better exposure for their photographs.

Although the topics still covered the basics of photography with focus on its applications in biology, the coordinators added a session on portraiture to cater to the needs of the participants who usually cover events and activities in the university.

"I appreciated that our batch was only a small group so the facilitators were really hands-on with the participants", said Athena Mercado, a research associate from the CTTE. OVCRE researcher Jose Elmo Azores also added that the peercritiquing during the workshop helped him assess his own shots towards improving his skill in taking photographs.

"We hope to offer this course again to other constituents from the university especially those who are in the biological sciences. Based on the assessment, we hope to provide future participants with more time to practice so we may extend the sessions up to four days," Cruz said.


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