Scientific Photography Masterclass technic MAURY 2023 in Laos

The Scientific Photography Masterclass technic MAURY 2023 LAOS is an educational program designed for professionals and hobbyists interested in high-resolution photography of animals and plants.

The Scientific Photography Masterclass technic MAURY 2023 LAOS is an educational program designed for professionals and hobbyists interested in high-resolution photography of animals and plants. The course took place from 22th to 27th July, 2023 in Luang Prabang, Laos. The program was supported by the French National Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and One Health in Practice in Southeast Asia (OHSEA project).

What is MAURY technique?

Nathanael Maury – a herpetologist, photographer, and explorer – led the course with his assistant Pou Maury. The aim of the training was to create the world’s largest visual encyclopedia of herpetofauna using the “Focus Stacking – MAURY Technique”.
“Focus stacking – MAURY technique” is a unique photography method used to document captured species. This technique involves taking multiple images at varying focus distances and merging them into a single image with a greater depth of field than each individual source image. This process, also known as focal plane merging, z-stacking, or focus merging, is achieved through digital image processing techniques such as Lightroom and/or Photoshop. By using this technique, scientists can capture high-quality images that reveal important details which aid in the identification of wild plants and animals, such as the head, limbs, sepals, pistils and more.

Training content

The training course provided participants with professional photography techniques and an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Laos. In addition to theory and in-room photography sessions in the morning, the instructor and students conducted mini-surveys in the local forest at night to collect samples of various animals and plants. They also practiced the “Focus Stacking” technique by photographing these specimens directly. As the primary goal was to preserve the image of the specific characteristics of the species, all collected specimens were released back into their natural habitat.

Phan Minh Tam (right) and Nguyen Trong Duc (left), members of CBES’s Fauna Research Department, had the privilege of attending the training course. During their time in Laos, they not only had memorable experiences with Maury and other students, but they also learned valuable techniques from the course.

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