Plant obsessive, also a botanist with long experience in practical taxonomy, I am interested in all the world's plants (at least the seed plants and ferns) though most familiar with Australian plants.
Worked in the 60s, 70s and early 80s in the Herbarium at Sydney Botanic Gardens (officially "Royal Botanic Gardens", but I'm a republican!) identifying and cataloging plants in living collections as well as herbarium curation and fielding public enquiries. Was given valuable instruction in principles and practice of taxonomy by the late Lawrie Johnson, one of Australia's greatest ever taxonomists.
Later involved in consulting, writing and supplying photos for publishers of horticultural reference books, including "Botanica" and "Flora", also rewriting plant articles in The Australian Encyclopaedia. I guess I have had upward of 3,000 of my photos reproduced in books, and in the 80s sometimes made a good part of my income from picture sales.
Since the late 70s have been a compulsive plant photographer, piling up around 60,000 transparencies before I went entirely digital in 2003. Since then, have shot something over 50,000 images, nearly all still kept, at high resolution, on hard drives of ever-increasing capacity.
You may notice each of my shots has a number in its title. The first part of the number is a self-sorting date format that allows me to go back to the similarly numbered folder on my hard drive. The second part is the camera-generated photo number, stripped of any prefixes and suffixes, which allows me to locate the original picture file within the folder.
The guiding principle in all my plant photography is illustration rather than photographic art. And the most important thing to me is being able to put names to the subjects with as high a degree of botanical accuracy as possible -- though I accept that naming sometimes proceeds by successive approximations, with even some errors along the way.
Concerning my pictures in Flickr, I have absolutely no interest in having them judged on artistic merit, so please do not bother to comment if that is your only interest in them. As for all those gimmicky "awards" with flashy icons . . . don't get me started!!
I give frequent attention to the groups What Plant is That? and ID Please! and supply many identifications (occasionally wrong ones!). Generally I don't provide identifications for shots that are also submitted to numerous "mutual admiration" groups, as in my experience most such photographers are not interested in the plant's name and rarely acknowledge my contribution ("pearls before swine"!).
Note that my shots are all Creative Commons, set at one of the less restrictive levels. I am happy that they may be useful in as many ways as possible, with attribution of course, BUT . . . . if used for a purely commercial purpose, then I expect my permission to be requested and a reproduction fee discussed.
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I would like to Thanks tony for all the good work he's been doing identifying plants from my photo stream (specially when you know that most of these where from Northen based countries). Thanks a lot.
You rarely find people as precious as Tony Rodd these days. Helping people with ID's, and showing great respect to their work. It's been an honor to me to have this great personality in the Flickr world. God bless you. Muhammad Al Shanfari
Tony has been a terrific friend on flickr. His knowledge of wildflowers is seemingly inexhaustible, even that of a region very remote from his own.